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Showing posts from May, 2013

The Letter

So it's the middle of May, and Derby Museum doesn't seem in any hurry to announce the winners of their writing competition, which were supposed to have been decided by the end of April.  I wish I could present this as the winning entry, but hey, I'm proud of it anyway.  This is the letter I wrote for the 1001 Words competition. Letter from White Watson to his nephew William Inspired by the White Watson tablet of Ecton Hill Bakewell January 9 th , 1799 My dear William I take up my pen to write, hoping this finds you in good health and safely established in London.   Bookselling is a fine profession; I am sure you will soon excel in it.   If you should happen across Priestley’s Passages of Scripture send it to me, I would be most grateful of it.   Your father & sister & brother are all well & send their love. I enclose £1 in thankful recognition of & payment for your kind help with the fossils, and   beg that you would al

Tutbury Castle

After living in Texas for a while, where any building dating back to 1900 is really old, and most of the cities were open prairie not 200 years ago, it has lent a certain depth to life to be back in a country where the dust of history clings to your shoes at every step.  Where the parks are centred on crumbling manor houses, the villages were mentioned in the Domesday book of 1086, and the public toilets are probably prehistoric.  Any given circle of, say, a 20 mile radius is likely to encompass more than a smattering of stone monuments, ancient churches, medieval field systems and such like (as carefully noted on the incomparable Ordnance Survey maps), and the circle centred on our current residence is no exception.  Amongst other things it includes Tutbury Castle, to which we journeyed one cold and sunny April morning. The entrance According to their website , the site has been occupied since the Stone Age, which makes it old in anyone's book.  However, it wasn't until