Filed under transport

England’s Vanishing Arts

England’s Vanishing Arts

Last Friday the i featured England’s last cooper, Les Skinner, 72  who is about to retire and sell his business in Liverpool. The trade was once at the heart of Britain’s trade, as they produced barrels for food and drink, whale oil so was a huge industry, and one of the last of the guilds … Continue reading

Farewell to the French

This is again from Highways & Byways on the Border: In connection with the time when Peace was proclaimed and the prisoners were sent back to France, it is pleasant to have to record an incident greatly to the credit of Selkirk. The pockets of the Frenchmen were naturally, in their situation, not very well … Continue reading

KKK Clearing Road Litter

Another news item from the furtherest reaches of credibility, from last Friday’s i paper, It’s fascinating as it shows how complex the notion of freedom has become in the land of he free. How far does the rights of a group extend when they are in conflict with those of the state, or of those … Continue reading

Dressing for Travel

This is from the Virginia Gazette, 8 June 1769 showing how people tried to transport money in safety. Or perhaps this was a lifestyle choice. “Bristol, May 17. A few nights ago among the passengers that were gong in the large stage from Bath to London, were two supposed females, that had taken outside places; … Continue reading

Evacuated Kids

Evacuated Kids

Here are some images from an old book on the Womens’ Institute, showing children who were evacuated to the countryside to escape the German bombs in the last war. This is a typical image of them with their meagre possessions heading off to an unknown destination. Sometimes they were not welcome, but the WI did … Continue reading

An Unusual Image

An Unusual Image

Images of children before the Victorian Age were rare, in large part due to the high risk of them dying, so this is an unusual image for that. It also shows a grandmother driving a cart, showing a level of independence and skill that is also rare. It is also charming for having the little … Continue reading

Charvolants

Charvolants

These were unusual, kite propelled carriages invented by Bristol schoolmaster and uncle to the future champion cricketer W G Grace. They were said to have been to avoid paying road tolls, but they were also a means of saving energy. But they failed to catch on as they were dependent on the wind, so if … Continue reading

Character Studies

Character Studies

Here’s a pic by society painter Johann Zoffany of a Georgian group out on the water playing music. It’s interesting as it shows a shwarm, or serpent, though the man seems unsure what to do with it, or perhaps where to put it. Not sure what the man at the top is up to, perhaps … Continue reading

Astronomy and the Sea

The book I’m slowly swimming through, shaping Time, is slow work because it keeps making me think of other things it highlights. Like the fact that accurate astronomy was known by the ancients, almost 2,000 years ago, but for most of European history, sailors relied on deep local knowledge and guess work. If they used … Continue reading