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Curiosities at Gloucester Folk Museum

Curiosities at Gloucester Folk Museum

Sometimes I find references to items which I really need to see to understand. Fortunately some museums have handling exhibitions which help. This was a Tudor exhibit at the recent doors open day. This is a trencher, a precursor of plates. It’s only a few inches across as they did not have all the food … Continue reading

Kittiwakes

Kittiwakes

When I saw these birds nesting in Newcastle my reaction was my usual anoyance at the ubiquitous urban gulls. But these are pretty little creatures who spend most of their time at sea. Also they are in decline, so great to see them breeding in the summer at the Gateshead Gallery on Tyneside

Tapestry Here & Now Holburne Museum

Apologies for posting this so late – I think it ends today, but it was a fine mix of styles, a reminder there are still original things you can do with a few threads. I’m afraid I can’t read my scrawled notes for some of them. This seemed to be my favourite, a Japanese artist … Continue reading

Listen To Britain 75th Anniversary

Listen To Britain 75th Anniversary

This is an incredibly famous documentary made in the dark days of World War II by Humphrey Jennings as a means of uniting the United Kingdom. I’d heard a lot about it but never seen it before. Documentary maker Kevin Macdonald introduced it, describing it as a masterpiece; it is that and more. There is … Continue reading

Still Grieving Lost Children

Still Grieving Lost Children

This is really sad, from Joseph Leech’s Rural Rides, from the churchyard at Keynsham, though the author could have been a bit more diplomatic: My attention was attracted by 2 very antiquated crones, who came hobbling towards me over the graves which, in the course of nature, they ought to have long since filled; both … Continue reading

Life and Death of Sir Thomas Lawrence

Life and Death of Sir Thomas Lawrence

Bristol has produced a lot of famous people, most of whom are ignored by present inhabitants. One of the most criminal cases of neglect is that of Lawrence, who is one of my favourite artists, and the first to become a superstar artist and antiquarian. This is from Latimer’s Annals: Sir Thomas Lawrence, President of … Continue reading

Paupers Riot 1830

Paupers Riot 1830

Here’s another horror story from Bristol’s past which serves as a warning of where we may be heading. The 1840s was a time of massive social upheaval across Europe, echoing the previous century’s ‘hungry forties’, but the problems were soaring in the 1830s. In Bristol, trade declines, so many workers were reduced to pauperism and … Continue reading

Wellington’s Victory Dinner Service

The Duke of Wellington is one of Britain’s greatest military heroes, but he was also seen as a saviour in Spain and Portugal. In the V&A is this huge dinner set commissioned by these grateful nations, produced 1813-16