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Showing posts from June, 2015


A Figure of Fun? When Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan sat down to write the 'Pirates of Penzance', the comic aspect of the British policeman - or 'bobby' - as a figure of fun was to be cruelly exposed on the public stage  in an effort to show off the less serious side of law enforcement in Queen Victoria's often stodgy England. Premiered, surprisingly, in New York on New Years Eve 1879, it presented, in the true tradition of the now famous couple, it served to poke yet more fun at so-called respectable civilisation and to take away the rigidity and solemnity of people in authority. I present this musical aside as an adjunct to an amusing newspaper article I recently unearthed in an old local newspaper and which, as a former police officer, entertained me wonderfully for a while.  In 1893 in England, each and every one of the small villages in all the counties had their local constables who would totally rule the roost from sunrise to sunset, and

MARY KIRBY - 1817-1893

The House in the Park Most people living in Melton Mowbray today remember an old house which until quite recently, stood unoccupied and rather forlorn at the side of Asfordby Road and abutting the local River Eye at the rear.  Known to locals within living memory of its later existence as ‘Six Elms’ , they were also aware that amongst the previous and later residents were a Mr and Mrs Roper.  Balanced - quite precariously it was discovered quite recently - on the steep northern bank of the River Eye as it passes through the green fields which once formed part of the land known as Wilton Lodge, the house was once a popular attraction in the summer months when rowing boats could be hired for leisure purposes on the river and canal encircling the adjacent parkland. The old Victorian house, with its lovely gardens leading to the banks of the river is sadly no longer there and in its place, as I write, is the embryo of a 96 room modern care home which will very soon take its place. Si