Walton Wood Cottage No.1

October half-term. A long-planned visit to Edinburgh, staying in the Community Hall of Well Court, part of Edinburgh World Heritage Dean Court. These apartments were built in 1886 as a model housing development for artisans and worker families employed by the many mills that dipped their wheels in the Water of Leith. The Water of…

Jacob Polley and a Jar of Honey

Back in those heady days of 2009, with the news dominated by bankers’ bonuses and MP’s expenses, the BBC launched a campaign to let poetry into our lives. On 28th January that year, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson announced a deeper commitment to arts and music on the BBC, with a range of initiatives to support…

Blood on Burnswark Hill

History, for me, becomes most alive when ancient and modern uses are found for the same device. I first realized this when I read about the historical and contemporary uses of the term wall-chalking. During the Great Depression, an estimated 4,000,000 adults left their homes in search of work. These ‘hobos’ roamed the United States,…

The Last Post Of Dunluce Castle

For Game of Thrones fans, Dunluce Castle is a highlight of any Northern Ireland location tour. Perching precariously on the basalt outcrops of the Antrim coast, its dramatic situation, plus a touch of CGI, turned Dunluce Castle into Castle Pike, Seat of the House Greyjoy, in fictional Westeros. For naval researchers, H.M.S. Dunluce Castle is a frequent posting on personnel…