Posted in December 2016

Blind House

Blind House

This stands beside the bridge at the edge of Trowbridge centre, a rare survivor of the many that were built to detain overnight local drunks and other ne’er do wells, so thought it was apt for today.  It is really impressive, and I wonder if there used to be a ducking stool nearby on the … Continue reading

Bruno Bettelheim on the “Truth” of Fairytales

Bruno Bettelheim on the “Truth” of Fairytales

Originally posted on On Art and Aesthetics:
“…statistically too improbable…” (Photo: Pixabay) Two years ago, at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Richard Dawkins – evolutionary biologist and New Atheist – famously (or rather infamously) denounced fairytales while maintaining his position as a forceful proponent of the scientific method. His comments, according to the Independent, went as follows: Is…

The night before Christmas

Originally posted on Minutiae:
So there’s food in the kitchen, clean sheets on the beds, fairy lights at the windows, snowflakes on the ceiling, a tree awaiting its apotheosis, and a few nearests-and-dearests wandering about, bringing bottles and pinching the wrapping paper and scissors.  Yes, I’m one of the lucky ones, and intend to enjoy…

An Irreplaceable Artefact

This is another piece by Frank Cottrell-Boyce on the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford: In the corner was a glass case with a curtain. I pulled the curtain aside and found a vast red and yellow cloak, an ‘ahu ‘ula made in the 1830s for Queen Kekauluoki of Lahina in Hawaii,of hundreds of thousands of … Continue reading

Teazel House

Teazel House

Trowbridge was for centuries a major centre for the wool trade.I think its last weaving factory closed about 1980, and many former mills have been converted to other uses, with one being engulfed into the shopping centre as part of the local history museum. But when I was told about this one, called Handle House, … Continue reading

Shrunken Heads

I have seen a number of these, especially the collection in Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, but though vaguely aware they served some ritual function, never really pursued what they were about. No images are included as it is not possible to photogrph such human remains. This is from the i paper, by Frank Cottrell-Boyce: The … Continue reading

Awaiting New Owners

Awaiting New Owners

This is a large church complex in Trowbridge, Wiltshire which was formerly a busy site of Congregationalists. They are a group who I knew were wealthy, and often supported good causes, but they are struggling to find a new use for this large site. I wish I could have seen inside – it looks lovely. … Continue reading

A Difficult Local

A Difficult Local

This is one of the strangest buildings I’ve ever seen, and I thought it was a folly, though odd for it to be so central – between the train station and a big shopping centre in Trowbridge. Apparently it was built by a local man in protest against the council refusing him planning permission. The … Continue reading

A Rebel Redeemed

A Rebel Redeemed

Robert Walpole passed the Black Acts in response to poaching in windsor Forest in the early 18th century. The law should have been a short term one, but was not repealed till many decades later. A wide range of former misdemeanors or traditional rights were converted to capital punishments, but they were often converted to … Continue reading

Trowbridge Town Hall Arts Centre

Trowbridge Town Hall Arts Centre

One of the major consequences of modern technology has been the problems adapting old buildings to accommodate the extra wiring, and changes of use in office space etc. In the former wool town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, they have converted the wonderful Victorian former town hall to a community art space and I was granted a … Continue reading