We had a very interesting visit to the small but very informative RNLI Grace Darling museum during our last trip to Bamburgh. Free entry, lots of historical details, exhibits and videos and friendly staff ensure a pleasant experience. Donations are welcomed but not obligatory and there’s a small shop area as you enter. There are two downstairs areas with interactive models of Longstone Lighthouse and an account of the Darlings’ life at the lighthouse. (Please click on photos if you’d like the full size)
The impressive ruins of Whitby Abbey are perched on a headland overlooking the town of Whitby and the North Sea, and are said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, along with certain areas of the town.
Author: Margaret Skea
Published: October 2017 by Sanderling Books
Category: Historical Fiction, Book Review
Following the death of her mother and her father’s remarriage, five-year-old Katharina is placed in the convent at Brehna. She will never see her father again.
Sixty-five miles away, at Erfurt in Thuringia, Martin Luder, a promising young law student, turns his back on a lucrative career in order to become a monk.
The consequences of their meeting in Wittenberg, on Easter Sunday 1523, will reverberate down the centuries and throughout the Christian world.
Margaret Skea has painted a convincing and sympathetic portrait of Katharina Von Bora, who became the wife of Martin Luther, despite the fact that little is known about her. As the author states: this is a fictionalised account of how her early life might have been. The story is a combination of fiction and the facts gleaned by the author through thorough research.
I hadn’t gone out with the intention of taking photographs, so didn’t have my camera. This was too good an opportunity to miss though, so out came the phone.
Plas Mawr was thought to be the finest town house of the Elizabethan period in Britain.
The owner, Robert Wynn, was a prosperous merchant who loved grandeur. His house, built between 1576 and 1585, said to have cost around £800, reflects his status and wealth.
- Author: William Ryan
- Published: This edition, June 2017 by Pan
- Category: WWII, Historical Fiction, Books, Reading
The pain woke him up. He was grateful for it. The train had stopped and somewhere, up above them, the drone of aircraft engines filled the night sky. He could almost remember her smile . . . It must be the morphine . . . He had managed not to think about her for months now.
It’s 1944 and Paul Brandt, a German soldier, horrifically wounded and returning from the front, is on a hospital train bound for recuperation, convalescence and finally, home and his father. The village he had left years before, and the people, were not the same. By the same token, neither was Paul. His experiences have left him demoralised and guilt ridden. Continue reading
Don’t ask a woman her age … and expect the truth
That boys lied about their ages to enlist in 1914 is common knowledge. Less well known is that women did too. This blog features two unusual women who felt age was no bar to ‘doing their bit’.
In 1917, Mabel Lethbridge was desperate to become a ‘mutionette’ and work in the Danger Sheds where highly explosive materials were handled; the minimum age was 18. A rebellious teenager, she was accepted at 7 National Filling Factory at Hayes Common. On her way to work on her first morning, she rather dismissed the comments of a woman in the bus queue who, hearing Mabel’s destination, comfortingly confided, this was “one of them terrible places … twelve months come Christmas I lost my eldest … all blowed to bits she was … we never got her body home.”
In Mabel’s Shed, dangers extended beyond high explosives. The machinery they were using to fill shells with amatol had been condemned over a year ago; replacements had arrived but were not yet operational. Soon disaster struck,
A dull flash, a deafening roar and I felt myself being hurled through the air, falling down, down into the darkness. A blinding flash and I felt my body being torn asunder. Darkness, that terrifying darkness, and the agonised cries of the workers pierced my consciousness. (Mabel Lethbridge Fortune’s Grass) Continue reading
- Author: Gillian E Hamer
- Published: December 2013 by Triskele Books
- Category: Paranormal, Thriller
Helen West is coming to terms with her husband’s death and trying to cope with her six-year-old son’s grief. Jake suffers from nightmares, and visions of what he calls his ‘other life’. He talks about a boy called Jacob and a place known only as ‘the island’.
Two seemingly unconnected and totally different storylines play out, one involving Helen West and her son, Jake, a young boy who has distressing night terrors. Helen’s GP is convinced Jake’s nightmares relate to the loss of his father but Helen is equally as sure they have nothing to do with her husband’s death. Her doctor sends her to a leading child psychiatrist whose pompous attitude and treatment of Jake she disliked intensely. Continue reading
It was just by chance we found this tiny little hamlet of Edlingham, which comprises only a small group of houses and sits in a beautiful valley. I love finding unexpected treasures like this. Included in this out of the way place is the medieval 11th century church of St John the Baptist. According to the information booklet in the church, there were earlier wooden structures on the site but the first stone building took shape during the year 1000.
Sometimes it’s nice to see the basic and unpretentious structure without all the opulence and wealth associated with the church in later years. Continue reading
- Author: Harriet Steel
- Published: August 2016 by Stane Street Press
- Category: Mystery, Historical
When Inspector Shanti de Silva moves with his English wife Jane to his new post in the sleepy hill town of Nuala he anticipates a more restful life than police work in the big city entails.
The story is set in 1930’s Ceylon when it was still a British colony. Inspector Shanti de Silva has left the big, bustling city of Colombo behind with no regrets. He and his English wife, Jane, an ex governess, have settled in the much more peaceful town of Nuala where de Silva runs the local police station with the aid of Sergeant Prasanna and Constable Nadar. Continue reading