Thursday, May 30, 2013

Lying through the teeth..... of the lions !......Sepia Saturday 179

The Manders family

.....Britain's greatest spin doctors and liars !!





This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.


I was pretty stuck on this photo this week, after all my readers don't want to see images of me caravanning with my Mum and Dad in the 1960s. But then I spotted the name "G Manders" on the living van, and that gave me something to work on. It seemed to be a famous family name in the travelling entertainment industry, my research showed.

I was reminded of a famous local painting of Derby, which in the distant past I have discussed with Brett Payne. I checked with him and sure enough he had immediately thought of it and planned to use it, so I will show it here and make no further comment.

Fair Day in Morledge, Derby, 1882, by C.T. Moore.
You may wonder what is the strange tower in the foreground, the answer is that it is a lead shot tower, from the top of which molten lead was poured into water at the base, creating shot of varying size.

This led me to wonder if the Manders family had ever been to Derby, and a quick check of the Derby Mercury confirmed that yes, they had indeed visited the city.

Derby Mercury, May 16, 1860
(Courtesy Gale Databases)

Derby Mercury, May 16, 1860
(Courtesy Gale Databases)



Later terrible problems in Belper !!


Belper lies just 8 miles north of Derby. I saw a reference to some problems Manders had in Belper with his animals. Maybe, I thought, the Menagerie had moved on there after Derby. When I looked further into the report about the Belper problems, matters started to become confusing. I found the report in the local Wrexham paper. Now Wrexham is in Wales, and a good 80 miles west of Belper, and not exactly a town known for publishing newspapers of national importance. What a strange thing for their local paper to report.


...........wagons. The watchman was sitting smoking his pipe at the side of a coke fire when, at about five-thirty he suddenly felt himself pinned from behind. Letting out a cry when he found he was unable to move, Manders opened the window of his living carriage to find out the cause of the commotion. What he saw was the watchman in the grip of one of the large gorillas recently added to the menagerie.

 Manders called to his watchman, instructing him to stay perfectly quiet and still. He dressed hastily and, armed with a large sledge hammer, went to rescue the man. On seeing Mr Manders approaching, the gorilla released the watchman, who was considerably more frightened than hurt, but at once it sprang up one of the poles and onto the menagerie tilt. Mr Manders then inspected the wagon in which the animal had been securely locked, to find that the floor had been torn up and all three animals missing.

 By now three gorillas were seated comfortably on the top ridge of the canvas roof. A messenger was sent to the lodging where the grooms and animal keepers were staying requesting their immediate return to the show. A long ladder was procured and one of the keepers with a heavy riding whip ascended to the roof, but on seeing the threatening attitude from the gorillas he was ordered back down. Next a blank cartridge was fired at the animals. They jumped down and ran along the roofs of the caravans, sprang from the elephant wagon, and proceeded off down Derby Road, pursued by Mr Manders on horseback.

 By now it was 7 o'clock and news of the disaster was spreading through the town like wildfire. As the animals moved through the town bystanders ran in every direction. Eventually the proprietor caught up the animals and he was able to administer a crushing blow with a large iron bar to one of the trio, causing it to drop instantly. Assisted by some of the keepers who had followed Mr Manders, the animal was roped and left secure in a nearby stable. The second was stunned by a stone thrown at its head by one of the keepers. The third was found in the branches of a large oak. Despite stones being thrown, guns fired it remained steadfast. At length, three or four of the keepers arrived, well-armed and with instructions to shoot if necessary. When the gorilla saw their approach it sprang back out of the tree and back along the highway, followed by Mr Manders and his attendants. Fearing that it might eventually reach Derby shots were fired at it. None reached its target, but the animal turned and faced its pursuers. At this point one of the keepers skilfully lassoed it and secured it after a terrific struggle. When the animals were returned floors of a more substantial material were fitted in the wagon."

Wrexham Advertiser. June 1, 1867
(Courtesy Gale Databases)






Then it gets stranger and stranger...!!!



An accident in Grimsby reported in Truro, 391 miles away !
Royal Cornwall Gazette, Falmouth Packet, and General Advertiser
 [Truro, England] 4 May 1860
(Courtesy Gale Databases)




An accident in Manchester reported in Colchester, 236 miles away !
Essex Standard, and General Advertiser for the Eastern Counties
 [Colchester, England] 20 Mar. 1861
(Courtesy Gale Databases)


An accident in Norwich reported in Glasgow, 376 miles away !
Sepia Glasgow Herald [Glasgow, Scotland] 18 Aug. 1865

(Courtesy Gale Databases)



And I could go on.....and on.....and on.... !!

But I won't.........it started to bore even me !! You will have got the gist of it. This Manders family had the best possible team of spin doctors making sure towns and cities were well primed with adrenalin long before the menageries arrived in town. Truth went out of the window.

I am not sure when the Sepia Saturday image was taken....say 1890...at a guess? But even my limited research showed that they were successful for many years, at least from 1860 to 1914, and likely longer than this.

Was this the G Manders, resident of the caravan in this week's photo?

What you needed in order to get mauled by Manders' animals !!
(Courtesy britishmuseum.org)

The End



P.S.

The historical accuracy of my assumptions in this blog are open to debate, and I welcome comments from, and may well defer to, those who have studied the Manders Menagerie.

P.P.S.

I did say I could go on and on, and indeed I did carry on reading, and it became more bizarre as I did

 Illustrated Police News etc [London, England] 14 Dec. 1867(Courtesy Gale Databases)


Thursday, May 23, 2013

It's not what it appears on the face of it.................Sepia Saturday 178



A personal letter to my friend Anna P. in Moscow.

Derby, UK. May 25, 2013.


Dear Anna / Уважаемый Анна

This week you must read my blog [Блог]. I try to write every Saturday, and there is a group named Sepia Saturday. 'Sepia' is the colour of antique photos. Each member tries to write, each week, something which comes to mind from studying a photograph that the organising member chooses a few weeks before each Saturday. Here is this week's photo.....


This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.


This week it is a picture of a girl, as above. It was quite hard when I first saw it. She is pretty, or not, happy or sad, European or Asian or Arabic. She holds secrets I cannot understand. I would like to know her, but I never will. So difficult !! But events in the past 2 weeks have helped me write something.

I promised to send you some postcards for your collection that my late Mother had kept, they were ones she had received, or had mailed to family members (she always asked for the recipient to return postcards to her to form her diary of travels !). I had decided to include in the parcel a much older English postcard, not connected to my Mother. It was sent in 1906, and was sent to my Great Aunt Beatrice (Trix) Slater (aged 17) from her boyfriend Charles S Smith (Charlie), (aged 16). Trix lived here, at the house where I live now.

Trix, with her father William Slater (my great grandfather), and Charles Sydney Smith, circa 1906.
(Own collection)



Here is the post card I have sent to you:

(Own collection)


and here is what is written on the back by Charlie:


"Dear Trix. Are you ready for the show; I think we had better leave the camera business as I have heard that no cameras are going to be allowed. Are you going to the show in the afternoon? We shall go after the procession. I am busy cleaning up uniform & etc. I think its is going to be an ideal day, tomorrow, although I did hear some ducks quacking today. [then 3 words in sweetheart code?]. No 1d bets this time ['1d' here means one penny, or one denarius, a hangover from Roman occupation !] What do you think of the dolls on this P.C. Yours etc. C.S S."
(Own collection)



What did this message mean?

When I read the card I decided that it was simple. Gabrielle Ray, on the card, was a famous English stage actress, dancer and singer, best known for her roles in Edwardian comedies. ( We use the term “Edwardian” for the period the period covering the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910.) She was considered one of the most beautiful actresses on the London stage and became one of the most photographed women in the world.

I decided that Miss Ray must have been coming to Derby the next day, and Charles and Trix must be going to see her show at the theatre !!

But that did not quite fit the words on the card................first  impressions can be misleading.

I needed to check out her visit to Derby, it would surely be in the local paper for June 29, 1906, an advertisement or report. So I went to our local studies library to look at the microfilmed 'Derby Telegraph'.


How wrong I was !

For days each side of the date of the postcard there is no appearance of Gabrielle Ray in Derby. She did not come. Charles had just used a postcard of her image, what he was writing about was unconnected with Gabrielle Ray.


And this is what I discovered.............

The “show” was the Royal Show. It was an annual agricultural show/fair held by the Royal Agricultural Society of England every year from 1839 to 2009. It was held in Derby in 1843, 1881, 1906 when King Edward VII came; 1921 and 1933.

The “procession” was the parade through Derby of King Edward V11, who came to open the show.




The official programme (page 1) for the day. Along with the Sherwood Forester Regiment,
 the army cadet force of Derby School would be among those officially lining the streets.
(Courtesy Derby City Local Studies Library)



Why was Charlie “polishing his uniform”? 

The answer to this is now simple, he was an army cadet at his school, Derby School, and the cadets from the school were to line the procession route, as mentioned in the Official Programme.


Edward VII raises his hat to the newly erected statue of his late mother, Queen Victoria (reigned 1837-1901)
(Courtesy Picturethepast.org.uk)

Please treasure this card...........

I have looked at the card many times and each time I misunderstood it. It was only because I decided to give it to you that I made the effort to be sure that I understood it, and to be sure that you had its correct history. I hope it finds a special place in your collection.

With my best wishes

Nigel


P.S. / Постскриптум


King Edward VII was married to............

......Alexandra of Denmark,
who was the sister of......

.......Maria Feodorovna,
who was the mother of.......

........Tsar Nicholas II of Russia
Николай II,
 Николай Александрович Романов



In 1919, during the Russian Civil War the British battleship
 HMS Marlborough was on duty in the Black Sea and,
 on orders of King George V, son of the late Edward VII,
 rescued his aunt, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna.
(Courtesy Wikipedia)



P.P.S.

Charlie Smith married Trix in 1915, during World War 1. You must read my earlier post to find out what happened to him. It's a sad story. You can read it here.



Major Charles Sydney Smith M.C.
1880 to 1918

(Own collection)


P.P.P.S.

I hear Lenin has a refurbished tomb in Red Square. Lucky Lenin ! Poor Queen Victoria, her Derby statue was moved, years after the photograph in my letter, and was placed in front of the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. Recently we have had a new hospital in Derby, and the old infirmary is to be demolished. At present Queen Victoria is lost in the trees and undergrowth, not very respectful!


(Courtesy Google Streetview)



P.P.P.P.S.
(I promise to stop now !!)

I could not resist showing this photo of the Royal Mail pillar box at the end of Highfield Road where Charlie lived, it is almost certainly where he posted the card. But the real reason for showing it is that it is one of the best shadows of the 'Google Streetview' car I have seen, showing the roof mounted camera. This is where I post my letters as its on my way to the park to walk my dog !!

Highfield Road, Derby. Junction with Kedleston Road.
(Courtesy Google Streetview)




The End










Friday, May 17, 2013

How to get back pain.....Sepia Saturday 177

This photo is the Sepia Saturday prompt this week. We bloggers try to follow the theme, in some vague way, as a seed in our thoughts. Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.


Problem !!

I told you last week I was having a gardening purge.......remember? Well now I am suffering. Most gardeners will understand the result of spring enthusiasm.

When you are stiff and sore from gardening, and then you have to blog for Sepia Saturday at your computer for long periods, it's best if you vary your position and posture periodically. We know we shouldn't sit for too long without taking a break to stretch and move around, but we forget, and then pay for it at the end of the day. In order to prevent chronic back & neck pain, here is an an excellent stretch that is suggested to relieve the stress and pain.





I hope to be back next week !!






The End

Friday, May 10, 2013

Ca(OH)2(aq) + CO2(g) -> CaCO3(s) + H2O(l)..... Sepia Saturday



This week's theme:
Chemistry...never forgotten !!
Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.


I know all (both?) my readers have forgotten the basics of their chemistry teaching, but your favourite blogger has not!! Surely you do not forget bubbling  your breath through limewater and seeing it go cloudy??  I must try it again sometime as these days I like to write my blogs with a small glass of CH3CH2OH (from Scotland!) and a dash of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds, and I wonder if these extra molecules may have a very different result ?


1963

Here I am !!

Yes, that is really me, in 1962/3, second from left. Bubbling my Ca(OH)2(aq) + CO2(g) -> CaCO3(s) + H2O(l) experiment,  at St Anselm's School, Bakewell, Derbyshire. "No child's memory was harmed by this experiment". As evidence....I recall it is George Key to the left and Frederick Tanner to the right.
(Courtesy WW Winter)


So why is my blog so short this week?

Well....the sun came out in England...very temporarily of course...and I ran out of time due to outstanding commitments in the garden.


So please excuse me or I will never get it like it has looked when at its best.



End

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Curse of the Black Cat......Sepia Saturday 175





Black Cat

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images. Click here to learn more.





The following Derby soldier lived and fought through every day the Great War.

Neither war nor cigarettes killed him........





Charles Sydney Smith (CSS) far left, on in his father's knee July 1892
(Own collection)


CSS, aged about 17 circa 1907, at Coxbench Quarry, Derby,  with his
one day bride Beatrice and her father, my great grandfather,
William Slater. No cigarette yet !

(Own collection)


Lazy pre-war picnic, CSS right and bride to be Beatrice Slater centre.
The smoking has started.
(Own collection)


CSS as an apprentice mining engineer circa 1913.
At the Digby, Gedling 1&2, or New London colliery, Eastwood/Nottingham.
The air so bad a cigarette is probably irrelevant.

(Own collection)

A shooting party, circa 1913. CSS far right.
Now hooked on the weed.
(Own collection)


August 1914
 (Own collection)


Now its war, 1914......as a Sherwood Forester, 
cigarette behind the back?
(Own collection)


But why hide it when the others have their pipes?
(Own collection)




           





War is great news for 
the tobacco companies

(Courtesy Times Digital Archive)











Wedding day, 1915, on leave from France.
Cigarettes are fine in a war time wedding photo.
(Own collection)

....but perhaps try a pipe on honeymoon?
(Own collection)



1915, married and heading back to France
 in the Machine Gun Corps.
(Own collection)


 CSS (centre seated) training at Belton House, Grantham,
HQ of the Machine Gun Corps.

A cigarette even for formal poses.
(Own collection)



Just days before the Somme offensive. If nervous about posing on horseback....don't smoke !!
(Own collection)



With fellow officers........
(Own collection)


Change headgear.......light another cigarette !!
(Own collection)



"I like the cigarette and the whip,
but the horse can go...."

(Own collection)


1917...still no shortage of cigarettes.
(Own collection)



Time for a portrait to celebrate the award of his
 Military Cross.
A cigarette not appropriate for this one.

(Own collection)


Hooray !!!!!

Monday November 11, 1918.
The Great War Ends.
Charles Sydney Smith has survived.
The family celebrate for a few days.

(Own collection)
He survived the Western Front.....................

He survived cigarettes...................










But then influenza killed him, helped by.........


The Curse of The Black Cat



November 28, 1918. Major Charles Sydney Smith M.C. dies of influenza.
One of many letters of condolence.

(Own collection)


Nottingham Road Cemetery, Derby.

The Death Plaque was little consolation
 for his widow Beatrice.

(Own collection)




.....and little consolation for his only child, born 7 months after his death.
Victor Sydney Smith 1919-2003.
My first cousin once removed.

(Own collection)


The Curse of the Black Cat

Don't forget it

(Own collection)
You will run out of time if you smoke.

The End