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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.  …

Overseers of the Poor #ParishChest

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Recently I’ve been reading the Berkshire Parish Overseers’ Records. They give a comprehensive view of how the poor and needy were provided for at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th.  The Overseers were respectable men from the middle class selected annually to administer funds available for the poor in their parish.
When there was doubt if an individual came from your parish, Removal or Settlement Orders were made, so that each pauper was helped in their own parish, not a place they had moved to.  In 1816 when her husband was away in the army, Mary Warner was removed from the town of Reading to her home village of Pangbourne, since she would receive no money to support their family from his army pay until he returned home.

Earlier in 1798, one soldier whose wife had been allowed to accompany him, wrote home from the island of Jersey begging for assistance.

The Overseers needed to provide employment for orphans and needy children in their parish and the best solution …

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…