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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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How Michael

A wealth of musical and artistic talent right on our doorstep

KO-KO! He was the Lord High Executioner of Titipu. It’s the answer to a question I asked a few weeks ago – at the end of my piece on hangman Berry.

Last updated 28 May 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Embalmed Zulu heads – £5,000 at today’s prices, £67 in 1899

“SWEET lass of Richmond Hill. Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.” All together for the next line. You must know it, you must have murdered it often enough. I know I did. Then I’m of an age to have endured horrendously boring weekly school music lessons that consisted mostly of singing, or rather croaking, our way through the pages of the Community Songbook to a piano accompaniment provided by a music teacher, unconvincingly feigning enthusiasm while, no doubt, wondering what misdeeds in a previous existence had condemned him to trying to coax some semblance of musicality out of a bunch of actively uninterested adolescents.

Last updated 21 May 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Jeering, booing and rowdyism at 1917 ladies’ soccer cup final

WE WUZ robbed! That’s what some soccer fans thought.

Last updated 7 May 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

When prize fighters punched, then threw in a Drowsey’s hank

DICK Ditchburn used to work as a pitman at Marley Hill. Being Cumbrian born and bred, it wasn’t too surprising to learn that, as a young man, he’d taken up wrestling. He was a competent wrestler and probably made himself a few pounds, at shows or in tournaments.

Last updated 30 April 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

If beating the misbehaving wife doesn’t work, then just sell her

A QUESTION to all you married men!

Last updated 23 April 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Playing chess blindfold – and against eight opponents at the same time

BLINDFOLD in a room facing eight unseen opponents!

Last updated 16 April 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Wondering what put a spoke in the wheel over Nutsford’s tyre design

WORKINGTON very nearly became home for a highly lucrative bicycle components factory back in 1897, it was projected.

Last updated 9 April 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Henry Curwen, the forgotten man of Anglo-Indian journalism

THUD! A noise I heard every morning when I was on holiday in India. The sound of a newspaper landing on the doormat. There’s something strangely reassuring, when you’re in a foreign land, about having access to a daily English language paper.

Last updated 2 April 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Set an example on drinking too much – close the House of Commons bars

PRICE hikes for strong drink – for our own good, of course!

Last updated 26 March 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Fit punishments and a hangman who turned against hanging

“MY OBJECT all sublime I shall achieve in time – to let the punishment fit the crime, the punishment fit the crime!” Ten bonus points if you can identify the source of this quotation.

Last updated 19 March 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Biscuits, brushes and brooms, sage predictions for prosperity

PREDICTING the future is a chancy business.

Last updated 12 March 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

A Canadian’s rough guide to West Cumbria

“WIFE-KICKING and child-slaying are their drunken amusements – and they turn upon any outsider who attempts to check them.”

Last updated 5 March 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Vagrants – a Victorian problem that we just can’t seem to solve

“HE THAT will not work, neither shall he eat!”

Last updated 26 February 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Championship curling in Cumbria and a massive solid gold medal

BOWLS on ice! That’s how I’ve always thought of curling. But I must confess that I’ve never quite understood what the ‘scrubbers’ were about.

Last updated 12 February 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Long-running debate about reforming the House of Lords

REFORM the House of Lords! It’s a cry on the lips of various pundits and politicos recently. It’s one they make from time to time – whenever they encounter any minor difficulties. And, who knows, they might even mean it this time.

Last updated 5 February 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Old-style patent remedies for the aches and pains of winter

COUGHS and sneezes spread diseases! And I’ve been coughed and sneezed at so many times these past few weeks by persons, of all ages, who haven’t had the common courtesy to use hand, tissue or handkerchief to contain their germ laden expectorations.

Last updated 29 January 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Today Pitcairn islanders burn their boats to mark Bounty Day

RUSSELL McCoy arrived at Birkenhead Docks in May 1881, on board the ‘Harvey Mills’ – an American ship.

Last updated 22 January 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Warmth, comfort, companionship or vile hovels – the pub or home

WORK is the curse of the drinking classes!

Last updated 15 January 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Celebrating their fame with civic naming – how very un-British

I WANT to ask you a question. When next you’re in Workington town centre, standing underneath the lopsided flying saucer perhaps, look out for one of the street signs.

Last updated 8 January 2009
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

Dialect maestro with local roots

OOPS! It’s slap on the wrist time.

Last updated 5 December 2008
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk

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