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Doon the Watter #Nostalgia on the Clyde

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The pictures in this post come from “Clyde Water” by Maurice Lindsay published in 1958.  Mansions and marine villas in Dunoon and other seaside villages in the firth of Clyde were built by merchants, self-made men who dealt in tea, tobacco, soap, coal, iron and steel, ships and railway engines.  During the 1930s houses on the west coast of Scotland were still being taken for the summer as they had been at Bournemouth in Edwardian times.

In his book, Maurice reminisces on his childhood memories of trips, “Doon the watter,” in the 1930s. He describes his first voyage on RMS Columba from Broomielaw in Glasgow thus,

‘We set out on the first of July; mother and father, nurse, four children, dog, cat and goldfish.  A great deal of luggage had to be taken.  We got up at five in the morning and a horse-drawn cart arrived at six to carry the luggage down to the quay.  I was given the job of guarding the cat while the luggage was being grunted and manoeuvred round the bends of the staircase.  …

What did they do with the Workhouse boys? #Navy #WorldWar

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As the 19th century turned into the 20th Boards of Guardians all over England struggled to deal with the increasing number of young people in their charge.  They tried to move children out of the Workhouses into Cottage or Scattered Homes and from there, most of the girls went into service, but they were anxious to find employment for the boys which would keep them out of trouble.  One solution was a Sail Training Ship, a specialised kind of industrial school.  I have been researching the boys from Guildford who went to TS Exmouth at Grays in Essex.  They were only accepted if they were physically fit and the boys had to show willingness to undertake the training.  As this was a few years before the First World War, many of these young men were in the navy or merchant navy during that time.  This is the story of a few of them.
Percy Dewberry

Percy Dewberry was born in November 1900 at Stoke Hill Farm Cottage, Guildford, as his father was a cowman.  Later the family moved to West Moles…

Olhaõ in the Algarve

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When we have visitors staying with us in the Algarve, we like to take them to Olhaõ, a fishing town where you can find ferries to take you across the Ria Formosa to the sandy beaches across the lagoon.  Driving in from the west, you first pass large piles of salt from the salt pans and then turn onto the long, wide esplanade, alongside the marina.  The tree lined walk is reminiscent of walks by the sea in the early 20th century.


During the French occupation of the Algarve by Napoleon’s soldiers, during the Peninsular Wars, a rebellion occurred in Olhaõ on 16 June 1808, resulting in the eventual expulsion of the French from Olhão and later the entire Algarve.



A month later, 17 fishermen set out for Brazil on a caique named Bom Sucesso, hoping to persuade the Portuguese Royal family to return to Portugal.  A replica of this vessel is moored up by the market buildings in  Olhaõ.





Walking through the narrow streets of Moorish style houses you soon reach the church of Nossa Senhora do Rosári…

#WordlessWednesday Balconies in Olhão #Algarve

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Quarteira fish market #SixWordSaturday

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Visiting the fish market in Quarteira










Great Dunmow

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I recently visited Great Dunmow, in search of the church where some of my ancestors worshipped.  After parking in the centre we discovered that the church is on the edge of the small town, some twenty minutes away, but this gave us the opportunity to see the lovely Doctors Pond and some of the beautiful pargeted cottages.
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The church is set in a very large graveyard with pleasant walks to the river and rabbits scampering among the graves.

Inside there are some stunning modern stained glass windows.

I was thrilled to find these small monumental brasses half hidden behind an altar near the west tower.  I learnt about them from "The Glasscock Families" by Rev. Laurence Glasco.  I have my distant cousin Barbara in America to thank for sending me copies of pages from his book.  We know they relate to our family as they show the crest of the Glasscock family, many of whom were early emigrants to America.

Although there are many beautiful carved tombstones around the church I was u…

Two Essex Village Churches #MondayBlogs

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Last week I visited seven of the churches in rural Essex where members of my family were baptised or buried.  These are the first two which we saw.  Sadly only one was unlocked.  Moreton is one of the many villages which are reached by small winding lanes, but the church includes architecture from pre-Norman times with changes and additions over the years.  Originally built of flint and clunch, a soft, chalky limestone, the walls have been strengthened by replacing the clunch with more durable stone.  The tower is built in red brick with a lower shingled spire and there is a typical Essex wooden weather-boarded porch.  The windows date from the 15th, 18th and 19th centuries.


There was a tradition of Dissenting Ministers in Essex so it was a pleasure to find this memorial to Rev. S. Gaffee.



St Mary the Virgin, Matching is reached by driving along a single track road past a beautiful pond.  The village has changed very little since the 18th century.
This was the smartest church we visi…