Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Friday, 23 January 2015

Bowled Over

The adverts in this week’s post all come from my souvenir programme of a cricket match held at RAF College Cranwell in 1971, where several famous people were playing. I wrote about it here and put the whole thing in a Flickr album, where you can see even more adverts, and pictures, and read stories and anecdotes.

I like the whimsical humour and the dreadful punning style of the first image, even if it is a little laboured. The others in my selection are all on a cricket theme, where the advertiser chose to capitalise on the event (Haig Whisky missed a trick). They are interesting from a historical perspective too. The National Coal Board was later privatised and many mines closed over the subsequent years.

These days we would expect more details in the advert about the product and where to purchase it. I’m assuming that Australia Farm is some kind of co-operative, but the ad relies on the reader already having some knowledge of its services. I remember that in the 1950s my great-uncle in Victoria sent Christmas parcels of Australian dried fruits. After the war these products were scarce and expensive, and the parcel contained ingredients to make a Christmas cake.

At least SBS, the building supply company had the sense to include contact details.

This week Sepia Saturday has an advert from 1882 as the prompt. Join other Sepians there to see what they’re advertising this week.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Rough Justice

Back in August I told the sad and sorry story of a childhood acquaintance who went on to be hanged for murder, in A Curious Incident and I was once thrown into prison myself for witchcraft (I was in Arthur Miller’s play, The Crucible when I was a teenager and you can see the picture here.). Apart from that I’ve always tried to be a law-abiding citizen and the nearest I have come to methods of punishment is viewing the castle dungeons on our many visits to castles, or town jails/gaols, when we’ve been on some historical/heritage experience/trail over the years. Other members of my family have been photographed in the stocks and pillories (in 1987: Littlecote and 1989: Lacock).

This week’s Sepia Saturday has a legal theme and a prompt picture of a courtroom. I was once foreman of a jury but there were no photographic records of the occasion; there are strict rules in English Law about that sort of thing!

Referring once more to the book I introduced you to last week,* I found this interesting case.

Fortune Teller Held in Pillory
Last Tuesday at the Sessions held at Newbury, came on the trial of Elizabeth Sevens, otherwise Dame Cryer, a noted fortune-teller for several years past, being prosecuted by one Mondy of the Parish of Kingsclere, for having charged him with robbing his father of some Household Goods and Gammon of Bacon, the Father upon losing these Things having applied to the said Fortune-teller for information concerning them. She was tried by Special Jury and found guilty, was sentenced to be imprisoned for twelve Months and to stand four Times in the pillory within the time of her imprisonment. From The Ipswich Journal 16 December 1758

Not much of a fortune-teller; she should have seen that coming! It seems rather a harsh sentence for just making some bad guesses and I expect there is more to this case than meets the eye. For more tales of law-breaking and rough justice, visit other Sepians to see what they made of the prompt.

*News From the English Countryside 1750-1850 by Clifford Morsley

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Demon Barber

The image shows "Private First Class Troy Dixon, Leadhill, Arkansas, uses a Japanese barber chair to cut the hair of Sergeant John Anderson, Anita, Pennsylvania Both men are members of the 363rd Field Artillery Battalion., located near Shuri. Okinawa, June 10, 1945., ca. 1900 - 1982” *

My New Year’s Resolution is to keep my posts short, just like the subject’s hair in this photograph. The barber here is no demon, simply giving his comrade a handy haircut at time of need. 

My newly acquired (car boot sale) book, 'News from the English Countryside 1750-1850' by Clifford Morsley, tells the story of a real demon barber:

From a correspondent to The Times
“ I must tell you a ridiculous thing that occurred in a small village in Oxfordshire last week, and which caused a diminution in my congregation yesterday. A man wearing a certain badge of authority and calling at each house, informed the inhabitants that he was a Government Barber, sent from London, to cut all the people’s hair gratis, it having been ascertained as the most effectual way of keeping off the cholera, which had already made its appearance. The fellow succeeded in carrying away with him sufficient hair to make several wigs, and the deluded people were obliged to set to and make warm caps to defend their bare heads from the cold which set in next day”
From the Bucks Gazette 12 December 1846

Im sure Sepians would never be so gullible, but just to be sure dont answer the door to any strange men offering their services free. Instead, keep your hair on and go and visit other contributors to this weeks Sepia Saturday, which gave us a hairy prompt to set our creative juices flowing.
*Flickr Commons

Friday, 2 January 2015

Let Us Sit Upon the Ground

“For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground and tell sad tales of the deaths of kings.” William Shakespeare, Richard II

The little boy sitting cross-legged on the ground with hands clasped is my husband aged about three years at Willow Lane Nursery School, Lancaster. He and his little pals appear to be waiting for something, on what was obviously a hot day, (hence the tent). Perhaps it was the end of the Summer Term and the children were having some races; the tent could have been to keep them cool whilst waiting to take part in the ‘egg and spoon’. Who knows? My husband doesn’t remember and even the bunting on the houses behind the school, doesn’t help. This was the Summer of 1952 so a year too early for the Coronation. My husband has suggested that it was some local event, perhaps The Lord Mayor’s Parade or similar. What is certain, however, is that they were not telling sad tales of the deaths of kings, as in the quotation above. The family albums are littered with people sitting on the ground; picnics, gardens, beaches, to name but a few, and I could have produced an entire gallery. I opted instead for just one photograph and this one best matched the Sepia Saturday prompt picture, with its suggestions to; “Sit on the ground, hang out your flag, put on a silly hat ... and generally look pleased with the world.” 

Join other Sepians this week to see what they made of the prompt.