The Witch is Escaping from her Grave! Quick, get a Boulder!

“The Witch is Escaping from her Grave! Quick, get a Boulder!” Now, whilst these might not be the exact words spoken on that fateful day in 1705 when Meg Shelton, the Fylde Witch, escaped from her grave for the SECOND time, someone must have said something like it. Meg Shelton, aka the Fylde Hag, aka the Woodplumpton Witch died in 1705 when she was crushed between  barrel and a wall. She was buried in the churchyard of St Anne’s Church in the Lancashire village of Woodplumpton. As Meg was renowned for having the ability to change shape at will, escaping from a grave might not have been too taxing a problem for her. Perhaps she changed into a worm and wriggled out? She was duly reburied and…..yes…….our Meg escaped again. The solution for her THIRD burial was to dig a deep and very narrow shaft, put her in it headfirst and seal it off with a large boulder. The worthy villagers reckoned that if she started digging when she was headfirst in her grave, then she’d go deeper and deeper. Meg’s grave is Close to the church. (I didn’t know that witches were buried in churchyards, but hey! what do I […]

A Very Musical Chair

This Very Musical Chair was, and probably still is, in the oldest surviving Music Hall IN THE WORLD.     I discovered  Glasgow’s Britannia Panopticon Music Hall a couple of years before I left Glasgow. It is being painstakingly restored by enthusiasts who also put on regular Saturday afternoon shows in true Music Hall tradition to raise funds. They provide a unique entertainment experience.   The history of the Panopticon makes fascinating reading. If you have 5 minutes to spare then I would recommend clicking on this link. But if you are very,very busy, then here’s a short extract: …..This was an audience that had for generations cut its teeth on the barbarous practice of public punishments and executions, which in Glasgow had been the only form of legitimate entertainment from the 1550s to the 1750s. Consequently the Glasgow audience evolved over the generations into a merciless mob who literally left no turn un-stoned. In Britannia Music Hall the turns (acts) could find themselves pelted with shipyard rivets, nails, rancid turnips and horse manure, whilst urine might rain down on them from the balcony. However, if the turn appealed to the Britannia’s audience, they would be rewarded with thunderous applause and […]

The Shard: The Tallest Building in London

The Shard which is the  tallest building in London features in my post for this week’s Black & White Challenge: Large Subjects The first picture, taken at dusk, shows The Shard in juxtaposition to Borough Market. Both buildings are in the London borough of Southwark. The Shard is a beautiful site to behold and on the late November afternoon this picture was taken it was iridescent blue with a sparkling golden top against a deep blue sky. The origins of Borough Market can definitely be traced back to 1014 when  it was written about in great detail in the Scandinavian sagas of Snorri Sturluson. If you want to read more about Viking raids, the Anglo-Saxon King Ethelred the Unready, King Canute and all the “1014 and All That” history, there is great information here on Borough Market’s website: “First they made their way to London, and so up into the Thames, but the Danes held the city. On the other side of the river is a great market town called Southwark…” –Borough Market Website Borough market is worthy of a post or two in its own right, but that’s for another time.  These next posts will most certainly be in colour as I’d […]

The Original Hamburgers

The Original Hamburgers Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Events has provided me with another amusing wander down an undiscovered lane on the Information Highway. A kind gentleman who collected all sorts of unusual things once let me loose with my camera in his garden when he saw me peering over his fence. This metal sign was on the gate to his backyard. We’d gone to the village to see a “boat graveyard” so this was a real plus. It shows an event which, judging by the names of the Radio stars identified in the small print at the bottom, must have taken place in the 1930’s. They are Norman Evans, Nat Gonella and Sandy Powell. I’ve so enjoyed reading about them and have added some information about them below.   Sandy Powell  In the 1930s he began to work on the radio, always introducing his show with catchphrase Can You Hear Me, Mother? Powell said that the catchphrase originated on an occasion when he had dropped his script and was killing time at the microphone while rearranging the pages. It is also attributed to his mother’s coercion and her hardness of hearing, during his early career. At his next booking, the theatre manager […]

Fire Engine House

What’s not to like about these bright red doors of the old fire station in the nearby village of Singleton?  (Even the fact that it now functions as an electricity sub-station doesn’t much detract from their magic). I think I need to do some digging to see if I can find a picture in some local archive  of the fire engine it housed. It must have been very small! Maybe the firemen were too? Maybe it was horse drawn? I feel an overwhelming bout of curiosity coming on…….. ……which I hope google can satisfy….. Made a start to finding something out. It is called “Fire Engine House” and was built in the late 19th Century, and is one of several listed buildings in the Lancashire village of Singleton. How about this gem of information for painting a mental picture: The first fire engine was horse drawn, and the speed of response to an alarm was determined by how quickly the fire-crew could catch the horse.– Lancashire Cycleways: A comprehensive Guide. There loads more about the history of the village, dating back to 1168, on the website: “British History Online”. Typically it’s a history with a cast of kings, dukes, land […]

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