Friday, December 25, 2009

The Dancing day is here

On this  Day of all days, I remember Max Fargus telling the housegroup that met in the home of Joan Priestley and Jean Wright, that the Incarnation was for him the most special of all times.
Here in Multicultural, Secular, New Age  and exciting Brighton where everything goes, no-one is excluded ,wear what you like, no shock Brighton, the baby thing , stable thing , virgin thing, magi thing actually has a unique resonance .
I have just read again Luke 1 and 2. It is in this place the most ordinary of stories. That is the Genius of the Incarnation.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Age guidance

My 10 years as a bookseller , 40 as a teacher, 35 as a mother and 60 as a bibliophile give me the right to have an informed opinion about the Publishers Association's idea , also they say informed , and researched, to embed Age Guildance on the cover of Books marketed for Children.
I can see the future
  • 10 yr old children will be guilt ridden for reading Owl Babies for 5 yr olds (   ISBN-10: 0744531675)
  • 3 yr olds will have inflated egos because they know Old MacDonald Had  a Farm (ISBN-10: 0859536629) by heart when it is for 4 yr olds
  • 12 yr olds will not dare read Cops and Robbers (Allen Ahlberg)  ISBN-10: 0140565841
  • The North/South Divide  will be replaced by those who have read Shadowmancer and those who have read Wormwood 
  • 8 year olds will be putting brown paper covers on 'How I live now'
  • Teenagers will be re-catagorized into sub groups
  1. Teenage single Mums
  2. D I N KY s under 20 in own flat 
  3. DINKY s under 20 living with her Mum
  4. Earnest Oxbridge  Hopefuls
  5. Oxbridge Hopefuls
  6. Earnest Gap year to Asia 
  7. Earnest Gap year to Australia
  8. Earnest Gap year going to work in Next for a year
  9. Gap Year
  10. 18 yr old  at College doing Media Studies
  11. 18 yr old at College doing Bricklaying
  12. 18 yr old at College doing nothing
  13. Young Sun readers
  14. Underclass
  15. 14 yr old gang group member hanging around Mills Metro every evening
  16. 15 yr old gang     group member hanging around Filey Bus Station every evening
  17. 16-18 yr old young people with Saturday jobs, still living at home, going to football/Sea Scouts
  18. 13-16 yr old young people doing their homework and looking forward to being a Lifeguard on Filey Beach in the Summer as soon as they are old enough
  19. Young musicians  who  hope their band will become famous
  20. 10-12 yr olds who look 15

 I can imagine all the Shelf talkers and dumpbins  Wrays will have to get . I can envisage the Data bases with their fields increased a hundred fold as books are re grouped and written.  There will be Childcare for teenage Mums (Aged 16), Childcare for Young Mums in their own flats(Aged 18), Vampire novels for 13 yr olds, Vampire Novels  for 14 yr olds Vampire Novels for Parents, It will be a logistics nightmare.

When I was teaching 8/9 yr olds in Battersea in 1968 I read  the class 'The Magicians Nephew' and 'The Lion the witch and the wardrobe' (C S Lewis) and a mixed ability class had little  difficulty understanding the language. I read 'Danny Fox'(David Thomson) to 5yr olds in Surrey in 1987, 'Danny Champion of the world'(Roald Dahl) to 10yr olds , 'The Hobbit ' (Tolkien) and 'The Horse and his boy'(CS Lewis) to 8yr olds in Wimbledon in 1970. I read 'Silly Verse for kids' (Spike Milligan) to every child I ever taught, also 'He wishes for the clothes of Heaven '(Yeats) and most of the poems in Verse and Worse, (ed Silcock).
When I taught yr 6  in 2005-7 in Bridlington they could not understand the language of the Hobbit, or C S Lewis. My (Bright) English set enjoyed the Lemony Snicket novels. My 8yr old class in 2003 enjoyed Danny Fox, and my Special needs children aged 11 (Behavioural difficulties) lapped up Ahlbergs 'Cops and Robbers(over and over again), and 'Fantastic Mr Fox ' has been enjoyed by all age groups.
There is no such thing as the right age to read a book. A child alone will try a book and read on if they like it. A class group need something pitched  at the Group , but I have never believed that pitching at the less able learners gave the best' value ' to the group.   We  read Eothen by Kingslake , and A tale of two Cities aged 11, I don't think that would happen in yr 7 now, but I like to think Alex Rider Novels, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman, Paul Gallicos 'Snow Goose' would at least be interesting , and they may be read mostly between the ages of 8 and 14, but I would never put an age on them.
I read all the Steinbeck Novels when I was a teenager (13-16), I read them all again (21-25) , I am reading them again (63) . I get a different joy each time.
I think everyone should read 'Cold Comfort farm '. I finished it last night at about midnight. I simply could not put it down. I realised that when I read it last (when I was about 15) although I loved the story, most of the 'send ups' were lost on me. Similarly I love reading what children are reading . Chris our Filey Librarian keeps me informed. My son,has discovered the joys of reading in the last few years. His told me to read  Larklight. I loved it so much, and yet it is in the Childrens section of my local large Bookstore.My son is 31.
It has always been OK for children to Access 'Adult 'Non Fiction  '. Sometimes I prefer the Non fiction from the Childrens Section. The catagories Adult and Children will do for me.
Where I will put the graphic Novel of Franz Kafka's 'The Trial ' I know not, probably put a brown paper cover on it or hide it at the back of a shelf somewhere, as I do with books I don't want anyone to read! Everyone should at least look at the Graphic Novels  , and the Manga  comic books. Are they for adults? Are they for Children? I will promote anything that popularises the written word,of FICTION  which is for EVERYONE . I even think we should all have a copy of the Manga Bible, Ive given mine away already, must get another one.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rex Whistler in Pickering

Seven of us in Filey Parish went to a conference in Pickering last Saturday. It was a grand day out. I love a change of scenery ,a trip to somewhere near but not familiar enough to be commonplace. I hadn't been to Pickering this year. The Organic shop used to pull us with its feel good to the environment ,don't eat chemicals attraction. I now think that to drive 20 miles to get apples and veg for 2 on a regular basis is not actually helping our carbon footprint , now I know what that means. So until my helpful, friendly and personable local greengrocer gets some organic apples we tread the pray against harm and wash the fruit thoroughly path.Of course we tell all our summer visitors to go to Pickering.  It is a delightful day out from here,castle, railway, junk shops, wall paintings , Beck Isle Museum, Pottery and great shops.
Our day Conference was on Pastoral Prayer Training. The speaker was excellent, BUT the HALL was fantastic. When I asked the organiser how much the hall had cost , I could see the cogs in his mind whirring. I wasnt going to ask him to justify his expenses at all, I simply thought the VENUE was great. It had everything
  • Comfy upright chairs
  • decent crockery
  • Pristine loos
  • Interesting and Charming Community Millenium Tapestry
  • Lots of free parking around (in winter!)
  • a beautiful feel
  • a view of Pickering Beck through the vast  picture windows
I kept thinking during the lunch break, What can I hire this hall for? Too far for party for grandchildren, or BeverleyMothers  90th birthday,maybe ok for Parish Away day! I will store the info in one of the reservoirs of my memory.
One thing however rankled.

It is awful, it spoils the room, DOES ANYONE LIKE IT, if so COMMENTS PLEASE.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I love the work of Lorenzo Quinn.............

Todays Insert Maglet inside the Saturday Times has made me think about sculpture. It features  the  Mexican- Italian sculptor Lorenzo Quinn. I've always enjoyed the visual arts, and though have not roamed the world and taken in many architectural gems or sculptures to make me competent to discuss them I can easily tell the world What I like and Why.
The massive marble statue in the stair well of the Hull Church Institute used to fascinate me in the 1950's.  I wonder what happened to it. I cant remember its subject, though It must have been something Biblical.  It certainly was of epic proportions from the eyes of a small girl.
The Body Parts above are the remains of a colossus of a statue . I took this picture during my Grand Tour in 1974. Actually I saw so many statues, bits of statues, backs and rude fronts , Etruscan vases and fountains that I was immune to them after a few days. When I lived in London it was the same with the V and A. It did not take me long to work out a strategy for viewing the Visual Arts, and getting the most out of the experience. It used to go like this
  • take a bus to town  that stopped right outside the  gallery or museum of choice
  • Decide before going in which  room(s) were the plat de jour
  • follow the plan and go directly to room of choice.  Do not get sidetracked by glimpse of another room.
  • Enjoy. Sit down on every available seat, bench or plush ottoman looking thing. 
  • Go back to object you really liked  and have another good look. Buy a Postcard
  • Find coffee shop and powder room. Spend as much time as like  watching the world go by.
  • Go home via Laura Ashley or Biba (that was in 1968-72) or Peter Jones (this is now) Another bus is necessary.
 I spent most of the School Holidays doing paintings, sculptures, stained glass, furniture, drawings and what are now known as installations, f k a kinetic art.

It still goes like that. Now it is much more fun.  I do not have to pay for the buses.
The Saachi Gallery off the Kings road is now a firm favourite. That is because they do not mind if you take photos. Their exhibitions are free. They are foreign mostly , and you come out thinking that people are the same the world over.

I am already planning my trip to see the Lorenzo Quinn sculptures .I think I can fit it in en route to Brighton next month. In Berkeley Square the above 'Give and Take ' will be on display. It is a celebration of the Sculptors 20th Wedding Anniversary. The man is a genius, and I can tell that from just looking at Google Images. My definition of a genius is someone who thinks of something so simple you wish you had thought of it.  The online catalogue is a good idea. Not quite such a page turner as the one of the Lindisfarne Gospels, but a symphony of black and white.
Writing this has enthused me. I want to tell you all about my trip to the Walthamstow tapestry  last month, the colour is a clue.I want to be reminded of my first trip too to the Degas Little ballet dancer , complete with her tattered tutu. I want to show you the Plaster bust of my ancestor, archived here on an earlier blog. I want to show you the latest creations of my spouse from his Ceramic mornings. I am going to show you a small sculpture done by my second daughter when she was a teenager. It will get you thinking.

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Reading Group

The founder member of my Reading Group asked us today when we actually began to meet,so we looked at our book list and realised that we have been meeting since 2003.  We started with Cider with Rosie, which was an excellent first book choice.  Most of us had read it before, and like all great novels may be savoured again and again.
So here we all were . We meet as always on the first Friday in the month in the warmth and luxury of Filey Library. I was looking round the table as we all sat tonight waiting to hear what we all thought of The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. Four of us and the redoubtable Filey Librarian , now a much appreciated friend and mentor have been talking about the books since that very first meeting. We none of us knew each other. The common thread was that we all knew the Library and She of the Books. The joy of the group is that we are not bound by other ties that bind. Any threads between us are purely optional, and no between meeting threads affect the interaction of the monthly group.
Both my sisters belong to a Reading group in their libraries.  They are not as good as ours. Cheshiresister gets her reading list a year in advance.  Now I ask you what fun is there in that?  We sit there like schoolgirls waiting for the next copy of Romeo as the books are brought out from under the Library counter, a neat pile, spines in, secret still .Then at revelation there are gasps and outbursts, as those who have read it before smirk, and those who have never heard of the author wish they had.
At Hullsisters Reading group there is a domination of know it alls ,with superior speech, and an academic zeal. At my Reading group we do not exactly show off, we just have restrained foreknowledge and know that it will be revealed as our turn to speak comes , like a rabbit out of the magicians hat.We all know each other well enough to have a good time, almost a girls night out without the night.The joy is that we really have no idea of what any one will say. J like me love detective novels, but I never can read one and and think that she will like it too, I am always surprised by what she says.  Some months I agree with every word she says. Next month we are poles apart. We are all so completely ourselves.
Mostly we read novels. Last month we didn't. We read Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama. I didnt get around to reading it, and neither can I fathom how Barack Obama got around to writing it with all the Career building he was doing at the time.
We do not discuss the minutiae of  grammar , we are not longwinded, we speak plainly and from the heart. We have three authors amongst us. One should be published and cannot get a publisher, one is self-published. Our group is an eclectic mix of personalities too.  We would not get on at all if we had to work together, or share a kitchen. We laugh alot. The dynamics of the group are expertly fuelled and channelled by our Filey Librarian, whose leadership skills are maturing nicely.

I have  just looked at my list of the 60 or so books we have shared over the years.  The one that everyone hated was Shadowmancer by Graham Taylor, local vicar turned author, writing about Boggle Hole and Robin Hoods Bay with christian undercurrents. I loved it. The one that everyone loved but I hated was 'Nobbut a lad ' by Alan Titchmarsh. Not a patch on' A Yorkshire Boyhood 'by Roy Hattersley I thought.
'Suite Francaise' by Irene Nemirovsky has to be the find of the decade in Book Groups.
'Random Acts of Heroic love' by Danny Scheimann is the book that everyone  thought was so clever, but I didnt get.
'Half a Yellow Sun' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is probably the book that I would make all young people read. For me it explains the problems of the world condensed into the experiences of one  or is it three African Countries.

What did we think of 'The Double Bind'? Well we do not agree in any way with Selby Library's Book Club who loved it, except for J.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Not quite the Fleche d'Or.

Great Railway Journeys I have done (4)

I enjoyed my first door to door  trip from London to Paris so much that I have been back for a second ride. The difference , or rather deeferonce is that now one leaves from that Greatest of all architectural experiences in London, St Pancras.
(St Pancras is especially venerated in England because Augustine of Canterbury dedicated his first church in this country to Pancras, a 14 yr old martyr who died for his faith in Rome in AD 304, patron saint of children ) Bet you didn't know that!
Spouse has always loved the building , as it was designed in the High Victorian Gothic style. It makes a wonderful start to any journey.  Here I make 2 provisional requirements.
  • You must know the layout of the building complex first. You will end up walking irrelevant miles otherwise.
  • You must really know the layout of the building complex first . You will end up at the foot of a staircase with a case without realising you came in by the wrong entrance from Kings X and there is an easy slope 10 metres round the corner.

One of the joys of Eurostar is that you feel you are in an Agatha  Christie Novel. I think it because the liveried staff treat one with a pre-war courtesy .
The train goes so fast that taking photos from the carriage is just not worth it with my  digital camera. The scenery between London and the Channel Tunnel, and C T and Paris  is not worth mentioning anyway, and it is no wonder the train senses this in both directions, and hurries on. John Betjeman would have penned a great poem.This is the only good bit on the Kent side, some river estuary, Medway I think.
The 20 mins spent in the tunnel passes so quickly one hardly notices. I bought a cup(Cardboard ) of tea from the Buffet to time with the tunnel, and spent 20 mins wishing the milk tasted like fresh milk, but perhaps I picked the wrong plastic dose.
The scenery on the French side is slightly more interesting if you play the 'Spot the war graves game'.  I spotted about 6 this time, but they were passed before the shutter had time to shut .
North Paris suburbs  look like any other European city. The Grafitti , however is in French, and has a look more Dufy than Banksy.
Once treading les rues and boulevards in the less desirable parts of Paris between Gare du Nord and Stalingrad (the french one, en route for La Villette) the Clapham Junction but neater charm of the rails all approaching the station is quite a sight. Now please don't comment that this is the Gare de L'est.  It is not, we were so tired after walking from L'Abbesses, via Sacre Coeur that we stopped on this bridge to pretend to each other that we could really walk all the way to Stalingrad, and in our reverie saw Eurostar next to the far right platform.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hull Truck .

A couple of weeks I blogged about my trip to the city of my birth to visit Hullsister. I went again last Thursday. We had a lunch at the Foyer cafe in the NEWsited but old Hull truck Theatre. The soup was only £2.95, and was a meal in itself, and delicious.  John Godber was having soup too I think ,at an adjacent table. I say I think , because it was Hull sister who recognized him.  I only know my fellowschool child , now thespian of note, Barrie Rutter from my Greatfield Days .
The Hull truck , could have been my rendezvous place. It is certainly much better then the euphemistically called Interchange. I won't be meeting Hullsister at that coffee stand any more even though the flower stall is attractive. The Hull Truck theatre Foyer is a buzzy place with a great atmosphere.  The cafe-bar staff are efficient and charming.  Hullsister and I spent a productive time discussing Aged Parent (of Beverley), and Plays we think we could get her too, having got a wheelchair from  Community Junction. (01482 212832)What an innovative idea!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mr Wray -Bookseller and Stationer

I have blogged on the Fileyparish Blog on the death of Mr Richard Wray.
I am just looking at the Sunday Times books page and fancy reading 'The red velvet turnshoe' by Cassandra Clarke, thinking I will go into Wrays and order it tomorrow, which I will, as Julie or Margaret will enter it into the Computer Orderline for me. I will miss chatting to Mr Wray about what the bibliophiles of Filey might be reading. I was the very first person in Filey to own the new Harry Potter's on the day that they came out, from him, but try as I might I could not interest him in getting some Graphic Novels or Manga books on the shelves. He last got me a copy of Persuasion to replace my 40 year old one , now dropping to bits.  I will miss him and his wry humour.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Bishop Nick Baines in his excellent blog Nick Baines's Blog highlights the use, in the cyber networking world ,of the word friend. He mentions that in Japan someone runs an agency for Rent -a -friend.  I remember in Dorking 20 years ago someone started a Rent-a granny scheme and the 4th Estate has adverts for Escort Services, not all of the oldest profession in the world sort, but for working people who simply do not have a lifestyle where friends are easily made, or maintained. Nick Baines is right to question the casual use of the word friend.
Before sociology students begin to write their theses on the Social  Networking matrices,we may unpack our own reasons for using Facebook, and asking ourselves
  • What do I get out of it? and 
  • What do I put into it?
Many people started like I did to use Facebook having become confident in the use of Friends ReUnited . Now I started using this app within months of it starting, having been told of it by my boss, the Headteacher of a school in Bridlington. He needed to be aware of what might be posted there, after all it was in his interests to be sure that nothing of a derogatary nature , concerning HIM or HIS SCHOOL was posted in cyberspace.

I look now at websites about this North Yorkshire town , and see the awful comments posted by illiterate youngsters commenting on the local chip shops, pubs, landlords and other public places.

My Head was right to keep himself informed.

I joined Friends Reunited because I wanted to see if I could get into contact with my room-mate from 1966 -7, when I was at college. And no -I still have not found her. We were friends for a season, I never disagreed with her, we jogged along together as 19 years olds by necessity. This  in the days when social conventions and our behaviour at a Cof E teacher training college would be seen today as those of a  girls' boarding school in the days of Angela Brazil. Within a year or two of dipping in to F-R-U  occasionally, I had found no real friends from my college days, updated my news of acquaintances, been amazed at my memory for names, and my lack of it. In short -it gave me , and still gives me Nothing Much.

I posted all my  1965-1985 (35mm)pictures digitally updated by my self-satisfied self to the photo pages of all the school pages. I felt my responsibility to Archive my part in their social history was completed. Other visitors to F-R-U will benefit ,or not ,from pictures of naturewalks to Wandsworth Common and school Journeys to Lyme Regis and Paris. I have drawn a line under my need to be useful to the record of the past.

Having not discovered any friends , I move on to network on Facebook.

Within weeks of coming aboard a cyberworld where I tread gently, I have requests from people all over the world who share my surname to become their friends.
My son amazes me on his profile page with his hundreds of friends. A cautious approach is taken by me. At first I accept as friends only people I genuinely know and like. This seems to work for me. They are my friends. I have now acquired several cyberfriends.  My definition of a cyberfriend is  
'someone you have  met online through a mutual interest, (a facebook group) and enjoy communicating with through the electronically  written word'
I have only 2 of them on Facebook, both found through my Facebook group 'I got an Echium through the winter'

Using Facebook , I have trodden gently, and no one has trodden on my dreams. I love the benefits. Old friends are within easy reach, we keep in touch by seeing our profiles, we learn about each other by interpreting the status updates, by reading between the lines, by judging what has been written for effect, what has been written for amusement and fun, by seeing who is out to impress  and who is just themselves. The interpretation of the data known as 'status updates' is the stuff of friendship anyway. A joy has been how the friends of my children, now respond to me  as an equal, not Bens Mother, or someone last seen dishing out fish fingers. I am their friend, but remain a distant one, here if they need me, not embarrassing them with senior remarks.
I am able to find news quickly, before waiting for round-robins at Christmas, to respond, pray and support when necessary, to 'laugh with those who laugh and mourn with those who mourn'. My global family is real and special to me.

Nick Baines queries the use of the word Friend. He is right to query its use. I would like to ask him where does a friend end and an acquaintance begin? Are they interchangeable?May friends be  for a season? What is a Friend ?
I know people who I am not close to, who I rarely see, but when I do we have an immediate rapport which may be intense for a short time, and then I do not see them again for years and the cycle starts again. I call these friends and acquaintances. Maybe we need like the Inuit do for snow, more words, but for friend.
So on to Twitter.  Here is my current background  picture .
The word here is not  friend  but  follower.
I follow some people who probably have no idea that I am vicariously part of their lives! Does it matter? No , of course not. I am able to detach myself from the idea that I am important to anyone I do not know, because I know , and they know that we ARE PEOPLE WATCHING.
This is what I get out of it,-I learn things about my interests from Twitter links to blogposts, I enjoy slowly getting to know some of the people I am following, and they become my cyberfriends. I care when they are down and laugh with them when they are not, it is the Romans 12 v15again. What do I put into it-just the same as I do on Facebook, I am here to share.

So, we all wait to see whether Facebook Lite ticks all the boxes missed by Facebook and hinted at by Twitter. I'm up for it!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Here you are sister!

These photos show the platform to Liverpool used by the passengers in transit from the  Baltics  probably using Ellerman /Wilson Line-our grandfather worked as 2nd engineer on many of their ships.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Hell, Hull and Halifax

Great Railway Journeys I have done (3)

I never realised that the thieves' Litany containing the famous lines 'from Hell, Hull and Halifax, Good Lord deliver us!' could have such a negative impact on the Subconscious mind until I actually left the city of my birth. Whenever people ask from whence I came ,the reply' Kingston upon Hull ' seems to provoke sympathy and commiseration rather than the plaudit I am expecting. I wonder if the rhyme itself is to blame ,and I am pleading with Hullensians to start putting around a new and positive one .I am going to start looking at the lyrics of Beautiful South but they should have stuck to the their more positive avian name.
For over 40 years my heart has warmed as it approached Hull by train. I used to like the Hull Brewery Ales hoarding which signalled the approach from all stations west, but I have for nearly 20 years appreciated a gem of a Banksy which has been there before even he was born.
So I start at the now (since 1965)North Riding beginning of my journey from Filey to Hull Paragon. Click on the 1947 map to enlarge, the places have not changed.

Filey Station hangs on by a thread to respectability. Brave and visionary volunteers and Station Buffet proprietors and rail network employees have tried to keep the station clean and bright, floral and litter free. This year they have succeeded, It is looking Great.
On a gray school holiday day the interior livery is looking good, but still only 2 carriages. Why? 2 carriages on packed August days, 2 carriages on busy school commutes, 2 carriages on icy don't take the car to work days.
Add Image Still , I enjoy the scenic ride to Bempton. All my favourite landmarks are here
  • Filey medieval field systems
  • Hunmanby-glacial valleys , steep cuttings (with primroses in spring)
  • dewpond Reighton Field
  • nearly a glimpse of Buckton Hall
  • definite glimpse of disused Bempton Methodist chapel
  • hoped for view of Newsham deserted village(winter only)
The no signal for mobile spot kicks in just after Bempton. NO phoning ahead to Brid for taxi to school -I remember that well. wait till the Maltings at Marton.
Tell what sort of a day it is going to be now, with the glimpse of the sea next to the mini golf at Bridlington. I have deleted that picture-the windows in the carriage are too dirty for you.
I do not know why Gardeners World or The One Show have not featured the Station Buffet floral display at Bridlington. Each year it manages to be , apart from David Hockney, and my friends from Hilderhorpe the best thing about the town. I have spent hours in that Buffet when on my way too early, to school, and drunk tea, waiting for ten to eight , in the days when School door opened at 8. Now they open at 7.30 am and most teachers have to stay the night anyway to get their preparation done.The Scarborough to Hull , and the Hull to Scarborough trains usually have a wait of between 2 and 10 minutes at Bridlington. This is thanks to the suit who rubber stamped the removal of one of the lines of track. Trains must pass at Bridlington or Filey.

This bridge is a dear friend. It is just south of Bridlington station, and links the path from Hilderhorpe Primary School as I suppose I must now call it , with the industrial estate famous for child car seats and the Morrisons car park featured in Hockney's Drawings in a printing machine, 'The Atelier' (in the 2009 catalogue-which is wonderful).
When I had to give up smoking, after the ban in all East Riding Schools circa 2000, the steps of this bridge were the nearest place I could get to ,from school, for a sit down and a cigarette during the lunch hour. Few children ever went home for lunch so I don't think I was spotted being a bad influence.
From Bridlington to Beverley is a rural ride of Cobbett preportions. I did not see any countrymen hanging upon the gallows, or miles and miles of turnips without fences to the fields. I saw miles and miles of field beans, dull golden stubble from the oil seed rape,more pinchbeck gold, and heavenly golden stubble from the wheat and barley . Many of the potato fields had been cropped and re ploughed , the Christmas tree plantation surprised me . I heard myself saying that I could remember when they had just been planted.
Beverley Station is still the dullest temple to bricks, lightened only by the sign to the Taxi Firm that will always be no 1 in the county as far as I am concerned. They ferry ancient parent around Beverley, to dentist , doctors, Tescos and chemist ,as if she is the Queen, carry her bags, treat her kindly, that I Thank God for them.
Beverley to Hull , via that best of all addresses, Cottingham reminds all those approaching the Humber that a vast City on the flat is no Has- been.

Smart new glasshouses serving us our Cucumbers and Tomatoes flash by in a healthy promise, vast powerlines are calling the Ordnance Survey map to 'Follow me', and the thrill of Walton street carpark (HullFair) and the new Football Stadium, KC call out YOU'RE HOME. Only the old Workshouse building next to the Hull RI reminds you that for some there was a half -life sans benefits of our times,a la Valerie Wood when there were the deserving and the undeserving poor . Or has that Changed at all?

Here is my Hull Banksy, TRIPPETTS, once the place in Hull for gloves, on the way to Thornton Varleys for a toasted tea-cake served in a charming chafing type dish.
My spouse , used to the Great railway Stations of Europe(Antwerp, Paris North, Ghent, Waterloo) used to tell me that Paragon Station was awful. Now he likes it . The interchange, the flowerstall, the new loos all tick the Baedeker box. Only the coffee is still frightful -one place where a Costas or Cafe Nero would satisfy, in the wait between connections or the arrival of Hullsister , before we hit Ask and THAT view of the marina.

Monday, August 17, 2009


George Gower Bruce

I am grateful to my cousin in Argentina for all the information he has sent me which I have kept as posted comments on this blog. I have not posted the comment with his e mail address, but I am able to forward any Elder comments for him . I have had a go at taking a digital photo of 3 Daguerreotypes that I have . They are the best I can do at the moment as the glass reflects.
Firstly here above is George Gower Bruce b.1794, the husband of Mary McKinnon Elder(My great great grandparents)
Next is Benjamin John Elder , a miniature of him as a young man, followed by his daguerreotype

Benjamin John Elder
Benjamin John Elder  Master Mariner
The photo below,also a daguerreotype is of Benjamin John Elder Bruce,my great grandfather, son of George Gower Bruce and Mary McKinnon Elder and nephew to Colin Elder of Skye(of Cruise of the Betsy Fame)
My own grandfather and his siblings were all born in Hull. A first son Gower Bruce was born in Scotland, and brought up by Georgiana Newell (nee Bruce ) after the death of his mother. My great grandmother was Marie Louise Bevan( from Hull). Benjamin John Elder Bruce and family emigrated to New Jersey(USA) in the 1890s but the line has now died out. My grandfather only remained in Hull , where I too was born in 1947.
My cousin in Argentina knows more than I do about the Elders. The family gathers here on Wednesday for the 6th birthday of my grand-daughter. In the meanwhile here are the Elder jewels such as they are, and the inside of MMcKEs Workbox. Will send you the outside pictures tomorrow. I cannot get them to rotate right now and it is after midnight.
Benjamin John Elder Bruce