Seventy at Seventy

Life Begins at 70

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[67] Let Them Eat Cake

[67] Let Them Eat Cake – A Blog of Food and Drink

The first thing to say about this familiar saying is that it is a mistranslation. It never meant ‘Let them eat cake.’ We have to see it in the context of French culture and French cuisine.

‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche’, meant, ‘Let them eat brioche,’ and what the French call a brioche is not a cake. It’s a luxury form of bread enriched with butter and eggs, perhaps more like pastry.

(You may have a pain au chocolat as a nice treat with your coffee. If this is your only experience of this delicacy you would think of it as a cake. You may not think of it as a breakfast item. But the French have croissants and pains au chocolat with their breakfast where we have toast and marmalade. The word ‘pain’ even means bread or it can mean a loaf. Sorry about the correct French plural.)

So if the French peasants didn’t have baguettes or croissants for their breakfast it wasn’t quite so outlandish suggesting brioches. It didn’t mean ‘Why don’t they have Black Forest Gateau?’

The other important thing to note is that it was almost certainly never said by Marie Antoinette, the wife of Louis XVI. It’s not the only popular saying to be misattributed!

It appears in the Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and was written when Marie Antoinette, then Archduchess Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna, was nine years old living in Austria. He attributes it to ‘a great princess.’ It may have been said a hundred years before Marie Antoinette by Marie-Thérèse, the wife of Louis XIV.

It is unlikely that Mari Antoinette would have made such a callous statement.


I looked at various possible titles for something about Food and Drink and its provisional title was ‘Food, Glorious Food,’ from the musical ‘Oliver.’ You will see soon why the emphasis on cake seemed appropriate.

It’s going to be a relaively short blog post. You have already seen some of what I had to eat on my Birthday.

And you have seen some of my cooking skills at Christmas.

I don’t only do desserts at Christmas.

The first one is a sort of Bakewell Tart – the same recipe as Christmas but a few weeks earlier. (It’s a posh Bakewell. Officially it’s a frangipane.) The second one from a couple of months later is completely different – with rhubarb. (I’m an unbiased commentator. They were all delicious!)


There is something about the ‘English Breakfast’ that keeps its name even though we hardly ever have it at home now. It is still offered routinely in hotels and until recently it was always sold at Motorway Services and at Slimbridge.

Very recently it has disappeared from many places. Motorway Services now just have the familiar Costa or Starbucks coffee and national burger chains. Slimbridge now just does Bacon sandwiches.


I sometimes have lunch out and I have to admit to Fish and Chips as a favourite. If it come with posh ‘Fine Dining’ presentation it soon gets tipped on to the plate!

There are other options and sometimes it’s a toasted sandwich or even just a sandwich. [Toasted sandwiches can have foreign sounding names like ‘Panini’ or ‘Croque Monsieur.’]

You may notice the odd cake or biscuit in the background of the pictures above. To complete my research for this blog I had to try a proper dessert.


I have a lot of coffee out and this almost always includes a cake of some sort.

Marks and Spencer do a nice apple turnover but I think they only have one each day. It I miss it there is always something else.

Waitrose is my more usual haunt. I have a free coffee every day but I have to buy something to get the coffee free with my My Waitrose card. Sometimes it’s a couple of toffee waffles but I am sometimes I am tempted by pastries and cakes.


Here are some more from my travels around the country and abroad.

You may recognize some of them.


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[63] The King Apparelled Himself

[63] The King Apparelled Himself – A Blog about the Banners of Tewkesbury

I went to Tewkesbury and I noticed the banners in the streets.

I had seen some of these heraldic flags on previous visits and had assumed that they were random heraldic designs put up to make the town look mediaeval and attractive to tourists.

But as I went round the town this time the first ones I came to were this group of three banners in a little back street on old houses overlooking the river.

Each house had a little printed note, carefully enclosed in waterproof polythene, stuck prominently in their tiny gardens below the banners.

I could see that these banners had much more significance to the people of Tewkesbury. As I went round the town I was careful to photograph as many as I could and when I reached the Abbey I did a bit more investigating.

I looked in the Abbey shop and I found The Street Banners of Tewkesbury produced by the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society.

So I need to do a diversion here and go back a bit – back somewhat over 500 years!

The Battle of Tewkesbury

When we did History at school we did the Romans and then we skipped over the Dark Ages and Mediaeval England and we started again with the Tudors from 1485. So I know very little about the Wars of the Roses. They were long and complicated and I won’t begin to attempt to explain them.

But with the help of Wikipedia I can say that the Battle of Tewkesbury, which took place on 4 May 1471, was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses. The forces loyal to the House of Lancaster were completely defeated by those of the House of York under King Edward IV. The Lancastrian heir to the throne, Edward, Prince of Wales, and many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or were dragged from sanctuary (in Tewkesbury Abbey) two days later and executed. The Lancastrian king, Henry VI, a prisoner in the Tower of London, died or was murdered shortly after the battle. The Battle of Tewkesbury restored political stability to England at least until the death of Edward IV in 1483.

The Banners

For the last twenty years the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society has undertaken the task of producing and maintaining these banners, which are made individually by hand. Every May there is a public showing of new and refurbished banners at the Town Hall. Local shops and houses can choose them and hire them for erection in June. They come down in September to avoid the hazards of winter weather.

The book has short description of each of the people represented, with a picture of the banner and notes about genealogy and heraldry. I can’t include everything here so I will make some general comments and then show you the banners with comments on one or two.


These banners represent early heraldry with colourful designs on shields and armour to identify individual soldiers. Various stylized forms developed over hundreds of years with the pattern on the shield identifying the family. Differences were made for descendants of the original arm-bearers and this period is almost the end of the relatively uncontrolled era of heraldry. It was a few years later, in 1484, that the College of Arms was formed to register and formalize the process.

A modern armorial Achievement (colloquially known as a Coat of Arms) is not just the shield (Escutcheon) at its centre. It also generally includes a Crest on a Helmet with a Torse, Supporters at each side, Mantling and a Motto. But the banner of arms is a simple flag and shows just the shield.

When they hang vertically as those at Tewkesbury there is no distinction between right and left so you don’t have to worry about ‘dexter’ (right) and ‘sinister’ (left) meaning ‘left’ and ‘right.’ (Actors may perhaps understand the confusion of ‘stage right’ and ‘audience left.’) Some of the pictures below will only match their blazon if you flip the picture round.


The art of describing these shields (Blazon) can fill books. (It does!) The descriptions are still in an archaic Norman French with word order not as we would speak today. I will give you two examples, one from each side. Note first that they don’t use white and yellow. For historic reasons they are silver and gold.

The first one is a very simple design and you will understand its blazon. Sir William Fielding of Lutterworth, Leicestershire (1428-71) fought on the Lancastrian side. His banner was:

Argent a fess Azure charged with three lozenges Or.

[Silver, with a bar across the middle, blue, bearing three diamond shapes, gold.]

The book tells you a little more about Sir William who was made Sherriff of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdon in 1470. He was killed in the battle at Tewkesbury.

Sir William Norreys of Bray and Yattendon, Berkshire (1440-1507) fought on the Yorkist side. His shield is more complicated with parts coming from his father and some from his maternal grandfather. Women didn’t bear arms in the same way as men but they could pass them on. His blazon is:


1 and 4. Argent a chevron between three raven’s heads sable

2 and 3. Quarterly Argent and Gules fretty Or a bend Azure charged with three bezants.

[Divided into quarters

Two of these quarters – each is silver with a chevron and three raven’s heads, all black.

The other two quarters are quartered again – silver and red with yellow diagonal lattices – over all a diagonal bar, blue, with three gold circles.]

I have tried to translate the blazons but you can see how they work very concisely. For example the word ‘bezant’ above is actually short for a ‘roundel Or,’ Roundels were so common that they each had a name. A bezant was a gold coin and hence a gold roundel but other roundels could be plates, hurts, torteaux, pellets, pommes, golpes, oranges or guzes depending on their colour. Even more concise was the word fountain for a ‘roundel barry wavy argent and azure,’ the very common blue and white stripy representation of water.

There will be another blog about Heraldic Signs.

The Lancastrians

These are in the same order as the book so you can find them yourself.

John Basset [Barry wavy of six Or and Gules] One of few surviving prisoners to be pardoned and allowed to return home to Cornwall.

Sir John Butler [Or a chief indented Azure] and Sir Thomas Butler [Or a chief indented Azure a molet Argent for difference] who later succeeded his brother as Earl of Ormond. The blazon makes it clear why these two are different. John was a second son and only had the banner without a difference mark because his older brother had been beheaded after an earlier battle.

Sir Thomas FitzHenry [Ermine a chief Azure charged with three lions rampant Or.] The Ermine of the blazon is neither a metal (like Argent and Or) nor a colour (like Azure or Sable) but it is a tincture representing fur. The fur is the white winter coat of a stoat with lots of small furs sewn together. Exaggerated stylized tails make the black patterns.

I’m sure you all spotted another pair of brothers there – Sir John and Sir Roger Lewkenor. (More to come below.)

They loved puns. Doctor Ralph Mackarell, a non-combatant Doctor of Divinity. [Azure three mackerels hauriant Argent.]

Margaret Valois of Anjou, Queen of England after her marriage to Henry VI, a major figure on the Lancastrian side, had a more complex banner described as Quarterly of six. (Quarterly did not necessarily have anything to do with a four-part division.) I won’t give the full blazon but two of the six sections were forms of the ancient shield of France (blue with gold fleu-de-lys) modified to represent Anjou and Lorraine and three of the others represented Hungary, Jerusalem and the Duchy of Lorraine.

She was captured just after the battle and held until the King of France paid her ransom of 50 000 crowns. As Queen of England she could have had an even more complicated banner impaling her arms with those of Henry VI.

The Yorkists

There were more Lancastrians than Yorkists but most of the banners represent Yorkists. Perhaps that is because they won!

This banner of Richard, Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) is a household banner, not the same as his shield (a differenced version of the royal arms of his brother, Edward IV, shown further on.)

Sir Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy of Thurveston, Barton Blount and Elvaston is one where my picture shows a reversed form. Among other changes this gets the numbers of the quarters wrong. It should be.


1 Argent two wolves Sable, on bordure Or eight saltires Gules

2 Or a castle triple towered Azure

3 Barry nebuly of six Or and Sable

4 Vair

Vair, like Ermine is a stylized form of fur, representing the greyish-blue backs of squirrels alternating with their white under-bellies. (It’s the winter fur of one form of the Red Squirrel found in northern Europe.)

This is not just a wolf. It has blood on its claws and tongue. It is Azure, a wolf salient Argent, armed and langued Gules.

King Edward IV, Duke of York (Edward Plantaganet,) the leader of the Yorkists. The banner is: ‘Quarterly 1 and 4. Azure three fleur-de-lys Or 2 and 3. Gules three lions passant guardant Or’ but its history is so well-known that it It’s also described as: ‘Quarterly 1 and 4 France 2 and 3 England.’

The Royal Standard has changed little over hundreds of years. As I am sure you will recognize it is now Quarterly 1 and 4 England 2 Scotland 3 Ireland.

A very simple banner using counter-changing. Sir Geoffrey Poole of Worrell: Per pale Or and Sable, a saltire engrailed counter-changed.

Unidentified Banners

The book is a few years old and I found a few new ones not in the book. Most of these seem to be very close relatives of some in the book, marked by small differences in the blazon.

Without the tree torteaux (roundels Gules) this would be the Lancastrian Sir Henry Grey.

Probably Sir Maurice Berkeley whose two sons fought with the Yorkists. They both have this banner with difference marks.

Probably Sir Philip Courtenay who also had two sons fighting for the Yorkists.

Perhaps a relative of the Lancastrian Sir Robert Knollys who had three red roses on a chevron instead of one on a saltire as shown above.

Fairly similar to the banner of Sir Thomas Montgomery, a Yorkist.

The Lancastrian John Wroughton had boar’s heads instead of greyhounds.

I won’t guess at the next two but the last one (which appears on the cover of the book, but not inside) is presumably the white rose of York.

It’s all about the Battle of Tewkesbury and the web-site of the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society displays this quotation which probably comes from a contemporary document.

The Kynge apparailed hymselfe, and all his hooste set in good array; ordeined three wards; displayed his bannars; dyd blowe up the trompets; commytted his caws and qwarell to Almyghty God, to owr most blessyd lady his mothar, Vyrgyn Mary, the glorious martyr Seint George, and all the saynts; and advaunced, directly upon his enemyes; approchinge to theyr filde, which was strongly in a marvaylows storng grownd pyght, full difficult to be assayled.

A similar description with more modern spelling is as follows.

Upon the morrow following, Saturday, the 4th day of May the king apparelled himself, and set all his host in good array, displayed his banners, did blow up the trumpets, committed his cause and quarrel to God, and advanced directly upon his enemies who were pitched strongly in a marvellously strong ground, very difficult to assail. In front of their field were such evil lanes and deep dikes, so many hedges, tree, and bushes, that it was very hard to approach near and come to hand fighting. But Edmund, called Duke of Somerset, having that day the vanguard advanced with his troops somewhat on one side of the king’s vanguard, and by certain paths and ways previously surveyed, and unknown to the king’s party, he departed out of the field, passed a lane, and came to a close, just in front of the king and from the hill that was in one of the closes, he set right fiercely on the end of the king’s division. The king, in manly fashion, at once set upon them won the dike and hedge and with great violence pushed them back up the hill, assisted by the Duke of Gloucester.


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[65] Trains and Boats and Planes

[65] Trains and Boats and Planes – A Pictorial Blog about Transport

Trains and Boats and Planes” is a song written by composer Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David, first recorded in 1965. Hit versions were recorded by Bacharach; Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas; and Dionne Warwick.

I won’t add much to that. This is just a collection of pictures loosely categorized as pertaining to forms of transport. They come from England, Wales, Croatia, Italy, Belgium, France and the seas in between.

I will start with trains, boats and planes!


Now some more land transport.


Two Wheels.

Some more marine transport including boatyards and fishing.

That’s about it, just lots of pictures.



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[66] Striking Thirteen

[66] Striking Thirteen – a Pictorial Blog about Clocks

The author Eric Arthur Blair, better known as George Orwell, is well known for the two books ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘Nineteen Eighty-four. His dystopian novel starts, normally called ‘1984’ starts with these lines.

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

When these lines were written in 1948 its setting was far in the future so perhaps his unusual clocks just made this clear to his readers.

I will be talking of the clocks of today when clock faces generally just go up to twelve! I always planned to a blog about clocks although at first I had just three in mind from the centre of Cheltenham. It will be mostly pictures.

The House of Fraser has a department store that continues to keep its old name of Cavendish House.

Marks and Spencer has also been with us for as long as I can remember. Its clock is high up and not so impressive.

Martin & Co. have a jewellery shop in the Promenade, almost opposite Cavendish House. Their prominent clock show their sponsorship links to Rolex watches.

I didn’t stop at three. I looked around a big and found a few more clocks.

This one is by the taxi rank in Royal Well Road just behind the Municipal Offices.

One of my favourite sights when I visit Newnham-on-Severn is this clock tower.

Two more that you may miss if you don’t look up in central Cheltenham.

Clocks on churches are always impressive.

Two more buildings that may be familiar to Cheltonians. The tower is part of the remnants of a listed building whose wall appears in my Walls blog. The other one is one of several old buildings that make up Cheltenham Ladies College.

You will recognize this one by the post boxes at our main sorting office.

Three quite large plain modern clocks.

Now some from my travels – Cirencester. Bournemouth and Oxford.



World’s Oldest Clock

You can read about this clock in Salisbury Cathedral in my blog about Bournemouth.

It may be the oldest in the World but its provenance is uncertain.

[Yes, I know that Salisbury isn’t strictly part of Bournemouth. Read the blog to find out!]


I’m cheating a bit for the next few pictures.

After some clocks and watches for sale there is picture of a large sundial on a wall. The last one at the entrance to some modern residential buildings is a sign to mark the proximity of one of Cheltenham’s now long dead stations – St James Station. It isn’t a clock. It always shows five o’clock!

Arcade Clock

As usual I have save something special for the end of my blog.

The Regent Arcade in Cheltenham features a large automatic clock designed by Kit Williams.

All that Wikipedia would tell me is that:

‘In the United Kingdom, Kit Williams produced a series of large automaton clocks for a handful of British shopping centres, featuring frogs, ducks and fish.’

Our one at Cheltenham does many things when it chimes to mark the hour. (OK, it doesn’t ring bells. It plays ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.’ You will see why in a minute.) The large wheel at the top rotates and we have an egg-laying bird, a mouse and a snake.

The most familiar action, especially for visiting children, is the large goldfish underneath that turns and blows bubbles.

I was lucky to get these pictures. The next time I visited this was all I could see as the clock undergoes repair and maintenance.




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[62] Neither Beginnings nor Endings

[62] Neither Beginnings nor Endings – A Picture Blog about Textures and Patterns.

In every book of his series on the Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan always opens with almost identical first paragraphs all about the wheel repeating itself.

‘… [It] was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.’

Nature and the works of Man both have many patterns that seem to repeat and I see many of them. Here are just some of them, more or less in random order. You can find others under the topics of Walls or Skies.

Some of these pictures have already appeared in other blogs.

I will leave it to you to work out what these pictures are: –


[60] Wait a Minute

[60] Wait a Minute, (Mr Postman) – a blog about Post and the Post Office

This is one of the topics that was always going to make it, one of the first contenders for a reserved number in my complicated list. It’s basically about those boxes we find everywhere – all painted what we call ‘pillar-box red!’

Christmas is nearly upon us and I couldn’t resist a shot of this card to start this blog.


I suppose I will have to say something about the Post Office for those of you not quite as old as me. The Post Office used to mean the GPO, (General Post Office) which used to be a government ministry. It provided the only way to send letters but it also controlled the only telephone system and what there was then in the way of television (and it was also the usual way to pay for gas, electricity etc. or receive state pensions or lots of other things.) Of course in those days telephones and television were much more primitive than what we know today. But the pillar boxes and public telephones boxes were sturdily built and they are still with us.

Victorian Pillar Boxes

The GPO started in 1660 but it was not until 1840 that we had prepaid postage and postage stamps. Before then it was the recipient who paid, not the sender.

The first pillar boxes date from around 1850 and the earliest Victorian ones were green. In the 1870s the hexagonal design emerged and red became the standard colour. (I am sure you will know that we have Robins on Christmas cards because Victorian postmen wore red uniforms. Perhaps this is why pillar boxes are red.)






As for nearly all of my pictures for this blog, these two come from the streets of Cheltenham. The positioning of the Crown, Royal Cipher and ‘POST OFFICE’ are not standardized and you will notice that only one of these has the coat of arms below the letter slit.

vict03In 1879 the cylindrical design replaced the hexagon. From then onwards boxes always carried the royal cipher and the words POST OFFICE. There were two sizes, both the same height – ‘A’ (slightly larger) and ‘B.’

Later Monarchs

I have been lucky enough to find most of the different pillar boxes and the main thing to look for is the Royal Cipher. The hardest to find was Edward VII (1901-10). This one was covered in moss and looked old.



I did find a much newer looking one on a trip to Oxford.


After Edward we had George V (1910-36), George VI (1936-52) and Queen Elizabeth II. [I wasn’t expecting to find Edward VIII!]





I couldn’t quite catch this last one open as it was being emptied.


Since the 1980s we have a more modern design and the words POST OFFICE have become ROYAL MAIL.


This one, inside the huge local Waitrose supermarket, is made of plastic.


Larger oval Type ‘C’ boxes, with slots for town and country post, date from the turn of the Twentieth Century.



We also have rectangular Type ‘G’ boxes.


You normally only find these larger ones outside where there used to be main Post Offices.

The next one is quite modern, for franked mail only.


I have never quite worked out how and why they can distinguish between stamped and franked mail but the distinction was there long ago even before postcodes.

Smaller Boxes

There have always been roadside wall boxes. From 1885 to 1965 they were used particularly for sub-post offices.

(You may not understand the term sub-post office. There were Post Offices, which did nothing but Post Office business and there were smaller sub-post offices, sharing their premises usually with a shop. Now most of them have disappeared and those that remain are nearly all sub-post offices.)

Now wall boxes are seen mostly in countryside towns and villages. This one is at Newnham-on-Severn.


I was intrigued to find the next one low down in a wall in the countryside near Stow-on-the-Wold. I photographed it without knowing what it was.


It’s an earlier Victorian model used until 1904 and this is clearly an Edward VII post box. It is no longer red so I presume that it is now just used privately. I note that you can now buy old post boxes or replicas in various colours so maybe this was never active where is now located.

The Lantern type is quite rare nowadays but I see this one often on my trips to Slimbridge.



As you can see the notice at the front gives the last collection time. When I was young they always used to list all of the collection times.


During the very successful 2012 London Olympics there was a decision to paint post boxes gold over the country to commemorate local success. We have this pair on Cheltenham High Street. I have to say that it’s more of a light beige colour than what I would call gold but the thought was there.


Alex Gregory from the coxless fours in the Rowing, was born in Cheltenham.


I feel I ought to end the section about post boxes with these two pictures from our main sorting office at Cheltenham. I think of them as new but they must date from the Nineties. They are certainly showing signs of age!




You are, of course, wondering what telephones have to do with letters and the Post Office. Well, when all of our post came under the GPO it must have fairly logical to put the developing technology of telephones under the same organisation. From about 1900 to the Fifties telephones were big chunky black bakelite machines fixed by wire to the walls of houses. They were expensive and unreliable. Calls over about thirty miles were connected manually by an operator so most calls were local.

Not many people had telephones but there were many public telephone kiosks – in towns for the use of the general public and in the countryside for emergency use.


You can see a certain similarity in the style of these with pillar boxes for post. Both were solid metal structures, painted bright red, with the royal crown.

Here is the equipment inside a modern working kiosk.


Things have changed. Since about the eighties and nineties we have mobile phones that do all sorts of things that telephones didn’t do in the fifties. They have developed and become so popular that very few people even use their own landlines. People no longer need public telephones. Public Telephone kiosks have disappeared almost everywhere.

Thousands of them have been removed, either scrapped or sold, although some remain unused as listed buildings! Here is an unused one I spotted in someone’s front garden.


(The pillar box at the front is a little toy model!)

As part of the revolution in telephone technology, the old GPO has disappeared and the telephony bit became BT. Here are some new telephone boxes from BT and the equipment inside it.



The one above is an early BT version. The logo of Mercury disappeared over ten years ago.

Here is a more modern version.


Many of the old red boxes still remaining now have other functions such as housing emergency defibrillator equipment.



Here is one in the town centre that manages to include a cash machine while still retaining its function as a telephone.




At the centre of Cheltenham where the Main Post Office used to be we had ten telephone boxes – a group of four and another group of six. They have recently been taken away, refurbished and replaced roughly where they were but they are no longer public phone boxes.




If you look closely you find that the doors do not open. They have displays making small museum exhibits about Cheltenham.




All of our landlines are connected. You don’t see nearly as many telegraph poles anymore carrying the final lines. I noticed last year these identification signs on them.


I think the poles have been made shorter in some places because these numbers are now lower.

Most of the cables go underground.


There are lots of boxes at the side of the pavement where connections are made. Some are old and some not so old.




In the age of the Internet we have telephony mixed with broadband computer connections and also television.



I was lucky enough last year to get a picture of the inside of one of these boxes for my daily picture blog. My luck continued this year.


Just to complete this dissertation, we still have postmen delivering mail and we still have Post Offices!




Please, Mr Postman is a song from the early Sixties, most famous for versions by the Beatles and the Carpenters. (I can’t do biblical quotes every time.)

Here are some of its words.

(Stop) Oh yes, wait a minute, Mr. Postman;

(Wait) Wait Mr. Postman.

(Please Mr. Postman look and see);

Oh yeah (If there’s a letter in your bag for me,)

Please, please, Mr. Postman (Why’s it takin’ such a long time;)

Oh yeah (For me to hear from that boy [/girl] of mine.)

It sounds better when it’s sung.


Apart from Wikipedia special mention for this blog must be made to PULP – Paul’s Unofficial Letterbox Pages, which I have used to identify the various letter box types.



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[61] Joshua Fit the Battle

[61] Joshua Fit the Battle – a Picture Blog about Walls

I love the textures we see every day, some of which have to be looked at closely. Walls are an example and they are everywhere. This blog post will not be much more than a lot of pictures of walls.

What you might think of as fairly modern ‘ordinary’ brick walls actually come in many variations.



















And there are older stone versions of bricks.







In the country here most of our country walls are dry stone – Cotswold stone.






Some may be very old, covered in moss and almost invisible.


Of course, not all walls are stone or brick.

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[I took a series of these at Newnham-on-Severn, all in one street. The textured walls were painted blue, green, buff, pink and white but my camera adjusted its white balance settings so that they all came out just light grey.]

Here are some more types of walls, some a mixture of two walls.





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I’m nearly done. Next some more specific walls. The next picture shows part of the walls of Cheltenham Station made of very old, large bricks. Just a few yards away a metal wall makes the road bridge over the railway.

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The old Honeybourne line from the station, which goes under this bridge has now been converted into a footpath and cycle path. A little further away one side of the path has a wall like this.


On the opposite side the wall has not been cleared so it looks like this!


The footpath splits here, near to the modern Waitrose building, where there used to be a station. There are two short tunnels that offer tempting surfaces to graffiti artists. Under the tunnels they have proper graffiti style artwork. It has to be re-done often. This is a section of wall between the two tunnels.


This is a little of the artwork just inside one tunnel, near enough to the end of the tunnel for reasonable lighting.


The next series of pictures shows an old wall, which has become a listed ‘building.’ It is all that remains. The rest was demolished to make way for a Tesco building now behind the wall!

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I have to admit that the next pictures came as a revelation to me. Sometimes very old brick walls look as if they are covered in white paint that has faded away in places. But as I discovered in doing this blog, it’s actually an incomplete thin covering with white lichen – as shown in these pictures.

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That’s just some of the walls I found in November! There were a few others in local housing developments that I didn’t feel happy photographing. I didn’t want to get too close to private houses.

I could have done a lot more but I suspect I have already lost most of my (very small) readership.


When I thought of walls I thought, of course, of the Wall of Jericho, famous from the Old Testament, the Book of Joshua. But my quotation, as a change, comes not from the Bible but from the song sung by Elvis Presley. A quick search on the Internet seems to attribute the words to him but I suspect it an old traditional song, maybe sung to a more modern tune.

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho.

Joshua fit the battle of Jericho,

And the walls come tumbling down