A Raft of Apples
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
This fine building was erected in 1911, a date which it proudly states above the door. Opening for business the following year on the 12th December as that most modern of things a motorised fire service. Their first machine had been proudly shown off to the the public in the November with a demonstration of jets of water played in the air and up to the top of the Town Hall tower. This terracotta and red brick building is now a Grade II listed building designated as such by English Heritage as the "first generation of fire stations built specifically for motorised appliances". The building is now occupied by the retailer 'Bed Brigade' which means you can buy a bed from here and sleep easy in it knowing that there is a fire brigade on hand to put out any fires Since 1996 the main Fire Brigade have operated from a modern and bland building on the outskirts of town here.
The Old Fire Station (once known as Central Station) an entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet this week sojourning at O here
Friday, 17 October 2014
I inherited a bound set of The War Illustrated from my paternal grandparents. One hundred years after its publication I'm exploring its pages to discover the people and their times.
|Marseille under the snow 1914. - The Cannebière.|
All the hard times were in the future as the War Illustrated of 10th October shows them marching through the city of Marseilles in September 1914. (The Germans would have the first sight of them at Hollelbeke on October 31st)There must have been a lot of photographers on the streets because marching Indian troops in Marseilles is an image which appears in a number of postcards and publications but it does highlight those light weight uniforms. Over a million Indian soldiers would fight in World War One but those who were injured might find themselves in the more congenial surroundings of
|From the Royal Pavilion Museums of Brighton and Hove collection|
|Royal Pavilion at Dusk from Wikipedia|
|Indian Cavalry from Europeana 1914-18 (Netherlands National Archive, Den Haag)|
Indian perspectives of World War One:-
"The Indian Sepoy in the First World War" by Santanu Das article on the British Library 'World War'
"The Last Post: letters home to India in the First World War" - Guardian 21 February 2014
Tuesday, 14 October 2014
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet this week sojourning at N here
Friday, 10 October 2014
I inherited a bound set of The War Illustrated from my paternal grandparents. One hundred years after its publication I am delving into its pages to discover the people and their times.
The War Illustrated of 29th August 1914 (above) says "the French fleet are the most skilful and daring airmen in the world". I think the British were rather in love with the dashing French airmen who flew in the skies before the Great War and their admiration continued into conflict. There is a dispute to whether the1909 Paris (Le Bourget) or the 1909 Berlin Air Show was the first in the world but the first British Air Show was at Blackpool in Lancashire on 18th October 1909 and it was a French aviator, Henri Farman. that came away with the prize for the length of his flight. Here is a photograph by Walter Doughty, the Guardian's first ever staff photographer, of the event:-
Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel.
Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel.
|Commemorative Poster of Blériot landing at Dover from Wikipedia|
The Wright Brothers had only made the first powered flight in 1903 and a mere six years later air shows were taking place, suddenly all eyes were on the sky and the Blackpool event was attended by 200,000 spectators to be amazed at the marvels of flight. They were not too overawed as they also managed to consume 36,000 bottles of beer, 40,000 dozen bottles of minerals, 500 cases of champagne, 600 cases of whiskey and just to keep body and soul together ate 500 hogshead, 1000 hams and 2000 pork pies. It is sad there will be no air show at Blackpool today as the recent owners, Balfour Beatty, have put it up for sale and from this month closed the airport down. It is suspected that they do not expect a buyer and their ultimate interest is the land that will be more profitable for their house building interests. Its a shame that the UK does not have a joined up transport policy, and it would be admirable if Blackpool retained commercial flights, but the airport has gone through many changes in its lifetime. Following a Flying Carnival in 1910 it changed into a racecourse (an unsuccessful venture) and during the First World War the land and buildings were used by the King's Lancashire Military as a Convalescent hospital.
"On 22nd September CH Collett, Royal Naval Air Service (Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corp) flying a Sopwith Tractor biplane made a long flight and a successful attack on the German Zeppelin Aircraft Shed in Düsseldorf.
Collet's feat is notable - gliding down from 6,000 ft, the last 1,500 ft in mist, he finally came in sight of the Airship Shed at a hight of 400 ft, only a quarter of a mile away from it.
Flight Lieutenant Matrix, acting under the order of Squadron Commander Spenser Grey, carried out a successful attack on the Düsseldorf Airship Shed during the afternoon of 8th October. From a hight of 600 ft he dropped two bombs on the shed and flames 500 ft high were seen within thirty seconds. The roof of the shed was also observed to collapse"
For an informative and entertaining read on the "wildly optimistic" raids on the Zeppelin sheds see the article
"The Royal Naval Air Service in Antwerp, September-October 1914" by Bridget Pollard (pdf here) on the British Commission for Military History site.
"100 Year of Flying from Blackpool " BBC Lancashire, 24 September 2009
Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Ah, life on the open road chugging along on 'Billy' the steamroller built in 1903
and still steaming at Blists Hill Victorian Town. Having done its rolling for the day it was time to manoeuvre it into the shed for the night
Through the gate, oh no, just too much to the right
Better reverse back to take another run at it. Left hand down a bit and then
full steam ahead with room to spare.
The driver took more than one run at the gates but I admired his manoeuvring ability on a machine that was built to go in a straight line. I also rather liked the handle on the wheel that you spun it around with.
The Steamroller was built by Wallis and Steevens of Basingstoke in Hampshire who started manufactured agricultural machinery from the 1840s and then expanded into road making equipment, it ceased to trade in 1981. The steamroller's home is now Blists Hill, an Open Air Museum on an old industrial site recreating a Victorian town in the late 19th and early 20th century located near the Shropshire Canal.
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week parking at M here.
Friday, 3 October 2014
The War Illustrated, 26th September 1914
Caption reads - "One incident in the naval action off Heligoland on August 28th reads more like a Jules Verne romance than cold fact. The Defender, having sunk an enemy, lowered a whaler to pick up her swimming survivors. An enemy's cruiser came up and chased away the Defender, who was forced to abandon her whaler. Imagine the sailors feelings, alone in an open boat twenty-five miles from the nearest land, and that land an enemy's fortress with nothing but fog and foes around them! Suddenly, a swirl alongside, and up popped submarine E4, which opened its conning-tower, took them all aboard, dived, and carried them 200 miles home to Britain"Part of the E4's fame is that it carried out the first major rescue by a submarine. I assume the incident shown is that rescue, the picture the writer paints is dramatic and combined with the cutaway by the artist, fascinating. The "enemy fortress with nothing but fog and foes"
|"German Fortification of Heligoland circa 1916" from The British Empire site|
Built by Vickers at my local shipyard, Barrow in Furness, and launched in 1912 the E4 may have been lucky for the rescued seamen and lucky in battle but ironically its own disaster took place when least expected. Participating in an anti-submarine exercise in the North Sea in 1916 it collided with another submarine of the same class, the E41, took in water, and sank with all the crew (30). (The Submariners Association Roll of Honour list here). The E4 was raised, repaired and recommissioned then after the war sold in 1922 to the Upnor Shipbreaking Company in Kent.
For an excellent illustrated history of the Battle of Heligoland Bight see the British Battles website which also mentions E4's participation thus : "British submarine HMS E4, one of the vessels from 8th ‘Oversea’ Submarine Flotilla, based in Harwich, that routinely patrolled in the Heligoland Bight, and that acted as ‘bait’ in the Heligoland operation on 28th August 1914. E4 was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Leir . She rescued the crew from HMS Dolphin’s whaler"
Aerial view of Heligoland with the islet of Düne in the background (from Wikipedia)
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
because a bit of sunshine yellow would add to their pallet of colours and perhaps this balloon tag the theme.
Peace and Love
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at L here