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The National Stone Centre

Travelling back in time a few millenia, Brian Spencer describes what the Peak District looked like when land that became the British Isles was part of a tropical island situated near the Equator. A series of small inter-connected abandoned  limestone quarries off the road to Ashbourne, near the top of the hill marking the boundary […]

Taste Derbyshire – Spotted Calf Cafe

There’s something a bit magical about the Spotted Calf café – the small but perfectly formed off-spring of the Spotted Cow pub at Holbrook.  It’s not just the quality of the coffee – roasted to perfection in the Derbyshire Peaks – or the tanginess of the home-made lemon polenta cake. It’s the cosy, welcoming nature […]

Images of The North

With an introductory splutter, the public address system announced, first in Norwegian, then in English and German, that we were summoned by King Neptune to assemble on the after-deck to receive our icy baptism.  During the night a few hours previously we passed a small island at exactly 66°33’51’’ north, marked by a globe tilted […]

Modern Collectibles – Teddy Bear

Toy animals have been around since the days of Ancient Egypt, but bears only since the 18th century, and genuinely cuddly ones, made of plush stuffed with something that will take a squeeze, only became available as a manufactured item in the 19th century. However, the all-encompassing soubriquet’ Teddy’ owes its origins in this context […]