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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 https://hannah-howe.com/sixty-four/

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.

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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #147

Dear Reader,

Published this week, The Olive Tree: Fruit, book four of five in my Spanish Civil War Saga.

The blurb:

Christmas 1937. A respite from the fighting allows time for celebrations, and for passions to ignite.

Volunteer nurse Heini Hopkins can deny her feelings no longer: she is attracted to handsome surgeon, Dr Miguel Martinez. However, her love for International Brigades Volunteer Deiniol Price remains strong. What should she do? Which way should she turn?

Meanwhile, author Naomi Parker wrestles with her feelings for the Condor Legion’s ace pilot, Prince Nicolas Esteban. She also falls under suspicion as Luis Rodriguez, the Minister of Propaganda, hunts for a spy in his camp.

Book four in The Olive Tree: A Spanish Civil War Saga places Heini on the frontline where she battles to save Deiniol, and her heart.

My latest translation, the Spanish version of Operation Cameo, Eve’s War Heroines of SOE book six.

Last week, I started rewatching The Rockford Files. This week, after the pilot episode, the series started with The Kirkoff Case, a good story by John Thomas James with some great one-liners in the teleplay by Stephen J Cannell: Rockford to a thug, “Does your mother know what you do for a living?”

James Woods guest starred and, if anything, was underused. This episode featured more physical violence than later episodes. It also featured a great ‘flicked cigarette’ gag. Overall, an enjoyable episode, but I think the confession at the end, as portrayed in a newspaper headline, went against James Woods’ character: Larry Kirkoff didn’t seem the type to confess.

This week’s answer machine message: “Jim, it’s Norma at the market. It bounced – you want us to tear it up, send it back, or put it with the others?”

Not a relative, but this is touching. The death record of Sarah Slumbers of Drury Lane, 10 February 1833.

It’s always nice when you discover your ancestors’ signatures because they offer an insight into character. My 6 x great grandparents William Wright and Margaret Woodhouse’s signatures, 24 July 1757. Margaret was literate. I get a sense that this branch is leading somewhere…

My 7 x great grandfather Thomas Woodhouse owned a brewery. He was a ‘servant of St Mary’s, Lambeth’, supplying that part of London with ale. On 28 November 1728, Thomas married Mary Fitzherbert. The Fitzherberts go back to medieval times, so nobility is a possibility, if the records exist.

I’ve traced the Woodhouse branch of my family tree back to Droitwich, Worcestershire. My 9 x great grandfather, John Woodhouse, a ‘gentleman’, died on 21 September 1685. However, before his death he arranged for his son, also John, my 8 x great grandfather, to become an apprentice with Lawrence Fullove, a Quaker and distiller, based in London. 

John’s apprenticeship started on 19 April 1687, his fifteenth birthday, and was set for seven years. However, Lawrence Fullove died on 26 September 1689 leaving John without a master.

On 15 July 1690 John’s apprenticeship was turned over to George Vale of the Distiller’s Company. John completed his apprenticeship and established a brewery in St Mary’s, Lambeth, which was inherited by my 7 x great grandfather, Thomas Woodhouse.

A touching memorial to my 7 x great grandmother Mary Fitzherbert and her daughter Elizabeth, commissioned by her husband, Thomas Woodhouse. The ornate nature of the memorial suggests that Thomas’ brewery business was doing well. And the coat of arms connects to the nobility.

Dorset Quarter Sessions, 1729. A payment of 2 shillings 1 1/2 pence made by my 8 x great grandfather Mr William Fitzherbert for maintenance of the highways in the parish of Chidiock.

In 1717 as a popish recusant, my 8 x great grandfather William Fitzherbert forfeited his estates. A common theme with my ancestors: in love, religion and politics they stood up for what they believed in. They didn’t take any bullshit from anyone, especially the government.

Welsh Football Legends

Leigh Richmond Roose was born on 27 November 1877 in Holt near Wrexham. A goalkeeper, and a celebrated amateur at a time when the game was largely professional, Leigh Roose was regarded as one of the best players in his position during the Edwardian era.

Raised by his clergyman father after his mother’s untimely death, Leigh Roose left school in 1895 and attended Aberystwyth University. He also studied medicine at King’s College London, but did not qualify as a doctor.

A big man at over six feet tall and thirteen stone, Leigh Roose began his footballing career in 1895 with Aberystwyth Town. He earned great praise during this phase of his career. Indeed, the eminent Welsh historian Thomas Richards referred to him as Yr Ercwlff synfawr hwn – ‘This wondrous Hercules’.

From Aberystwyth Town, Leigh Roose went on to play for Stoke, two spells, Everton, Sunderland plus several guest appearances for other clubs, including Celtic, Aston Villa and Woolwich Arsenal. Leigh Roose retained his amateur status throughout his club career. However, he did cash-in on expenses.

On the international stage, Leigh Roose played for Wales, in 1900, in a 2 – 0 victory over Ireland. He won 24 caps in total, in an international career that spanned eleven years. The highlight of his career arrived in 1907 when Wales won the British Home Championship for the first time. Because Wales did not play their first international match against an overseas opponent until 1933 all of Leigh Roose’s games were played against England, Scotland or Ireland.

Leigh Roose used his physical presence to intimidate his opponents. He was powerful, recklessly brave and the possessor of amazing reflexes earning a reputation as a shot-stopper and penalty saver.

Leigh Roose was an eccentric and anecdotes about his behaviour appeared frequently in contemporary newspapers. One anecdote stated that in March 1909 he travelled with Wales to play against Ireland in a British Home Championship match. At Liverpool station he appeared with one hand heavily bandaged and informed the waiting press that he had broken two fingers, but would still play.

News of Leigh Roose’s disability reached the Irish fans and they turned out in huge numbers in anticipation of witnessing an Irish victory. Instead Wales won the game 3–2 with Leigh Roose playing superbly. Leigh Roose’s injury had been a ruse, his broken fingers a practical joke.

Injury, in the form of two broken wrists, did curtail Leigh Roose’s career. Nevertheless, he remained a celebrity, the ‘David Beckham of his day’. When a newspaper invited its readers to select a World XI to face another planet, they chose Leigh Roose as the World XI’s goalkeeper by a large margin.

Leigh Roose led a glamorous life. He wore Saville Row suits and owned an apartment in central London. He was popular with the ladies including, it is said, with musical hall star Marie Lloyd.

Although well above the age of recruitment, Leigh Roose joined the British Army at the outbreak of the First World War. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France and Gallipoli. Later he returned to London and enlisted as a private in the Royal Fusiliers. He served on the Western Front and transferred his fearless attitude on the football field to the battlefield winning the Military Medal for bravery. 

His citation read: “Private Leigh Roose, who had never visited the trenches before, was in the sap when the flamethrower attack began. He managed to get back along the trench and, though nearly choked with fumes with his clothes burnt, refused to go to the dressing station. He continued to throw bombs until his arm gave out, and then, joining the covering party, used his rifle with great effect.”

Promoted to the rank of lance corporal, Leigh Roose fought in the Battle of the Somme. Tragically, he was killed towards the end of the battle, on 7 October 1916, aged 38. His body was not recovered, so his name appears on the war memorial to missing soldiers at Thiepval.

You can read more player profiles here https://hannah-howe.com/sixty-four/

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. https://authors.thefussylibrarian.com/?ref=goylake

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

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Dear Reader

Dear Reader #146

Dear Reader,

My latest translation, the Italian version of Operation Broadsword, Eve’s War Heroines of SOE, book three.

This week, I started rewatching The Rockford Files. Most of the regular cast appeared in the pilot, including Stuart Margolin as Angel. Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H was considered for the part, and would have done a fine job, but Stuart Margolin made it his own. He portrayed the character so well with just the movements of his eyes. Around this time Margolin also featured in an episode of M*A*S*H.

The answering machine messages at the start are iconic. In the pilot, Luis Delgado (who appears as ‘himself’ in a marriage scene later in the episode) said, “Billings, L.A.P.D. You know, Thursday is Chapman’s 20th year, and we’re giving a little surprise party at the Captain’s. I think you should come. By the way, we need five bucks for the present…” Cue the equally iconic theme music…

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

Writer and historian Mary W Craig interviewed by Wendy H Jones. Plus, Author Features, Health, Nature, Photography, Poetry, Recipes, Short Stories, Young Writers, Nature Photography Day, and so much more!

Do you have one of these, a Princess Mary Christmas Gift Box? As you can see, I have two, from both sides of my family, one in better condition than the other.

Each box was decorated with an image of Mary and other military and imperial symbols and typically filled with an ounce of tobacco, a packet of cigarettes in a yellow monogrammed wrapper, a cigarette lighter, and a Christmas card and photograph from Princess Mary. Some contained sweets, chocolates and lemon drops.

The boxes were distributed to all members of the British armed forces on Christmas Day 1914, although some servicemen had to wait until 1920.

Most baptism records tend to be scrawled, but for some reason many in the West Country were recorded with a neat hand. Here’s the baptism record for my 5 x great grandfather, John Bick.

Many of my Bick ancestors were baptised in St Mary de Lode Church, Gloucester. It is believed that St Mary’s was built on the site of the first Christian church in Britain. Certainly, it was built on top of two Roman structures, possibly temples.

Photo: Wikipedia

In honour of the Wales football team and their World Cup qualifying achievement, I intend to feature pen-portraits of past players on Twitter and my website. I will feature some ‘big names’, but the majority will be ‘unsung heroes’ from the 19th and 20th centuries. 

I’m starting with Alf Sherwood because he used to visit my great grandmother. For more details, read on…

The son of Herbert Sherwood, a labourer and coal miner from Wiltshire, and Alice Maud Williams, a labourer’s daughter from Aberdare, Alfred Thomas Sherwood was born on 13 November 1923 in North View Terrace, Aberaman, a stone’s throw away from his hometown football club. 

In 1939 Alf was an apprentice wagon painter. Then, during the Second World War, he was drafted into the coal mines to work as a ‘Bevin Boy’.

Scouts recognised Alf’s footballing prowess at an early age and he gained caps at youth level for Wales. He was also an accomplished cricketer. 

In 1942, Alf joined Cardiff City from Aberaman Athletic. A wing-half at Aberaman, he switched to full-back at Cardiff. He was so impressive that he made that position his own for the rest of his career.

When the Football League returned for the 1946–47 season, Alf missed just one match for Cardiff City. That season the club gained promotion as champions of Third Division South. In the 1951–52 season, Alf was appointed club captain and under his leadership Cardiff City gained promotion to the First Division.

Alf’s senior international career began on his 23rd birthday in a match against England in the British Home Championship. The score: 3 – 0 to England. However, on 22 October 1955 in the British Home Championship match played at Ninian Park, as captain Alf led Wales to a famous 2-1 victory over England.

In total, Alf won 41 Welsh caps. He earned a reputation as ‘the king of the slide-tacklers’. Indeed, Stanley Matthews described him as “the most difficult opponent he ever played against.” Students of the game reckoned that Alf’s main qualities were outstanding pace, sound tackling and a wonderful positional sense.

Alf also served club and country as a stand-in goalkeeper. On 17 April 1954 in a match against Liverpool, he saved a penalty taken by Scottish international Billy Liddell, which ultimately condemned Liverpool to relegation.

After an illustrious career, Alf worked for the National Coal Board. He also worked as an insurance agent and during the course of this work he called on my great grandmother, Edith, to collect her monthly insurance premiums and chat.

Alf died on 12 March 1990.

You can read more player profiles here https://hannah-howe.com/sixty-four/

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. https://authors.thefussylibrarian.com/?ref=goylake

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