The Monument of Penelope Boothby

Nige visits one of the most touching monuments in the country... Ashbourne in Derbyshire is a fine and flourishing town, full of handsome buildings, including the house of John Taylor, Dr Johnson's old schoolfriend, whom he often visited. A most unclerical cleric, Taylor's chief interest lay in his herd of milch-cows - ... Read More...

The Museum of Forgotten Lives

Will our children's children bother to keep any record of our existence at all? The flea markets suggest otherwise, finds Steerforth... One of the best things about my home town of Lewes is its Flea Market - a vast emporium of antiques and collectables housed in a large, converted Methodist Chapel. At ... Read More...

The Suburban Sublime – Southgate Tube Station

Nige admires the work of Charles Holden, the architect behind Southgate Tube Station, one of London's finest Art Deco Underground stations... That is not a newly landed art deco UFO above - it is Southgate Underground station, towards the end of the Cockfosters branch of the Piccadilly Line. I discovered this part of ... Read More...

Turnspit Dogs

Could this be the reason why the Queen keeps Corgis? A strange forgotten dog breed in today's weird Wikipedia article from the Dabbler's Wikiworm... The Turnspit Dog was a short-legged, long-bodied dog bred to run on a wheel, called a turnspit or dog wheel, in order to turn meat for cooking. The breed is now extinct. It is mentioned ... Read More...

Churchill’s Great Contemporaries: Welsh Wizardry

On the anniversary of Churchill's death we pick out some highlights from his portraits of the era's great men. Here's how David Lloyd George's mysterious Welsh wiles confounded a very grand statesman... I’ve just finished reading Churchill’s Great Contemporaries, a collection of biographical essays. You rapidly realise how he managed to earn huge sums from ... Read More...