Saturday, 25 February 2017

The wrecks of HMS Aboukir, Cressy & Hogue

The vessels HMS Aboukir, Cressy and Hogue have been designated under the Protection of Military Remains Act – which means that, at long last, the site is a War Grave.

The story of their loss on 22 September 1914 is told here on this blog.  Families of the 1,459 men and boys who died that day owe a great debt to the hard work and commitment of Dutch author Henk van der Linden, without whose dedication it is hard to see how this could ever have been achieved.

This documentary film takes us down to the wrecks, where the grim remains have turned into a small world of colour and life under the North Sea.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them,—ding-dong, bell. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Hutton Rudby Spinning Mill, 1860

Such a find.  This little piece in a Newcastle newspaper, tells us at last what George Wilson was up to with the old mill premises on the Hutton side of the River Leven – a combination of the old (handlooms) and the new (gas laid on, and steam-powered looms installed).  I hope someone with the appropriate knowledge can let me know how they did the gas?

Newcastle Guardian & Tyne Mercury, 18 February 1860
This neat establishment, once the property of Messrs Blackett and Mease, and which stood so long idle, seems, in the hands of Mr George Wilson, likely to enjoy a good share of prosperity.  Gas has been attached to the premises, and eight sail cloth steam power-looms have been put into operation, besides a number of hand-looms that are dependant [sic] upon the establishment for employment.  The mill has been regularly at work during the past year, and there is every prospect of its future being still more successful.  It has been a great blessing to many poor families in Hutton and has found employment for a large number of hands in the locality.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Brontës

I hope nobody interested in the Brontë family missed Sally Wainwright's brilliant drama To Walk Invisible, which was shown over Christmas?

If you did, it's available on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Unmissable.

And don't forget to read about Branwell Brontë’s ‘honest and kindly friend’: Dr John Crosby of Great Ouseburn on this blog.