Category Archives: History

Memory fields in the city of sock-wearers

The small city of Kruševac in south-central Serbia is probably best known for its fortress and 14th-century church, a fine example of the highly decorative Morava school. This was Prince Lazar’s capital in the late 14th century and it was … Continue reading

Posted in Balkans, Eastern Europe, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

All along the supple river: following the Ystwyth to the sea

  ystwyth (Welsh) adjective:  supple, flexible, pliable The harbour at Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales holds the confluence of two rivers. One of these, the Rheidol, is probably best known for the narrow-gauge steam railway that plies its … Continue reading

Posted in History, Human Geography, Walking | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Ghosts of Empire – Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata

One way of looking at this evocative, if mildly disturbing, place is as a hidden enclave populated with the ghosts of colonialism. Situated right in the middle of Kolkata, tucked away purdah-like from the mayhem of the city streets, the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Birmingham Edgelands Part 2

Edgelands are not necessarily always on the urban edge. Not physically anyway – the important thing is they are perceived as different from the zones that lay beyond. Neither strictly urban nor rural but an overlooked amalgam of the two … Continue reading

Posted in History, Human Geography, Midlands | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Crowland

Crowland – the name seems to be well chosen. Walking into the village I cannot help but notice several dozen crows perched on the wires above the village sign: a welcoming committee taking a brief respite from wind-wheeling above the … Continue reading

Posted in History, Travel, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Digbeth

Passing through Birmingham recently I had a little time on my hands and so decided to visit the Digbeth area, a shortish walk from New Street Station. Head south from the futuristic silver button bulwark that is the Selfridges building … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, History | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Palmyra 2000

The news is always bad from Syria these days. The newsworthiness of the conflict seems to fluctuate as we in the West become increasingly inured to a lexicon that includes words like barrel bombs, Isis, chlorine gas, jihadi, caliphates and … Continue reading

Posted in History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Another Place

To reach Another Place you have to start in Liverpool. At least that is what we did, taking a Crosby-bound number 53 bus from the city’s Queen Square terminus. Leaving the Victorian magnificence of the city centre behind, the route … Continue reading

Posted in Cities, History, Northern England | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Whittlesea Straw Bear

If you venture to Whittlesea, at the edge of the Fens near Peterborough, during the second weekend in January you cannot help but notice that strange straw animals and oddly attired people have taken over the streets of this small market … Continue reading

Posted in Folklore, History | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Thingvellir

The winter solstice marks the dark frontier of the annual cycle: that time of year when days are at their shortest; the period of feasting before the corner of the year is turned and daylight and warmth return to awaken barren … Continue reading

Posted in History, Islands, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments