Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Trick Cyclists - Sepia Saturday.

I've always regarded cycling as savage amusement so I have some sympathy with the young Western Union messenger with no shoes this week.

There is a trick to cycling that I can't claim to master. How these fellows in a Norwegian cycling club got on their bikes I can't imagine,

Stavanger Cycling Club 1900

Only a few years later two men were to set out on a race across America.

Fred Scherer & Walt Wiley - May 3, 1913
(Library of Congress)

This was the start of a race from New York to San Francisco, rather them than me. Before the turn of the century a Hartlepool cycle dealer had been proud to show off his cycle.

Robert Brown, cycle dealer, Straton - 1890
The young boy is at least wearing shoes but is in the wrong country and too well dressed to be Western Union messengers like these:

New Orleans Telegraph Boy - 1913
(Library of Congress - by Lewis Wickes Hine)

William Bold, Western Union Messenger No.14 -1911
(Library of Congress - by Lewis Wickes Hine)

Apparently William was 12 years old and usually worked until 11 pm in Tampa, Florida; but all night if they were busy. Would the boy, holding his dog in the picture of Robert Brown, have survived hours like that?

As you probably know I like to work dogs into my posts. You have had one so far but now I am pleased to present the Trick Cyclist of the Year.

Dog riding a tricycle
 (Image from National Media Collection)

Perhaps I should also mention that Its Sepia Saturday - Get-on-your-bike  has been viewed by nearly 850 people making it my most visited post.

Don't let that stop you however from visiting others this week at Sepia-Saturday-162. 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Soft Light - Thematic Photography

I did not have to look far for my 'soft light' interpretations but again soft light was not in my mind when these were taken.

Christmas Hall
Not decked 'with boughs of holly' but softly lit instead.

It was a stained glass window that interested me but what appeared was not intended, Perhaps there was too much Christmas spirit about.

Shorthorn window - Kirklevington Church
I can almost tell the time from my third and final shot.

We'll gather lilacs in the spring again.
Actually this was shot in our garden in early May and from the angle of the sun it must have been early afternoon.

For soft light highlights please flit across to Carmi's thematic-photographic-232.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Basutoland to Lesotho - Sunday Stamps

For several weeks I had seen a set of stamps from Basutoland on my favourite market stall. I had heard of Basutoland before but would have to confess that the only thing I knew about it was that in was in southern Africa.

This week I decided that I would show some stamps from there. However the ones that had caught my attention had been sold and I had to be satisfied with these.

Basutoland/ Lesotho
Except for the one Rand stamp the others were four of the previous set I'd seen. But now they were all overprinted Lesotho.

I have since found out that Basutoland became a  British Crown Colony, or Protectorate at the request of the Chief of the Basotho in the 1880s. It became the Kingdom of Lesotho on independence from Britain on 4th October 1966. In the November Basutoland stamps were all overprinted with Lesotho. These stamps have seen many changes with their original denominations in shillings/pence before being overstamped in cents, then cents/Rand and now Lesotho. Lesotho is a landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa.

The frustrating thing about the Lesotho overprinting is that it obscures information about the stamp. I have since found out that;
  • 1c stamp shows the Orange River
  • 5c - a Herd boy with lesiba
  • 12.1/2c - an aeroplane flying over Lancers' Gap
  • 50c - Mission House Cave
  • R1 - shearing angora goats
For those of you who don't know - I didn't: the lesiba is a stringed-wind instrument, with a quill attached to a long string acting as the main source of vibration. The quill is blown across, creating vibration in the string, usually in short notes on a small, limited scale. The lesiba's construction is unique, in that it is the only instrument in use today that is a stringed wind instrument. The lesiba is the national instrument of the Basotho. (ex wikipedia)

In the Gun War, or Basuto War of 1880-1881 the Basotho ambushed a mounted column of British Army Lancers at Qalabi, the present day Lancers' Gap.

I also picked up this colourful set of stamps which so far I have been unable to date.

Lesotho - Youth & Development

As a result of this exercise I may  now look for stamps from other places that have changed their name. Wish me luck.

Please go over to to see the choices made by others in a week when Viridian allowed us to post what we wished - Sunday-stamps-107.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Oysters - Sepia Saturday

In a week when a Manet exhibition made the news it just had to be the oysters that I chose to concentrate on.

Édouard Manet lived from 1832 - 1883. He would have been alive when this picture appeared.

Dredging for Oysters - 1874-1875
(Popular Science Monthly)

What's Manet got to do with it?

Édouard Manet c1870
 (By Nadar 1820-1910)

 Well I doubt that Manet's  inspiration came from that dredging picture but for sure he knew what oysters were.

Oysters - Manet 1862
 (Oil on Canvas - National Gallery of Art, Washington DC)

Judging by his painting I'm certain his means of eating his oysters would have been more refined than this.

Slurping Oysters - La Capucin Gourmand 1884
I have never been a fan of shell fish, oysters least of all so before you slip off  for further pearls of wisdom just beware of

A Banana Skin
 (Simon Speed 170412 - CC0 1.0)

along your way to sepia-saturday-161 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Softness _ Thematic Photography

As we have had snow for over a week snow seemed to me to be the obvious thing to show. I have to admit that my shot is from two years ago but the view from our front door is much the same today.

Snowy Garden
At this time of year when there are no leaves on the trees the branches look anything but soft. Two weeks ago a frosty morning made them look almost fluffy.

Frost Covering
It always surprises me what you can see from your own front door as these 'softened' trees are behind the house on the opposite side of our lane.

Softness always reminds me of when a TV show The Generation Game was all the rage. Contestants were asked to memorise objects passing before them on a conveyor belt.

Cuddly Toys
Which reminds me that macho dogs can be cuddly sometimes.

Duncan and Cameron at ease
But others always get in on the act.

Duncan (or Cameron) and the Cat
However my favourite shot of all is one sent to us by a delegate from Greenland who attended a training course I led in Denmark some years ago.

Softness personified.
For other soft touches I suggest you float over to Carmi at Thematic-photographic-231.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Cartoons - Sunday Stamps

I'm not sure that I succeeded this week but I'll let you be the judge. I even had to resort to Christmas stamps to get any where near.

Great Britain - Christmas 1966
I know this one is much more recent, perhaps someone will tell me the year.

Great Britain - Christmas ??
It would be very appropriate for us as this fellow stands in our garden today.

The only other stamp I could find was an Europa Circus Stamp from 2002.

Krazy Kar - 2002
I hope these meet with approval from others involved at Viridian's Sunday-Stamps-106.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Truckers - Sepia Saturday

I struggled to find suitable photos for the post this week.

However in Norway in the years 1910-1920 the Fred Hansen Company were quite proud of one of the first vehicles to be used in Stavanger.

Fred Hansen - Groceries
In 1939 driver David Tiokasin was proud of his truck.

Truck driver David Tiokasin and his truck
Now if I only knew which is David, the man in the cab or the one posing with the vehicle. On the basis that the photo was posed by the Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs I guess that the truck is a left-hand drive and David has got out of the cab to pose.

I struggled to find a truck in the Museum of Hartlepool's photo stream unless you count the back of a van in this York Road scene.

York Road, West Hartlepool
Mind you there are a couple of men on the corners of the street.

There was a major fire at Hartlepool in 1922 with much damage to the town; people lost their homes and most of their belongings. Many had to move.

Moving Out - Hartlepool 1922
It wasn't the horse and cart that caught my eye but rather that steam driven vehicle behind. (Again, thanks to the Museum of Hartlepool)

I haven't been to many places where cars and trucks are banned. However back in 2008 we spent our golden wedding anniversary (courtesy of our three children) on the island of Tresco in the Isles of Scilly. Transport round the island is provided inn trailers pulled by tractors; otherwise you have to walk unless you hire one of these.

Tresco - Golf Cart
We walked!

Now it's a case of "Over and Out!" But before you go drive over to Sepia-saturday-160.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Multiples - Thematic Photography

One of the things I like about the weekly challenge set by Carmi is that it makes you look at your photos in a different way. This week it's "Multiples" and although I could take a shot of the multiple snowflakes falling as I write,  it's easier to raid my archives again.

Birds figure on Carmi's shot used as the prompt; I'm starting with birds as well.

Beechwood Rookery - 2011
The rooks were making quite a din when I walked by earlier today when there was many more birds to see and hear. Not as many though as in my next shots taken on the Isles of Scilly.

Gulls on Tresco - August 2008
If ten is not enough, look what happened when I move to a different vantage point.

Tresco Gulls (and multiple cattle too)
Back in Bristol you might need to take this shot with a pinch of salt.

Barrel Store on Quayside for SS Great Britain
Meanwhile in my local town you can find multiple arches in a half-mile stretch, far more than in this photo.

Yarm - Railway Viaduct
That completes my repertoire for this week. For multiple more multiples check out Thematic-photographic-230.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

In the Beginning - Sunday Stamps

There are lots of inventions that we take for granted which would not exist without the men who were in it at the "Beginning." With so many to chose from I decided to chose a few who you could say are connected with our ability to communicate.

Great Britain - issued 1995

In the 1860s,  a Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell had  predicted the existence of radio waves; and in 1886, the German Heinrich Rudolph Hertz demonstrated that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves similar to those of light and heat. In 1888 an American, Mahlon Loomis demonstrated "wireless telegraphy." Loomis was able to make a meter connected to one kite cause another one to move, marking the first known instance of wireless aerial communication.

But it was Guglielmo Marconi who proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.

 One year later the Wright Brothers made the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight on December 17, 1903.

USA - issued 2003
There are several stamps commemorating that first flight but this was issued on the centenary of the flight that was the beginning of aviation as we know it.

The first non-stop transatlantic flight came in 1919.

Great Britain - 1969
The stamp shows a page from the Daily Mail newspaper and was issue for the 50th anniversary of the flight. Alcock and Brown flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St John's Newfoundland to Clifden in County Galway in Ireland. There was  a small amount of mail carried on the flight making it the first transatlantic airmail flight.

Now please fly over to Viridian's Sunday-stamps-105 for the celebration of other beginnings.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Beached - Sepia Saturday

I thought I would explore some beaches found in my archives and take you on a tour from the West of Scotland via the Adriatic coast to Egypt and end up in the South West of England, before a friendly warning.

A seaside postcard from Ayr, Scotland
This card was one of several linked to Robbie Burns but apart from the views contains no other information to help you date when it was taken. It looks prewar to me.

I cannot date my second card from Yorkshire either and you need good eyes to see anything on the South Bay beach.

The Spa and South Bay, Scarborough
I can put a rough date on the next shot taken in the 1940s, probably somewhere in Egypt during the war when the Fleet Air Arm crews were on a beach.

Egypt (?) - 1940s
Sorry that there have been no bathing belles to admire so far; we get a bit closer on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro.

Beach on the isthmus to the island of Sveti Stefan - c1986
Coming back to Cornwall all I have to show are empty beaches.

Camel Estuary, Padstow - May 2011
At least you can see some footprints - I wonder where Man Friday went?

Crantock Beach, Cornwall
That sea is waiting for the surfers to appear.

Meanwhile this little girl is counting her collection.

Hope she hasn't lost count
I wonder if "she sells seashells on the seashore?"

Finally here's that friendly warning that all can see.

I just wish I could remember where this was taken, I must ask my wife to jog my memory - on second thoughts, I had better not.

For more sand and sea take a trip or donkey ride to Alan's place.