Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Start of the Advent Calendar of Christmas

Starting tomorrow I shall be keeping an online Advent Calendar of Christmas as "advertised" on Geneabloggers - here are the prompts:

December 1 - The Christmas Tree

December 2 - Holiday Foods

December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

December 4 - Christmas Cards

December 5 - Outdoor Decorations

December 6 - Santa Claus

December 7 - Holiday Parties

December 8 - Christmas Cookies

December 9 - Grab Bag

December 10 - Christmas Gifts

December 11 - Other Traditions

December 12 - Charitable/Volunteer Work

December 13 - Holiday Travel

December 14 - Fruitcake – Friend or Foe?

December 15 - The Holiday Happenings!

December 16 - Christmas at School

December 17 - Grab Bag

December 18 - Christmas Stockings

December 19 - Christmas Shopping

December 20 - Religious Services

December 21 - Christmas Music

December 22 - Christmas and Deceased Relatives

December 23 - Christmas Sweetheart Memories

December 24 - Christmas Eve

Monday, 29 November 2010

Swans on the Wey

I periodically do a Google search with the words Swans on the Wey to see what it displays. Usually I get a whole pile of entrys which reflect each of the words individually, even with the phrase in quotes, but today, I stuck almost lucky.

I stumbled across a lovely painting at a Blog called Don's Adventures
and I simply has to post a comment on that Blog.

The painting,of two graceful swans on the River Wey in Surrey England reminds me of a painting that I saw in an art gallary in the shopping centre in Sutton (Surrey). My Grandmother died in April 1995 and it was just after this that I saw the painting. I was enthralled with it. I had the feeling in the pit of my stomach that I "wanted that painting". The shop was closing so I was unable to go in. Thinking that I was "safe" I left it to the next day.

I went back the next day to find the painting had left the window, I hoped it has been moved, but alas sold and taken by the new owners. I felt almost distraught for a paining that I could never own. I wish I knew who the artist was, but alas all I can remember was the title Swans on the Wey, which was perfect as I have lots of memories of my beloved Grandmother feeding the Swans on the River Wey which was at the end of her garden.

Thanks go to Don for sharing such a lovely picture and bringing to life some lovely and treasured memories.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Who was Rani Maharaj Singh?

As I said in an earlier post I managed to photograph some images that were originally camcordered back in 1993. This is two of those images.

These photo shows my later Father in Law, Derek Goucher's first cousin Florence Ramage nee Worship along with someone called Rani Maharaj Singh. I had known from stories told to me that Florence and her husband John had spent some time in India, and there are photos to confirm that. They clearly moved in the Indian Society circles of the times - which would have been the early to mid 1950s, so just after Independence from the "British Empire"

So who was Rani Maharaj Singh? The photographs were taken to commemorate the YMCA Carnival in 1953

Florence Ramage nee Worship

Florence Ramage nee Worship

Rani Maharaj Singh was the wife of the first Indian Governor of Bombay (1948 - 1952), the Honorable Raja Maharaj Singh. In 1949 She led Bombay's City Council for child welfare with funds that had been pledged by UNESCO.

In 1952 Rani Maharaj Singh is mentioned in the Day books of Eleanor Roosevelt. With the entry for 11th March 1952 reading ".....We returned on time for a luncheon given by the Governor and Her Excellency, Rani Maharaj Singh. It has been a great joy to have Mrs. Pandit here, for she is the most thoughtful hostess imaginable........."

So it would appear that Rani Maharah Singh held quite a place in the history of India and it really is quite interesting how she came to meet Florence Ramage, perhaps at a fund raising event.

Goucher Video / DVD

Back in 1993 we had the opportunity to video a selection of material that my father in law had of his family.

We recorded the material initially on a camcorder tape then transfered it to Video and more recently to DVD. I have now managed to photograph the photographic images using my iPhone. Now the images are OK, not brilliant, but OK and at least I can work with them. It was a nice couple of hours having a look at the material. There was information that I had forgotten we had. Which just shows it is good to go back to basics once in a while.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Recipe - Wheat Wine

Recipe written by my Great Grandmother- Annie Prudience Butcher nee Harris. Written circa 1965

Recipe - Wheat Wine
Originally uploaded by AnglersRest

Monday, 22 November 2010

A glimpse from the Antiques Roadshow

I was catching up with my viewing of the BBC Antiques Roadshow from last week (14th November 2010) when a rather interesting item came upon the screen.

The item was described as a ham stand, and of slickware and contained a genealogical mystery. The photo is not terribly good, although I am rather impressed with the result from a iPhone via a pause replay of a TV program!

The details on the stand are as follows:

M representing the surname and both the bride and groom had the initial of J for their respective forenames. The fish symbol implies that the groom was either associated with the fishing industry or a keen fisherman. The name of Clapham refers to the location of the wedding and the date if September 3rd, 1787.

So who were J & J M and where is the Clapham refered to on the plate?

It does stand to reason that anyone who could afford a plate that would house a ham that size would come from a household of some income and thus could be an angler, rather than a fisherman living on a tiny income, but at this stage in the research I must not jump to any concluions.

Oh, the estimate given to this rather fascinating antique was between £2,500 and £3,500.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

A Genealogical Wonder ......

Last week I heard once again from a contact in Canada with whom I share a distant connection, through the KING & EASTWICK lines of my family.

The KING daughters, there were seven of them are alike to the daughters of Mr & Mr Bennett in Jane Austin novel. All the daughters and their brother had a connection to India & the East India Company. More on that side of the family later.

The contact wrote that she had a picture of a painting that depicted three of the sisters. The painting was painted by the artist Thompson and was painted in 1795. The painting is mentioned in two books that connect to the family, An Honourable Company by Margaret Bellaisis and A Master Mariner by Captain R. W. Eastwick and has a lovely romantic story attached to it.

Thompson took a fancy to the younger of the sisters in the painting - Lucy King and proposed marriage. When Lucy declined he refused the finish the painting and retained it. Twenty five years later Lucy who by then was known as Mrs Eastwick was walking through London and noticed Thompson, she asked her son to go after him and when he saw who it was asked Lucy and her son to accompany him back to his home where he revealed the painting which had he said been completed from memory. Thompson then gave the painting to Lucy. The painting is in the hands of the family, sadly not this part of the family!

But isn't the painting a beauty?

Lucy Eastwick nee King is the lady on the far right of the painting. As I said the painting was done in 1795, and for me to now see a copy of it is simply wonderful. Thanks to my contact PP for sharing this with me.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A quick catch up....

For just over the last two weeks I have had a dreadful cold, which has developed into a chest infection and I have felt rubbish for days. I didn't therefore do much I what I planned to do during my recent annual leave, which is very frustrating. That said I have caught up on some reading, watch this space for a review of another three James Paterson books. I have also caught up on some rest.

Last Friday there was a burst water main near us, and we were without water for about 3 hours. As we have been poorly we have had heating on a bit and the pressure on our heating boiler dropped and then ceased working. The boiler refused to work until the pressure in the system was increased and that could not be increased because of the burst water main and then the subsequent reroute of the water supply. I phoned the water company - South West Water and was told I could apply for compensation and I would receive a call within 2 days.

On Monday a chap phoned me. He was deeply sorry but we were not inconvienced enough to qualify for the compensation of, drum roll please, are your ready? £20. Yes that is right the most expensive water company in the UK can not give us compensation of £20. When I asked why the chap was simply not prepared to do the right thing, he simply said "What is the right thing" my response was if he had to ask a customer then perhaps he should reflect on his manager role.....well I assume that he was a manager he did not introduce himself at the start of the conversation nor did he state his role at the water company. For all I know he was the guy digging the hole at the burst main last Friday. Anyway, it is not about the money, I've been known to spend more than £20 on books, for me it was about the principle of the whole event.

As I was already in a grumpy mood, I then made a telephone call to the warrenty company with whom we have a package with for our car. At the end of October we took the car for an MOT and service and a few bits needed to be done, of course! - so we had a bit of a debate with the warrenty company on the deliberate vagueness of the coverage of the package we have. We agreed on a price and I sent off the paperwork as requested on 27th Oct with a note requesting "prompt re-embursement would be appreciated", so there I was realising that 3 weeks on I still had not had the cheque. I telephoned them and was advised that it takes 4 weeks to raise a cheque, when I challenged and said that we had received the warrenty book back after 10 days and that I didn't understand why a cheque could simply have not been included, I was given the complex answer of "it couldn't" I give up, in sad comprehension that for these appauling bouts of poor service I have actually paid for them.

On Monday afternoon I came across at the back of the filing cabinet in my study a pile of floppy discs, when I say pile there was about 300 of them that represent the period of 1999 - 2002 online. Copies of letters, research notes, emails and various work and professional work documents, plus all the material from my degree course. My laptop doesn't have a floppy drive and neither does hubbys. Our desktop does and might be replaced over the next few months, so I sat on Tuesday afternoon with 300 floppy disc, a cup of tea and a pile of tissues and dropped and dragged all the data from all the discs into a folder on our external hard drive. A very boring job and I probably won't even look at the data that was on those discs, but I can if I want to. I did come across a few bits of real interest, that I thought I had lost so perhaps it wasn't time wasted afterall?BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A pension surprise

Over the last year or so I have looked at the Financial Times online, mainly with a view to us doing some preparation for the future. This morning I spotted an article "Pensions: a long and a happy one - but not for trustees"

This article can be found at:

The article mentioned the company that I work for, but what was especially interesting was that a barrister had ploughed through old cases to provide examples to illustrate the risk of pension scheme members living longer than expected.

The fascinating example provided was of a widow from the US called Alberta Martin who died in 2004 who had been in receipt of a war pension from her late husband who had fought in the American Civil War of 1861-1865.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Graves, Tombs & Memorials by Trevor Yorke

Graves, Tombs & Memorials by Trevor Yorke and published by Countryside Books, 2010, £5.99. ISBN - 978 1 84674 202 6

Published as part of the Britain’s Living History Series, this slim volume, for the book contains just 64 pages, yet contains a wealth of information. Written in a clear easy to read format with photographic illustrations and broken down into chapters complete with a concluding index.

This book encourages us to delve beyond the name and dates on the headstone, and to look further at the style of the Memorial, the graphics upon it and the even the types of stone used to make it. Readers are encouraged to get out and about and explore their local churchyard using the knowledge within the book to gain further information about those commemorated upon the stones.

The book further explores the how the churchyard and cemetery evolved within our Society, the styles of stones over the ages and how burial practices have changed with a the later section of the book dedicated to understanding the various carvings and what they mean, giving further information of the person they are dedicated to.

This book is a welcome addition to any genealogist and family historian bookshelf and really does encourage us to get out their and explore.

Book Review for Federation of Family History Societies book club November 2010.

Friday, 5 November 2010

4th of July by James Patterson

An arrest goes horribly wrong and Lindsay is being sued for not only killing a suspect who shot her but seriously hurting another suspect. While Lindsay is suspended awaiting her trial she stumbles into the crime scene of another police force and can not help herself and soon enlists the help of the Women's Murder Club, which is now reduced in numbers following the murder of one of the members in the last book.......

3rd Degree by James Patterson

Out for a morning jog Lindsay rescues a child from a burning building. The house contains 3 dead bodies, a missing baby and a missing au pair. A mystery message left at the scene of the fire leads Lindsay and the Women's Murder club members hot on the trail of a killer or two.

2nd Chance by James Patterson

The second book in the addictive series of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay and her friends are hot on the trail of the latest killer. What looks to be a random shooting is actually a vendetta against the police, again with twist at the end of the book.


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