Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thank you for the clip Paul. It’s simply not true that Zeus named each of his three daughters Grace. Nor were the three charities called Charity, they are in fact from left to right, Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia - who were said to represent beauty, charm and joy.
Antonio Canova’s statue can be found in the Hermitage in St Peterburg, along with I hasten to add, the Lady in the Hat. Aglaea has the most wondrous butt. On one of my visits I was idly running my hand across it when I was accosted by one of the post-graduate art students who act as guides. My initial thought was that I was about to be thrown out, but she simply whispered ‘mine is just as good,’ and giving it a little wiggle accompanied by a giggle she returned to her unworthy American tourists. It’s at moments like this, that a fat old man forgets his age. Seriously, if you like art then you’ll not find anywhere finer.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Friday, May 18, 2007
The photo shows the entrance to a flue which runs all the way up the hill to the chimney on the horizon. (Those readers who are connoisseurs of the Derry Air will note a youthful Mrs D. in yellow shorts.)
As we saw in the last post, the lead ore is found as relatively small crystals in the lumps of calcite dug up. The women and children were given the job of breaking up the rocks and picking out the bits of lead ore. Anything that wasn’t needed was cast aside in the vast spoil heaps that now litter the Dales. What surprises many people, given that lead mining finished over a 100 years ago, is that the heaps are not overgrown with grass. This is because the old spoil heaps have been turned over relatively recently. People discovered that the discarded rubbish often contained large amounts of barium (used in barium meals in hospitals).
Who benefited from virtually all the lead mined, not just in Yorkshire but the UK? Answer, some guy who lived down in Derbyshire. A fact worth remembering when next you slip in to admire his stately pile. [To be continued - next episode life underground.]
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
It may seem incongruous with the view of the Dales created by ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ but I would like to stay with the theme of Yorkshire’s industrial past.
Old buildings, chimneys and great scars on the landscape. They are the remnants of an industry far older than the wool and engineering of West Yorkshire. They are the last traces of an industry that goes all the way back to Roman times. Sadly this great and truly fascinating industrial heritage is quickly disappearing, due to the cumulative effects of the weather and neglect by a society that now spends it’s life looking at screens. The photos here are some thirty years old and I again apologise for their quality – they too are slowly deteriorating.
The industry that I refer to is of course lead and for anyone who wants to understand and appreciate the Dales, lead mining is as vital a part of the Dales heritage as cheese making and sheep.
Lead still exists in the Dales in vast quantities, but the ore is difficult and expensive to get at and by the late 1800s it became cheaper to buy it from Spain.
The ore is called galena and it is a sulphide of lead (PbS for those who did ‘O’ level chemistry).Shown are close-ups of two samples of ore each about the size of an orange. The dark crystals are the Galena, the remainder is largely valueless calcite (CaCO3 a form of chalk) although the brown tinge suggests it may have some Barium in it – more of that later. The calcite makes up a large part of the spoil heaps you see scattered across the landscape. [to be continued]
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Back on the main street - I almost forgot, we need to turn right for the Black Bull.
Branwell may be in tonight as his bike’s outside.
Seriously the pubs for me were the village’s main attraction and my young wife and I enjoyed many a happy night getting sozzled and walking home on star-laden frosty nights. Such is the stuff of memories.
Here are Sue Wells and Sue Burroughs sitting on the grass in front of boys houses - it was 66 - so not long after you Babs - I do recall rumours that staff patrolled the deich - but never saw any - and Mr Evans was there same time as me - obviously they knew in those days that Collingwood girls could be trusted to behave - and too busy chasing the Drake girls hiding in the sand dunes
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Saturday, May 12, 2007
This is the one clump of tulips that are full out around the house, all the others are in various stages of buds. Its lovely to see them, even though the temperature has reverted to a cold 8deg. celcius today. Thought this would be a change from my cold and snowy pics.
On this blog we have enjoyed several trips along Yorkshire’s east coast. Today, however we are going to leave behind the biting East wind, the salt spray and sea frets and travel to, if not the heart of Yorkshire, then into its very sinews, where it was once the dynamo of the industrial revolution. To go to the land where Victorian wealth was created, we must journey not only to the other side of the A1 but back in time also.
Readers who are used to my pristine digital photos will find that today’s offerings are well over thirty years old and have suffered badly from the ravages of time. So I trust you will forgive the dust spots, the old emulsions and weird colours.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
How to tell when your husband needs a new hammer drill?
How deep do you need to bury next door's cat?
Can women sharpen chisels?
Is it possible to tarmac over Lancashire?
How to have fun with an Acrow?
Is there life after death?
Why I always drink Murphys?
This week, part one of know your bricks.
Frogs The frog is the indentation found in some bricks which increases handling and the depth of mortar and hence bond strength
Next week Kiss marks and Rubbers