Race For Life

Another gloomy day and a joyful batch of rediscovered colour slides. The morning’s task – obviously – was to scan them.

These are from Nottingham’s Race for Life in June 2006.

Daughter-in-Law, Heidi is the tall woman in the centre of the throng gathering for the off.

Louisa, Gemma S, Heidi, and Emily raring to go; Gemma and Louisa taking on early refreshments.

Confident granddaughter, Emily, two months after representing Croydon in the Mini London Marathon, meant serious business.

Louisa and her friend, Gemma, were out to have fun, as well as

raise funds for Cancer Research in honour of Gemma’s Dad and Louisa’s mother who was also Heidi’s mother-in-law, and Emily’s grandmother.

Like her daughter, Heidi was comfortable throughout.

It was perhaps a little tougher for some.

Here, the ladies proudly sport their medals. Gemma was Gemma B on the day. She would soon marry Paul S, who stands beside her, as Louisa would soon marry Errol, standing beside her.

This afternoon’s scanning was of the next four ‘Little Dorrit’ illustrations by Charles Keeping.

‘Minnie was there, alone’, giving the artist an opportunity for a romantic, bucolic, scene;

while, in ‘She started up suddenly, with a half-scream’, and ‘Mr Flintwinch gravely pledged him’, we recognise the book’s most evil character (adopting an alias) and the elderly couple from their earlier manifestations.

‘She bounced across to the opposite pavement’ depicts the haughtiness of Little Dorrit’s sister taking offence at the humbler young woman’s escorting a pauper.

This evening we dined on well-baked pork chops topped with almond flakes; sage and onion stuffing; crisp Yorkshire pudding; roast potatoes and parsnips; firm carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage and runner beans, with spicy gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden and I drank Réserve de Bonpas 2019.

Tyburnia And Other Parts of West London

With today’s incessant steady rain pattering overhead I scanned another set of recently discovered colour slides. These form another batch for my Streets of London series – I think from May 2008.

There are always building works going on somewhere in the capital. These were in Craven Hill Gardens W2, not far from my flat in Sutherland Place.

Similarly roadworks are ubiquitous, as in Gloucester Terrace.

Unfortunately I cannot decipher the street name, too far back in this typical W2 scene.

The area contains many Mews, such as Conduit,


and Smallbrook.

As suggested in https://derrickjknight.com/2017/09/04/remembering-hyde-park-square/ a mews was a small yard containing stables which have, with one exception, now been converted into upmarket residences.

Right Move quotes current average prices for Conduit, £2,087,500 and Chilworth, £1,200,000.

For £3,500,000 you could splash out for a modernised four bedroomed property complete with roof terrace in Smallbrook.

Marks & Spencer has a branch in Notting Hill Gate, W11.

Nearby, the Art Shop in Pembridge Road was my regular supplier of materials.

Notting Hill, an affluent district of West London, England,[1] in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Notting Hill is known for being a cosmopolitan and multicultural neighbourhood, hosting the annual Notting Hill Carnival and Portobello RoadMarket.[2] From around 1870, Notting Hill had an association with artists.[3]

For much of the 20th century, the large houses were subdivided into multi-occupancy rentals. Caribbean immigrants were drawn to the area in the 1950s, partly because of the cheap rents, but were exploited by slum landlords like Peter Rachman and also became the target of white Teddy Boys in the 1958 Notting Hill race riots.

Then known for its slum housing, in the early 21st century, after decades of gentrification, Notting Hill has a reputation as an affluent and fashionable area,[4] known for attractive terraces of large Victorian townhouses and high-end shopping and restaurants (particularly around Westbourne Grove and Clarendon Cross). A Daily Telegraph article in 2004 used the phrase “the Notting Hill Set[5] to refer to a group of emerging Conservative politicians, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, who would become respectively Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer and were once based in Notting Hill. North Kensington is also home to the Grenfell Tower, which burnt down in 2017.’ (Wikipedia)

‘A turnpike gate was constructed at the foot of the hill on the main road from London to Uxbridge, now Oxford Street, Bayswater Road and Holland Park Avenue along this part of its route. The point at which the turnpike gate stood was known as Notting Hill Gate. The gate was there to stop people passing along the road without paying. The proceeds were applied towards the maintenance of this important road. The gate was removed in the 19th century and the high road was widened and straightened in the 1960s, involving the demolition of many buildings, the linking of two separate tube stations and the construction of two tower blocks.’ (Wikipedia)

I featured the Carnival in https://derrickjknight.com/2021/01/14/notting-hill-carnival/

Spring Street W2 is in the area of Paddington known as Tyburnia, ‘a part of Paddington created to an 1824 masterplan by Samuel Pepys Cockerell to redevelop the historic lands of the Bishop of London, known as the Tyburn Estate, into a residential area to rival Belgravia.’ (Wikipedia).

Here is an extract from https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol9/pp190-198#p1


Tyburnia was a name used in the early 19th century for the south-eastern corner of the parish, the first part of the Paddington Estate to be built up. (fn. 1) It was adopted presumably because ‘Tyburn’ was already well known, as a reference to the gallows at Tyburn tree. (fn. 2) The old name of the execution site was itself misplaced since the Tyburn, teo or ‘boundary’ stream, (fn. 3) ran much farther east, from Hampstead across Marylebone to Oxford Street. The Marylebone manor of Lisson lay west of the stream, along Edgware Road, and that of Tyburn to the east. (fn. 4)Paddington’s Tyburnia, in the angle between Edgware and Bayswater roads, stretched westward from the former gallows to merge with Bayswater. In the 1870s the name was confined to a fashionable area, bounded on the west by Westbourne and Gloucester terraces, north of Lancaster Gate. (fn. 5) The area described below extends westward only to Eastbourne Terrace and the southern end of Westbourne Terrace (fn. 6) but northward to the industrial belt beyond Praed Street, as far as the canal basin. It covers Hyde Park ward and a southerly part of Church ward, as created in 1901, and also includes St. George’s burial ground. (fn. 7)

The execution site (fn. 8) was chosen presumably because there was a prominent group of trees at the parting of two main roads out of London. Some medieval references to ‘the elms’ may have been to those at Smithfield, but it was at Tyburn that William FitzOsbert was hanged in 1196 and at the elms there that Roger Mortimer, earl of March, died in 1330. From the 14th century many political executions took place at Tyburn, where the trees probably made way for temporary gallows before a permanent triangular frame was set up in 1571. The frame was depicted by Hogarth, (fn. 9) in whose day it was known as Tyburn tree and served as London’s chief place of public execution, where 21 victims could be hanged simultaneously. Often there were triumphant processions and huge crowds, an estimated 200,000 attending the death of Jack Sheppard in 1724. A grandstand on the west side of Edgware Road was sometimes used, (fn. 10) before and after the triangular frame was replaced by a movable gallows in 1759, until criticism led to the choice of a new site outside Newgate gaol in 1783.

The triangular gallows stood in the centre of the wide southern extremity of Edgware Road until the building of the Uxbridge road tollhouse in 1759. The approximate site has been marked by successive plaques: against the railings of Hyde Park, in 1909 in Edgware Road, and in 1964, after road widening, on a traffic island at the junction with Bayswater Road. The position of the later movable gallows was c. 50 yards farther north in Edgware Road and was thought in the 1870s to have been that of a house at the south-east corner of Connaught Square (formerly no. 49), (fn. 11) although several sites close by have been suggested.

Burials of corpses from Tyburn were recorded from 1689 and brought profit to the minister and churchwardens of Paddington in the late 17th and the 18th century, (fn. 12) when execution days came to be known as ‘Paddington fair’. (fn. 13) Remains were also buried under the scaffold and unearthed when the area came to be built up. Among them were the presumed bones of Oliver Cromwell and fellow regicides, whose posthumous consignment to a pit at the gallows’ foot in 1661 probably gave rise to William Blake’s allusion to ‘mournful ever-weeping Paddington’. (fn. 14)

The Craven Hill Gardens W2 sign hangs on the railings of one of the two communal residential gardens typical of Victorian Bayswater estates.

The green hut in the centre of Kensington Park Road opposite Ladbroke Road W11 is explained in https://derrickjknight.com/2018/01/15/up-west/ which features another Cabmen’s Shelter.

Jackie received her vaccination invitation this afternoon and was able to make an appointment for 5th February.

This evening we dined on succulent roast pork; sage and onion stuffing; crisp potatoes, including the sweet variety, and well frosted parsnips, roasted in jalfrezi-flavoured oil; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender runner beans, and tasty gravy, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Comté Tolosan Rouge.

A Champion Sculler And An Auctioneer

This morning I scanned a few more recently rediscovered colour slides, of West Brompton Cemetery from February 2009.

As can be seen from these first four images, this was the time for daffodils to bloom. At least two of the stones in the second picture bear the name Hannam; single blooms have been laid on the cross on Nicholas Wenevitinon’s plot in the third, and beside the crucifix on the fourth. Perhaps one of my readers will be able to read the inscription on this last stone. (See John Knifton’s response to this, and koolkosherkitchen’s confirmation, in the comments below).

This is the memorial to Robert Coombes who features in this page from https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/brompton-cemetery/explore-brompton-cemetery/robert-coombes

‘Robert Coombes (1808-1860)

The fastest man on the Thames and the Tyne.

Coombes was one of the greatest professional oarsmen of his time. He began rowing when he was still a boy, working as a waterman carrying passengers on the River Thames.

Thames watermen engravingThames watermen rowed passengers up and down the river, while lightermen carried goods and cargo. Both required great skill, strength and an intimate knowledge of the river and its tides. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons via Flickr)

He started winning rowing races when he was in his late twenties, becoming English Sculling Champion three times. Though he was small and light, Coombes’s considerable rowing skill meant he could beat bigger and stronger men.

He competed individually but also had notable rowing success as part of a crew of four. Coombes’ team beat renowned rower Thomas Clasper and his crew on the River Tyne for the first time in 1842, and several times afterwards on the Thames.

(Credit: Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News)

Coombes went on to coach teams from both universities competing in the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, leading Cambridge to victory twice. He stopped coaching when controversy arose over the use of professional (working class) watermen to teach the amateur (upper class) university teams.

Boat Race 1841The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1841, a year after Robert first became involved as a coach. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite his incredibly successful rowing and coaching career, Coombes died in poverty in Kent Lunatic Asylum in 1860. His impressive monument, topped with an upturned boat, was paid for by friends and members of the public. Many Thames watermen came to his funeral.

Watermens HallIn 1700, the men who rowed people and goods on the Thames joined together form The Company of Watermen and Lightermen. The Company, based at The Watermen’s Hall in the City of London, remains a working guild and is actively involved with the life of the River and those who work on it. (Credit: Steve Cadman / Wikimedia Commons via Flickr (CC-BY-SA))

(Garrulous Gwendoline’s comments below offer more information on Watermen and Lightermen)

This bas relief plaque commemorates

‘Samuel Leigh Sotheby (1805-1861)

The third and final generation of the Sotheby family to be involved with the famous auction house.

Samuel Leigh was the grandson of bookseller and auctioneer John Sotheby, who helped establish the celebrated auction house that still bears the family’s name.

John’s son Samuel expanded and rebranded the family business, then Samuel took on his own son, Samuel Leigh. Father and son worked well together. Samuel Leigh proved to be a good businessman, and was responsible for many of their finest catalogues. However, the company got into difficulties in 1825 and was declared bankrupt.

Samuel Leigh changed the company name to S L Sotheby in 1837 and, when his father died five years later, took on his accountant John Wilkinson as a partner. John was a great salesman, and Samuel produced beautiful auction catalogues. Between them, they rebuilt the business into the premier auction house for antiquarian books.

Samuel Leigh also edited and completed books begun by his father, and wrote and published his own work, including a volume on John Milton’s autographs. He was a great collector too, particularly of auction house and library catalogues, and the works of English artists.

Samuel Leigh died tragically and unexpectedly in June 1861. He was walking near Buckfast Abbey in Devon, when he fell into the River Dart and drowned.’ https://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/brompton-cemetery/explore-brompton-cemetery/samuel-leigh-sotheby2

The Coldstream Guards are well represented in the military section. (For more information on this, see the link on Quercus’s comment below).

These last two black and white conversions feature one of the covered arcades and a sculpture I haven’t identified.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s tasty cottage pie; toothsome cauliflower, carrots, and cabbage, with meaty gravy. She drank Hoegaarden while I drank more of the Comté Tolosan Ruge.

‘Lor!’, Chuckled Maggy

Barry of New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs finished most of his work on our kitchen extension roof today. While he was doing so, I made him a set of A4 prints from my pictures of him from the last two days.

He sent me his own images of the new lead flashings and my mug. One of our problems has been the down pipe running rainwater directly onto the tiles. Barry will extend that on Monday.

Later, I read four more chapters of ‘Little Dorrit’, and scanned four more of Charles Keeping’s expressive illustrations.

Keeping has captured the rapt expression of this child-woman being read a story in ‘ ‘Lor!’, said Maggy, giving her knees a hug.’ Despite Maggy’s previous portrait having been full face, the artist has retained an instantly recognised likeness.

‘The private residence of Mr Pancks was in Pentonville’ where the artist could well have modelled these buildings on those still extant today.

‘Mr Henry Gowan seemed to have a malicious pleasure in playing off the three talkers against each other.’ The boy peeping over the group has been cleverly included in this picture – such is the artist’s attention to detail.

‘Parasite little tenements, with the cramp in their whole frame.’

This evening we dined on Jackie’s classic cottage pie; crunchy carrots and cauliflower; tender cabbage and runner beans, with tasty gravy. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while I drank Chevalier de Fauvert Comté Tolosan Rouge 2019, a remarkably smooth low-priced Lidl find.

A Greasy Spoon

Barry, of New Forest Chimney Sweeping and Repairs continued today with his work on our kitchen extension roof.

Painstakingly he removed the spent lead flashing and prepared the surfaces for the replacement material.

Only when he was satisfied that he had firm bases did he begin to lay the new lead. This is tough work for one man. The care he takes is patent.

This evening Barry sent me his own photographs of his work, including his earlier project on the Velux window.

Just after lunch, Ronan from Tom Sutton Heating visited to fix a minor central heating problem.

Four chapters further into ‘Little Dorrit’ I have scanned four more of Charles Keeping’s exemplary illustrations.

Unusually, the text of the page containing ‘A dirty shop-window in a dirty street’, describes a different building, the home of the character in the next illustration. Here we have a poor man’s eating house, the Victorian equivalent of a greasy spoon, namely ‘a small, cheap eatery – either an American diner or coffee shop, or a British or Irish cafe – typically specialising in fried foods and/or home-cooked meals.’ (Wikipedia). During my running days I was a connoisseur of London’s wide-spread finest, such as The Martin Café

“Mrs Merdle was magnificent’ – and proud of it.

Tobacconists, such as ‘It was a very small establishment’ have all but disappeared from London’s streets except for the West End.

With ‘He was surprised to see a bonnet labouring up the step-ladder’, the artist has split his drawing, and consequently the text, into a diagonal across the spread. It is a measure of Keeping’s consistency that these three characters are each recognisable from their earlier appearances.

This evening we dined on breaded cod and oven chips; cod, asparagus, and pea fishcakes; petits pois; pickled onions and wallies; with which we both drank Western Cape Sauvignon Blanc 2020


Despite the dismally wet day Barry of New Forest Chimney Sweeping & Repairs made a good start on repairing another section of our kitchen extension roof.

We left him to it while Jackie drove me to The Grove Pharmacy, Christchurch Hospital for the first of my Astra-Zeneca Covid-19 vaccinations. The whole operation was smooth and painless.

A cold breeze ruffled my feathers as I took my place in the orderly queue.

The hospital is on a new estate off Fairmile Road. Jackie also photographed the Thank You sign painted on the comparatively new tarmac.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spice-hot chicken Jalfrezi; aromatic pilau rice; vegetable samosas; and fluffy parathas, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Macon.

Round The Harbour

On a sun-bright, finger-tingling afternoon we drove to Mudeford where I wandered for a while.

Fishing paraphernalia including coiled ropes, piled crab pots, bright buoys and rust-red chains lay neatly on the concrete and gravel area. Someone with a sense of national colours had placed a a child’s bright red and blue hat on an overturned white rowing boat.

There were plenty of socially distanced walkers, some casting long shadows.

A couple watched by a man sailing a dinghy passed the beach huts opposite; two others crunched along the shallows where

a young man photographed the still floundering capsized sailboat;

so did I, and Jackie focussed on the derelict rowing boat beside it.

A small group of cottages with good views of the sea are perched upon the quay itself.

Three silhouettes were working on some boats; others, with tinkling masts, were moored for the winter.

Jackie also photographed the open shore line, and pictured me, wings spread to aid balance while negotiating undulating potholes.

Early this evening Richard from Kitchen Makers visited to fix a leak in the kitchen waste pipe. He insisted on coming right away and refused payment, regarding this as after sales service. So service is not completely dead.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy chicken jalfrezi, boiled basmati rice, and parathas, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Macon.

Walking in Aquitaine

With five more chapters of Little Dorrit under my belt I now present five more of Charles Keeping’s splendid drawings.

‘Mr Flintwinch held the candle to her head’.

‘It was a charming place, on the road by the river’ is reminiscent of the paintings of John Constable. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Constable

In ‘He applied spoons to his eye’, Keeping has ably depicted that Young Barnacle had not exactly engrossed the assembled company.

As the artist shows with ‘Now or never was the time to speak to her’ never would have been preferable.

Charles Keeping will not be constrained by the blocks of type on his pages.

‘The brothers, walking up and down the College-yard, were a memorable sight’, gives him the opportunity for a double spread.

This afternoon I scanned and labelled another set of recently rediscovered colour slides. These are from France in April 2009.

During my sojourns in Sigoules I walked many miles in and around the town.

The blossom trees in the first picture were in the garden immediately across rue St Jacques from my front windows; the white blob receding in the far distance of the garden collecting tyres was on regular five mile circuit; for a while cattle in the field behind the supermarket were displaced for development; the church and war memorial are at Ste Innocence, near Eymet; I would pass the ploughed field on another circuitous ramble. What was built on the development site and the trip to Ste Innocence are described in https://derrickjknight.com/2012/06/10/le-code-bar/

I passed these rape fields on my fairly regular 8 mile walk to Eymet. It was probably a little after this particular time that I began to struggle with this one. The general advice when encountering the marathon runners’ “wall” was to run the through the pain. I had never experienced that particular difficulty, but surely, it seemed, the pain in my left hip would benefit from such an effort. Not so. 6 months later I was fitted with a new one. Although I continued walking very quickly after the operation, I never ran again.

Chris, Frances, and Elizabeth were staying with me that spring. We took the opportunity to visit Chris’s long-term friend Mike Ozga and his wife Oonagh who lived about 30 miles away.

A walk in the Dordogne woodland ensued. I wondered whose fossilised skull had been covered in moss.

This evening we reprised Jackie’s scrumptious beef pie dinner with similar beverages.

Preening Swans

Today the air was cold; the cotton-clouded cerulean skies bright and sunny.

After lunch we took a drive as far as Hatchet Moor and back, enabling me to tramp over the

burnt gorse Nash battlefield beside the lake.

Beaulieu Road is lined with pools surrounding the rooted feet of trees which are generally dry in summer.

Walkers with dogs sought dry land and children sought pools in which gleefully to splash.

Muddy tracks surrounded this extension of Hatchet Pond and its environs, paradise to

stately swans exploring the tufted grasses.

Here is Jackie’s take on the swans as they preened and investigated the tussocks.

She waved from her vantage point on the far side of the water, from which she also photographed fishermen in the battlefield and “Where’s Derrick?” (4).

On our return a shaggy grey pony blocked the entrance to Gaza Avenue in East Boldre, opposite which her equine cousins grazed.

One bay crossed the soggy reflective terrain and was immediately followed by a slightly more mottled specimen.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s succulent beef and mushroom pie; creamy swede and potato mash; firm carrots, tender cabbage, and meaty gravy, with which she drank Hoegaarden and, having opened another bottle, I drank more of the Macon.

Rough Sleeping

This afternoon I scanned a few more recently rediscovered colour slides from August 2008. These are from a visit to Kew Gardens.

Beside the lake huge gunnera grow; upon it plays a splendid fountain.

The Titan Arum, or Amorphophallus Titanum, otherwise, on account of its putrid pong, known as the corpse plant, a native of Sumatra, is grown in the tropical hothouse. My second image bears a loose resemblance to the unfortunate hooded Elephant Man of Victorian England.

Later, I received a text inviting me to book an appointment for a Covid vaccine at our own surgery in Milford on Sea. This has to be done on line. If I don’t do it I will receive a phone call next week. Having already been offered and booked one in Christchurch I tried to telephone to discuss this. It was, of course, not possible. It looks as if I will take the bird in the hand.

With two more chapters of ‘Little Dorrit’ read, I scanned two more of Charles Keeping’s inimitable illustrations.

First we have ‘It became necessary to lead Mr F’s Aunt from the room’, which offers three different, accurate portraits.

‘Past homeless people lying coiled up in nooks’ depicts a social ill which to some lesser extent is still with us, as demonstrated by this East End Review article of April 15th 2015:

‘The homeless person sleeping rough might be a common image in London today, but in the 19th century there were hundreds spilling onto the streets every night.

Short but powerful, the new exhibition Homes of the Homeless: Seeking Shelter in Victorian London at the Geffrye Museum seeks to illuminate the daily struggle of the bitterly poor in the city 200 years ago. What this exhibition highlights most candidly is the juxtaposition between the Victorian ideal of the home and the reality of destitution in this period.

Some took to sleeping in London’s parks, while others tumbled into shelters and workhouses, where conditions varied massively. Queueing for accommodation was something frequently seen on the streets come dark, even in central locations like Covent Garden, and protests broke out as hundreds camped out in Trafalgar Square.

The Pinch of Poverty by Thomas Benjamin Kennington 1891. Credit: The Foundling Museum
The Pinch of Poverty by Thomas Benjamin Kennington 1891. Credit: The Foundling Museum

Touching in so many different ways, the exhibition features paintings, photographs, testimonials and engravings all depicting homelessness in its various guises. The destitute family was a common image, with children evoking particular sympathy, and billboards and newspapers both carried adverts imploring people to give whatever they could to support the city’s more unfortunate souls. The government did, by today’s standards, much to stem the flow of homelessness in the capital, but as the century progressed, the problem became more difficult to contain.

Homes of the Homeless charts this challenge, touching on the different approaches to homelessness – from casual wards where ‘inmates’ could exchange hard labour for a place to sleep, to model lodging houses that were designed to more closely imitate a real home – as well as real people’s reactions to their dire circumstances, collected from investigative journalism and charity reports.

Thoroughly researched and straightforwardly presented, this exhibition is accessible to anyone interested in the history of London. With glaring relevance today, it presents a significant slice of history that should not be overlooked, and an important lesson in charity and compassion. Homes of the Homeless is a succinct, enlightening exhibition in one of London’s most charming museums.’

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome chicken and vegetable stewp with crusty bread, with which I drank more of the Macon.