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Posts Tagged ‘History’

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The Railway pub in Christchurch

My husband isn’t usually very adventurous on holiday, but the last time we were staying in Poole, Dorset, he asked what was beyond Bournemouth on the railway. What if we stayed on the train?

I checked, and the next big place is Christchurch, so I Googled it and found that the very next day there was a free lunchtime concert by a chamber choir at Christchurch Priory. I like to have a reason for going somewhere, it gives the trip focus. (more…)

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The graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Lytchett Matravers

The village of Lytchett Matravers, to the north of Poole in Dorset, is one of my ancestral places. Several times in the past I had tried to find the parish church, but with no luck. We had driven around in circles in the middle of the village and there had been no sign of a tower that could have been St Mary’s.

Then this summer, when we were killing time for half an hour by driving around the country lanes, we took a “wrong” turn in the vicinity of Sturminster Marshall. And there, surrounded by patches of woodland and farmers’ fields, was a church. I was amazed – the nearest village was Lytchett Matravers, so this must be St Mary’s!

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Admiralty Park, Holton Heath…

There’s a great novel called Ursula Under by Ingrid Hill, “a daring saga of culture, history, and heredity”. A little girl falls down a mineshaft and we learn of all her wonderful ancestors who were born thanks to minor miracles that brought their parents together or saved them from early death. By quirks of fate does our personal DNA come together.

Obviously I would not be here today if my parents had not met. So in a way I owe my existence to World War II and specifically to the manufacture of explosives by the Royal Navy…

My father was from South Wales, my mother from South Dorset. What could possibly (more…)

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Rinjani

The Indonesian volcano of Rinjani in 1994, by Oliver Spalt on Wikimedia Commons

STOP PRESS: Moments after I published this, reports came in of a volcano erupting in Sumatra – so best wishes to everyone struggling there…

Did you have an irrational fear of something when you were a child? In my case, for a while at least, I was terrified of volcanoes. You might say that’s not so crazy. But as I lived in Wales, where an eruption would be pretty near impossible, I think it was.

So this post is all about what (more…)

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The red stones of Ross…

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The old lock-up in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire…

Although I had been to Ross-on-Wye many times, I had never been as impressed as I was on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year. It was a lovely sunny day and I was surprised to find how many shops were open and welcoming in this very “low” season.

As there was not much traffic, it was the first time I (more…)

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Nelson Mandela in Cardiff, June 1998

I hadn’t expected to post this today, but when I heard the news that Nelson Mandela had died at the age of 95 I felt I needed to write. I found my old diary entry for the day Nelson Mandela received the freedom of the city of Cardiff, on Tuesday, June 16, 1998 – I was there and I want to remember the great man and that lovely day.

At the time (more…)

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The bear on Cardiff’s animal wall

Cardiff’s famous animal wall stands in front of Bute Park, alongside the castle, and you will always find tourists taking pictures of it with their mobile phones.

I caught sight of the animals with their glass eyes glinting in bright sunshine on my way to the Country Fair at the end of September. Although I had my camera with me at the time I didn’t stop and it took many weeks before (more…)

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