Friday, 27 August 2010

Lost and Found

A few days ago, I went for a walk along the Lancashire Coastal Way from St Annes to Lytham Green. On the way along the beachside walk, I saw a sock, then a pair of Calvin Klein underpants, the peak of a baseball cap and a single training shoe.

I got to thinking about these somewhat less than treasured items and the wartime theme of 'make do and mend'. If I walked along say eighty miles of coastal footpath - a daunting task to say the least - would I find an entire wardrobe of clothing that would amaze my friends? I am not sure - not that I have any friends anyway.

This episode probably came to mind when I reached Lytham Green where a two-day event was taking place to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The green was smothered with living history re-enactors. Here was a German Army camp, alongside a Russian platoon, next came the US airborne and British soldiers - all in authentic wartime uniforms. There was also a full-size replica Spitfire and wartime pilots sat around in deck chairs awaiting the order to 'Scramble!'

I was especially impressed to witness a flypast of a RAF Dakota transport aircraft and then a display of aerobatics by a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

Anyway, sorry for meandering off the subject. The whole purpose of this post was to ask people what unusual items they have found while out walking? Please share your experiences, here.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Anniversary of Wartime Tragedy

Today is the 66th anniversary of a tragic wartime accident that cost the lives of two teachers, 38 schoolchildren and seven other civilians when an American B-24 Liberator bomber crashed in the Lancashire coastal village of Freckleton.

The aircraft was one of two taking part in a test flight from the then RAF airbase at Warton. A ferocious thunderstorm started and the two aircraft were recalled. One pilot decided to the fly away from the storm, while the other - Lieutenant John Bloemendal attempted to land. A witness saw lighting strike the aircraft and it ended up partially destroying some house and a local cafe. Part of the bomber collided with a classroom packed with infants, its fuel tanks catching alight. All three members of the plane's crew also died.

At the rear of the churchyard of Holy Trinity, the memorial is a poignant sight and it is very moving to read the names of all the children who died.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sad Momento

During a recent visit to a small Lancashire churchyard, I came across this sad momento of a small dog cuddling a slipper on the grave of someone remembered fondly as a loving Grandad. Spot the snail!


Just a note to mention that I am now a permanent resident of Lancashire, but still haven't found a permanent home, although one is being considered . . . This means I am without broadband and I have been unable to upload photographs via the local library computers. Today, I found out why I have not been able to get a wifi link in the library - it works only on Internet Explorer or Firefox - silly me was using Safari!

I have just managed to replace the ultra low resolution image of the multi-angel headstone on my Brookwood post on my Graveyard Detective blog - take a look - and so now I am reconnected - during library opening hours and work permitting! I have not been idle and have been visiting some amazing cemeteries and churchyards and sorting out some interesting vernacular photography items. I look forward to surprising you all shortly!