Nb Whiskey Mac on the Coventry Canal at Polesworth on a frosty morning.

A chilly visit to Polesworth, in northern Warwickshire.  This includes a bit of local history, some old buildings, shops, and some canal history, and revisiting a court case. Continue reading “Polarsworth”

Dennis’s End

This is the fourth and final part of my review of how my ancestors died.  So far, there has been nothing dramatic, but …

Previous episodes are: Brown’s End, Carter’s End, and Evans’s End.

Let’s start with my father. Continue reading “Dennis’s End”

Lest we forget: Pte. 1680 H.S. Sanders

Further exploration of the men commemorated on the war memorial in the churchyard to St James, Ogley Hay.

The bald fact is that Private Hubert Sedgwick Sanders was killed by an enemy sniper on 5th May 1915, during fierce fighting for Hill 60, in the second battle of Ypres.  But there is more of local interest to this story of a brave young man who sacrificed his own future so that others could live theirs, ours. Continue reading “Lest we forget: Pte. 1680 H.S. Sanders”

Steel town shuttle

This concerns the family Brotherton and their journeys from Walsall to Middlesbrough and back.  The people are not direct ancestors, being ancestors of auntie Jessie, who married my uncle Alan Dennis (father’s brother).  It is also an example of how Ancestry’s hints can lead to something previously undiscovered.

There are two sources of curiosity about this part of the family hedgerow that is Andrew’s Kindred: Continue reading “Steel town shuttle”

More weirstones

Continuing my exploration of locks and weirs on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.  Last time I left off above Bratch Locks.  I may do something about that flight another time, but here I take up the story at Bumblehole Lock, in Wombourne, Staffordshire, including some cautionary tales about Botterham Staircase Locks.


Note that the weir is more of a kite shape.  These things really do look quite vicious. Continue reading “More weirstones”

The weir stones of Brindley

Recently, I posted about weirs at locks on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, inspired by Ray Shill’s book Silent Highways.  It seems to me that the chief engineer, James Brindley, and his assistants were experimenting with weir design along this stretch of canal, so here are a few images taken at various locks from Compton, Wolverhampton, down to Stourport.  Most folk don’t seem to notice these bits of engineering – I have seen them not noticing.

circular weir Compton Lock s
“Circular weir, Compton – the circular weir was installed at many of the earliest locks on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. It is a design linked to James Brindley.” (Ray Shill)

The image above is from my earlier post, and is apparently one of the first built on this canal.  But they are not all circular, or walled off in similar ways. Continue reading “The weir stones of Brindley”

Y is for …

Gatekeeper butterfly. See Yates below.

The latest in my ad hoc series on surname origins.

Based on: Reaney, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated or implied.

Some commentators on this topic go into lots of detail about derivations, but it seems to me to be unnecessary, in most cases, to go further than the obvious, e.g. Sawyer was a man who used a saw to cut wood.

Mister X Continue reading “Y is for …”