Sunday, 17 May 2015

Mushrooms/Fungi - Sunday Stamps II

I thought I would have only one stamp to show this week until I visited 'my' market stall.

Norway - Butter Mushroom
One of the problems with countries these days is how their names have changed.

French West Africa was once a federation of eight of France's colonies which included French Guinea and Upper Volta.

French Guinea became - 

Republic of Guinea (Guinée) - 1996
It's difficult to read, even with a magnifying glass, but the 300f stamp depicts a 'Destroying Angel)

Upper Volta became the Republic of Upper Volta in 1958 and then in 1984 it's name changed again to - 

Burkina Faso
There are four more stamps in the set from Guinée and three more in the Burkina Faso set from 1985.

I'm now trying to make sense of the fungi Latin names.

Meanwhile you may pick more mushrooms at Sunday-Stamps-ii-22

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Who/What is a BF? - Sepia Saturday

In these days of social media and texting you have to be careful interpreting abbreviations.

This week's image from Australia quickly reminded me of what BF once meant to me.



My first job in industry was at the Redbourn works of Richard Thomas & Baldwins integrated iron and steel plant in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire. 

As a graduate trainee I was expected to spend time on projects in each of the different departments. The first of these, in the Blast Furnace Departmet was to prepare trial mixes for the sinter plant that was being constructed. Sinter was to be used as input to the company's blast furnaces to improve their performance.

Iron ore,coke and limestone batches were mixed by hand (shovel) and subjected to heat using a gas-fired box. The resulting sinter was then subjected to a shatter test to determine which mix would stand up best to loads encountered in the blast furnaces themselves.

You could say that my small group often thought they were BFs while carrying out this work for the BF Department. 

The prompt photo of the Newcastle Blast Furnace Department doesn't actually show a furnace. It's difficult to make them out in this also.

Two blast furnaces at Newcastle
(NSW State Records)

The tops of the furnaces may be seen in the top left centre of the image to the right of what looks like three cylindrical vessels.

Redbourn blast furnaces - 1979
A hundred years of ironmaking at Redbourn ended in October 1979 when  the No 2 blast furnace made its last batch of 194.8 tonnes, watched by former production men, engineers and managers from other areas of the Scunthorpe works complex, chiefly Appleby- Frodingham and Normanby Park.

The furnace was built in 1951/2 to replace two hand-charged ones which had stood on the site since 1875.
Two sister furnaces had already closed. No 4, built in 1919, made its last iron in 1977; while No 3, dating from 1909, finished in September 1979.

The British Steel closure of Redbourn blast furnaces  was part of a rationalisation plan which included capital investment in the much larger Queen Victoria and Queen Anne furnaces, blown in by the Appleby-Frodingham company in 1954.
Scunthorpe blast furnaces
The four Queens - Mary, Victoria, Bess and Anne
(6 March 2009 ex geograph.co.uk, by Richard Croft - CC BY-SA 2.0)
These days if I wish to see a blast furnace I don't have far to go to see the one at Redcar near our North-East home.

Teesside's blast furnace at Redcar
(6 August 2005, ex geograph.co.uk by George Ford - CC BY-SA 2.0)
I left Redbourn in 1969 so never saw the demise of the works.
Finally I have dug out a video on Scunthorpe's Iron and Steel Heritage that shows scenes from the three steel works that existed while I worked there.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Also don't forget to visit other Sepians at Sepia-Saturday-279.





Sunday, 10 May 2015

Peace or Unity - Sunday Stamps II

With the 70th VE Day commemoration this weekend I just had to show some of my favourite stamps.

Great Britain (11 June 1946)
Symbols of Peace and Reconstruction
There was a 3d stamp issued at the same time showing a dove with an olive branch. I have not managed to find one yet.

The Europa, Peace and Freedom theme of 1995 was marked by a set of stamps that included an image of a icon that survived the war unscathed.

Great Britain (2 May19950
St Paul's Cathedral and Searchlights
The Channel Islands were liberated the day after VE Day in 1945. They issued two stamps on 10 May 1948 commemorating the Third Anniversary of the Liberation , sixty-seven years ago today.


Channel Islands
These show seaweed being collected; the designs chosen by the King  are based on drawings by J R R Stobie and E Blampied.

That Europa set included a stamp showing the dove of peace. I recently came across the dove on these four stamps from Germany issued in 1947.





This morning there will be a service of commemoration of the 70th anniversary of VE Day at St Paul's Cathedral attended by the Queen.

To see what others have chosen this week just follow the links at Sunday-Stamps-ii-21.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Kicking your heels on a wall - Sepia Saturday

This week's prompt with a damaged picture

made me look for photographs that have been hidden away for years.

During WWII a young girl had her photo taken. This had ghostly stripes where light had crept in.



After the war was over our little girl appears again on another shot that we can date to:

Pat, Mary and Margaret - 1947
But the meaning of the pencil numbers remains a mystery. Which one is our little blond.

That's for you to work out
She remembers where the picture was taken in Broad Street, Stamford, Lincolnshire - opposite the Central Cinema (definitely not the one known locally as the 'Flea Pit.'

The wall, she says, belonged to this old building,

Browne's Hospital
(by Andy 2/11/2011 - CC BY-NC-ND-2.0)
The hospital was founded in in 1475 by wealthy wool merchant, William Browne, to provide a home and a house of prayer for 12 poor men and 2 poor women.

But there's no sign of the wall the girls were kicking their heels against in that shot or in one from a different angle.

Browne's Hospital
(By Richard Croft - ex geograph.org,uk - CC BY-SA 2.0)
The hospital or Bedehouse was richly endowed with property and agricultural land in the vicinity. A bedesman or beadesman, a name derived from the beads of the rosary, was the title given to the poor men, 

Some of the hospital's funds were appropriated by Act of Parliament in in 1871 for the foundation of Stamford High School (where our blond girl was to become a pupil, much later of course) and for the further endowment of Stamford School (where a Sepians was to be educated in the 1940s/1950s)

The blond girl always insisted that the wall in the photo existed and was part of Browne's Hospital.

Now I know it's dangerous to doubt the word of a lady of any age. Francis Firth's photograph of Stamford's Browne's Hospital came to my aid. Copyright does not let me reproduce it.

Please look at the photo displayed by the link. It's taken in 1922 and there on the left is the illusive wall topped by steel railings. In 1947 the railings were no longer there as their metal had been required for the war effort in 1940-1945.

Study Firth's photo a little more and you will see behind the railings a stone urn which matches that in the top right of the picture of the three girls kicking their heels against the wall.


The lady's case is proved. Perhaps this is just as well because she is my wife of 57 years. I couldn't possibly contradict her!

For more stories derived from 'damage' pictures check out Sepia-Saturday-278.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Weapons, hunting or war - Sunday Stamps II

My stamps this week come from North Africa and Great Britain.

This Egyptian stamp from 1953 shows and Egyptian soldier in uniform, tin hat and with a rifle on his shoulder.

Egypt
The Libyan Revolution of 1 September 1969 which led to the overthrow of the Kingdom of Libya (King Idris) was carried out by the Free Officers Movement with the rebel officers led by Colonel Muammer Gaddafi. I'm sure you know what happened to him.

Libya - 1970
The Royal Mail commemorated the 50th Anniversary of D-Day with a set of five stamps. This is the one I have:

Great Britain - 6 June 1944
One of the earliest poems I learnt at school began:

William the Conqueror 1066
Said to his captains
I mean to affix
England to Normandy
So go out and borrow
Some bows and some arrows
We're starting tomorrow.

This set was issued in 1966 to commemorate the 900th Anniversary of  the Battle of Hastings.





Can you see where Harold got one in the eye in these battle scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry?

For other bellicose offerings check out the links at Sunday Stamps-ii-20.

Friday, 1 May 2015

The Grass is Greener - Good Fences 58

Even during the A-Z Challenge I've managed to find a fence or two.

The first would not prevent this animal from escaping:


A young rabbit explores
While a horse knows where the best grass grows.

And can reach it without too much effort
This is a 

post linked to Good-fences-58.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

A - Z Challenge 2015 - Butterflies 'Z'

Z - Zerene cesonia

Well we have got to 'Z' and it's time for you to work out what the butterfly will be. It's not a Zebra Swallowtail even although I did consider that.

Here are a couple of clues.


His name is Finn
But that's a red herring.

This is Scout (but you don't need to know this)
Finn and Scout live in the southern part of Michigan - this should help, if you have identified the feature common to each photo.

Here's the pattern on the butterfly's wing.

What does it look like to you?
Hint: Finn and Scout each have one. Remember where they live and you should be able to work out that Zerene cesonia is a butterfly called ,,,,,, wait for it.

If you have read all my earlier posts you will have seen the lyrics to a song unfold line by line. Listen to it now before you check the answer.


Zerene cesonia is a -

Southern Dogface
I hope that this was not too difficult for you to work out.

Thanks and congratulations to everyone who has completed this year's challenge, visited and commented on 'my' butterflies.

Photo attributions:
  • Zerene cesonia, dogface pattern; by Megan McCarthy, 17 Oct 2008 - Public domain
  • Southern Dogface; by Megan McCarthy, 17 Oct 2008 - Public domain