Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

This is Jean’s paternal grandmother Jane Mackenzie who was born in 1870. The photo was taken around 1888.


This week’s quote - When saving for old age, be sure to put away a few pleasant thoughts. (Anon)


I THOUGHT IT WAS A JOKE, but no, it’s absolutely true!

The Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina is having a bible-burning event at Hallowe’en, and are urging everyone to bring bibles - that is, with the exception of the King James Version which is the only one God approves of! They give also a long list of authors whose books they want to destroy, and the writers include Billy Graham, Mother Teresa and the Pope!!!

It looks as if they’re going to have a marvellous time, for they promise great preaching and singing plus a barbeque.

Well, I don’t wish them any harm, but with any luck a spark from the bonfire might set their church alight!!!


FORGOTTEN FAVOURITES  - My choice this time is a song which was an international success -  “Suddenly there’s a valley” sung here by Jo Stafford. Edith Piaff had a hit with the French version in 1956 and Petula Clark’s record made the top ten in the UK. I was surprised to learn that Vera Lynn recorded the song in German, the title of which translates as “Follow your heart’s advice.”


This is a preliminary notice of a new a new website which I am devising. It begins very appropriately on Hallow’een Saturday 31st October -



I was looking again at the film of the Band of Hope procession, which was shown in this blog last week, and I noticed that, among the many banners on display, there was one “The Ragged School.”

This reminded me that, when I was a child, my mother used to say that my father had been a pupil at the “ragged” school. Despite the fact that I knew both my parents went to the same primary school, I pictured him as a small boy dressed in rags.

Realising that I didn’t know anything about the subject, I decided to rectify this. I’ve discovered that it all began in 1818 when a shoemaker called John Pounds started to teach poor children free of charge.

The concept soon spread with the work of people like Rev Thomas Guthrie in Edinburgh and Sheriff Watson in Aberdeen. There was a big leap forward in 1844 when Lord Shaftsbury founded the Ragged Schools Union, and by 1870, when the Education Act was passed, the number of such schools had reached 350.


This is a short clip from the 1936 film Modern Times, for which Charlie Chaplin was responsible for the script, the music, the direction and the production, and of course he starred in it. I remember thinking “what a great picture!” when our parents took us to see it probably in 1938.


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