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Royal Jubilee Exhibition 1887

30 Mar

The Royal Jubilee Exhibition 1887. To celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It was held at Trafford Park, Manchester.

I was reading about this the other day whilst sorting out a post for Old Hyndburn. Howard & Bullough of Accrington had an exhibition there.

The following photo is from a Flickr page with 18 brilliant photos of the event. They are really good photos for the era..possibly tweaked.

Jubilee Exhibition 1887

From this page:  Flickr Well worth a look.

Howard and Bullough at the Exhibition:

Howard and Bullough at the Exhibition.

source: Spinning the Web

From Wikipedia:

The Royal Jubilee Exhibition of 1887 was held in  Trafford Park, Manchester, England, to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign. It was opened by Princess Alexandra, wife of Edward, the Prince of Wales, on 3 May 1887, and remained open for 166 days, during which time there were 4.5 million paying visitors, 74,600 in one day alone.

The site chosen for the construction of the purpose-built exhibition halls was the present-day White City retail park, then the Royal Botanical Gardens. Amusements such as tobogganning slides and a sports arena were also provided, and decorations were provided by Ford Madox Brown, assisted by Susan Dacre.

The buildings were constructed from cast iron gas pipes, and had large glazed areas The main building was in the shape of a cross, with a 150-foot (46 m) high central dome 90 feet (27 m) in diameter, from which radiated four long galleries. Temporary sidings for the Manchester South Junction and Altrincham Railway were completed in 1886, to provide convenient access for visitors.

Dr Lovelace

26 Jan

No nothing to do with films of a certain genre….

Dr Lovelace was a soap brand back in Victorian times.

Dr Lovelace's soap

Dr Lovelace’s soap

It was manufactured in Clayton le Moors, just up the road from Accrington. The firm, led by James Hacking, supposedly patented floating soap. It went on to become famous all over the world. I have read elsewhere that Proctor & Gamble claim to be the first with their Ivory Soap.

The factory was on the canal side.  Later the building that presumably  housed the offices became a Masonic Lodge. Now available for functions and events.

Masonic lodge

Masonic lodge

Apparently it was the amount of air whipped into it that made it float, so maybe that’s why you don’t seem to find it nowadays. You don’t get enough soap for your money!

There is a lot of ephemera to be found on E bay and similar sites. things like button hooks and thimbles. below, middle is an enamel sign (or part of one) from the era.

I’m trying to find more information about this company. Will post it here if I find it.

Dr Lovelace

Dr Lovelace

Dr Lovelace sign

Dr Lovelace sign


Local Advertising sign

Local Advertising Sign on shop wall to the left of picture. Circa 1905? (Via Facebook, original source unknown).


2 Jan

We’ve all done it. Looked at images and seen what appears to be a face.

I didn’t know until recently that there was a name for that phenomenon…. although the fact that it is a phenomenon should have told me as much! Via Milner’s Blog

Pareidolia (pron.:/pærɨˈdliə/parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse.

The word comes from the Greek words para (παρά, “beside, alongside, instead”) in this context meaning something faulty, wrong, instead of; and the noun eidōlon (εἴδωλον “image, form, shape”) the diminutive of eidos. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, seeing patterns in random data.


Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are “hard-wired” from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces.[12] The evolutionary advantages of being able to discern friend from foe with split-second accuracy are numerous; prehistoric (and even modern) men and women who accidentally identify an enemy as a friend could face deadly consequences for this mistake. This is only one among many evolutionary pressures responsible for the development of the facial recognition capability of modern humans.[13]

Read more here… Wikipedia

The Man in the Moon has to be the earliest one that we remember, having it pointed out initially by parents…. without an  explanation in many cases.

I remember as a youngster seeing faces in the condensation on windows at night, sometimes quite scary.

Even now I can sit and stare at clouds and often see faces or shapes.

The fascinating thing is that we don’t necessarily make out the same images. Looking at various photos of  moon pareidolia , a lot of the shapes weren’t that obvious to me.

Hence I suppose why the Rorschach Ink-blot Test is/was used as an insight into people’s minds. The validity of the said test is always a topic of contentious debate.

Holtzman Ink-bot Test

Some examples of pareidolia:

Electric socket

Electric Socket (Danish)



A rather aggressive looking car

A dog barking, seen above Soldiers Point, Australia

Contemplating Your Navel

30 Dec

photo credit: Daniela Vladimirova via photopin cc

Belly Button Biodiversity Project.  Wildlife Of Your Body

1,458 Bacteria Species ‘New to Science’ Found in Our Belly Buttons – James Hamblin – The Atlantic.

From the article

Last month, the group published the results of their first of many experiments, in which they swabbed 60 belly buttons and identified a total of 2,368 species of bacteria. People’s individual profiles were snowflake-ily, bacterially unique.

As the BBB understands it, like exploring the depths of our majestic oceans, there’s much to be learned from our belly button hangers-on. National Geographic reported that 1,458 of the species “may be new to science,” and some of the bacteria were entirely out of their known context. One person’s belly button “harbored a bacterium that had previously been found only in soil from Japan,” where he had never been. Another had two types of “extremophile bacteria that typically thrive in ice caps and thermal vents.”

Who could have thought that belly buttons could be so interesting…….

Funnily enough though, the navel does hold a slight fascination for me at the moment. My own at least!

I cannot remember having an “inny” belly button when younger and for as many years as I care to remember I had an umbilical hernia. This was corrected by surgery last year. So yes..I have been doing a little bit of navel gazing of my nice new “inny”!


Omphalophobia  is the  fear of belly buttons.

Alfred Hitchcock did not have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery.

Navel Gazing – Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue. Why the navel I wonder?

From “Sicilian culture“:

Tortellini literally means the belly button of Venus (the Roman Goddess of Love,the Greek equivalent of Aphrodite) because of the shape of it. As the legend goes, Venus and Jupiter were going to get together one night. When Venus checked into the inn, the chef found out.  He went to her room, and peeked through the keyhole and saw Venus there laying half naked in bed on her back, and when the chef saw her navel, he was inspired to rush to the kitchen to create a stuffed pasta that looked like her navel, and you have the legend of the famous tortellina (tortellini is plural).

Belly button Facts Lots of belly button info

Adam & Eve – Lucas Cranach The Elder. What’s wrong with this picture then?


Recycling Text

28 Dec

I came across this interesting article yesterday. Secret Lives of Readers

It deals mainly with the habits of readers. The what, how and where of readers from the past. It also looks into what was done with the printed word afterwards. Newspapers, magazines and paperbacks in the main.

It got me thinking.

As I’ve said before, I don’t read much fiction. I suppose those I would class as disposable or recyclable. The books I have, I like to delve into every so often, use as reference if you like. I would be loath to part with any of those, even though my collection is growing and I’m running out of places to put them.

What have we used these disposable books for in the past, or now? These days, sometimes beautiful books are discarded  because people can use E readers or read online. We can’t pass on a digital book to someone else when it’s finished. We can’t find them cheap in charity shops to help good causes. Shops dealing in second-hand books are already closing down due to computerised reading.

Book shop

Why second-hand bookshops are just my type

How to do things with books in Victorian Britain – review

Uses for reading matter:

Probably people of a certain age will remember the outside toilet at the bottom of the yard. Newspapers cut into squares with string threaded through the corner and hung on a nail. Well at least up here in the north of England we did that!

Health and Safety bods would have a field day with the way we used to get the coal fire going. Apart from paper being scrunched up in the grate, under the kindling and coal, many of us would use a broadsheet page against a large shovel to “draw the fire”.

How often have old, thin paperbacks been used as props to level furniture on an uneven floor?

Fish and chips – and sometimes food from other shops had newspaper as an outer wrapping. There was something about chips in newspaper that added to the experience somehow! That’s not allowed now.

Big heavy books were used as door stops or for pressing flowers and leaves.

Nowadays they still have lots of uses.

I’ve been known to use a large book to stand on to reach a shelf or suchlike, being all of five feet tall.

I’ve used newspapers in the freezer to fill empty spaces.

The many times I’ve moved house I have used them for wrapping ornaments and glassware.

They can be used for cleaning paint brushes.

For the bottom of the bird-cage or shredded as pet bedding.

Some people still use them for cleaning windows.

When I was at primary school we made objects out of  papier-mache, or tore up pieces of paper to stick on jam jars to make our own personal little vases.

They were, and are (books, magazines and  newspapers) – used for decoupage or origami.

Gardeners sometimes use them as mulch.

A brilliant way of recycling old books has been mentioned on this blog before. Book Art.

Like that of Brian Dettmer.  He does some brilliant things with hardback books. Do check out the link.

Are we ever going to lose the printed word entirely? I can’t see it. Maybe newspapers and magazines could one day be all digital, but books – I surely hope not.

Frank Churchill

26 Dec

Possibly many people will have watched one or a few Disney classics over the holidays. We may know the classic films, and some may know who composed music for the more recent ones. Elton John and Tim Rice for example, co-wrote several songs for The Lion King. But what about the earlier ones?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) for instance. Who can forget “Heigh Ho”, “Whistle While You Work”, “I’m Wishing” and the beautiful “Some Day My Prince Will Come”.

Then there is Bambi (1942). One of my favourites is “Little April Shower”

Baby Mine (Dumbo)

Love Is A Song (Bambi) is another.

Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf (Three Little Pigs) 1933. Later used in numerous films. Played by many orchestras, especially during war-time.

Frank Churchill

Frank Churchill.

These and many others were all written, or co-written by Frank Churchill.

There could have been more wonderful music from this very talented man had he not sadly died at the very young age of forty.

Churchill was found dead at his piano – having reportedly shot himself , on May 14th 1942. This was shortly before the release of Bambi.

He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2001.

Frank Churchill on Wikipedia

Frank Churchill on IMDb

The famous "Heigh-Ho" sequence from ...

The famous “Heigh-Ho” sequence from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, animated by Shamus Culhane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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