Friday, 31 August 2018

August 31st marks the death in 1688 of John Bunyan, author of the very influential book, Pilgrim's Progress, which has been loved by Christians across the world since it was first published.

Interestingly, Bunyan wrote the book while he was in prison, to which he was sent for the terrible crime of preaching without a licence by the tyrannical, bigoted government of Oliver Cromwell.

Oh, sorry! Cromwell died in 1658 and Bunyan was not arrested until 1661. It was actually the tyrannical, bigoted government of King Charles II.

This demonstrates two things:

1. While we should strive not to be bigoted, the "right kind" of bigot often escapes criticism, not least in history.

2. (For writers). If it's possible to write a major book within the confines of  17th Century prison, it should be possible anywhere.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Despenser Inheritance

This link will take you to an interesting (if complex) article by Professor Hicks about the Despenser Inheritance.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Just when you think the world couldn't get any madder...

CAMRA, the highly successful consumer organisation that has for decades promoted Real Ale has decided that it needs to be 'revitalised'.

The project group looking at this has suggested that CAMRA should no longer focus on Real Ale, but give support to all 'good' beer.

A change so radical is rather like the Richard III Society deciding that Henry VII was actually quite a decent chap, and that his hereditary claim to the throne had some substance.

What it means on the ground is that CAMRA (if the change is supported) will in future give credence to the overpriced, glorified fizzy keg that is laughingly called 'craft beer'.

I give up. I really do.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Used Postage Stamps for Charity

Not many charities still collect old postage stamps as a way of raising funds but one that does is the Retired Greyhound Trust.

So, if you can bundle up all your old stamps (any used postage stamp will do, UK or other) and put them in a suitably stamped envelope or jiffy bag addressed to:-

 RGT Stamp Appeal, Park House, Park Terrace, Worcester Park, KT4 7JZ. UK

You can be sure they will be put to a good cause, helping retired former racing greyhounds.

Of course there are other ways to help the RGT, as you will find if you follow the link to their site. In particular, their shop sells some great stuff - including food for your retired greyhound!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Tia Rescue Cafe

Tia Rescue, near Doncaster, now has a cafe.

Gets good reviews on Trip Advisor, so please visit when in the area and help the greyhounds, lurchers and shire horses that it supports.

Don't forget the Open Day and Bandana Challenge on Sunday 28th August!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Wigan Parish Church.

Today I made a pilgrimage to Wigan Parish Church. Well, not really. I happened to be in Wigan and noticed that the church was open, as it apparently it is every Saturday.

Some of you will recall that this is the church from which Alianore Audley rescued the Duke of Gloucester's stolen banner, so I couldn't resist a look inside. It is a surprisingly large building, heavily 'restored' by our Victorian friends, who introduced an awful lot of their dark, heavy, gothic fittings. If you like that sort of thing, you will be delighted. Indeed, although the church was founded as far back as the days of Edward the Confessor, the present building is largely Victorian, as it was pretty much completely rebuilt.

However in the Walmesley Chapel are some rather attractive medieval altar panels. They don't 'belong' having been bought from Germany, but they are rather nice, and well worth a look.

In the Lady chapel there are effigies of a 14th Century knight and lady. These lie rather forlornly on the floor, having evidently lost their tomb chests at some point. Again they are rather lovely, although not of the first quality.

It is obvious that the parishioners are rather proud of their church and are doing their best to keep it well maintained. If you happen to be in the area, it's certainly worth a look. Admission is completely free, but obviously a suitable donation is appreciated.

I returned to Manchester by train. This was once part of the main line of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, the 'Business Line', along which expresses hurtled from Liverpool to Manchester (and vice-versa) in 40 minutes. Unfortunately the railway is not nearly so well cared-for as Wigan Church. The laughingly named 'Sprinter' train dawdles along, calling at various shamefully neglected stations en route. The lineside is an utter disgrace, with dense trees and bushes blocking the view almost all the way and, at one point, Japanese Knotweed, a pernicious weed which the law says should be rooted out and destroyed, reigns supreme over the cutting side. Small wonder there are problems with 'leaves on the line' when hulking great trees are allowed to flourish just a few feet from the metals! What visitors to this scepter'd isle must make of such untidiness I shudder to think.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Tia Rescue

Once more I find myself mentioning my favourite charity Tia Rescue.

Tia do a brilliant job rescuing unwanted greyhounds and lurchers and also shire horses. They are unfortunately struggling for cash at the moment.

How you can help:

Send a donation.
Sponsor a greyhound (or other rescued animal)
Give a home to a greyhound or lurcher. (These dog make wonderful pets).
Visit the new cafe and visitors' centre.

Read their website for details.

Tia are located down a country road, but they are actually quite handy for the A1 or M18 if you are in that neck of the woods. Quite near to Doncaster or Bawtry.

The address?

Tia Rescue
Mill Race Farm,
Wroot Road

I know that all donations, however small, will be much appreciated right now.

(Almost forgot. They have a 20 acre field which is available for hire for events, etc. They also allow camping.)