Filed under sports

The So-Called Disease of Aging

The So-Called Disease of Aging

Last night I watched a BBC documentary largely focused on the work of eminent biologist Paul Nurse, on current work on gene technology in relation to the process of ageing. He spoke of how cells develop cancer and dementia due to the simple process of age, the cells just accumulate damage which impairs the usual … Continue reading


18th Century Slinging

This is a piece on the little known sport/weaponry of the slingshot, from Sports & Pastimes of England, published in 1800: I remember in my youth to have seen several persons expert in slinging of stones, which they performed with thongs of leather, or, wanting those,k with garters; and sometimes they used a stick of … Continue reading

Turkish Archery in London

This is from Sports and Pastimes of England, with a rare personal anecdote on a sport which had apparently all but died out by then: I remember about 4 or 5 years back [ie since 1800] at a meeting of the society of archers, in their ground near Bedford Square, the Turkish ambassador paid them … Continue reading

Arthur the best Archer

I am posting this under curiosities as it intrigues me. I knew that Henry VIII had an older brother – he married Catherine of Braganza who had been his late brother’s wife, but I don’t think I knew his name. There is much in the following which has elements of the Arthurian legend. Intriguing… Again … Continue reading

The Duke of Shoreditch Archery

This is some more from The Sports & Pastimes of the English: Henry VIII, having appointed a great match of archery at Windsore, a citizen of London, named Barlow, an inhabitant of Shoreditch, joined the archers, and surpassed them all in skill; the king was so pleased with his performance that he jocosely gave him … Continue reading

Feats in archery

This is some more from Sports and Pastimes of England, published in 1800. If the metrical romances and ballads of the former ages may be depended upon, the strength of our English archers in drawing the bow, and their skill in directing the arrow to its mark were justly objects of admiration… Adam Bell, Clum of … Continue reading

Tudor Recreations

Before the Reformation it seems our ancestors’ lives were largely structured round work and religious festivals. After the dissolution, there were ongoing debates as to how people – especially the ignorant masses – were allowed to spend their time. This is from Sports & Pastimes of the People of England, citing Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, published in … Continue reading

A Prize Fighter Reformed

Here’s another piece from ‘Old Oak’. I am intrigued by the man’s name, as Bendigo is a former goldmining town in Victoria Australia. I wonder if there is a link. Oxford dictionary makes no mention of him. “I was asked to bury another famous champion – Bendigo. He had been the hero of a hundred … Continue reading

The Great War and Cardiff Parks

The Great War and Cardiff Parks

I went to a talk on this last night, and learnt a lot about how life went on when the war happened. when war was declared, everyone thought it would be over in a short time. I knew that, but I didn’t realise the initial response was an expectation of local unemployment with the loss … Continue reading

Bowling Chums

This is a lovely piece abut curmudgeonly old men from The History of Myddle by Richard Gough: Thomas Jukes was a bauling, bould, confident person; hee often kept company with his betters but shewd them noe more respect than if they had been his equalls or inferiors. Hee wa a great bowler, and often bowled … Continue reading