History and Social media

Whilst on holiday recently on the South Coast, I picked up an article about Winston Churchill and his love affairs before he married Clementine.

It stuck me that this article was written on the evidence of his letters. So in the 21st Century, would that be possible today with the prevalence of social media? I mean that nobody writes letters these days as they used to do before the advent of The Internet.

Today, there is so much data gathered and stored by Facebook and Twitter etc I wonder if it would even be possible for an historian to reconstruct the same article of a contemporary? Just how would you go about it?

Answers below or by letter please.


Dales’ Wedding

IMG_2240Yesterday. my good mate Dale got married to the lovely Laura in Short Heath parish church.

To say it’s one of the more memorable weddings would be an understatement as would the fact that we did have a few beers. Held at Short Heath British Legion, it also gave us the chance to reunite with my mates of the past twenty years and their growing families. As some of us have moved away, the gang I used to drink with every weekend we only get together for England games or formal social events now. But that’s life. Everybody has to move on. But it is good to catch up with people from my old stomping ground.

Dales also made one of the more heartfelt speeches that I’ve heard and that was not bad for a motor mechanic. Somewhere amongst all the swearing and cursing there are words of English that can mean something.

Well done Dale – I hope this one lasts a lifetime.


Being 55

So here I am – 55 years old. Some of of my mates have been 55 already but today I feel middle aged. But me being me, I haven’t gone down without a fight.

Festivities started off with a drink with Cousin at the family pub last Thursday. A great evening of chat, laughter and plans for future get-togethers. Also, understanding the family policy that ”


Is in fact the right way to view the Star Wars trilogy before VII hits the screen later this year.

Then onto Stourbridge to fight the French in Marlburian times and around to Saturday when I met up with the Walsall Wood mafia and had a great party in The Fountain.

Sunday saw me dining with the parents and The Neice followed by a few drinks with The Duffer and Henry and today we have been on the Severn Valley Railway for a ride up and down the line to Kidderminster which was great as the weather held out.

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers

If every there was a proper Edwardian name, Childers must get the vote.You can read this book on line here:

This is the genesis of spy novels and concerns two jolly chaps stooging around the Frisian Islands in the the early 20th Century who gradually uncover a German plot to invade England via The Wash. It did lead to the establishment of Rosyth as a naval base to protect the North Sea. Also, the RN did survey (undercover) the Frisian cost as Wikipedia mentions here.

I’ve read this book a couple of times but I think that I understand it better now. It is one of my mothers favourite stories and we went out there 10 years ago to have a look at the area in which is was based. These days its a real holiday destination for the Germans as the book actually mentions.

One of the features of this book is the references to the seamanship and the book has a bit of a cult following amongst the yachting fraternity – my mate Hamish has a “special edition” which has more charts in it.

If you are a fan of the film, the book is way different; more of an interpretation really but has its own charm. Having visited the locations, this only reinforces the affection for the film and the book. One of my favourite books all told and one I’ll probably read again at some point.

Old men in Sport

Today FIFA will elect a new president and hopefully it will not be Sepp Blatter. The Swiss administrator has never been a friend of England and in the face of the recent corruptions scandals, he has to go. He’s the man at the top and he should take the responsibility. He hasn’t the decency to resign so the members should vote him out.

Another old man that should go is Bernie Ecclestone. This bloke is slowly killing F1 from being the ultimate in motor sport to three teams testing technology, namely Mercedes, Renault and Ferrari. There is a complete lack of a level playing field amongst the competing teams and sport has suffered massively as a result. It’s no longer driver -v- driver, its technology -v- technology. It’s time the drivers returned and technology took a back seat. Also, even in this sanitised liberal world of safety, F1 should be the fastest to represent the pinnacle of motor sport.

Great men of sport know when their time is up and when to go. These two are adding nothing of note to two major  sports and industries. Time to let the younger men have a go.

Five go mad in Weston

Yes another Poly reunion held this time in West-Super-Mare. Didn’t get off to a great start as me and JC were booked into the wrong hotel! However, things rapidly went downhill after we rejoined in The Old Inn in Hutton, and met up with Nige, Salty amnd Silent. We missed the girls as they weren’t able to make it this time around but perhaps the next one in that there London or Surrey.

Anyway, after the arrival of “Ester” (or is it “Esta”?), things turned quickey to my most hated activity – camping. Much mirth was drawn from this all weekend. After a couple of beers, we descended upon Dave’s house for the coldest BBQ in history and after food, we went back to the Old Inn so Nige could get a couple of brandies down his neck to warm up. This lasted until chucking out time and we get a taxi back so we could all get some sleep.

Today, we’ve been walking our hangovers off along Weston Sea front before a visit to the allotment and returning home exhauseted by laughter and too much beer. The only thing missing from these events in handing in an essay. Good times though and much treasured.

Election 2015

Finally the Election in 2015 is over and today we are in the era of the first Conservative government since 1997. Its been a while so inevitably its stirred bad memories for me of struggling for employment and career development. Whilst the future isn’t looking too bad this time at the moment, I’m nervous of what could happen this time around as when the Tories have been in power before, I’ve never done very well. Maybe being a small business owner may prove different, but my main market is in the public sector which will get chopped again. Also, Tories mainly support big business and by the reaction to the letter I sent all party leaders back in April about cost (which they all ignored bar Labour who didn’t get the question), I’m not optimistic that this will prove  a good thing  for me. I also predict that there will be more violence as there always is when the mad people of the left get together against the Tories.

It also looks like that to succeed this time around, I may have to consider is working more with the politicians locally as one thing I have understood from when I stood in 2010 is the power of lobbying. As many IT people will tell you, there is nothing more wearying than a tiresome user. Maybe its time to become a wearying small business owner and up the pace a little to get what I want.

Of course what I really want is a bit of what the Tories offered; a bit of UKIP, a bit of Labour, a bit of Green and the balance of the Liberals. What I really really want is to be able to choose what I like and what I don’t like and have a choice along with the rest of the country. What I really believe in is democracy at a granular level. The best managers in the country scrutinised by the best representatives. That’s my vision for this great Country of ours and all the people that currently live in it. And one other thing: Freedom.


Pub #15: The Posada

This is one of my Poly haunts so I’ve been going in here since 1979 when it was run by a Sikh chap who spoke like my Uncle. I’ve a lot of happy memories about this place but as it’s crowded with TV’s it only rates a 4 despite a great selection of beer and one of the best servings of HPA you’ll find in Wolverhampton.

Pub #14: The Great Western, Wolverhampton


Wolfman outside The Western

The Family Pub so a 5/5 for lots of reasons not least the Bathams, the food, the whole atmosphere and history of the place and one of Wolverhampton’s hidden gems. I just love the Western. A legendary pub.