Dear Reader

Dear Reader #152

Dear Reader,

My latest translation, the Italian version of Looking for Rosanna Mee, Sam Smith Mystery Series, book seventeen.

This Case is Closed, Series 1, Episode 6 of The Rockford Files is a feature-length episode. The series often featured ninety-minute episodes, which explored more complex plots, social issues, and included special guest stars. 

The longer episodes also allowed for a slower pace of direction, and longer scenes, such as the car chase at the beginning of This Case is Closed.

Joseph Cotton, pictured, appeared in this episode. A leading Hollywood actor during the 1940s, Joseph Cotton’s theatre, radio, movie and television credits are numerous. He appeared in many classics including Citizen Kane and The Third Man.

After the Great Fire of London in 1666 many individuals presented great schemes to rebuild and revolutionise the city. These individuals included John Evelyn, Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. 

Their plans included replacing the narrow, dangerous and unsanitary medieval streets with avenues, piazzas, canals and fountains. 

A Fire Court – a panel of judges – was established to swiftly deal with legal issues and it soon became apparent that speed rather than any grand design would be the order of the day.

London was rebuilt at speed, mainly by utilising the foundation footprints established by Saxon and medieval predecessors. You could argue that a great opportunity was lost. Certainly, the Victorian slums that later followed support that argument.

🖼  John Evelyn’s plan for rebuilding London.

By 1676, the area of London destroyed by the Great Fire of 1666 had been completely rebuilt. Streets were widened while wooden civic buildings were rebuilt in stone. The architects looked to France, the Netherlands and Italy for stylistic inspiration.

Fifty-two churches were rebuilt while thirty-six were abandoned, their parishes merging with neighbouring parishes. The Great Fire represented an opportunity for transformation, but in general Londoners opted for continuity. Their principal aim was to get on with daily life. Therefore, they looked to replicate the past rather than create a city of the future.

Traffic increased, especially the flow of carts over London Bridge. In 1670 this led to the appointment of the first London traffic policemen. Compared to today, the traffic travelled on the opposite side of the road.

🖼 Ogilby and Morgan’s London Map of 1677.

Welsh Football Legends

Robert Earnshaw was born on 6 April 1981 in Mufulira, a mining town in Zambia. He was one of five children born to David and Rita Earnshaw. David managed a gold mine while Rita was a professional footballer in Zambia.

Football was deeply engrained in the Earnshaw family. Robert’s uncle, Fidelis, played professional football while two of his cousins, Kalusha and Johnson Bwalya, represented Zambia at international level.

School for Robert was different to say the least. His father secured a job in Malawi as the manager of a coal mine. The family relocated to Malawi where the children attended St Andrew’s School in Lilongwe, a six-hour drive from the family home. On Mondays Robert and his four siblings boarded a plane to school, stayed a week then, on Fridays, flew home.

Sadly, in May 1990, David Earnshaw contracted typhoid fever and died. In 1991, Rita decided to relocate. She moved her family to Bedwas, Wales, where her sister lived.

Robert later reflected, “It was the first time I had been away from Africa…Every little thing was different, everyone spoke English over here and although I could speak a little bit I had to learn. But when you’re a kid you just get on with it.”

In Wales, Robert developed his soccer skills, kicking a football around with his friends and classmates. Aged 12 he joined GE Wales and scored 80 goals in a single season.

Robert’s skills attracted the attention of Cardiff City. He made his professional debut on 6 September 1997 as a substitute during a 2–0 defeat to Millwall. It took time and a number of loan spells before Robert established himself in the Cardiff City first team. Hat-tricks and honours followed as Robert helped Cardiff City to the First Division in 2002-03.

Robert enjoyed a nomadic professional career playing for several English clubs along with clubs in Canada, Israel, and the United States before, in July 2012, returning to Cardiff City. His transfer fees totalled £12,650,000.

Robert could have played for Zambia. However, he decided to represent Wales. He reasoned, “I thought long and hard about what to do, but Wales was my country. It was where I grew up.”

Robert won Wales caps at youth and under-21 level. His excellent displays in a Welsh shirt and at club level earned him a place in the national side. Robert made his debut in May 2002 against Germany at the Millennium Stadium. He made sure that it was a memorable occasion, scoring in a 1 – 0 win. Unsurprisingly, he was named man of the match.

Robert cemented his place in the national team and became a leading member of the Euro 2004 qualifying squad. Another highlight of Robert’s career occurred in 2004 when he scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 friendly win over Scotland.

Over a decade, Robert represented Wales on 59 occasions, scoring 16 goals. On 25 May 2011 he had the honour of captaining his country against Scotland in the Nations Cup.

A remarkable fact about Robert’s career: he is the only player to have scored a hat-trick in the Premier League, all three divisions of the English Football League, the FA Cup, the League Cup and for his country in an international match.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #151

Dear Reader,

My latest translation, the Dutch version of Operation Locksmith, Eve’s War, Heroines of SOE book two.

Tall Woman in Red Wagon, Series 1, Episode 5 of The Rockford Files is a ‘flashback’ story with Rockford recalling events after a bullet-inducing concussion. 

Rockford’s printing press appears in this episode. One of the main features of The Rockford Files was the way Rockford teased information out of various people by impersonating numerous officials, his credentials always supported by cards freshly minted by his printing press.

There is no neat ending to this episode. I like that format and sometimes use it in my stories. In the main, readers and viewers like the author to wrap up all the lose ends, but in real life lose ends often roll on, and on…

📸 A still from Tall Woman in Red Wagon.

The Great Fire of London in 1666 destroyed 436 acres of land and made thousands of people destitute. The fire began on Sunday 2 September 1666 in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane. By 7 am 300 houses had burned down.

The fire raged for four days consuming 13,200 houses, 87 churches, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Guildhall, and 52 livery company halls. Amazingly, the death toll did not reach double figures. However, the fire did make 100,000 people homeless.

London in 1666 was a tinderbox. Timber houses crowded the narrow streets. A dry summer had parched the ground. On the morning of the fire, a strong easterly wind fanned the flames, which leapt from building to building.

Each parish was equipped with axes and hooks to pull down buildings and create firebreaks. However, the fire was so intense that most people grabbed their belongings, tossed them on to boats and fled via the river. Others ran for the city gates.

Looters ran riot. Charles II travelled through the city on his horse, imploring people to fight the flames. The Lord Mayor, Thomas Bludworth, dithered fearing that if he ordered people to pull down their houses, they would respond with compensation claims.

From Pudding Lane, the fire spread to warehouses, then Cheapside, London’s principal street, then St Paul’s Cathedral. John Evelyn reported that the cathedral’s stones exploded like grenades, while molten lead flowed like a stream.

The fire reduced 80% of the city to ruins. For days, the ground was too hot to walk on. Without familiar landmarks, people wandered around, lost. Many camped in nearby fields. 

Charles II, and many Londoners, blamed the fire on an Act of God. Sin was its source, particularly the sin of gluttony. The reasoning for this? – The fire started in Pudding Lane. Indeed, an enquiry concluded that the fire was an accident, delivered by the Hand of God.

Thomas Farriner, the baker, escaped the fire. England was at war with France and the Netherlands at the time so, looking for a human scapegoat, the population persecuted a Frenchman, Robert Hubert, a man who suffered from mental health problems. 

After a trial, the authorities hung Hubert. However, evidence later proved that Hubert’s ship arrived in London after 2 September 1666. 

My ancestors – adults, children, babies – experienced the Great Fire. That horror must have remained with them for the rest of their days.

🖼 Painted in 1675, the Great Fire of London (artist unknown). This scene depicts the evening of Tuesday, 4 September 1666. To the left is London Bridge; to the right, the Tower of London. Old St Paul’s Cathedral is in the distance, surrounded by the tallest flames. The accuracy suggests that the artist had local knowledge.

Welsh Football Legends

Derek Tapscott was born on 30 June 1932 in Barry, Wales to Stanley and Florence Tapscott. He was one of sixteen children. 

Derek attended High Street Junior School. Upon leaving school he worked as a delivery boy for a butcher, an assistant to a television repairman then as an apprentice bricklayer.

At a time of National Service, Derek received his call in October 1950. He joined 4 Training Regiment of the Royal Engineers. At 18 Derek was already playing for Barry Town and the Royal Engineers granted him permission to link-up with the club on match days. During his National Service, Derek became a member of the drill staff and was promoted to the rank of corporal. 

After his National Service, Derek returned to bricklaying. His appearances for Barry Town continued. His skill caught the eye of the Tottenham Hotspur scouts and they invited him for a trial. However, Derek didn’t sign for Tottenham Hotspur. Instead, in October 1953, he joined their rivals, Arsenal. His transfer fee: £4,000.

Derek began his Arsenal career with a prolific run in the reserves, scoring 13 goals in 15 matches in the London Combination League. On 10 April 1954, he made his first-team debut against Liverpool and scored twice. He scored five more goals in five further matches that season.

During the 1954-55 season Derek established himself in the Arsenal first team. In 1955-56 from inside-forward he became the club’s top scorer, a feat he emulated the following season. He scored 21 and 27 goals respectively. 

European competition, in the form of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, beckoned. On 4 May 1956, Derek played for a London XI that defeated a Basel XI 1 – 0. 

Manchester United’s final domestic match before the tragic Munich air disaster was against Arsenal. That game developed into a nine-goal thriller with Manchester United taking the honours, 5 – 4. Later, Derek described the game as “the best I ever played in.”

Derek’s 1957-58 season was blighted by injury and he lost his first team place to Vic Groves. This resulted in a move, in September 1958, to Cardiff City. The transfer fee: £10,000. Derek left Arsenal with the impressive record of 68 goals in 132 matches.

Derek made his Cardiff City debut in a 4–1 win over Grimsby Town. The club continued to record impressive results and in 1960 they 

won promotion to the First Division. During this period, Derek scored six goals during a 16 – 0 victory over Knighton Town in the Welsh Cup, a club record.

Derek featured in Cardiff City’s first venture into European competition. He played in the team that reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup scoring the winning goal against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the second round.

Further injuries curtailed Derek’s appearances for Cardiff City. At the beginning of the 1965-66 season he joined Newport County. However, he left that club at the end of that season and moved into non-league football where he played until his retirement in 1970.

On his retirement, Derek could look back at successful spells with Arsenal and Cardiff City, for whom he scored 102 goals in 234 appearances. He could also look back at an illustrious international career, representing Wales.

After only one appearance for Arsenal, Derek was named in the Wales squad for a match versus Austria. He made his debut on 9 May 1954 in Vienna. Austria won 2–0. Nine consecutive appearances followed as Derek established himself in the Wales team.

Derek scored his first international goal on 22 October 1955 during a 2–1 win over England. In the 1959 British Home Championship he scored in the final two matches of the competition, against England and Northern Ireland. From 14 appearances for Wales, Derek scored one other goal, at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham on 23 November 1955 against Austria. 

After football, Derek worked for sports goods companies Gola and Diadora. He published his autobiography, Tappy: From Barry Town to Arsenal, Cardiff City and Beyond, in 2004.

Derek died on 12 June 2008. In 2012, Barry Town inducted him into the club’s Hall of Fame.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #150

Dear Reader,

My latest article for the Seaside News.

The teleplay for Exit Prentiss Carr, Series 1, Episode 4 of The Rockford Files, was written by long-standing Rockford Files associate Juanita Bartlett (pictured). 

This episode was set in the fictitious town of Bay City. Raymond Chandler set his 1940 novel Farewell My Lovely in Bay City, so presumably Exit Prentiss Carr was a homage to Chandler. Bay City also appeared in season two of The Rockford Files.

James Garner appeared in every scene in this episode. When that happens in detective fiction I think it makes for a stronger story, but obviously it’s quite demanding for the lead actor.

In the late sixteenth century, London had four regular companies and six permanent playhouses with plays performed every day except Sunday. The plays were popular with rich and poor alike with prices set to attract lower paid workers.

The authorities loathed the playhouses because people could gather together in large numbers while the plays themselves often challenged authority, a combination that offered the potential for civil unrest.

🖼 Bankside c1630, the earliest known oil painting of London. The theatres depicted on the south bank are the Swan, the Hope, the Rose, and the Globe. The flying flags indicated that there was a performance that day.

In the 1620s there were 400 taverns and 1,000 alehouses in London. Writing in 1621, Robert Burton said, “Londoners flocked to the tavern as if they were born to no other end but to eat and drink.”

Cookshops provided roast dinners and pies, and takeaways. Hawkers sold shellfish, nuts and fruit while if you fancied a cheesecake Hackney was the place to go, and Lambeth was noted for its apple pies.

🖼 The Tabard Inn, renamed The Talbot, one of 48 inns or taverns situated between King’s Bench Prison and London Bridge, a distance of half a mile.

In 1642 Londoners rebelled against Charles I and he left town. The Civil War of 1642-49 was destructive, of course, but it did have some benefits. John Evelyn noted that when the supplies of hearth coal from Newcastle were interrupted London’s orchards and gardens bore ‘plentiful and infinite quantities of fruits.”

During the Civil War, London did not witness any major fighting, primarily because the Parliamentarians controlled the capital from an early stage. Without London, Charles I was doomed to defeat.

On the whole, city leaders were pro-Royalist while the workers sided with the Parliamentarians. However, by 1661 the workers were happy to welcome the new king, Charles II. The moment was lost, and Britain never recovered.

🖼 George Vertue’s plan of the London Lines of Communication, 1642.

Plague visited London in 1665. By the end of the year over 100,000 people were dead, a fifth of the population. The plague began just before Christmas 1664 when two men in Drury Lane died of ‘spotted fever’. 

By May 1665 the plague had spread to most of London’s 130 parishes and those who could afford to fled. Trade declined. The highways were clogged with refugees. Thomas Vincent remained in London throughout the plague. He noted that death rode ‘triumphantly on his pale horse through our streets and breaks into every house almost where any inhabitants are to be found’.

The authorities established ‘pest houses’ in fields and open spaces in an attempt to segregate the infected from the able-bodied. At the peak of the epidemic, mid-August to mid-September 1665, 7,165 people died in one week. Under such strain, traditional burial practices were abandoned in favour of common graves.

A Bill of Mortality published at the plague’s peak included the following as cause of death: Aged, 43. Burnt in his bed by a candle, 1. Constipation, 134. Flox and Smallpox, 5. Frighted, 3. Falling from a belfry, 1. Kingsevil, 2. Lethargy, 1. Rickets, 17. Rising of the Lights, 11. Scurvy, 2. Spotted Fever, 101. Stillborn, 17. Teeth, 121. Winde, 3. Wormes, 15. Plague, 7,165.

Males christened that week, 95; females, 81. Males buried, 4,095; females, 4,202. Parishes clear of the plague, 4. Parishes infected, 126. Many people returned to London in December 1665. However, members of parliament did not return until the following spring.

Welsh Football Legends

Walley Barnes was born on 16 January 1920 in Brecon, Wales. His parents were English. They were living in Brecon because Walley’s father, Edward, an army physical education instructor and footballer, was stationed with the South Wales Borderers.

Walley’s footballing career began during the Second World War. Initially, he played inside-forward for Southampton making 32 appearances between 1941 and 1943, scoring 14 goals. Walley’s impressive strike rate attracted the attention of Arsenal and he signed for the London club in September 1943.

At a time of ‘make do and mend’ footballers were versatile too. He played in virtually every position, including goalkeeper. In 1944 a serious knee injury threatened his career and an early retirement seemed a distinct possibility. However, Walley recovered, played in the reserves and forced his way back into first-team reckoning.

On 9 November 1946, Walley made his league debut for Arsenal against Preston North End. By 1946 he’d settled into his regular position of left-back. He won praise for his assured performances, his skilful distribution and his uncanny ability to cut out crosses. 

A regular in the Arsenal team that won the First Division Championship in 1947-48, Walley enjoyed more success in 1949-50 when Arsenal defeated Liverpool in the FA Cup final. On that occasion, deputising for injured captain Laurie Scott, Walley played right-back.

In the 1951-52 FA Cup final Walley injured a knee. He left the pitch after 35 minutes and missed the entire 1952-53 season, which saw another league triumph for Arsenal. Thereafter, his first-team appearances became more spasmodic.

After only eight appearances in 1955-56, Walley retired. In all he played 294 matches for Arsenal and scored 12 goals, most from the penalty spot.

For Wales, Walley won 22 caps and captained his country. He made his debut against England on 18 October 1947, marking Stanley Matthews. Matthews and England got the better of Wales that day and won 3 – 0. England also won the British Home Championship that year while Wales finished a creditable second.

As Walley’s playing career faded, he turned to management. Between May 1954 and October 1956 he managed Wales. Notably, on 17 July 1958 he signed a letter to The Times opposing the ‘policy of apartheid’ in international sport and defending ‘the principle of racial equality, which is embodied in the Declaration of the Olympic Games’.

Walley joined the BBC and presented coverage of FA Cup finals. With Kenneth Wolstenholme, he was a commentator on the first edition of Match of the Day, broadcast on 22 August 1964. He also provided expert analysis in the live commentary of the 1966 World Cup final when England beat West Germany 4 – 2.

Walley wrote his autobiography, Captain of Wales, which was published in 1953. He continued to work for the BBC until his death on 4 September 1975.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #149

Dear Reader,

The Countess, Series 1, Episode 3 of The Rockford Files saw another solid story from John Thomas James enlivened by crisp dialogue from Stephen J. Cannell. Joe Santos as the long-suffering Sergeant Becker appears in this episode. 

In a phone call with Rockford, Becker implies that his wife’s name is Nancy. However, when that character appears later in the series, played by Pat Finley, her name is Peggy. Incidentally, she is one of my favourite side-characters in the series.

Mistakes in long-running series are inevitable. It’s hard enough for writers to keep track of events in real life, let alone in a fictional universe. The fact that fans notice any errors is a compliment to a series, I reckon; it highlights their deep commitment.

Susan Strasberg, ‘The Countess’. 

The Dissolution of the Monasteries (1535 – 40) created great wealth for some, and more modest opportunities for others. The great religious land carve up started in London. With an influx of people from other parts of Britain, and abroad, the city grew from 150,000 inhabitants in 1580 to 500,000 by 1660. 

The ‘Copperplate’ map of London, produced from a survey conducted between 1553 and 1559, is the earliest true map of London. Sadly, only three of the original fifteen printing plates survived – the Moorfields plate, the Eastern City and the Western City.

From the Copperplate Map of London, 1559, St Paul’s Cathedral. 

St Paul’s lost its spire when it was struck by lightning in 1561. 

The printed word was seen as a threat to the Establishment (because people could form their own opinions). Nevertheless, by 1550, St Paul’s became the national centre of the book trade.

Education, Tudor and Stuart London. In ‘petty schools’ children learned the alphabet and the Lord’s Prayer. However, they were not taught how to write. Teachers were often invalids and paupers, seeking means of support.

Grammar schools, for boys, taught Latin and Greek, but not English. In theory, these schools were free, but most levied fees that went beyond the budget of the poor. City companies, such as brewers and coopers, also established grammar schools. 

Adults attended lectures on astronomy, divinity, geometry, law, music, physic and rhetoric. The upwardly mobile studied history, music and dancing. These subjects prepared them for their move into the ‘right’ social circles.

What have immigrants ever done for us? From the late sixteenth century, women escaping religious persecution in Europe established schools in London and taught girls. Consequently , female literacy increased from 16% in 1590 to 48% in 1690.

St Paul’s School, c1670. Wellcome Images.

With 28 bookshops encircling its churchyard, St Paul’s Cathedral became the centre of literacy in Tudor London. In 1599 they even removed the ‘common privy’ to make way for a new bookshop. 

William Caxton established the first printing press in Westminster in 1476. Other presses followed, in Dowgate, Fleet Street, and St Dunstan’s in the West.

Wynkyn de Worde (his real name) was the most prolific printer and publisher in early Tudor Britain. He acquired Caxton’s impress and published bestsellers such as The Golden Legend and The Chronicles of England. 

Branching out, de Worde published marriage guidance manuals, children’s books, medical treatises and romances. By the time of his death in 1535 his catalogue listed over 800 books.

St Paul’s Cathedral with bookshops crammed between the buttresses. John Gipkyn, 1616.

In the early 1600s the rich and poor of London lived side-by-side in timber and brick houses. Gardens were common, while some buildings were six storeys tall. The larger houses had lead cisterns to collect rainwater. All properties shared community wells.

Around 1630 the wealthy moved to the suburbs. Tradesmen lived in two-up, two-down houses with their shops occupying the ground floor. The poor lived in one-up, one down houses while those in extreme poverty lived in cellars.

By 1640 the united city had divided along class lines. And with each new decade and century those divisions increased.

A plan of timber-framed houses drawn by Ralph Treswell, c1600.

Welsh Football Legends

George Latham MC and Bar was born in Newtown, Powys on 1 January 1881. As a footballer, he played for Newtown, Cardiff City, Liverpool, Stoke City and Southport Central. He was also capped, ten times, by Wales.

As a military man, George served in the Second Boer War and the First World War. He received the Military Cross for his bravery in Gaza, Palestine and Turkey, 1917-18, and the Bar for his courage in Beersheba, 1918. George completed his military career with the rank of captain.

George was also a successful coach. He coached Cardiff City during their halcyon period, 1911 – 36, when the team won the FA Cup, 1927, and narrowly missed out on the league title, denied by goal difference.

George’s origins were humble. The fifth of six boys, his parents were William, a labourer, and Esther, a laundress. He attended New Road School then trained as a tailor in Market Street.

As a teenager, George played for Newtown as an inside forward and achieved modest success. However, in 1900 he volunteered to serve in South Africa during the Second Boer War. He joined the Fifth South Wales Borderers, who were stationed in Newtown.

In fourteen months George saw action in a number of places, including Brandfort and Potchefstroom. He rose from private to the rank of corporal. He played football in South Africa, for a team named the Docks. After the Boer War, George also played for the South African side, the Caledonians.

George’s footballing career in England was, initially, patchy. He joined Liverpool, but had to wait three years before his debut, on 8 April 1905. Never a first team regular, he made only nineteen appearances in seven years. Moves to Southport and Stoke followed before George joined Cardiff City as player-coach in February 1911.

In George’s first season, Cardiff City won the Welsh Cup, defeating Pontypridd 3 – 0 in a replay. George replaced the injured Bob Lawrie in the replay, but presented his winner’s medal to him after the game.

George was a squad player at Cardiff City, filling in for injured players. Nevertheless, he won ten caps for Wales, making his debut on 6 March 1905 in a 3–1 victory over Scotland. George’s tenth and final cap, on 18 January 1913 v Ireland was notable: due to a lack of fit players, as coach George joined the team. Wales won, 1 – 0.

In footballing terms, George’s main skill was as a coach. Working alongside Fred Stewart, he guided Cardiff City to the FA Cup final on two occasions. Cardiff lost 1 – 0 to Sheffield United in 1925 before tasting victory against Arsenal in 1927 in a famous match that ended 1 – 0.

During his spell with Cardiff City, George arranged annual charity matches with his hometown club Newtown to rise money for the Montgomery County Infirmary. After George’s death at the infirmary in 1939, Newtown named their ground Latham Park in his honour.

You can read more player profiles here

In this month’s issue of Mom’s Favorite Reads…

Author Caroline Dunford interviewed by Wendy H Jones. Plus, Author Features, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Recipes, Short Stories, Young Writers, National Picnic Month, and so much more!

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

For Authors

#1 for value with 565,000 readers, The Fussy Librarian has helped my books to reach #1 on 32 occasions.

A special offer from my publisher and the Fussy Librarian.

Don’t forget to use the code goylake20 to claim your discount 🙂

Dear Reader

Dear Reader #148

Dear Reader,

Betrayal, book one in my Ann’s War Mystery Series, has returned to the top of the Amazon charts. Many thanks to my readers for their support.

The Dark and Bloody Ground, Series 1, Episode 2 of The Rockford Files, introduced Gretchen Corbett, pictured, as attorney Beth Davenport to the series. The producers were reluctant to tie Rockford to a long-term ‘love interest’, so until much later in the series the implied on-off affair between Rockford and Beth was the closest the series came to romance.

Would The Rockford Files have worked with a permanent romantic interest? I think James Garner would have made it work, but I can understand why the producers wanted to keep Rockford ‘footloose and fancy free’.

Some days, you feel as though you’ve lost a week and a half…

In 1752 they had a problem: how to align the English calendar with Europe? Solution: lose eleven days. Therefore, Wednesday 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday 14 September 1752.

The parish register of Martock, Somerset made a note of that fact.

Many of the initial facilities in the NHS were developed on former workhouse sites. From the 1830s workhouses accepted sick paupers then in the 1870s they admitted non-paupers for treatment.

Picture, 1930. Cleveland Street Workhouse, London, later became part of the Middlesex Hospital.

London from Southwark, c1630 (artist unknown). This is one of only four paintings of London depicting the city before the Great Fire of 1666. A landscape familiar to Shakespeare, and my London ancestors.

In 1483-4 immigrants in London were taxed. Their tax returns offer a flavour of the multi-cultural nature of the city. The returns include: Thurstan Grysley, Icelander, servant to the mayor; John Sewell, French, armourer; John Letowe, Lithuanian, printer; John Evynger, ‘German’, brewer. Plus a number of Scottish artisans.

Through wills dated 1374 – 1486 we can identify the crafts and trades prevalent in medieval London. Victualers top the list at 22%, then merchants 14%, metalworkers 13%, tailors 12%…builders 6%…transport workers 2%.

🖼 London, c1300, vectorised by William R Shepherd, 1923.

Welsh Football Legends

Trevor Ford, born 1 October 1923 to Trevor and Daisy Ford, was a centre forward who played for Swansea Town, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Cardiff City, PSV Eindhoven, Newport County and the Wales national team. In a career that spanned fifteen years he scored 202 league goals in 401 matches.

Trevor Senior served as a physical training instructor during the First World War. He encouraged young Trevor, buying him a new football and boots for each birthday. He also made him practice his football for two hours each day, often using a tennis ball on his stronger right foot to improve control. 

Cricket was another one of Trevor’s passions. At the age of 14, he was selected to represent Wales against a London Schools under-15 side as a bowler, playing alongside his future Wales and Cardiff City teammate Alf Sherwood. Later, he fielded substitute during the match at St Helen’s, Swansea when Garry Sobers hit six sixes in one over.

A physical player, Trevor began his career during the Second World War with his hometown club Swansea Town. After the war he joined Aston Villa before, in October 1950, breaking the British transfer fee record with a move to Sunderland. The fee: £30,000.

In 1953 Trevor returned to Wales to play for Cardiff City. However, a scandal from his time at Sunderland, involving illegal payments in an attempt to circumvent the maximum wage, brought a suspension. Unable to play in Britain, Trevor joined PSV Eindhoven. He returned to Britain in 1960 and completed his club career at Newport County.

As an international, Trevor represented Wales on 38 occasions becoming his country’s record goalscorer with 23 goals, a record later equalled by Ivor Allchurch then surpassed by Ian Rush and Gareth Bale. Due to his suspension, Trevor was not selected for the 1958 World Cup finals, a bitter blow for him and Wales.

Trevor made his first appearance for Wales on 4 May 1946 against Northern Ireland in a ‘Wartime International’. Northern Ireland won, 1–0. His first official cap arrived during the 1946-47 British Home Championship when he scored in Wales’ 3 – 1 victory over Scotland, a game played at the Racecourse Ground, Wrexham. He scored again against Northern Ireland, but the game ended in a 2 – 1 defeat.

Trevor made it three goals in three games when, in the following season, he scored against Scotland. However, his finest personal performance arrived in 1949 when he scored a hat-trick against Belgium. He also scored two goals against England, twice, Portugal, Switzerland and Yugoslavia. 

Trevor won his final cap on 20 October 1950 in a 2–2 draw with Scotland. Of course, he scored.

Trevor used his physicality to great effect and often stretched the rules to the limit when challenging goalkeepers. His Wales international teammate John Charles said, “He used to bang everybody and knock them out of the way, he was never frightened.” He added that Trevor was a “wonderful person”.

Trevor admitted that his personality changed when he stepped on to the pitch and that he played “like an animal”. However, no referee cautioned him or sent him off.

Sunderland colleague Billy Bingham later stated, “He got some terrible knocks from goalkeepers, but he also knew how to dish it out and he never complained to refs”. He added, “The two of us would lift weights, and I don’t think he broke a sweat while I was struggling to lift some of them. He was the bravest player I ever played with.”

Following his retirement, Trevor entered the car trade. He died in his native Swansea on 29 May 2003 at the age of 79 and was buried in Oystermouth Cemetery.

You can read more player profiles here

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

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