Filed under transport

Fish and Fairs

The supply and control of the quality of food seems to have taken up most of the authorities time until modern age. Weights and measures were scrupulously checked, and if food or drink was unfit for consumption it was generally destroyed, sometimes burnt, in public, and the vendor fined or put into the pillory for … Continue reading

New Inn, Gloucester

New Inn, Gloucester

This is an incredibly rare and precious survivor of the old coaching inns that were once at the heart of most towns of a certain size, and an essential part of the transport network, as well as providing accommodation for travellers, and a venue for entertainments, so were a forerunners of modern theatres as well … Continue reading

Dreary Lane Kew

Some more from the Epicure s Almanack: In going up Dreary Lane that leads to Richmond you pass the east boundary wall of Kew Gardens, extending more than a mile in length. This dead wall used to have a most grazing and tedious effect on the eye of a pedestrian; but a poor mendicant crippled … Continue reading

Negotiating the End

This is the penultimate piece on World War I from the I newspaper, by their French correspondent John Lichfield: ON 8 November 1918, 2 trains came to a halt in adjoining idings at Rethondes in the forest of Campiegne, 40 miles north fo Paris. One, formerly the imperial train of Emperor Napoleon III, contained German … Continue reading

Perched on a Nunatack Near Jango Bingo

This is from a pamphlet that accompanied the British Council’s exhibition a few years ago, subtitled New Architecture and Science In Antarctica. What little I know of life in the Antarctic comes largely from Werner Herzog’s film Encounters at the End of the World, of the US base, which is a sprawling ugly place full … Continue reading

English Rivers

English Rivers

That last post made me want to add a few points on the use of rivers. All early towns in England had problems with excrement in the streets – not just human, emptied out of windows, but also, until the invention of the motorcar, the streets were filthy, with animals as the main source of … Continue reading


This is a highly commended book by poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts, subtitled Journeys into England’s True Wilderness, about the regions that divide towns and cities from the countryside They make an interesting point in terms of these regions being a sort of pressure release for teenagers, where parks, school playgrounds and gardens … Continue reading

The Birth of the Landship

This is from the i newspaper, with another reason for the ending of the Second World War: “The tank was the British military’s response to the stalemate of trench warfate. Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was an early supporter of the idea, setting a committee to look into it in February 1915. … Continue reading

More English Inns

More English Inns

The inn signs should be highly ornate, reflecting the wealth of the keeper and clientele, especially¬† in the 19th century on roads I’m the west country- the road to Bath was famous for highwaymen as a result. The most ornate sign was the White Hart at Scole. ‘That magnificent carved sign, one of the wonders … Continue reading