Naval Ships Memorial Monument

Naval Ships' Memorial Monument//

Spencer Smith Park, Burlington, Ontario

The Royal Canadian Naval Association Burlington Branch, unveiled that Naval Ships’ Memorial Monument, May 14, 1995, with approximately 5,000 spectators, including over 1,000 veterans in attendance.

The memorial is dedicated to the memory of the 31 warships and the 2024 Naval Personnel of the Royal Canadian Navy and the 75 ships and 1466 merchant seamen of the Canadian Merchant Navy who were lost during World War II.

The cairn and ships’ remembrance wall is Cambrian Black granite, inscribed with the names of all the 527 Warships that served during World War II in the Royal Canadian Navy under the white ensign, and of the 370 merchant ships that sailed under the red duster of the Canadian Merchant Navy. The ships’ names are in gold, the crests are carved and in full colour. A bronze statue of a seaman tops off the cairn.

The memorial is located near the willow trees in Spencer Smith Park. If you served in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II, your ship’s name is on the remembrance wall.

“Exposed” Kifaru the Black Rhino.

Kifaru the Black Rhino

“Exposed” Kifaru is the male Black Rhino at Chester Zoo.

The black rhinoceros or hook-lipped rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is a species of rhinoceros, native to eastern and southern Africa including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Although the rhinoceros is referred to as black, its colors vary from brown to grey.

Eastern black rhinos are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered in the wild, with less than 650 now believed to remain across Africa. Black rhino populations in Africa are being decimated due to a huge surge in illegal poaching, driven by a global increase in demand for rhino horn to supply the traditional Asian medicine market.

The issue is being fuelled by the high street value of rhino horn, which is currently changing hands for more per gram than both gold and cocaine.

In January 2016 After a pregnancy lasting 15-months, Ema Elsa, a 13-year-old Eastern black rhino, gave birth to the male calf. The birth of the calf takes the total number of Eastern black rhinos at the zoo to 10.

Alphabet Food

Just for a bit of fun a meme sent to me by a friend

Below is my list of favourite foods I love to eat and cook.

A is for Apple and Cinnamon Pie
A Classic pie made with none other than the humble bramley apple with a pinch of cinnamon spice you can’t beat it wrapped in a short crust pastry served with piping hot custard.

B is for Bagels
A bagel is a donut shaped piece of bread that is boiled before baking it. I began eating these a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed them. Bagels are dryer than bread but taosted and spread with cream chesse they are delicious for a tasty snack. I have them daily for my lunch at work and being 95% fat free I can watch the calories too

C is for Cheese
One of my favourite foods is cheese especially a good medium mature cheddar. A few years ago I tasted a sample of cheese which I found creamy, smooth, mature and with a fruity bite biut unfortunately I did not remember its name only that it began with a D. It took me a long time to find it again. It is Davidstow Cheese

D is for Danish Pastries
I have to admit I make a very good danish pastry using a basic bread recipe and kneeding into it unsalted butter. Rolling it out like pastry I use fillings of apricot, peach, cherries and mixed fruit. It always goes down a treat at work.

E is for Eggs
A wonderful sourch of protein. I prefer a soft boiled egg with toast soldiers. Takes me back to my child hood

F is for Fajitas
One of my favourite Tex Mex meals are fajitas. Strips of beef or chicken cooked with onions and peppers with a smoky spicy sauce with a hint of lime wrapped in a soft tortilla wrap with shredded salad, salsa and grated cheese. Mmm delicious. My whole family love these and they are so easy to make. I just lay out dishes of the filling and let everyone help themselves

G is for Ginger Cake.
I love ginger but most especially in Jamacian Ginger Cake by McVities. Rich dark golden sponge with a tasty ginger bite served hot or cold with custard or cream or on its own

H is for Hot Pot.
My mother makes a wonderful lamb Hot Pot with mountains of onions and potatoes and thick rich gravy. I always look forward to a steaming plate full of this on a cold winters evening when I visit my mum.

I is for Ice Cream
Any Ice Cream will do really but my favourite is Ben and Jerry’s Full Vermonty with pecan nuts and maple flavour ice cream. Very creamy and extremely rich. I can make a piggy of myself when I buy this I have to eat the whole pot in one night

J is for Jam Donuts
That sweet doughy confection deep fried and filled to bursting with jam. mmm delicious. I really enjoy them the more with cream added too

K is for Kiwi Fruit (Chinese Goosberry)
That fuzzy brown fruit which holds a centre of velvety bright green flesh sweet and refreshing and full of vitamin C. Delicious on its own or with other fruit. I like Kiwi with vanilla ice cream or in a merangue pavlova

L is for Lemon Mousse
ASDA Good for you lemon mousse, a light refreshing creamy desert with a tangy lemon taste. As with Ice Creeam I can make a piggy of myself. At 0.64 per pack of 4 I always make sure there is at least one pack in my shopping trolley each week

M is for Mushroom
That edible fungus that goes well with steak or chicken in an assortment of dishes. I even like them raw in salads.

N is for Nectarine
A nectarine is a variety of peach, NOT a cross between a peach and a plum. nectarines can sometime be found on peach trees and visa versa. Their pink tinted yellow flesh is juicy and sweet and as it ripens becomes sweeter. I like them when they are firm i hate them when they are too ripe. I bake them in maple syrup and use them in my extra special merangue nests.

O is for Oranges
I hate peeling oranges, you tend to get all the zest, juice and orange oil all over your fingers, I much prefer the easy peel verieties my favourite by far is the satsuma. I eat at least one daily for lunch to ensure I get a helping of vitamin C

P is for Pasta
I am a fan of Italian food especially pasta in all shapes and forms. Duram wheat, egg, a pinch of salt and water mixed and rolled thinly. A hearty and filling meal with rich sauces or a light snack I don’t care I love it all. When I was in Milan I tasted one of the most delicious pasta dishes I had ever had and have never had since. Mussels, clams and garlic cooked in white wine and tossed in pasta, unforgetable. Believe it or not I have even attempted to make my own pasta although I am still trying to perfect it.

Q is for quiche
A simple egg cheese and bacon quiche served with salad.

R is for Roasted Potatoes
One of my favourite ways to eat potatoes is roasted. You can’t beat them on a Sunday roast dinner but I also enjoy them mid week with pies and vegetables.

S is for Stew
My mother makes a fabulous stew basically a kitchen sink stew with everything but the kitchen sink in it. Ideal on a cold night I loved arriving home from school to a large dish of Mums stew. Filled with meat, an assortment of vegetables and dumplings.

T is for Tuna Fish Steak
Not only do I like tinned tuna but a slice of fresh tuna fish steak with a butter sauce is devine. A chunky fish full of flavour which is ideal for fish kebabs with chunck of marlin or swordfish

U is for Unsmoked Bacon
Crispy grilled unsmoked bacon on thick slices of wholemeal bread with lettuce and tomato and lots of mayonaise or served with pancakes and maple syrup. What more can I say?

V is for Vegetables
What more can I say I love eating vegetables especially steamed carrots, cabbage, green beans and garden peas. I will eat them any chance I get and so good for me too.

W is for Wholemeal Bread
I much prefer wholemeal bread to the normal white especially Hovis with its rich nutty flavour.

X is for Xtra Helpings
I suppose this would be cheating but I love food and an extra helping always goes down a treat. (Espeically Ice cream)

Y is for Yoghurt
I enjoy eating yoghurt as a desert especially the fruit corners but one savoury dish I do enjoy is Tzatziki made the traditional Greek way with Greek yoghurt, cucumber, olive oil and lots of garlic and without the mint which is the way you tend to find it made in supermarkets in this country.

Z is for Zucchini (courgette)
Zucchini is a veriety of green Italian squash, very much looking like a short cucumber with a thick speckly green skin and a delicate sweet flavour. One of my favourtie zucchini dishes is Zucchini, tomato, roasted pepper and onion tart made with a filling much like Ratatouilli, with a sweet tomato flavour and a chunky vegetable texture. I also like using zucchini in soups especially in my homemade minestrone soup. Delicious, hot and filling

Food, glorious food!
Hot sausage and mustard!
While we’re in the mood —
Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloys!
What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys —

I was 11 when I first sang that song in a school production of Oliver. Even then I loved food and cooking, learning from both the cookery teacher and my mother. I think my Mum is an amazing cook and as a youngster could only hope to have a tenth of her talent in the kitchen. Now many years later I consider myself at home in the kitchen, whipping up some tasty treats and enjoyable meals for myself, my husband and my Mum.

I hope you enjoyed my Alphabet Food, I certainly did.

Thanks for reading

Victoria Embankment Nottingham

Victoria Embankment flood defenses at Nottingham

A new £45 million flood defence, which will protect more inland properties than any other in England, stretching along a 27 kilometre section of the River Trent, from Sawley to Colwick, the flood defence protectects 16,000 homes and businesses, roads and factories

The flood defence has been funded by Defra and built by the Environment Agency,…

View On WordPress

Crime & Punishment – An Arresting Experience! – Galleries of Justice Nottingham

Before you read any further I must warn you this is a long review and to do the museum justice I really couldnt leave anything out. This was my experience at the Galleries when I last paid a visit

The even, steady footsteps echoed through the gloom moving along the narrow and winding streets of the Lace Market. The wet cobbles shone in the dim light of the gas lamps as the boot-clad feet reached the turning with St. Mary’s they waited for a moment before moving again proceeded along High Pavement to the station house with its comforting blue lamp shining above the door…
Not an ideal description I know, but it’s the image that comes to mind: a Victorian bobby walking the beat in one of Nottingham’s oldest districts. Maybe the image comes from reading Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch a few months ago or maybe from my fascination with Jack the Ripper and the books and accounts I have read and the influence of TV and Hollywood with their atmospheric visualisations of Victorian England. However I would like to think it is the result of my visit to yet another of the country’s fascinating museums, a most unusual and perhaps a most unique museum devoted to policing, justice and law and order, a spine chilling reminder of what happened to anyone who broke the law, a museum called: The Galleries of Justice.

I love acting the tour guide pointing out the interesting things I know about the city not to mention the fact I love history. Having heard many positive things about the museum, I was looking forward to the visit and the prospect of discovering new and interesting facts and I was taking with me a visiting friend and his son in what I hoped to be an interesting afternoon.
The Galleries of Justice Museum is on an old, narrow, winding street named High Pavement situated in the heart of Nottingham’s historic Lace Market, the centre of the country’s Lace industry during the Industrial Revolution and with the 14th century, Church of St. Mary the Virgin with its magnificently carved bell tower, across the road from the museum. Nearby is the former High Pavement Chapel now a restaurant and bar, the Nottingham Lace Centre and Broadmarsh Shopping Centre is within two minutes walk. There is easy access to numerous multi storey car parks and links to public transport including the new NET Nottingham Express Transit Tram system, Nottingham Midland Train Station and Broadmarsh Bus Station. There are many signposts throughout the city centre directing you to the Lace Market, St Mary’s or the Galleries of Justice as well as other notable landmarks of the city

Nottingham sits upon an intricate series of caves within a range of red sandstone cliffs with many buildings utilising these caves. Nottingham’s Old Shire Hall is one and rests upon the brow of the cliff descending down into and against the sandstone creating an unusual stronghold of courts, suites and the old County Gaol.
Completed in 1770 replacing the original medieval structure, the present imposing Georgian structure with a classical facade of pillars and steps is flanked by two recessed doorways leading to lower levels of the building. The door on the left was the County Gaol entrance, its name carved above door arch (This door shows the mason made an error in his work. The word GAOL had been carved incorrectly as GOAL it was corrected but you can still see the outline)

On the Date stone above is the building you can see the symbol of justice, the Rods, the Hood and the Axe called the Fasces. The Fasces is a bound stack of rods representing birching, with an axe protruding from one end representing the authority to execute offenders, and a hood from the other representing the hood which executioners wore, or felt cap worn by the Magistrates. Public executions took place outside until 1861 after that privately done in the prison yard. The Shire Hall remained a working magistrates court up until 1987 an reopened in 1995 as a museum of the law, crime and punishment. The Shire Hall is a grade II listed site

The museum is split into two partially guided tours, the Police Galleries and the Justice Galleries with guides acting the roles of warders. Time is allowed to browse around. Allow yourself at least 2-3 hours for the full visit.

PLEASE NOTE some areas within this museum and galleries may be upsetting or frightening to some children and adults.
Open throughout the year Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday 10am – 5 pm
Closed Mondays and 24 December – 2 January
Last admission 1 hour before closing

All tickets purchased bear a convict number to be looked up on information boards throughout the Justice Galleries.

Attached to the Shire Hall complex is the former High Pavement Police Station housing the Police Galleries, well where would the ideal home for a police museum be? Exactly! Wandering down the drive between the two buildings, we found a black door with a blue police lamp hanging above it. The sign on the wall advised, “Please wait for the Custody Sergeant to admit you.” There were only the three of us; it would be a small tour party. We knocked and waited.

First built in 1847 it was ideally situated next to the main courts and Count Gaol and so easy to transfer prisoners before trial. After a fire at the turn of the 20th Century, the building was rebuilt in 1905 and the newer Edwardian build remained a working police station until the station closed in 1985.

A friendly looking uniformed, middle-aged man opened the doors, the Custody Sergeant. He greeted us with a smile and led us into the hub of the Police Station. Immediately noticeable are the sounds emitting from behind a windowed hatch: voices, radios, ringing telephones and radio static, all the sounds you would expect from a control room. Through another set of doors brought us into the brightly lit waiting room and the province of the Desk Sergeant. There were benches along walls covered in posters, notices and display cases, a telephone cubicle, barred doors led further into the Station and the main desk with an assortment of paraphernalia, books and logs. I could see telephone consoles, computers, notice boards, workstations and many other items associated with a control room. Other noises began to filter through, footsteps echoing through the corridors, banging doors, keys rattling, flushing loos and mumbled voices. Glancing around there was so much to see and take in. It was right out of an episode of Dixon of Dock Green or Z Cars.

The Custody Sergeant began to talk explaining the workings of the station, taking care of the public visiting the station, recording details in any of the multitude of logs and his role, that of an impartial officer who cared for the prisoners through processing and confinement before charging. His manner was not the usual one you would expect from a tour guide who rattle off facts and figures, he spoke in a conversational way, friendly, and patiently, this man was human and showed his own keen interest in the museum by the way his eyes lit up.

He was genuinely friendly with an easy smile and extremely helpful. He seemed like he was breathing a sigh of relief to be dealing with someone who clearly wanted know the workings of the place rather than a trail of tourists who hardly spoke a word and just followed him like a flock of lost sheep. He smiled when he answered my questions and I felt encouraged to ask more. At the end of the tour we spent a few extra minutes chatting to him as there wasn’t a tour waiting to enter, he was a lovely man and extremely helpful and even gave us a wave a couple of hours later when we left the museum itself.

Suddenly all noise ceased and a flashing blue lamp came on. “You are now prisoners, under arrest and awaiting charging.” A little dramatic I know but it added to the atmosphere of the place. He explained how prisoners were searched for weapons, had their valuables documented and sealed in tough pouches, read their rights and fingerprinted before being placed in a cell for up to 24 hours while the arresting offices gathered evidence to charge them.

Led into a plainly painted cell approx 12 feet by 10 feet, we had been processed: photographed, fingerprinted, searched, allowed a phone call and read our rights. We were now to be confined awaiting charging: we were prisoners. The holding cell was larger than normal containing a metal toilet and washbowl, this was a double cell for women prisoners Against the wall was a wooden bed and on the far side was a door leading into other parts of the museum.

We bid goodbye to the friendly sergeant as he closed the door with a resounding thud casting us into darkness. Suddenly a projection of a large clock appeared on the wall and a woman’s voice announced that for the next 45 seconds we would experience what it was like to be locked in a cell. NOTE the door can be pushed open easily to allow in light for people in distress. This marked the end of the guided area of our tour and now we were free to browse and explore at our leisure.

The door opened, here television screens were showing film and news clips of police officers in action, through riots, strikes, football matches and other scenes interspersed with scenes from numerous Police TV series. Next to these screens were displays of Riot Gear with their toughened shields and helmets. While watching the screens, I heard the sound of footsteps and as anyone would, I looked up to find no one there. At first, it was a little spooky but I must admit very effective and memorable, remarkably so as it gave me the image I described at the start of the review.

This was the head of a long darkened corridor paved and walled in black stone with barred windows sporadically placed along the right wall. To the left was one long wood and glass cabinet with information boards and displays before the glass. This was a fascinating presentation of costumes and uniforms from 18th century watchman uniform through to modern day policewoman: the full evolution of the police uniform. There were other artefacts and exhibits. Truncheons, Nightsticks, Tipstaves made of brass and containing an officer’s ‘warrant’ or ‘Bill’, Peeler Hats and helmets Handcuffs and metal restraints, Police Whistles, Badges, medals, passes and finally, wooden rattles that would not have been out of place years ago at a football match.
As we were browsing the display, a projection of a Victorian Policeman appeared on the wall explaining his job and life as a policeman. This film alternated with criminals describing their run in with the law until it changed into a modern day policeman who spoke about the aspects of today’s police work and their role in the community. This projection is one that does make you think. Question, Do we expect too much from the police force?

We made our way through a series of rooms revolving around many aspects of today’s police force. These rooms contained information boards and electronic interactive displays where you follow the investigation of a crime from the crime scene, collection of evidence, witness statements through to the capture of the criminal with a full sized exhibit of a scene of crime. A forensic room came next with exhibits of equipment and evidence, with a full forensics kit on display together with artefacts from some of the country’s most notorious crimes. We saw a bowl and glass from the 1963 Great Train Robbery covered with the fingerprints that were evidence enough to connect Ronnie Biggs with the heist of the Royal Mail Train carrying £2.5 Million in used bank notes.

Finally, we moved through into another area from the original police station. We found more cells with their hard bedding, a prisoner toilet which kept the prisoners head in full view and an open shower, two visitor booths with their glass partitions, and a model of a police Le Velocette motorcycle once known as a Noddy Bike, used during the fifties and sixties.

To really appreciate and explore the Police Galleries you need at least 1 hour. The exhibits are all on one level and seating is available.

This is where I will get on my soapbox for a moment, I must apologise before hand for any offence that may be taken as none is meant. This exhibition brings home a few thoughts to me not from a criminal point of view as I have been a law abiding citizen all my life and only on occasion had need to call the police particularly considering I have been a victim of 2 burglaries and a purse theft. Instead, this comes from the fact that a relative is currently a police constable as were some of my ancestors.

We as a nation take the police for granted, they are the first we turn to when we need help they are the first we call when a crime happens, when an event needs security they are the ones we call, when a child goes missing they are the first to search for them. We never take into consideration the amount of paperwork they have to write, the amount of investigation work they perform, or the limited resources they have to hand. We never think about the times they are the first to arrive at a road accident, or there to patrol football matches, city centres at night filled with people out on the town drinking and having a good time. They also patrol parades and marches, marathons, festivals and many other community events yet we are eager to place the blame at their door when a crime occurs. We do not consider the abuse and violence against them nor the threat to their lives. The police perform a service, it is a dirty job they do and do it well, they deserve more respect than that which we give them. I think we should support them more rather than critisise them.

Now I have said my little bit back to the review

Entering the Shire Hall to join the next tour, I gazed around at the high arched lobby. The walls were cream and green paintwork with an abundance of highly polished wood fixtures. The main desk was on the left and on the right, a double curved staircase leading up to galleried corridors below the beautiful vaulted ceiling. It was here noticed the heraldic shields lining the walls, each one the coat of arms of a former Sheriff of Nottingham. However, the four regimental insignia shields above the door arrested my attention. I knew these shields extremely well from my family history, The Robin Hood Rifles, The South Notts Hussars, The Sherwood Rangers and finally the Sherwood Foresters (Many male ancestors including my father have served in either one of these regiments). On the far side of the lobby was a dark burnished wooden door where we awaited the start of the tour. The door opened.

The tour began with a cacophony of sound: Tolling bells, angry accusations, women’s screams, pleas of mercy and innocence. This scene was justice before the courts when the clergy meted out punishment: it was chilling. A backdrop was lit from behind; the full grisly details were seen. This was trial by ordeal. For men, it was by water using the ducking stools, for women, it was by fire. An iron bar was heated until glowed red hot then placed in the accused’s hand. The women had to walk eight paces without dropping the bar, if the wound healed, she was innocent; if it festered she was punished by banishment, transportation or death. Often as not with poor hygiene the wound festered whether she was innocent or not, even the thought made me wince and clench my hands involuntarily. The room darkened.

Another door opened into an anteroom, inside were glass display cases filled with gowns and robes, legal costumes, wigs and clothing belonging to barristers, solicitors, judges, lords and a former Lord Chancellor. On the walls were posters and notices providing details of crimes once tried in the civil courtroom adjoining this suite. A notice on the door said, “Please wait for the Usher”

The Usher gave us some brief information about what would happen next. She asked for three volunteers, the accused and a witness each for the prosecution and defence. We were going to experience a mock trial.

She led us through into a magnificent, authentic Victorian Civil Courtroom in glorious splendour: it was a step back in time. The high vaulted chamber was elegant with cream and salmon paintwork, stylish fittings and one of the best preserved of its kind in the country. At its centre was a large table cluttered with tomes, books and scrolls with the dock at one end, to the left the witness benches and witness box, to the right the barrister’s benches complete with models in full costume. Around these rose tiers of benched seating looking much like ripples of a pool and each surface built of deep burnished wood glowing golden in the light from the two lamps dangling from the ceiling. The far end however, was dominated by the judge’s seat and in it sat a red robed figure leaning against his fist, asleep.
The trial began. The accused stands in the dock waiting the pleasure of the judge. It is 1831. England is in upheaval riots are erupting across the country as the Reform Bill spreads dissidence throughout. Reform Bill Rioters pack the cells of the gaol and many building including the Nottingham Castle lie in ashes. The accused, George Beck is on trial for setting fire to a factory in Beeston.
“All rise,” the Usher commands, ” bow to the Right Honourable Judge.” We bow.
“That was pathetic,” a gravely voice, says, “Do it again.” Shuffling and chuckling we bow again. “That wasn’t any better than the first time. Sit down you miserable lot.” And so began the trial of George Beck.

The judge was a haughty and disdainful man, scornful and mocking even to the Usher. His questions to the bench were witty although sarcastic and his comments to the accused were derisive, contemptuous and purposely droll. His personality was arrogant and reflected the image for a judge of that period. Unsurprisingly he found the accused guilty and condemned him to death. With a wave of his hand, the judge dismissed us and instructed the Usher to lead us away. The usher was dutiful and respectful although I had the impression she would like nothing more than to throw back a couple of sarcastic comments to the snooty judge and just once would like to trim his feathers.

We followed the usher down a previously unnoticed flight of stairs hidden behind the dock, descending into the bowels of the prison. From here, each level of labyrinthine corridors and floors was either within the brick and stone building abutting the cliff or within the cliff itself and part of the old County Gaol. Some corridors and room looked out into the sunlight while other were darkened stone lined corridors with only the lamps to guide us by. The first level of the prison was a series of alcoves and grilled or barred gates, lining the walls or within these alcoves were exhibits of equipment used during punishment stock and pillory, birching and ducking stools or the stake. In one alcove was a model of a woman tied to a stake, wood around her feet and a projection of flames leaping around her, this was harrowing as many innocent people accused of heresy died this way particularly during the reign of Mary I.

What lay in store for those who broke the law? Information boards and projections detailed the different forms of harsh punishment: transportation, hard labour, naval conscription, flogging, burning, and hanging, it made me shudder to think of them. One presentation board had a series of images these were numbered and a little biography written. This is where our little black entrance tickets came in handy; we could look up our number and for this section of the tour and become that convict. It was here we met the turnkey.
The wiry man garbed in black, was an unusual fellow. He cast a glance over us, gauging our mood.

He turned to one lady and said “Wot ya in fer then? Highwayman?”
To another he admired her hair, “That’s pretty ‘air ya got there missus, would make a lovely wig. Want ta sell it do ya? ‘Hows ya teef? Ya can sell them too ya know.”
Then to us all in general he said, “From here ya pays ya way if ya can afford it. I can give ya a nice cell, get ya wine or a drop of brandy or a good meal but ya gotta pay fer it. If in ya can’t, ya get gruel, ya knows what gruel is dontcha? Water, flour and oats.”

He laughed salaciously, “If we remembers ta feed ya.” He turned back to the woman with the nice hair and teeth, “A few weeks of that and ya teef will drop out and we’ll get em anyways.” To the first woman he winked and nudged her arm “You’ll be with me duck.” (I tried to get the accent right here so please forgive me if you cannot understand it)

Up until 1846 Following a set table of fees, all inmates paid for food and lodging. until a law was passed instructing all prisons to feed their charges however the turnkeys, who were not paid, took the fees and bribes from their prisoners. He was an unscrupulous man, dishonest, corrupt and as crooked as a bent screw. His acquisitive nature was amusing with his hand rubbing and covetous glances but this shady character was not fiction but the portrayal of a real man who had worked these cells.

“Want to see ya luxury cell? Follow me.” We were led down into a darkened cell very different from the ones in the police galleries. The door of re-enforced with steel and iron bolts opens into a room 8 feet by 10 feet approximately to house three of four men and boys, there were no lamps so prisoners had to buy candles from the gaoler. The room was dark, cold, and barely ventilated. Along the walls were rings to hang your hammock from if you could afford to rent one and considering there were no toilets in this cell it would not really have been very nice to sleep on the floor.

Climbing a flight of stairs, took us to the Women’s prison, bathhouse and laundry. We emerged into a sunlight room and greeted by the Laundry Mistress. This was the women’s prison where convicts carried out their hard labour in the laundry using the dolly tubs and paddles for the washing and a big coal fireplace for the drying. Often the smoke from the fire would cover the clothes that would have to be washed again. The women would often do the laundry for their victims in reparation for their crime.

Through the doorway was a white lime washed bathhouse. On the wall was another board detailing convicts names and crimes. I found mine easily: Mary Ann Parr, 25 year old murderer, almost blind and mentally unstable sentenced to execution but reduced to transportation however her mind deteriorated and was eventually confined in a straight jacket at Broadmoor.

In here were the matron’s, the Chaplin and the doctor cubicles. In the corner, a stone bath and fumigation closet. The was a small roof top exercise yard allowed 5 minutes break every hour during their labours.

Descending a flight of stairs we emerged into the long flagstone lined exercise yard dominated by the large black gallows. Along the wall, there is a display of plaques detailing some notorious convicts hanged at Nottingham along side the grizzly headstones of the dead bearing their initials and the date of their death whom were buried beneath the flagstones of the yard. The walls were marked with graffiti, scratched into the brickwork were names of many convicts, some from over 200 years ago. Matron arrived.

This small woman told us to leave our belongings against the wall and to line up before her. On the stones at our feet were two rows of red painted arrows worn to almost invisibility over the years from the feet passing over them. The matron issued her instructions we were going to exercise. She was a small severe woman but not quite as imposing as I would have expected. Her strict and unyielding character was of a commanding countenance; yet coming from such a small figure would seem almost amusing. My friend and I could not really take this woman seriously in her role

The Pits, the deep sandstone caves and cells that were once used as free sleeping-quarters for impoverished debtors and later became the condemned cells. Neither fresh air nor sunlight filtered into these deep places, the sandstone was cold to the touch and the musty damp smell permeated through from below. When the doors were shut the convict was plunged into total darkness, not a chink of light anywhere.

The dormitory area now exhibits the Transportation. Convicts were banished overseas to American, New Zealand or Australia. Once again you find a convict biography board to discover your convict number. Inside was a recreation of a ship hold with the sounds of the sea and the creaking timbers and muffled whimpering of the convicts and the sound of didgeridoos.

When we emerged from the transportation, my friend’s young son discovered the crank, a form of hard labour punishment for men. This had to be turned twenty times per minute eight hours a day totalling 10,000 turns, often the counter failed to register the turn. We were on the final leg of the tour, moving through what was left of the prison. We came upon a large door marked ‘Way Out’ and ‘FREEDOM’ through which we headed to emerge in the courtyard with it’s Pale blue and white Morris police car and the Tardis like police box. We were back where we started

The NCCL is the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law and forms part of the Galleries of Justice Museum Education department. 15,000 pupils visit the purpose built wing learning about citizenship by participating in mock trials, debates and tours of the galleries gaining the knowledge and understanding. Last year the NCCL won the £100,000 Gulbenkian prize, the largest arts award in the UK for its work. For further information, please see

The library, The Study centre and The Woolfson research centre are is open to the public by appointment, with books, original documents and archives available from 1500’s to present day.

Lifts and ramps give wheelchair access in some parts of the museum although there are areas in the older parts where access is limited. Disabled toilets and Baby change facilities are also available and in an excellent condition. Photography is permitted within the museum area.

A superb range of versatile and modern facilities, rooms and chambers with Corporate dining and rounding the evening off with atmospheric story telling.

Cafeteria is available but presently closed snacks, and cold drinks are available from the vending machines in the open Courtyard café

There is a limited range of gifts and souvenirs that are available at the front desk of the museum.

In this whirlwind summary of over 300 years of the judicial system I found it a fascinating although gruesome experience, even I felt a shiver run through me like someone had walked over my grave or so the saying goes but then again this building is said to be haunted and ghost hunts and paranormal investigations have taken place here.

Can you imagine the furore from human Rights groups if prisons were like that today? One would like to think we have evolved in society but we have not and many criminals committing just as gruesome a crime as those two hundred years ago. But it does beg you to ask, if justice and punishment were harsher would the crime rate drop. Would hard labour and capital punishment deter criminals from committing further crimes? Who knows?

The museum is facinating and thoroughly interesting to all both young and old alike with many colourful characters guiding our steps. Well worth the price of admission and I would go again. Deffinitely!
The Galleries of Justice: be prepared to ‘Feel the Fear!

The Mint The Hole Mint and Nothing But The Mint

Back a number of years ago I was a member of a consumer review site called Ciao.

I wrote a few reviews which I have already posted on here. I thought I would post another one

So here we go another little review from me of one of my favourite candy

Nestle Original Polo Mints! Where do I start first? Well that’s easy, just pop one in your mouth and savour the sweet, fresh, mint flavoured candy. No, seriously, many adults will remember growing up with the Polo Mint, I do. The Polo Mint is one of those childhood favourites that generate happy memories and is an enduring, favourite sweet which sells in its millions, over £41 million to be precise annually, and is loved equally by children and adults today.
Now once again where do I start? That’s easy!

In the beginning…

Confectioners, Rowntree originally opened a tea and coffee shop in York in 1725 selling their wares to the British public. By 1948 their range of confectionery had become extremely popular in the UK by which time they launched the Polo mint. These lifebelt shaped mints were similar to the American Lifesavers and the British Navy Sweets Company’s Navy mints, but Rowntree boldly moved to the fore of the market with their slogan The Mint With The Hole which is now one of the best known in the UK. Rowntree later merged with Mackintosh and the Swiss owned international company Nestle bought the joint company in 1988.

In 1867, Henri Nestlé founded a small business in Switzerland and began setting up factories in other countries. A branch first came to Britain in 1868 and by 1905 had merged with the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company. Nestle are also known for its vast range of food products and confectionery especially chocolate, cereals and coffee (I’m sure you are aware Nescafé is a Nestle product).

Trivia facts. Nestle now manufactures Polo Mint – Original. 38 million Polo’s are produced every day and It takes the equivelent weight of two elephants to press a Polo mint. Polo’s name is derived from the word ‘Polar’, which suggests the coolness in the mouth from the crisp minty taste. 147 of these delightful mints are consumed every second.

The Mint

The 23 chomp-able lifebelt shaped hard-pressed sweets with a small hole cut through the centre forming The Mint With The Hole with the word POLO embossed twice on one face nestle (sorry for the pun) inside the foiled wrapper. The aroma is a strong, fresh, mint smell, which you notice when unwrapping the foil. Popping one into your mouth is a delight, the hard mint tablets although not overly sweet can be crunched and pulverised to quickly release the robust mint flavour or if you are like me, prefers to tease the mint with your tongue until it melts away leaving a cool lingering aftertaste that refreshes the mouth and breath.

As a child I would twirl the sweet around my tongue waiting for it to dissolve away into nothing reducing the thickness making it as thin as possible trying not to break it. Now don’t deny it, I would wager you and your friends would compete to see who’s polo melted first (approx five minutes) or who could suck the sweet to the thinnest before it broke. I did!

I find them addictive and can easily consume a pack within a morning but be warned when you have been eating Polo’s like with all mints, wait a while before you eat or drink other food stuffs as the intense mint flavour that lingers in your mouth would make food and beverages taste strange. As with all confectionery the sugar contained within can be unhealthy for your teeth.

The Polo is ideal for smokers not only does it reduce the residual smell of smoke upon their breath but helps to employ your mouth if you are attempting to give up or you are within no smoking areas.

In a day and age where nutrition has become important there unfortunately are no nutritional details listed on the pack although a visit to the Nestle web site can remedy that but Polo is suitable for vegetarians. Weight watching consumers can enjoy the Polo Mint too. A full packet of 20 sweets is only 125 Kcal or even the Sugar Free version, which contain even less. To save you from searching out the info on the web site, here is it Nutritional Values per 4 sweets: Energy 104KJ, 25 Kcal, Protein: nil, Carbohydrate: 5.9g, of which are sugars: 5.7g, Fat: 0.1g, of which are saturates: 0.1 g, Fibre and sodium are both nil.

A packet of Polo’s will cost about £0.45 per packet and are available virtually everywhere within the UK.

Over the years Rowntree and Nestlé designed variations of the Original Polo mint. Some were successful like the four above varieties but many of the others were not. But despite the different variations none have been as successful and much loved as the Original Polo mint.

Other varieties have been available in the shops although some are no longer available

Spearmint: originally used to be found with the turquoise tinted almost sparkly flecks and a strong spearmint flavour and aroma however due to these flecks containing E numbers Nestlé changed them to plain white.
Fruit: Multicoloured boiled sugar sweets in the normal Polo shape but flavoured with several fruits all in one tube. The flavours include strawberry, blackcurrant, orange, lemon, and lime.

Sugar free: A sugar free alternative to the original flavours, which are ideal for kids and diabetics but do contain sorbitol. Sorbitol has been known for it’s laxative effect on some people.

Polo Holes: The original flavoured pressed mint in the shape of the hole from the middle of the sweet which usually came in a small plastic tube approx half the size of the polo package itself. The holes actually do fit a Polo Mint. This silly boozma tried it.

Mini Strong Polo’s: Tiny Polo shapes with an extra strong taste supplied in a white plastic flip open Polo Mint shaped box. Beware these are very strong.

The Mint With The Hole? Yes please, The Mint The Hole Mint and Nothing But The Mint!
Happy chomping.

Thank you for reading
Christine Preedy (c) 2010

With Love…always

A few days ago I lost one of the most important people in my life, my grandad. He was 95.



He was mischevious, funny, lively, admirable, caring, loving and one of the most amazing people you could ever know.




Not only did he cheat at cards and you knew he cheated but couldn’t prove it, it didn’t matter. The games were always filled with laughter and glee that a few pennies extra in his pocket were nothing important.




Talk about tall tales. Every telling of one of his tales got more and more outrageous




Right up to the end despite his poor health he would look at you and focus on you with love.




He had 4 wonderful daughters, 9 amazing grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. add to that his son in laws and grandson/grandaughter in laws and you had a wonderful mix of family and we all adored him.


FB_IMG_1428412595506 (1)


Grandad. This is how l will always remember you. A big smile a sparkle in you eyes and a proud look on your face. You slipped away from us . Night night Grandad, you are with Grandma now. Sleep peacefully. I love you and will miss you so very much.

With Love…always