Chateau de Breze, If only walls could talk!

We drove through the beautiful village of Breze quite early as it was only 5 miles away from our hotel in Fontevraud and would be a good start to the day before visiting Saumur for lunch later. Parking alongside the Chateau prompted different emotions, Dr C delighted because we were surrounded by vines she could … Continue reading Chateau de Breze, If only walls could talk!

2. Steel Archaelogy

2. Steel Archaeology
The history of iron and steel making has been all but wiped out in Britain, but clearly not in America as this post from Joyce Hopewell about the Sloss Furnaces, Birmingham, Alabama clearly shows. It is a tragedy that some of our steelmaking industrial heritage hasn’t been better preserved to match that of the museums of steam, pottery, shipbuilding from the Victorian era. This article inspired me to pull together this short series on a little of the industrial archaeology of steelmaking. Tomorrow, “A Steel Revolution”.

Eyes in the back of my Head


Was this really our destination? Looking at the rusty towering ruins of the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama I had that “Oh no…” sinking feeling. Daughter-in-law had suggested this as our first stop on the family spring break road trip. It didn’t look very enticing or interesting. Abandoned industrial architecture didn’t  immediately appeal.

How wrong I was.

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1. Steel and the death of a Cumbrian community.

1. A Personal Tale of Steel …. and it’s death!
How did the steel industry die an undignified death in Britain? What was the effect on communities? This is a repost of a personal story that was to repeat itself 15 years later and kicks off 3-4 articles about the disappearance of steel manufacturing and its history. It will be followed by a Reblog from a follower who recently visited a closed but preserved steelworks in Alabama, USA.

Buddha walks into a wine bar ...


It was largely elemental work -with fire, water and earth and [this author’s perception is that] it tended to shape the characters of those who undertook it -and lots of blast furnace workers were more than a little alarming to encounter at first meeting, but few were anything but totally transparent, moral, straightforward and, above-all, kind, caring and sociable individuals.
Quoted from Norman Nicholson:A Literary Life, by David Boyd.

The Ironworks at Millom in Cumbria was much more than the economic furnace of the town, it was the heart and soul of the community. And when the fire of the last blast furnace was extinguished in 1969…… the community died too!

img_1306My grandparents migrated to Haverigg towards the end of the 19th Century from Cornwall, a tin mining family who sought work, a new life, survival, as the tin mining industry declined and died. They brought their mining skills, their…

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Why glorify the Romans but not the British?

Here is an alternative history of Rome: 1. The genocide of the Druids in Brittanicus 2. The complete annihilation of the Iceni 3. The murder of Boudicca and her family 4. Insane and barbaric rulers in Caligula and Nero 5. Propagation of a slave trade in Britain specifically and Europe generally 6. Imperial in nature … Continue reading Why glorify the Romans but not the British?

Tour of England: Postcard #8 Rochester and The Medway

The 4th day of our South Coast of England Tour finds us in Rochester and Chatham on the banks of The Medway. Today we have two places to visit, Rochester Castle and Rochester Cathedral, both on the banks of the River Medway in this lovely old town of Saxon beginnings. But the Cathedral contains a … Continue reading Tour of England: Postcard #8 Rochester and The Medway