Posted in March 2015

Charlie’s Country

This is another Australian film from the wonderful Wales One World festival, starring a man  they describe as ‘legendary,’ actor David Gulpilil. Well, he’s the only famous aboriginal actor, so is well deserved, and says much about the industry. It is an incredibly powerful film about life in a native settlement near Darwin, focusing on an … Continue reading

After the Masquerade

This is a rather wonderful shaggy dog story from the Virginia Gazette, April 4 1771 which was in the London news of December 10: The following odd, but true Circumstance, happened a few Weeks ago at Paris. Two Gentlemen, going to a Masquerade, went to a Place where Habits are hired, in Order to dress … Continue reading

Magna Carter and Hitler

This is from the i newspaper a few weeks ago. “It was the height of the Blitz, and after nearly a year of holding out aginst Nazi Germany’s advance Britain needed all the help it could get fom America. What better way, therefore, to pursuade Washington of London’s geopolitical ardour than to gift it an … Continue reading

Open Land in Scotland and Ireland

My previous posts  on common land only refer to England and Wales as the systems in Scotland and Ireland were completely different. Here is some more from Lord Everley’s Commons, Forests and Footpaths “Commons of this manorial type …do not exist in Ireland or Scotland. All the land in those countries, even where uncultivated and incapable … Continue reading

English Commons

Across England and Wales, there are open spaces called ‘commons’ which are generally rough open spaces for fairs and walking dogs. But what does this term mean? This is from Lord Eversley, Commons Forests & Footpaths: “In most parts of England ansd Wales there exist many ranges of open land, which hae never been subject … Continue reading

Did Shakespeare Ridicule the Working Man?

Here’s another piece from John O’London’s Unposted Letters. At first I thought the title was stupid – of course Shakespeare wrote of ordinary people, he is our greatest playwright, loads of working people used to pay to see his plays. But plays had to be licensed, and that meant sucking up to the powers that … Continue reading

Unposted Letters

This is a lovely little book I just found, by the author John O’London who claims they were intended as Letters to Gog and Magog journal, but were never posted. I have no idea who this man was, but he deserves to be better known; he dedicates his book to his daughter Sylvia Tempest Whitten, … Continue reading

The Battle of Banstead Commons, 1893

This is not a battle which many people are aware of, but it should be much better known, as the result was nothing short of a revolution in land use and access. Despite massive opposition from the lord of the manor in both houses of parliament, a thirteen year struggle in the law courts resulted … Continue reading