Posted in August 2012

The Art of Journalism

When I began writing novels, I was told that tany book would sell on the strenght of the opening page. You have to get the reader’s attention fast. You need a good hook to grab them. The hook is even more important in Journalism. Every day papers have headlines that shout ‘buy me’ and they … Continue reading

The Paty Family of Bristol

The Paty Family of Bristol

  Bristol’s Georgian architecture has always been in the shadow of the grand designs of the Wood family of Bath, who wer more developers than architects. Despite all the vandalism by the council over the years, Bristol still has more 18th century buildings than Bath, and they are generally better made, as they were mostly … Continue reading

Confusing Tarts

Confusing Tarts

I thought I knew what the word tart meant until someone learning English asked how the term ‘ tart’ could refer to a pastry filled with somethng sweet like jam, and yet when used as an adjective, referred to something sour. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term tart dates from about 1400, and … Continue reading

Debunking Myths on Bristol Slavery

Debunking Myths on Bristol Slavery

It never ceased to amaze me how many stupid stories I came across that people swore were all true, yet could never cite sources or even give a logical reason for. These are some of them: Whiteladies Road/Blackboy Hill  This combination of apparently slavery related names is coincidence, not loaded with hidden significance. The origins … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Cambridge University

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Cambridge University

 Peter Peckard studied at Oxford, then served in the army before becoming master of Magdalene College, then vice chancellor at Cambridge. The Zong incident, when 133 slaves were thrown overboard by the ship’s captain to claim insurance shocked the nation and like many others, it seems to have stirred this liberal into becoming an active … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Sunderland Bay

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Sunderland Bay

This is one of the most touching examples of what was happening in the 18th centuryand the legacy of slavery. Sunderland Point, Morecombe Bay, Lancashire  Sunderland was once a busy transhipment port, so many people and goods from many places passed through the area.   Sambo or Samboo apparently arrived in Britain 1736 as either … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Worcestershire

Worcester Cathedral Shrine of St Wulfstan, Bishop (c1008-95) Wulfstan, a very active, hardworking Benedictine, seems to have had great powers of persuasion as he is one of the few English clerics not replaced by the Norman invasion.  By the 12th century Bristol had an unsavoury reputation for the ancient custom of kidnapping slaves from all … Continue reading

Slavery & Abolition Sites – Cornwall, England

Plymouth Birthplace of Sir John Hawkins (1532-95) the initiator of Britain’s entry into the African slave trade, a brave man who did much for the welfare of sailors.  His father had pioneered England’s triangular trade with  Guinea  and Brazil 30 years earlier.   The Pindar Galley called here in December 1706 en route to the Royal … Continue reading

Cuckoo Treatment for A Cuckoo?

I love wild animals, and full points for the various charities that support them, but I do wonder if the Leatherhead Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) have gone a little too far. It doesn’t help that the director of this charity is called Simon Cowell. An injured, parasite infested cuckoo was found in a garden in … Continue reading