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Remember the great race game Totopoly?

Remember the great race game Totopoly?

At one time or another, most people have played the board game Monopoly. But how many have played Totopoly? A classic horse racing game invented in 1937, I first played it in England with my brothers in the closing years of the Second World War. The game is played with 12 horses on a two-sided […]

Salute to 'The Few'

Salute to ‘The Few’

The closest Royal Air Force base to my hometown of Ipswich, Suffolk, England was Martlesham Heath. Previously, the RAF research and experimental station, it became an operational fighter base when the Battle of Britain began. Its role was to defend the Orwell and Stour estuary between Felixstowe and Harwich and the eastern flanks of London. […]

Restoring the Honour

Restoring the Honour

http://www.youtube.com/user/RoyalHonour Recent surveys have shown overwhelming support for the Honorable Peter Mackay’s decision as Minister of National Defence to restore the historic Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army designations. Congratulations are due to the Government of Canada and the Canadian Senate for their support of this wise decision. It has taken […]

When the world was young

When the world was young

Ten-year old schoolboys, as Shakespeare said, would with satchel and shining morning face, creep snail-like unwillingly to school. On my snail-like way to Rose Hill Public School in Ipswich, Suffolk, England (where the words cast in stone over the junior entrance read not “Kindergarten” but “Mixed Infants”) over 60 years ago now, I would pass […]

'All rank abandon ye who enter here'

‘All rank abandon ye who enter here’

I was recently re-reading Ronald Blythe’s “The View in Winter – Reflections of Old Age” a splendid book by the author of the equally fascinating “Akenfield”. Both books are portraits of English rural life in East Anglia based on interviews with – for the most part – older inhabitants. Interviews with aged men who fought […]

The controversial Wallis Simpson

The controversial Wallis Simpson

My hometown of Ipswich, Suffolk, England was a prosperous settlement when William the Norman landed in 1066. Many famous names have been associated with the town during its long history – from Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII to Lord Nelson and Charles Dickens.  A story in Dickens’ Pickwick Papers is set in the town’s […]

60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain

60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain

Can it really be 60 years ago that I visited the Festival of Britain held on the South Bank of the Thames, London, in May, 1951? The Festival of Britain came 100 years after the Great Exhibition in 1851, which had been a celebration of Victorian industry. The 1951 event, six years after the end […]

Donkeys work at the beach

Donkeys work at the beach

This postcard, over 100 years old, sums up the pleasure of seeing donkeys on the beach. The gentleman with his donkey team appears to be dressed in his Sunday best, complete with bowler hat. The child in front is no doubt waiting for a ride after the photographer has finished taking his pictures. Donkey rides […]

Ransomes manufactured the first grass cutting machine

Ransomes manufactured the first grass cutting machine

The name of Ransomes of Ipswich, Suffolk, England has been known around the world for two centuries. And in recent times I have been reminded on three Prince Edward County occasions of this venerable company from my hometown. The first was when I found a push-lawnmower in a yard sale. The cast iron wheels were […]

The magnificient Paris Galibier bicycle

The magnificient Paris Galibier bicycle

Once upon a time, well over 60 years ago, I (and some other hometown enthusiasts) pedalled all the way from Ipswich to the Herne Hill cycling track in London – some 80 miles each way – to see Reg Harris, who was the professional world sprint champion cyclist in the 1950s. I had a lightweight […]

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