Sunday, 14 November 2021
Monday, 8 November 2021
We had a second trip to Cleethorpes recently, and on Friday morning I took a stroll out from the house where we were staying. The sky was clear and the air still and cool. Perfect weather really. In the area known as High Cliff (which in fact is a low clay cliff, but higher than the surrounding land*) is a memorial to all the UK armed forces. The town plays host to parades on Armed Forces Day and this is the focal point at the end of the parade.
* Aside. In the early19th century the fishing village of Cleethorpes had become a resort, for presumably the relatively well-off as travel was by horse-drawn carriage. Much of the town's seafront was a low clay cliff, which was subject to erosion much like those on the Holderness coast of Yorkshire. By mid-century a railway had been built to neighbouring Grimsby, where the railway company had seen an opportunity and expanded the docks. So they built a railway and expanded the reason for building it to make sure it was successful! This was working so well that in the 1860s the railway company repeated the trick. As well as expanding the railway the couple of miles to Cleethorpes, they built the first part of the Promenade. As well as providing a place to perambulate (adding to the amenity of the place and encouraging more railway traffic), the promenade acted as a bulwark for the cliffs, preventing further erosion. That made the buildings in the old part of town safe too. Visionary stuff.
This is very near the Royal Air Forces Association building, and in front of that in the Pier Gardens is a memorial statue to the RAF. This being Lincolnshire, there is a big association with Bomber Command.
|Note the 's' in 'Forces'. The building also hosts the local branch of the Parachute Regiment Association.|
|The RAF memorial, currently undergoing renovation.|
These memorials I've known about, though both were installed in relatively recent times. A few paces further along in the gardens I came across a few new memorials.
|Bench installed in honour of Colour Sergeant Findlay of 2nd battalion the Parachute Regiment ('2 Para') killed in the Falklands War. A couple of links can be found below.|
|A few yards away is this bench in honour of the 2nd battalion, the Royal Anglian Regiment.|
The Royal Anglians are one of those multi-battalion regiments created following the mergers of county (infantry) regiments, in this case from Eastern England. 2 RAR incorporates the former Royal Lincolnshire Regiment (10th Foot), hence the nickname of the Poachers. The 'local' cavalry regiment was the 17th/21st Lancers, since subject to two further mergers, the last being in 2015. It's sad to note the flowers left on the bench, clearly indicating a loss in relatively recent times.
Across the way from the gardens, on Alexandra Road is a modern Baptist church. This replaced the earlier Baptist church that was hit by a bomb dropped by a Zeppelin in 1916. The church hall was temporarily being used to accommodate soldiers of the Manchester Regiment who had been sent to the area to help protect the Humber. Twenty-seven soldiers were killed outright with a further four dying of their wounds.
|Plaque tucked away on the side of the church. Links about this incident below.|
Two final memorials lie in this area. Both civilian. The author of the article on the Cleethorpes Heritage website, Dr Alan Dowling, was librarian at Grimsby Central Library and had a couple of books published on local history. One on the development of Grimsby and a companion book on the development of Cleethorpes. Both are excellent examples of good local history - not the usual collections of photos of 'bygones' that you get in local bookshops. On a bench close to the Poachers' bench is one with a plaque to the good doctor.
The other is a memorial to a much broader group of people. Those who lost their life at work.
All of these can found in an area 120 x 50 yards. See map below.
|The buildings to the right of the church are the council offices also hit in the Zeppelin raid. The third bomb fell in the street 2nd to right (Sea View Street).|
I'm glad that all these people referred to have been remembered in this way.
Sunday, 31 October 2021
|Under 3 feet wide. 34 inches or 87cm in new money.|
No. of painted and based figures
Austrian, Prussian, Russian
Parliamentarian and Royalist
American and British
Anglo-Portuguese-Spanish and Prussian
Finnish and Soviet
Thursday, 28 October 2021
|View from above the Prussians' position. Kesselsdorf is the town on the right, Zollmen on the centre-left. Prussian flanking cavalry and grenadiers above the stream to the right.|
|The infantry battle in the centre. The Prussians are gaining the upper hand.|
|Les Autrichiens arrivent! It would be a race against time. Could they get to the Saxon centre before the Prussians break through?|
|Breakthrough! Prussian infantry left in command of the centre. Saxon infantry is left isolated in Kesselsdorf. The Saxon cavalry brigades in the centre of the picture each have two losses; one more each and they 'rout'.|
|The Saxon right at the end. The Austrian foot is seen in their slow deployment into line. The Austrian cavalry had already been removed at this point.|
Wednesday, 27 October 2021
It's been a strained couple of weeks which I might elaborate on at some point. However, I finally got down to some wargaming. After two weeks of the game being set up and ready on the table, I got down to running through Kesselsdorf with my rusty understanding of the Twilight of the Soldier Kings rules. More of that anon. The weekend before I had a trip up to north London for SELWG and met the Two Davids of The Ragged Soldier and St Cyr on Wheels blogs.
I enjoyed my day out (I'll gloss over the hordes of maskless NFL fans on the Tube) and it was nice to put faces to names from the blogosphere. Stand out displays for me were the 1930s Thai civil war game, the 1950s French Indo-China game, and the 2mm Ancients game which seemed to have a fully-engaged group of participants. No damage was done to my credit rating on impulse buys either.
|The intriguing venue for SELWG|
|View down the length of the Thai game|
|Close-up of the Thai game. Government forces moving up to confront the rebels. I was taken by the 'mule train' (If I remember correctly, they were actually donkeys).|
|More action from the Thai game|
|From a great looking Sikh War game|
|The aforesaid ancients game|
More recently we had a family trip to my home town. Most of the branch down here and the Liverpool branch. We all assembled (6 in total) in Cleethorpes and had some good quality family time together, and some good quality fish and chips too. Forget everywhere else as far as the national dish is concerned, as it is a pale imitation. On the Sunday we walked along the south promenade and after deciding not to wait for the next departure on the miniature railway, we continued walking down the coast towards Humberston. I then remembered something I'd read about in a recent Grauniad [sic] article and suggested we head there.
This is the overly alliterative, but fabulous Buck Beck Beach Bench. Originally it was a makeshift bench made out of driftwood on the seaward side of salt marshes and dunes. Over time it has been built up, swept away, re-built and swept away again, only to be built up afresh. Nine or ten times. More can be read on it here. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Blimey%2C+Buck+Beck+Beach+Bench%27s+blossomed!+the+origins+behind...-a0650673599
|Looking like the last stand of a British column in some far flung part of the Empire|
|With random dog walker|
|Some of the flotsam and jetsam used|
|Not so random wife-type person contemplating the enormity of the sky|
|Haile Sand Fort, close to Humberston, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire|
Monday, 11 October 2021
Ach, real life getting in the way. I meant to run the Kesselsdorf game by the end of the weekend, but other stuff is getting in the way.
Work has seen an uptick in busyness and more evening calls. Depending on timing, I have dinner before or after, then go for a swim, and then 15 minutes on a mindfulness app. I’m not minded to do the game after that.
Then there are other ‘discretionary activities’. Like going to watch football, listening to football commentary (lately it’s been two games a week). Or getting a haircut - it was getting to the point this wasn’t discretionary if I didn’t want to look like the crazy person that sits next to you on the bus. So Saturday was used up swimming, then haircut, lunch, travel to Woking for football (with the ritual socialising before and after). By the time Strictly had finished I was dozing off on the sofa. Sunday disappeared after a morning swim, with further snoozes on the sofa and later on the bed.
So back to weekday ritual today. Late calls, dinner, swim, meditation. I am snatching some reading time. I’ve started re-reading Twilight of the Soldier Kings to refresh myself on the rules. And yesterday I finished off Flashman and the Mountain of Light. This naturally turned the mind back to the Sikh Wars specifically, and colonial wars generally. Maybe I’d be better off with something more asymmetrical than the Sikh Wars to get that real colonial war feel. Two European trained horse and musket armies might be a bit samey, even if one is in fancier gear.
All of which butters no parsnips, and next weekend is already filling up. SELWG on Sunday where I will hopefully meet up with a couple of bloggers. And Saturday sees the Mighty Mariners (I can hear you sniggering) are live on the Box (BBC Red Button) with their FA Cup qualifier at Bromsgrove. Set your alarm for 12:30 BST, thrill seekers.
Thursday, 7 October 2021
I don’t normally buy wine, or anything else, for fancy labels. In fact, I have a prejudicial view that it is likely to be poor value if it has an attractive or engaging label, or ‘clever’ name. You know the sort of thing. A French wine given the Anglo-Saxon treatment with a punning name. But how could I resist this (in Aldi)?
|Grenade. Sponton. Mousquet.|
Too soon to tell if this is any good.