Filed under travel

A Captive Owl

This is from Kilvert’s Diary, told to him by a Miss Child: She and her sister stranded in London at night went to London Bridge hotel (having missed the last train) with little money and no luggage except the owl in a basket. The owl hooted all night in spite of their putting it up … Continue reading


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

John Gibson – A British Sculptor in Rome

John Gibson – A British Sculptor in Rome

I knew many British people did the Grand Tour to widen their education, but had no idea some artists lived and worked there. Gibson (1790-1866) was born in Conwy, Wales but settled in Rome in 1817 where he studied with Antonio Canova and set up his own studio which itself became a tourist attraction for … Continue reading

Curious English Laws

This is some more from Thomas Platter’s Travels in England 1599. Not sure about this first law. A handless man may be able to read, but can’t turn the pages.  There are many curious laws and customs in England which fill up many volumes, for my part I will only relate what was told me. If … Continue reading

Offa’s Dyke

This is a wall – or monument, barrier, that is generally believed to have been built by the Mercian king Offa to separate Wales from England, and that, like Hadrian’s Wall, to have run from sea to sea. But the story is far less clear or straightforward. This is from an article by Chris Catling … Continue reading

The Origin of the Mayday Call

Between The Ears: Seelonce, Seelonce :This was a fascinating broadcast on BBC Radio3 by musician Tim van Eyken, dramatist Joseph Wilde and producer Juilan May on the history of the distress call. They began with the origins of distress calls; when the telegraph was invented, they used SOS, the initials of Save Our Souls, but … Continue reading

International Travel Advice

Last week, the US Department of State posted a well-meaning warning about overseas travel, but they are not alone, as this article from last weeks i paper explains: “The US Department of State was forced to issue an apology on Wednesday after posting a tweet saying that unattractive people are more  likely to be robbed … Continue reading

Minority Travel

We tend to take travel for granted in the internet age, but here’s some information on a book that should never have needed to be written: The Negro Traveller’s Green Book listing safe places to go. What surprises me is that it covers not just the USA, but Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean where such … Continue reading

A Late Convenience

In Current Archaeology is a review of The English Railway Station which details the evolution from modified Georgian houses to the grand cathedrals we still use and love. But, since the original use of the railways was for freight rather than passengers, facilities we now take for granted were long coming : “Left luggage offices … 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