Sunday, 27 February 2011

The Web on Sunday Stamps

I'll confess that I've had to cheat a bit this week. I couldn't find computer related stamps in my collection and I had no idea about 'Zazzle' stamps. Then I found that there over 1300 issued stamps by different countries round the world.

So I settled for downloading an image of a stamp from 1969:

This commemorates Tim Berners-Lee's invention of the internet.

Without this invention we wouldn't be able to indulge in Viridian's Sunday Stamps

Later when rummaging through some old envelopes I came across this group of stamps:

I play Monopoly when I'm forced. I like the dogs the best. But I suppose that it's Balian & Busse that meet this week's theme. Perhaps Dorin will confirm whether this is a 'zazzle' stamp.

Balian & Busse are based at Rochester Hills, Michigan. My daughter is an Associate Attorney there.

Friday, 25 February 2011

My Favourite Bark - Sepia Saturday

Now pay attention while I tell you a story about my favourite 'Bark'

 Earl of Pembroke - painting by Thomas Lundy

It all began in 1768 when the collier the Earl of Pembroke left Whitby harbour in the North East of England. Later that year the ship was renamed the HM Bark Endeavour and under the command of Captain Cook it set out on its world famous voyage to Australia so that Cook could witness the transit of Venus.

In 1770  the ship was damaged in bad weather and was forced to stay for 7 weeks for repairs off the coast of what today is the territory of Queensland near the mouth of a river. When Cook left he gave the river the name Endeavour; the town that grew up there later became Cooktown.

 Cooktown has held a Captain Cook 1770 Festival annually for 18 years. this years event is scheduled for 21-22 May.

 Replica of HM Bark Endeavour in Cooktown harbour
Photo by John Hill

The Australia replica sailed the Cook's route back to Whitby in 2007. It has been berthed at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney:
By Saberwyn (CC-ASA 3.0 License)

The Endeavour replica is due to circumnavigate Australia in 2011-12.

Back at Whitby another replica of the Endeavour gives tourists trips out into the North Sea.

 HM Bark Endeavour approaches Whitby

Endeavour replica in Whitby harbour.

Meanwhile  Stockton-on-Tees has a full size replica of the Endeavour tied up at the riverside in the town.

This trip around the world with my favourite 'Bark' has tired us out so I'll leave it to Bernard to bring it to an end.
[Both dogs where photographed at Whitby in 2008]

Endeavour to check out more at: Sepia Saturday 63

Letters - Thematic Photography

Several days a week I walk from my village to get a newspaper from a local garage; the round trip is almost four miles. In that short distance there there is  lot of scope for letters:

I don't know if the owner of the cottage behind this gate is a railway fanatic but it might be a mistake to ignore the warning:

Then on his outbuildings the trains come into view:

I hope you can see the letters on the weather vane - the train is, I believe, Stephenson's Rocket.

But I'm sure that you will have heard of this:

Further up the lane is the oldest house in the village with a timepiece on the front:
Sundial Cottage

The cottage is older than the date the sundial and older too than the cottage across the road:

In the pub car park at the top of the lane is a collection box;

The pub was once a coaching inn on a turnpike road between Thirsk and Yarm. A royal welcome can still be expected here:

And finally before I turn for home some gates emblazoned with a motto:

In checking whether this meets Karen's concinnity test all that I have found out is that 'Virtus Sola Nobilitas' - virtue only enobles - is on the coat of arms of the Throckmorton family and  the Clan henderson motto is 'Sola Virtus Nobilitat.'

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ghosts in March

Where you in Pembrokeshire on the nights before and after 1st March, St David’s Day? Perhaps if you visited St Bride’s Bay you may have heard ghostly singing from the ruined chapel overlooking the Bay.

St David's Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace
© Copyright Martin Halley and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
(Photo is copyrighted but also licensed for reuse)

 Then perhaps you heard the church bell stolen from the tower of St David’s Cathedral. The bell was lost together with the boat and crew that smuggled it into St Bride’s Bay. The boat sank in a storm. Seamen claim to hear the bell chiming on the seabed to warn them of an impending storm.

On 9th March in Cassiobury Park, Watford you may meet the ghost of Lord Arthur Capel.

1st Baron Capel and his family
(Portrait - source Norton Anthology; Author Cornelius Johnson)

Lord Capel defected from the Roundheads to support the King in the Civil War. Captured by Fairfax at Colchester, he even escaped from the Tower. Recaptured he eventually lost his head. 9th March is the anniversary of his death in 1649.

 Ferry Boat Inn
© David Bartlett - Licensed for reuse under CC-ASA 2.0 License

 The Ferry Boat Inn in Holywell claims to be the oldest inn in England. A slab in the floor covers the grave of 17 year-old Juliet Tewsley who hanged herself on 17th March 1050 as the resulted of unrequited love for a local woodcutter. Her ghost is said to appear each March on the anniversary of her suicide.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Kings and Queens on Sunday Stamps

As the first postage stamp was issued in Great Britain I suppose I should start with a reproduction of the Penny Black from 1840.

In searching my albums for stamps with female leaders I found stamps from Denmark and the Netherlands.

Queen Margethe, I think, who was 70 in 2010

 Queen Wilhelmina - Hollands longest serving monarch

Returning to Great Britain and with the Oscars getting closer we are hoping the The King's Speech will succeed. So here are the main players on stamps:

Edward who abdicated at the top; King George VI below.

The bottom row shows the stamp to commemorate the coronation of George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 12 May 1937 in the week before I was born.

Next is the stamp for the 100 anniversary of the postage stamp and the Victory stamp after WWII.

My last stamp today is the oldest in my collection - Queen Victoria on an 1881 issue.

More Presidents, statesmen and women, world leaders at: Viridian's postcards - sunday-stamps-7.html

Thursday, 17 February 2011

It's Sepia Saturday - Get On Your Bike

Several ideas came to mind when looking at the Alan’s photo of the Ipswich cyclists. First there is no Lycra in sight but it seems that boaters and braces were in vogue. This is where I began to get into trouble.

Leather or fabric straps worn over the shoulders to hold up men’s trousers are call braces by the English and suspenders by Americans. English suspenders are somewhat different. That’s why I’ll start on a cycling theme.

Ordinary Bicycle by Agnieszwa Kwiean
(CCSA 3.0 License)

A penny farthing, the early bicycle with a large front wheel and a small rear wheel, was invented by James Starley in 1871. Its name derived from the large front wheel and small rear wheel which were as disproportionate in size as the English coins, the penny and the smaller farthing. As the successor to the French velocipede or ‘boneshaker’ of the 1860s, the penny farthing gained mechanical advantage by enlarging the size of the pedal-driven front wheel so that each turn would cover a greater distance.

 Two gentlemen ride penny farthings in Los Angeles in 1886
(Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection)

I hope you noticed their boaters.

The penny farthing gave people freedom and the ability to ladies to go out independently.

Touring the Countryside in ca 1887
(US Library of Congress)

The lady in this shot is riding a three-wheeled bike. In the 1900’s even the children had got in on the act.

Child on tricycle in the 1960s

Now back to the braces/suspenders theme. There is no mistaking that this young lad is pleased with his first pair.

United States Library of Congress

Surely this shot of suspenders is understood by all:

By Snoman radio on Flickr (CCSA 2.0 License)

But who would have thought that the child on the tricycle would go to a New Year’s Eve party wearing a boater:

More suspense at: Sepia Saturday 62

Monday, 14 February 2011

"I'll Be Your Valentine..."

“If you will be mine.” Was this once a song or was it, “I’ll be your sweetheart if you will be mine?” That was a song remembered from the wartime years. Sixty years ago there was a school-days rhyme saved specially for St Valentine’s Day when young boys expressed their disgust at all things feminine.
“Roses are red,
violets are blue,
horses**t stinks
and so do you.”
How quickly their views changed in a few years time!
It’s strange to think that there were three St Valentines all martyred apparently on the fourteenth day in February. The origin of St Valentine’s Day is obscure and shrouded in fanciful legends. The holiday has it roots  in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, a fertility celebration commemorated annually on February 15. This pagan festival was designated a Christian feast day in circa 496 when Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day.
In “Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine” the 14th century scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly said it was Chaucer who first linked St Valentine’s Day with romance. In his 1381 poem “The Parliament of Foules” Chaucer associated the feast day with the royal engagement of Richard II with Anne of Bohemia and the mating of birds:
“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.”
Over the years the day became special to lovers and as an occasion for love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. This practice may be found in both French and English literature of the 14th and 15th centuries, Those who chose each other under these circumstances have been called by each other their Valentines, In the “Paston Letters” Dame Elizabeth Brews wrote about a match she hoped to make for her daughter, “And cousin mine, upon Monday is Saint Valentine’s Day and every bird chooses himself a mate, and if you like to come on Thursday night, and make provision that you may abide till then. I trust to God that ye shall speak to my husband and I shall pray that we may bring the matter to a conclusion.”
Perhaps this is what has led to the popular belief that birds choose their mates on St Valentine’s Day.
By the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging hand-made cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American colonies. The tradition of Valentine's cards did not become widespread in the United States until the 1850s. Today, the holiday has become a commercial success, although some regard it as a nightmare.
With the advent of silent movies one Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaelo Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla was one of the most popular stars of the 1920’s. The untimely death of Rudolph Valentino, know as the “Latin Lover” caused mass hysteria among his female fans and propelled him into icon status.
In 1929 the morning of Thursday 14th of February saw a much more macabre event in Chicago when six members of the “Bugs” Moran gang and a doctor were lined up against a garage wall and shot to death. This has been known ever since as the St Valentine’s Day Massacre – with no association with love.
Coincidentally, also in 1929, Richard Bryce was born in London. If you’ve never heard of Richard Bryce then you might recognise his stage name of Dicky Valentine, a popular singer of the 1950s. With a name like that it may be no surprise that he became a heartthrob for young girls and for some, not so young ladies, with his marriage causing scenes of hysteria. Like Valentino he came to tragic end – in a car crash in Wales.
However, if on this day of love, you must compose a verse for your Valentine beware you don’t choose one like this:
“Oh, Carol I do love you so.
I also love Becky and Jo,
they take it in turns
Fulfilling my yearns.
You’re jealous, don't tell me, I know”.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sunday Stamps for Valentines

In response to Viridian's suggestion this week I've looked for a Valentine connection with some hearts and flowers:

I have both of these from the USA, but just hearts from Sweden:

I'm guessing that this reads 'Love not War' and the card is for the 25 th anniversary of the United Nations.

So I'd better finish off with flowers. not that I'm suggesting that these are the type you would send to your true love.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Strangers - Thematic Photography

I've searched my files for strangers that I have taken, some deliberately some by accident.

These gentlemen were on they way to be the platform  at the Thomas Cooley Law School graduation in 2010 at Lansing, Michigan. I liked the different colours of their gowns.

Still in Michigan I came across mounted police in a park beside the Paint Creek Trail in Rochester. Their face shields have protected their anonymity.

The horses were glad of the drink.

You can get acquainted with more strangers at Thematic Photographic - 134

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Sepia Saturday Silos

If you have a minute or two to spare I'm going on a silo tour starting with missiles at Edwards Air Force Base:

Minute man silos (by Craftsman 2001)

In England I had a pick of thousands of silos from farms across the country before settling on these with a brickwork base. They look older that those in made of concrete or steel.

Farm silos at Critchells Green (by David Martin - CC ASA 2.0 license)

In Germany I discovered a factory at Erfurt which makes feed for cattle, pigs and chickens. The picture dates from 1977 when they made 2000 tons more of the stuff than in 1976.

(From Bundes arkiv, Bild 183-50713 0024 CC-BY-SA)

My first project as a graduate trainee in the steel industry in the UK was to make up trial sinter mixes for the blast furnaces at Redbourne Works in Scunthorpe. We did it the hard way with a shovel!

When I found this picture  of the charging hoppers (silos de chargement) for a blast furnace in France it just had to be included.

(CC-ASA-2.0 license)

How many of you remember the Gregorian Chant sung in by monks from the monastery of Santa Domingo de Silos. They made the UK charts in the 1990s. The monastery is located in Northern Spain. 

I could have picked many images from there but settled for one from their laboratories, If you use your imagination you can scale up the vessels to 'silo' size and anyway it's the nearest I could get to a sepia colour.

Finally to Norway where I worked on the early stages of the project to build the Troll A gas platform. 

(My photo)

This tilting concrete tower in Jåttåvågen is 60m tall  at Hinna,  in Stavanger. The tower which is tilting 16 degrees towards the ocean was originally built in 1984 for experimental tests before they started on the Troll-Platforms in the later 1980s and 1990s.

Troll A platform (by Swinston101 - GNO Free documentation license)

Troll-A Platform at 472m tall, was the tallest and heaviest construction ever moved by man). The legs of the platform go down over 300 metres; 100 meters at the bottom are tilted like the tower in the previous picture.

You will find more silos at Sepia Saturday

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Journey Into Space - Sunday Stamps

It was back in 1957 that the Russians astonished the world with the launch of Sputnik. It was Britain's Jodrell Bank radio telescope that alerted the world to its presence.

At the time neither the Russians nor the Americans had the technology to track rockets in space.

The earliest Russian space stamp in my albums is this from 1966:

 I was disappointed to find that I had no stamps from the USA to commemorate Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon in 1969. I've had to settle for one from Dominica instead.

To see more you can get spaced out at Viridian's Sunday Stamps

Saturday, 5 February 2011

American Motorists for Sepia Saturday.

I was quite disappointed to discover that a man called Horatio Nelson was not English. Dr Horatio Nelson Jackson was the first man to drive a car across America in 1903.

He named his Winton car the Vermont. He and his co-driver Sewall K Croker acquired a companion during their journey, a pit bull called Bud. The three became quite famous.

Bud in his goggles.

The journey is commemorated on this sign in Vermont:

Earlier this week I was researching dreams and came across a lady, Madame C J Walker who became America's first female self-made millionaire. She was the first in her family to be born free.

The picture must be before 1919 as that was the year Madame Walker died.

Detroit is supposedly the car capital of the world. I wonder whether Madame Walker's and Dr Jackson's cars were made on a production line like this for 1913.

As I've no English content this week I have decided to go back to Amy, the subject of my first Sepia Saturday post. At least I got a British car in this shot from the 1950s (just).

More cars at: Sepia Saturday 60