musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Category: Heritage

United Reformed Church Burial Ground, Tewkesbury

I originally read about this graveyard while researching other possible sites of interest in Tewkesbury, and to be frank I mixed it up another potential site close by. However, thanks to my sharp work colleague I was able to confirm the location of the graveyard, but was not able to physically get into it to photograph it.

The graveyard is situated behind the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Barton Street, and is not accessible except through the Kingdom Hall front gates. I did try to see whether access was available from the back, but to no avail.

I reconnoitred the surrounding alleys and possible access points, hoping that one day it would be open and I could get behind the building, but that never happened and I then decided that the best thing to do was to go there just before a service and see if I could find somebody who would let me take a quick look.  The Sunday service was at 9.45 so it was do-able and that is why I am writing this post. 

The graveyard is not a large space but it is full, and surrounded by walls that make access impossible. It does not back onto an accessible piece of land, although the area behind it is waste land that is overgrown and unused. Could that have been part of the graveyard? 

It is hard to know how many are buried here, and there is no space for additional graves,  A number of headstones have been laid against the walls of the classroom wing, and I suspect that some may have been wall memorials from when this was a United Reformed Church, but that is speculation on my part only.  The marker below is particularly interesting as it commemorates the wife of the  pastor of the original church. It could be the pastor is also buried here somewhere. Sadly not all the headstones are legible and a number are in a poor condition. 

Overall though the graveyard is in a surprisingly good condition because it is rarely disturbed, the person I spoke to said that they do clean it up and clear any litter or detritus.

The original building dates back to 1820, while the classroom wing was added in 1836 and 1839. It is a grade II listed building

There were a number of low headstones with only initials and a year on them. I have seen these before and usually they were footstones of a grave, but I cannot wonder whether these are not the graves of very young children or babies. A glance at the register may provide an answer, that is assuming a register does exist. In the meantime, who was EH, MAH, LH and JH? Are their ancestors buried here? do descendants still live in Tewkesbury? 

And then it was time to leave as the service was about to start. I did find out that the service ends around about midday and was invited to stop by to have a look at the interior of the church and I may just take them up on that offer. My special thanks to the kind people of the Kingdom Hall for permission to look at the graveyard, 

Update: 04/12/2016

I returned to the Kingdom Hall a week later and shot new images in the glorious sunlight that we had on that day. These images replace the originals here. 

I was also able to see inside the building and it bears no real resemblance to the original, but then it had been altered a number of years ago, although I believe aspects of the original chapel still exist, but it has since been blocked off by the suspended ceiling. 

Once again I was struck by the friendliness and helpfulness of the members of the Kingdom Hall who went out of their way to assist me in my quest. It is such a pity that many of the conventional parish churches that I have been in had not learnt that lesson. Thank you.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 27/11/2016. Images replaced 04/12/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:49

Found in the bushes at Northway

The other day, while talking with a co-worker he mentioned a monument in the bushes at Northway. When I originally moved to Tewkesbury I lived in Northway, and the one major artefact of interest there is the former house that has been turned into a pub called “The Northway”. A small shopping centre has a branch of co-op and a pharmacy as well as a pet products supplier. (there used to be an atm, but they stole that recently).

The house is not an ugly one, and is not all that large, but is does stand out amongst the plan built houses all around it.  

Unfortunately I have not been able to find a decent history of the house and how it fitted into the local community, or even when it became a pub, but the fate of many of these old buildings is to either become a pub or care home or yuppie pads. From what I can see, Northway House belonged to William Woodward and may have been built by him and it become a hotel by 1955. (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/glos/vol8/pp172-188)

It is a Grade II listed building and has been descirbed as follows: “Former private house now public house. Dated and initialled. ‘W.W. 1851’ (William Woodward) on limestone shield on right gable end. Blue lias with ashlar quoins. Fishscale ceramic tile roof. Blue lias stacks with ashlar quoins. Wall blue lias with brick piers. Rectangular plan to house with extensions to right of entryway front. 2½ storeys. Symmetrical, 3-windowed facade to primary body with gabled projecting central bay with central round- headed entryway with keystone. Part-glazed double door within porch. Canted oriel window above. Two-light round-headed sash windows to flanking bays within limestone surrounds. Hoodmoulded with console supports over ground floor Windows. Return, left, two bay windows to ground floor with pierced parapet. Two-bay extension to right of entryway front lit by 3-light stone-mullioned casements with glazing bars. Axial and gable end stacks. Wall adjoining right gable end of extension falls away gradually from c4.5 meters to c2m in height to right in a series of concave sweeps. Moulded cappings and ball finials to wall piers. ”  (http://www.sevenspots.co.uk/building/the-northway-and-attached-wall-northway/)

The artefact I was after must have been associated with the house and it’s gardens, and is situated on a small patch of land with numerous large trees on it. If you did not know it was there you would never have thought to have a look.

There was no visible inscription on it, and it was not a temporary structure because it does appear on an 1880 map as a “monument”. A query on facebook suggested that it was part of the formal gardens associated with Northway House.  But, it was mentioned that it may mark the burial spot of those consumed by scarlet fever; in which case it would explain the “monument”tag on the map. 

It is a mystery, and I doubt if we will ever know. The one possible solution is that way back when it was erected somebody said “Let’s erect a random plinth with no context, it will drive them batty 100 years from now.” 

And they were right.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 22/11/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:56

Remembrance Day 13/11/2016

Following Armistice Day we commemorate Remembrance Day  and this year I spent it in Tewkesbury. Last year I had not been able to be at the War Memorial in person, but this year I did.

The service is held at the Abbey, and then everybody moves to the War Memorial at the major crossroads in town. I did not attend the Abbey service, but waited till it ended,  taking photographs in and around the graveyard while I waited. There is a very  poignant memorial to Major James Cartland who was killed on 27 May 1918 and it has been the focus of the Somme 100 commemorations.

While I was taking these images the service ended and the people started to leave the Abbey

I changed position to where the parade would be marching out from, and it was a long parade too.

Apart from the military there are a number of civilian groups in the parade, including military veterans, emergency service, scouts, school groups, and all shapes and sizes and colours and creeds. The problem is that by the time the front of the parade has reached the memorial the rear hasn’t left yet.

The area around the memorial is in the shape of a Y standing slightly skew, with the memorial in the centre on a small island. The through roads had been blocked off and just as well as the small area around the memorial was packed. 

I ended up close to the memorial, but nowhere close enough to see the base of it. I am sure that most of the town was there, and it is not a large town. The one thing I have seen in the UK is that people take the period around Remembrance Day seriously. 

It is hard to know how children process the events, certainly those in the parade must have known a bit about why they were there, and I am sure that some must have family connected to the armed forces. I do not think I ever attended one when I was young in South Africa, but I am sure my father did. It does not really matter though, what is important is that we were here with a common purpose. I dusted off my beret for the occasion, and was probably the only Bokkop in town. 

Unfortunately the low angle of the sun and the surrounding buildings cast dark shadows over the parade, but at least there was sun, sort of… 

And then the last post was played and there was 2 minutes of  silence.  The two minutes of silence originates in Cape Town; one minute was a time of thanksgiving for those who had returned alive, the second minute was to remember the fallen. Before the period of silence a bugler plays the Last Post and Reveille signals the end of the silence. It is a very moving moment, and the only noise was the occasional small child who may have been puzzled by the cessation of hubbub around them.

And then we reaffirmed our commitment to the fallen and those who survived:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Called the “Ode of Remembrance”,  it is taken from Laurence Binyon‘s poem, “For the Fallen“, which was first published in The Times in September 1914.

And then it was over, the parade marched out from around the memorial to form up once again.

and the memorial was once more visible.

The parade then marched past the memorial, presenting their salutes and under the command “eyes right”. I would hope that those who marched past today will one day stand where I was and watch servicemen and women from the future march past too. 

and while the front of the column was smartly turned out, things became slightly more ragged as we reached the back.

But, if amongst those kids just one takes this parade to heart and becomes a greater part of Remembrance then I acknowledge their salute. 

I took a short walk down the road to check out a building, and when I returned to the area of the memorial things were almost back to normal with traffic restored and families were heading home and people in uniform going wherever they went after a parade like this.

The poppies will slowly disappear from the shops and clothing, although some of us will keep them visible for much longer. The wreaths will fade and and the red dye will run in the rain, frost will cover the memorial and once again clouds of exhaust fumes will envelop it. I always thought it was a stupid place to put a war memorial, but if you really think about it, everybody that drives past here has to see it, and maybe that is a good thing after all.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 13/11/2016 

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:56

Armistice Day 11/11/2016

Shortly after October ends we enter the period where we remember “The Fallen”. That encompasses mostly those who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars, as well as conflicts that may have affected your own country or yourself. In the case of South Africa it is mostly “The Border War” and to a lesser extent the Korean Conflict. But often we forget those that get caught up in these conflicts, and who suffer the results of the madness that we get caught up in.

Millions of civilians have lost their lives in the last century through bombing, occupation by the enemy, being used as hostages, deliberate extermination and all manner of other things that are too horrible to contemplate. That continues to be true even as I peck away at this keyboard. Civilians are really the pawns stuck in the middle.

And then there are those who lost siblings or parents, or friends or neighbours. Those stories of suffering never really came out, and sadly in many cases the families never really came to terms with their losses. Just as many of the combatants came home with horrific wounds or PTSD.

War does not only touch soldiers, but almost everybody around them. The only group that is seemingly unaffected by war seems to be those who send the troops off in the first place, the politicians and their governments very rarely see the front line unless it is to inspect rows of smartly turned out squaddies who were really canon fodder for the puppet masters.

The recent election in the United States is going to have interesting consequences for the world as it totters once again on the edge of a potential World War Three. Will we step back from the brink? will the troops be sent home leaving the battlefield that is Syria and the Middle East simmering and imploding after so much meddling by “superpowers”? I cannot answer that. 

If/when peace breaks out will the people of Syria remember their dead? will anybody mourn their innocents? Mothers probably will, but the powers that be? probably not. 

Cross of Sacrifice: Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol.

This year I will wear my poppy with pride and remember those who I can relate to. My Grandfather, my Father, my Uncle, the boys from Bravo Company, the boy from Echo Company, the crews of merchant ships, the men of the navy, the soldiers and airmen, the nurses and VAD’s, the civilians, the animals, the children, 6 million Jews, the Men of the Mendi, the conscience objector, the policemen, the mothers, daughter and sisters, and so many more that I could be here till next year and never cover them all. However, we must always be mindful to remember: 

‘When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.’

 

I do not however remember the politicians and dictators who create this horror, they are not worth remembering. 

©  DRW 2016-2017. Created 11/11/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:56

A Chieftain in Ashchurch

A few weeks ago one of my workmates asked if I had seen the tank near the MOD DSDA depot in Ashchurch  (Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) is the storage and distribution arm of Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S)). I did not even know there was one, and the furtherest I had been in that direction was St Nicholas Parish Church. My ears went up and I added this to my list of things to see. Unfortunately many odds and ends prevented me from heading out that way, but this morning, with the sun shining and frost on the ground I grabbed the Rusticle and headed off into the distance.  

It was not very warm though, and I kept on thinking that I needed another warm jacket, but after a few minutes cycling I was a bit warmer and and soon passed the station and St Nicholas. I wanted to pop into the church on my way back but that was still to come. 

Then I was at the depot and the tank was in view.

I am not really a boffin on tank identification, and only found out when I got home that she is a FV4201 Chieftain, which were  main battle tank of the United Kingdom during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. By all accounts they were formidable vehicles and a number of variants of it were built.

She is really in need of a coat of paint at this point, but overall is in a reasonably good condition. She has the serial number 36 on her hull, which may mean something to somebody somewhere.

Google Earth co-ordinates are:  51.998504°,   -2.099172°

Chalk one more up as completed. And a very nice vehicle it is too

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 06/11/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:57

Bang! Boom!

Today, 5 November, is Guy Fawkes and tonight many animals will be scared witless by fireworks, and a number of children and drunks will will be injured by fireworks while celebrating something/someone that they know very little about. 

When I was very young Guy Fawkes was celebrated in South Africa (although we seemed to think it was called Guy Fox), and we knew even less about what it was about than people in the UK.  Frankly we didn’t really care either because it was all about shooting off fireworks!  

http://www.iceflowstudios.com/2013/freebies/over-100-free-fireworks-pictures/

Fireworks back then were a “controlled” item; they were only available before Guy Fawkes and on the 6th of November were removed from the shelves for another year. As kids we saved our pennies (cents) and bummed money from our parents to buy “crackers”. And, naturally it always seemed to rain on 5 November much to our disgust.

Once darkness fell we would go shoot off our horde of eagerly collected fireworks and watch those rare occasions when people splurged out on some really expensive “Roman Candle” that fizzed away to our accompanying oohs and aahs.  Occasionally there would be the swish of a bottle rocket and the staccato bangs of “Tom Thumbs” being lit by the boxful. Once our fireworks were done we would look for the squibs that had not gone off and break them in half and light the middle bit to burn the gunpowder that had escaped. They would briefly burn with a satisfying flame that the relatively tame “Sparklers” did not have.

http://www.iceflowstudios.com/2013/freebies/over-100-free-fireworks-pictures/

And then it was over.

The next day on the way to school we would examine the burnt out remnants in the vain hope that we would find unexploded crackers or squibs that we could set off that night. But pickings would be meagre and that night there would be the occasional pop and squeeeeee and we would not see or hear from fireworks for another year

At some point Guy Fawkes died when the government decided to ban fireworks altogether and it soon faded into memory until the ban was lifted a few years back.

The problem was that the stuff being fired off now was not the tame Tom Thumb of our past but huge fireworks that seemed to pack more power than a thunderflash. There was also no control over them so they became available at the drop of a hat to celebrate  Christmas, New Year, Diwali, Guy Fawkes, favourite team wins and so forth. The amount of pets that got lost went up almost immediately and emergency rooms saw the usual crop of drunks and kids who had not played safely with fireworks. There were also the usual sadists who attempted to blow up their dogs or children and occasionally each other. 

Guy Fawkes did not feature in it at all. In fact if you asked anybody in South Africa who Guy Fawkes was they would have probably mumbled something about “that oke with the crackers who wanted to blow up the toilet”. 

In the UK though Guy Fawkes does have some sort of relevance, and tonight there will be some fireworks and bonfires and drunks and kids in emergency rooms.

Should we even care about shooting off fireworks?

http://www.iceflowstudios.com/2013/freebies/over-100-free-fireworks-pictures/

Make no mistake about it, a controlled fireworks display is stunning to watch, but it is a short lived event that only exists for that period and is then over with. It does not carry on for the rest of the week and at random times of the night. A talented pyrotechnician can do some amazing things with fireworks, and in Southampton there were often displays over the harbour when a new ship sailed on her maiden cruise.

Unfortunately the effect on animals is not very good, and my brother always used to give his dog a tranquilliser to see him through the evening. 

Some religions do include fireworks in their celebrations, and I can understand their reasoning behind it, but frankly things that go BANG! do not cut it with the PC mob any longer, and I suspect we will see less and less of them as time passes. I am sure there is already an app to download your own fireworks to your smartphone. If that is what it takes to scare one less animal then I am all for it, make it so! 

Tonight will probably be a loud one, and the emergency services will be on alert as people loose their marbles. Let us hope it is of limited duration, for the sake of the dogs and cats as well as the kids, although I am not too sure about the drunks.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 05/11/2016. Images of fireworks kindly provided by http://www.iceflowstudios.com/2013/freebies/over-100-free-fireworks-pictures/  

 

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:57

Looking for Brunel

Isambard Kingdom Brunel looms over the transportation system of Southern England, his influence left a legacy that can still be seen today, many years after his death. His influence on the Great Western Railway (GWR) is easy to find if you know where to look. 

I suspect the first real discovery I made was when I found his grave in Kensal Green Cemetery in London in 2013 

Image from 2016

Image from 2016

My travels took me to Southampton, and inevitabley to Portsmouth too, and it was there that I found a monument to the engineer; that was unveiled on 7 April 2006 to commemorate the bicentenary of his birth on 9 April 1806 at Portsea. 

From Southampton I moved deep into GWR territory and relocated to Salisbury where I used GWR trains quite regularly.  The current station at Salisbury is not a Brunel building, however, the former GWR station still exists, albeit in a different roll as the Railway Social Club.

A blue plaque proclaims the heritage of this small easily overlooked building.

One of my expeditions took me to Bristol in January 2014. And it was in this city that I encountered on of the very tangible relics of Brunel.

The SS Great Britain was one of the many ships I had read about as a child, I even remember seeing photographs of it on it’s way back to Bristol for preservation.  Standing on the decks of this grand old lady was really something, It is however one thing to read about a ship like this, and a totally different thing to stand on board her.  I have been hoping to get back to the ship, and almost got there in 2015 but got distracted along the way. 

Bristol is also home to Bristol Temple Meads Station, yet another Brunel creation. However, the current building is not the original Brunel station.  I have still to investigate the Brunel station, although it seems to be perpetually under renovation. The glorious wedding cake of a station that is currently in use was expanded in the 1870s by Francis Fox and again in the 1930s by P E Culverhouse. Brunel’s terminus is no longer part of the operational station. It stands to the left of the current station facade (where the coaches are). I do not have images of the entrance of the station yet, but hopefully one day. 

Bristol also houses yet another Brunel creation, the magnificent Clifton Suspension Bridge that I visited in August 2015.

Between Bristol trips I was somewhere else, and while I was there i paid a visit to “Steam, Museum of the Great Western Railway” in Swindon. It was here that GWR had it’s locomotive workshops. You can also come face to face with the great man and one of his broad gauge creations. 
Actually those drive wheels are from Brunel’s broad Gauge Locomotive “Lord of the Isles”, built in Swindon in 1851. They are 8 feet in diameter and weigh about 4 tons. Brunel was just over 5 feet.

Inside the museum I came to a replica of  the 1837  “North Star”, and it is really a comparatively simple loco when compared to the machines that rule the rails 100 years later.


The original was purchased by GWR and ran one of the first trains between Paddington and Maidenhead in 1837. There is no consideration for crew comfort in this machine, although I am sure these locos did not break too many speed records. This locomotive was not a Brunel design though, but it was modernised to run on his Broad Gauge (7 ft (2,134 mm), later eased to 7 ft 14 in (2,140 mm)). Unfortunately Broad Gauge was not too good an idea and was not universally accepted and GWR had to change all of its rolling stock and relay its track down the line.

Leaving Bristol the train passes through Bath Spa, and the station there is also attributed to Brunel.

In June 2016, travelling South East from Cheltenham I passed though Swindon, Reading and finally into London Paddington Station which is where GWR terminated. The station today is quite a hodge podge of design, having to cater for the massive expansion of rail into the capital.

If you known where to look you will even encounter Brunel seated on a chair watching the comings and goings. What would he have to say about what they did to his station?

And if you tarried long enough in London you could always retire to your hotel that was a part of the station.

This imposing building is the London Hilton Paddington, or, as it was known: The Great Western Royal Hotel and it was opened in 1854. 

And that sums up my Brunel discoveries for now, I know there are others, because most GWR stations had a hotel attached to it, and I am quite sure that Brunel was involved in at least one of them, but that is another exploration for another day.

Brunel was an engineer. He was a man who could turn his mind to bridges, ships and tunnels. He left behind a legacy that has endured, and his work will probably be here long after this blog has closed down. He created and designed and influenced, he was an inspiration, and the world sadly has been replaced by accountants who create nothing, or managers who could not manage their way out of paper bags, and directors who dip their hands into tills with alarming frequency. Where did we loose the engineers?  why do we not have engineers that create on a scale like this? Brunel made mistakes, but his success outweigh his failures. He was a man of legend and we are so much richer because he was in the right place at the tight time.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 01/11/2016  

Updated: 06/03/2017 — 07:23

Cool sighting of the day

The advent of cameras that are not tied down to film is a godsend for someone like me who tends to photograph anything. Unfortunately I do not always carry my camera around with me, but tend to rely on my cellphone that has a pretty respectable camera built into it for times when I need to take a quick pic.

Today was such a day. Wobbling my way out of the gate at work I nearly fell over, because lo and behold, right in front of my eye was this oldie from an era long gone.

Naturally because I wanted pics every car and truck in town decided to pass by, leaving me on the other side of the road. Fortunately the driver climbed out and so I was able to wobble over and get more pics. 

This old beauty is a Bristol FS6G, and if I read it right is means “FS: Flat-floor, Short length, Gardner 6LW or 6LX engine”. I am not a bus boffin though, so may be reading it wrong. The vehicle was wearing the Carters Coach Services Livery and was en route for somewhere (Sea Front perhaps?) 

According to the driver the vehicle was built in 1960 (so it is the oldest of the pair of us).

The platform at the rear is not open sided but does have a folding door fitted to it, although whether this was standard or not I cannot say, but I did get a peak inside the bus and it was great.

What I did find strange was that the seats were upholstered in fabric and not leather like they were in South Africa when I was riding on buses as a child, it could be the weather may have made it a bit warmer to use fabric than leather. However, that is pure conjecture on my part.

And then it was time for me to wobble off home. A last pic and away i went, although as you can see I was kind of out of focus, but then I was never a fan of standing in the middle of the street trying to take pics.

Strangely enough this is not my first encounter with a Bristol bus, I spotted this 1961 built beauty in Bristol in 2015

 
 
Now that was a great way to end my day, and this month too. Unless something else happens before next week.
© DRW 2016-2017. Created 27/10/206
Updated: 14/12/2016 — 19:58

Merchant Navy Day 3 September 2016

When I was young I wanted to go to sea in the Merchant Navy, however. South Africa did not have much of a merchant navy or otherwise to go to sea with so I never did. I regret that even so many years down the line. However, given my poor eyesight and lousy maths the odds are I would not have been able to join up anyway, albeit it in the deck department. As a result the I have always considered the Merchant Navy to be a very special breed of people: “They that go down to the sea in ships….” 

Because of the peculiarity of living in South Africa I really relate more to the British Merchant Navy than the South African one, and as a result this is partly why I am posting this today on Merchant Navy Day, and flying “the Red Duster” 

The Merchant Navy suffered appalling losses during both World Wars, often going to sea in coffin ships which could only plod along at the slowest speed conceivable; floating targets for an enemy strike and crewed by men who returned back to their ships time and time again, in a service that was largely forgotten by the civilian population and that was vitally important to the survival of Britain and her allies.

The thousands of casualties are commemorated at Tower Hill Merchant Navy Memorial in London, and the statistics for the casualties are frightening. By the end of World War One, 3,305 merchant ships had been lost with a total of 17,000 lives. In the Second World War, reached a peak in 1942. In all, 4,786 merchant ships were lost during the war with a total of 32,000 lives. More than one quarter of this total were lost in home waters.   

Seafaring today is nothing like that of the past, crews are smaller, ships are larger and more efficient (although do not look as good),  the coffin ship owners and their accountants still exist though, squeezing every drop of sweat from those manning ships that often fly flags of convenience and with a mixed crew that often has no common language. The one thing about a ship is that once it is out of sight of land it is really a world of it’s own, and like those who sailed on voyages during wartime there is one common enemy that all seafarers face, that can snuff out their small ship with impunity and leave no trace behind. The sea is a fickle medium, it can kill and be kind, but is always to be respected. 

Merchant Navy
A war, a convoy, a letter through the door,
A wife that is a wife no more
Her children are called away from school
To be broken the news so terribly cruel
“Your father has sailed to a distant land
And can not be reached by human hand
No more shall we meet him upon the quay
He can not come back to you or to me”
Some days later, when tears have passed
Her children asleep and quiet at last
She sits down to wish of one more goodbye
And to ponder and puzzle and ask merely why?
The warships guard the convoys tight,
Prepared to stand, prepared to fight.
But they are not who the foe will attack.
They hunt the ones that cannot fight back.
“My husband has sailed to a distant land,
Following orders of higher command,
He sails his ship on a distant sea
Never again to dock on an Australian quay”
Who will remember the warships and crew?
The soldiers in trenches, the men who flew?
All will remember the forces of men,
Who left, never to return again.
But who will remember the brave men of sea
Whose ships were unarmed and could only flee?
Who shouldered the burden of feeding their land,
In ships with conditions fit for the damned
I will remember, with poppy and voice
To tell of the merchant ships and of their choice.
The tankers, the trawlers, the fishing boats too
I remember their sacrifice and say Thank You
Kerry Dainty (aged 17)

We have a large debt to pay to the Merchant Navy of the two world wars, and this day is theirs alone.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 03/09/2016. The poem “Merchant Navy” was found on the Forces Poetry and Stories Forum. I am currently attempting to contact the poet to obtain her permisison to publsih this work.  It is also worth going to http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/poetry-and-ballads/4449-merchant-navy.html

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:03

Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival (3)

Continuing where we left off…

We have finally arrived at the Mini gallery. There were a lot of Minis at the festival, and naturally they get a gallery all of their own (because I am biased). The best Mini of them all was definitely the doorless one. It just drew stares.  I photographed 19 different Minis, there may even have been more because cars were arriving all of the time. 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

That really concludes my images from the Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival, and a great day out it was too. So many cars from my past, and some from my parents past. There are quite a few pics I did not include and some that really do not have a place of their own. Maybe one day they too will appear here. And now we return you to the studio.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 21/08/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:05
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