Sunday, September 28, 2008

Original blog

Well, I've just stopped by to visit this original blog and am amazed to see it's working at last.

Back in July it hitched up and refused to work so I transferred everything to Wordpress ...

Here's the link

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Testing, Testing

I'm just going to attempt to post a little something to see if it crops up on everyone's Blogroll - my poor blog is still subject to an error message.

BUT my other temporary blog seems to be fine ..... eeeek

Friday, July 18, 2008

My First Blog Award

Well, I don't know what to say, I've just been given my very first award from the lovely Lace Hearts ... thank you C ... much appreciated.

Now I have to
Put this Logo on my Blog – does that make it a Blogo? Done
Put a link/or mention Done

Nominate at least 7 other blogs Difficult to choose as there are so many interesting ones - but for the moment I'll go with the following :-
A Different Era
Homespun Living
All Things Shabby Chic
23 Beech Hill
Country Bliss
Notes from the Frugal Trenches
Curlew Country

Link those Blogs Links to all these blogs are in the right hand column (under the photo of the poppy!)
Leave a message on their blog Done

Monday, July 14, 2008

Way Back When

I had an e-mail yesterday from Friends Reunited inviting me to look at their updated website, which I did and was very surprised to see the following photograph which was taken 50 years ago! I am the one with the black arrow above her head.

The above photograph was taken at the same time (I'm the one on the right trying to pull over the maypole). My Mum is seated (four people to the left of me in the photo) in the black cardigan. Next to her (on the left) is my grandmother holding my new baby sister (although she is barely visible) who had been born on 13 May. The girl to the left of me in the photo wrote to me a few years ago and I was intrigued by her memories of coming to our house to watch The Lone Ranger. This might explain why I felt an affinity with Wyoming, when I visited there!

I was surprised to see the school mentioned at all, as it was such a tiny private school in Luton. I loved it there and remember the May celebrations well - the flowers they used were beautiful and every time I smell lilac I remember those days. The school consisted of a Little Class and a Big Class! I remember progressing to the Big Class and learning all about Mistle Thrushes in my first lesson .....

Funny how one little e-mail can give your memory such a jolt.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Rainy Day Random Post

It's raining yet again and I have blogblock at the moment, so I've just been looking through my photos to find something to remind me of SUNSHINE and WARMTH.

These, taken at Alice Springs a couple of years ago, might do the trick ....

I loved these beautiful Masked Devil Cicadas (so incredibly noisy) on a gum tree by the Todd River ...

This photo always reminds me of what a HOT day it was - but at least it was dry heat not that rainforest damp stuff!...
The aforementioned mighty Todd River at Alice ....

The delightful Olive Pink Botanic Garden ...

Mmmmm ... I think that has helped a bit.

Now, IF ONLY we could do a weather swap .... and help Australia alleviate its current record drought conditions.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Another Great Grandfather

I thought that I'd put together another little family history snapshot.

My great grandfather Henry West was born on 16 May 1862 and according to the 1871 census was, at the age of 8, living with his parents, Arthur and Sarah, at Wrafton, Braunton, Devon.

At 18, he worked as a "Farm Servant (Indoor)" at the 95 acre farm of William and Elizabeth Quick in Georgeham, North Devon.

A very flimsy piece of paper with his handwriting, dated August 1891, gives details of his family’s birthdays. Sadly, out of Arthur and Sarah’s 13 (possibly 14) children, 5 (2 boys and 3 girls) died young. There were no surviving daughters. Out of the 8 male siblings, 5 became policemen. Aged 23, Henry joined the Metropolitan Police on 13 July 1885. 3 of his brothers also joined the Met.

Around that time, to join the Metropolitan Police the following qualifications were necessary:

to be over 21 and under 27 years of age

to stand clear 5ft 9ins without shoes or stockings

to be able to read well, write legibly and have a fair knowledge of spelling

to be generally intelligent

to be free from any bodily complaint.

The bodily complaints for which candidates were rejected included; flat foot, stiffness of joints, narrow chest and deformities of the face.

In early 1891, 29 year old Henry was unmarried and living in the Section House of Lambeth Police Station at Kennington Lane. Later that year he married Caroline Sharman.

Between 1888 and 1891 the name of Jack The Ripper was regarded with terror by the residents of London's East End, and was known the world over - I wonder what Henry's experience of the situation was?

Henry lived not far from Charlie Chaplin, who went to school in Kennington Lane and whose occupation (then aged 12) in the 1901 Census is given as Music Hall Artiste.

There exists, still, an extremely flimsy piece of paper (shown below) written by Henry whilst in London. It is his police report of a collision in High Street, Peckham in which a brewer’s dray was involved. The actual report is just about legible!
Henry’s wife Caroline died aged 40. Henry went on to marry Ellen Collins, a Londoner, in Lambeth in 1907.

During his Metropolitan police career, he was stationed at Marylebone, Lambeth, Westminster and Whitehall. He was pensioned on 26 September 1911 as this document, nearly 100 years old and still in pristine condition shows:-

After leaving the Metropolitan Police, they returned to Braunton, where Henry was again a policeman - I have a hazy photo of him in uniform, directing the traffic in Braunton during the 1930s in the middle of a flood.

The following photo, showing Henry on the left (with the very long legs!) was possibly taken at Braunton Burrows just around the corner from where he lived at 17 Barton Lane.
Aged 84, he died on 29 March 1947 (having being driven into by an American woman’s car, whilst he was on his bicycle, or so I have been told – I would like to find the documentation). He is buried in the graveyard of St Brannock's Church, Braunton, Devon.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Belated Christmas Present

Well, at last I managed to give Mum her belated Christmas present - a mini-break in the Cotswolds!

On Tuesday my sister (The Recycling Goddess - see earlier post) arrived with Mum to pick me up and, after morning coffee, we set off for Malmesbury where we had lunch at The Whole Hog. We spent the afternoon in the Abbey House Gardens, home of the Naked Gardeners. The photos are ones I took on a previous visit so I can't show you the wonderful roses which were in bloom ...

We had afternoon tea, sitting in the sunshine overlooking the fountain and then went on to our hotel, where we had a delicious dinner ...

Next day, it was off to Stratford-upon-Avon via Moreton-in-Marsh (for coffee). We took the Stratford sightseeing bus and did the full tour before lunch at the Pen and Parchment. Next, a visit to Anne Hathaway's cottage and another beautiful garden...

We returned via Burford and Bibury -

View of Arlington Row across Rack Isle, Bibury ...

I bought a little book which explained the fascinating history of Bibury, a former weaving village. Most of the Bibury cottages date from the 17th and 18th century when the village prospered due to the wool trade - Cotswold sheep were considered to produce the finest wool in Europe. The cottages in Arlington Row housed weavers and Rack Isle was an area where the woollen cloth was "racked" after fulling (washing) and dyeing. Rack Isle is now a wildfowl reserve.The Swan Hotel, Bibury (seen above with the necessary swan!) was advertised in the book and it was good to see that lunch is served in the Brassiere!

Today we got up a bit later and had a leisurely breakfast before returning via Lacock - a village almost entirely owned by the National Trust and a popular film location (Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, Harry Potter). After a walk around the village we stopped for morning refreshments at the 13th century King John's Hunting Lodge and sat in the restful flower-filled garden.

Then it was back home for lunch prepared by Clive ... what a star!