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Tuesday, 21 March 2006
Sharpville Day


On this day in 1960, the police at Sharpville in South Africa opened fire on a peaceful demonstration, killing 69 people and injuring 189.  Of the dead 8 were women and 10 were children.

Contemporary Report from the BBC
Conclusions of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission
zaBlogger’s commemorative blog entry from last year

Posted by bigblue on 21/03/2006 at 09:25 PM
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Rolling and Shaking

Trucks at night

I did not take the above photographs while driving, unlike (cough cough) some other people do from time  to time.  Perhaps I should clarify: I did not take these photographs. I found them, discarded like a rag in a bin, at a service station on the M1 motorway.

In fact everything you wanted to know (but were too afraid to ask) about wheelie bins, Measham, renovating your house, cats, and even our workplace can be found over in Bimbles Around Britain.  This is from the same person who is our local expert on megalithic housing estates.

For the rest of the British blogosphere there is always the latest Roundup of British Blogs.

Posted by bigblue on 21/03/2006 at 12:29 AM
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Saturday, 18 March 2006
Hay Bluff

Hay Bluff

This is Hay Bluff, 677 metres high and a spot for hang-gliding (in summer).  The couple in the photograph have just decended and are returning to the car park.  The car park (adjacent to the Pen-y-beacon) is already high above the Wye valley, so the ascent is a mere 420 metres from this point. Directions on how to get here and the route of the walk can be found at the Walk Scene site.

Posted by bigblue on 18/03/2006 at 07:40 PM
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Thursday, 16 March 2006
Time the Avenger

Swadlincote hall

When I saw the slogan below the clock on the town hall I thought of the Pretender’s song:

Nobody’s perfect
Not even a perfect stranger ...

Time, time, hear the bells chime
Over the harbor and the city
Time, one more vodka and lime
To help paralyze that tiny little tick, tick, tick ...

The town fathers (and mothers, if indeed they were involved) of Swadlincote are more likely to have had in mind the words of the scoundrel Lord Byron when choosing a slogan for their clock:

Oh Time! the beautifier of the dead, adorer of the ruin, comforter and only healer when the heart hath bled… Time, the avenger!

The Swadlincote Town Hall was built in 1861 by public subscription, on West Street which is the High Street of Swadlincote.

According to the Swadlincote History Trail (pdf link) site:

In the Domesday Book of 1086, Swadlincote is recorded as just a small village in the more important parish of Church Gresley. Now, however, Swadlincote is South Derbyshire?s largest town. The population at the beginning of the 21st
century was around 30,000 people.

The use of the word town is, perhaps, misleading. Swadlincote is made up of three separate settlements - Swadlincote, Church Gresley and Newhall. These combine with the parishes of Woodville and Castle Gresley to form a band of development across the southern part of the District - lying between Burton on Trent in the west and Ashby de la Zouch in the east.

There are some interesting photos of Swadlincote at the Derby Photos site, including a better quality summertime version of the one above.

Swadlincote has produced the photographer Chris Waller. His catalogue on SamizPhot is here.  I was somewhat surprised however to see that there are no photos tagged Swadlincote on Flickr (at the time of writing). They hide themselves well.

Posted by bigblue on 16/03/2006 at 09:03 PM
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Wednesday, 15 March 2006

Carphone Warehouse Posters

I just wanted to say that I think the posters at a well known mobile phone company have looked really good lately. I hope that the person responsible is being well rewarded.

Link du jour: Goocam, which combines a Google map with open/unprotected CCTV camera streams found using Google searches.

Posted by bigblue on 15/03/2006 at 09:46 PM
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Tuesday, 14 March 2006


This is the largest stone of the megolithic stone circle known as Pen-y-beacon (Blaenau). Situated at the foot of Hay Bluff, it was believed until recently to be the remains of a cairn, or a burial chamber.  This stone is 1.5 metres high and 1.1 metres wide. Flanked by a series of smaller stones it helps to make up a circle that is 30 metres in diameter.  (Source).  A brief historical overview of this landscape can be found on the Clyd Powys Archaeological Trust website.  This unfortunately doesn’t explain the cratered landscape which is visible behind the standing stone.

Posted by bigblue on 14/03/2006 at 11:19 PM
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Monday, 13 March 2006
No sign of them

Slow Men Crossing

I find it useful when driving around the country that there are signs every now and again warning you of Slow Police in the nearby vicinity. If one is needing directions, but in a hurry, then you know to drive on to the next town and ask the police there.  If however time is not of the essence, then you can always stop and ask the local police.

I was therefore interested to see the makeshift sign above, in Ashby-de-la-Zouch today but disappointed that there were no slow men at the crossing. I had just popped out of work, and couldn’t hang around in the hope of seeing them. Who knows how long they would take to get there.

Posted by bigblue on 13/03/2006 at 11:32 PM
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Friday, 10 March 2006
Cheese Market

King Henry VII of England and Wales

This photo better shows the position of the statue of King Henry VII on the side of the building in Hay-on-Wye.  The building is on the site of the original town hall, and was at some stage a covered cheese market. It is still used as a covered market: one day they were selling books and another day it was local food stuffs.

The local artist who produced the sculpture is Edward Folkard F.R.B.S,  sculptor in clay of the human form up to life-size. Market Street, Builth Wells.

Posted by bigblue on 10/03/2006 at 10:10 PM
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