My Articles

THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY – PART ONE

THE STRANGE LIFE OF EDWARD RIDLEY - PART ONE

Edward Ridley Snr emigrated to New York  City from Nottinghamshire in the early 1840’s.   From humble beginnings as a hawker of ribbons and other small items he eventually built a vast emporium at Grand and Allen Streets, on the Lower East Side. It was one of the city’s […]

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TIGER OF THE TASMANIAN KIND

TIGER OF THE TASMANIAN KIND

For many months in 1908 the Tasmanian coastal towns  of Penguin and Ulverstone were in a state of   alarm over repeated sightings of the carnivorous  marsupial, the  Tasmanian tiger.  This was an unusual situation. Tigers had already been hunted to near extinction, with a bounty on their heads.  It […]

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ALLY SLOPER AND THE RACING SCANDAL

ALLY SLOPER AND THE RACING SCANDAL

A CONTINUATION OF;  THE SLOPER  AND THE STEEPLECHASE NEW OWNER FOR  THE SLOPER                               By 1911, three years on from his near win at Flemington’s  Grand National Steeplechase,  the Tasmanian jumper Ally Sloper […]

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The Water Doctor’s Daughters Literary Walk; St Leonards.

THE MARSDEN SISTERS MOVE SOUTH This is an extension of The Water Doctor’s Daughters’ original literary walk  around the town of  Great Malvern, Worcestershire. In 1876 Dr James Marsden separated from his second wife Mary to pursue an affair with  Sabina  Welch, a servant girl from Malvern.   Emily, the […]

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The Sloper and the Steeplechase

The  Sloper and the Steeplechase

FROM A STUMP JUMPER TO THE STEEPLECHASE Ally Sloper was  a big boned  chestnut  gelding with three white fetlocks. He  had been named after a British cartoon character; a likeable but  lazy schemer who sloped down alleys to avoid the debt collector. Although his name and his […]

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The Wonga Pigeon; a Flying Feather Pillow

The Wonga Pigeon; a Flying Feather Pillow

LET’S SPEND A WHILE WITH A WONGA                               Let me introduce……the Wonga pigeon. The name  derives from wonga-wonga,  an  Aboriginal name inspired by their call.  Mind you, I would describe it as a […]

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BUSH CRICKET

BUSH CRICKET

 DEMON BOWLING OR DREADFUL BATTING? I recently came across the newspaper report of an 1893 cricket match between the rural communities of Exton and Reedy Marsh, in northern Tasmania. EXTON V REEDY MARSH A match was played on Saturday between the above clubs on the Exton Club’s […]

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SYLVIA AND VALENTINE; A LOVE STORY

SYLVIA AND VALENTINE; A LOVE STORY

I have read many love stories over the years, both true and fictional.  However, none have affected me so powerfully as that of  an English couple;  the writer Sylvia Townsend Warner and the  poet Valentine Ackland. Originally I came upon their story in  a library  copy of […]

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THE ‘MARCIA’ BICYCLE SIDECAR

THE 'MARCIA' BICYCLE SIDECAR

INTRODUCTION  –   I have always been impressed by my friend Marcia’s energy and love of the outdoors.  I have known her for quite  a few years, but  it was only recently that she mentioned this delightful aspect  of  her family history. It certainly  shed some light on […]

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ENOUGH TO MAKE A MOTHER WEEP!

ENOUGH TO MAKE A MOTHER WEEP!

 METHOD IN A MOTHER’S MADNESS In  December 1841 a  shabby, careworn woman entered a London  shoe shop, brazenly picked up several items    and walked out.  It was a  theft that made no sense at all;  she had  taken a  random couple of boots and a single clog!  […]

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