Friday, 21 November 2014

Queen Elizabeth's Little House - A Dean's cut-out story book.

Tucked away from view in the south side of the gardens of Windsor’s Royal Lodge stands a miniature thatched cottage called Y Bwthyn Bach, or The Little House. This delightful book published sometime in the nineteen fifties contains all the pieces necessary to build your own little house.

The house was presented to Princess Elizabeth and her sister Margaret in March 1932 on behalf of ‘the people of Wales’ on the occasion of Elizabeth’s sixth birthday.  The princesses spent many hours cleaning their tiny home and Elizabeth developed a reputation for being very neat and tidy. Over the years, the Queen’s children and grandchildren have also played in the house, and it has recently been completely refurbished.

The dining room with white panelled walls a Welsh dresser with an array of beautiful china and a grandfather clock ticking slowly in the corner. A picture of the Queen Mother hangs over the mantelpiece and there is even a bookcase filled with Beatrix Potter’s little books to ensure the girls never grow bored.

A corner of the garden

No home is complete without a pet (or two)

and a fairy at the bottom of the garden

Ring the front-door bell and step into the sweetest little house you ever saw!

The Royal Family pay a visit the little house c1932.

The back cover of the book showing the finished model.

Complete and in near perfect condition with just slight wear to edges of front cover Queen Elizabeth's Little House contains a build-it-yourself cardboard recreation of Y Bwthyn Bach, The Little House at Royal Lodge.  The book is undated, but I assume it was published at the time of the Queens Coronation in 1953. Arthur Groom tells the story of the building and presenting of the little house.

Thanks for calling in, I hope you enjoyed visiting the little house.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Just Judy or Maybe Not!

Just Judy sounded like a catchy kind of title when I started to write this, but that was before most of the Judy annuals in stock sold. I'm now down to the last three hence the title - Just Judy – or maybe not! 

Judy for girls, 1970;  Lots of stories and picture strips including Fay Farrell nurse, Skinflint School and The Dreams of Alwyn.  Judy for girls, 1962;  Lots of colourful picture strip stories, including Sandra and the Sleeping Beauty (a ballet story), Backstage Betty, Heather in Italy, Joan all-alone, Millicent Churl, Colleen and the last witch, Tricky Trixie and Lillian Dobby. Also full-length stories, including big sister, Anna junior miss, the Queens' champion and Val of the Valley (district nurse story).  Judy for girls, 1966First picture strip story Sandra and the snow ballet, others include Penny the post, The Bolshoi Ballet, Fay Farrell emergency nurse, Polly and her pram and Robin Redbreast of Roxell.

Lucie Attwell's Annual, 1974;  Lots of fairies, Boo-Boos and other pretty things. Illustrations by Mabel Lucie Attwell stories by Penelope Douglas. Teddy Tail Annual, 1954First story the giant butterfly other stories include scarecrows' day, Bobby Bear's Saturday sixpence, and Tottie's swimming pool.  Lots of other Teddy Tail Annuals in stock. Bobby Bear  Annual, 1943First story A day's sport by Aunt Kitsie, other stories include Flowers for the colonel by Gwen Thornber, the wicked uncle by May Sullivan, Mr. Prickety changes his face by Christine E Bradley, M'Zooba of the river by W. H. Morris and a lucky escape by Maud Morin. Lots more Bobby Bear Annuals in stock.  

British Legion Children's Annual,;  Undated c1930s published by Dean, 6 La Belle Sauvage, Ludgate Hill. Deans resided at 6 La Belle Sauvage from 1933 to 1938 so that dates this annual.  First story the smuggler's cave by M. Ransome, other stories include Brown Minor's mistake by M. Gay, the lost boat by Margaret G Rhodes, Red vengeance by M. R. Sherlock, the mysterious highwayman by Arthur Groom, the wolf and the werewolf by Roma Lobel, Dixon's banishment by Eva Gray and every fag has his day by William R Bawden. We have this and one other British Legion Annual in stock at time of writing.  

TV Comic, 1959First story Muffin a tough carrot there is a second Muffin the Mule story called Muffin and the conjurer's rabbit both by Neville Main. Several picture strips, including Bengo by Tim, Bom the little drummer boy by Enid Blyton, and Lenny the lion, also full-length  stories, including Prudence Kitten's nursery school by Molly Blake. A lovely annual just full of memories.  Okay Adventure AnnualUndated c1959. First story - Order to Wellington by John Southcombe illustrated by D. May, other stories include the sea witch by D. L. G. Stainton, the glittering God of N'gai by John Southcombe and the air pirates by D. L. G. Stainton. Other Okay Adventure annuals in stock.  School Friend, 1972Lovely vintage annual, full of stories and picture strips. First picture strip story- the ugly duckling (how Maryon Blake, of St. Winifred's became a Swan thanks to a well-known ballerina), other picture strips stories include the house of dolls, Gail Gulliver, and Bessie Bunter.

Jolly Gnomes Annual, 1951First story the unhappy giant by Samuel Jeans other stories include - fun in the hayfield by Vera Bedford, the old woman and her husband by M. C. Haskins, and Father Christmas and the remarkable snowman by Cledwyn Hughes. There are also picture strips and puzzle pages. Very pretty illustrations by Ern Shaw in full colour and two tone. Sport for Girls, 1951;  Delightful annual, centre section with 16 full-page colour drawings of ladies in sport from 1851 to 1951 drawn by William Bromage also numerous black-and-white  photographs.   Japhet & the ArkubsA British newspaper cartoon strip originally appearing in the Daily News as the Adventures of the Noah Family. This book contains picture strips and stories about the Noah Family who all live at The Ark, Ararat Avenue, London. While their two dogs, a bear, a cat and a goat live in the Little Ark in the back garden. Nice example of a very hard to find title, undated but c1928. 

If you would like further details of the featured annuals please follow the links or visit  March House Books 

I made my first purchase from an Etsy shop last week. The shop in question belongs to my lovely blogging friend Diane. I can’t show you what’s in the parcel because it’s a Christmas present for my sister (shush!) but I can show you the care Diane took with the wrapping and the lovely card that came with it. Diane's Etsy shop is here

I hope your days are filled with sunshine and pretty things...  

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lest we forget

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London;

Terry and I decided to make the trip to London on the last day of the school holidays. There was no reason to choose that day other than the sun was shining.  The train up was busy, and the underground was manic.

Tannoy announcements were advising people not to use the underground stations close to the Tower of London but having made the two-hour trip up to town, there was nothing for it but to grit our teeth and get on with it.  We were there to pay our respects, and we were jolly well going to do so, as were the tens of thousands of other people all intent on doing the same.  

Officials were urging the public to stay away but while their pleas fell on deaf ears, they need not have worried for those that attended were a picture of dignity.  I can’t remember the last time we spoke to so many happy smiling people. It was a wonderful day, and one we will never forget.   

Poppies and People as far as the eye can see.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London marks one hundred years since the first full day of Britain's involvement in the First World War. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper. 

The installation will be completed on Armistice Day, when the 888,246th poppy will be planted into the lawn by a volunteer.  Each of the poppies will be sold to raise money for charities which serve British veterans, including Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion.

In memory of Private Arthur Denis Flitney (my grandfather), who was killed on 16 August 1917. Remembered with honour at the Tyne Cot Memorial to the missing of the First World War. 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Under the temple lay a cave, made by some guilty, coward slave.

The following photographs were taken at the Hellfire Caves in July of this year.  I originally shared them on my family history blog, but they are perfect for Halloween, so I hope you won’t mind me sharing them again here.

Located in West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the Hellfire Caves have a notorious history and are reputed to conceal many mysteries.  They are actually a man-made network of tunnels carved out of the chalk and flint of West Wycombe Hill commissioned by Sir Francis Dashwood.

The caves and the terrible deeds that supposedly went on there were discussed at great length when I was a little girl.  Mutterings of dark deeds, devil worship and debauchery were not intended for my small ears – but I heard, and I remembered!  So an opportunity to visit was not to be turned down.

I felt a little disappointed when we first arrived there were just too many people making too much noise. But, as the saying goes ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ and ghostly noises sound so much better when you are deep underground. As we got further into the tunnels, much of the chatter and squeals died away, and then it began to feel a little cold and distinctly creepy.  I was, however, unprepared for some of the images picked up by my camera.  I would hate to be alone down there, especially if the lights went out! 

The first three photographs are exactly what we saw;

The two photographs that follow have not been changed or altered in any way. The camera settings were completely untouched during our visit. These were taken in a particularly dark part of the caves, so I've no idea why they are so much brighter than all the rest.

I make no claims about what they might show – I leave that to you. Suffice to say I find them very creepy!

Terry and I didn't notice a thing while in the caves, thank goodness! We would have left in a hurry had we seen this!

The ghost hunting team from the TV programme Most Haunted carried out an over-night vigil within the caves during December 2003. They spent the night without lights and members of the team said the caves were the darkest place they had ever visited. During the night, they had many paranormal experiences, seeing orbs of light and hearing noises. Without prior knowledge of the mysterious Hellfire caves Derek Achora, the medium, felt the presence of a young girl dressed in white, and of females dressed in nuns' habits. “Ladies of the night” were said to have worn such attire to disguise themselves whilst entertaining members of the Hellfire Club in the caves.

May you have good luck on Hallowe ' en..

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween. 
Me? I will be hiding under the covers!

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