curiouswombat: (Bake on)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 09:51pm on 09/12/2013 under ,
I've just had one of those moments when you realise you've turned into your own mother.

I was baking some gingerbread, for a cake stall at church in aid of the Philippines Appeal, and I looked at the tins I was using. They are very tatty and rusted. This isn't a problem, as I line them. But I suddenly thought how very old they looked - just as I remember my mother using very old cake tins when I was younger. And I realised that these ones I use regularly are ones I bought about... um... 30 years ago.

My mum's 'very old tins' were probably not that old.

Here is a picture of the two gingerbreads - as you can see, the cake didn't come into contact with the elderly tins!

Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
curiouswombat: (Reminiscing)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 06:35pm on 17/11/2013 under ,
I have been deeply entrenched in social history over the past few days - primarily involving the periods of the two World Wars.
Since my last entry I have actually read the book of 'letters, diaries and memories of the Great War', that I wrote about, and I found it fascinating - and not just because one of my great uncles is in there!

Read more... )

But as well as reading This Terrible Ordeal, I have been doing a task for Church for which I happily volunteered.

Historically we have kept a Cradle Roll of the babies christened in church. Some time ago we decided to frame all the old ones, which are historic documents, separately, rather than them all being piled on top of each other in one frame. And I offered to copy over some of the faded names on the first one. But there were big problems - which I wrote about, with a couple of examples, here.

We then had more problems - not only did we have a lot of names that couldn't be read, and names stuck on top of other names, but it was actually very difficult to source new Cradle Rolls now, too! Then our Baptism Record book had been taken to Ramsey by our 'interim minister' and he kept forgetting to give it back - and so on.

But this week I got the new rolls, and the baptism book, where two other members of the congregation had spent an afternoon marking all the 'missing' children. And I filled in the last empty spaces on that old roll, and began to write new ones for those whose names had been obliterated on it.

I think I now understand what had been going on - the children whose names had been stuck on top of other names, three and four deep in places, were actually all baptised between 1939 and 1952. I think the person responsible may have either just been saving money or, even more likely, couldn't actually get a new blank roll...

The baptism record is, however, a fascinating piece of social history in itself... Read more... )

All in all, I really have been steeped in social history over the past few days.

And I have promised D-d, who flies home for the weekend coming, that I will hang onto the Baptism Record until after she goes back as she, too, wants to spend time studying it.
Music:: The Calling - Wherever You Will Go
Mood:: 'nerdy' nerdy
curiouswombat: (Reminiscing)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:26pm on 12/11/2013 under ,
I was invited to a book launch last week but, sadly, couldn't take time off work to go.  The book in question was This Terrible Ordeal written by Matthew Richardson, a social historian who works for Manx National Heritage.

Why was I invited?  Because I contributed to it!

Back in June last year I saw a request in a local paper for any information families held about members who had fought in WW1, or had been in one of the women's services, such as the FANY (Female Army Nursing Yeomanry), or munitions or whatever.

My great aunts had both been in one of the women's services and so I contacted Matthew, saying I had a family photo showing them in uniform - along with their older adopted brother/cousin, Charles Augustus Christian, in his uniform.  I actually posted the picture in this post, along with a little bit about him.

I got a reply almost straight away - yes he would like to add the picture to the Manx National Heritage archive but even more exciting to him was the mention of Charles A Christian...

Read more... )

As I had missed the launch, but am off work this week, I went along to the museum to buy a copy of 'This Terrible Ordeal' this afternoon.  I mentioned to the gentleman working in the museum shop that I was really sorry to have missed the book launch, and he asked my name.  When I told him he took out a large sheet of paper, found me on it, and handed me a free, signed, copy!

And Great Uncle Charlie's picture is on page 6, with some quotes from one of his letters home.

The great aunts?  Their pictures will be in the exhibition next year, but they didn't make it into the book.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
curiouswombat: (Poppies)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:31pm on 10/11/2013 under ,
Like so many others I have taken time to pause today, and remember those killed in all the conflicts of the last 100 years or so.

Both my family and S2C's were fortunate; his grandfathers both survived the 14-18 war - although one of his grandfathers fought at Gallipoli, and then lost a leg in the trenches in Europe, despite actually having enlisted in the navy, not the army.

My grandfathers also both survived that war; my maternal grandfather was called up whilst ill with Scarlet Fever, and had to go over to England despite this or be declared a deserter; he went, was so ill they thought he would die, and they discharged him as unfit within a couple of weeks. My paternal grandfather fought, as a bugler, in the Second Boer War but was in a reserved occupation in WW1 as a docker in Liverpool.

S2C's father is too young to have fought in the 39-45 war, and my father, and my uncle, both fought in it and survived, although my father was wounded and this contributed to his very early death at age 52.

However, we are still a fortunate family.

Last year, for the act of remembrance in church, I told the story of Walter. This year my sister read out the story of another young man whose name is on our church memorial. Read more... )
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 01:13pm on 03/08/2013 under , ,
Last night D-d and I went to a memorial service for the 50 people killed in the Summerland Disaster 40 years ago.

This was her idea - she has been doing some legal work where the disaster formed part of the background research and she now knows a lot about both what went before and what went after.

For me - I thought of my cousin, then a 23 year old newly recruited policeman in his first month on the job, doing orientation before even going to do his basic training. He found himself involved with the immediate aftermath, like so many other emergency service workers.

Summerland. Summerland was wonderful - it was a whole new concept for people to enjoy themselves when it was wet outdoors - an entertainment complex which was of a type that is commonplace now - but was new in 1971. It was billed as 'the biggest and most innovative indoor entertainment centre in the world'.

Here is a picture of how I remember it... )

But on August 2nd 1973 a small fire, started by a couple of teenaged boys smoking a couple of illicit cigarettes, started a fire which became a raging inferno in almost no time.

Picture and talk about fire... )

It is only right and fitting that, at last, there is now a proper memorial with all 50 names engraved on it, dedicated at that outdoor service that D-d and I, along with about 200 others, attended yesterday.
location: about 2 miles from Summerland
Mood:: sombre
curiouswombat: (Reminiscing)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 11:10pm on 23/09/2012 under , ,
When I attended the family wedding last week I was talking to someone whose uncle married my great-aunt. I mentioned that I had a picture showing the great-aunt, and this gentleman asked if I could possibly send him a copy.

However, I could do better - I have a copy of their wedding picture and, having scoured the house looking for it, finally remembered where it was this evening, and scanned it and e-mailed it to him. (And how amazing would that idea have been to the people in this picture back in 1920 or so?)

I thought it worth posting here - the glamorous lady sitting to the left is the bride's sister, my great-aunt Emily (who sadly died when I was an infant), the rather handsome young man standing at the left is their young brother - John, about 20 years old here. I don't know who the other bridesmaid is, but the gentleman sitting on the right, with his waxed moustache and spats, is the bride's cousin Charles Augustus, brought up by her parents and so more like a brother. He was a fascinating person - I must gather his whole history together some day.

But in the meantime - Aunty Nellie and Uncle Bobbie's wedding picture for your edification...

Aunty Nellie's wedding for LJ
Mood:: 'peaceful' peaceful
curiouswombat: (Brooch)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 10:02pm on 11/09/2012 under
I was so happy for Andy Murray, winning the US Open. There was coverage on the TV news this morning, not only of the match, but looking at how it was watched, and celebrated, in his home town of Dunblane.

And I thought of what the name Dunblane meant to people before Andy Murray became famous.

So tonight I would like to remember

Victoria Elizabeth Clydesdale (5)
Emma Elizabeth Crozier (5)
Melissa Helen Currie (5)
Charlotte Louise Dunn (5)
Kevin Allan Hasell (5)
Ross William Irvine (5)
David Charles Kerr (5)
Mhairi Isabel MacBeath (5)
Brett McKinnon (6)
Abigail Joanne McLennan (5)
Gwen Mayor (45) — Primary School Teacher
Emily Morton (5)
Sophie Jane Lockwood North (5)
John Petrie (5)
Joanna Caroline Ross (5)
Hannah Louise Scott (5)
Megan Turner (5)

Who were all gunned down in the gym of Dunblane Primary School on 13 March 1996 - whilst an 8 year old boy called Andy Murray hid, with his classmates, under his desk just up the corridor.
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
curiouswombat: (Reminiscing)
It has been a hectic past few days. I am involved with the small Christian Bookshop on the island, as a member of the multi-church committee that supports it. It survives, from month to month, making just enough to pay for the one paid, part-time, member of staff; a small (very small) haven in the town centre. And this month it celebrated its 40th anniversary, when so many similar shops have closed in recent years. Of course it is also the 400th birthday of the King James translation of the Bible - although these days the shop sells more copies of more up to date translations.

Both seemed reason to celebrate - and so we had a party. A party to which everyone was invited. In fact we had an 'all-day coffee morning' on Saturday in The Promenade Methodist Church.

For my part this meant baking cookies and flapjack (British stuff, not American which is a form of pancake, I have discovered), donating some family Bibles to the display of KJVs (King James Versions), and being one of the 24 people who read from the Bible during the day.

Along the way I made some fascinating discoveries and links - and took a few pictures... oh, and ended up on local radio.

cut for length )
Mood:: 'tired' tired
curiouswombat: (Husband)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 05:12pm on 02/05/2011 under , ,
I commented, when posting about it being our 25th wedding anniversary last week, that we had done the whole thing over again the week after.

Our civil wedding was in North Shields, where we lived, but we came home to the island for a church blessing the next week. Someone asked for more pictures...

In these you can see my hat better, the bridesmaids' dresses - and one of my favourite pictures of myself.

click if you aren't bored with weddings yet... )

It was great fun doing it all the second week - getting all dressed up again. And after the formal reception, and the rest with my feet up - we had a dance in the evening with chicken and chips for everyone. And the quote of the day came from my eighty-odd year old great aunt who was one of the last to leave, at 11pm; "You have to make the most of it, gel, when you get to my age. Every wedding might be the last you get to..."

And I promise - no more wedding pics!
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
curiouswombat: (notes from a small island)
posted by [personal profile] curiouswombat at 07:36pm on 20/03/2011 under , ,
Just a few pictures today - some of the farm that our Christmas goose comes from and a couple of attempts to show brambles, so that Julia and I can compare the versions found here and in Washington State.

There are definitely signs of spring around - I had thought to go out with the camera this afternoon - but it is grey and wet today, so I didn't bother!

click for the pictures )
Music:: MotoGP.
Mood:: 'content' content


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