I am a retired librarian, having spent most of my career in academic and industrial libraries.
I write on a number of subjects and also write stories as a member of the "Hinckley Scribblers".
Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
Ely Cathedral is one of England’s architectural masterpieces, made all the more stunning by its location in the fens of north Cambridgeshire, such that it can be seen rising majestically from its flat surroundings from many miles away.
A Boy in a Sailor Suit
I suppose it was really my mother Dorothy’s embarrassment rather than mine, given that I was probably too young to feel that way at the time. But, given that I remember it so vividly after all these years, maybe that was the first occasion – out of so many since! – when the spark of embarrassment was kindled in me.
Exit, Pursued by a Bear
In Act 3 Scene III of The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare, there is an interesting and unexpected stage direction. A character named Antigonus exits the stage “pursued by a bear”. Antigonus’s role has been to take the baby daughter of Queen Hermione to – would you believe – the coast of Bohemia and abandon her to the wild beasts of the region. What actually happens is the baby survives but Antigonus does not, and we are given to believe that it is the bear in the stage direction that is the cause of Antigonus’s demise.
Historic places of worship in Norfolk
Norfolk is a large county that contains one modestly-sized city (Norwich), a port town (Great Yarmouth), a number of small seaside resorts (e.g. Cromer and Sheringham), a scattering of market towns (e.g. Kings Lynn and East Dereham), and a huge number of small villages that bear witness to the main industry of the county, which is agriculture of the rich soils that cover much of the terrain.
The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
During the years preceding World War II there were two choices on offer to those who wished to travel by air. There were fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft, and there were airships. Given that the former were primitive by modern standards, being noisy, cramped and uncomfortable, not to mention dangerous, it is understandable that people who could afford to travel long distances by air were attracted to the much greater comfort offered by airships, although safety was still an issue.
The beginnings of Hereford Cathedral Hereford has had a cathedral since the 8th century, although the Saxon building that contained the remains of St Ethelbert (a murdered king of the East Anglians) was destroyed in 1055. Bishop Robert de Lotharingia built a small chapel on the site in 1079, but very little of this remains. It was not until Bishop Reinhelm came along (bishopric 1107-1115) that anything substantial in the way of a cathedral was built, in the Romanesque style, although that was by no means the end of the story.
Hereward the Wake
England after the Conquest After his victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, Duke William of Normandy knew that he would not be a popular King of England. He had no real claim to the throne other than by force, so he could hardly have expected to be welcomed with open arms.
The Tailor of Horsemarket
On the 2nd of February 1838 a tailor was hard at work at the front of his shop in Barnard Castle’s Horsemarket when he looked up to see two smartly dressed young men watching him through the window. He beckoned them to come inside.