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Showing posts from December, 2012

WHO ATE ALL THE PORK PIES?

Maybe it was Santa Claus? As the twelve festive days of Christmas now fade away into memory and we start once again to work on our extended waistlines whilst wondering where we will spend our next holiday in the sun, let us spare a moments thought for the cash-strapped residents of a Melton Mowbray of more than a century ago who worked as hard as they were able at this changing time of year to provide some form of extra income to invest in a little happiness for their families, maybe on the train to the East Coast? In December of the year 1900, many people would hove been employed locally at the business of hand-raising the traditional and local delicacy of the ubiquitous Melton Mowbray pork-pie. It would certainly have been a case of 'all hands to the pump' as efforts were traditionally increased during that month to assist in the process of manufacturing these popular food favourites, a great number of which would have been required not just locally, but to export t

PIGEON PIE ANYONE?

A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” (George Orwell, ' Animal Farm') As a concerned and conscientious senior citizen, and local bird-lover to boot, I like to think that I perhaps do apportion my proper share towards supporting the avian population of my town during these increasingly cold winter days, but recently I have been grappling with a resolution of conscience as to whether I really do believe that all of our feathered friends are equally as lovely - and as welcome - in my garden as each other. As a caring human being I was brought up to love my fellow man and not to differentiate, favour or show other bias but recent occurrences at home have led me to think otherwise. My problem is the almost permanent presence of two very obese pigeons - Pete and Pat(ricia), I sometimes call them - which are fairly recent incomers to the otherwise tranquil surroundings of my bird table upon which I spy quite

ALL FOR THE LOVE OF A FAIR LADY

 THE BALDOCK FAMILY OF CRAVEN LODGE As you might well be aware by now, the rejuvenated Craven Lodge which sits opposite my window in all its glory and now re-branded ' Craven Court ', is currently one of my very favourite subjects and while this warmth remains I have been digging out some related stories of the past which you might wish to share. The rich history of this residence and its owners has been well documented of late and since local doctor, Mr Keal, first had the foundations laid as long ago as 1827 there have been nine further owners of the property. Each of these incumbents seem to have been of interesting character and perhaps are all worthy of having their personal stories told, but I recently came across a newspaper article that started me off on yet another merry chase to discover all I could about the lives and times of one of those families in particular. In 1884 Mr William Younger of the famous brewing family of Scotland sold his interest in the Lo

A MOMENT IN TIME - Temperance

Brewster Sessions Rural life was fairly uncomplicated in the final years of Queen Victoria's long reign and without any doubt or argument there was only one true form of popular entertainment for her subjects.  Without the cinema or television to entertain them during their precious hours away from work, attending at  bare-knuckle boxing or perhaps a few hours of cock-fighting, followed by some bull baiting, the great majority - especially the males but certainly not only -  took their pleasure from the liberal consumption of alcohol in all of its guises and from wherever they could locate it.  Suffice to say that the local pub was the place to be to consume this 'nectar' when work was over for the day, away from the prying eyes of the wife and kids and the constant demand for money to buy the children food.  We should all understand and appreciate today what the Women's temperance movements were all about. Scrupulous and fairly rigid control of this popular and