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A very good story

It was over breakfast one morning in May. There I was about to delight myself with boiled eggs. The plate of toast ,served as soldiers and for my Marmalade after that.

In comes Anita with a strange look on her face. “Marmalade again. ”

Indignant of the comment and the look ,one cracked open the last egg in the holder and dipped on hot buttered toast as if no one else was there.

Again the call. I cleared my mouth and spoke my jolly mind. “Marmalade is a British thing. Love it or hate it depends decidedly on tasting it my dear.”

She had been rather slow on the take up but now by Gad it happened. Wide eyed I looked up from the finished egg and watched her slide a knife into my marmalade jar in somewhat somber motion.

I had no need to ponder it was instant and positive and flowing was the occasion and her countenance told it all.

Since then I have to make twice as much marmalade.

To think that reference to the product is stamped in the pages of English recipe books going way back into the days of good old Queen Elizabeth. .Then when it was made with Quince fruit not Spanish sour oranges.

So Saville in Spain had 80 tons of sour oranges and somehow the British bought them .Today the entire market is that of Britain .Spain has no other customer for her oranges of Seville are that sour one is hard pressed to find anyone other than Marmalade makers who adore the said fruit .

It changed from Quince grown in England to oranges grown in Spain around 1800. Queen Victoria so loved Marmalade that it became a product for the business man to produce.So much so for most households the only thing was to make ones own . Cooks in big houses made pan fulls of the stuff. The common workers bought oranges when spoiled as cheap and so made marmalade in the little kitchens .From that it became a sport as one cook challenged others all across the cities of England this went on.

Womens Institute WI or to us men Wild Indians made jam circles to sell at fairs they had open to public. Each member made a jam or Marmalade and brought jars to sell.

So it became a truly British thing over time of ,many centuries. When in 1953 Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit of Everest mountain they opened a jar on Marmalade and spooned it out to enjoy the victory .

Scott had taken Marmalade to Antartic cirlce . Sugar content stopped the jar freezing.

I believe it may even have been taken into space.

So is it good .Indeed it is a jar that trapped sunshine . It is fruity heaven and now two of us like the taste.

When ever one can find the sour fruit in Europe one can set too and cook up a batch of Marmalade . Not often enough are the sour oranges here as Latvia is not a Marmalade nation. Then not to fear I simply visit Lidll shops and there one can find the real thing on the shelves. Dundee Marmalade is common with the Germans also hooked by the taste it seems .

I try to have six jars always on my shelf to eat when I want.

The story of Italian chef seeing his lady Mary Queen of Scotland ill decided to make her a fruit jam to revive her mood . It is a nice tale but with little fact as he called it My Mam malady . Do not thing so .

Marmalade is a thing that brought millions of housewifes to compete making it .All over Britain they judge who makes the best. Even sell it on stalls at summer fetes. Why not it is the peer in the range of jams that brings back my youth with its taste in every bite of toast. Fresh and orangey sweet and delicious .It sparkles in the sunlight in the glass jar from pantry to the dish on breakfast table. Anita now conversant supports my efforts now but says rather have honey but marmalade is good too?

The truth is a thing called Meladosa made with oranges and lemons into jam existed in Portugal in the 11 century .So the Marmalade may have come from that .Our Quince jam goes back to much the same time . The oranges replaced the quince around 1800 in England and I add the juice of a ripe lemon to my marmalade making as it helps the flavour I say .

What ever, a good story and a great British product . If one adds a thimble full of Malt Whiskey in the mix after cooking you have Scottish Marmalade and to be honest I like it so much as it is not same product otherwise.

A bit of rest and light reading.I do so hope you liked it.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt2022

Featured

Jack the Ripper case looked into

It is an old chestnut of a case with no real new evidence introduced since 1888 between August and November of that said year. Some 50 suspects gathered by Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline of London Met Police and his team of detectives. White chapel area of the city of London in 1888 was a slum housing area of so many different communities including seaman rest homes and butchers shops with a large population of prostitute and pimps.It was jack the lad land and gangsters on the prowl. The poor lived there and close was the human bond in most circles. It was near the London Docks and so had a vast collection of foreign visitors many sailors from all over the world.

images_027Whitechapel Lane  London England 1887
In this case we look only at the top 5 suspects as to go through police files it becomes very clear that they just did not have a single clue to base a case on someone. Anybody.
I was before modern technology began and so only witness work was the way to progress save that no witness lived. Who ever Jack the Ripper was he was quick able and darkly covered to vanish. It indicates an athletic man with basic knowledge at least of surgery.
First in the frame of really could be Jack is Doctor Francis Tumblety. An American Irish no body as he invented his medical rank. A seller of cheap medicine at as a cure for all ailments.He dealt in New York as a herbalist. In 1888 he was in London and lived in Whitechapel area. in his New York home he did have jars of female uterus stored in spirits as part of his organ collection. We have proof he added to this over time first shown in November 1888 outside his stall selling potions.
Police had him on a gross indecency charge but it was not enough to have him sent back for trail when he jumped bail and ran back to New York. He was a lover of young men in time when it was illegal and we know he hated women as they stole his love from him. His love a 19 year old male.
3e825d0a5791e0bd575bf4ac4d8308d1Whitechapel London 1887

Next came a Polish hairdresser in Whitechapel. One Aaron Kosminski 11th September 1865- march 24th 1919. he went raving mad and eventually was placed in a hospital for mental patients. Police thought he was Jack the Ripper on these grounds alone. yet they say now that a shawl belonging to one of the victims under DNA proved kosminshi was her killer. I say after 131 years no.  Corruption took place. The wool shoulder cloth called a shawl in the hands of many over this time in police care may have been contaminated easily. Saying this it shoves to dagger nearer to this Polish mad barber.

images_058

Third in the line up is Walter Sickert who really could have been the serial killer but no real evidence could be brought to prove he was. For the police this man was the top suspect for years. Yet again no proof came to light.

Then a German seaman called Carl Feigenbaum He had been in the area of the murders in Whitechapel in London and covers all points. He was convicted of murder of a woman and sentenced in Sing Sing prison New York to the electric chair in 1894 to death. His own lawyer William Lawton believed firmly that his client was jack the Ripper.

Lastly we arrive at a Royal physician one Sir William Withy Gull 31st December 1816-29th January 1890. He served Queen Victoria but police found him wandering in white chapel and made it an investigation. Local gossip fast to talk and out it came as the Queens doctor is Jack the Ripper. No real proof in this case as Sir William may well have been seeing a sex worker and shamed in the act.

images_051Face of Mary Kelly, the last victim.

in the murders on that year only that of Elizabeth Stride is different and now it is thought she was killed not by jack the Ripper. She may have been victim to her husbands drunken temper finding her on the game.

images_021 Victims of the Ripper E. Stride her throat cut her body so badly destroyed I decided not to use that photo.

Not one of the many suspects had enough motive or facts to arrest even one of them. They could not solve this case with whole of the London Police department after this killer in 1888 so now it beyond solving it is history only. A mystery forever.

images_034Francis Tumblety

I read of a man who claimed that one of the Rippers victims one Mary Kelly Jacks last victim was in fact AKA Elizabeth Weston- Davies grandmother to Doctor Wynn Weston-Davies who had been brutally murdered by her own husband as she had betrayed the family and his reputation in law. The man is Francis Craig his book 2015 is a real jump to prove that his facts add up.

images_050 Carl the German jew, Sing  Sing prison photograph
Jack was the signed name on the letter sent to the police inviting them to find him. It is I think a petty stupid thing to do as a member of the public sent that in.
Then it was a reporter on the local newspaper that called him Jack the Ripper and so a legend was born from an evil serial murderer long dead and judged by his betters elsewhere.

mary_jane_kelly_mutilated_faceWhat was left of Mary Kelly after Jack the Ripper carved her up. The last victim and the worse crime ever. The cases saw he took heart liver and uterus out of all women that he murdered but here with his last victim he removed not just her organs but her face.
in a letter to a journalist George R Sims Police Chief Inspector Littlechild admitted in 1913 as a retied member of the London police force that Francis Tumbelty was the police top suspect after many interviews with him after capture for Gross indecency the police had enough on him try his case but he did a runner when he jumped bail and no way could they bring him back as he was changed at that stage with the lesser crime.
So we are left with two real suspects one as shown died by electric chair that other got way to New York. it is anybodies guess and this story will run on forever without any proof or conviction. I did hear that DNA may be found on a shawl that belonged to Mary Kelly that last victim but how sure are they that it was hers as all clothing covered in blood was burned later to prevent illness or rats.

London-2018-170_new

Whitechapel lane 2019 London, United Kingdom.

One name we can prove he was not Jack the Ripper was in fact Prince Albert Victor who was not in London but Scotland at Balmoral for two of the murders and on Crown duties for the rest of time in the frame outside of murders.

if this case could have been closed long ago I am sure it would have been so, it will go on and on without end, or result. a true mystery folks. Go with care for its still a jungle out there.

Yours Sir Kevin
copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2019

Letter from Latvia, winter 2022

Hello to all . Christmas just around corner but we have started early with unexpected snow falls. Colder days now and still planting iris tubers in the warm insulated soils covered with inch of snows on fields and gardens .

Time to rest in front of the great log fire in lounge room in house. Traditional Salmon soup served with garden herbs of summer stored. Making Indian Chutney is my job today.Glut of orchard apples gave me idea to make sixteen jars . Then turn to Marmalade making later in day . Two things Latvians do not sell or know of . Sevile oranges from market bought last week come in handy sooner than expected as days shorten and winter rides by like the huntsman cracking is icy whip at retreating Mother of Summer days .Nature abates and winter freezes earth.

For us inside it is preparation time for the festival of celebrations of bounties now being used from field ,orchard and gardens. Christmas to most.

Work inside is warm and cozy but Ill show you castles near by we visit in Spring before starting garden work .

Latvia is as said, a land of forest and lakes castles and history of nasty Russian overlord ship who ruined many historic places before given independence in 1990s. Over 16000 Latvians left and live now in England and her islands or USA.

It leaves less than a Million population and remote inland village and towns in romantic silence and only the cities are crowded.Riga the capital is a city of culture .The feel of Paris lingers over it . Buildings of real charm and skill craved in stone the figures of antiquity hold up the doorways and windows in the mansions that line the streets . Old Town is just that and a place worthy of world interest.

A portion of the Himalayan mountain range by NASA Johnson is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Rundale Palace Latvia .Built as summer palace for Empress Katherine the Great.

One can visit all of them . I have many more sites in Latvia and Estonia to visit for you if ever wish to visit this secret land of hidden values in history untold .

Yours Sir Kevin. Best wishes to you all and thank you for reading my work. This will be one of that last blogs I send. Sadly not one penny did I make from 3 years of research and writing. Today made plans to grow roses and sell bare rooted on market stalls .Slow small business but will pay in the end .In summer the blog cut hard into my day of garden build and hard work to set standard of a gardens outside of England not the understanding that exists outside it. So means ever best efforts to build heaven on earth is may promise to God for my survival was never certain in life and at 72 amazed still here

God be with you all .

Copyright Kevin James Parr Bt 2022 Winter of late November

Hero

Group leader Wing Commander of 617 squadron heavy bomber command Guy Gibson had flown 172 missions for RAF before taking over as Wing Commander 617 squadron .In 1942 he was only 24 years old and faced his greatest task .Bomber Harris and Churchill saw a need to stop German production of arms and machinery in Rhur Valley . So bomber squads trained to drop bombs from Avero Lancaster planes onto dams in that said valley of heavy industry.

Gibson was selected to take charge of the 11 planes involved and all Lancaster aircraft were delivered ready to fly that said mission.

Barnes Wallace was an inventor know to war office .He was tasked in designing a bomb that could do it. He did just that with his bouncing bomb .Round metal barrel stuffed with explosives and Lancasters had to be modified in bomb bay to be able to release this massive load as easily as possible.

They flew at night without sights and with no lights . Match stuck with gum to the face board instrument cover top . This was how they hoped to score hits no other way as given. 5 planes 53 men lost in this suicide mission that did knock out two of the three targets, amazingly as it is.

Gibson was now a celebrated VC holder and was the pride of the RAF. Guy Penrose Gibson VCO and bar DFC and bar born August 12th 1918 in Shimla hill fort town India .His parents civil servants overseas . Guy was educated at Saint Edwards college Oxford.

Now we move on .He was now in 1944 26 years old flying a mission along with another Sq leader . A fighter air craft. It was a mission over Germany not know to us even today. Seeing a plane fly low over coast of Holland some one shot it down thinking it a raid. The aircraft hit the ground killing both men . The Nazi occupation thought it best just to bury and forget. Then a name tag hidden in Gibsons sock gave the game away. Churchill was told soon afterwards where the grave was . Harris decided to inform that senior staff but not the men. Both he and Churchill hid the secret as thought best not to worry the public .Loss of moral sort of thing.

Guy Gibson

The movie and music The Dambusters made in the 70s thrilled many of us and helped to immortalize those brave crews who flew missions in Avro Lancasters and all else that flew for Britain against a foe called Hitler.

Guy Gibson will live for ever in the minds on men who know duty to England is a must.One hero among so many in operation Cherise will stand as proof against all odds it can be done .

God bless them all. Until mankind says NO to war, they will stand as high as mountains to warn us peace is best

Yours Sir K

copyright Kevin Parr Bt October 28th 2022

The way home

The dying light of the sun flickered through the forest of trees that blocked, in part, my progress made.

Soft the mossy floor of this timber cathedral arched and bowed as giant limb be told. The way to the light far off did haunt the vision on high the tired frame of man behold.

The path half sunk in mounds of upturned earth .The gentleman in the velvet coat beware the stumble .The sound of pain that thus do rise above the ceiling of this darkened place of witches and devils called woodland at night .Hark a twig breaks the silent under foot.

There was a path under lichen and bracken that has long since fallen into its spell and is no more a path to see the way home. Then once,long ago it was so used .I found its trace . The dead now its route and take me the rest of way .

Tant le desiree it echos in time to my footfall .I hear in the wind over and over so .My advance breaks the silence as I crash through the golden bracken and fall headlong onto my lawn. The curtain slides softly behind me . There was a path,they were right , that now belongs to ghosts .

Old garden roses.

I have come to this subject through many years of trials. What will fit the garden soil and what will survive .What is truly healthy and what needs pampers. Here in my gardens in Autumn is just turning over into early winter . Zone 5a but acts as if zone 4 on exposed front of our land . Until hedge reach full height its hard to judge what needs protection .If so it goes as gardens need only plants that will thrive not try to waste time and money arguing with mother nature . Therefore this blog deals with only survivors .

Over some decades I have come to see scent is not always so vital . What thrills me is the plant itself. That male strength in structure .The cutting swords of thorns .Then the gentle silks of so heavenly the female .Scent also illustrates my meaning in truth the rose flower is everything sweet lady must be.

I do not have Hybrid Tea roses in my gardens so we can move on with what my choice became. Madame Legrass de Sant Germaine is an old French rose of great garden value. Pinkish white as strawberry and vanilla ice cream .A mass of silks in every display. She graces my rose gardens coming in with old rose scent as one of top five roses for any garden with space. Flowers only once over almost 6 weeks .

The rose Fantin Latoure is a great pink mass on 1000 silky pink petals that flowers twice and arches in splendor seeing the blue skies above her in bloom one on the best sights around. Large rose but worth it.

The old Moss Rose Salet is the hardest worker in this garden .Always in flower .Good amount of moss to a point almost .She blooms all together over a large plant .Deep cerise pink and if a problem needs a bit of thinning out as so thick a patch suffers with bad air. I do this after all flowering is over then in with cutters and remove older steams .It is the only pruning old roses need .Best left if not a problem . This garden was designed for all to put on a show and relax without corsets .

My top rose must be Chapeau de Napoleon. Another crested moss Centifolia. This means many sepals many petals and by its shape before bloom appears look so exactly the hat worn by the Emperor of France we beat on the playing fields of Eaton and took it as victory at Waterloo in 1815. This rose sort of reminds us of so worthy an enemy he was . In 1827 it was bred by French officer in Paris . It, like most old roses has the sweat scent of powerful riches but flowers only once . For around a month only. I look forward to it in flower every summer with much joy. Great wide spread lax plant and hard to place in a small garden it is still a talking point in larger ones .One can train it easily into a climber with care . The second photo is this rose in full late Spring early summer bloom. Used in so many paintings of still life by great artists. First photo is John Davis climber .

Ground cover rose that flowers from May to late October without a break. New from old French rose breeders Ducher in Lyon . Called Rosier buisson Petillante de Saint Galmier .A true star of any border in sunshine .19inch high spread of some 6 feet

David Austin roses are not hardy enough here . In the main this is so but I have trialed a few with bad results .This one came through.

Hyde Hall .A lovely ever flowering deep salmon pink flowers that cover the tall wide growing mass of light green leaves. I do not cover it and it has survived well now for 3 years . Never cut it or pruned it until it reached this years height .Will next week try but all roses still in flower that will flower happily until frost ..Last summer went on until 22th October with many lovely warm days .This year we just cant tell as now is cold and wet 30th September 10.42 am

Next is John Davis climber.A Canadian tribute to an English sailor. The Morden research rose that is one of the most lovely ever bred. Spreads like a true old English rambler but flowers all year until Christmas over gazebo . Again a shade of pink I grow with blue skies clematis and white swan clematis.

On the rose trellis I have Pauls Hymalian musk rose that dies back a bit but rambles well in summer into mass of bloom . Must reach 60 feet across to Pergola and maybe next Summer will not just reach but cover it . More of late Spring flowering rose .Great for hanging solar lights on as strong branches all the way up .

I like the Alba roses too I have the great Jacobite rose Alba Maxima growing strong but young as yet in my alee to the postern gate .Now Im working on that gate, self supported though.,it would benefit from old brick columns each side .

If asked what single rose I would have in a small space garden and one I grow in a large garden too. I have to say pick Jacques Cartier as best all rounder and value for money. Ticks all points .

I grew a Hansa rose hedge of about 15 plants across rose garden border with main drive beds other side. Grow so well in clay that people comment on seeing it. 6 feet tall 4 feet wide. Deep red velvet flowers terrific scent and prolific all summer. Thorn is big and nothing gets trough it. Another great hedging rose I use is Terase Bugnet same size but pink shell like many petals other wise just as good as Hansa grows anyplace. Delight when rose hedges can be planted watered and forgotten. But once grown and in flower what pride I have in seeing it all before my gaze .

Many more roses of real worth but for now that I hope is enough for you to consider. A garden needs roses and the ones here I have given are time tested hero mix. Maybe ill try growing my own rose from cross breeding .Big long winded job it is but here have the full range of the rarest jewels outside of Empress Josephines gardens in France. It just takes imagination and learned history of old garden roses. I say to all that pass through these portals every rose has a story and of real interest many of them .Who in the past held this same plant and flower that we have in front of us now . Then the mind opens up My cat Archer who follows my progress everyplace in garden is captured on photo as she hates to be left out. From workshop through arches to gates of Edwardian garden she loves as voles and mice have no chance under her gaze .

I do so hope that you enjoyed my rose talk. Thank you for dropping by .

Yours Sir K

copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2022.

The Ghost and the Diary

Strange title one may say .I would agree with you . It all happened long ago in my youth.

As children none of us would venture out after darkness fell. It was not just we children had early bed times and story told before lights out at 8pm in winters. It was something that lived in the vapors from the earth that rose like a sheet from the bed and drifted across the lawns under its own power.

That was the ghost of a woman from two hundred years before our time. For all in the village below our gates this was legend . Talked of under baited breath in dark corners over a few beers at at end of working days .

It was hard even to have postal services as few would travel from the gates to the house alone in a van . No one would walk up or across the fields to see us. .During daylight it was not as bad and in summers long days up to 9pm we could play on the grass and enjoy life as children . In fact we had a very good time as children. Uncles and Aunts made big fuss of us .

I once disgust with an aged great Aunt about our ghost. She told me it was a lady of this house who was killed by her horse in the driveway that comes back to find her horse she was thrown from .

I asked if she had ever seen this ghost when she was a child here.

She said no but one of my grandfathers footmen had and it brought on a nervous breakdown and he left for hospital and died that very night .

One evening my pet spaniel bitch got out .I was 15 I think at time and I had no choice but to take a brolly from that hall stand and search the gardens for her. She came running back rather scared and soon back inside the warm kitchens she was rubbed down. Soon food was served to her and all that may have scared her was soon forgotten .

As I grew I made that walk back to house my car at the gate . Walked back in pitch darkness .Stumbling on uneven driveway gravels and suddenly this white thing some 30 foot ahead of me looked terrifying in the darkness . It grew taller and my heart stopped as it slowly drifted toward me . Frozen to the spot it came closer .The wind in the trees each side of the dark dark black tunnel made a sudden rustling and the white ghostly moving thing bleated as it collided with my leg. My whole body crumbled in laughter at my total silly fear. It was no more than one of our sheep who must have jumped the hedge and found itself stunned .

I eventually came to my car and went back to help milk the cows .I had the bottles from home for the suckler piglets that was why I had walked down the drive in the first place.

I had finished uni and was back home waiting for results .I took history and law degrees and now sat waiting.Not one on my best modes . I decided to look through our old selves of books in the study . It took me best part of a week but among the books I hoped to find the case of this ladies death who is out ghost I came across my great grandfathers diary . I read into parties in 1890 and dates with his girl friend who became my great grandmother I found one page that dealt with theft of eggs from hen house that must have been half way down the drive in the old yard that used to be used to feed the hounds for hunt. Gone long before my birth . It said in his neat writing ‘I thus came to a thought that rather than move all I could stop invasion of no goods by inventing a ghost to haunt the drive way and woodland. A strong case of fear helps keep all away from my property. A head less rider . No .I can use that death of the rider who was thrown . No one will think back that far.So dear dairy talk with gossips and see how long it takes to spread the fear of hell in these midnight walkers up to no good .”

I say back in my armchair and howled with laughter ,handing the dairy to my sister to read and enjoy .

I can say even though we knew the story if on dark nights we had to go outside in total dark no moon it still gave us shivers .

Hope this true tale you too enjoyed.

Thank you for reading this and God be with us all.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2022

House, part 5

The afternoon sun ablaze in the south wing Lounge room windows fell in patterns of pinks and yellow upon the Chinese carpets .The old arched stained glass windows as good as they were after 500 years in situ.

Door opens in comes Plumer with afternoon tea and cream and jam sandwich cakes .

‘Thank you .Cook has been busy.”

‘Yes my Lady.My daughter made these cakes as cook is cleaning the copper pans today . The police rang my Lord. “

“Ah! progress one must hope.”

” Sam the man found silver plate and coffee pot with sugar trug sir. The crest is your family design. Seems they have arrested the fence too”

“The fence, Plumer?”

” Indeed a police expression for someone who takes in stolen goods and sells for the real thief at a percentage of take. Fencing it seems to be called sir.Will that be all ?”

“Yes, ask Lady Emma to join us will you.”

“Indeed I hear she is in the city my Lady.Caught the 7.45am milk train to London .”

“What ever for man?”

“She did not confide in me alas Maam “

The train whistled on to Kings Cross station. On the platform waited a tall uniformed Colonel of Horse. His crop tapping this polished high leg ridding boot . His young face shinning in joy at the sight of the woman he loved as she slighted the carriage door away along from where he stood,motionless and abated .

The yard at home now filling with police as the young Ostler was lead away in handcuffs as all stood open mouthed .

“I say Inspector are you sure its him.”

“Yes sir .Fingerprints maybe new but a clear print from your brothers house matches the plate and coffee pot . He is our thief with out doubt. It was his mother who sold to Sam the dealer. We set watch and trapped her this time. Sad affair my Lord but justice will be done. “

” My word to think he had keys to all buildings in stable yard. Have you searched it Inspector?”

” No sir but was about to ask just that?”

“Of course get on with it.Never now what else is in there. Well! that sort of settles it .My idea of a motor car and replace horses stables and all to garages. “

‘ but none of us can drive the wretched things dear.”

” My dear wife it is but a trifle . Hire a man who can . We have no stable lad now anyway. Lady M will be happy . ”

“What did she go to London for anyway . Wayward of late is our daughter ?”

Hour was striking midnight on the long cased clock in the stair well as she tipped toed to her bedroom in the stillness of the house. Her dress held up to mount the stairs was watched from the Butlers pantry in silence as he locked the side door and went to his own bed.

A vast change of wind was blowing over the estate and life was never going to be quite the same in the future .Then for now we leave them unware of fate and blissful in a world that would fall into the pages of history soon enough . Cars replace steeds, marriage takes a young heiress away . The Earl retired from public service and his wife tries on modern cloths in city store . The telephone lives in all rooms. The dark clouds of war loom over the start of this new century but Plumer stays on to serve . With in 20 years the cost of living would rise and the old manor sold for flats and gardens turned back to fields by cash available development companies for more house later ahead in time. Only Lady Emma benefited and lived on married as simple Mrs Smith. She did marry her young Colonel and both lived well and into the 1950s . Based roughly on my Grandfathers home 1834-1926 By time I was born only the title was passed to me .Government own the estates today under guise of national trust.

Thank you for reading .This being the last part of this extended blog.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2022 Sept

House; Part four.

It was a crisper harder frost that brought Plumer to his feet . Stretched and made ready to feed his horse. Hay was good and sweet and he gathered the looser piles and loaded her manger . It was good horse hay made from the meadows of grazing grass and wild flowers. Dried in the summer sunshine and packed on the upper level of the barn . The fallen bits gathered gave enough to keep her busy half hour. He pulled water from the yard well and gave her drink .He stood back watching her checking her over with a horsemans eye.

Suddenly the Ostler arrived with some oats for the animal. Plumer thanked him and felt able to leave his mount in the young mans capable hands .He wandered towards the kitchen back door and knocked with his crop .

‘Sleep well Mister Plumer did you. Hard frost this morning .”

“Yes well enough. Is your master available Butler?”

:Indeed he awaits you in the library. I can order you breakfast sir .what is your liking?”|

“Thank you Bacon in bread with perhaps fried egg in it. “


“Be ready anytime you finish talks with the Earl .”

So it was the two men meet after nearly 34 years .

‘Lance Corporal Plumber indeed.Come in man .Glad it is to see you .”

“And you my Lord .”

“Good heavens Plumer how little you have changed. “

” Good living Sir. Have a game keepers job for Lord Strickland in Essex County.”

“Really thats good news. Ever marry.”

” No My Lord . She died in the plague before we got that far. “

‘Oh! sad it is to hear your troubles. ‘

‘ I have to told you of my recent trouble sir as yet”

” I see .Sit down man .Now tell me all.”

” It was October of last. I was rearing ducks for the shoot. In the bushes came forth a man so bedraggled and wet he collapsed in my arms. He came around to a dram from my flask. Seems he was robbed and beaten by forest scoundrels and all he had taken from his person.” . ”

“Great Scott you mean to say this goes on in Essex today. “

“No my Lord this man came from London . I searched the lanes he spoke of and yes a great scuffle had occur as he had explained. Yes in Essex ,as you say strange. “

‘ Im not sure where I come in to this problem Plumer?”

‘ The mans name was Gregson. He was the man along with others that robbed your brother and was therefore followed and robbed himself sir .I had this from police as my master sure fired rang them when he was the state of the man who fell from the bushes . I could have sent you a post card .Only im not good at forming sentences my Lord. Besides it is good to see my old Colonel after all this time since Africa. “

‘My thought two . So this Gregson where is he now. “

“In jail Sir in Harlow. As no goods on him police are waiting for these new fangled finger prints and see it they match the robbery at your brothers home .If so he will be be charged and hopefully name names. My master had heard from police that you had a death by murder of a man named John Payne.”

‘Him again. Bertie my brother lost a lot to thieves he told me. How can I help you Plumer. ?”

“Police told us that what ever was taken may well be part of a larger haul. Including what your brother lost sir.”

” I see.Well s my brother aware of all this ?”

? No Sir he is away in Italy as police could not get hold of him. Seems he owns a villa near Florence.”

” Yes it was my mothers family property left to us both. ”

“Has anyone located the contacts home as police must have gone into all of this in a murder case .They then say on no fixed abode was he now dead.”

‘Vicar said he rented an old cottage in need on great repair. You need to speak with him dear man.”

The day was milder and the sun tried hard to smile as the two men said their farewells near the gates of the old horse yard .

“Ah Lady Emma .Your father was just in the yard if your looking for him?”

“No Plumer. it is you I need for now. “

“What is it My lady?”

” Police are stripping that cottage the dead man used . Seems haul is not there .”

‘I wonder not really.”

“That is why im here .You know where it is dont you?”

‘Not exactly as yet, no my lady. I came across a marketeer and asked him to look out for the Earls brothers belongings if handed over for cash trade.”

“Sam the man.”

” Yes but how do you know?”

” I see him in the town often . He is a well know dealer of antiques .”

” That is why I went to him as if anything is about he will be the best one to sell too.”

‘And has he.I mean -“

‘Yes miss I know your meaning. Yes this silver cup . It is engraved with your family crest . He gave it me ans said he will seek reward as he had to pay for it to encourage more his way from whom ever it is.”

‘You mean to say he did not see who sold it to him?”

“No its by messenger boy ‘”

The day was at an end. The dinner over and The Earl sat with his wife examining the silver cream jug that sat on the coffee table before them.

“Its my brothers yes crest on both sides . My grandmothers went to him as i got the china Derby dinner set . We will have to keep it until he ships back from Italy in a Moth from now. “
“In the safe dear is best.Will there be more ?”

“I hope so my love as Plumber is in the diving seat should be a better chance of such .”

Thank you so much for reading .Part five next weekend.

Yours Sir K .

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2022.

End game. 3rd part of House story.

The house was silent 6am on a sunny bright but cold windy morning.

‘Good morning Lady Emma . Your father is in the conservatory .Shall I make tea or will you await for breakfast ?”

“Tea now please Holland. Father busy then?”

” No miss resting after session in the house last evening. “

“Right .Serve tea to me here and take one through to Father as planed .Your right politics make him so tired poor thing. Let him rest as you say.”

” Indeed my Lady .Tea coming up. “

The morning events about to happen. Knock at the main doors

” Rupert Harding Sir .”

” Ah! come in Rupert. Its my neck. Twisted it climbing in a taxi at midnight shared with the member for Hutton . “

” My Lord its really a nerve trapped I presume. I know of a really good masseur that will soon have you right .”

“Bring her on then man.Pain is building just to speak. “

‘No no my Lord she is he .A Scot from Glenco built like a London tram in fact stronger Id say”

” Really .”

‘ Shall I send for him. Lets see. Be on the 10.23 train .So by 3pm all troubles will be over. “

” Yes, yes, carry on dear boy. No golf for me today. In this state anyway. “

In the Kitchen the cook was busy and her aid Mary was rolling pastry when in walks Holland.

“What is the reason for this call then mister Butler.”

“Well cook its Lady Emma brother Lord Bertram .I received word he is on his way here from London . His man Bingham rang me just now to announce he is instructed to drive his master down today.” I have announced this to the Earl who is not happy as he has an all night sitting in Commons tonight.So he will be on his way to London as is son is on his way from London here.”

;Ships in the night Mr Holland. What is it Pheasant game pie ?”

” Indeed dear lady . Best ask butcher for a pair as none left from shoot. I checked this day. “
” Rest easy your daughter and i can sort that out for you.Cant we Mary?”

‘ Yes cook.”

As the day progressed the next thing to happen was already in focus.

” Who?”

” Mister Gutteridge my Lord?”

“The the Vicar? What ever for man?”

‘ He said I must speak to the Earl on an important matter.”

“Means church organ fund no doubt. Send him in Holland please. “

‘Your Grace . I have bad news. The gardener .Groves is dead. “


The Earl sat waiting but the Vicar was composing his words.

“You see sir’ Groves was shot through the head .Found at a 8am by my Sexton Jennings. Dreadful sort of thing to happen before weekend. Bishop is coming over from Bristol On Saturday .Expected to see the gardens id say.”

‘Groves was well like by you then?”

‘What! I spoke to him each morning .Good chap with the new mower .Grass close shaved as i asked him to do. He said train grass its a crop.”

“Really. Well Vicar come to the wrong man .Police you need one would say.Good day to you sir, I have lot to get through today.”

The day pushed passed and Holland was serving dinner when Police arrived .

“‘ What again.Tell them to wait in the hall . I need my food. “

‘Yes I have done sir .They say they need a word over a murder nearby. “

“Great Scott is it me in the frame. Did not even know the that man. “

‘Daddy it is just routine . Take your time let them wait we are not servants . “

The main course over the Earl made a break .

‘Now Inspector.Groves did not work here its the Vicar you need.”

“Yes Sir we have spoken and he has given us a statement . So too the Sexton. It is a fact that we checked the gardeners record .He was an army deserter and name of John Payne .Wanted for robbery in Bournemouth . “

‘ And pray what the hell has it to do with me?”

” Your cousin Lord Fellows was the man he robbed.”

“Bertie was robbed way back in 98. ”

” Yes my Lord he was.Do you know what was stolen by chance.”

‘Not a clue man?”

” Stolen was the gold badge from your coat of arms. Along with the White stole of office sat on the red cape. “

‘Not a cape man.”

“What ever sir we had the receiver of goods locked up in cell in Bristol. He sold all to a man in Lincoln and we think he shot dead his contact mister Groves so called gardener to the Vicarage ?”

: So besides my cousin wrapped up in this story I can resume my dinner?”

‘For now my Lord we will be back thank you for your time.”

Holland had shown the police out and locked doors behind them. He ran back to serve next course but his daughter had managed the whole service.

“So Holland Mary here is as good as you in this side of job. Police trotted off then have they?”

“Thank you Lady Crompton. Mary is happy here she tells me .Yes all have left us now. “

The dinner over The family sat in the lounge off the man hall.

‘Police daddy rather live here now .We will be the talk of the village.”

Then up spoke her mother.

” To be honest dear she is right what is the need to talk with you.Perhaps they want an invite to the drinks party at Christmas. “

“Groves was really someone else.Payne they said. John Payne.”

His daughter looked up from her book. “John Groves Payne ”

‘Could be ,yes , why who is he .?”

“Who was he? He was the man in last nights newspapers. Here article 7 . Here. “

” Good gracious . Says he was Major in artillery . Did not desert he was shot badly overseas and sent back and medically discharged. Lot different than what the police have been saying. “

‘The plot indeed thickens father. Think Ill go up to my room .Good read this new book is . ”

‘Good night then my dear girl. “

“Yes good night my baby daughter.’

Good night to you both.” sighed Lady Emma as she closed the heavy wooden door and left the room.

The moon light spilled on the old gray roof tiles and shadowed even the mighty oaks of the parkland around the Abbey house. The drive lay as bright as daylight as the horseman trotted down it. He had lost his way but dogs had not barked in the stable yard.

” Who are you ?Stand and be seen.”Screamed the ostler .

;Dont shoot me im unarmed .just lost .Looking for the home of an Earl called Crompton.” cried the horseman.

“Well! who are you?”

“Harry Plummer . Ex British Army gunner. Crompton was my officer in 1879 South Africa war with Zulu .”

” Climb down I will care for the mount .You knock on that red door and tell who ever opens it your story sir.”

Reluctant to leave his horse with the boy he hovered until the red door opened and out came Holland whom had heard it all.

“Come this way Mister Plummer I have heard the master tell of you. All are in bed in the house .I can offer a mug of beer and slice of rare beef and a bed for the night. “

Ill gladly take the slice of beef but can I ask for a bowl of oats in a little warm milk .Ill sleep with my horses in the barn .She is my only real friend .Oats is for her .”

“If you insist sir. Blanket youll have then. “

“On the saddle blankets and bed roll. Bread in one saddle bag papers in other. “

Your slice of cold beef then and say Goodnight to you until 7am in morning when yard and house come alive. ”

So it was and taking over from the ostler he groomed her down and fed her with warm oats in a drop of milk. She whinned . He slung the saddle under his head and the blankets over himself and slept well.

Then morning broke over the roof tops as people started to arise and cockerels made voice in the darkness of the yard. . For the man on the horse at last the end was in sight for he found the man he sought .

One hopes you are all still interested in what happens. Yours Sir Kevin .

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt 2022


The House .part two

“My name is Inspector Jack Barret this is Pc John Marshal. We re here to spaek with Lady Emma Crompton .I presume the young lady is at home. “

“I check that for you gentlemen .Perhaps you should meet her father .Follow me chaps .It is this way. He directed them to a doorway and opened it to allow the two men inside.

“Yes thats better . And you are sir?””

“No not a sir Im Holland the Earls butler. Ill go and inform him you are here.’

Upstairs Lady Emma sat on her bed .She had no idea it was her that was the moment of attention .The knock came it was Holland.”Your father is down in the study with police my lady best you come with me .”

“Why ever so Holland is father in trouble?”

‘No Lady M .They insist on speaking to you?”

In the brighter light of the study her father sat at his desk the two policemen in the only available seats .

“Erm! sit here please.I rather stand anyway miss. “

” Hello are you Emma Jayne Crompton miss?” asked the Inpector.

” Do you know a woman named Mary Tippet of 43 Moulton Road Flaxton Yorkshire miss?”

“No “

“Well miss she says she know s you .What you make of that them miss .”

‘My name is Lady Emma not miss. I have not a clue who this woman is.I have no idea where Mouton road flaxton is. What is this all about please ?”

“Where were you on the 3rd on MAY at 7pm ?”

” Three nights past .I was here playing cards with Rupert Browning. “


‘ And where is this Rupert Browning now then?””

‘ I have no idea I am not his guide in life.”

‘So he just wandered in to play cards .Is that it missy.”

” Daddy will you say something.”

” Yes dear . Now you two tell me what the devils going on she was playing cards with Rupert we all dambwell were.”

‘So who is Rupert then Sir?”

” Rupert is my doctor .You can no doubt look for him at his surgery . number 12 Harding Street .In the village .If you rush he will be back there for the morning line up of the deadly crew as he calls the amount of sick that need a note on Monday mornings, surgery day .”

‘ You dont know this Mary Tipping then squire ?”

I am am the Earl not the bloody squire . I dont know her, no. Now Holland will show you the door; thank you. “He marched off in direction on the lounge where his wife sat reading.

‘What was that all about Henry?’

‘Some policemen that asked if any of us knows Mary Tipping from Falxton?”

‘Pour me one will you darling .Flaxton where is that ?”

” Yorkshire dear, he said.”

” Emma how would she know her .This whiskey is the last of that case you bought at Christmas Henry dear. ”

” Is it really, its only June dear .No they must be mixed up she was here playing cards with all of us .”

‘Indeed only Rupert left early dear .Around time Holland made tea .I would say police have little to do if this is all they have to occupy them. ”

“Who is the Tipping girl I wounder?”

At this moment the door sprung open and Lady Emma stood gasping then crumbled into a heap on the floor in faint.

All ran to save her .Holland carried her to the lounge bed and her mother removed her daughters pearls and opened her blouse top button. Emma then came too.

“What ever ails you child. demanded her mother .

“No air cant breath. ”

“Stand back Ill called the Doctor .Holland whats his name again?”

” Murton sir .Shall I deal with this .I mean your better talking with Lady Emma if that helps sir .”

” Yes ,yes you phone him.Ill see what caused her to faint. Must be something Holland.”

Outside the rain fell hard on the gravel driveway. The gardens beyond the smell of wet Yew and the far off call of Peacocks . The police ,even farther; off had Mary Tipping in interview room with investigation team asking questions .

‘So description of this female who told you see what Lady Emma Crompton and daughter to the Earl is all wrong. We think now you have been robbed by Anne Downington a known fraud miss. “

“I see .Well she was very convincing . Will I be able to have back my 50 pounds do you think?”

‘We have arrested this said woman before miss. It is unlikely but we will do our level best . “

Many miles way doctor Harding had the job of dealing with the real Lady Emma Crompton . He had found the trouble .

“Eating disorder what next Harding. ?”

‘She is not eating enough . Her slimness is her wish my Lord . We must talk with your cook who will prepare broths only and see if she can get herself out of this .Or hospital is the only way sir .”

“Good heavens .Not eating. Thats why she avoids dinners .I thought it suitors she had no time fore. Bit of relief really Harding. Im sure your right broth may do the trick .Get on and sort it man will you . Have a meeting now with my landsman. Trouble with deer he says. “

‘Right my Lord, good luck. “

Anne the fraudster was sitting opposite Mary Tipping and her lawyer. The Inspector and two police stood in.

‘ You took 50 pounds from my client while pretending to be someone she could trust . You told her she would be paid 60 pounds back in two hours as you have only to phone your father the Earl to pay you. . On that alone you took cash from my client on lies intending to fraud her . “

” One born every minute mate. Yes guilty as charged .Spent it on perfumes and a taxi home . .”

‘Perfumes we took from your flat belong now to my client . You are a base wretch with no heart. Mary Tipping is but a nurse and can ill afford the loss .She loaned you as gentle woman of high breed .Your impostership is a crime too. Lady Emma wishes you to be prosecuted .So do I .”

Enough thank you we take over now she has confessed. She will be dealt with severely and anything she has we sell to pay your client back her funds . “

‘Thank you so much, not custom. but kindness is endearing Inspector. “

End of part two .

Thank you all for reading. The end game is next week.

Copyright KevinparrBt 2022

The House

Morning mist clung to the heads of cornflowers in the meadow beyond the house walls. The tracery of fine silk spider webs hung low in the corner of old wooden door way of the stable .

far off the sound of dogs barked and for Mark the help the day had already started when Mistress Emma appeared in her bedroom window still sleepy and moth like warm in her gown .

Mark dared look up at her beauty but soon head down polishing brasses as the foot fall of old Simon Holland came before him.

“Fine day for a ride boy. Saddle the bay hunter. I will be at the bran bring her around will you. “His word was law at Rentondale Hall. He was not one of the family but had served with the Master at The battle of the Somme in France. He had served as his Batman and after that his gentleman butler .

In the hall meanwhile Master John was reading the post that had come up with the milk from the village a mile off the great iron gates .

Around the breakfast table sat in second place Lady Grace the wife . Next to her Lord Sinclair and then Lady Emma his sister.

“Anguish on your face my dear . Not cramps again I hope or have to summon Henry from town.”

‘No not a doctor it is the Government again. Spanish Flu out break again in Batshot village I fear. Seems we fought the war to victory but cannot win the blasted peace. This thing is traveling faster than the Prussians to the front dear. “

She sat upright and looked at him. He felt her yes on his face and looked up. “May well go the other way not come near us. Should not worry. Any more tea in that pot dear.?”

For the mounted butler hard pressed to reach Morley common prior to the train. . He galloped onwards down the dale jumping the gate out of the moor and onto the lane leading to the tiny rail station . There waiting was his own daughter .Frail and pale she smiled and waved .

The girl was to join the house staff .It had been arranged that very week to hire her as kitchen maid to Betty Thimbel the old cook . Her father had hoped she would pick up health and be feed well. aiding Betty was not a hard job as with training she would fit in. . She mounted behind her father and he trotted slowly back to the hall. In conversation she told him her breathing was better and she looked forward to being with her father if only in the kitchen. She was 15 years of age lived with aunts and uncles since death of her mother of Tubercolusis when she was only 5 years old.

.At the hall the ostler took the horse for grooming and feeded.

So My dear Holland this is young Mary your daughter is it. Hello and welcome to our home . “He rang the bell and Mary was to follow down stairs to the kitchens to start her training with some apprehension .

The two men stood talking as Lady Grace came down the main staircase.

“I must break in to your converse gentlemen . John a word in your ear “

“You mean to say that he died of this Spanish killer?”

His wife nodded and withdrew into her wardrobe. The Butler to his duties and Master to his study to phone his doctor for check up.

At same moment in marches Lady Emma headed for the stairs . She was intercepted half way up by the Butler coming down stairs.

“Oh! Holland what an awful mess- “

“My lady?”

“You know the place its now hung with banners .Red letters and filth.”

” Which place is that ?”

“The Deanery of course, where else .”She raced up to the next landing and vanished leaving the Butler unsure what she meant .So he decided to talk a walk up to the village pump to see for himself. The Deanery was an old sandstone fronted building once the church property but now a public house. For sure banners did hang outside of it as he had been so informed.

Back in his study the master placed down the receiver and sat back in his easy chair in deep thought .

Lady Emma was resting in her room. The kitchen was the only place in motion.

‘Come on girl I asked for flour not the sieve for it. “

: Sorry Cook thought flour would be inside it.”

‘Well my lass we know what thought did. Flour goes off waiting to be used. Be in sack not in sieve. Clean out every time one uses it. Understand?”

“I do Cook yes . ”

“Dinner tonight is rabbit pie .So learn by watching me making pastry .”

“Yes thank you Cook.”

The evening meal was served by cook herself as her ward had much to learn and sharp time was to learn it. She watched from the wall as Butler served wines to poured at each course.

She only had to learn how to serve plates .When to take way empty dishes and from which side of the diners chair she should be at each operation . It was daunting but she was not slow at catch up thankfully .

Outside on the gravel yard a car sped to a halt . The Footman appeared for luggage but soon noticed the two men in the open top car where policemen .

More next week.

Thank you for reading and staying with me.

Copyright Kevin Parr Bt2022 August