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Pelham Puppets Antiques

In 2015, Bamford’s suddenly found ourselves completely inundated with over 1,500 Pelham Puppets – stacks of standard ones many rarer ones, mostly boxed and all from one collector in Lincolnshire. All which needed careful cataloguing and which formed the sole component of three sales, 16th September and 5th November that year, followed by the last […]

The Story of JCB

The story of JCB whose distinctive yellow machines are found on almost every building site in the land, goes back to 1945.  This was when Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE (1916-2001) was sacked by his father’s brother for being too entrepreneurial.  As Brian Spencer soon discovered on a visit to the Story of JCB exhibition at […]

Lichfield Town

Over to our right as we drove down the A38, the three graceful spires of Lichfield’s cathedral brought about a change of plan.  As we had never been to Lichfield and were not in any hurry, we decided to make a diversion as Michelin Guides would have it, and spend a couple of hours exploring […]

Local People – The Mystery of Les’s two Tests

By general consent Les Jackson is enshrined as the greatest of all in Derbyshire’s long line of home-produced fast bowlers. During his career, 1947-63, he took 1,733 wickets in first-class matches at a cost of 17.36 each. His 1,670 (860 at home, 810 away) for Derbyshire at 17.11 (1,578 in the Championship) are county records […]

Cawthorn Roman Training Camps

The remains of Roman camps are not exactly scarce, but those at Cawthorn on the North York Moors near Pickering are decidedly different. Brian Spencer went along there to try to understand what went on in them and why some were built to non-standard designs. Soldiers have always needed somewhere to train.  In Britain huge […]

Local People – Tom Hulatt

Tom finished third in the greatest race ‘THE four-minute mile’ Time has not dimmed the lustre of what is arguably the most significant landmark in the history of athletics. The magic and romance from that match between Oxford University Athletic Club (OUAC) and the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) remains. A blustery afternoon at Oxford’s Iffley […]

The Pentrich Rising

Two hundred years ago this month, a group of poor men desperate to feed their families took decisive if impulsive action aimed at overthrowing the government and ending poverty. At the time England’s economy was in a dire state: bad harvests had led to famine and fewer workers were needed because of the Industrial Revolution. […]

Pollyanna’s Wonderful World

From sitting shoulder to shoulder with a mountain gorilla on the slopes of a dormant volcano in Rwanda, to being charged by a wild tiger in the foothills of the Himalayas, Pollyanna Pickering is one of the few artists to have truly travelled the world to get close to her wild subjects. And Pollyanna recently […]

OSLO On A Shoestring

Even the locals complain about the cost of living in Norway, but as we discovered, it is possible to enjoy the delights of Oslo, Norway’s capital without breaking the bank. Many of its attractions are either free or inexpensive, and if you are over sixty, then by asking for an ‘honor rebatt’, (age reduction), prices […]