It’s interesting how people like to promote different things about themselves, especially British Monarchs. When this coat of arms was erected King George I or King George II were so keen to promote the fact they were Prince – Electors of Hanover that they squashed the heraldic symbols of England and Scotland together in order to fit in a number of heraldic devices they brought with them from Hanover, including the white horse. They have also given ample room over to the fleur-de-lis, to show that, like so many other British Monarchs, they also laid claim to the throne of France (to quote Shakespeare’s “Henry V”, “No King of England, if not King of France“). Interestingly, this coat of arms would become redundant when King George III gave up the ancient arms of France; I guess there was little point protesting a claim to a throne that no longer existed after the foundation of the French Republic.
Not to be confused with “The Viking“, as played by Kirk Douglas in the 1958 film of the same name. In fact, I think my A Level History tutor organised the trip in order knock such far fetched cinematic fantasies out of us! His very colourful chap seems to be giving us a lecture about arrows.
York is a great place to get in touch with your Viking heritage (if you live within the old Danelaw, like I do) or to immerse yourself in a culture well worth further exploration through events like the Jorvik Viking Festival; a culture that helped create the British Isles we live in today (for better or worse). I even read an article on the BBC website about York being twinned with its own Viking predecessor, Jorvik, to highlight the strong links between the two eras of the city’s occupation.
Next years festival starts on the 14th February 2015: http://jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/festivals/jorvik-viking-festival/.
Stockport; the home of interesting, out of the ordinary, days out? It certainly was when I visited, back in 2008. My first port of call in Stockport was the Hat Works Museum, “The UK’s only museum dedicated to the hatting industry, hats and headwear” and then it was a case of “What else is there to see in Stockport?”
…and that’s how I ended up spending most of my afternoon in Stockport under the ground, visiting Stockport’s Second World War era Air Raid Shelters! To quote Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s website the Air Raid Shelters, opened in 1939, were “the largest purpose-built civilian air raid shelters in the country designed to provide shelter for up to 6,500 people” and I can believe it, having walked around just a small proportion of the network of tunnels and chambers as part of the self guided tour. There are extended tours of the Air Raid Shelters in the evenings, described as explorer tours, and I have often thought about returning to Stockport to explore the tunnels further.
What is the appeal of ruins? The details of this particular ruin escape me, but I am sure I paid to see it and probably enjoyed every minute of it; but why?
Perhaps it is because the ruined state leaves enough for my imagination to fill in the gaps and create something far more magical than the artists impression in any guidebook (and probably more magical than the original 11th Century fortress at Hastings, which was probably quite a business like affair).
The ruin also offers a unique opportunity to study how a building was constructed in the first place. A friend of mine, Scott, was very disappointed, on a memorable visit to the National Railway Museum in York, that the famous Flying Scotsman was in pieces in The Works, but I found it fascinating; it is not every day you get the chance to view the interior of a legendary steam train or a Medieval castle.
The irregularities in the stonework in contrast with the regular brickwork and concrete of my home town and places like it, the unique opportunities for shadows to play across the ground, the connection to a shared history, the novelty, the feeling of being enclosed whilst also being open to the elements; surrounded by thick stone walls and Gothic arches that let in views of the Channel and a large proportion of the Town below (in the case of Hastings Castle).
Am I a romantic fool? Most probably. Do I care? Not a jot.
If memory serves me, this reconstruction of a Roman gateway is only a short walk from Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry, on Liverpool Road. The gateway marks what would have been the North entrance to the fort at Mamucium, a garrison town on the road between the Romano-British centres of Chester and York. The reconstruction is definitely worth investigating, especially if you are visiting the MOS&I anyway.
Here are four of my best photographs of the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre’s famous Lancaster bomber, “Just Jane”, which I was lucky enough to see taxiing around the East Kirby airfield yesterday afternoon. The smell and the sound of the aircraft are just as fascinating as its appearance, so if you are planning a visit, I’d recommend checking that the Lancaster is going to be running on that day and the time its running [if I’d arrived 30 minutes later we would have missed it completely).
…and as I usually post my top five photographs, here is something completely different from the Centre’s vast collection of artifacts:
If you would like more information about the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre follow the link here: http://www.lincsaviation.co.uk/
A photograph incorporating twelve individual portraits, in a range of styles and frames, with enough space left for two vases of flowers and some interesting period features; how could I resist?
At some point the photograph has been cropped, cutting off some writing that was on the back; presumably a description of what we’re looking at [curses]. We have been left with the date however; July 1945.
Whoever took this photograph must have had a very stressful Second World War with the welfare of what looks like five soldiers, three airmen and a Royal Marine on their mind for the duration! I wonder how they’re all related?
Note the soldier who is so addicted to his pipe that he wont take it out of his mouth to have his photograph taken!
For those interested in interior design, note the textured wall paper, the rather bulky lock on the door, the bannister rail and the bakelite light switch.