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 […]

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 […]

Jesters and their Caps

Thank you, Hugh, for inviting us to post pictures of Hats for this week’s Hugh’s Photo Challenge .       When I found these images tonight I just had to Google Jesters. So, thank you, Hugh, if it hadn’t been for your challenge I’d never have lost myself in the history of Jesters, Fools, Buffoons, Clowns, Dunces and all the other variations on the theme.  I’ve learned that jesters were popular in Ancient Egypt and entertained the Pharaohs. Jesters were also popular with the Aztecs in the 14th to 16th centuries. King Charles the First employed a very small jester to jump out of a giant pie. I’ve followed links to Japanese male Geishas and, nearer home, to Punch and Judy. The court jester is a universal phenomenon. He crops up in every court worth its salt in medieval and Renaissance Europe, in China, India, Japan, Russia, America and Africa. A cavalcade of jesters tumble across centuries and continents, and one could circle the globe tracing their footsteps. But to China the laurels. China has undoubtedly the longest, richest, and most thoroughly documented history of court jesters. From Twisty Pole and Baldy Chunyu to Moving Bucket and Newly Polished Mirror, […]

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