Monthly Archives: August 2015

Billy Ruffian

Frindsbury is a small town in Kent, opposite Rochester on the Medway, and from time to time regarded as part of that cathedral city, which Dickens used as the model for Cloisterham in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, his last, … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: August

This month’s object is a painting from the Museum of Cambridge: it depicts the famous carrier Thomas Hobson, whose method of business brought the expression ‘Hobson’s Choice’ into the language, and who was a great benefactor of the town of … Continue reading

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1876: Annus Normalis?

Him Indoors is trying to persuade me that what we really need to make us happy in our declining years is the expenditure of large amounts of money in order to recondition his piano, made by the great firm of … Continue reading

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All Saints’ Church

I was walking up Jesus Lane the other day, and All Saints’ church was open. This Victorian pile was, for a long period in my Cambridge life, locked and threatened with demolition. Only about one hundred years after it was … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: August

This month’s plant is the dahlia: they are everywhere at the moment, in their incredible variety, and I know almost nothing about them. I’m not even sure I like them all that much – their colours, and especially the complex … Continue reading

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Compositae

… or Asteraceae, if you prefer, are basically the daisy family, ranging in size from the largest sunflowers to the smallest common daisy, Bellis perennis, and encompassing shrubs, vines and trees as well as the familiar herbaceous varieties. In terms … Continue reading

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Twelve Things I Didn’t Know About Regensburg

We have just spent a long weekend in Regensburg, about which I thought I knew one Big Thing: the Diet of Ratisbon, 1541 (how A-level history still lingers, 50 years on…). But with the aid of some determined mooching about … Continue reading

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The Phone Book

One of the less likely treasures of the Museum of Cambridge is the two-sheet Cambridge telephone directory for 1896–7. (The National Telephone Company set up in Cambridge in 1892.) It is interesting equally for the names it lists as for … Continue reading

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Paper Flowers Revisited

The British Museum has on display one of the copper plates which Sir Joseph Banks commissioned to be engraved for his planned ‘Natural History’ of the Endeavour voyage. I’m grateful to Sarah McDonald (@Artboretum), Heritage Collections Manager at the RHS … Continue reading

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