Friday, March 26, 2010

This And That And Oughtibridge

A number of people seemed to think that the elderly, beer-swilling gent in the Pilsner Urquell sign featured in yesterday's post resembled me. To disprove such a contention for once and for all, I am featuring a new version of the sign with my face superimposed. There you go, we don't look a bit alike do we? Today is one of those "This And That .." posts. I used to call this series "Accumulated Fluff At The Bottom Of The Drawer Of My Subconscious Mind", but I have realised that life is too short.

FUNERALS : Much of my day will be taken up with going to a funeral (an elderly ex-colleague of the Good Lady Wife). The local retail sector needs to be well prepared for I have discovered that, at this stage in my life, funerals make me acquisitive. I suppose it is the way funerals remind you that life is finite. Whatever the philosophical cause of the phenomena, I tend to return from funerals with fond memories of the departed and a carefully wrapped parcel or two.

OBJECTS FALLING FROM THE SKY : The local news yesterday featured a chap from the other side of Huddersfield who has made a name for himself as an amateur space photographer. He attaches a digital camera to a weather balloon and sends it up into the stratosphere taking snaps of the earth below. Once its gone up 20 miles or so the balloon bursts and the camera falls back to earth. My local space explorer tracks it with a radio device, rescues the camera and plans his next mission. It sounds a fine idea, and I am sure it is - as long as you are not in the path of the rapidly descending Nikon Coolpix. If you happen to be in these parts today and see someone walking a dog whilst carrying a stoutly reinforced umbrella, stop and say hello.

TIME DILATION AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT : If you  do happen to be in these parts why not stop off at the Rock Tavern, Elland, this evening for the weekly pub quiz. I will be setting the questions - the "reward" for winning last week - and therefore you can guarantee that none of them will be unduly cryptic or abstruse! I have avoided the temptation of taking up the suggestion of my fellow-blogger Chairman Bill and incorporating the scientific questions he posed in his blog yesterday, one of which was "how long does it take for a photon emitted from the sun to reach earth? I won't give the answer away - you might want to ponder the conundrum whilst enjoying your morning coffee - but it has something to do with time dilation and the speed of light.

AND SO TO OUGHTIBRIDGE :  The other day I did a vintage postcard post featuring a card addressed to Fred Beckett in Worksop. As with all such cards, all you have is a short message from which to try to put together the story of the people who both sent and received the card. Normally, a good measure of imagination is required. However, if you have readers and fellow bloggers who are genealogical geniuses you just sit back and wait for the full story to emerge. Jamagenie on her Saturday's Child blog took the postcard message and breathed life into it. Check her post out to read the full story. Strangely enough it involves a small South Yorkshire village called Oughtibridge (isn't it a wonderful name) which I know quite well and which has a fine pub I have intended to visit for some time. When I do eventually get there I will raise a glass to good old Fred Beckett.

ANNOUNCEMENTS :  The list of Sepia Saturday participants is up on the Sepia Saturday blog.  These days most people post their link after they have put their Sepia Saturday post up (thereby including a link to the post rather than the blog) so don't be put off if there don't seem to be many names up yet. Next week will take us into Easter and therefore there will be no Sepia Saturday on Saturday 3rd April. Easter also means that towards the end of next week my posts will be more sporadic but I will return after Easter with, hopefully, a new look to the blog.


  1. Oh, yes, never mind you don't look anything like that illustrated guy...
    I like the description "Accumulated Fluff At The Bottom Of The Drawer Of My Subconscious Mind", life just HAS to be long enough! -J

  2. I like this 'miscellany' posts. I also like your old title for them, like Harnett-Hargrove.

  3. Jayne : Hang on a minute - I am that illustrated guy! I will carry out some experiments to see if life can be stretched and if so I will go back to the old title.

  4. Hi Fran : I have updated my blog roll to incorporate your new blog. As always, thanks for your comments.

  5. Alan, thanks so much for mentioning Saturday's Child. I've been contacted by Nicola Roberts, Fred Beckett's 1st cousin 3 times removed. Between us, maybe some of the other questions that surfaced during my research will be answered.

    Oh, and when you do get to that pub in Oughtibridge - I do so love that name! - raise one to Fred for me too!


  6. I did notice that about the Sepia posting. I plan to do the linky thing after the post is published. I'll be along this week :)

    Heh, heh word verify="part me"

  7. Well it did look a teensy bit like you but then I think you look more like a clean-shaven Santa Claus. Oh how I'd love to come to your trivia night! Although with questions like that I think I might be better just reordering the drinks.

  8. I like your addition to the poster of the ale quaffing gents. PERFECT!

  9. All lovely tidbits here, Alan. Love that bit about the camera. Yes indeed--that coudl seriously hurt if one happened to be in line of its fall back down to earth....but oh, how very very interesting. People are so clever, aren't they?


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...