Local Historian and Writer
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Welcome to Mike's Blog
This is like jumping into deep, icy water. I've no idea what it will feel like, but am full of anticipation of a shock.
I'm a bit of a writer and I do like to have my say. I think that when one reaches retirement age, but still aware that one doesn't know everything, one has the right to have one's say. We've lived life, endured life, survived life and not yet met death. So we could be said to know what we are talking about (well, in some cases, anyway).
I do have a website (www.freespiritwriters.me.uk) and I have definitely had my say on there. But on Bridlington.net I will confine myself to Bridlington matters, how they affect me and mine and how things should be done in a perfect world - which it ain't.
I'd like to get in touch with the person who also has a local history interest with a blog on bridlington.net. I see they are interested in having a book published. I'd love to help and perhaps do that on their behalf. Ask the bridlington.net team to get in touch with me. We historians should work together if we can. I'm happy to help anyone to put Bridlington history into books for the benefit of others. My latest Brid book, Bridlington Remembered, is available at the Tourist Information Centre andLodge Books on South Back Lane, Old Town.
From 9th May until 25th May (Thursdays to Saturdays), Gallery 49 in Market Place, Old Town, Bridlington, is staging an artwork exhibition in support of the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society.
Local artists have used discarded pieces of timber from the coble Three Brothers when it was undergoing refurbishment. The majority of exhibits are paintings using the white-painted old wood as a canvas.
Most of the pieces are available at less than £50, some considerably less.
This is a great opportunity to acquire an exclusive piece of artwork in support of an excellent cause.
The Coble Society wishes to thank all the artists for their expertise in creating these images and Gallery 49 for allowing the exhibition to be staged.
Today I was privileged to go aboard Three Brothers, the first non-worker to do so. Yesterday (Tuesday 30th April) I saw that the mast and the jib had been put aboard the boat.
Before I arrived today, the mast and jib had been put in place. John Clarkson and Joe Gelsthorpe were aboard and I asked if I could join them.
The boat looks terrific when aboard, and John and Joe were making ready the boat to fit the sails. When I left them (around 11am) the sails were being dropped into the hull.
It was a real treat to see the coble looking so good. Quite a few folk stopped to look at her and commented on her appearance.
If you have the chance, go and see her.
Starting on Saturday, 4th May (my 77th birthday!), there is an Exhibition of Artwork at Gallery 49 in Market Place, Old Town. Local artists have used the discarded timbers of the boat in many ways, some of them using the planks to paint on. The Exhibition is on for three weeks, so please have a look at the work. It's good to know that the timbers from Three Brothers will have another life as art.
It may be possible for the artwork to be on display at the Harbour Heritage Museum later this year.
In a previous blog, in mid-March, I commented on BBB1 being booked for illegal parking. At that time I thought the car was used by the town's mayor.
However, I find that Bridlington's mayor uses local taxis or finds a lift to his destination.
And that pleased me. I think the mayor should use taxis, to give back to one or two of the residents of Brid some of the taxes they have taken from them.
I think it possible that an official from ERYC now rides around in the former Bridlington car BBB1. With a registration plate showing BBB1 - BBB being the letters on the symbol for Bridlington - why is a Beverley official being driven around in it? And why is ERYC not insisting that officials from Beverley and elsewhere use public transport? Or taxis? Taxis for taxes seems fair to me.
Answers on a postcard please.
The timber for the mast and jib arrived the other day, and here they are nearly completed. The skill taken to cut a rectangular length of wood into these beautiful round works of art is beyond me. I'm looking forward to the day when the coble is fully rigged and is launched for her first sail of 2013.
One lone chip outside the Harbour Museum today when I was on duty. How long before a greedy gull nicked it?
And here it is, only a matter of seconds after the chip fell from a visitors' dinner.
I'm still waiting to capture THE photo, the one where the gull pinches a fish from a dinner being carried along by a holidaymaker, cumfutt (cum for t' day), twatter (wheere's t'watter?) or amoanley (I'm only here for the day).
Today, 9th April, 2013, around 2.45pm, Three Brothers was returned to Bridlington's harbour waters after a major refurbishment. A handful of folk watched as the 101-year-old coble was lowered in the cradle. After she was secured with new ropes alongside the boat lift, the vessel has to wait to be hauled to her new mooring. She will be near the other preserved coble in the harbour, Imperialist.
The Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society is delighted that their £20,000 has had such a fantastic result.
And here is the new mast. The timber was delivered at 8.30am this morning. Once the piece is the correct dimensions, it will be cut so that it is round. The bowsprit will be formed in the same way.
Drama at Bridlington on Tuesday, 9th April 2013. I have uploaded this before I know the name of the vessel involved. And I don't know how it came to be in this situation either. The photos were taken between 10.45am and 1.38pm. I had to leave then.
This rook is strutting across the grass outside our window. We recycle our bread crusts by tearing them into chunks and throwing the pieces onto the lawn at the back. Within minutes rooks and seagulls are having a look, but they're not too keen to come down because of the washing lines strung across the space. Eventually one which is a little more adventurous will make it down. Once one is down, others arrive. This rook is approaching the pile of crusts. But a seagull has other ideas.
This gull has grabbed a large piece and will try to fly away with it. This bird flapped a few yards before having to drop his prize. All the others pounced immediately.
Sometimes a bird will swallow big lumps like this. It's a good way to get rid of bread.
This plaque is in St George's Church, Ypres, Belgium. It commemorates the pupils of Bridlington School who have given their lives in war.
On Friday, 22nd March, I laid a wreath in honour of 2nd Lt Hough and another for my grandfather, 2370 Private John William Wilson. It is always a moving ceremony. Despite the bitterly cold evening, around a dozen wreaths were laid.
This is where the wreaths were laid. In the middle row, second from left, is the wreath for Jack Wilson, while the smaller one alongside is that for Topham Hough.
This is Langemarck German Cemetery, so very different from the British cemeteries. The lack of colour, the snow and the biting easterly wind made us realise what a sombre place this is.
This is a very small part of Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest of the Commonwealth sites. We visited so early in the morning - around 10am - that no-one was there, and I was first to pass through the entry gate. The place was desolate, with a sprinkling of snow, blown by a bitter breeze. No flowers to add a touch of colour.
As the anniversaries come round from August 1914 onwards for four years, I hope everyone remembers the sacrifice paid by millions of men: each one of them a son, many of them husbands and fathers and brothers and cousins and uncles and friends and colleagues. Each one was a man other than a mere soldier in conflict.
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