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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Royal Baby Names

With Britain celebrating the birth of a son to Prince William and Kate Middleton, the public are wondering what will be the name of the new royal, the third in line to the British throne.

Royal Baby Names
Edward is an unlikely name for the new royal baby
When Prince William himself was born it was seven days before his parents: Prince Charles and Princess Diana announced his name to the wider world.

Heavy favourites with the bookmakers are George and James, as the name will have to have a royal connection, probably that of a past monarch.

Definitely out are John, there has only ever been one King John, a king with (an unfairly) bad reputation thanks to the Robin Hood legend and also not in the running is Henry.

The last king Henry, Henry VIII, killed too many of his wives, for another King Henry to rule the land. Edward is also a non-runner, as the last King Edward, Edward VIII, abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson, just before World War II and even had a good word for Hitler and the Nazis.

There has only been one King Stephen, a monarch whose reign was marked by civil war and anarchy. Richard III was the last King Richard and his reputation was destroyed by William Shakespeare, so Richard is probably out.

It's unlikely the royal parents and the royal household will return to the more ancient names of England's kings such as Arthur, Alfred, Edmund or Edgar, but it might happen, you never know, setting off a trend for old English names. The last King Edgar was crowned in Bath Abbey in 973.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Chudleigh Rocks Caves

A day out at Chudleigh Rocks, just off the A38 and B3344 south of the village of Chudleigh in Devon should include cream tea refreshments at the excellent tea room after a walk through the gardens, located in the old Palace Quarry.

A highlight for us was the illuminated cave with it's interesting rock formations. The cave was supposedly used by the US army in World War II.

Chudleigh Rocks Caves, Devon, UK

The rest of the gardens are lovely too, especially in summer, including these wild orchids.

Wild Orchid, Chudleigh Rocks, Devon

The Rock Gardens
Station Hill
TQ13 0EE
Tel: 01626 852134

Chudleigh Rocks Garden

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Anchor Hazel Grove

The Anchor in Stockport is a pub on the A6 in Hazel Grove.

Anchor Hazel Grove, Stockport

The Anchor is a Robinson's pub and has been in its present location for a long time. There is a beer garden at the back and pub grub at lunch times.

The Anchor is located on the busy A6 on the 192 bus route from Manchester and Stockport via Stepping Hill Hospital to Hazel Grove. Across the A6 from the Anchor is a large Sainsbury's supermarket and there is an Azda store on the same side of the A6.

Although there are not as many pubs as there used to be in this area of Stockport from Stepping Hill to Torkington Park, other pubs on this stretch of the A6 include the Woodman, the Phoenix, the Bird in Hand, the Grapes, the Three Tunnes and The Cock.

Anchor Hazel Grove, Stockport, Greater Manchester

Further places to visit in the Stockport area of Greater Manchester include Stockport Town Hall, Stockport Air Raid Shelters, St Mary's Church, Bramhall Hall, Woodbank Park, Vernon Park, Stockport Market, Fred Perry's birthplace, Woodbank Park, the Viaduct, the Hat Works and Stockport Art Gallery.

Anchor Hazel Grove, Stockport, UK


The Anchor
62 London Rd
Hazel Grove
Tel: 0161 483 4140
Map of The Anchor

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Battersea Power Station

The iconic, art deco Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the Thames in west London is one of the capital city's most famous landmarks.

A Grade II Listed Building, Battersea Power Station, is, in fact, two power stations built to an identical design: one in the 1930's and the other in the 1950's. Coal fired power generation at Battersea Power Station ceased in 1983.

Battersea Power Station, London

Battersea Power Station was designed by architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who was responsible for the red telephone box and the Bankside Power Station, which now houses the Tate Modern.

Battersea Power Station remains the largest brick building in Europe and is known for its fine, art deco interior.

Since its closure in the 1980's, Battersea Power Station has been bought and sold a number of times but redevelopment of the site has been made difficult by the Grade II listing preservation order. The site is now owned by a Malaysian consortium and work on redevelopment is expected to begin this year.

Battersea Power Station, London

Battersea Power Station is close to Battersea Park and its Peace Pagoda, the Tate Gallery across the Thames, Chelsea Bridge, Cheyne Walk and George Eliot's house, Chelsea Physic Garden and Albert Bridge.

The Battersea Power Station has often appeared in popular culture, probably most famously as the album cover for Pink Floyd's Animals.

Battersea Power Station map

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Britain's Blue Plaques

London and other towns and cities in Britain display plaques, usually, though not always, blue in colour showing where famous people have lived. If can be fun to spot these blue plaques on your visit to Britain's cities so keep your eyes on the brick walls.

With all the news this month about Andy Murray becoming the first British man to win the single's title at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, I wonder if Andy's house in Dunblane, Scotland will get a blue plaque like Fred Perry's birthplace in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

Britain's Blue Plaques Sir James Barrie

English Heritage describes how the blue plaques scheme started in London in 1866 and spread to other places in the UK. The scheme was first administered by the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), followed by the London County Council (LCC), the Greater London Council (GLC) and since 1986, English Heritage.

Britain's Blue Plaques George Eliot

There are around 850 blue plaques in London alone. The first plaque commemorated the poet Lord Byron at his birthplace, 24 Holles Street in Cavendish Square - a property that was demolished in 1889. The earliest plaque to survive and thus the oldest in London is the plaque dedicated to the French King Napoleon III at 1C King Street, St James's.

Britain's Blue Plaques Alfred Hitchcock

The blue plaque scheme aimed to provide a link between people and buildings where they lived as well as promote the conservation of certain buildings, many of which were threatened with demolition.

Britain's Blue Plaques Dr Johnson

The plaques shown in the images above are the homes of James Barrie, George Eliot, Alfred Hitchcock and Dr. Johnson. Interestingly, the plaque at Dr. Johnson's home is the only one in the City administered by English Heritage as the City of London authorities (Corporation of the City of London) are responsible for any more.

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