Category Archive 'Britain'
30 Nov 2019

“We’re Only Asking for Common Sense Narwhal Tusk Control”

, ,


The man can be seen with a narwhal tusk in his right hand.

The Insider reports that British hoplophobes have a whole new category of armament to worry about.

A man used a 5 foot narwhal tusk to confront the London Bridge terror suspect, according to an eyewitness in Fishmongers’ Hall, a building at the north side of the bridge where the attack began.

On Friday afternoon, two victims were killed and three were injured by the suspect, who was wearing a fake explosive vest, law enforcement said. The suspect was shot and killed by police.

Writer and director Amy Coop tweeted what she witnessed at the scene: “A guy who was with us at Fishmongers Hall took a 5′ narwhale [sic] tusk from the wall and went out to confront the attacker.”
In a video of the attack a man can be seen wielding a large white pole, which according to Coop is a narwhal tusk.

RTWT

22 Nov 2019

New Hoard Found in Hereford

, , , ,


One of two “Emperor” coins.

Too bad that the metal detectors got greedy and fell afoul of the authorities. The Guardian has pictures and the story.

On a sunny day in June 2015 amateur metal detectorists George Powell and Layton Davies were hunting for treasure in fields at a remote spot in Herefordshire.

The pair had done their research carefully and were focusing on a promising area just north of Leominster, close to high land and a wood with intriguing regal names – Kings Hall Hill and Kings Hall Covert.

But in their wildest dreams they could not have imagined what they were about to find when the alarm on one of their detectors sounded and they began to dig.

Powell and Davies unearthed a hoard hidden more than 1,000 years ago, almost certainly by a Viking warrior who was part of an army that retreated into the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia after being defeated by Alfred the Great in 878.

There was gold jewellery including a chunky ring, an arm bracelet in the shape of a serpent and a small crystal ball held by thin strips of gold that would have been worn as a pendant. Beneath the gold were silver ingots and an estimated 300 silver coins.

The law is clear: such finds should be reported to the local coroner within 14 days and failure to do so risks an unlimited fine and up to three months in prison. Any reward may be split between the finder, land owner and land occupier.

Powell and Davies, experienced detectorists from south Wales, chose a different route. Two days later they went to a Cardiff antiques centre called the Pumping Station and showed some examples of their find to coin dealer Paul Wells. He immediately knew they were very special.

The crystal ball pendant turned out to be the oldest item, probably dating from the 5th or 6th century, while the ring and arm bracelet are thought to be 9th- century. They were described as priceless in court. Nothing like the arm bracelet has ever been seen by modern man before.

But if anything, the coins turned out to be even more significant. Among them were extremely rare “two emperor” coins depicting two Anglo-Saxon rulers: King Alfred of Wessex and Ceolwulf II of Mercia. They are important because they give a fresh glimpse of how Mercia and Wessex were ruled in the 9th century at about the time England was morphing into a single united kingdom.

Still, the pair did not contact the authorities. Instead Powell got in touch with another treasure hunter, Simon Wicks from East Sussex, and two weeks after the find he presented himself at upmarket coin auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb in Mayfair, central London.

Wicks put a selection of the coins found in Herefordshire, including a pair of the two emperors, in front of one its leading experts. The expert gasped when he saw the coins and suggested the two emperors could be worth £100,000 each.

Meanwhile, whispers that Powell and Davies had struck gold had begun to circulate and on 6 July – 33 days after their discovery – the Herefordshire finds liaison officer, Peter Reavill, contacted Powell and Davies and gently asked if they had anything to tell him about.
Powell initially replied with a firm denial but they eventually handed over the gold jewellery and an ingot. However, they insisted they had only found a couple of damaged coins that they did not need to declare.

But the net was closing in. Police visited Wells’ house and he showed them five coins from the hoard that had been stitched into his magnifying glass case. When he was arrested he said: “I knew it would come to this.”

RTWT


The rock crystal pendant.

03 Nov 2019

Clarkson Takes on Anti-Hunters With Left-Wing Faces

, , , , ,

Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson has taken his millions and done what wealthy Brits always do: Move to the country to enjoy rural life and sports.

And, like any good country squire, Jeremy has taken up Shooting Driven Game.

His column is behind a paywall in the Sunday Times:

I was up early the other day because I was keen to write about the Britannia Hotels group’s incredible achievement of being voted the UK’s worst chain for the seventh year running. Imagine. You’re told you’re rubbish once and then you keep on being rubbish for six straight years. I wanted to comment about such an extraordinary level of commitment to slack-jawed slovenliness.

But then I noticed that the survey had been done by Which?, an organisation that is really only interested in reaching adenoidal people in action trousers and sandals who contribute to TripAdvisor and run the neighbourhood watch scheme. As a general rule, I’ve always reckoned that if something does badly in Which?, it’s probably pretty good.

As I sat, deciding which side to take in the great hotel debate, I was distracted by an annoying man on Radio 4’s Farming Today show. He was from the airborne wing of the Labour Party — also known as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds — and he was talking about how he thought shooting game birds might be a bad thing.

The RSPB has always been prevented by its royal charter from campaigning against the shooting industry — Mrs Queen likes to strangle a pheasant or two at Christmas time, as we know — but it has worked out that it can comment if it reckons shooting is done by rich bastards in Range Rovers.

Now, the columnist Charles Moore said recently that the actress Olivia Colman had a “left-wing face”. I won’t comment on that, but I will say that Martin Harper, the man the RSPB sent to Radio 4, had a left-wing voice. Chris Packham has both a left-wing voice and a left-wing face, and he wants us all to stop using fly spray.

Anyway, Martin reckoned that if you release 50m non-native game birds into the British countryside every year, it’s bound to have an effect. When pressed by the interviewer for a specific effect, he said: “Er, climate change.” That was lucky for the Britannia Hotels chain, because I immediately abandoned my original plan and decided to write about shooting instead.

The first thing I did when I started a small shoot was plant several acres of so-called cover crops. Maize, sunflowers and something called kale, which can be eaten by humans if they are very deranged. These crops provide warmth, food and a place to hide from Johnny Fox, not just for my pheasants but a whole squadron of other birds too.

We keep reading about how endangered the yellowhammer is these days; well, not on my farm it isn’t. Since I started my shoot, the skies are black with them. And goldcrests. And wrens. And skylarks. The dawn chorus used to be nothing but the occasional squawk of a murderous crow, whereas now it’s positively philharmonic.

Research has shown that if you run through a field of crops planted by a shootist, you are 340 times more likely to encounter a songbird than if you do a Theresa May and run through a field of grass.

So, Martin, if the RSPB does manage to ban shooting, then, yes, you will be championed as a class hero throughout the vegan strongholds of Islington and Shoreditch, but you will also be responsible for the deaths of a million linnets. Which, as far as I know, isn’t why the RSPB was founded.

And then there are the woods, where the pheasants are held until they are old enough to forage on their own. Woods are beautiful and still. They’re places to shelter from the endless drone of light-aircraft enthusiasts. Mine are full of roe deer and muntjac and squirrels and badgers, and at this time of year there are many mushrooms too. I love to spend an evening down there as the leaves turn golden, giggling. Everyone likes woods, except if you are in a horror film.

But they generate no income. So if shooting were banned, I’d have to get Brazilian on their arses and turn them into farmland. Is that what you want, Martin? Because I fear that would create a damn sight more climate change than my Range Rover.

Of course, I’m well aware that some people might bridle at the sight and sound of eight hedge-fund managers in tweed shorts, braying their way through a pint of sloe gin while brandishing a pair of £20,000 shotguns, but what good comes from making them take up golf instead?

There are many hobbies that inflict far more pain and misery on others: light aircraft — I’m not giving up on that — the violin, motorcycling, strimming, morris dancing and so on, so why pick on one that’s good for nature and good for the way the countryside looks?

Pointedly, it’s good for birds too. Not just songbirds, but the kind of stuff that makes kids point at the sky and squeak with joy. Birds of prey. Since I started a shoot, I have seen a huge increase in the number of kestrels and buzzards over my farm. I even think I spotted a peregrine falcon the other day, and that made my heart soar.

Was it here because it likes eating my pheasants and partridges? There’s some debate about that, but the truth is I don’t really care if it does take a few. Because I like having it around.

Clarkson is right in saying that the Ringneck pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) is not native to Britain, but they were actually introduced by Julius Caesar a very long time ago, you’d think they’d have been given naturalized citizenship by now.

12 Aug 2019

Somebody Has to Do It

, , ,

01 Aug 2019

Older Britain Is Not Entirely Dead

, , ,


The shirtless man walks calmly into the DIY store after being knifed in the back.

The Sun reports:

A stabbing victim walked calmly into a DIY store to buy an axe so he could hunt down his attacker.

The shirtless man, who had been fighting in the Homebase car park, headed inside then screamed at staff: “Get me a f***ing axe!”

One terrified worker helped him find a 2ft weapon before he threw £10 on the counter.

The man, who had been knifed in the back, tucked the axe under his arm and headed outside to continue the fight.

Shoppers scattered as he went looking for the knifeman but, by the time police arrived, both of them had fled.

One witness said: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It just isn’t the sort of thing you would ever expect to see and I hope they’re both caught. Someone easily could have been killed.”

The incident happened at the Homebase shop in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.

RTWT

Any bets that the assailant was not a Muslim?

29 Jul 2019

The British Restoration

, , ,

Breitbart is gleeful.

I remember having an argument about this once at a dinner thrown by Rees-Mogg’s old school chum William Sitwell. A fellow guest insisted that Mogg was far too posh to reach the highest levels in politics. But the person making this claim was a middle-class Remainer who was essentially projecting his liberal elite prejudices. Out in the country at large, however, people just don’t have this chippy attitude. Just as squaddies in the Army still often prefer it if their platoon commander is a Rupert with a proper public school accent, so constituents — as is certainly the case in Jacob’s North-East Somerset parliamentary seat — have a sneaking fondness for an old-fashioned, lord-of-the-manor type with impeccable manners, a mastery of the English language, and a respect for Britain’s traditions.

This is one of the things that has been so enjoyable about watching the Boris Johnson administration in action. It’s like watching Odysseus returning to Ithaca and clearing his court of all the wastrels, louts, and spendthrifts who have taken over in his absence; it’s like witnessing the Restoration of Charles II after years in which Britain had been in thrall to hatchet-faced, Christmas-and-Maypole-banning Puritans; it’s like Britain once more becoming the place we used to know and love before the social justice warriors and race-baiters and cry-bullies and diversity officers and sustainability consultants almost went and ruined everything.

Watching the new gang — Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg especially — competing in the Commons last week to see who could most wittily and imaginatively put down the Opposition, I was reminded of the good old days at the Oxford Union when Oxford was still a halfway decent university and hadn’t completely surrendered to whiny, entitled Communists.

The swagger, the confidence, the bantering good humour — where making your point is all very well, but what matters far more is the style and wit with which you do it — reminded me how much we’ve been missing in Parliament all these years as MPs with class and hinterland and oratorical skills were edged out by career-safe, virtue-signalling placemen and placewomen.

What we’re seeing happening in British politics now is very similar to what the U.S. has been experiencing under Donald Trump — only done in an English way. The bubble of pomposity has been pricked by our new God-Emperors of banter.

RTWT

29 Jul 2019

“Rich in Highly Individual Commanders”

, , , , , , , ,


Admiral William Packenham

James Morris, in Pax Brittanica (1968), described some British Naval Officers of the late Victorian Era.

Nothing in Nelson’s life appealed more to the British than his loyal disregard of orders, and in the 1890s the Royal Navy was rich in highly individual commanders. Algernon Charles Fiesché Heneage, ‘Pombo’ to the Navy, habitually carried a stock of 20 dozen piqué shirts in his ship, was alleged to break two eggs every morning to dress his hair, and took off his uniform code when he said his prayers, because for a uniformed British officer to fall on his knees would be unthinkable. ‘Prothero the Bad’, Reginald Charles Prothero, was one of the most alarming persons ever to command to warship, with a black beard down to his waist, flaming eyes, huge shoulders, an enormous hook nose and a habit of addressing everyone as ‘boy’, even sometimes his eminent superiors. Arthur Wilson, ‘Old ‘Ard ‘Art’, when he commanded the Channel Squadron, used ride out of Portsmouth Dockyard on a ratty old bicycle, gravely saluted by the sentries, and on June 6, 1884, laconically entered in his diary: ‘Docked ship. Received the V.C.’ Gerard Noel, greeted with a cheery good morning on the bridge of his ship in the small hours, turned with a snarl and replied: ‘This is no time for frivolous complements.’ Robert Arbuthnot was so absolute a martinet not that when, soon after he handed over a ship to his successor, a seagull defecated with the plop upon the quarter-deck, the Chief Bosun’s ate remarked without a smile: ‘That could never ‘ave ‘appened in Sir Robert’s day.’ William Packenham instructed his Turkish interpreter, when sent ashore to quell a rising in Asia Minor, and surrounded on all sides by angry brigands, ‘tell these ugly bastards that I am not going to tolerate any more of their bestial habits’: when an elderly lady at a civic luncheon asked him if he was married, he replied courteously: ‘No, Madame, no. I keep a loose woman in Edinburgh.’

26 Jul 2019

Sutton Hoo

, , ,

21 Jul 2019

Comparison

, , , ,

14 Jun 2019

British Regional Edwardian Accents

, , , ,

German scholars made more than 200 recordings of British POWs during WWI in an effort to study regional speech and accents. Surprisingly, these century-old voices have survived to today.

HT: Aram Bakshian.

10 May 2019

6th Century Grave of Christian Anglo-Saxon Prince

, , , ,

The Guardian reports on new information on findings from the Essex grave of a 6th Century Anglo-Saxon prince.

Archaeologists on Thursday will reveal the results of years of research into the burial site of a rich, powerful Anglo-Saxon man found at Prittlewell in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

When it was first discovered in 2003, jaws dropped at how intact the chamber was. But it is only now, after years of painstaking investigation by more than 40 specialists, that a fuller picture of the extraordinary nature of the find is emerging.

Sophie Jackson, director of research at Museum of London Archaeology (Mola), said it could be seen as a British equivalent to Tutankhamun’s tomb, although different in a number of ways.

For one thing it is in free-draining soil, meaning everything organic has decayed. “It was essentially a sandpit with stains,” she said. But what a sandpit. “It was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries we’ve made in this country in the last 50 to 60 years.”

The research reveals previously concealed objects, paints a picture of how the chamber was constructed and offers new evidence of how Anglo-Saxon Essex was at the forefront of culture, religion and exchange with other countries across the North Sea.

It also throws up a possible name for the powerful Anglo-Saxon figure for whom the grave was built.

Previously, the favourite suggestion was a king of the East Saxons, Saebert, son of Sledd. But he died about 616 and scientific dating now suggests the burial was in the late-6th century, about 580.

That means it could be Saebert’s younger brother Seaxa although, since the body has dissolved and only tiny fragments of his tooth enamel remain, it is impossible to know for certain.

Gold foil crosses were found in the grave which indicate he was a Christian, a fact which has also surprised historians.

Sue Hirst, Mola’s Anglo-Saxon burial expert, said that date was remarkably early for the adoption of Christianity in England, coming before Augustine’s mission to convert the country from paganism.

But it could be explained because Seaxa’s mother Ricula was sister to king Ethelbert of Kent who was married to a Frankish Christian princess called Bertha. “Ricula would have brought close knowledge of Christianity from her sister-in-law.”

Recreating the design of the burial chamber has been difficult because the original timbers decayed leaving only stains and impressions of the structure in the soil.

But it has been possible. The Mola team estimates it would have taken 20 to 25 men working five or six days in different groups to build the chamber and would have involved felling 13 oak trees.

“It was a significant communal effort,” said Jackson. “You’ve got to see this burial chamber as a piece of theatre. It is sending out a very strong message to the people who come and look at it and the stories they take away from it. It says ‘we are very important people and we are burying one of our most important people’.”

Objects identified in the grave include a wooden lyre – the ancient world’s most important stringed instrument – which had almost entirely decayed apart from fragments of wood and metal fittings preserved in a soil stain.

Micro-excavation in the lab has revealed it was made from maple, with ash tuning pegs, and had garnets in two of the lyre fittings which are almandines, most likely from the Indian subcontinent or Sri Lanka. It had also been broken in two at some point and put back together.

The burial chamber was discovered only because of a proposal to widen the adjacent road. It was fully excavated and the research has been undertaken by experts in a range of subjects including Anglo-Saxon art, ancient woodworking, soil science and engineering.

The new Mola findings are published on Thursday ahead of a long-awaited new permanent display of Prittlewell princely burial objects at Southend Central Museum. It opens on Saturday and will include objects such as a gold belt buckle, a Byzantine flagon, coloured glass vessels, an ornate drinking horn and a decorative hanging bowl. People will also be able to explore the burial chamber online at www.prittlewellprincelyburial.org.

Essex has sometimes been seen as something of an Anglo-Saxon backwater but the Prittlewell burial chamber suggests otherwise.

“What it really tells us,” said Hirst, “is that the people in Essex, in the kingdom of the East Saxons at this time, are really at the forefront of the political and religious changes that are going on.”

National Geographic article

03 Jan 2019

“I Will Be a Foxhunter Forever and More”

, , ,

Your are browsing
the Archives of Never Yet Melted in the 'Britain' Category.











Feeds
Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark