Summer Winter Sale

For the whole of July Smashwords are having what they call their Summer Winter Sale, as in it’s Summer here in the northern hemisphere and Winter down under. Most of my books are either 25% or 50% off for the duration, so go take a look, or if you prefer to get books from Barnes and Noble or Apple, then click on the books link above and go to my website instead.

Smashwords Summer Winter Sale

The Lost Streets of Beverley

The Lost Streets of Beverley, a book by David Sherman, has been a great help in a lot of my research. I got my copy from Ebay and I’m not really sure where else it might be available, but it basically lists and describes all of the streets and yards that have vanished over the years in Beverley.

It is a real help when looking at census returns as many of the terraces given as addresses are now actually incorporated into modern day streets and a lot of the yards, where our ancestors were packed in like sardines, have simply vanished. This book really helps put these people on the map, quite literally, and I can now walk down the street armed with the knowledge of what was there before as well as what I can see now.

Just a Quick Catch Up

I’ve been a little busy again lately, what with all the rain recently, the allotment has needed quite a bit of attention, but I’ve still been researching and hitting the library shelves. I’ve also been doing a bit of writing.

I’ll have something to post on the research front shortly, having just finished another life for the Treasure House WW1 Lives project, but for now a small addendum to my last post. I finally got those death certificates from the General Register Office and can say that my great grandfather died of stomach cancer and its attendant complications and that my great grandmother died of tuberculosis, which her second husband, and great grandfather’s brother, also died of, having caught it during WW1. And that pretty much wraps that particular branch of the tree up, until I discover something else anyway.

The writing I’ve been involving myself in is my great love, fantasy fiction, though I don’t do the grand Tolkienesque stuff, mine is less serious. If you only read this blog for the genealogy and historical research then you might not be interested (though I enjoy both), but you can get a taste for it by taking a look at Tales From Under The Bridge or The Long Way Home, two of my many self published books, a collection of short stories and a novel, respectively. The link goes to a Smashwords shop, but there is no obligation to buy, you can read a lengthy sample for free. You can see a full list of my books by following the link in the main menu above.

I am currently working on a novel which involves the world of the trolls, fairies, goblins and other odd creatures that dwell within many of my books.

TFUTB_Thumb TheLongWayHome_Thumb

I don’t normally do politics, especially online but…..

I’ve just got back from voting in the local elections. I always vote, I feel that I should. There has been too much sacrifice in the past to keep this country a free democracy and give me the right to vote for me to not bother.

This time was different though. There were two ballots, one parish council and one county council. Both were filled with candidates from the big political parties, Conservative, Labour and Lib. Dem. Thankfully there were some independents running for the parish council, one in particular who seemed worth my vote, so he got it. As for the county council, for the first time ever, I spoiled my ballot. It felt painful to do it, but after the last few years, regardless of how anyone feels about Brexit and leaving the EU, none of these main parties deserve my vote.

As I said before, a lot of sacrifice has been made by previous generations to keep this country free and democratic, but I’m not sure that the current situation we have is quite what they had in mind. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think that it’s high time elected officials were held to account on their promises, and that they act with the wants of their electorate in mind. Perhaps political parties should be binned altogether, I just don’t know.

I do know that there are a lot of people who feel the same though and their answer is to just not vote at all. Well, if you are such a person I say this to you, get out and vote. If there’s no one you want to vote for just write NONE in big letters across the ballot. It won’t count in the vote, but it will count in the turnout.

What message does it send not voting? They still win, they still get a seat and your voice is not heard. If you spoil your ballot how does it look then? At the last local elections the turnout was dismal. If everyone voted and two thirds spoiled their ballot, then someone would finally notice.

If there is someone you agree with on the ballot though, vote for them.

Still Here.

Just a quick post to let you all know I’m still here. It’s been a while since my last post. I’ve been on holiday and am neck deep in my latest research project. It also didn’t help that my PC died on me (in fact it went with a bit of a pop!)

This current gentleman turned out to be a local hero as well as a WW1 soldier. I’ve found more newspaper articles on him than pretty much all my other researched lives put together and I’m in the midst of collating it all into a timeline so that I can write a short (but much longer than usual) biography of his life.

I’ll post all about it in the next week or so.

Data Protection (oh and fairies, yes really)

I know I said this post would be about my allotment, and it is, kind of.

I’ll start at the beginning, and my first allotment which was a starter plot, half the usual size. I outgrew that and moved on to a full sized allotment four years ago. This new allotment was a proper mess at the time and took a lot of cleaning up. I have no transport and no way of getting waste from the allotment to the local tip and so I ended up with lots of sacks of rubbish to get rid off.

Over the years I’ve taken it home a carrier bag at a time and binned or recycled it piecemeal but, up until last week there were still about four large rubble sacks full, all rapidly degrading, against the end of the shed. So I was quite surprised when I got to the plot at the weekend to find that the whole lot had disappeared.

Only it hadn’t, not completely anyway. I found it dumped by the allotment gates, along with piles of other rubbish from other, newly, cleared plots. Having asked the site rep what was going on I was told he didn’t have a clue either. I presumed it was a new plot holder, perhaps confused by the layout of the plots and thinking they were clearing their own plot (the ones either side of mine are empty), but the rep didn’t know of anyone new. Anyway, ignoring the suggestion to simply put it down to the rubbish fairies (dumping it where it was is technically fly-tipping), I contacted the local council.

It wasn’t them either, but there was a new plot holder, who they contacted and, apparently, it wasn’t them either. In short they told me not to worry about it, the council would clear the mess away, and that was an end to it.

So, why is this post entitled Data Protection? Well, that was at the very end of the conversation. I asked them to let the rep know about the new tenant (right next door to me by the way), and they replied that they couldn’t. They were not allowed to tell him that there was a new plot holder because of data protection.

I know, I know. You spotted it too. They told me!

I gave up on the conversation. It was starting to go around in circles anyway and I didn’t really fancy explaining data protection to them. They could have told the rep, they could have shared things like names and contact details with him, he technically works for the council, albeit unpaid, and the information is vital for him to run the site properly. If he doesn’t know who has a plot, then how does he know who should be there?

Anyway, I have in the end decided that it really was the allotment fairies, who the council will now clear up after and will, under no circumstances, ever admit to the site rep that they even exist. To protect their personal data, obviously.