March 26, 2020

Ask the residents of Swansea who Swansea Jack is and you are likely to hear several different answers. One person will tell you that any man born in the town is a Swansea Jack. Another might explain that coalminers around Swansea used to eat their lunch from a tin call...

January 8, 2020

Speaking with a reader at a recent book fair I was interested to learn he'd been a boy-scout in Kenya and, every Sunday morning after church parade, his troop would spend time tidying Baden-Powell's grave. Today is the anniversary of Baden-Powell's death and the annive...

December 15, 2019

When William Trench visited a group of islands off the coast of Anglesey known as The Skerries he came up with a money making idea. The name Skerry derives from the Old Norse word ‘Sker’ meaning small rock or reef. The position and rocky nature of the islands made them...

November 26, 2019

On the 26th November 1805 Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, designed by Thomas Telford, opened to great fanfare. It carried the canal, across the River Dee at the incredible height of 126ft (38m). The aqueduct built on stone pillars carried the water in huge cast iron sections an...

November 17, 2019

Ernest Neap shuffled forward in the queue. He didn't feel conspicuous in his raincoat and white roll necked shirt. In fact, he'd dressed like that to blend in; to merge into the crowd.
Shouts of, 'Tickets please?' galvanised the people ahead of him into action; reachin...

November 3, 2019

In 1760, the Prime Minister, William Pitt, stated. ‘The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the force of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake the wind may blow through it. The rain may enter. The storms may enter. But the king of England may no...

October 20, 2019

    "Did you remember to bring it?" asks Sarah. I check again to make sure it's still there. The silver brooch in my pocket feels warm in my hand. A light drizzle is falling as we wait on the platform. Water drips from a broken gutter on the front of the passenger shel...

October 6, 2019

Once a grand three storey building, Orielton Banqueting Tower, now stands alone and neglected in the south western corner of Wales. The tower’s gaily decorated rooms, bright fireplaces and fancy ceiling were abandoned more than a hundred years ago. Since then, nature h...

September 20, 2019

It was 1975 and my first visit to Soho Foundry, Birmingham, Head Office of W & T Avery Limited weighing machine manufacturers. Soho Foundry, built in 1796 during the industrial revolution by Matthew Boulton and James Watt, has been called the cradle of the industrial r...

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