Passchendaele, 100 years on

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A hundred years ago WW1’s second most notorious bloodbath was churning up souls in Flanders. Here, I spare a few words on Leicestershire’s involvement at Passchendaele.   The three Leicestershire Regiment officers stared at the map, looked hard at the surrounding mud and then, with incredulity, at each other. The…

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The Walcote murder and the hanging of William Henry Palmer

The Walcote murder; the notice in the Leicester Daily Mercury.

Yonks back there was a series in the Mercury on the men hung and buried inside the steep walls of Leicester Prison. William Henry Palmer was among them…and he didn’t go quietly.   They’re supposed to do it with weary resignation; a sniff, a sorrowful glance, sometimes even with a…

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Recent images of Leicester and Leicestershire

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Ulverscroft Priory, just minding its own business, 13th century. Aylestone Meadows on Sunday, January 22. Poplar skeletons at Western Park on Wednesday, January 25th. Twin Lakes in Melton, back in December. Imagine saying house to that. Twin Lakes. Nothing says Christmas like meerkats shivering under a heat lamp. National Space…

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Around the World in 80 Plates. Day one. Cyprus/Greece.

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The suggestion came at the end of a terrifyingly large Greek meal. “We should do this again, but somewhere new,” said Emma. “…there’s Madeira a Vista in Woodgate,” I respond. At that moment it was settled. Our group of four had probably eaten enough after the second of five courses…

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Framework Brewery – Leicester city centre’s first craft brewery

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  Framework Brewery is a name you’re going to be hearing good things from in 2017. Leicester city centre’s first craft brewery started taking shape in the summer and their first brew, a hoppy American Pale Ale, only sloshed into a pint glass as recently as December 6. Since then,…

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When it’s actually okay to get yourself arrested

COPY PIC of Marlene Yeo being arrested. Story by Cat

It’s a tough question. Marlene Yeo looks skyward and then slides her eyes to the left in the hope of tweaking out the answer from a corner of her brain. The grey-haired 74-year-old looks defeated – she can’t remember how many times she’s been arrested. “I should keep a tally,”…

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The mud was scraped away and one word could be seen…Leicester

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  It was February and raining when they found him, covered in a century-old cloak of earth and chalk. In the dirt near his bones, attached to a shred of uniform, they found a brass shoulder title, green with age and a little twisted. One word could be seen clearly…Leicester.…

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When St John’s lads carried swords

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In classical parlance I am ‘knackered’. In recent days there’s been a double funeral in France, a christening in South Wigston, an orchestral concert and film on the Somme at Leicester Cathedral, and an archaeological dig at Castle Hill Country Park. Which is why I am sat in my comfies,…

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You’ll never look at Simon de Montfort the same way again

The statue of Simon de Montfort on the Clock Tower, Leicester

Simon de Montfort drew his last exhausted breath on a bloody Worcestershire battlefield. Outnumbered four to one, the powerful sixth Earl of Leicester had refused pleas to escape to safety as the Royalists continued their charge forward. “Our bodies are theirs, our souls are God’s,” he boomed as a hit-squad…

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Filth and more filth: The Leicesters at Vimy 1916

  The 4th Leicesters had sat in trenches overlooked by the Boche on the Messines Ridge and at Hill 60. And now at Vimy the enemy were at the top of the ridge again thanks to those responsible for our shortage in guns and munitions. If you had wished to…

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Kilworth House – a little cakey kiss from heaven

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Leicestershire, through agriculture and industry, has always had fairly deep pockets. Which means we have quite a number of lovely homes nestled within the gentle gold and green of our shire’s undulating countryside. Kilworth House (Hotel and theatre) is one such place. Former home of genuinely lovely Black Sabbath guitarist…

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