Monday, March 5 2012
I had a phone call from the Kent Messenger this afternoon asking what I thought about the announcement that Maidstone Museum would be making an entry charge to the public to the museum's special exhibitions.
Well, I had to think 'on my feet' as it were and my initial reactions are that, assuming this is to generate income, then of course any income is better than no income. That being said, it may work out that the only visitors to their special exhibitions will be those who have a particular interest in that subject and that a casual visitor, who may otherwise discover something they did not know, could be unlikely to bother paying an entry fee and go elsewhere.
I'd be interested in hearing what others think. The charges are apparently due to take effect from May 2012.
Thursday, March 17 2011
We’re in the middle of Lent – not that many observe it in the same way it was once. No meat certainly, even if you could afford it, and a daily diet of fish would certainly begin to pall after a while, nor was there the wide range of vegetables that we have now.
Apparently the 40 days of fasting produced excellent physical effects by giving the digestive system a rest after the excesses of the winter season and Christmas festivities.
Household cooks were on their mettle to produce appetising dishes while adhering to the general idea of abstinence.
Kent is famous for its Lent Pudding. Sometimes called a tart or pudding pie, it is similar to a baked cheesecake and usually includes ground rice and currants.
There are several recipes to be found in the internet, although I haven’t tried them, including Kent Lent Tart; Kent Lenten Pudding Pie; and from the KM itself: Kentish Pudding Pie.
Let me know if you try them.
Friday, November 5 2010
Has anyone come across the History Pin website?
I’m sure, like me, you have in some dark corner, collections of photographs taken several years ago. I’m not talking about old family snaps of Uncle Joe and Aunt Jane that could have been taken anywhere, but those pictures that show the surroundings, so that when you take a look at Aunt Jane, you say “So that’s what the outside of the house looked like all those years ago,” or “The High Street was busy even then?”
Even within the past 10 years there have been many changes to street scenes and this is what History Pin aims to preserve. Hopefully some local history societies will be putting their collections on the site, but this will be a slow job as you are limited to just 6 photos at a time. But in the meantime, dig out those photos, scan them in, and pin them up on the map of Kent.
It does seem a good way to share old photos and to preserve how Kent once looked.
To find out more take a look at http://www.historypin.com/
Monday, September 27 2010
Michaelmas is on 29 September. It means very little to most people nowadays, but it used herald important events in rural tradition. From the Middle Ages until at least the 17th of 18th centuries it marked the expected end of the harvest when a goose, fattened on the grain left on the fields after the harvest, was enjoyed.
In my family it is the day before Michaelmas that has some importance. It was my grandmother’s birthday and she always said: ‘Never pick blackberries after my birthday as they belong to the Devil.’ (The usual countryside belief is that come Michaelmas night, the Devil spits on them.)
Another traditional date is one month later, on my father’s birthday, when our Christmas pudding should be made. This almost coincides with ‘Stir-up Sunday’ – the last Sunday before Advent a traditional day for making the puddings.
It’s an easy way to remember the best time to do a special, but irregular, task – at least in my family, but I wonder how many others have similar historical ‘trigger’ days? And indeed, how far back they go?
Thursday, September 16 2010
We shall remember them.
But do we? Every year on Armistice Sunday the roll of those men and women who have given their lives in the service of this country are read out. For most of us they are now just names.
I was sitting in Pluckley’s church porch on 15 September (doing my bit for the Friends of Kent Churches Bike Ride) and there it was, the village’s war memorial with 16 names of men who once were Pluckley residents.
Who were these men? We have promised to remember them, so perhaps it’s about time that we do just that.
A search on www.kentfallen.com unearthed some information and that has helped start the ball rolling. Searches via www.ancestry.co.uk and www.genesreunited.co.uk have contributed some more details. But to remember them properly, anecdotes about their life in the village, their friends, do they have family still in the area are needed.
This is history. We’ve just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Let us all celebrate all those who gave their lives by finding out who those people are on your village’s War Memorial.
I’m planning on getting as much information as I can for our November parish magazine and I encourage everyone else to think about having a go in your village. If you need help, why not contact your local history group – I’m sure your village has one. You can find some details at www.kenthistoryfederation.org
Good luck. If you are interested, I’m sure you will find it a rewarding project.