Saturday, 26 February 2011
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
It's a simple idea but effective with a large staple on one side of the gate, a latch on the other side which swings across and a heavy metal peg on a substantial chain, fastened above the staple, is pushed through the loop. I wonder if the village blacksmith made this.
There must be so many examples of handmade and practical items around, I really must look harder!
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
Sunday, 20 February 2011
Friday, 18 February 2011
I was driving home from somewhere or other and this poem popped into my mind so I decided to illustrate it as best I could.
Good old hand knitted cardis. Once a year we had a week's holiday 'at the seaside' though I have no recollection of how we got there. Perhaps it was by coach? My Dad isn't in these photos but my Gran, who lived with us, is in most of them. This was on the front in Margate - with Dreamland still there to be visited and rides on the scenic railway and merrygorounds and ice cream. The book is called, 'Cherry the Boot Boy'... The pushchair did service for many years, too.
When I was Four,
I was not much more.
Mum's favoured hair style for me - a 'horse's tail' which I was stuck with for years. No plaits for me though I managed those by the end of the war. This is Southend pier, which means we went north of the Thames, into foreign country... South Londoners went south - to Brighton, Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs. I wonder why we managed to infiltrate Southend??? Looks like typical English summer weather, too.
When I was Five,
I was just alive.
Heavens! No horse's tail! This is a studio photo, probably Jerome's, as they seemed to have the most studios at this time - I'm still a couple of weeks away from being 5. Nowadays I'd look at the material and think it would be ideal for patchwork.
But now I'm Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.
Guess which is me. The other children are in summer dresses, and what do I have on? A jersey, naturally. I can't make out what I'm holding, it doesn't ring any bells at all. My friends lived close by and we all went to the same LCC school - which is in the background. The infants had a sleep in the afternoons which seemed very odd to me, I wasn't tired. The playground was on the opposite side of the road and Mum would bring me a cup of cocoa at playtime when the weather was cold...we lived in flats a few hundred yards away. Apart from the afternoon sleep all the memories I have of school are washing out paste jars used for painting, and the headmistress, Miss Vincent, slapping a 'naughty boy's' hand, her charm bracelet rattling and clattering. Mum kept sheets of sums, cut out paper d'oyleys and all my letters sent home when I was evacuated in 1939.I was evacuated to Brighton with the school and this is on the seafront in November 1939 when I'm 7. Another jersey and the usual pleated gymslip and, I would think, the sort of plaited cord which tied round your waist.
Having bored everyone with that here's a spoof on the poem above from a book by Christopher Mayhew called 'Now we are Sixty (and a bit)'.
I had too much sun.
I had dreadful flu.
I couldn't pee.
I felt really poor.
I took a dive.
But at sixty-six, to be perfectly frank,
I'm as fit and as strong as a Sherman tank.
That's all Folks.
(You have to be of 'a certain age' to recognise the sign-off line!)
Thursday, 17 February 2011
This butchers'shop has always had interesting blackboard notices - one says 'Wild Rabbits' so I wonder what would happen if it said 'Tame Rabbits' one day, would anyone notice??? Anyway,
Across the road, outside the town library, there's a memorial to a US pilot who died when his aircraft crashed in 1943, saving a disaster in the town.
Twenty six (or twenty one) year old Clyde Cosper and his crew left their B17 base in Bedfordshire on a mission to bomb the U boat pens at Bremen. Bad weather caused the plane to encounter problems and the pilot ordered the crew to bail out while he stayed at the controls, steering the plane away from the little town of Princes Risborough. It crashed just outside the town and the full bomb load exploded. The pilot was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart. Some memorabilia is on show at Wycombe Air Park.
A local lady organised for the memorial to be built and in 2001 attended the opening of the State Veterans Home named after Clyde Cosper.
Nice to know he's not forgotten.
Saturday, 12 February 2011
Do you find that, in your life, a certain series of numbers follows you around? For me it's the 20s.
My birthday is on the 27th;Stuart, my son was born on 28th; his son, James, was born on 27th and my daughter in law's birthday is the 26th.
I was married on the 25th, divorced on 29th - after 20 years.
I have lived at 26, 23 and currently at 20a.
I broke my shoulder in a fall on 20th October.
Thursday, 10 February 2011
I'm inclined to think it's a London based poem, just based on the language but it's also a social comment on the 'working-class' life probably about the late 19th or early 20th century. A 'two-up. two-down' house in a road of identical homes, a scullery (where the running water and sink was) and the loo outside. The parlour would have been the Front Room, not used, kept for best and for important visitors.
The cutting comes from an old This England magazine and was in the letters section under the name of Jim McCue in SE1 - Lambeth. Unfortunately, I didn't date it so don't know when it was published. Read it out loud if you have a problem...
John cleaned his bisickle ther on the Monday.
Charles and his fren Hamelia Rite
Sat in the dark ther on Toosday nite.
An Wensday, bein erly closin,
it sooted me to ave a dose in;
On Thursday it were used fer nowt
bekors the missis scrubed it out.
On Friday it was clean and tidy,
redy for the Vicar's lidy;
Feeling extra ale an arty,
On Sattiday we ad a party.
But ther aint no party now-
e ses ter me,
You giv up this ere luxeree,
Tis not the likes ov you, ses e,
as shud be avin cumpernee-
besides you av a skuleree.
Wots rong wiv you, e ses ter me,
Is that your wiges is, ses e,
L.G.B. perhaps means the Lord Gor Blimey but it's not certain.
It's certainly 'how the other half lived'.
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Monday, 7 February 2011
Mind you, I'm a bit unsure how it will be received - it depends on your sense of humour.
In a post I made in January I'd found a spelling mistake which totally changed the meaning of the small ad's listing in a local free magazine index and no one commented on it. I emailed the Editor and she returned with 'I don't understand'. Instead of Window Cleaner the heading said Widow Cleaner using Pure Water in either case...
Saturday, 5 February 2011
Thursday, 3 February 2011
The graves in the photo are in this shady quiet corner of Westcott churchyard, in Bucks, just off the A41 between Aylesbury and Bicester. They are of men from the UK and New Zealand who died in several accidents at Westcott during 1942 and 1943. The airfield was used for training and one Wellington pilot overshot the field, stalled and crashed, catching fire; another Wellington crashed while returning from bombing practice and all members of the crew died.
The airfield was also used for leaflet dropping raids and as the war ended over 20,000 liberated POWs were brought home via Westcott.
Remembrance poppies are placed on the graves in November.
The airfield is now an industrial estate.
God’s Acre, a meadow starred with flowers,
Where wind blows feathered grasses to and fro
And bees hum in the silence and owls glide
From bell-cote ledge as they did long ago,
And Westcott church still drowses past the gate.
Fat clouds float overhead; it rains or not,
It matters little to the villagers
Who sleep so soundly in their weathered plot.
But others lie beside the village folk,
They came from other places, other lands
To serve in time of peril years ago
And stayed to rest, a brave unlucky band.
The silence of the churchyard then was rent,
The roar of bomber engines clawed the sky
To fall and crash to earth, a bloom of red.
Now under white stones in a row they lie,
The English and New Zealanders alike,
The pilots, navigators and air crew.
I wonder if their ghosts on moonlit nights
Sit talking under skies where once they flew?
This post memorial in Ford, a hamlet near Haddenham, was erected a few years ago at a ceremony which was attended by members of the public, officials and the band from RAF Halton. It commemorates two airmen, one of whom was Canadian, who died here in 1944 when their Wellington crashed. A pot of heather has been left in the centre of the memorial wreath of poppies and there are two small groups of snowdrops, one on either side of the central post.
The memorial is on a small crossroads in the hamlet. I wonder if any passers-by have stopped to look or even thought about what it is?
I was in Prestwood this morning and remembered this plaque I'd seen a couple of years ago. It's had a chequered history being passed from one resting place to another and now graces an outside wall in - a garden centre! At least it's been saved from being scrapped.
Two Wellington bombers, on a night exercise in 1944, collided over Prestwood killing 11 men, both crews except for one survivor found wandering in a dazed condition. The fliers were Dutch, British and Canadian.