Vote, Vote, Vote…

This morning I put an X on a ballot paper for only the fourth time in 54 years. I voted for the political party that is rooted at the bottom of the opinion polls, not because of my life-long inclination to support The Underdog, but because I admire the party leader above any other right now. Gerard Batten is an accidental politician. Not the real thing. Too honest, too trustworthy, and he seems to care about his country and its people. The dirty, dirty smear merchants have given him a hard time but he has managed to remain calm, refusing to be bullied into any kind of submissive apology for perceived errors of judgement. (Throwing people under buses doesn’t seem to be his style.) I hope he will be re-elected to the top job at UKIP later this year.

I hope, too, that a few million of those who didn’t vote in the 2016 Referendum have turned out today, to vote whichever way they feel is right. It would be terrific if all the 33 million vote again too.

Had “Remain” won three years ago I would have accepted the outcome and not moaned for a re-run. I don’t much care what picture the results paint on Sunday evening. The UK regime clearly had no intention of leaving the European “Super State”. The likelihood is that we will be an EU colony for the duration. Not for generations to come because, as a species, we don’t have that long left. Probably. But, if climate change, the Sixth Mass Extinction or nuclear war doesn’t get us, maybe today’s young people will see the EU go the way of all empires. And wildly celebrate the throwing off of their shackles.

Waiting for a Bus

20190420AgnesD361Becoming involved with Agnes Jackson has opened connections to several headstones and there is much work to be done on the FamilySearch Tree before I can upload the photographs as ‘Memories’. A lot of this effort is routine and I can listen to ‘talk YouTube’ without becoming too distracted.  Yesterday morning, however, I had to take time out to witness the infectious delight of a UKIP candidate for the EU gravy train. He’d just heard about Tommy Robinson’s Bus. Cats and pigeons came immediately to mind. Life in the New Wild West, eh? (This morning a BBC radio news bulletin reported that 40% of Conservative councillors told pollsters they will vote for Farage’s Brexit Party in the European Elections. The BBC is the home of government propaganda and fake news – but this offering appears to be true.)

TR’s bus idea isn’t new. Perhaps one of his advisers remembered Daniel Meadows travelling around the country in the early 70s in a Leyland double-decker, reaching out to and photographing ordinary people. I saw it parked outside the Central Library in Hull but was too self-conscious to sit for Daniel’s camera. A few years later I did write to Martin Parr, while he was photographing in Hebden Bridge, but didn’t receive a reply. Sean O’Hagan writes about both photographers in The Guardian – and both took pictures one summer at Filey Butlin’s. If you visit Daniel’s Photobus website please look for his Vimeo story about Florence Alma Snoad. (You can also view it here). It will be less than six minutes out of your life and  I doubt you’ll regret the investment.

A Fine Type of Englishman

I can’t remember how old I was when my father sat me down and explained that people lie. I do recall that he would subsequently say, often, that a particular person of his acquaintance would “lie and look at you”.

Theresa May has looked into a TV camera on hundreds of occasions in the last few years and lied to the British people. She continues to do so. She will never stop. (It’s clearly pathological.)

Claudius Galen WHEELHOUSE died a hundred and ten years ago. He was a surgeon of some renown, and in his years of retirement in Filey was variously a magistrate, churchwarden and chairman of several organizations at the centre of town life.

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Ah, those were the days, when people who served the public had high ideals of duty.

1849_OssyridecolumnsThebes_cgwAt the age of 29, Claudius was engaged by Henry PELHAM-CLINTON, Earl of Lincoln and later the 5th Duke of Newcastle, to take “medical charge” of a yacht setting out on a voyage around the Mediterranean. Claudius was able to indulge his interest in photography. He was an early practitioner of the Talbot-type process, producing paper negatives from which quantities of prints could subsequently be made. (Image left by Claudius is of the Osyride Columns at Thebes. Thirteen years later a rather more famous early photographer, Francis BEDFORD,  would follow in his footsteps.) The Mediterranean voyage ended in shipwreck but, safely back in England, Claudius presented his negatives to his employer. In March 1879 they were destroyed in a fire at Clumber House, along with many other works of art. Fortunately, Claudius had made an album of prints and the images lived on to illustrate some of his traveller’s tales.

One particularly wonderful story, told by Pam Smith, concerns a remarkable encounter between Claudius and another Filey ancient.

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In memory of CLAUDIUS GALEN WHEELHOUSE F.R.C.S., born 29th of December 1826, died 9th April 1909.

‘Waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus’

And of AGNES CAROLINE, his wife, born October 10th 1824, died April 13th 1911.

Claudius died at Cliff Point, the former Coastguard House at the end of Queen Street.

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Postcard, no date, courtesy Christine Hayes

It may seem inappropriate to now take you back to Brexit but I watched a video this morning, made by a fine type of Swedish Man, and wanted to share it.