Category Archives: Foreign parts

The Prince of Denmark?

Look here, upon this picture, and on this.

Don’t read this!

If you read this article, Norman Geras “Our Morals: the ethics of revolution” from Socialist Register Vol 25 1989, MI5 (or 6, or one of them) will be round to your house pulling your fingernails out with a pliers before you can say “but it’s on my reading list“.

Perhaps the University of Reading (where, let us remember, Robert Gibbings, onetime Munster Fusilier, taught) should consider renaming itself as the University of Not Reading.

And perhaps Her Majesty’s Government is run by a combination of fascists and nitwits.

 

Maya Bugge and the Standedge Tunnel

The Standedge Tunnel, on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, is the longest (5 km), deepest (under the Pennines) and highest (above sea level) canal tunnel in Britain. There is nothing remotely like it in Ireland, where the only canal tunnel was a miserable effort on the Ulster Canal in Monaghan town.

The western entrance to the Standedge Tunnel: the Diggle portal

Inside the tunnel (2005)

Light at the end of the … (2005)

The eastern end at Standedge, a short walk from Marsden

The Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Slaithwaite, downstream from Marsden

The “large village” of Marsden (home to the Riverhead Brewery) is close to the Standedge portal. It runs an annual jazz festival and, in 2017, it had the Norwegian cellist and composer Maya Bugge create, perform and record in the Standedge Tunnel.

The recording, No Exit, is now available on Bandcamp for a mere STG£10 (digital) or £12 (CD). There are five tracks:

  • Lullaby for Standedge Tunnel
  • Legging
  • Passage
  • Boat
  • No Exit.

Highly recommended.

In C-ab

What to watch while listening to In C.

Very flat, Norway. Not.

Here’s today’s performance. Minimalism with buck-leppin.

Terry Riley

Most people, I presume, listen to Terry Riley‘s In C at least once a day. There are many recordings and performances on YouTube, but perhaps this one, by the Brooklyn Raga Massive, deserves to be better known.

Solving Brexit

The Grauniad has the solution: a home for Brexiteers.

Steam and the British Protestant Constitution

On Friday 23 February 1827 Viscount Lorton, holding a Petition in his hand, addressed the House of Lords.


My Lords, in rising to request permission to lay upon your Lordships’ table a Petition from the Protestants of the county of Sligo, I shall beg leave to say a very few words upon the subject matter it contains.

In the first place, I must premise by observing, that it has the signatures of nearly (or entirely) the whole body of the resident Gentlemen, and in the strongest but most respectful language prays that no further concessions may be granted to the Roman Catholics of Ireland. With my countrymen, my Lords, I most decidedly concur; but at the same time think it necessary to stand forward as an advocate for Emancipation, though not exactly for the description of persons who have for so many years been urging claims hostile to the Constitution in no very qualified terms.

No, my Lords, those for whom I would claim this boon are the Protestants of Ireland, who, I do not hesitate to affirm, are at this moment the most oppressed portion of the British subjects. In fact, they are a proscribed people, and if some strong measures are not adopted for their relief and security, all who are capable must leave the country, and we may expect to hear of the remainder being annihilated in one way or another.

It may be unnecessary for me to inform your Lordships, that a Roman Catholic Parliament has been permitted to sit in Dublin, from nearly the period of passing an Act in this House for putting down the late Roman Catholic Association, and that it is of a much more dangerous nature, in as much as it combines the entire mass, from the highest to the lowest. At first the higher order seemed to stand aloof, but no sooner did the founders of this tremendous engine contrive to enlist under their banners the clergy, than all ranks, from the highest peer downwards, were put into requisition, and from that time have exhibited as much zeal in the cause as the most furious demagogue in the land: such is their infatuation, and such, my Lords, is the very extraordinary power and controul that the Pope maintains over the hearts and understandings of those who belong to his church.

Having said thus much of the Dublin Convention, I must further observe, that, at its sittings, the most bitter denunciations are uttered against every thing that is Protestant, both as to the public institutions as against individuals, who, in the most cowardly manner, are held up to the detestation of the Romish peasantry, by the propagation of every species of the most malignant falsehood, and are thus marked as fit subjects for assassination, when a proper opportunity may occur.

My Lords, the philippics of Messrs O’Connell and Sheil are, no doubt, familiar to most of your Lordships, but more particularly the base and dastardly observations of the latter person, when our late Illustrious and lamented Commander-in-Chief was lying on his death-bed!

My Lords, it is difficult to think or speak upon the subject with patience; the speeches of these people have so excited the country, that the general opinion is a rebellion must take place. Should such a calamity befall the land, I trust, my Lords, the strongest measures will at once be taken to prevent any of the leaders of the Roman Catholic Association from leaving Ireland, for no doubt they will be among the first who will endeavour to make their escape from the mischief they have occasioned. But, my Lords, they should be forced to fight it out, and should not be permitted to leave their poor deluded victims to the just vengeance of the Government.

Some of these bitter enemies to the British Protestant Constitution have pointed out in the most exulting manner, that the invasion of Ireland by a foreign foe would now be an easy matter, in consequence of the perfection that the navigation by steam had been brought to. But here, my Lords, they have shewn their ignorance nearly in as strong a manner as their malignity; for never was there a discovery made which so completely secures Ireland from being taken by surprise by a hostile power, in as much as hundreds of thousands of gallant British soldiers could be landed and set in motion against an enemy in the course of from ten to twenty hours; and it should also be told these threatening boasters, that one British Company possesses more steam vessels than all Europe besides.

[cont p94]


From the Morning Post 24 February 1827

Imperial measure

Rule for ascertaining the weight of hay stacks

Measure the length and breadth of the stack; then take its height from the ground to the eaves, and add to this last one-third of the height from the eaves to the top. Multiply the length by the breadth, and the product by the height, all expressed in feet; divide the amount by 27, to find the cubic yards, which multiply by the number of stones supposed to be in a cubic yard (viz in a stack of new hay, six stones; if the stack has stood a considerable time, eight stones; and if old hay, nine stones), and you have the weight in stones.

For example, suppose a stack to be 60 feet in length, 30 in breadth, 12 in height from the ground to the eaves, and 9 (the third of which is 3) from the eaves to the top; then 60 X 30 X 15 = 27000; 27000 ÷ 27 = 1000; and 1000 X 9 = 9000 stones of old hay.

Samuel Salt Statistics and Calculations essentially necessary to Persons connected with Railways or Canals; containing a variety of information not to be found elsewhere 2nd ed Effingham Wilson, London 1846

You too can possess a copy of this invaluable book, which has much useful information about railways and canals

The mysterious capitalist

In 1847 George Lewis Smyth wrote [in Ireland: Historical and Statistical Vol II Whittaker and Co, London 1847 Chapter 14]

Another favourite object of praise and assistance is the Dublin and Kingstown Railway. The large sums lent to this railway and to the Ulster Canal are represented in certain circles in Dublin to have been matters of personal obligation. A capitalist holding a considerable interest in both undertakings is familiarly described as always carrying a commissioner in his breeches pocket.

Who was the capitalist in question? One possibility is Peirce [or Pierce] Mahony, solicitor to both the Dublin and Kingstown Railway and the Ulster Canal Company, but perhaps “capitalist” in not quite the mot juste for him. Another is James Perry, quondam director of the railway and Managing Director of the Ulster Canal Steam Carrying Company, which was owned (from 1843) by William Dargan, the contractor who built the Dublin and Kingstown Railway.

Perry had fingers in many other pies, including the Ringsend Iron Works which, in 1842, built an iron steamer for the use of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company on the Shannon. The steamer was named the Lady Burgoyne.

 

Exciting news for Clones

Goodbye Clones Sheugh, hello Clones Duckpond.