Wednesday 27 July 2016

BBC Time Commanders to return?

According to another, TV related site, that I hang about in, the BBC are to revitalise the old Time Commanders programme. They are currently looking for armchair generals to make up teams and take part. More information can be found at

Lets hope that they cover a few different eras this time, and the technology should have improved by now.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Suggestions needed

For a number of reasons, not least the real possibility of a major downsize in living accommodation in the near future, I have to reduce my library by some 50% or more. Quite a bit of it is military/naval related and much of it has not been looked at for a long time. I can put the books on that auction site and let the cards fall as they will, donating unsolds to the ubiquitous charity shops; I could offer them to the local second-hand dealer accepting whatever he's prepared to offer, knowing he's in the business for profit; or I could post them on my blog over the next few months, knowing that the information would at least reach interested parties.

The question is whether that would be reasonable, and should I ask a price or for offers? ( in effect, an auction). Would you be interested in seeing what I have to offer in that way?

For example. I have a set (5 volumes) of C.C.P.Lawson's "A History of The Uniforms Of The British Army", published between 1940 and 1967, covering the 1660s through to the early 19th century. I show volume 1 below as an example.

volume 1

Originally published in 1940, this is a 1962 reprint. 202 pages of text. The only one of the set without its original dust jacket, I photocopied one of the others to keep the set looking uniform. Mylar book cover fitted. Some straining and opening of the stitching in one place. Detailed coverage of cavalry, infantry, marine regiments, Scottish regiments, artillery, militia, etc. Many illustrations, mainly black and white sketches. Someone has made occasional pencil notes on certain pages.

I won't quote a price at this time, as I'd rather sell them as a set, but I would appreciate your opinions.

Thank you in advance.

 . volume 4

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Visit to Lincolnshire - part two

Here we have a picture of a perfectly innocuous field in the middle of no-where on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The only clue to it's past is the name - Slash Hollow. This is where the routing forces of the Royalists were cut to ribbons by the pursuing troops of Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas Fairfax after the battle of Winceby in 1643.

And here we look in the opposite direction to view the field of battle itself.

Winceby, as a village, no longer exists. You can drive through it without noticing it was once there. The extent of the field is minute, only about half a mile from one side to the other. With some 3000 troops in the Royalist lines and about 4000 with the Roundheads, more a skirmish really. The whole area would fit onto a normal table if gamed.

Satellite picture care of Google Earth, shows the disposition of the two armies, and the relative smallness of the area.  While tucked away off the main road (The line running left to right along the top of the picture) the site is easily viewable. The battle was a Roundhead victory, enhancing Cromwell's growing reputation, and showed that the Parliamentarian cavalry was every bit as good, if not better, than that of the Crown.

More information can be found in_
British Battlefields, The North - by Philip Warner, (pp79/86)
Battles and Generals of the Civil War - by H.C.B.Rogers, (p110)
Winceby and the battle - by Betty Brammer , 
(A 102 page book that goes into much detail of the events leading to, during, and after the battle; including some interesting stories about what the civilian residents of Winceby did to keep themselves and their property safe. Something often forgotten in tales of war.  

Monday 4 July 2016

Visit to Lincolnshire, part one

Over the last few days MrsJ and I have been caravaning on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, visiting old haunts as I come from Boston. Yes, that Boston, the Brexit one! In support of their voting I must say in their defence that there have been more violent crimes over the last few years than the previous thirty, and most of the names in the local paper court reports have more consonants than vowels. The residents voted not out of racism, but an objection to the numbers involved.  But enough.

While there we had a little ride round the Wolds, and having just watched the first series of The Hollow Crown (I'm behind with my TV planner viewing) we called in to the village of Old Bolingbroke. You will now ask "where?" This is a very small, perhaps 30 houses in all, village, just on the southern edge of the Wolds, and is extremely important in British history. The castle here was the home of John of Gaunt, and birthplace of Henry IV. Really, you could say the Wars of the Roses started here!

Looking at the remains of the castle now, just a few walls none taller than six feet high, you wouldn't credit it's early importance. Built around the 1200s it occupies ground would take up about half a football field, and that includes the moat! It is one of the few English Heritage sites we have visited that has no entry fee or shop. Indeed, the sign at the gate states "Opening Times - Any Reasonable Time" Mind you, there is only parking for about three cars outside, though the pub is good.

This gives an idea of the size, as you can see from one side across to the other here. Apologies for the intruder, he gets everywhere these days.

Next time, views of Winceby battleground.