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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 01/23/2009: "Wedding anniversaries"
    may be of interest It seems the reason for the sixtieth anniversary being called diamond arises because originally that designation referred to a seventy fifth anniversary However when Queen Victoria celebrated her sixtieth year on the throne she described it as her Diamond Jubilee and so the name has since been used for other sixtieth anniversaries However this is the traditional British list first cotton second paper third leather fourth fruit or flowers fifth wood sixth iron or sugar candy seventh wool or copper eighth bronze or pottery ninth pottery or willow tenth tin eleventh steel twelfth silk or linen thirteenth lace fourteenth ivory fifteenth crystal twentieth china twenty fifth silver thirtieth pearl thirty fifth coral fortieth ruby forty fifth sapphire fiftieth gold fifty fifth emerald sixtieth diamond seventieth platinum and seventy fifth diamond The modernised version is as follows first clocks second china third crystal fourth appliances fifth silverware sixth wood seventh desk items eighth lace or linen ninth leather tenth diamond eleventh jewellery twelfth pearls thirteenth textiles or furs fourteenth gold fifteenth watches twentieth platinum twenty fifth sterling silver thirtieth diamond thirty fifth jade fortieth ruby forty fifth sapphire fiftieth gold fifty fifth emerald sixtieth diamond seventieth platinum

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000067.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 11/17/2008: "Water Voles"
    rivers and lakes but they can tolerate polluted water whilst the voles need very clean water in relatively quiet and undisturbed areas Voles live on the banks of lakes ponds slow moving streams and smooth rivers with the entrance to their burrows sometimes being beneath the surface of the water It is never easy to distinguish a swimming water vole from a brown rat but the vole is rather plumper with a chubby rounded face and tiny ears that are almost hidden among its thick fur One problem is that both animals are about the same size and colour ie about eight inches long 20cm with dark brown fur and both are excellent swimmers Voles however have a shorter tail but this is not always evident when they are swimming Their diet consists almost entirely of water side plants They can be very active during the day but dislike being disturbed by noise people and water born craft preferring to spend their lives peacefully near the water and rarely venturing far from their home patch They may be tempted to move if their home area becomes too overcrowded or if the water becomes the haunt of tourists and their boats

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000066.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 10/07/2008: "Dorset"
    an island although it is surrounded on three sides by the sea with rivers and streams flowing in and near the fourth side albeit not quite detaching this picturesque rural area from the mainland One of those sea boundaries is Poole Harbour said to be the largest natural harbour in Europe and the second largest natural harbour in the world To reach our part of the island at Studland there is a small chain ferry that carries cars buses people motor bikes and all manner of things across the narrow strip of water that forms the harbour mouth It is quite daunting to be aboard the ferry as massive channel ferries cruise in and out of the harbour on their journeys to and from the continent We took a walk along the top of the lofty white cliffs of Studland Bay to Old Harry s Rocks which are part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site It is believed that these rocks were once connected to The Needles on the Isle of Wight We were amazed at the wealth of ripening brambles the weight of berries on holly trees and the hazel shoots growing within sight of the sea Among the wild life of Dorset fallow deer are very numerous and at times they are a nuisance to field crops and gardens We observed a doe dozing quietly on a rectory lawn and the owner told us the garden is her territory but that she grants him the privilege of sharing it with her There were grey squirrels in abundance along with pheasants and the usual small birds such as robins pied wagtails skylarks various finches dunnocks wrens and various gulls A small flock of parakeets visited our hotel grounds too apparently living wild in the area The balmy weather

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000065.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 08/27/2008: "Castles of Mulgrave"
    it was said to be the home of the legendary giant who built Wade s Causeway near Goathland The old name for this castle was Mongrave and although the story of Wade s Causeway is pure legend a huge man called Wade did live in this locality He was born at the end of the eighth century and lived until the middle of the ninth Wade was heavily involved in the politics of the time leading warring armies across the north from Lancashire to Northumberland It seems he fought for the rights of ordinary people because for over thirty years he fought tyrannical leaders who occupied the kingdom of Northumbria between the Scottish border and the River Humber He is said to have led a rebellion against the brutal King of Northumbria in AD 796 and his activities led to him being regarded as a folk hero Although Wade exerted tremendous power he was always on good terms with the local people and was considered kind and gentle in domestic situations He was not immortal however some accounts say he died from a distemper whilst others claim he was fatally wounded at Whalley in Lancashire although he did manage to return home to Mulgrave where he died His larger than life career has given rise to many legends that have depicted him as a giant The second castle was probably constructed in the 11th century as evidence of Norman buttresses have been found It developed into a splendid building complete with tower and moat but it has been much altered since it was originally built Although built by the Fossards it became the stronghold of the renowned de Mauley family It appears they won favour with King John of Magna Carta fame thus enabling them to become wealthy but in

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000064.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 05/13/2008: "The month of May"
    also rather special because it is Rowan Tree Day which is sometimes called Rowan Tree Witch Day In times not too far past Yorkshire folk would decorate their horses cattle and houses with sprigs of rowan tree leaves otherwise known as the mountain ash witchwood or wicken tree Their purpose was to prevent witches fairies and other evil spirits from harming the house the people and their livestock In some areas this custom was undertaken on May 3 but in either case it was essential that the sprigs were cut with a domestic knife not a saw or axe and that they were collected from a tree never previously used for this purpose Furthermore the twigs had to be carried home along a route not used for the outward journey Lots of pieces were needed and so a barrow or cart might be required to carry them home Back at the house or farm the rowan twigs were put to work Some would be fashioned into small crosses whilst other remained as single twigs but they would be displayed around the house or livestock shelters with particular emphasis on doors and windows Small crosses might appear above a door for example or beside a bedroom window or even within the cow byre Sometimes the twigs were pushed into thatched roofs or haystacks as a protection against fire People would also wear garlands of rowan some being gathered later in the year when the beautiful red berries of this tree had matured These might be worn around the necks of people to ensure general good health but especially to ward off rheumatism Garlands were also placed around the necks of horses and cattle especially when they were due to breed and one practice was to place a necklace of rowan twigs

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000063.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 03/22/2008: "Leyburn Shawl"
    a family that produced two earls twenty barons four High Treasurers and two Chief Justices There was also a Lord Chancellor and an archbishop with many family members being honoured as Knights of the Garter It is a formidable record Although they clung tenaciously to their Catholic faith they were trusted by Queen Elizabeth I at a time when she was persecuting so many members of that church But it was she who imposed a difficult task upon the Scropes and their famous castle Elizabeth was worried that Mary Queen of Scots might make a bid for the English throne and so she ordered that Mary be held in safe custody possibly for her own good The Scrope family of Castle Bolton was entrusted at least temporarily with that task Mary arrived in the middle of July 1568 coming from Carlisle via Appleby and crossing the Westmorland border near Kirkby Stephen She crossed Mallerstang Moors to Hawes and travelled down Wensleydale to Castle Bolton She was accompanied by six personal attendants twenty carriage horses twenty three saddle horses and forty men to look after the horses and deal with other matters during the journey All had to be accommodated in and around the castle and many of the men were boarded in nearby farms and cottages Even though she was technically a prisoner Mary was not placed in the awful dungeon but had her own suite of rooms within the castle along with some servants She remained for about six months It is said she inscribed her name Marie R on one of the windows using a diamond ring although that pane of glass was eventually broken in an accident During her stay Mary was allowed out of the castle to go hunting and she was also an honoured guest

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000062.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 02/20/2008: "Bolam Church"
    on May 1 1942 A German Dornier 217 bomber dropped four 500kg bombs in the vicinity of the church but it survived that onslaught However one of the bombs smashed through the church wall and came to rest after sliding across the floor Fortunately that one failed to explode The fact that the church was only slightly damaged was seen as an Act of God but the hole in the wall was later transformed into that memorial window Few could understand why the Germans would want to bomb such an ancient church in a very remote locality However it transpired that the bomber had been on a mission to bomb the north east but was returning in haste to Germany due to flight problems resulting from hot pursuit by British Spitfires albeit with bombs still aboard To avoid crashing the pilot made a split second decision to jettison the bombs in a remote area of moorland with no intention of hitting the church It was the author and war time air expert from Guisborough Bill Norman who wrote to the editor of the Morpeth Herald in June 2004 in an effort to find anyone with memories of that incident and thus sparked off a remarkable tale The pilot of the bomber was a friend of Bill s called Willi Schludecker and as people came forward with their own memories of that event so Willi decided to revisit the church this time without his bombs Willie returned to the church in July 2004 writing in the church s visitors book Sorry I bombed your church and since then he has made an annual pilgrimage to Bolam In July last year his entry reads Willi Schludeker Germany I am the pilot dropping my bombs 65 years ago Target was railway nearby My

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000061.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Archived Weblog Entry - 12/21/2007: "The Date of Christmas"
    and it is widely accepted that this period could accommodate the key events in the life of Christ as we know it e g his birth the visit of the Wise Men from the East the retreat into Egypt the Slaughter of the Innocents and the death of Herod For those who believe the Star of Bethlehem led the Wise Men to the stable at the inn where the infant Christ could be visited it is known that there was a remarkable conjunction of two planets in May October and November of the year AUC 747 This led local astrologers to conclude something very important was about to happen and this places the Birth somewhere between the middle of AUC 747 and the end of AUC 749 These dates correspond to our 7BC and 5BC There are other calculations too many to expound in this diary but if the actual year of Christ s birth is open to interpretation then so are the day and month There is wide belief that it was the 25th day of a month but which month is open to question Five dates in three different Egyptian months have been suggested and oddly one of them corresponds to December 25 In the third century however it was long thought Christ was born today December 21 and many nations agreed with this However it was pointed out that in the accounts of his birth there is mention of shepherds with their flocks in the fields It is argued that this places His Birth between the end of July and the end of October Not surprisingly the early Church did not celebrate Christmas as we know it preferring to expend their energies on marking the resurrection at Easter Exactly when the date of Christmas Day was determined

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/author/archives/00000059.html (2016-02-17)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-22