Author Archives: staffordshirebred

Piping down the valleys wild.

    Deepmore Avenue, Bentley, near Walsall – nineteen thirty something…. He is out of bed well before the five children rise and put their reluctant toes onto the cold lino before dressing for school. His faithful little wife – in … Continue reading

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Dirty Money

  Ken, my husband, dug up this livery button in the vegetable garden of our cottage the other day. He might be a bit mutton, but he’s still a hawk-eye for a bit of garden archeology, and swooped on what looked … Continue reading

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Those were the Days

8, Church Street, Walsall: Sunday 7th April 1861. Name: Thos. Day Age: 19 Occupation: Baker Where born: Boston, Lincolnshire My mother’s great grandfather, Thomas Watson Day, was not yet out of his teens. He had left behind all that was … Continue reading

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The tiny parlour

  My dad told me that when he was at work pegging out building plots for the new estates that were springing up north of Birmingham in the post-war years, he would marvel at how inconveniently small the allotted spaces … Continue reading

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Beyond the Curtain Wall

These snuff-brown pieces of thick, stiff, dry, hide have the passing appearance of relics from a medieval fortress siege.  They are my dad’s “tab” (finger-guard) and “bracer” (arm-guard), from his practice of archery , which my parents had taken up some … Continue reading

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Lambs

Berrow’s Worcester Journal attributes to itself the distinction of being the oldest surviving newspaper in the world.  For over three centuries, its pages have the aired the  local indignations of this largely agricultural corner of England, and proffered its goods … Continue reading

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A figure in the mist.

Beyond the helmet of imaginings that my head is often bubbled within, Ken and I live in a subtle microclimate here.  On a still morning, the mist will still be winding its long fingers round the ankles of Orgreave and … Continue reading

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Come up and see my etching.

These etched copper pictures of topographical scenes were popular in the 1970s, and this one, of our local parish church, was very much appreciated by my parents, and by me, and  it hung, for many years, on the wall at … Continue reading

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A Christmas Mystery

Knitted, carved, sculpted, or cast…. who and what are depicted in your Nativity Scene?   Despite their being no Biblical reference to their presence, our miniature Holy Families kneel in stables that are populated by cattle and donkeys.  Snow amasses … Continue reading

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The road to matrimony

1726 was a pivotal year for Dean Jonathan Swift.  Travelling from his home in Dublin, he personally delivered the manuscript of his best known work, Gulliver’s Travels, to his publishers in London.  It was tremendously popular from the moment of … Continue reading

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