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Showing posts from October, 2012

Whipsnade Tree Cathedral...

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A collection of trees and hedges planted in the design of a full size medieval cathedral. Whipsnade Tree Cathedral is a 9.5 acre (38,000 m²) garden near the town of Dunstable in Bedfordshire, England. It is planted in the approximate form of a cathedral, with grass avenues for nave, chancel, transepts, chapels and cloisters and “walls” of different species of trees.The Tree Cathedral was planted by a Mr EK Blyth as an act of “Faith, hope and reconciliation” in response to his memories of World War I. As a cadet at Sandhurst in 1916 Blyth had made two close friends called Arthur Bailey and John Bennett who were both dead within eighteen months. In 1930 he paid a visit to Liverpool Cathedral, which was then under construction. Blyth wrote “As we drove south through the Cotswold hills on our way home… I saw the evening sun light up a coppice of trees on the side of a hill. It occurred to me then that here was something more beautiful still and the idea formed of building a ca…

A World That Time Forgot...

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Tuesday found Marilyn and me making a well overdue visit to the fantastic Natural History Museum at Tring in Hertfordshire England. Built in 1889 to house the private natural history collection of Walter Rothschild, the Natural History Museum at Tring is a fascinating Noah’s ark in the Hertfordshire countryside. We had a wonderful day there making a full study of the hundreds of creatures on display, from bugs and butterflies to large sea mammals, many now extinct. In our visit we included a nature trail, found a suitable picnic area, and made use of the the museum’s ample parking. The Natural History Museum is online at: www.nhm.ac.uk/tring and is housed in The Walter Rothschild Building in Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire. England. A step back in time to a forgotten world… To a land that time forgot.

Interesting Facts From The Past..

17th October 1814: At the Horse Shoe Brewery on Tottenham Court Road, a colossal vat containing 3555 barrels of beer bursts. The ensuing tsunami of beer causes several nearby buildings to collapse, and results in eight fatalities – including a dubious report of alcohol poisoning as one man supposedly attempts to stem the tide of beer by drinking it.

Interesting Movies From The Past...

Among my most favoured British drama movies of the 1940′s is THE SMALLBACK ROOM made in 1948. It was made by the Archer Team for LondonFilms, and features Sammy Rice, a troubled bomb fuse scientist. Sammy is troubled by alcohol and his relationship with his girlfriend. Sammy has a head full of ghosts to exorcise, then he is called upon to defuse a new German secret weapon that can kill with the slightest of touch…

It’s a movie that I’ve watched and enjoyed many times over, and never fail to be be impressed by the stunning performance of David Farrar and Kathleen Byron in the lead roles, it would seem as if they are just made for each other. The movie really does capture the exotic nature of wartime London and was based on the dramatic novel by Nigel Balchin. Other greats featured are: Jack Hawkins, Leslie Banks, Cyril Cusack, Emrys Jones, Michael Gough, and Renee Asherson.

Interesting People From The Past...

Sir Charles Laughton. He was first a Scarborough hotel manager, then made his stage debut in 1926 in The Inspector-General. He was a Gold medalist of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and excelled in strong character parts particularly Shakespearean. His major film successes have been as Henry VIII in 1933, and as Captain Bligh in Mutiny on the Bounty. He was born in 1899.

Sir Laurence Olivier first appeared at the Shakespeare Festival at Stratford-on-Avon and played with the Birmingham Repertory Company from 1925-28. He appeared at the Old Vic in 1936, and was Actor-producer in Romeo and Juliet. His many films included Wuthering Heights,Henry V, and Hamlet. He was born in 1907.

Sir Arthur Pinero was an actor from 1874 until 1881, when he became a dramatic author. He produced clever comedies at the Court Theatre, London from 1885-93 notably Sweet Lavender. Other plays included The SecondMrs. Tanqueray,The Gay Lord Quex, and Trelawney of the Wells. He was born in 1855.

The Natural History Museum and the Science Museum...

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This time the family made a visit to South Kensington for the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, both situated close to one another. Impressive buildings with impressive interiors and displays. Thousands visit the museums every day of the year… to wander the vast halls or just sit outside for a lunch and a drink. It was also the setting for David Suchet’s ‘Poirot’ in “The Veiled Lady”

The Leighton Buzzard Motorcycle Rally...

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Saturday and the family made a welcome return to Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire for the yearly Motorcycle Rally. The Rally attracts Bikers from all over the UK with hundreds of stylish motorcycles to be gazed upon, ridden upon, or just photographed upon. The Rally is held in Page's Park beside the quaint Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway and with stalls and a play park for the children there was plenty to occupy everyone.