Monthly Archives: December 2020

Christmas

A seasonal image for the Christmas period: an early twentieth century celebrity postcard. It is captioned “The mother of The Missess Zena and Phyllis Dare“.  Zena and Phyllis were musical comedy stars of the early years of the twentieth century, and their mother was Harriette Amelia Wheeler. She was the victim of an unhappy marriage and a violent husband, and clearly directed her energies into encouraging her daughters to go on the stage. As the postcard demonstrates, she also enjoyed a certain celebrity status herself. Her husband, Arthur Albert Dones was a divorce clerk, an occupation that may have come in useful when Harriette eventually divorced him for cruelty and adultery in 1915.

Hearth

The 16th century Clough House stood on Halifax Old Road, just north of Huddersfield. Its grandness can be judged by the fact that under the 1664 Hearth Tax it was taxed on five hearths, which at the time was not just grand it was positively greedy. Sadly it was demolished in 1899 and now lives on only in an old postcard in my collection.

Teeth

A welcome Christmas present from the British Newspaper Archives – they have finally got around to making a start on digitising back copies of the Brighouse and Rastrick Gazette. Three full years are already available – 1881,1882 and 1889 – so there is plenty to keep my occupied during the coming Merry Little Christmas. Perhaps I will go and get myself a new set of artificial teeth to celebrate.

Match

Take a cut flower on its last legs (and before you say it, of course flowers have legs); match it with a bit of colour left over from spray painting a railway viaduct; shake it all about, and you come up with the first of our exclusive 2021 range of wallpapers. What else is there to do on a winters’ night when you are waiting for Match of the Day to start?

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