The Anonymous Widower

Who Was Germaine Necker?

This blue plaque was on the back wall of the old Dickins and Jones building in Regent Street.

Who Was Germaine Necker?

Who Was Germaine Necker?

So who was she? Wikipedia shows she was a very unusual lady for her time. Here is an except.

She was one of Napoleon’s principal opponents. Celebrated for her conversational eloquence, she participated actively in the political and intellectual life of her times. Her works, both critical and fictional, made their mark on the history of European Romanticism.


August 21, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

The Mary Rose

One of the main reasons to go to Portsmouth was to see the Mary Rose.

The building might look rather bland on the outside, but the Tudor warship and the way it is displayed surrounded by objects retrieved from the wreck is truly spectacular.

Some of these pictures were taken from a glass-walled lift that ascends at one end of the museum giving superb views of the ship.

It will become even more spectacular inhopefully 2016, when because the ship will be completed dried out and preserved, they will be able to fully open up the views of the ship.

July 18, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

The UK To Get A Huguenot Heritage Centre

My mother’s family was of Huguenot ancestry, with her father being an engraver of note.

So I was pleased to see an article in The Times saying that a Huguenote Heritage Centre is being set up at The French Hospital in Rochester.

June 29, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Vasa Museum

One of the reasons, I went to Stockholm was to see the Vasa.

I first heard about the ship in my teens, when it was raised from the floor of Stockholm Harbour. The techniques of raising the ship were also detailed in the Meccano Magazine.

It will be interesting to see how the Vasa compares with the Mary Rose.

I must have spent about three hours wandering around the museum and afterwards I felt a lot better, as the humidity in the museum was about 60% to keep the ship [preserved.

June 17, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | 6 Comments

A Blue Plaque In Stepney

I found this blue plaque as I walked back to the Overground from the river.

A Blue Plaque In Stepney

A Blue Plaque In Stepney

Sir William Henry Perkin, FRS 4 July 1907) was an English chemist best known for his discovery, at the age of 18, of the first aniline dye, mauveine. So it is not just today, when people create something amazing before their twentieth birthday! But how many today do such work, when they were born into relatively humble circumstances?

He was certainly one of the world’s greatest chemists.  He is even commemorated by the Americans with the Perkin Medal.

June 2, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Were The Pilgrim Fathers From Essex?

This story started in the Times yesterday and was repeated here in the Telegraph, which throws Grimsby into the mix.

So you can take your pick from any of a number of places!

The choice is yours!

May 1, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

The Evacuation Of The Gibraltarians

I knew little of the history of Gibraltar in the Sec0nd World War, although I did know little bits about its role in naval activities and as a place, where evading servicemen aimed for, to get back home.

But I knew nothing about, what happened to the people of the colony during the war.

As I walked towards the centre of town after landing, I noticed this statue on a roundabout.

It is called the Evacuation Of The Gibraltarians and there is more about the true story here in Wikipedia.

I feel, the story goes a long way to explain, why Gibraltarians want to determine their own future.

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Passing Naval Battles

We were continually passing the locations of famous naval battles. Mostly, where the British gave the French or in later times, the Germans a good kicking.

As we passed through the Bay of Biscay, we passed Quiberon Bay, St. Nazaire and Aix Roads, although we were well offshore.

And then after Corunna, we passed Cape Finisterre, where two battles were fought in 1747 and one in 1805.

Later of course we passed Trafalgar and actually went into Cadiz, where Drake famously singed the King of Spain’s beard.


March 29, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

General Sikorski

General Sikorski was a wartime Polish leader.

The pictures show his statue in Portland Place.

February 4, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

It’s Thirty Years Of Breakfast TV Today

I can remember, when it started and watched the first program. Probably in my attic at The house in Debach, where I was writing Artemis.

I can also remember ;listening to the opening of LBC, the London news station in the flat in the Barbican.

But some things never change.  They showed what was about in 1983 and one was the InterCity 225‘s running out of Kings Cross. Although, they didn’t start running until 1988.  So either I got the identification wrong or the BBC used a wrong clip.

January 17, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 3 Comments