Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Cold Winter of 1830

I went up to Collindale on Friday to find out a little more about the weather in early 1830. It was a bright winter’s day and it was bone cold – quite aptly as it turned out. The winter of 1814 is renowned as being one of the coldest in history. In London the Thames […]

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“It is a misty November morning. Each blade of grass gleams and leans, heavy with moisture, and the air is so still that leaves from the oak tree at the end of my garden fall straight down, twirling and landing like a whisper.” (Jenny Uglow – A Little History of British Gardening) — image credit: […]

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Mongol Rally 2006

Sifting through a few old photographs, I’ve just found this one from the Mongol Rally in 2006. At the time I imagined this to be a something of a graveyard shot of Mabel – our fiery red 1984 mini. The photo was taken about two weeks into the rally in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. By this time […]

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The Great Wyrley Outrages (Arthur and George)

Great Wyrley is a small rural parish in Staffordshire. A little more than a century ago it consisted of a few finely-built residences and farmhouses that sat on a bed of soil that was compounded of light loam and clay. The parish’s chief crops were wheat, barley, turnips and mangolds. It was connected to wider […]

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An advertisement for the village bonfire

Guy Fawkes Night was always one of the best when I was growing up. There would be a heaped bonfire built up in the middle of a farmer’s meadow. There’d be sparklers, a cluster of fireworks and thick wreaths of smoke on the cold breeze. You’d rush about wearing tightly-buttoned duffle coats and bobble hats […]

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Historical miscellany #1 – Robert Peel’s Bet (1823)

In December 1823, Henry Baring bet Robert Peel that he would not be able to shoot one of each of the seven types of game bird* together with a rabbit and a hare during the following day. Peel won the match by one o’clock in the afternoon and Baring lost a hundred guineas. (Taken from […]

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