Sunday, 27 February 2011


With the Sea Trout season opening on the 25th February and the Brown Trout Season on the 15th March, thoughts of anglers the length and breadth of the country are turning to their annual battle with the wily fish. Many an ardent fisherman has tales to tell of the ones that got away, and in the Highlands of Scotland, gillies are looking to a new season of guiding, cajoling and informing many a newcomer into the ‘tricks of the trade’. George D Armour (1864-1949) cartoon shows that even the tactics of an expert can sometimes be proved wrong.

Transcript below:

SELF SATISFIED TYRO: (who in spite of disregrading expert advice has caught a "fish")   "I was a bit too cunning for that one, Duncan."
DUNCAN: (gloomily extracting the fly) "Ay, there's daft idjits in the watter as weel's oot o' it."

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Today sees the start of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, which will be the tenth CWC, and this year it is hosted by the three South Asian Test Cricket playing countries: India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Cricket has never really been a Northern Hemisphere sport even though its origins emanate from England.

Cricket arrived in other parts of the globe during the early 18th century and was introduced to the West Indies by colonists and to India by British East India Company mariners in the first half of that century. It arrived in Australia almost as soon as colonization began in 1788, and New Zealand and South Africa followed in the early years of the 19th century.

Scotland though is hardly a cricketing nation and certainly the farther North you go, the less popular it is. However, throughout the counties of England it is still played regularly by many, and every game has the same passion and fervour of a World Cup match. Frank Reynolds (1876-1953) cartoon depicts a village game where this passion is ably demonstrated.

Transcript below:

LOCAL FISHMONGER: (as exasperating batsman is at last disposed of). " 'E's filleted !"

Saturday, 12 February 2011


St. Valentine according to ancient history was an early Christian martyr, executed on February 14th and established as a Saint by Pope Gelasius in 500AD. This was deleted from the Roman Calendar of Saints in 1969, but it has traditionally been a day when lovers expressed their affection for one another. Since the 19th century hand-written Valentine Cards have given way to mass produced greetings cards. By the second half of the 20th century all manner of gifts were being exchanged and now this practice has extended to the internet where an estimated 15 Million e-Valentines were sent in 2010.

Whatever the thoughts behind the commercialism of Valentines Day, it has traditionally been one of romance and courtship, and this is highlighted by Leo Cheney’s (1878-1928) excellent cartoon from the early 1920’s.

Transcript below:

MURIEL: "Before I consent to marry you, Archie, I must ask you one thing.
Do you ---- er ---- drink anything ?"
ARCHIE: (proudly). "Anything."

Sunday, 6 February 2011


During a week when BT Broadband crawled to a standstill yet again and gales and heavy salt deposits played havoc with the main power supplies, the realisation of how much the modern world now relies on the internet technology for ‘instant’ communication was more than evident. Back in the 1920’s the wireless as it was known was only becoming a feature of life. The British Broadcasting Company began radio services in 1922, becoming the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 1926, and gained control of the airwaves.

No other broadcasting organisation was actually licensed till 1973, but foreign commercial radio stations broadcast programmes in English up until World War 2, when they were all virtually silenced bar Radio Luxembourg which continued transmitting American style entertainment. In 1964 the first of around 10 offshore Pirate Radio Stations began transmitting until finally silenced by the Marine Offences Act of 1967.

The BBC attempted to win back the millions of listeners who had tuned into these ‘pirate’ radio stations by introducing Radio One. The DJ’s Tony Blackburn and the late John Peel were hired by the BBC to continue their style of broadcasting made famous by stations like Radio Caroline's 'Morning Show' and Radio London's ‘The Perfumed Garden’.

Bert Thomas (1883-1966) cartoon highlights the influence the new ‘wireless’ had on the population of the 1920’s as prominent people of the age were suddenly thrust into the homes of unsuspecting listeners.

Transcript below:

OLD LADY: (as a certain politician's name is announced on wireless). "Shut
that off! I won't have that man in my house."

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