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

world_flags_map_plate-r443a4ea20f684bd4b72ed81c9ab763a8_ambb0_8byvr_324

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…

Continue reading

When St John’s lads carried swords

photo0177

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,…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Recent pix of Leicester, a couple of Manchester and a few of Jodrell Bank

Photo0111

      Yes, quite. Taken on the walk home from town yesterday. A billboard in King Richard’s Road, just after West Bridge.   One of my favourite places in Leicester for lunch. Excellent pies washed down with Swithland spring water. The staff are lovely too. Also a great place…

Continue reading

Recent photos of Leicester and Leicestershire

Photo0615

What says Mothering Sunday more than dressing as one of Simon de Montfort’s knights at the Battle of Evesham (August 4, 1265)? Exactly. We were back at Jewry Wall Museum on Sunday to join in the 50th birthday celebrations. There were demonstrations, from Leicester’s many different periods, my daughter had…

Continue reading

I never spoke out until I was 40. It was taboo. Men aren’t victims of abuse

Tony Magee is searching for the right words as he absently taps his fingers on the table in an airless conference room at Mercury headquarters. “What do you call it when something is like something else?” asks the grey haired 55 year old, his accent a disarming patter of Midlands-softened…

Continue reading

46 interesting facts about Leicestershire…

Heads up...centre chairman of Hallaton bottle kicking Phil Allan gets ready to start last year's event off.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER/29-994841

    Leicester City FC won the league in 2015/16. But what do you know about the city and county which spawned them?   1. Leicestershire is the Spiritual Home of Rock Music. It started back in 1980 with the first Monsters of Rock at Donington Park. It continues today…

Continue reading

Letzgo Hunting – the Leicestershire dads bringing hebephiles to justice

10917208_923921290966398_388384544213956664_o

Fingers clatter across an iPad and up goes the internet chat room profile of 14 year old Jess. A couple of seconds pass and the phone vibrates to indicate a message. The date is December 14, 2014 and this is the first contact from Peter Hyam in Essex. “Hello Jess…

Continue reading

Leicester legacies: The life and times of The Charlotte

  It was the sort of place where it was okay to spill your pint, ruminates Andy Wright. “It was what it was – stage, bogs, bar. Some called The Charlotte a toilet stop,” he shrugs, “I don’t have a problem with that.” For many, The Charlotte needs no introduction. For…

Continue reading

Vicar bonking, Toffos and such like

It’s a riches-to-rags story where the ponies, nannies and chauffeurs are swallowed in the vortex of a collapsing city knitwear firm. It’s a story where the finishing school-raised family matriarch, recently divorced, finds herself making a living changing roller towels in pubs and clubs across Leicestershire. It’s a story which,…

Continue reading

The tale within Fairytale of New York

27550517

    “And the boys of the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay, and the bells were ringing out for Christmas Day.” Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl’s Fairytale of New York gets everywhere at this time of year. Even Tesco in Narborough Road, where this week I was shopping and…

Continue reading

Stoneywell – our National Trust piece of skirt in Charnwood Forest

  Newish among the artillery of the National Trust is an Arts and Crafts family home nestled in the scenic folds of Charnwood Forest. “This is the postcard shot, really,” grins Joe Thompson, the head gardener, as he leads us down the proverbial garden path, past a crest of heather…

Continue reading

From Leicestershire to Middle Earth, calling at Westeros and Camelot

  It was supposed to have been a little chat about coracles, a gentle natter about how the ancient river boats handmade in rural Leicestershire end up in the waters of Westeros, Middle Earth and Camelot. And it was, mostly. But then, like the boats themselves, you end up going…

Continue reading

Audrey takes a bow with The Smiths…Muse, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, etc.

  There’s a smidge of a lady talking in the middle of The Smiths’ Pretty Girls Make Graves. “Oh, really?” says the voice. And that’s it. Many years later and the identity of that voice’s owner is still adding intrigue to numerous Smiths’ biographies. Each time, the writer invariably points…

Continue reading

Lilian Lenton – the Leicester suffragette who the Home Secretary wanted stopped

  Lilian Lenton in court in Doncaster with co-accused Harry Johnson in June 1913.     Lilian Lenton’s prison photograph sits in a display case at the National Portrait Gallery in London. The sepia image, now more than a century old, was taken covertly by police when she was among…

Continue reading

In need of TLC. New and old pics of Leicester’s listed Western Park Open Air School

      With vandals on one side and the elements on the other, Western Park School – formerly Western Park Open Air School – has taken a bit of a kicking in recent years. Shut in 2005, this elegant 1930s building – Grade II listed and one of very…

Continue reading

There’s a new film Suffragette – here are some suffragists, they’re usually less camera shy

  “Always and always facing toward the light.” They’ve not seen Poltergeist, have they? Here are some magnificent suffragists standing proud in Bowling Green Street. I don’t know their names but I’d like to buy each of them a drink. Which they’d most likely turn down, cos they’re probably part…

Continue reading

Here’s a highly suspicious 110 year old Leicester advert for male hair restoration

      Take Mr Henry Lee, the verger of St Peter’s Church in Leicester. Add Professor GF Moss, who had consulting rooms at 70 Sparkenhoe Street. And then throw in photographer Mr HJ Hitchcock to take a picture. What do you get? The answer is this rather spiffy advert…

Continue reading

The Electric Cool – Festival of Psychedelic Rock @ University of Leicester 17th October

12108151_1679632852281842_3807029428008836800_n

    The headliners Sienna Root were rocktastic organic man-flesh from Sweden. The Cult of Dom Keller were a Leicester-Nottingham hybrid with an awesome drummer. And my oldest mate Ben, representing Western Park, and to some extent Hinckley, did the opening Moog atmospherics under the moniker The Early Remains. Oh,…

Continue reading