musings (201) fun Monday (76) friendship (64) K9 (13)

Monday 30 June 2014


Today the neighbours employed a proper tree surgeon.

Thursday 19 June 2014

An early start to Fun Monday!

The lovely Sayre writes...
Fun Monday topic for June 23rd - Everybody's got a project of some sort going, whether it's reading a book, knitting a scarf, painting a picture (or a room), or planting a garden. What's your latest project?

Once upon a time, I'd have posted pix of knitting / crochet. Another time it would have been books. More recently the pix would have concerned OU studies. So what's gone on?

Time to post examples...
Looking back into the past...a mix of local history studies and genealogy research. Even tho' I say it myself, researching is something I've become good at doing. I love finding and finding out. Finding information, finding sites to help my researches and learning about people and places in times past.

Auntie Jean (born 1909)

Village events (May Queen procession)

Theatrical events

News from the past


Wednesday 18 June 2014

A tad late - aka Fun Monday

One of the more noticeable things about retirement is that weeks have a tendency to turn themselves inside out. To explain, for most of my working life, work dominated my days, evenings and nights as well. Now, Mon-Fri are simply a n other days. Sat n Sun are for the workers to as my Dad would say 'Six days, shalt thou labour and on the seventh do all odd jobs.' Hence, it can take quite a while to realise what the day is today. I know Fridays because I go to Chen Taijiguan - Chen-style Tai-Chi. I won't have even that landmark this week. One of the Masters from the Chen village is over here to do workshops, our tutor and his two stand-ins are involved in the workshops this weekend.

What did I want to be? Anything but second-best. I knew what I did not want to do, and that was anything connected with sewing / tailoring. Briefly, I toyed with the ideas of journalism, librarianship and the Civil Service. 

Even when I left school I still had no idea.

Fortunately, there was a lady that worked part-time in the chemist's shop where I worked after leaving school. She changed my life in a good way, pity is I no longer remember her name. 

We had our tea breaks together and once she learnt I'd had a Grammar school education, she kept telling me from time-to-time how I was 'wasting my education' doing shop work.

By Spring I was applying to colleges and going for interviews.

That Autumn (Oct.) found me leaving home and going to college in Liverpool.

As they say, the rest is history.

Photo by permission of Chris Knagg.

Sunday 15 June 2014

It has been said that 'ignorance is bliss'

Sometimes having common-sense and a good education, make reading on-line posts a tad annoying. Social media has 'a lot to answer for'. Some folk would rather post a question to a group and sit back waiting for the answer to appear like magic, than do research themselves. This was the downside of belonging to an unofficial group. 

I'm grateful to the OU and to their library in particular for helping me to hone my research skills.

Starting with T171, You, your computer and the Internet, I learnt that basically, a computer is a glorified typewriter that talks back.

I've been reading some posts concerning genealogy in the loosest sense. Someone asking about emigration to North America in the mid 1800s couldn't understand folk leaving from the port of Liverpool. As the Americans might say a 'no-brainer'. Checking the Liverpool maritime Museum site, soon backed up what I thought was the answer.

Liverpool was in a favourable geographical position for trade with the 'New World'. Bristol had lost its position in the hierarchy of ports. People flocked to Liverpool to head West. From 1840-1940 some 9 million souls headed west. Between 1845 and 1851, Some 1,250,000 Irish left to escape the Potato Famine. 

Saturday 14 June 2014

Own goal

Before anyone imagines this post is remotely connected with events in Latin worries.

Hillsborough dominates headlines and has done for many, many years. 
It haunts Merseyside and Liverpool in particular.

Looking thro' news headlines yesterday and today I noticed the growing bru-ha-ha concerning an attempt the Sun 'newspaper's' attempt to do a mailshot. Normally, it would not be 'newsworthy', but the latest Labour leader made a faux pas.

First there was the storm in a teacup over Skelmersdale posties refusing to deliver/handle that 'rag'. 

Then Ed Mlliband made an unforced error.

Quoting from the Liverpool Echo

Ed Miliband has said sorry to those he offended by his decision to pose with a copy of the Sun newspaper.

The full statement issued by the Labour party today read: "Ed Miliband was promoting England's bid to win the World Cup and is proud to do so.

"But he understands the anger that is felt towards The Sun over Hillsborough by many people in Merseyside and he is sorry to those who feel offended."

The Sun newspaper (rag) is abhorred on Merseyside. Hence, when the Labour 'leader' posed with that paper, no matter what the reason, he scored an own goal. Merseysiders have a proud heritage. Jokingly, Liverpool is referred to as the Capital of Ireland; it has a large Irish population, dating back to the days of the Potato Famine.

 © Copyright Peter Tarleton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Image used under creative commons licence.

Friday 13 June 2014


Not knowing whether or not to continue with the OU. Finding that with studies ended for now, there's more research to do (family history); have now joining two FHS (family history societies) Derbyshire and Yorkshire.

School class of about 1910-1912
The lady seated, with a baby on her lap is my grandmother. 
She died at the early age of 37 years old.

Advertising the family business (early 1900s)

Cyrus and one of his brothers, Frederick, moved from Huddersfield to Derbyshire. They began as joiners and woodworkers then as the business grew they had a timber yard and building business. Apocryphal family tales claim the business failed when the timber yard went on fire. Also, one of the family had let the insurance lapse. The family split with various groups heading to different places in Yorkshire and Lancashire, with a remnant remaining in Derbyshire.

Sunday best

Horse judging

Monday 9 June 2014

Just cottoned on - Fun Monday

For Fun Monday, the delightful Sayre has asked to see some photos.

Happy to oblige with pix of my GSDs.

This girlie is the younger of the two (not related); she's now 18 months old. She's a pedigree long-coated sable.

Her male companion will be 7 years old in a couple of months.

But, I've chosen a photo of him when he was just a puppy.

Digging deeper

Going thro' a box of memorabilia, I found a small book, In Memoriam. One or more of my family must have attended the funeral in 1914.

I decided to see if more could be found out about Anne Kershaw Wood. Thinking Kershaw might have been her original surname, I searched without success. Then, I turned to find out about her husband, Samuel Wood, mill owner, one of the sons of John Hill Wood. The family were wealthy and Samuel and Anne were philanthropists. That's when I discovered Kershaw was her middle name, her surname was Sidebottom.

Now, her life began to unfold from my searches.

Born in 1838, in January 1st, baptised on February 14th. Anne Kershaw Sidebottom. William and Agnes had 7 children. 

They lived in Cheshire, that's why there's so much detail from the 

Diocese of Chester parish registers of marriages c 1538-1910

Thomas, Emma, Mary, Anne, Jane, Lucy and William grew up in Etherow House. 

Harriet Elizabeth Shaw age 18, born 1833 governess  from Bath, Somerset.


Margaret Bardsley age 43 born 1808 from Mottram, CHESHIRE.

Harriet Smith age 21 born 1830 from the Parish of Hayfield, Derby.

Mary Caldwell age 28 born 1823 from the Parish of Silkstone, Yorks.

Sarah Ann Freeman age 23 born 1828 from Barnsley, Yorks.

BETTY FIELDING age 19 born 1832 from the Parish of Penistone, Yorks.

Anne and Samuel were married in 1869, on the 21st in the Parish of Tintwistle (what a lovely name).

There's more to write, but I'll leave it for another day.

Making use of

my new scanner combo printer

I delved into a collection of memorabilia

This is one side of a postcard.

Girls' school with my Grandma in the lower right-hand corner.

Love the wording!


Judging the horses at the fair.

Sunday 8 June 2014

Time's wingéd charriot

Once you pass a certain age, it's all downhill from there. 

Lovely surprise visit from one of our long-time friends. Then the talk turned to more serious topics:

Reading between the lines of conversation...

  • one friend has gone from A1 bright-spark to 'no longer at home' in rapid succession. Guessing she has vascular dementia.
  • Aged 93 and only two weeks away from 94th birthday, friend's mother has 'passed'
  • Friend was diagnosed with bladder cancer last year and is now undergoing remedial immune system boosting treatment.
  • His wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and had lymph nodes removed. She's now over half-way thro' chemo and beginning to feel a little bit better..

Now to balance this piece with some happier news.

Recently, it has been the time for folk to visit us or so it seems.

First there was a friend who emigrated to S. Africa and set up a business there (accommodation) in Cape Town. He travelled here by ship (one of the cruise ships). Of course it was heading north as the season has ended in S. Africa for 2014, this is their Autumn / Winter.

Next, another friend was at a meeting a few miles away, so dropped in for a chat and play with the dogs before going home. That way he was able to relax, have a coffee and chat, whilst missing the worst of the traffic.

Friend and daughter (party)

Another friend was due to head north last night; but phoned to say he'd leave it until tomorrow. Tomorrow has arrived, it's late afternoon and still no sign of him.

Saturday 7 June 2014


In the light of events and commemorations June 6th onwards...

This image belongs to a friend, I'm borrowing it and have given it a small dose of Photoshop. Thanks Chris x

War memorial Rishton, Lancs.

Which of course leads me to remember poetry studied years ago for GCE.

Wilfred Owen

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie: 
Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

Friday 6 June 2014

Looking into the past...

On and off for quite a while now, I've been dabbling with genealogy. I've become quite good at finding and using free resources. Lately I joined the ranks of the FreeCEN transcribers for Derbyshire. Once my current OU course finishes I aim to put more effort into transcription. I also joined the Derbyshire Family History Society and am considering joining the Huddersfield FHS. 

Being curious, I also took a look at the family trees of some of my English friends. How different they are to mine! For one thing, some people's ancestors seem to have followed the same occupation and remained in the same area. So, someone born in Lancs. has forbears living in Lancs. Not my lot...they range through at least three counties with some emigrating to Canada, the USA and New Zealand. 

I'm having problems with the maternal side as they were / are Roman Catholics.

Thankfully my paternal side were Wesleyans or / and Church of England. For that side of the family there's a wealth of information. I even have (somewhere) some birth and death certificates as useful evidence. 

Those that lived in Derbyshire included Aldermen and other local worthies. The newspaper shop in the village owned by one of my forbears is still a newsagents, but the owner is not a relative. 

Newspaper excerpt, early twentieth century

Here, I need to explain that although the clipping uses the term 'Liberal... in those days being of the Liberal persuasion bore no relation nor resemblance to any party using that term today.

70 years ago

Today the news has focussed on Normandy as it did 70 years ago today.
Unlike today's generation, mine grew up with relatives who could tell of what happened during the war.

Our house had blackout boards left from war time. Simple pieces of plywood cut to shape, fitted against the windows to stop light escaping in to the street.

We used them in the kitchen long after the war ended. They created a dark room for amateur photography.

There weren't many family involved in WWII; 
those lives had already been lost in WWI.