Friday, January 31, 2014

Sepia Saturday 213 : Taking A Suitcase On The Fast Train To Purgatory


I try not to cheat, but I have to confess that sometimes I have been faced with temptation and found it hard work resisting. Imagine the situation : you have to choose a theme image for Sepia Saturday, it can be anything, and you know that whatever you choose will become a central feature in a photographic search for dozens of Sepia Saturday followers in a couple of weeks time. And you will be one of that dozen or so. You try to choose the image impartially, you try to separate the two parts of your being into watertight compartments : you as Sepia Saturday administrator and you as Sepia Saturday participant. But - and here is the confession - just occasionally you can't help thinking to yourself (and the thought is often accompanied by the slightest of self-satisfied smirks), "mmm, I think have something that will fit in with that theme".

Move forward a couple of weeks and you compose the Sepia Saturday Blog post for the theme in question. You recall that little thought that frolicked in the dark recesses of your mind a couple of weeks ago and you write, "Suitcases mean holidays. Holidays mean photographs. Ergo, suitcases mean a good crop of sepia goodies". And then all you have to do is to find the photo you had in mind and your own Sepia Saturday submission is complete. Easy Peasy.

But then Burnett's Law comes into play : "the more convinced that you have an old photograph somewhere that will ideally fit in with the Sepia Saturday theme, the more difficult it becomes to find it". You spend hours looking through albums and boxes. You ignore the wife, abandon the dog, forget to eat; you begin to fade away and queue-up to catch the fast train to purgatory. And all you come up with is a faded suitcase on an old railway platform (which you suspect you might have used before) and a thirty year old photograph of you in happier times before temptation came a-knocking on your door.

Take a lesson from me Ladies and Gentlemen : when temptation comes to call, bolt the door tight.

And with the door firmly closed, pop on over to the Sepia Saturday Blog and follow the links to see what others are up to this week.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Random Imagery No. 16,122


I have been importing all my digital images into my Adobe Lightroom photo cataloguing programme and I discover that, so far, there are 33,550 of them. A quick calculation shows that this is, on average, about 1.4 photographs per day of my life, which is hardly excessive. Using a random number generator I choose one image out of the 33 thousand to use as an illustration. It turns out to be a picture taken in Bangor, North Wales in November 2009. I suppose I should also show .4 of another photograph to illustrate my calculation, but that would be silly : and I am certainly not silly - am I?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

28 January 1914 : Thoughts On The Richter Scale Of Slaughter

Continuing my trawl through the newspapers of 1914 I spot a story which makes me think of our maritime nation during a time of war. The article, which comes from the Newcastle Journal of the 28th January 1914, is headed "The Mauretania Explosion", but the cause of the explosion was an accident rather than enemy action.

THE MAURETANIA EXPLOSION
STATEMENT BY THE CUNARD COMPANY
DAMAGE TO VESSEL NOT SERIOUS

The following statement was issued yesterday by the Cunard Company in reference to the explosion on board the Mauretania, reported in yesterday's Daily Journal -

"It is with deep regret that the Cunard Company confirm the news contained in this morning's papers to the effect that the bursting of a gas cylinder, which was being used in connection with the overhaul and repair of the turbines of the Mauretania, has resulted in the death of four men and injuries to six others.
The Cunard Company wish to publicly express their deep sympathy with the relatives of the men who have unfortunately lost their lives or suffered injury, while performing their duties.
The damage to the Mauretania is confined to the blading in the starboard high-pressure turbine, and is not serious.
.......
Possible causes of explosion in these cylinders are:
(1) An inherent and undiscovered flaw in the cylinder at the time of manufacture.
(2) A severe blow at some time developing a fracture.
(3) In the course of time the cylinder developing fracture by reason of crystallisation.
The Mauretania (which was built at Wallsend) arrived in port fives week ago. The steamer has been undergoing her annual overhaul, and was due to sail for New York a fortnight hence".

I realise that, compared to the enormous loss of life that was just around the corner during the Great War, the loss of four workers' lives is low on the Richter Scale of Slaughter, but the sense of despair felt by the families of those four men must have been just as great. And whilst we rightly remember the sacrifice of generations of young people during war, we should also pause occasionally to recall the pointless sacrifice of generation after generation of people to industrial injuries and diseases. Perhaps then, we might not be so ready to pour scorn on the "health and safety culture" which protects people today.

The Mauretania - unlike its' workers - was repaired and returned to service in the early months of 1914. During the war it saw service as an armed merchant cruiser and later as a hospital ship. After the war the ship returned to the transatlantic route and for a time it held the record for the fastest crossing. But by the early 1930s it was getting slow and expensive to run and in 1934 it was scrapped. On its way to the scrap yards it called in at Newcastle for the day where a massive crown, led by the Lord Mayor, gathered to say farewell.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Pub A Day Calendar : George III, Queensbury


My Pub-A-Day Calendar extract for this week features the George III pub in Queensbury. I have never set foot in this pub (yes, there is one pub in Yorkshire I still haven't visited), but it always looks inviting, the very epitome of what a traditional English pub should look like. There is a welcome above the door and an invitation to "watch England here". What better way to spend a day; pint in hand, watching England go by.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sepia Saturday 212 : Snow and The Blunt Curator

I don't have many old family photographs featuring snow. My ancestors seemed to avoid the subject and being blunt Yorkshire folk they would no doubt believe that if it was snowing outside the thing to do was to stay inside next to the fire. Unless there was brass to be made outside, of course.

Snowy photos only appear in the geological image record during my curatorial watch, and I have chosen a couple from back in the 1980s to illustrate the trend. Both were taken within a few hundred yards of each other, but the fact that one was captured when I had black and white film in my camera and one when I had colour, means that it was more than likely different snow storms in different years.

The first shows the scene on the west of Crookes Valley Road and those are the benches in Crookes Valley Park fighting to stay above the snow line. The second photograph shows two of our oldest friends - C&M - heading for a winters' run along the eastern side of the embankment that carries the road. Why they were venturing out into the cold snow for a run I cannot imagine. The photographer - being a blunt Yorkshire lad - was taking the photograph from the warmth of his front door.

Snow was forecast for today so I am avoiding the outside world. I will stay indoors and check out the rest of the entries on the Sepia Saturday Blog by following the various links. If you would like to bask in the warm glow of sepia memories, you can do the same.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Dangerous Pace And A Stolen Half-Crown


My trawl through the newspapers of 1914 takes me to Nottingham and the Nottingham Evening Post of the 22nd January 1914. This week I am not focusing on a particular story, rather I am looking at a random corner of page 5. This provides us with a snapshot of life in an industrial town at the start of a year that would later become resonant with the sound of gunfire. But in January the sounds are of a different kind : the sound of a young man divested of his dignity and his half crown by a lady of dubious virtue, the sound of a motor cycle speeding down Lincoln High Speed, and the absence of sound from the steamers of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. So sit back with your slice of Bermaline bread and your cup of Afternoon Digestive Tea and read on :-

MONEY IN THE MATTRESS
ADVENTURES OF A VISITOR TO NOTTINGHAM
  The adventures of a young moulder, named Valentine Cope, of 7, Kingston Avenue, Hallam Fields, who paid a visit to Nottingham yesterday, were described at the local police court today, when a woman named Bridget Meakin, of 82 Pierrepont Street, was charged with stealing half-a-crown and three medals, value 12s from him.
  The evidence showed that Cope met the woman in a public house and they went to 82, Pierrepont Street. She snatched the medals from which watch-chain, and he missed half-a-crown from the inside pocket of his jacket. He ran out, and met P.C. Long, who arrested the woman. the officer found the medals on the floor of the bedroom and two half-crowns and other coins between the bed and the mattress.
  Meakin was sentenced to seven days' imprisonment.

STREET DANGERS
MOTOR CYCLIST FINED AT LINCOLN
  Harry Christian, an engineer's apprentice, was before the ex-Mayor (Alderman Wallis) and Mr J Mills at Lincoln today charged with driving a motor cycle at a speed dangerous to the public on January 9th; and further with driving the motor cycle without being registered under the Motor Car Act.
  The evidence of Sergeant Milner was to the effect that defendant rode out of St Mary Street at 8.55pm on Friday, and went down High Street at a dangerous pace. He turned at the Midland gates. On being questioned he said that it was a machine which they had been doing up and he was trying it, but he was not going more than 15 miles an hour. On inquiring as to the registration of the machine witness found that it had never been transferred to defendant or Mssrs Gilbert and Son, to whom it belonged.
  For driving at a dangerous pace the magistrates inflicted a fine of 10s and the summons for not having the cycle registered was dismissed.

L AND Y STEAMER OFFICERS ON STRIKE
  The officers on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company's steamers, who are on strike, yesterday again refused the company's offer for a settlement, and the strike continues.

Monday, January 20, 2014

British Pubs : A Page A Day Calendar


Each year I buy Isobel a calendar for Christmas, one of those which features a different picture every day. Being Isobel, her favourite is always something like a "Dog A Day" or "A Cute Puppy A Day" but there are other offerings in the same series featuring such things as shoes or handbags, cats or flowers. I have always quite fancied having one of these for myself, but as yet I have been able to find one entitled "A Pub A Day". But when you are retired and feckless and with nothing better to do with your life, there is nothing to stop you creating one. Here is today's photograph. I will try and drop in again at points throughout the year.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rainy Days And Megadrives Always Get Me Down


Continuing my exploration of British newspapers 100 years ago, I am fascinated by the scale of changes within that comparatively short period of time (100 years ago my father was a toddler). My extract this week comes from the Dover Express and East Kent News of Friday 16 January 1914. "Rainy Days Are Welcome", it proclaims, because of the joy of returning home to a Pianola Piano. I have a feeling that if you asked the people of East Kent whether rainy days would be welcome at the moment - pianola or not - the answer would be in the negative, given the amount of rain that has fallen there over the last weeks. These days it is difficult to imagine a working man sustaining himself through his labours in order to return home to the joys of a mechanical duet produced by a primitive musical machine, but there again what was a pianola other than an early Magadrive? And looking at what else was in store for our weary wage-slave in the adjoining advert, perhaps things don't change all that much after all.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This Week's Bargain


One of the delights of old photographs that have been scanned and brought back to life, is walking back down familiar streets, looking at shop fronts that have not been there for forty years. With this photograph, there is an additional challenge, because all the shops are in reverse, viewed as they are through the reflection in a car showroom window. This week's bargain is the shops at the bottom of Bull Green, Halifax. Those of a certain age will be familiar with the names, even in reverse : Greenwoods the Bookshop, the El Toro Coffee Bar and Lewins Pub. A free trip back in a time machine - now that's a bargain.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Answers, Answers, Answers.


Answers to the January Rock Tavern Quiz. Leave your score as a comment. Best score wins a pint of beer from me at the Rock, but you have to turn up in person to claim it.

ROUND ONE
1 The word “wiki” which forms part of the name of the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia means quick or fast in which language?  HAWAIIAN
2  Which director’s films include Nashville, MASH, and Gosforth Park?   ROBERT ALTMAN
3  In what year did Napoleon Bonaparte die? (and for a bonus, where?)  1821 – ST HELENA
4  What is the longest river in North America?   MISSOURI RIVER
5  Wisteria Lane is the central location for which American drama?   DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
6  The headquarters of which major global company is situated at 1, Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California?   APPLE
7  Lusaka is the capital city of which African country?   ZAMBIA
8  Skye, Mull, Jura and Islay are all part of which island group?   INNER HEBRIDES
9  Vietnam was a former colony of which European country?   FRANCE
10  What are the four railway stations featured on the standard British board of Monopoly?  (Point for each)   FENCHURCH STREET; ST MARYLEBONE; LIVERPOOL STREET; EUSTON.
ROUND TWO
11  Which of the following isn’t a Mr Man – Mr Chatterbox; Mr Chirpy; Mr Clumsy? MR CHIRPY
12  On which side of the road do they drive in Japan?   LEFT
13  “Oh I could hide ‘ neath the wings / Of a bluebird as she sings, is the opening line of which song?        DAYDREAM BELIEVER by The Monkees
14   Four television programmes originally broadcast in the 1950s have been running continuously since then. What are they?  (A point for each)    PANARAMA (1953);  THE SKY AT NIGHT (1957); FINAL SCORE (1957); BLUE PETER (1958)
15  Who have been the victim of more assassinations, US Presidents or Popes?  POPES 6 - US PRESIDENTS 4
16  What is the highest rank in the British navy?  ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET
17  In which year did Ireland join the European Union?   1973
18   In the sitcom “The Good Life” what was the surname of Jerry and Margo?   LEADBETTER
19   Miss Lemon is the secretary to which fictional detective?    HERCULE POIROT
20   Who is third in line to the British throne?    PRINCE GEORGE
ROUND THREE
21  According to Google, what were the most Google searches carried out on in 2013 : (a) Royal Baby;  (b) Paul Walker; or (c) iPhone 5?    PAUL WALKER (1);  iPHONE 5 (2); ROYAL BABY (3)
22   In 2013 it was confirmed that Voyager 1 had been the first man-made object to do what?            ENTER INTERSTELLAR SPACE
23   Which of the following didn’t die in 2013 :  (a) Esther Williams – swimmer and actress; (b) George H W Bush – 41st President of the USA; (c) Seamus Heaney – Irish Nobel Winning poet.    GEORGE H W BUSH (STILL ALIVE!)
24  Who won the 2013 Edition of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in December?  KIAN EGAN
25  Who was the winner of Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2013?   POPE FRANCIS
26  The sacking of which TV personality was listed by the Yorkshire Post as the top Yorkshire news story of 2013?   CHRISTA ACKROYD
27   How many new British TV Channels were introduced in 2013?  Was it 23, 47 or 124?          23
28   Which three teams were relegated from the Premier League in May 2013?  (Point for each)        READING; QUEENS PARK RANGERS; WIGAN ATHLETIC
29   Which politician claimed in 2013 that 20% of British teenagers thought that Winston Churchill was a fictional character whilst 58% thought that Sherlock Holmes was a real character?              MICHAEL GOVE (Later revealed to be entirely spurious statistics carried out by Premier Inns six years ago!)
30   2013 was the first year since when to be made up of four entirely different digits?    1987
ROUND FOUR
31  Which TV presenter is currently Chief Scout?      BEAR GRYLIS
32  Who were the two leaders of the USA and the USSR during  the Cuban Missile Crisis?  (point for each)   JOHN F KENNEDY and NIKITA KRUSCHEV
33  What is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey called?  A HINNY
34  Where will the next Summer Olympic Games be held?  (point for city, point for country)               RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
35   Was does baking powder produce when water is added to it, which makes dough rise? CARBON DIOXIDE
36 “Thy choicest gifts in store / On her be pleased to pour” is a line in which well-known song?        GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (verse 3)
37  Who played Mrs Robinson in the 1967 film “The Graduate”?  ANNE BANCROFT
38  Yosemite Falls are in which American state?   CALIFORNIA
39  Which element has the atomic number 2?    HELIUM
40  What was the name of the long-running comedy series starring Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker?    MY FAMILY
ROUND FIVE
41  What goes with liberty and equality in the motto adopted by the French Republic?  FRATERNITY
42   How long is Indianapolis’s most famous motor race?       500 miles
43   What are Lucida, Arial, Tahoma and Verdana examples of?     TYPEFACES (FONTS)
44   How many edges does a cube have?   12
45   Isabella Mary Mayson became better known as which cook?  MRS BEETON
46   What would you be watching if William Webb Ellis is credited with founding it?   RUGBY
47    Dry ice is the name for the frozen, solid form of what?   CARBON DIOXIDE
48   Which plant produces the drug digitalis?       FOXGLOVE
49    Vincent Tan is the owner of which football club?     CARDIFF CITY

50   According to an article in the December 1986 edition of Parasitology Today by the Norwegian scientists Odd Halvorsson, it is likely that a parasitic infection of the respiratory system was responsible for what?         RUDOLPH’S RED NOSE

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sepia Saturday 210 : Monumentally Frank


I am reminded by the splendid Peter Miebies that the second Saturday of January of each year is International Auntie Miriam Day, named in honour of my Auntie Miriam by none other that Peter himself. So what could be more appropriate for the "discoveries" theme on Sepia Saturday than this photograph of Auntie Miriam (left) and her mother-in-law (right) acting as slightly overwhelmed bookends to the monumental Uncle Frank. The photograph was hidden away at the bottom of an old cardboard suitcase which I thought I had cleared out several years ago. With the photograph was an old telegram:


The text of the telegram is intriguing. It was sent in August 1935 and would seem to have been sent by Uncle Frank (Frank Fieldhouse) to his parents who lived on Cumberland Road, Bradford. "Mimi" was the pet name of Auntie Miriam, but questions remain. What was the strange illness that brought about their urgent return from Blackpool? What were they up to in Blackpool in the first place (you might want to note that they didn't get married until June 1942)? And finally, if things were that urgent, why wasn't the emergency dealt with in Blackpool rather than after a long bus journey home?

All this goes to prove that it is not just photographs and documents that fall out of old books or old suitcases, but questions as well. You can make more discoveries by going on over to the Sepia Saturday Blog and following the various links.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Rock Tavern Quiz - January 2014


THE ROCK TAVERN QUIZ : JANUARY 2014

I know many regulars like to join in with the Rock Tavern Quiz so I hope to be able to feature one a month during the year (as long as I can get to win the occasional one and thereby compose the questions for the following week). Here is last week's. There will be a prize of a free pint of beer (to be claimed in person from me at the Rock Tavern, Elland) to whoever gets the best score. I will publish the answers in a day or two.

ROUND ONE     
1   The word “wiki” which forms part of the name of the internet encyclopaedia Wikipedia means quick or fast in which language?          
2    Which director’s films include Nashville, MASH, and Gosforth Park?       
3    In what year did Napoleon Bonaparte die? (and for a bonus, where?)    
4    What is the longest river in North America?       
5    Wisteria Lane is the central location for which American drama?              
6    The headquarters of which major global company is situated at 1, Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California?  
7    Lusaka is the capital city of which African country?         
8    Skye, Mull, Jura and Islay are all part of which island group?     
9    Vietnam was a former colony of which European country?        
10   What are the four railway stations featured on the standard British board of Monopoly?  (Point for each)              
ROUND TWO
11   Which of the following isn’t a Mr Man – Mr Chatterbox; Mr Chirpy; Mr Clumsy? 
12    On which side of the road do they drive in Japan?     
13    “Oh I could hide ‘ neath the wings / Of a bluebird as she sings, is the opening line of which song? 14    Four television programmes originally broadcast in the 1950s have been running continuously since then. What are they?  (A point for each)      
15    Who have been the victim of more assassinations, US Presidents or Popes?       
16    What is the highest rank in the British navy?     
17    In which year did Ireland join the European Union?   
18    In the sitcom “The Good Life” what was the surname of Jerry and Margo?     
19    Miss Lemon is the secretary to which fictional detective?           
20    Who is third in line to the British throne?            
ROUND THREE
21    According to Google, what were the most Google searches carried out on in 2013 : (a) Royal Baby;  (b) Paul Walker; or (c) iPhone 5?               
22     In 2013 it was confirmed that Voyager 1 had been the first man-made object to do what?            
23     Which of the following didn’t die in 2013 :  (a) Esther Williams – swimmer and actress; (b) George H W Bush – 41st President of the USA; (c) Seamus Heaney – Irish Nobel Winning poet.    
24      Who won the 2013 Edition of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in December?                
25     Who was the winner of Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2013?       
26     The sacking of which TV personality was listed by the Yorkshire Post as the top Yorkshire news story of 2013?             
27     How many new British TV Channels were introduced in 2013?  Was it 23, 47 or 124?     
28     Which three teams were relegated from the Premier League in May 2013?  (Point for each)        
29     Which politician claimed in 2013 that 20% of British teenagers thought that Winston Churchill was a fictional character whilst 58% thought that Sherlock Holmes was a real character?              
30     2013 was the first year since when to be made up of four entirely different digits?      
ROUND FOUR
31   Which TV presenter is currently Chief Scout?  
32   Who were the two leaders of the USA and the USSR during  the Cuban Missile Crisis?  (point for each)   
33    What is the offspring of a male horse and a female donkey called?   
34    Where will the next Summer Olympic Games be held?  (point for city, point for country)             
35    Was does baking powder produce when water is added to it, which makes dough rise? 
36    “Thy choicest gifts in store / On her be pleased to pour” is a line in which well-known song?       
37     Who played Mrs Robinson in the 1967 film “The Graduate”?   
38    Yosemite Falls are in which American state?      
39    Which element has the atomic number 2?          
40    What was the name of the long-running comedy series starring Robert Lindsay and Zoe Wanamaker?   
ROUND FIVE
41    What goes with liberty and equality in the motto adopted by the French Republic?          
42    How long is Indianapolis’s most famous motor race?     
43     What are Lucida, Arial, Tahoma and Verdana examples of?         
44     How many edges does a cube have?     
45     Isabella Mary Mayson became better known as which cook?      
46    What would you be watching if William Webb Ellis is credited with founding it?  
47    Dry ice is the name for the frozen, solid form of what?
48     Which plant produces the drug digitalis?             
49     Vincent Tan is the owner of which football club?             
50     According to an article in the December 1986 edition of Parasitology Today by the Norwegian scientists Odd Halvorsson, it is likely that a parasitic infection of the respiratory system was responsible for what?     

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Short Marriage Of Princess Coal



Continuing my look through the British newspapers of 1914, this week I have chosen the Dundee Evening Telegraph and Post (January 9th, 1914). The article does not, however, focus on developments in Dundee, but events in far-off Berlin. You might think that we are beginning to see the first indications of those international events that would stain the year for the microscope of history : but no, it is a wedding we are focusing on, what the paper calls "The Fashionable Anglo-German Wedding". The participants are fascinating in their own right : the Hon John Freeman-Mitford was English aristocracy (and Uncle to the famous Mitford girls) and his bride Fraulein Marie Von Friedlander-Fuld was the German Coal King's daughter. At least we can content ourselves with the thought that Anglo-German relations started the year on a high note. But that note soon went sour : by June that year Princess Coal was suing for divorce and the marriage ended well before the lights went out all over Europe.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The Lost Bars Of Brighouse


You might think that this is another post in my series on the Lost Pubs of Brighouse (a series which will be returning to a computer screen near you soon, I promise), but it is not. This vintage postcard shows Kirklees Bar House, the house used for the collection of tolls at the toll bar along the Dewsbury to Elland Turnpike Road, just to the east of Brighouse. The toll bar is long gone, but in some places the name remains : for example, I live close to Bradley Bar which was another toll bar on the same road. The postcard was sent in 1913, just over 100 years ago.


12, Lane Ends Midgley, Luddenden Foot.
Dear Ethel,
I hope you have got Laura to say she will come on Sunday as I shall be expecting you if the weather keeps as it is at present, which we want it to do, hoping this finds you all in the best of health. 
Your sincere, Aunt

The card was sent to Miss E Baldwin, South House Farm, Wadsworth, Hebden Bridge.

I wonder if people will be reprinting text messages 100 years from now and wondering whether Ethel ever made it to her Aunt's - or whatever the equivalent will be these days?

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Forgotten Years


Someone asked me over Christmas if there had ever been a time in my life when I had not viewed the world through a camera lens - the poor devil had just been given a calendar featuring some of my pictures from the 1960s - and I had to admit that I have always felt happier when insulated from reality by a decent optical lens. But there is a period in my life where I don't seem to have many images in my collection, and it is that period between the end of black and white and the start of digital photography. For me, they are the forgotten years, so one of my New Year Resolutions is to revisit some of these old colour negatives and convert them into a digital format.

My photo today is easy to date, Alexander is still a babe in arms so it must be 1990. We were on holiday in Somerset, in a farm house overlooking Lake Chew. Compared with some of the old black and white photos, it doesn't look all that long ago. But time races on : that smiling little lad is now working and gets married later this year.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Sepia Saturday 209 : A Most Reasonable Journey


You could reasonably ask why this early photograph of me was in any way related to the theme image for Sepia Saturday 209 which features a charabanc. And I would answer, in all reasonableness, that it's all about a journey. The journey started on the charabanc, for I was sure that I had a photograph somewhere in my collection of family photographs of my grandfather and grandmother aboard an open-top chara en-route to some seaside resort. 

So I went on a journey through my shoe-box and tracked it down. It's a fine old sepia photograph which shows off the charabanc in all its splendor. But then I began to realise that I might have used this photograph before on Sepia Saturday, so I started a journey through my old posts only to discover that it features in my post for Sepia Saturday 98, way back in October 2011.

So it was beginning to look as though all these journeys were getting me nowhere, but then I remembered that journeys are not just about reaching places, they are about what you discover on the way.

For example, whilst I was searching through my old blog posts, I discovered that I had written about the word charabanc before, in a post about the removal of certain words which are now supposed to be archaic from the Collins English Dictionary - and yes, charabanc was on that list. And whilst I was searching through the shoe-box to track down the charabanc photograph, I discovered this picture of me riding my scooter from the mid-1950s. I know what you are going to say, that I won't get very far with the stand down and the scooter securely balanced. But you need to build up your confidence before you start a journey - and get your photograph taken at the same time. That's reasonable enough, isn't it?

SEE WHAT THE OTHER SEPIANS ARE UP TO FOR SEPIA SATURDAY 209 BY GOING TO THE SEPIA SATURDAY BLOG AND FOLLOWING THE LINKS.

Friday, January 03, 2014

Monuments


There are multiple flood warning throughout the country, but we live on the top of a hill and, at the moment, the sky is blue, but the wind is cold. Here are a couple of photographs taken on my morning walk with Amy. The electricity pylon stand just outside the Crematorium, like a monument to modern times. The tree stands on the other side of the main road, like a monument to the complexity of nature.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Watchman, What Of The Night - The Morning Dawns.


I decided to treat myself to a little extra Christmas present and when the January Sales came around I bought myself a years' subscription (Isobel, please note : 20% off) to the British Newspaper Archive. 2014 will, of course, be a special anniversary, 100 years on from the year that did so much to define the last century. I thought it might be interesting to watch 1914 develop from the viewpoint of miscellaneous local and national newspapers. Hopefully, this will be a weekly selection, and it starts with a Leader Article from the Surrey Mirror of the 2nd January 1914. In it, the writer looks ahead to the new year and speculates what it might bring. With his focus on such trifling matters as The Kikuyu Conference (an episode of religious history that is best forgotten but if you insist, you can look it up on Wikipedia) and party political arguments, you get the feeling that the Surrey Mirror, like so many other European institutions, were sleepwalking into disaster. Hope seems to permeate the sorry paragraphs of a newspaper that, 12 months later, would be crammed with notices of premature deaths in Flanders. The morning did indeed dawn - and what a morning it was.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Acres Of Enjoyment For 2014


I have been so busy going through my extensive list of New Year Resolutions that I have hardly had any time to post to my Blog today. This is both a shame and a paradox, as one of my regular yearly resolutions is to be more regular in my blogging habits. So, for today, let me limit myself to a small photograph I took a week or so ago in Greenhead Park, Huddersfield. The sky is suitably leaden, the trees seasonally bare : and the kids are playing games and enjoying themselves. Let me wish each and every one of you acres of enjoyment in 2014. Happy New Year.