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Lead Smelters of the Peak District

The Derbyshire Peak was once the major supplier of lead in the world.  There is the possibility of lead being dug from close to the surface in pre-Roman times, but it was one of the reasons why Rome decided to annexe Britain to its empire.  There is a folk memory of a kind of concentration […]

Images of Donegal & Ulster

Only a country like Ireland could have its most northerly point in the south, but as Brian Spencer discovered on a recent visit, that is part of the enjoyment of a visit to this delightful neighbour of ours across the Irish Sea. An early start from Slack’s Coaches at Matlock brought us to Holyhead’s seaport […]

Stowe Gardens

One of Capability Brown’s earliest works, Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire was looking at its best when Brian Spencer visited it during a recent autumn break. The gardens of Grade 1 listed Stowe House are the idyllic setting for Stowe School.  The public school sits at the top of rising ground overlooking grounds that are, as […]

Modern Collectibles – Wade Whimsies

Wade is a manufacturer of porcelain and earthenware originally with its headquarters in Burslem, part of what is now Stoke-on-Trent. Its history is complex and tortuous, but goes back to 1867 when three family firms were set up by various Wades in the potteries, now Stoke-on-Trent. The firm which nearly a century later introduced these […]

Taste Derbyshire – Yummy Mummies

As childcare costs rise, two thirds of mums surveyed* said they would love to run a business from home. Taste Derbyshire spoke to three mums who have made the dream a reality by turning their passion for food into a family-friendly business. Sitting in a sun-drenched café in Derbyshire, Michelle Belsom and I are talking […]

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show

Brian Spencer looks back on 2018 when describing what will be on offer in 2019 Unlike Show Gardens at Chelsea, those at Chatsworth are far more practical, giving ideas for what can be created in the average domestic plot. Now in its third year at Chatsworth, the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) newest Show, RHS Chatsworth […]

Stowe Gardens

One of Capability Brown’s earliest works, Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire was looking at its best when Brian Spencer visited it during a recent autumn break. The gardens of Grade 1 listed Stowe House are the idyllic setting for Stowe School.  The public school sits at the top of rising ground overlooking grounds that are, as […]

Modern Collectibles – Shell Guides

Being the sort of universal hack that I am (when it comes to writing history), in the days before the internet I always needed a handy guide to various counties which would give me a little local colour combined with compressed highly reliable fact. I always found Arthur Mee too cumbersome and The King’s England […]