Posts tagged: W

W is for Charles Waterton

Charles Waterton

Charles Waterton is another of my English eccentrics, but more than that he was also an eminent naturalist, an early environmentalist, as well as making a major contribution to medicine.

Waterton was born in 1782 to a well-t0-do family at Walton Hall, Wakefield, Yorkshire, and was educated at the Jesuit Stonyhurst College in Lancashire… Read more ›››

W is for Charles Deville Wells

Charles Deville Wells

As I walk along the Bois Boolong with an independent air, you can hear the girls declare “He must be a Millionaire.” You can hear them sigh and wish to die, you can see them wink the other eye at the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo.

The words of the musical hall song that made a celebrity of Charles Deville Wells, the man who inspired the song and who was also dubbed ‘the biggest swindler living’. Read more ›››

W is for James Wyld

James Wyld

James Wyld was an eminent Victorian geographer and map maker, Member of Parliament and businessman who also turned the world inside out with his ‘Great Globe’.

Wyld was born in 1812 and named after his father, the geographer royal James Wyld who had introduced the art of lithography to England, using it to create his maps for the quartermaster-general’s office. Read more ›››

W is for Prof Dick Willoughby

The Alaskan mining prospector ‘Professor’ Dick Willoughby was looking out across the Muir Glacier in June 1888 when he caught a glimpse of a most remarkable sight – the outline of a modern city skyline looming out of the misty horizon.

Although the mirage lasted only a few minutes, he was able to photograph it to prove that he had indeed seen it. Willoughby speculated that what he had witnessed was the reflection of a real city many thousands of miles away. Read more ›››

W is for Edward Watkin

When Gustav Eiffel unveiled his famous tower in 1889, Edward Watkin decided that London should go one better by building an even taller tower in Wembley.

Watkin was an MP and chairman of the Metropolitan Railway and his vision was to create the tower as the centrepiece of a pleasure park just 12 minutes from Baker Street station. Read more ›››

W is for Wheels, Water and a Wedding

Wedding Band

I have two wheels to show you for the letter W, although the first is a bit of a cheat because we saw it in Holland en route to Cape Town.

We flew with KLM and our connecting flight at Amsterdam Airport was delayed, so we had a wander outside which is where we came across the Wheel of Energy on the left. Read more ›››


Mill Town Morris Dancers

An extra W for ABC Wednesday, this time W for Walk, specifically a midsummer’s walk to Hartshead Pike that we went on last night.

It was the reverse fixture of our winter solstice walk that I wrote about in December, and again organised by the wardens at Park Bridge Heritage Centre. Read more ›››

W is for Water, Wealth and Waste

Museum Display

Water is something we complacently take for granted in the west, indeed we are rather wasteful of this valuable resource and wonder why we can’t use our garden hoses during periods of “drought”.

But there was a time when water also meant wealth and those that “owned” it guarded it jealously. I am thinking of the cotton mill owners of Victorian England who used water to power their factories and worried when plans were lodged to create reservoirs to supply the towns and cities. Read more ›››