All Time XI – Minor Counties

Revisiting the all time XIs theme with an XI of the greatest cricketers to have been born in minor counties. Also a huge photo gallery.

Today I revisit a theme I started exploring in earnest when Covid-19 meant that there was no live cricket for a while – all time XIs.


This XI is based on birthplaces – players who play their whole careers for minor counties cannot really be considered great whatever their records. Every player in this XI was born in a county in mainland Britain but one which is not a home to first class cricket.


  1. Jack Hobbs (Cambridgeshire). The right handed half of an all East Anglian opening pair, both of whom played their FC cricket for Surrey and England, indisputably among the games all time greats, with more FC runs and more FC hundreds to his name than anyone else.
  2. John Edrich (Norfolk). One of five members of this Norfolk family to play FC cricket, he amassed over 100 FC hundreds in a long and distinguished career.
  3. Bill Edrich (Norfolk). Another of the Norfolk Edriches, an older cousin of John. In spite of losing six years of his cricketing prime to WWII he amassed 86 FC centuries in total and also had his moments bowling right arm fast medium.
  4. Ken Barrington (Berkshire). An average of almost 59 at test level, including 20 centuries. His career best FC score, 256 v Australia in 1964, came in a test match. That 256 was his first century in a test match in England, his previous nine having all come overseas.
  5. *Peter May (Berkshire). The captain of this side. Although he retired from top level cricket at the young age of 30 he had amassed 85 FC centuries by that point. In the low and slow scoring 1950s this attack minded batter managed to average 46 at test level, with a best of 285* against West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957.
  6. Tom Graveney (Northumberland). A member of the ‘100 first class hundreds’ club, and with a fine test record as well. His test best of 258 came against the West Indies, and he was also part of an extraordinary turn around against them at The Oval in 1966 when England slipped to 166-7 in reply to WI’s 268 before Graveney (165) and Murray (112) completely turned the match upside down. Their heroics inspired numbers 10 and 11, John Snow and Ken Higgs to such an extent that both scored 50s of their own boosting England to a final total of 527. West Indies, understandably demoralized by this, were never at the races in their own second innings and England won by an innings margin.
  7. Ian Botham (Cheshire). For five years (1977-82) he was unarguably among the greatest all rounders ever seen, for another five he had occasional great moments before finally tailing off altogether. Between the five years of undoubted greatness and the five years in which he had some great moments he set some astonishing records. When he came on the scene only two players had scored a century and taken five wickets in an innings of the same test match more than once, Mushtaq Mohammad and Garry Sobers who each achieved the feat twice. Botham did it five times, including the first time a male player scored a century and took 10 wickets across the two bowling innings of the same test match, against India in 1980 (Enid Bakewell had achieved this for England Women against West Indies Women a few months earlier). Since Botham’s retirement one other player has done it more than twice: R Ashwin of India has achieved the feat three times.
  8. +Bob Taylor (Staffordshire). More FC dismissals than any other keeper in history – 1,649 of them (1,473 caught, 176 stumped). His England career was limited by the fact that he overlapped with Alan Knott, whose better batting usually got him the nod. However Taylor was far less negligible in this latter department than this often leads people to think – his six hour 97 at Adelaide was undoubtedly crucial to England securing that series which was actually much harder fought than the final 5-1 scoreline suggests.
  9. Syd Barnes (Staffordshire). Rated by many as the greatest bowler in the history of cricket. He reached the landmark of 100 test wickets in his 17th match at that level, a figure beaten only by George Lohmann who got there in 16, and then so dominated the remainder of his test career that he finished with 189 wickets in just 27 test matches, an average of seven per match. He played in less than half of the test matches that England played between the start and end of his career due to a less than harmonious relationship with the powers that be. Although he never played for England after WW1 he was a formidable bowler even then in Lancashire League and Minor Counties cricket, taking a nine-for in a Lancashire League match at the age of 59. As late as 1930 there were those who thought a recall for Barnes might be the answer to Donald Bradman (Bradman confounded those who doubted his ability to score in England that summer by having a tour aggregate of 2,960 at 98.66 including 974 at 139.14 in the five test matches).
  10. ‘Old’ Jack Hearne (Buckinghamshire). The fourth leading wicket taker in FC history with 3,061 scalps. He didn’t play a vast number of games for England but even at that level his record was respectable.
  11. Peter Such (Dunbartonshire). When the Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Essex off spinner gained international recognition in 1993 he started in fine style, taking 6-67 in his first bowling innings at test level. Unfortunately that was as good as it got for him at the very highest level, and he emerged with 37 wickets at 33.56 from 11 test appearances (the emergence of Robert Croft, a bowler of similar type and quality and a much better lower order batter was a major factor against him) but his FC record was impressive.

This side is strong in batting. The bowling, with Barnes, Hearne, Botham and Such as full timers and Bill Edrich’s fast medium, Barrington’s leg spin and Hobbs’ medium pace as back up options is also impressive.


Tom Hayward (Cambridgeshire) scored over 100 FC centuries, but I felt that John Edrich’s left handedness gave him an edge. David and John Steele (both Staffordshire) were two gutsy left handed batters who both bowled a bit of spin on the side, but neither really make the grade, though if I wanted an extra back up spin option I might put David Steele at three in place of Bill Edrich. Alec Bedser is by far the biggest name to miss out, but I feel Jack Hearne is a better support act to Barnes than Bedser was. Alec’s twin brother Eric Bedser, a batter and off spinner was simply not a good enough batter to deny Graveney, the only way I could have got him in. Ian Peebles (Aberdeenshire) was a fine leg spinner, but with Barnes greatest weapon being effectively a leg break delivered at fast medium and with Barrington available as well I felt that Such as an off spinner was a better fit for the role of front line spinner. The side contains no bowler of express pace. There are two potential options, Olly Stone (Norfolk) and George “Tear ‘Em” Tarrant (Cambridgeshire), either of whom could replace ‘Old’ Jack at number 10, and possibly if the pitch was such that no front line spinner was deemed necessary both could be included by also dropping Such. Tom Dollery (Berkshire) was a fine middle order batter, even finer skipper and an occasional wicket keeper for Warwickshire, but he was not quite good enough to claim a front line batting slot in this XI and I would laugh outright at any suggestion that he might get the gauntlets ahead of Bob Taylor.


My usual sign off…

Watlington Wildlife

My write up of yesterday’s tour round Watatunga Wildlife Reserve near Watlington in Norfolk.

Watlington, just down the A10 from King’s Lynn, might seem like an unlikely place to see interesting wildlife, but it harbours a secret, accessed by means of an prepossessing looking gravel track that leads to a carpark and reception centre both of which are within eye- and earshot of the A10…


This establishment, whose website has the strapline “Conservation Today for Wildlife Tomorrow” is explored by motorized buggy, which means that you need at least one person in your group to have a full driving license (also the walk from Watlington station would take some time and a lot of it is along a busy road with no footpath) and is home to a range of interesting species (birds and herbivorous mammals only).

Yesterday a number of us from NAS West Norfolk got to experience this. We used five four seater buggies and one six seater for our groups, with me sharing a buggy with our branch chair and her son. We had a guide who told us what could be seen. After a stretch along a sand track and then through a tunnel which was ankle deep in water we got to the reserve proper and we were not disappointed – lots of wonderful creatures were indeed on show.

After our arrival back at the reception area I got a lift back to the train station, arriving just in time to catch the 18:23 to King’s Lynn, meaning I was home just before seven.


Even with the difficulties imposed by being in a moving vehicle (with occasional stops, but strictly no getting out of the vehicle at any point) I got some splendid pictures:

I hope you enjoy these pictures of the wonderful wildlife of Watatunga, just as I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the creatures yesterday, even in less than ideal weather.

An Outing – Binham and Holt

An account of an outing yesterday, with huge numbers of photographs.


This was an outing arranged by my mother and my aunt which happened yesterday. Binham is a village about ten miles beyond the market town of Fakenham, Holt is a Georgian market town a little beyond Binham (more of this later). Binham is home a to an eponymous blue cheese, and also to the remains of a Benedictine priory (the same order who in the days when they were powerful controlled Ely, where the cathedral still stands). Holt as it is today is almost entirely the product of rebuilding after a huge fire in 1708 reduced the town to ruins, and as such is one the most noteworthy Georgian towns anywhere.


Most of this section will be told by means of the photographs I took while at the priory, starting with some which give you some information about it:

P1260313 (2)P1260314 (2)P1260323 (2)P1260324 (2)P1260348 (2)P1260349 (2)P1260350 (2)P1260351 (2)P1260352 (2)P1260353 (2)P1260354 (2)P1260365 (2)P1260385 (2)P1260447 (2)P1260448 (2)P1260449 (2)P1260450 (2)

Just before moving on I will note that although this is an English Heritage site they do not charge for admission, clearly not reckoning they would take enough to justify paying someone to work there selling tickets.


This is the only part of what was once a construction on an awesome scale that is still standing and usable – the rest was very determinedly destroyed in 1539 (not quite a match for Treebeard and the ents at Isengard, but a fairly thorough piece of destruction!). There are some very interesting exhibits within the church.

P1260327 (2)
Thisb door is not used – there is a side door for access to the inside of the church.

P1260328 (2)P1260329 (2)P1260330 (2)P1260331 (2)P1260332 (2)P1260333 (2)P1260334 (2)P1260335 (2)P1260336 (2)P1260336 (3)P1260337 (2)P1260338 (2)P1260339 (2)P1260340 (2)P1260341 (2)P1260342 (2)P1260343 (2)P1260344 (2)P1260345 (2)P1260346 (2)P1260347 (2)P1260355 (2)P1260356 (2)P1260357 (2)P1260358 (2)P1260359 (2)P1260360 (2)

P1260361 (2)
A splendid looking organ.

P1260362 (2)P1260363 (2)P1260364 (2)P1260366 (2)P1260367 (2)P1260368 (2)P1260370 (2)P1260371 (2)P1260372 (2)

P1260373 (2)
Several different styles of arch in one building.

P1260374 (2)P1260375 (2)P1260376 (2)P1260377 (2)P1260378 (2)P1260379 (2)P1260380 (2)P1260381 (2)P1260382 (2)P1260383 (2)P1260384 (2)P1260386 (2)

P1260389 (2)
Carvings on a bench (2)

P1260390 (2)

P1260391 (2)
the bench.

P1260393 (2)


Outside the church there is a substantial area covered by ruins:

P1260312 (2)P1260315 (2)P1260316 (2)P1260317 (2)P1260325 (2)P1260394 (2)P1260395 (2)P1260396 (2)P1260397 (2)P1260398 (2)P1260399 (2)P1260400 (2)P1260401 (2)P1260402 (2)P1260403 (2)P1260404 (2)P1260405 (2)P1260406 (2)P1260407 (2)P1260408 (2)P1260409 (2)P1260410 (2)P1260411 (2)P1260412 (2)P1260413 (2)P1260414 (2)P1260415 (2)P1260416 (2)P1260417 (2)P1260418 (2)P1260420 (2)P1260421 (2)P1260422 (2)P1260423 (2)P1260424 (2)P1260425 (2)P1260426 (2)P1260427 (2)

P1260428 (2)
The brickwork at the top and bottom of this picture is reminiscent of genuine Byzantine churches in Southern Greece.

P1260429 (2)P1260430 (2)P1260431 (2)P1260432 (2)P1260433 (2)P1260434 (2)P1260435 (2)P1260437 (2)P1260438 (2)P1260439 (2)P1260440 (2)P1260441 (2)P1260442 (2)P1260443 (2)P1260444 (2)P1260445 (2)P1260446 (2)P1260451 (2)P1260452 (2)P1260453 (2)P1260454 (2)P1260455 (2)P1260456 (2)P1260457 (2)P1260458 (2)P1260459 (2)P1260460 (2)P1260461 (2)P1260462 (2)P1260463 (2)P1260464 (2)P1260465 (2)P1260505 (2)


Having finished at the priory and the shop selling local produce (including raw – i.e. unpasteurised – milk from the local cattle, not available in quantities of less than a litre, which since it only stays good for a maximum of four days is too much to be worth buying) we headed to the village pub for lunch.

P1260502 (2)P1260503 (2)

The first good sign at the pub was that it had three beers, two decent and one excellent, on tap. The food looked good as well, and while we were waiting for it to arrive there was what I chose to interpret as a further good sign, a delivery from a supplier based in nearby Fakenham. The food turned out to be excellent and we went on our way happy.

P1260464 (2)P1260465 (2)P1260466 (2)P1260467 (2)P1260468 (2)P1260469 (2)

P1260470 (2)
The village sign.

P1260471 (2)
The pub.

P1260472 (2)P1260474 (2)P1260474 (3)P1260475 (2)P1260476 (2)P1260477 (2)P1260477 (3)P1260478 (2)

P1260479 (2)
Two decent beers either side of one excellent one – a good start.

P1260480 (2)
A pint of Ghost Ship, a magnificent drink, especially if the weather is warm.

P1260481 (2)P1260482 (2)P1260483 (2)P1260484 (2)P1260485 (2)P1260486 (2)P1260487 (2)P1260488 (2)P1260489 (2)P1260490 (2)P1260491 (2)P1260492 (2)P1260493 (2)P1260494 (2)P1260495 (2)


We did not spend long in Holt, a few minutes exploring and photographing, ending in the shoe shop, where I bought a pair of what looked like excellent walking shoes (more about them in a later post).

P1260509 (2)P1260510 (2)P1260511 (2)P1260512 (2)P1260513 (2)P1260514 (2)P1260515 (2)P1260516 (2)P1260517 (2)

P1260518 (2)
Buses going in opposite directions.

P1260519 (2)
Bakers & Larners – a survivor from a bygone age, an independent department store.

P1260520 (2)P1260521 (2)P1260521 (3)P1260522 (2)P1260524 (2)

P1260526 (2)
A tour bus.

P1260527 (2)P1260529 (2)

P1260531 (2)
A list of the Bakers of Bakers and Larners

P1260532 (2)
The pair of shoes – can you identify their many plus points from this picture (all will be revealed in my next post)?

Downham Market

A photographic account of Downham Market, an old market town in Norfolk.


As those of you who read the post I put up earlier today will know I spent part of Saturday in the town of Downham Market. These post showcases everything I saw there other than the Town Hall. 


This was my first visit to Downham Market, as opposed to passing through the station en route to further afield destinations. The pictures here were taken at two distinct periods, in the morning immediately post arrival, and in the afternoon when I had rather more time to kill than I would have wished. The only way across the tracks at Downham Market is by way of a level crossing, and the train from London to King’s Lynn arrives just before the one going the other way. The crossing gates close a couple of minutes before the King’s Lynn train arrives and stay closed until the London train has departed, which means that if you are looking to catch the King’s Lynn train, which departs from the far platform from the town centre and the crossing gates close you have missed it, and such was my fate on Saturday. For those affected this also explains both my later than usual arrival at the venue for Musical Keys and the fact that I was a tad breathless when I got there – I had stepped off a train at 15:20 at King’s Lynn and walked straight out to the Scout Hut in something of a hurry.

London ConnectionsRailway MapGNNGN

signal box
The signal box at Downham Market

Station building
The station building – very impressive, and I was to discover quite typical of 19th century Downham Market buildings in the use of Carr (the brown coloured stone).

Local Map
A handy little map for working out one’s route from the station.

I reckon (though I am opne to correction) that this little terrace was built to accommodate railway workers.

Bennett & Son
This building is visible from the station platform.

Date stone


I start with two pictures to set the scene, a huge pictorial map which can be seen in the town centre and the information board about the railway:

Giant MapThe Railway 1

The ‘Downham’ part of Downham Market comes from Anglo-Saxon (afterall, we are in the lands of the North Folk of the East Angles) and literally means ‘homestead on a hill’, and indeed the market town that grew up around that homestead (it has been a market town since Anglo-Saxon times) is slightly elevated from the surrounding countryside, which in Norfolk constitutes being on a hill! These photos are presented in the order in which they were taken.Georgian housePedimentDoorShelley CottageSemi-detachedbirdStone shieldGarden CentreThe Railway 2Garden Centre 2Garden Centre 3sunclock 1sunclock 2The Railway close up 1Railway Close Up 2The Railway close up 37098Sculpture 1Sculpture 2Temple like buildingBlocked windowDate plaque 1Date plaque 2

Info signs
There will be more about Civray in the next section.

InfoGiant MapsignsShopClock 1FountainMP sculptedStone bird82 Bridge Street


I realised that there could be only one explanation for a signpost in cengtral Downham Market giving the distance to the town of Civray, namely that the two towns are twinned. Civray for the record is pretty much exactly halfway between Poitiers and Angouleme, due east of La Rochelle. I include a map as well as a close up of the sign.

Civray 628Civray


The 2018 Wall Calendar

Announcing the new calendars.


Producing a photographic wall calendar has become a tradition for this blog, and courtesy of a magnificent offer at Vistaprint (25 calendars plus postage for £129) this year’s are now on order (eta with me October 25th). The rest of this post gives you a preview.


Most of the pictures for this calendar come from my Scottish holiday, so they do no relate to particular months. There are one or two exceptions as you will see.

This is the locomotive that pulled the Jacobite train when I travelled it.

The January picture features the Skye Bridge

This shot was taken on the journey from Plockton to Applecross – it was nominated by Oglach, who blogs at

This classic stone bridge can be seen on the Isle of Skye. 

One of the minority of pictures in this calendar that was not taken in Scotland.

Back to Scotland, with this paddle steamer.

This picture was taken in June – another Scottish classic.

Bawsey Abbey, taken on July 27th – nominated by my mother.

This was taken during an NAS West Norfoilk organised trip to a beach hut at Old Hunstanton.

Lock Gates, captured through the window of the Jacobite train, near Fort William.

Boats near Plockton, through the window of the train from Kyle of Lochalsh to Inverness (nominated by my aunt Celia)

A view of Kyle of Lochalsh from above.

A section of the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the actual viaduct over which the Hogwarts Express passes in the films).

The Gaywood River

An account of an educational event about the Gaywood River that took place in the Scout Hut on Beulah Street on Sunday.


I have had a very busy few days, which is why there have been no new posts here since Saturday. I will mention my activities since Monday in later posts, but this post is solely concerned with the activity that dominated (in a good way) my Sunday. At the end of this post I will be including a variety of links related in various ways to its content. Here is a map showing the course of the Gaywood River:


I got an email from my aunt a few days before the event was due to happen explaining her role in it and asking if I wished to meet her there and go back to hers for sausage and chips or if I would prefer a saturday supper. I decided that the event could be quite interesting, so I opted for the former course of action.


Since the event was taking place at the Scout Hut on Beulah Street, which is on the bank of the Gaywood (Beulah Street ends in a bridge that crosses the Gaywood into the car park that serves the Scout Hut) I was going to walking, and since it was a bright, sunny morning I decided on an extended route. Leaving my flat I headed across Baker Lane Car Park to the bridge over the upper Purfleet, heading across King Street to the north bank of the lower Purfleet. Here are some photos from that early part of the walk:

Moorhensigull with spread wings

From there I followed the line of the Great Ouse as far as my favourite cormorant observation point…

BoatCormorantiCormorantiiCormorantiiibirds 'n' churchcormorantiv

…before heading round by way of All Saint’s Church to the Library and entering the parkland area, following the Broadwalk until the path through the Vancouver Garden splits off from it, when I followed that and then the path out of the Vancouver Garden that joins the Tennyson Road end of St John’s Walk, at which point I was back on what would be the officially recommended walking route to Gaywood. There were squirrels about (in King’s Lynn only the grey ‘bushy-tailed rat’ variety as opposed to the red ‘Squirrel Nutkin” variety), though it is not always easy to get good photos of them…


Moorhen Chick
This picture and the next feature the heavily sculpted segment of the Gaywood River that passes through the parkland.

Moorhen parent and child

Apart from photograph opportunities the other plus side to being held up a by a train at the Tennyson Road level crossing is that you can cross the road itself in perfect safety as the cars are all stationary.


From Tennysod Road I followed the footpath the runs between the King Edward VII Academy and the Lynn Academy to Gaywood Road, which I crossed, then crossing the Gaywood on a pedestrian bridge before following its bank all the way to the Scout Hut. 

Although darker than their usual colouring I think from the markings that this is a peacock butterfly.

Gaywood river
A section of the Gaywood River


Immediately outside the Scout Hut the Gaywood Valley Conservation Group had a gazebo and display boards (it was there that I took the photo that appears in the introduction). 

GazeboDisplay boardGaywood Valley 1LeafletsDisplay BoardGaywood Valley 2Gaywood Hidden HeritageGaywood Valley 3Display Board

Inside the hut was the Civic Society Stall, a cake stall, and various river related learning activities (colouring in pictures of river creatures for the artistically minded, an A-Z quiz of which more later). Although it was not the first thing I looked at, because it was my aunt’s reason for being there I start with…


They were looking for people who knew about the history of the Gaywood river, because information boards will be going up at various points along it. They already had some good stuff, but wanted more.

Civic Soc display boardCS1CS2CS3CS4183818101960Wall DisplayMKBUrban Trees

Now we turn out attention to…


The cake stand looked awesome but discipline prevailed, and I did not sample any of the products. Although it was not really aimed at people my age I did the quiz, and predictably got all the answers in short order. The colouring proved popular, and many of the coloured creatures were then stuck on to a large picture of a river on the wall of the hut.

I will reveal the answers (just in case anyone did not get them all) in a later post.

Colouring sheetsWall riverCakescolouring table

That is the inside stuff finished, but there was also plenty going on…


There were two major centres of activity in the back garden, and I make my first port of call there, as I did on the day, at…


The Norfolk Wildlife Trust were showing children how to make portable ‘bug hotels’, and they also had a natural history display including a folder full of photographs of animals, and a stash of leaflets, to which I may return in a later post. 


We now come to what was for me the best of all the exhibits, courtesy of…


There were two parts to this exhibit. The minor part was display showing graphically how different treatment of land in the winter affects the soil:

Winter demo 1
These three models were side by side demonstrating what happens to soil when there is nothing there at all – gets washed straight into the river)…

Farm demo 2
When there are dead leaves covering it – still lots of it ends up in the river…

Farm demo 3
…and what happens when something suitable is planted – note the much clearer water at the end – most of this soil remains in place.

The second part of this display was a living exhibit from the river – two large buckets of river water with creatures that naturally live in it there to be seen (the amount of dissolved sediment in the water, the small size of these creatures and the fact that some of them live on the bottom of the river means that this the only way to make them visible). There was also a small sample dish which the person running the exhibit used to show as very small curiosities…

Caddis House
This is one of nature’s smallest houses – within it is a caddis fly larva, and at some point the adult fly will emerge.

The next three shots are of small sticklebacks.

Stickleback 2Stickleback 3

Gudgeon 1
This was described as a gudgeon, but looks different to the other gudgeons we will see later. The silvery sheen to its scales suggests a dace to my eyes.

Water shot

Stickleback 4
I am not sure what this piebald fish is, though it could be a stickleback.

Water shot 2

Sample dish
This shot of the sample dish showing the thumbnail of the dxemonstrator reveals just how tiny that Caddis fly home actually is – it was in this same dish that I saw it.

Water shot 3Water shot 4Water shot 5SaladsPond animals

Two gudgeons in the second bucket – note that as would be the case in the river they are at the bottom.

Gudgeons 2Water shot 6two sticklebacksWater shot 7Water shot 8Water shot 9

There was also a story teller outside…



To start this section we look at organisations who were actually involved in some way or other with this event:

Now we have a few science and nature websites:

  • Wildlife & Planet – interesting stuff about wildlife from all over the world.
  • WEIT – the website that grew out of Jerry Coyne’s classic book Why Evolution is True. 
  • Science Whys – the blog of Brandeis biology professor James Morris.
  • Rationalising the Universe – sets about accomplishing the big task laid out in its title and does a good job of it.
  • Faraday’s Candle – a science website that will really illuminate your life.

I conclude this section by mentioning a couple of bloggers who regularly feature nature in their work:

  • Cindy Knoke – keen photographer and nature lover. Below is the feature image from (and link to) her most recent post:
  • Anna – her posts about fighting to save nature in her part of the world are always inspiring, and her two recent series of posts “Paradise on Earth” and “Butterflies in Trosa” are both stunning. Below is the feature image from (and link to) her most recent butterfly post.


This was an excellent event and I learned a good deal about the history and nature of the Gaywood River. I have one kvetch which is that the event was poorly publicised – I only found out about it through my aunt and then only a few days before it was happening, meaning that anyone else I might have alerted would almost certainly have had other plans. If half of you have enjoyed this post even half as much as I enjoyed the event I have done a good job. I finish by urging you to take the time to follow up those links.



The Six Nations and Some Sunday Shares

Some thoughts on round two of the 2017 six nations, and a few Sunday shares.


Yesterday saw the first two matches in round two of the 2017 Six Nations. This afternoon Scotland and France will fight out the final game of the weekend.


In the women’s match which preceded this England won 63-0, which gave them 89 unanswered points in their last 120 minutes of rugby (they were 0-13 down at half-time against France last week).

Wales dominated the men’s match for long periods, but too often did not turn pressure into points and eventually a 77th minute try put England in front for the first and only time of the match. England have not been all that impressive in either of their matches to date, but is the mark of champions to find a way to win even when not playing well.


Ireland were always in control of this match, with two players (Stander and Gilroy) recording hat tricks of tries. For the first hour the scoreline was semi-respectable but then the floodgates opened and the Irish winning margin mushroomed to over 50 points.

Two matches in to this tournament it is hard to see Italy doing anything other than bring up the rear, a long way adrift of the rest.


We start the shares with a couple of public transport related bits…


Private operators have creamed of more than £3.5 billion in profits from running Britain’s railways over the last ten years, while services get worse and prices go up. Click on the image below to read in more detail, courtesy of AOL:

Rail firms' £3.5billion profit despite passengers' fury at dire service


The extension, from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham is expected to open in 2028-9. Click on the image below to read the Time Out piece in full. I have already pressed a link on to my London transport themed website and will be writing about it in more detail in due course.

TfL has revealed where the new Bakerloo line stations will be


The Wensum Valley is a very beautiful part of Norfolk, but a malign group of ‘planners’ are putting this beauty at risk – they intend to send a big new road through the heart of it. Please watch the video below to see what we are seeking to protect:


Another reminder that James and Sons next auction is on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of February, the first two days at our shop, the third at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich. Click on the image below, from lot 891, to view a full catalogue…


Finally, the Autism Awareness Cup 2017 will be taking place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th. Click on the image below to visit the website.

Musical Keys and Imaging

An account of today at work and yesterday at Musical keys.


This post has two very disparate strands – yesterday’s Musical Keys event for Autistic People and tody at work.


While I have imaged a wide variety of stuff today at work I am going to concentrate on some commemorative coin lots that were of particular quality…


I did not have time to provide close-ups of all these coins…

…so I selected the one featuring a picture of Nelson (we are in Norfolk after all) for the treatmnent.


This lot featured an extra requirement.

Namely providing a shot focussing on the coin and info sheet into which it is set.


The last of the commemorative coins.


A large collection of themed stamp books.


Inidvidual mounted stamps

A close up of a single set

an even close up of two individual stamps.


Old maps…


… and an even older map to finish


The 12 years and older session of the Musical Keys workshop run as an NAS West Norfolk activity started at 4:45PM yesterday and ran until 6:15PM. I was there both as participant and as one 0f the two designated committee members to be present at the event (the other was group leader Karan whose younger son was participating). As usual with Musical Keys the main piece of equipment we were using was a miniature computer:


For the first part of the session we were playing computer drums:


After a mid-session break during which a birthday cake which Karan had very kindly made (gluten-free as her son has an adverse reaction to gluten) and which was absolutely delicious, we moved on to the second part of the session, which featured a system whereby lines had to be drawn across the screen so that balls would bounce of them to create sounds. For those of my generation it looks a bit like a very early BBC Micro game!

As anyone who knows what the weather was like in King’s Lynn yesterday early evening will be aware it was not suitable for photography on the way to the Scout Hut, where as so often with NAS West Norfolk events this took place, but I did get this picture on the way home…


More Than 1,000 Species Found in a Day at Brancaster

Acknowledgements to the Eastern Daily Press for this story of local diversity…

From dusk ‘til dawn, volunteers scoured 25 nature reserves and beauty spots to see how many species they could record there.

And now, with the results all in and analysed, the winners can be revealed: with Norfolk sites in the top two spots. The so-called “Bioblitz” study was carried out by the National Trust at 25 of its coastal sites in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The surveys were carried out over 24 hours, with volunteers scouring their patches for species, to see how many they could find in the time.

The location with the greatest number of species was the Brancaster estate, where 1,018 were recorded. In second place was Blakeney nature reserve, with 934 species. The Brancaster Bioblitz took place in July. Keith Miller, coastal ranger at Brancaster, said: “We only had 24 hours to survey wildlife. I used every single one. From surveying for owls at midnight to leading bat walks for families the following evening.

Source: Eastern Daily Press

Maps, Fruit Prints and Tea Cosies

A combination of sharing a new find of mine and advertising an event that my mother and aunt are involved in.


I am doing two things in this post, related by location. One, I am sharing a new find in the map department (available for free at King’s Lynn Bus Station), and two I am advertising an event that will be taking place at Gresham’s School, Holt at which my mother and my aunt will have a table-top stall.


This is the title given to this double-sided fold out leaflet that I recently spotted in the Information Centre at King’s Lynn Bus Station. I have six pictures to share…

East of England
Both sides of the whole poster

Map Composite
The two maps in a single shot

The Norfolk/ Suffolk/ Cambridgeshire side of the poster.

The Map – close up

Essex, Herts, Beds and Cambs side of the poster

And Map