Archive for August, 2011
Today I am picking up a family in London for a “photography tour” !
Our journey will take us to Eton and Windsor, Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Blenheim Palace, Chipping Norton and ending the day at Chipping Campden.
……ok well actually in an acre of America given by the UK government…..the memorial to JFK at Runnymede, by the side of the RIver Thames not far from Windsor.
Just a hundred yards away is the memorial to the Magna Carta which was signed by the Barons and King John, close to this spot in 1215. The Magna Carta is a basis for reform and protection against tyranny and has led to the development of democracy throughout the world. It provides the basis for law and individual rights under clause 39 which states:
“No free man shall be taken, imprisoned, outlawed, banished or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against or prosecute him, except by lawful judgement of his equals and by the law of the land”
This memorial was given by the American Bar Association and of course part of the US constitution is based on the Magna Carta. Guess what though….ours in the UK isn’t because we don’t HAVE a written constitution !!
Driver / Guide
Lets Tour England !
I am often asked the question about luggage and yes, I have plenty of room for eight passagers plus me!
However, on an extended tour, I prefer to keep the numbers down to six or seven just so people don’t feel packed in !
Let’s Tour England !
The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, (which would become the capital of Plymouth Colony), in 1620. There were 102 passengers and a crew of 25?30.
The vessel left England on September 6, 1620 and after a grueling 66-day journey marked by disease, which claimed two lives, the ship dropped anchor inside the hook tip of Cape Cod (Provincetown Harbor) on November 11/November.
The Mayflower was originally destined for the mouth of the Hudson River, near present-day New York City, at the northern edge of England’s Virginia colony, which itself was established with the 1607 Jamestown Settlement. However, the Mayflower went off course as the winter approached, and remained in Cape Cod Bay. On March 21 1621 all surviving passengers, who had inhabited the ship during the winter, moved ashore at Plymouth, and on April 5, the Mayflower, a privately commissioned vessel, returned to England. In 1623, a year after the death of captain Christopher Jones, the Mayflower was most likely dismantled for scrap lumber in Rotherhithe, London.
The Mayflower has a famous place in American history as a symbol of early European colonization of the future United States. With their religion oppressed by the English Church and government, English Dissenters called Pilgrims who comprised about half of the passengers on the ship desired a life where they could practice their religion freely. This symbol of religious freedom resonates in U.S. society and the story of the Mayflower is a staple of any American history textbook. Americans whose roots are traceable back to New England often believe themselves to be descended from Mayflower passengers
After World War II, an effort began to reenact the voyage of the Mayflower. With cooperation between Project Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation, an accurate replica of the original (designed by naval architect William A. Baker) was built by Uphams Shipbuilders in Brixham, and launched September 22, 1956 from South Devon, England, and set sail in the spring of 1957. Captained by Alan Villiers, the voyage ended in Plymouth Harbor after 55 days on June 13, 1957 to great acclaim.
The ship is moored to this day at State Pier in Plymouth MA, and is open to visitors as part of the Plimoth Plantation exhibition.
These photos were taken by my father and I distinctly remember The Mayflower afloat in the River Dart for what seemed like ages during the fall and winter of 1956/57 while it was being prepared to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Dartmouth in Devon, England, was the penultimate port that the original Mayflower put into, It was quite a moving experience to go on board in “new” Plymouth, many years later!!
Lets Tour England
Today the morning starts aat Bibury Court – a Jacobian Manor House built in 1633…..
Driver / Guide
Let’s Tour England !
The natural perils of earthquake and hurricane in the USA in just one week makes this holiday weekend’s Cotswold weather look positively docile ! ……
The natural perils of earthquake and hurricane in the USA in just one week makes this holiday weekend’s Cotswold weather look positively docile.
I wonder, does this make the US a more dangerous place to take a vacation than riot torn Britain?
Seriously…..you guys over there, batten down the hatches and be safe…..ok?
The weather in the Cotswolds…..
…..and in Philadelphia…..
The path of Hurricane Irene…..
One of the great things about the UK is the treasure of the BBC. We are so spoiled at having top quality networked programmes free of advertising although the BBC is under pressure from the big spending satellite channels.
When it comes to News, the BBC is charged with being independent but this does not stop politicians accusing it of bias. But when I hear Labour accusing the BBC of taking the Conservative point of view and visa versa, I am pretty comfortable that they have got it just right !
One thing we in the UK are rather fussy about is punctuality. The “nine o’clock news” is actually at NINE O’CLOCK, not a few minutes before or after, but actually AT the prescribed time and we even have the “pips” or the “Greenwich Time Signal” to ensure accuracy is spot on !
Many people outside the UK are familiar with the BBC World Service both on Radio and on TV but don’t get to hear what we actually listen to here in the country. So I just thought I would put up this – the BBC Radio 4 “Today” program that runs from 6:00am – 9:00am and has been my principle source of current affairs knowledge since I was a lad !
Incidentally, BBC Radio 4 is unique amongst radio stations – advertising free, serious news, magazine programmes, plays, it is a total indulgence for people that like occasionally to listen to something serious. Can you believe there is even a daily program called “Women’s Hour” !! We just don’t care whether its PC or not !
In the USA, NPR has done its best to emulate Radio 4 but with its limited budget, falls far short.
The programme that you can listen to below contains News, extended combative interviews, finance news, sport, weather, culture and entertainment, and even a “thought for today”. You can run it on to listen to news on the hour if you are not patient enough to listen to it all !!
Oh and by the way…..probably only about 50% of our news coverage on the BBC is actually about the UK !
Lets Tour England !
One of my favourite songs “The Wichita Lineman…..” – this is a nice 30 minute piece from BBC Radio if you have the time….
The Wichita Lineman is one of my favourite songs – the ultimate country/pop crossover track. U was in the car listening to this little programme on the BBC about a guy called David Crary, a lineman and part-time musician, describes his job and why he chose to record his own version of the song. If you have 30 minutes to spare – perhaps while you’re working on something else – it is worth listening to ! Just a laid back, innocent little programme which for me conjurers up the “grand scale” that is America – the endless roads, harsh weather, etc !
Lets Tour England
PS – When I put this up I didn’t realise that Glen Campbell had reported, in June 2011, that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease…..very sad.