All Time XIs – The Literary Clash

Today’s all time XI cricket themed post uses fictional characters for its inspiration. Also featured are #NHSPayRise and #BlackLivesMatter.


Welcome to another variation on an ‘all time XI‘ cricket theme. Today I pit two XIs whose players share names with characters from fiction against each other.


  1. Arthur Morris – left handed opening batter. 46 test matches yielded him 3,533 runs at 46.48, and Don Bradman rated him the best left handed opener he ever saw. King Arthur has been fictionalized by many writers, arguably beginning with Geoffrey of Monmouth. In primary school I read “Swords and Circles” by Rosemary Sutcliff, and almost equally long ago I first read “The Once and Future King” by TH White, but it is particularly Stephen Lawhead’s “Pendragon” series that I wish to flag up.
  2. Alec Stewart – right handed opening batter. I have commented on his success in this specific role before. The literary connection is to Alan Breck Stewart, who features in two of Robert Louis Stephenson’s novels.
  3. Jimmy Sinclair – right handed batter, occasional medium pacer. He registered the first test century for South Africa. His literary alter ego is Sabrina Sinclair, the female lead in Magda Josza’s “Sherlock Holmes and the Femmes Fatales”, the sequel to “The Private Diaries of Doctor Watson”.
  4. Eoin Morgan – left handed batter. England’s current One Day International captain. One of Colleen McCullough’s novels is titled “Morgan’s Run”, and the Morgan in question is Eoin’s literary alter ego for this purpose.
  5. Jamie Dalrymple – right handed batter, occasional off spinner. When he first appeared on the first class scene big things were expected of him, but he ended with a respectable rather than genuinely outstanding record. His alter ego is Carola Dunn’s series character Daisy Dalrymple.
  6. Ben Stokes – left handed batter, right arm fast bowler. He was already established as one of England’s finest before 2019, but his deeds that year moved him into the category of all time greats. His literary connection is a slightly convoluted one involving Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”. Unlike Tess, who is a direct descendant of the real D’Urbervilles the villain of the story, Alec D’Urberville owes his surname to his grandfather, Simon Stokes, who changed his name by deed poll and purchased a coat of arms to back it up.
  7. *Roly Jenkins – leg spinner, right handed batter. 386 first class matches brought him 10,073 runs at 22.23 and 1,309 wickets at 23.64. His problem with the bat was a failure to convert fifties to hundreds – he reached 50 on 41 occasions, but only once went on to the hundred. He has a part share in a first class record: in a match between Worcestershire and Scotland the county’s keeper Hugo Yarnold accounted for six Scotland second innings wickets in a row – all stumped! Four of those six stumpings were effected off the bowling of Jenkins. His literary namesake is Tilly Jenkins of Mandy Morton’s “No2 Feline Detective Agency” series of novels. Tilly Jenkins is one of the two detectives in said agency, along with Hetty Bagshaw.
  8. +Godfrey Evans – wicket keeper, right handed batter. He played 95 test matches, scoring 2,439 runs at 20.49, taking 173 catches and making 46 stumpings. While in his 465 first class appearances he scored 14,882 runs at 21.22, took 816 catches and made 250 stumpings. Bradman named him as England wicket keeper in “Bradman’s Best Ashes Teams”. His literary alter ego is ‘Killer’ Evans, villain in “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs”, one of the stories that appears in the collection “The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes”, the fifth and last book of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories.
  9. Percy Jeeves – right arm fast medium bowler, useful lower order batter. 50 first class matches brought him 1,204 runs at 16.05 and 199 wickets at 20.03. He took 12 five wicket hauls, with a best of 7-34, and achieved one ten wicket match. He is not merely a namesake of famous fictional character, his performance for Warwickshire v Gloucetsreshire at Cheltenham, witnessed by PG Wodehouse, actually inspired the naming of Jeeves the valet.
  10. Edwin Tyler – left arm orthodox spinner. A one-cap wonder for England, against South Africa at Cape Town in 1896 – he took four wickets at 16.25 in that sole international appearance. His 185 first class appearances brought him 895 wickets at 22.09, with 77 five wicket innings hauls and 22 10 wicket matches. His best innings figures were 10-49, the first all-ten by a Somerset bowler. He gets in on a childhood memory – at primary school one of the books I read was Gene Kemp’s “The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tiler”.
  11. William Mycroft – left arm fast bowler. 138 first class appearances yielded him 863 wickets at 12.09, with 87 five wicket innings hauls and 28 10 wicket matches. His namesake is of course Mycroft Holmes, elder brother of Sherlock, who appears twice in the original Holmes stories, with a mention in a third (“The Greek Interpreter”, “The Bruce-Partington Plans”, and a walk on role in “The Final Problem”) and many times in pastiche/ new Holmes stories by other authors.

This team has a respectable batting order, and a strong bowling line up, with Mycroft and Jeeves likely to share the new ball, Stokes third seamer, Jenkins and Tyler as front line spinners and Dalrymple as sixth bowler.


  1. Bobby Abel– right handed opening batter. 13 test match appearances yielded him 744 runs at 37.20, with two centuries and a best of 132 not out. In all first class cricket he scored 33,128 runs at 35.46, with 74 centuries, including the Surrey individual record 357 not out. His literary namesake is Abel Whittle who appears in Thomas Hardy’s “The Mayor of Casterbridge.”
  2. Vince Wells – right handed opening batter, occasional medium pacer. He once scored three double centuries in the same season for Leicestershire, but typically his England call up did not occur during this purple patch, but a little later in his career. He ended with 9,314 first class runs at 32.79 and 302 wickets at 26.22. He owes his place here to being a namesake of Daisy Wells, president of the Wells & Wong Detective Society from Robin Stevens’ “Murder Most Unladlylike” series.
  3. *Peter May – right handed batter, captain. In a difficult decade for batting, the 1950s, he averaged 46.77 in test cricket, captaining his country 41 times along the way. His literary namesake is John May of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, the May of Christopher Fowler’s “Bryant and May” series of novels. Another May, John’s grand-daughter April, also appears in those books.
  4. Willie Watson – left handed batter. The only person to have played in a football world cup and for England in test cricket. His most famous innings was his five and three quarter hour century at Lord’s in 1953 which helped England to a draw, the full value of which was brought home at The Oval in the final match of the series when England’s victory secured them the Ashes for the first time since surrendering them in 1934. In his 468 first class matches he scored 25,670 runs at 39.86 with a best of 257. He is of course namesake of Dr John H Watson, narrator of the original Holmes stories.
  5. Toby Colbeck – right handed batter. He played 32 first class matches between 1905 and 1913-4, in which he scored 1,368 runs at 24.87, with three centuries, and a best of 175 not out. I would not normally select someone with a record of this nature, even given the allowances that can be made for him, but I was willing to stretch a point to be able to include a namesake of Inspector Robert Colbeck, aka The Railway Detective, star of a series of novels by Edward Marston. I have given these books coverage elsewhere on this blog (here, here and here).
  6. Vic Wilson – left handed batter, brilliant close fielder. 502 first class matches brought him 21,650 runs at 31.33 and also 549 catches in the field. He was the first professional to be officially appointed as captain of Yorkshire. His literary alter ego is Daniel Wilson, one of the two stars of Jim Eldridge’s ‘Museums’ series of murder mysteries (“Murder at the Fitzwilliam Museum”, “Murder at the Ashmolean”, “Murder at the British Museum”, and one that I have yet to read, ‘Murder at the Manchester Museum’) – the other being Abigail Fenton.
  7. +Jock Cameron – wicket keeper, right handed batter. 26 test appearances brought him 1,239 runs at 30.21, with 39 catches and 12 stumpings. In all first class cricket he made 107 appearances, scoring 5,396 runs at 37.47, and took 155 catches and made 69 stumpings. He once took 30 in an over from the great Hedley Verity, an onslaught that got the bowler some ‘Yorkshire brand sympathy’ from keeper Arthur Wood “tha’s got ‘im in two minds Hedley, he doan’t know whether t’hit thee for fower or six.” His position in this line up is by way of a nod to Cassandra ‘CJ’ Cameron, hero of Matthew Reilly’s “The Great Zoo of China”, with an acknowledgement also to the journalistic couple Pete and Alison Cameron in “Ice Station” by the same author.
  8. Johnnie Clay – off spinner, useful lower order batter. He played for Glamorgan when they were promoted to first class status in 1921, and was still in the team when they won their first county championship in 1948! He played 373 first class matches, taking 1,317 wickets at 19.76 each with 105 five wicket innings hauls and 28 10 wicket matches, and scored 7,186 runs at 15.45, with two first class hundreds. His literary analogue is John Clay, villain of “The Red Headed League”, who also appears in “Sherlock Holmes and the Femmes Fatales” as partner of Sabrina Sinclair’s sister, in Hugh Ashton’s novel “The Darlington Substitution”, and also one of Ashton’s collections of short stories, presented as an autobiography.
  9. Frank Holmes Tyson – right arm fast bowler. A meteor who blazed through the cricketing skies in the 1950s, he played 17 test matches, taking 76 wickets at 18.56 and being the star of the 1954-5 Ashes, and also scoring 230 runs at 10.95. He played 244 first class matches in all, taking 767 wickets at 20.89 and scoring 4,103 runs at 17.09. I have given his full name including middle name, because of course it is that middle name of Holmes that gets him in here.
  10. Joel Garner – right arm fast bowler. A magnificent servant of Barbados, Somerset and the West Indies down the years. 58 test match appearances saw him capture 259 wickets at 20.97 and score 672 runs at 12.44. His total first class record was 214 matches, 881 wickets at 18.53 and 2,964 runs at 16.74. His literary namesake is Paul D Garner, from Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”.
  11. Shannon Gabriel – right arm fast bowler. 45 test matches have yielded him 133 wickets at 30.63, with a best of 8-62. In all first class cricket he has played 103 matches, taking 289 wickets at 29.67. His literary alter ego is Gabriel Oak, the shepherd in Thomas Hardy’s “Far From The Madding Crowd”

This team has a strong top four, Colbeck at five, Wilson a respectable six, a keeper who can really bat and four fine bowlers. There is a shortage of spin options, with only Clay available in that department, but Tyson, Garner and Gabriel look a fearsome trio of quick bowlers (I suggest Tyson and Garner with the new ball, Gabriel on when Tyson needs a breather).


Both squads have strengths and weaknesses. I think that the presence of the genuine all rounder in Ben Stokes just tips the odds in favour Roly Jenkins’ XI but I would expect it to be close.


A little while back I signed up to get a free poster from 38 degrees calling for NHS workers to be given a pay rise, and it arrived in today’s post and is now on display in my front window. Regular readers of this blog will know that I have been through a very serious illness, and my experiences then have served only to underline the extent to which I value our NHS (see the posts you find following this link), and it is long past time they received a pay rise. Their efforts during this pandemic have been amazing.

IMG_0659 (2)
The window I chose, the most prominent I have.
IMG_0660 (2)
A close up of the poster.


Maureen Fitzsimmons has produced an excellent twitter thread on what the #BlackLivesMatter protests have accomplished thus far, the beginning of which is screenshotted below – click to view full thread:


IMG_0616 (2)IMG_0617 (2)IMG_0618 (2)IMG_0619 (2)IMG_0620 (2)IMG_0621 (2)IMG_0622 (2)IMG_0623 (2)IMG_0625 (2)IMG_0626 (2)IMG_0627 (2)IMG_0628 (2)IMG_0629 (2)IMG_0630 (2)IMG_0631 (2)IMG_0632 (2)IMG_0634 (2)IMG_0636 (2)IMG_0637 (2)IMG_0638 (2)IMG_0640 (2)IMG_0641 (2)IMG_0642 (2)IMG_0643 (2)IMG_0644 (2)IMG_0645 (2)IMG_0646 (2)IMG_0647 (2)IMG_0648 (2)IMG_0649 (2)IMG_0650 (2)IMG_0652 (2)IMG_0654 (2)IMG_0655 (2)IMG_0656 (2)IMG_0657 (2)IMG_0658 (2)

Literary Clash
The teams in tabulated form.

Four Political Pieces

Four political pieces and some pictures.


As well as the four pieces mentioned in the title I have some pictures to share. 


Although the Biased Bull****ting Conservatives (BBC for short) are still not giving this story much coverage, and have had the cheek on one of the rare occasions when they did cover it to use the word ‘mistake’, which is one thing it most certainly was not, other sources including Channel 4 have been giving it proper coverage. The Skwawkbox blog, noted for the regularity with which it beats mainstream media to the breaking of stories, and this piece, under the title “THE ‘LONGEST CONFESSION NOTE IN HISTORY’? CONHOME ADMITS WHAT CCHQ WANT TO HIDE”. The image below links to the piece on Skwawkbox.



The piece by David Hencke that I link to at the end of this section details yet more public transport problems facing Britain, and especially northern Britain. It is titled “Is George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse about to hit the buffers?” Many of my readers will already be aware that the Downright Dishonourable Member for Tatton (in Cheshire), aka the #Gidiot, aka Gideon George Oliver Osborne has just been named as the new editor of the Evening Standard, a purely London based newspaper. Before providing the link, as usual by way of an image, I shall give in bullet form my objections to this latest example of Westminster and mainstream media getting cozy (btw although I firmly believe that Osborne should not be allowed to be both MP and newspaper editor, I can’t help wondering whether if he arrogantly stays on as MP he might not end up making what in view of his constituency I shall call a ‘Hamiltonian’ exit from parliament – unfortunately Tatton does seem to get more than its fair share of bad ‘uns!).


  • One of the concerns highlighted in the Leveson Report was a degree of unacceptable closeness between the press and Westminster. In view of this it should not be possible for a current MP to also be a newspaper editor.
  • Conflict of interest several ways – between the role of MP and that of editor, between his southern based newspaper and his northern constituency, and between his role as editor and the several other important roles that he has had the arrogance to take.
  • It demonstrates contempt for his constituents by yet further reducing the amount of time he can spend attending to them.

Additional to the above, the Downright Dishionourable Member for Tatton has zero qualification for the task of editing a newspaper.

Click on the image below to read the David Hencke piece.


Picture of Great Bentley station by Ben Brooksbank


From a newly minted media menace to one of much longer standing, namely Rupert Murdoch – embedded below is a video from 38 Degrees titled “How to stand up to a media mogul”. It is very short – enjoy!


I recognize that this is a thorny issue. I will start by making two things clear:

  1. The future of Scotland should be decided by the Scots.
  2. Extending from my first point, while as a Sassenach I can express no personal opinion on whether Scotland should or should not vote for independence I can say for a certainty that if I was a Scot I would be voting for independence.

My link in this section is to an STV piece titled “Sturgeon refuses to rule out wildcat independence vote”, and I link to it by means of an image.


These pictures were all obtained by means of the scanner. These are pictures of 18 hammered coins which will be going under the hammer in April, and other than myself you are the first people to see them.


Super Sharing Saturday – Politics 3: Bits and Bobs

A selection of political stories from the last couple of days.


This is the third and last politically themed post in this series that I have been putting up today (although I have held some stories that might be considered political back for the next post which will be the last – I will then create a page containing links to these specific posts for ease of reference).


This story, which shows Tories at their worst and most unprincipled was brought to my attention by David Hencke. To read the full story of how MOD secrets were stolen and used to load the dice in favour of Adam Smith International click the image below.



Thomas G Clark who blog as Another Angry Voice has more on the Tory electoral fraud story, in the form of whistleblowers who have admitted to unknowingly assisting the Tories to commit electoral fraud. Click the image below to read the full piece.


I have two pieces on Personal Independence Payments (PIP for short) for your attention. Firstly, DPAC are asking for people who would be willing to be involved in a legal challenge to changes to PIP. If you are able to help DPAC, or would like to share their piece please click on the screenshot below.


The second PIP comes from 38 Degrees, in the form of a petition calling for people with mental health issues to be treated fairly under PIP. Please click the image below for more.


A situation that allows a party who gained 37% of the votes cast (under 25% of the electorate given the turnout) to form a “majority” government is obviously unacceptable. If you agree with this and are a UK resident please click on the screenshot below to sign and/ or share the petition, which is currently on 93,217 signatures, meaning that another 6,783will trigger a debate in the house. Just before putting up the screenshot link one final point for those who bring uop the orevious referendum on this subject: AV IS NOT PR



To end on a lighter note, below, with a link to the original, is Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson’s take on Philip Hammond’s budget:

Martin Rowson cartoon 09.03.17



Four Days

An account of the ,last four days, some pictures, some links, and a special science and nature section.


This post, which comes with plenty of pictures and some cracking links, covers what I have been doing over the course of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Each of these days was very different in character from its predecessor. The links will be in two parts, a couple appearing between Wednesday and Thursday, and the remainder florming a special science and nature section at the end of the post.


A day at James and Sons getting as many images done as possible before the catalogue for our next auction went online (here, for those who would like to see it). This day went fairly quietly and without any major incidents. Here are some general pictures…


My second set of images for this day consists of coins and small medallions…


There are a number of these tokens from the gigantic wheel at Earls Court – I am planning to feature the entire selection (eight lots) in a post on my London transport themed website, possibly linking to the present by means of another substantial wheel.



On Wednesday I started the day by typing up the minutes from NAS West Norfolk’s last committee meeting (as branch secretary this is one of my regular tasks). The in the afternoon I attended a meeting of the West Norfolk Disability Forum, which came with a little extra pressure as the branch chair of NAS West Norfolk could not arrange childcare which left me as NAS West Norfolk’s sole representative at the meeting. I found the meeting disappointing – many things talked about but little sign of any real progress having been made. 


Most of my links will feature at the end of this post, but there are two I choose to share here to break things up a bit:


Following the success of last year’s inaugural Autism Awareness Cup, a second event is being staged this year, on June 4th at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club between 12 and 5PM. A facebook page for this event has been launched – please click the graphic below to visit, and if you are on facebook, like the page:

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature


Heather Hastie’s blog is always worth reading, and this post, about a chap by the name of Jim Bakker, is no exception.


I had just started work on Thursday morning when I looked at my computer and noticed that the power had gone (I was taking photographs, so all the computer was on ready for editing them later, I was not yet using it). It soon transpired that none of the computers or heaters had power (the lights being on a different circuit did). One of my colleagues tested a particular plug socket that was most likely to have caused the problem, and it proved right (fortunately although shaken he was not seriously hurt, though we were all worried at the time). We then used a long extension lead to connect to the only spare socket available, which brought things to life for a few moments, before (as it transpired), the extension lead proved unable to cope with the amount of power it was having to transmit. 

The plug socket that started it all after it had been proved to be faulty.

With no possibility of using the computers that day, the two people who were committed to remaining at work there for the day (the other person directly involved in the drama went back to working at his computer repair business) took as many photographs as possible, and it being fiendishly cold without any source of heat, gained permission to lock up a bit early. It was also in the course of this day that I took custody of a key to the shop. 

Although editing and uploading them was for obvious reasons my first work activity of Friday, here are some pictures from Thursday…

This is lot 650, and the first of its kind I have ever seen – as a collection of cheese spread labels (not even real cheese!)


A collection of 15 pictures if old London – lot 706


For the Shakespearians among you, lot 725


Match boxes, some whole and some in parts.
This set and the next were kin old cigar boxes.



I arrived at work on Friday morning and was delighted to see that the electrician was just finishing up, and that discussion about having a serious look at the electrics at some lpoint in the future were taking place (much needed – looking back the only real surprise about Thursday’s incident was that it had taken so long for it to happen). 

Nevertheless, the amount of new work I accomplished on Friday was somewhat reduced, first by having to finish Thursday’s work, then by having to a bulk upload of previously created images due to mishap oin the original uploading process which meant that most of the last thousand lots were showing with no images and finally by having to make a trip to the post office, where it took the person handling our parcels 40 minutes to do the job (at least three times as long as it should have). Here are some of the new images that I did mange to create and upload…



We start with two sides of a story that may or may not be one of the most significant achievements in science history – if the experiment can be successfully duplicated a Nobel prize is a certainty. Here, courtesy of comes…


First of all, the story of the claimed discovery, complete with video footage:

Please click the link below to read (and below that is the video)…


// the other side of the story, raising questions about the conduct of the experiment and the speed with which this has gone to press click the link below:

The Counter Story

This then is still to be resolved, unlike the subject matter of my next link, which deals with…


I have already shared a link to this piece, from, but I consider it worth sharing again. To read this fascinating piece please click the graphic below:

Still dealing in the spectacular, we come to a post about…


The science blog rationalisingtheuniverse has produced a post about this phenomenon which you can read by clicking on the graphic below:


We finish with links to two pieces on a theme that is always relevant and still does not the kind of coverage it should…


First in this section, a video with an accompanying petition, regarding a serious threat tko wildlife in Cromarty:

I end this post with a link to a 38 Degrees campaign, which I encourage you all to look at:


Winter Pictures

A few links and some pictures – enjoy.


Welcome to my first post of 2017. I have some pictures to share with you of course, and one or two other things.


My first link is a quiz from the British Humanist Association entitled “How Humanist Are You?” 

My remaining two links are to petitions:

  1. 38 Degrees are running a petition to stop filibustering in the House of Commons.
  2. have a petition calling for the renationalisation of our railways.

Mention of the railways leads me to the following from twitter:

This is part of a nationwide protest against the continuing increase of fares for increasingly poor services on British trains.


These pictures comprise my last from 2016 and my first from 2017…


This picture is the last of the 2106 vintage…
…and this is the first of the 2017 vintage.


An Important Petition

A link to petition that needs more signatures, plus links to the supporting information. Some pictures, a few thoughts about the recently concluded test match and a couple of extra links.


I will be covering other stuff as well, but I am giving top billing to an autism related petition.


Here is the petition – main link is in the infographic:


Here is the opening paragraph of the petition:

Too many LAs are conducting illegal S47 child protection investigations and traumatising families.  Brighton & Hove City Council is conducting at least one such an investigation right now against an innocent autism family (my own – autistic parent with autistic children), which indicates a pattern of behaviour is likely, as it wouldn’t be a one-off incident.  Brighton & Hove City Council is conducting this investigation on the basis of entire autism ignorance (towards parent and children) and illegal disability discrimination.  How can an autism parent perform their usual superhero job whilst being put through this trauma?  LAs behaving illegally must be stamped out.

Here are links to all the updates that have been posted on this petition:

You now have access to all the information I have seen about this case and should know what to do. If in signing this petition you mention me and this blog I will receive an email notification telling me that you have signed.


After a large chunk of text it is time for some pictures. There are some from yesterday and some from today:


The menu at the Rose & Crown in Harpley, where my parents took me for lunch yesterday (it was an excellent meal – thanks)
The next five pics are also from the Rose & Crown, four showing decorative features and one the dessert menu.


The redeveloped back of King’s Lynn Town Hall



Test matches are scheduled to last for five days, and this one made it deep into the fifth of those of five days. India beat England by 246 runs and are to be congratulated, although as the title of this section suggests they were helped by good fortune. Winning the toss meant that they got to bat when the pitch was at its easiest. England’s disastrous 49 minutes occurred on the second evening, when they surrendered four wickets to end that day on 103-5 in reply to 455. Of the five wickets England lost that day only Cook got a really difficult delivery – the others assisted in their own downfall.

Facing 405 to win or 150 overs to survive on an increasingly difficult pitch England were never in the hunt, and the dismissal of Joe Root for 25 was the death knell, leaving the lower order to fight it out for as long as they could. Haseeb Hameed showed great concentration and determination at the top of the order before one shot along the ground to pin him LBW (a genuinely unplayable ball).

Virat Kohli demonstrated his skill with the bat, amending a decidedly dodgy previous record against England with scores in this match of 167 and 85. The latter was an innings that made it look like the match was taking place on two different pitches – at one end everyone else was struggling in the face of an excellent bowling performance from England, and at the other Kohli met every ball with the middle of his bat.

England showed enough to suggest that this series is not a lost cause, especially with three matches still to play.


First, a petition on 38 Degrees calling for the scrapping of the ‘Sovereign Grant’ (I would prefer to scrap the Royal Family outright, but at least making them pay their own way would be a move in the right direction).

I end with a link to piece by DPAC, drawing attention to a disgraceful example of ableism at CEX.


Midweek Mishmash

Pictures from the last few days, an important video and petition link.


I have a variety of pictures and links to share with you.


These images are from yesterday.

I took two lpictures of this fort, lot 419, onje with the drabridge down and one with it up. It also disassembles readuly, with a drawer in the base for putting the bits in when it is not in use.


Lot 598 – a selection of interesting beer mats – I made a display of the best ones, keeping the box with the rest inside it in shot.



Margery Kempe was born and raised in King’s Lynn (one of her former abodes was on the site now occupied by 117 High Street. For more about her check out this link. The seat design is for the Saturday Market Place, which happens to be pretty much on the doorstep of the formed abode of hers mentioned above. Here is a picture:



The picture below is The Times cartoonist’s take on our current Prime Minister:



These are a staple of this blog, and I offer you these pictures from Monday:


Bristolians are campaigning over pollution levels in their city, and deserve wider support. Below is a video, followed by a link to a 38 Degrees petition:


Sign the petition




James and Sons April Auction

An account of James and Sons April auction, a plug for a petition to honour the Hillsborough campaigners and some photographs.


The day before yesterday, at the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, James and Sons had their April auction. Overall, the auction was a great success. Although the number of internet bidders did not equal that for the March auction, there were 180 internet bidders, and this was a one day sale whereas March had been a two day affair. I will also be sharing some other stuff, including photos, at the end of this piece.


My travel expenses have recently gone down, due to the introduction of an all-day ticket which covers travel on any Norfolk route save the Coast Hopper and costs £5.50. This did mean that I could not get to a Norwich auction as early as if I were to use the X1 route (run by a different bus company, therefore ipso facto not covered) but it was still a seriously early start, as I had to be on the first bus of the morning, at 6:10AM to arrive early enough to do everything that I had to do for the running of the auction. The run to Norwich was thankfully, save for the inevitable bottleneck near Hellesdon Hospital, a very clear one, and the bus arrived exactly on schedule.


As I have indicated, this auction was a very successful one. The principal highlights according to my method of evaluating these things were in ascending lot number order:

  • Lot 78, a collection of British banknotes in a tin, valued at £30-40, sold for £65
  • Lot 87, a Lebanese 1 Livre note with a lilac overprint, valued at £25-30, sold for £45
  • Lot 232, an R101 Royal Airship Works cloth cap badge, estimated at £75-85 and sold for an eye-popping £170.
  • Lot 263, an Imperial German WI Zeppelin commemorative badge, estimated at £55-60, sold for £120
  • Lot 268, a British WWII Commandos Middle East cap badge (brass), estimated at £20-25, sold for £48
  • Lot 270, a WWI aerial flechette dart as dropped on enemy soldiers, estimated at £15-20, sold for £42
  • Lot 680, a postcard of the 1906 New Zealand rugby team, estimated at £10-20, sold for £45
  • Lot 714, a Victorian scrapbook assembled by Harriett Riches of Trunch, estimated at £40-50, sold for £90
  • Lot 715, a Victorian/ Edwardian scrapbook, estimated at £30-40, sold for £90 to the the same person who bought lot 714.

Here is a ’tiled mosaic’ of images of these lots – to see an image at full size click on it:


I had contrived to arrange my breaks from computer work to coincide with periods when lots of interest to me were going under the hammer. The first such lot was number 460:


Don’s mugshot on one half of the stamps, him playing the pull shot (his trademark, and a shot about which he wrote a short piece which features in many a cricket anthology).

This was knocked down to me for £7, and better was to come near the end of the auction…

Lot 711 was a 1904 Erie Railway pass, for which a single bid of £8 sufficed:

The front of the pass.
The back of the pass.
Erie Railroad
Both sides of the pass.

Construction started on this railroad in 1835, and the first run along the full length of the route, from Piermont, New York to Dunkirk, New York took place in 1851. More information about this railroad can be found here. Below is a route map:


This map comes from

Lot 717, a print of old London Bridge based on the earliest known drawing of that structure, which is in the Pepys collection, attracted no interest from anyone save me, and was knocked down for £5:



27 years ago 96 people lost their lives at Hillsborough football ground. Through most of this period people seeking justice for the dead faced a media and governments that were almost uniformly hostile to them, while the police force involved consistently refused to accept responsibility for the disaster. At long last, after a full inquiry and inquest into the deaths it has been established that these 96 people were unlawfully killed and that blame for their deaths lies squarely with the police. Just this morning I found out about a petition on 38 Degrees to honour the campaigners who have fought so hard for this outcome. They are far more worthy of being honoured than many who have already been honoured (As a resident of King’s Lynn I think of Sir Henry Bellingham MP, apparently knighted for the great feat of having attended the same school as the prime minister, albeit at a different time). If you share my view…



To finish, here are some more photographs…


Does this look like the start of a public footpath to you? It is, and you are looking at one reason why the developer who perpetrated this (with whose name I shall not sully this blog) are personae non grata in King’s Lynn


My contribution to this document was to scan the postcard that appears on the front cover.
This is the only example of this particular £2 coin that I have thus far seen. I approve of commemorating Darwin, but not necessarily of the chosen picture (a Galapagos tortoise, or finch, or a map of the Galapagos islands would have been my choice).


Birds, Butterflies and Bonkers Trade Deals

An announcement of some Anti TTIP action, some important links and some good pictures from in and around King’s Lynn.


I have many things to cover in this post, including a number of very important links.


The bonkers trade deal is officially known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP for short), and I am mentioning it in this post for two reasons:

  1. This Saturday at 11AM there is action taking place against it, starting outside Top Shop on King’s Lynn High Street.
  2. And linked to the above, I got my action pack from 38 Degrees through the post today.

DSCN4589 DSCN4590 Say No To TTIP!


To begin today’s links section, a nod to youth…


This refers to an American school whose dress code is both draconian and being applied in a very sexist way. This has given rise to a petition, and today there has been coverage on yahoo:

  1. The Petition
  2. The Yahoo piece
  3. To conclude this subsection a photo showing the “revealing clothes” for which a girl was called, which ignited the controversy:
    When this falls foul of a
    When wearing this falls foul of a “dress code” I think the problem is fairly obvious.


    Just a single link, but I make no apology for giving it a whole subsection to itself. This is a truly shocking case involving a 6th grader (English equivalent of this would be a year 7 student) facing the possibility of spending his life with a felony conviction on his record. Please sign and share this petition.


Another single piece, this time courtesy of Huffington Post, about a study into autism and creativity. I start with a quote from the piece:

“Wong and Doherty said we should think of autism in terms of differences rather than deficits. And these differences, as the study suggests, can give rise to important and unique creative insights.” NB The italicisation is theirs not mine.

The full article deserves to be read and shared. Naturally as both an autistic person and the creator of this blog I wholeheartedly concur with the notion that autistic people can be especially creative!


My final two links, the second being in the nature of a segue:


I bring this post to a conclusion with some pictures taken in and around King’s Lynn yesterday morning and today…

Rain brought this beauty out yesterday morning.
Rain brought this beauty out yesterday morning.
Also from yesterday morning.
Also from yesterday morning.

DSCN4548 DSCN4549 DSCN4550 DSCN4551 DSCN4552 DSCN4554 DSCN4555 DSCN4556 DSCN4557 DSCN4559 DSCN4562 DSCN4563 DSCN4565 DSCN4566 DSCN4567 DSCN4569 DSCN4571 DSCN4572 DSCN4573 DSCN4574 DSCN4575 DSCN4576 DSCN4578 DSCN4579 DSCN4582 DSCN4583 DSCN4584 DSCN4588 DSCN4593

A Sunny Morning in West Norfolk

An account, complete with a fine haul of photos, of a walk around King’s Lynn. This is followed by some important links and some interesting infographics. Please share widely.


Being up bright and early this morning and noting the sunny weather I headed off for a walk. The body of this post is devoted to sharing the best sights from that walk. After that I have some links and infographics to share. I hope you enjoy this post and will be encouraged to share it.


My first ports of call were…


These places looked very fine in the sun. The extensive restoration work on the chapel is now nearly complete.

DSCN9986 DSCN9987 DSCN9988 DSCN9989

From there I headed to…


This is a far more significant waterway than that name may suggest, and was rewarded with a clutch of fine pictures in that section of the walk…

DSCN3893 DSCN3895 DSCN3896 DSCN3897 DSCN3898 DSCN3899 DSCN9990 DSCN9991 DSCN9992 DSCN9993

Watching and waiting in the undergrowth...
Watching and waiting in the undergrowth…

I left Bawsey drain part way along it’s length to head towards the Great Ouse by means of a nice route that I know, but I am briefly going to diverge from strict geographical recounting for a subsection on…


The butterflies were out in force, but it is always difficult to photograph them due to their speed. Nevertheless, I did get some good pics to share…


This was the last butterfly  I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the last butterfly I got, while walking through Hardings Pits
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
This was the first butterfly pic I got today.
The only non-animal flyer I got today - a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
The only non-animal flyer I got today – a helicopter (Helico- = spiral, pteron = wing)
This one had its wings folded.
This one had its wings folded.


Just a few pics here, but it was a delight to see the river at very high tide…

DSCN3908 DSCN3909 DSCN3910

My next set of pictures are themed around a small but (to me) very significant little landmark which I have dubbed…


The very high tide meant that most of the structure was submerged, and the presence of boats and the river and West Lynn Church on the far bank also contributed to a great set of pictures…

A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
A brilliant piece of photobombing by the flying gull!
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
Multiple species of bird coexisting peacefully.
The platform and a boat.
The platform and a boat.


The church contributing to the scene.
The church contributing to the scene.

DSCN3916 DSCN3917

Two cormorants took wing in my direction.
Two cormorants took wing in my direction.

DSCN3919 DSCN3920 DSCN3921 DSCN3922 DSCN3923

Not all of the boats i saw on the river were there for leisure purposes – there was also a…


Four pics showing the boat and website details…

DSCN3925 DSCN3926 DSCN3927 DSCN3928

From here all that was left was…


The pictures I took in these final few minutes are very varied…

One last boat pic.
One last boat pic.
The Custom House.
The Custom House.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
Looking north from the Lower Purfleet.
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
An adult moorhen in the Upper Purfleet
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.
The smallest baby moorhen I have ever seen.

We have reached the end of my walk, but I do hope some of you stay for the…


I have a shed load of important links to share, starting with some on…


My first link comes courtesy of Huffington Post and features Richard Dawkins giving Idaho huntress Sabrina Corgatelli the full treatment.

My next three links are part of a developing story involving airlines stopping the idiots from getting their “trophies” home…

  1. First to step up to the plate by refusing to carry such items were Delta.
  2. Who have already been joined by American Airlines and United.
  3. On a petition is taking off to get South African Airways to impose a like ban.

Although it was a universally revered lion whose demise sparked this activity they are not the only species targeted by noxious individuals, and my next link is to a take part petition on behalf of the elephant.

Finally in this subsection, from Mark Avery comes a story about hen harriers which was written in response to a piece in the Telegraph that was shockingly inaccurate even by the “standards” of that detestable rag.


Just a few links in this subsection. First up, a brilliant scheme from Norway to combat climate change (unlike the “I’m all right Jack” types who currently form the British government these people can see beyond their own immediate concerns). I am also classing as science these two connected links regarding London postcodes:

1)From londonist an interesting post about why London which has compass point themed postcodes beginning with E, SE,SW,W,NW and N has no S or NE postcodes.

2)The website of the author of the above piece, mapping modernity.

Finally in this section, a quirky piece about science facts, accompanied by a graphic. courtesy of viralands – there are 22 facts in total in this piece.

Scientific Facts


A few links in this section, which i shall present as a bulleted list:


I mentioned this yesterday, and the story has moved on since then. My source today is Socialist Worker with a piece giving great detail, including the fact that the museum which got planning permission on false pretences did not open yesterday as planned – let us hope that in it’s current incarnation as a musuem dedicated to Jack the Ripper it never does open its doors. here are the two links:

  1. The Socialist Worker article.
  2. The 38degrees petition


A final bulleted lists of links that did not belong anywhere above but which I wish to share:


A few infographics to round things off…

Earth Age End the Great Housing Giveaway IDS

There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.
There is a link to the story behind this earlier in the blog.

Social Exclusion Map Stop benefit sanctions