Aside from bomb damage, material losses, fatalities and casualties arising from the 'Blitz', the LNER found itself at times floundering to find suitable motive power for heavy trains. Gresley's penchant for passenger power could have cost the LNER heavily, relying too much on pre-Grouping engines
Hostilities began 'officially' on 3rd September, 1939. This was the 'Phoney War', although by no means could preparations by the railways be seen as 'phoney'. The threat of bombing was real, recent memories of Zeppelin raids still foremost in the minds of parents who had lived through it...
A quiet corner of the Yorkshire Dales above Richmond, green fields and hillsides, fresh air in your lungs and an appetite for dinner you haven't experienced for a while. You won't have trouble finding sheep to count, although sleeping is not an option with the scenery at hand!
Continuing the story of the Whitby & Pickering Railway from British Railways' closure of the line. Local enterprise proves Big Players can be wrong when they put their hearts - and guts - into the effort to show a profit where they've been told it's unprofitable... 50 years on it's still running...
A venture that saw lasting results from surprisingly shaky beginnings, the Whitby & Pickering Railway metamorphosed into part of George Hudson's York & North Midland Railway, then part of George Leeman's North Eastern Railway. Closed by British Railways in 1965 it rose like Phoenix from the ashes
"Tornado" was the first Pacific Class locomotive built since Arthur Peppercorn's last Class A1 rolled off the production line in the early 1950s. None of the class was preserved for posterity, so a group of people let their intention be known, to build from scratch at Darlington, County Durham .
This page serves as a complement to the erstwhile 'Thoraldby' layout (RITES OF PASSAGE - 18), although not replace it in the context of this series where I've 'charted the route' of an imaginary modeller who's worked through from the research and planning to the nitty-gritty of a layout. Read on...
As if the Celts were not enigmatic enough, we have another tribe who settled in the far north of Britain,whose origins are unclear. A warlike, yet cultured people the Picts left artefacts and an even more enigmatic alphabet. Scholars are still working on Ogham, still scratching around in the dark...
Steam Preservation has reached almost industrial levels in the UK, some organisations specialising in railway locomotives of a particular area or region. NELPG is such an organisation that has taken several locomotives that share a background in the last years of steam in the North East of England
Across the Thames from the Millennium Dome or O2 Arena a little-known piece of London's history awaits. This is where once the first iron-hulled ships were built, trade flourished for the East India Company, and the whole gamut of crafts flourished under the broad umbrella of Trinity House...
There are aspects of the City of London Cemetery not covered in HERITAGE - 32: REST IN PEACE. It's a subject that can't be 'bottled' in measurable quantities. Here we'll look at a few 'collective' memorials - you'll see what I mean on looking through the page - and the effects of time and neglect
A different sort of tour of London. Know about the Great Fire of London,in 1666, that began in a bakery in Pudding Lane and raged west to Pie Corner? Christopher Wren was engaged to design and build replacement churches, including st Paul's, for which he was knighted by Charles II. Let's visit some.
Born in the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1926 to a farming couple, Hannah Hauxwell would experience the seasonal extremes of life in the Northern Pennines. Bereft of first her father then mother and uncle, she was faced with making do with no mod cons to ease a harsh existence from the age of 35
In retrospect it wasn't that boring, it's like looking the wrong way through a pair of second-hand binoculars. Bear with me as you trawl down through the years from pre-history to when I wrote this... This ain't yer usual 'Solomon Grundy' story, it's not over yet. Still waiting for the fat lady...
With the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park Cemetery in London E12 occupies a sizeable plot of land ringed by housing. One interesting feature is its share of young heroes from war and peacetime.
A friend's accumulator bet makes him a target, especially being on the home team losing. A hurried escape and near capture leads to a shopping centre, and a school friend offering a job. It's a dream.
Starting at historic Middleham in Wensleydale, venture south-westward through quiet Coverdale via Coverham, Carlton and Horsehouse on undulating and twisting roads to Kettlewell in Upper Wharfedale
Rush makes his aims obvious to the sniper who has hunted him and his squad. He takes his quarry to home turf, for him to make his move. Burns wrote, 'the best laid plans of mice and men...'
An angry encounter somewhere in the hills of Afghanistan begins a Taliban sniper's manhunt for British soldiers in the United Kingdom. The one man he really wants will lead him on a merry dance!
In Part 26 I raised non-locomotive operations on rope-worked and self-acting inclines such as at Ingleby. The theme now is horse-shunting and delivery and replacements, tractors and mechanical horses.
The British Army has been in existence since after the Civil War. The Rifles goes back to the Napoleonic Wars, when the Duke of Wellington took his army to Spain. The Rifles excelled in their role
A mainly pictorial appendix to ROPFAMR - 1: North Eastern Research, a comprehensive overview of rail traffic generated by industry in the region fairly common to other industrial regions in the UK
What's new in advertising? A bagel baker wants a new image. Who does he go to and how does the agency solve his problem? The Ad Production Executive has a brainwave, if the client wants to take it on
We've covered the background and present-day North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR). Now we look in detail at Pickering itself, the destination of George Hudson's Whitby & Pickering Railway in 1836
An ancestral Japanese sword, an heirloom goes missing in the aftermath of Word War II. No-one knows where it went - or do they? A winning bid is made at an auction long after, the sword goes astray...
From the mid-11th Century the name Magnus became a 'must' for sons in West Norse royal and noble circles. Yet their reputations and achievements would vary widely. The first ruled half Scandinavia...
Booking a West Indies holiday didn't seem that hard to do for Tony Meakin. He and girlfriend Angie looked forward to ten days lounging in the sun. Things didn't start that well though. It turned into something like the Bay of Pigs landing on Cuba...
Having safely reached Koenungagard (Kiev), Gytha was in another world. The culture was new to her, as was the language and the attire. At least Valdemar spoke Danish - as she had learned in Roskilde
With the deaths of Harold, Gyrth, Leofwin and Tostig (?), it was down to the next generation of Godwin's clan to try and save something of their reputation. One member would see a brighter future...
With DCC, Sound, smoke and multi-lever controls at your disposal, how far do you take your hobby? Are you a rivet-head perfectionist, measuring everything or are you happy just running your trains?
After little over two decades rule in England, a corpulent William raided in his liege lord's lands at Mantes. His errand was to punish those who raided in Normandy with Philip's blessing. However...
Full marks, you've graduated this far! Before long you'll qualify for your Yorksher Citizenship, so keep it up. This is the final leg of your pilgrimage, so enjoy. The only test will be real life...
Yorkshire dialect, English but almost as mysterious as that of the Inuits. A language that needs translating into Standard English. Welcome to the Practical Aspect of understanding 'Tyke' (Yorkshire)
Further to my survey of English Dialect, a specialist look at one particular dialect. Yorkshire has a broad tapestry of history, with it a varied array of historic dialect from the three Ridings
Appearances are deceptive. Those who take part in costume share their love of York's Viking Age, welcome all comers to learn of the crafts and skills involved. Moreover, they want you to enjoy it!
Here's an analogy: The English Language is a timeless, living being that has developed over the past fifteen hundred years. It is a breathing, feeling creature that nurtures our minds with new ideas
How is it so often, that it's the privileged who turn against the class and system that nurtured them? Here's a tale of four such young men, recruited to a cause dedicated to defeating their peers...
A compact layout you can build on your own, to fit across the back seats in your car? Let's go through the drill: frame, 'ground level' and scenic forme, laying out the track, best options, underlay
In the City office of Messrs. Allcock & Bull, solicitors and conveyancers to the gentry, something's amiss in Records. The mail's gone awry, Lord Hawtrey's will has turned up on Mrs Bunn's tea trolley
Peter Semmens was on hand in February 1963 to witness the scene, when the first trains passed through after extensive snow drifts blocked the Eskdale line to Whitby. Further falls blocked it again...
Count Alan 'Rufus' came to these shores with Duke William fitzRobert. For his part in the fighting on Caldbec Hill against Harold he was awarded with land overlooking the River Swale in Yorkshire...
Treason is serious crime against your own country. When that crime is committed by a peer of the realm with rank and privilege, the deed or deeds ought to be severely dealt with - but are they always?
Further along Rosedale's history we see how the branch was operated and by whom. We see also how those who lived here survived the harsh winters, and the final years to mine closures. There's more...
Set away from the main and branch railway lines, the Rosedale ironstone mines were not best located. They were only accessed with difficulty in winter, with deep drifts that filled several cuttings
The North Yorkshire & Cleveland Railway had reached Kildale by 1861. Now part of the North Eastern Railway, eastward extension would be completed to Grosmont on the Whitby & Pickering Railway by 1865
In the mid-19th Century a meeting was held to open a railway to connect two others and move the lifeblood of the area: ironstone was the key, agricultural products, passengers and commerce incidental
Its days gone as a kingdom in its own right, Northumbria saw a new role as an earldom under Knut. With an heir of Uhtred of Bamburgh north of the Tees, Norseman Eirik was appointed to hold Yorkshire
Northumbria, spent by fighting neighbours and incoming Danes would see out the 9th Century as two kingdoms. Raided by Halvdan and his Danes, Bernicia was isolated from Mercia by the Kingdom of Jorvik
In 1860 rivalry between the Stockton & Darlington Railway and West Hartlepool Harbour & Railway Co. erupted into violence on the southern foreshore of the River Tees east of Middlesbrough. Read on...
A pictorial essay that marks the 950th year since Harold's last gamble ended in tragedy for many. This was the re-enactment that took place on Saturday and Sunday, October 15th and 16th, 2016
Until the mid-19th Century Northallerton was the North Riding's county town, a market town close to the Great North Road with coaching inns for long-distance travellers. Then came the railway builders
On Saturday, 9 am on October 14th a day-long struggle began in which thousands fell on a gore-drenched hill inland from Hastings. Some see this as the end of the beginning. The struggle had only begun
From Aelle's imprisonment of Ragnar Lothbrok with the serpents at Bamburgh, we were fated to be linked with the Danes. Here's a taster to guide you through a common history, kings and culture.
"Viking!" A thousand years ago the word spread terror. In WWII years it was misused by certain parties, shunned by academics. These days the subject fascinates many, yet is still cloaked in mystery
An introduction to the series, to familiarise yourself with the contents of each of the pages. From deciding on the region you wish to model, era, locomotives, stock, signals... to running, and how.
There was another one after all! Self-Acting Inclines, where a pair of cable drums takes over from locomotives. There were many around quarrying and mining where steep hills needed to be negotiated
August 1st is Yorkshire Day! Let's celebrate with a good old march-past, some cricket - how about a slap-up meal with ale, cheese for afters? And to think it dates back to 1759 with a battle!
In September 1944 a thrust was planned by Field Marshall Montgomery to bypass the Siegfried Line and isolate Germany from its industrial heart. It went down as a heroic failure. Why did it fail?
This article covers model railway motive power depots (MPDs), including many variations. Railways had large and small MPDs.
"London Bridge is falling down... My fair Lady" - remember the song? Comes from a poem written after Olaf Haraldsson pulled down the one that linked the old city with Southwark. "Read all abaht it!"
That British magician Jasper Maskelyne claimed his work had contributed to victory in North Africa was later ridiculed by historians. Military Intelligence let him take the plaudits at the time...
Walk through the City of London Cemetery on the outskirts of East London. Have coffee or tea in the cafe near the main gate and set out to discover the eerie and the monumental, the forlorn and trite
We think of being English as anywhere within the boundaries of the kingdom marked on the map as ENGLAND. Is that all there is to it? There is more. If you have the time to read, I'll take you there -
The days of expansion, glory and power are gone, the luminati faded. Only the echo of greater things is left in the air - then in AD 793 Lindisfarne falls to a Norse raid... Before the Danes come
After Eadwin's slaying and martyrdom comes Oswald's at Maserfield by Penda. In an about-turn of fortune Penda falls foul of his gods through greed and Oswy's foresight. Aeldfrith's rule was peaceful
The Aengle crossed the North Sea about the same time as the Seaxne, after the Jutae settled in Kent, the Isle of Wight and near the Itchen. The Aengle established Mierca and Northumbria. Early days...
Maybe it was the Welsh rarebit I ate before bed, I don't know. What I know is I woke in a wilderness, my hands and feet were freezing and I needed warmth as never before. I saw a man gathering wood...
Penda and his Welsh allies are greedy for gold, Oswy knows. To save his kingdom from the Mercians and Welsh he offers the wealth gathered at his stronghold in Bamburgh. When the Welsh leave Penda...
During Cook's seagoing career with the Royal Navy he chose the Whitby Collier or 'Cat' for exploration; the Yorkshire 'Coble' has undergone many changes over the years as an inshore fishing vessel
Captain Cook and his men aboard Resolution and Discovery wore out their welcome on Hawaii, natives taking him for their god Orono. When he came back to repair a fore top-mast things began to unravel
'Operation Loyton' involved an SAS drop into the Vosges Mountains, N E France. Only to be there a short time to cause disturbance, the men were dropped among the Panzers and were there a lot longer
The push north through Italy gave the Allies an almost impossible task in taking on Kesselring's Gustav Line. High numbers of casualties meant issuing a highly controversial order to the USAAF!
Dieppe, 19th August 1942 wasn't just a cover for an Enigma 'Pinch'. RAF radar technician, Flight Sergeant Jack Nissenthall had the task of rendering German Freya radar system at Pourville unusable
Far from 'testing the water' for a European second front, 'Operation Jubilee' covered a 'pinch-raid' to take one of the new 4-barrel Enigma machines and code books - there was another task in hand...
The south-western corner of Epping Forest in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, boating lake, walking, running, picnic areas and car parking. Bounded by roads, the area still feels like countryside
Hunding's meeting with Prince Svyatopolk of Holmgard went well enough. Eirik Lifingsson, if anything, seemed too happy to meet him and his crew. They were well looked after in their stay... However
After British and Commonwealth troops withdrew from mainland Greece the Germans launched 'Operation Mercury', the invasion of Crete. Brigadier Laycock's commandos were ordered in to cover the retreat
British and Commonwealth forces were sent to Greece to bolster the Greek Army under attack from the Germans in 1941. The subsequent withdrawal to Crete was fraught - no more than defending the island
A man who calls himself Grimnir comes into King Geirrod's hall. Geirrod sees there is something odd about the fellow and wants him to tell him something about himself. But Grimnir will not talk...
A man dies suddenly on the street for no reason; a walking cane with an occult head is found beside a coffee house chair. Is there a link between the two? Can DCI Champion see it before it's too late?
A wartime gamble taken by the Allies made possible by a corpse washed up on a Spanish beach in 1943. Read how a Welsh itinerant was linked to British Naval Intelligence and plans for an invasion
What has Eirik Lifingsson in store for his father's old enemy? Remember, Lifing tried to incriminate Hunding with the theft of a crown. They fought a holmgang, Lifing lost. How does Eirik see it?
Autocars, Autocoaches and Railmotors this time. As on many railways around the world, the British companies sought to curtail unnecessary spending on branch lines - here are a few solutions to model
This is a personal account of a trip I took north in early July, 2015 to see family and friends as well as look over old haunts and catch some news. ('Harking Back' refers to TN pages in the series).
Snow ploughs, we do without them for much of the year and then we're stuck in the white stuff up to our armpits. We could do without them on our railway layouts, but then there's atmosphere missing...
Another answer to another challenge. This is to accept Linda's Challenge as seen on Lawrence01.hubpages.com/hub/My-country-road-the-challenge: "imagine you're on a country lane, you see something... "
York, literally a fount of history. Constantine was made emperor here, the Danes made it their power base and trading hub, two castles were built here by William I, Richard III made it his capital
Remember 'A Walk In The Woods'? This takes you away from the roads, bridle paths and footpaths, in the area of the woods not far from - in places within sight of - the main A104 Woodford-Epping road
Another reply to a Bill Holland challenge: A mining accident is the last straw for a lead working on its chinstraps. The owners sell up, the smelt mill, chimney and hushes are abandoned. But then...
Ever have the feeling that what you see isn't what it seems, or that it might not even be there? It can be the stuff of nightmares to explain...
You've built your layout, laid track, signalled the line, sited station(s) and railway buildings as well as those nearby incidental structures. The locomotive fleet, wagons and carriages... Scenery?
Over a thousand years ago Svear Norsemen, Rhos or Rus, went east and set up a trading colony. Warriors with them became the 'policemen' of the region. Rurik was the legend, Russia is now the reality
The 1962-63 UK winter can be summed up easily: too much snow, too cold and too long. I had to cross the North York Moors in my first year at Scarborough Art School - impossible more than once...
A couple of short essays, 1. In response to Bill's challenge on Hub-pages. I've brought him and wife Beverley over 'the Pond'; 2. Walking in the the Lake District leads to a ghostly encounter.
In true Blue Peter tradition, here's the 'story' of a short model railway I built for son Robert when he was eight (his birthday comes four weeks after Christmas). It's downstairs now, he's in Germany
Difficulties are on the whole overcome, although snags still dog the project. Then at last early in 1884 the line opens throughout for the Press. Estimate discrepancies arise and trouble brews...
William Shelford and James Abernethy take on their respective contracts on the Hull & Barnsley Railway (H&BR), engineers for each of four sections are appointed. Problems arise almost from the onset
Another part of Epping Forest, the southern end of the Essex Forest. Later the site of a Palladian Mansion subsequently demolished due to financial embarrassment, the land became a public park
A walk in the woods, like the label says. Enjoy this pleasant, hour-long walk along footpaths through part of Epping Forest with refreshment stops, starting and ending at Loughton Central Line Station
Hunding takes Ivar and Osbeorn through the Eastern Sea to Holmgard along the Amber Coast. There are those there still who know him from before - Lifing's son Eirik has the ear of Iziaslav, the ruler
Hunding's son Ivar still believes he is Jarl Ulf's son and Hunding is powerless to tell him otherwise. Gauti may be able to help, but would he - and would Ivar understand what he was being told?
Bidding Ivar farewell at Bosanham after leaving him with Gytha and Earl Godwin, Hunding leaves for Jorvik with a deep ache in his heart. Should he have told the lad he was his real father?
Heimdall, all-seeing guardian of Bifroest, the Rainbow Bridge, goes out into the world as Rig. Beginning with slaves and working folk begets the first of each class of men up to noblemen and kings
What do the names Fasson, Grazier and Brown mean to you? On their own they mean little of importance. Why should they? Together they mark a historic point in the history of WWII and the Allied cause.
You've seen it before, the Bank Holiday war movie favourite, 'The Great Escape' brought out and dusted off for your delectation and delight. Christmas, Easter, whenever viewing figures take a dip...
High in the Central Lakes with Buttermere to the west, Derwent Water to north and Thirlmere in the east is your starting point at Rosthwaite village. There's a bit of a climb ahead, are you up to it?
Remember that ear-piercing scream in the mike as Roger gets steamed up, Pete revs up his amps, John 'the Ox' curls your toes up with his bass line and Keith brings down his sticks with all his power?
A familiar face to the young duke from early days, William fitzOsbern was a trusted friend, son of his guardian Osbern 'Pentecost', slain protecting his ward, an ally in times of danger and triumph.
Richard fitzGilbert de Clare - heard of him? He was nicknamed 'Strongbow' in deference to his being lord of Striguil (Chepstow) in the Welsh Marches, where the Welshmen were famed for their longbows.
The 'White God' Baldur sees himself in a nightmare and the Allfather looks for a meaning for his son's troubles. Calling himself Vegtam the Wanderer, Odin asks Hel for her thoughts on Baldur's dream
Asgard is in a whirr! Their whole world will crumble to dust with the theft of goddess Idun's enchanted apples. If the apples are not found, the gods of the Aesir and the Vanir will age and wither!
Duke William's older half-brother through Herleve, Robert was the son of Herluin de Conteville, older brother of Odo who became Bishop of Bayeux. Unlike Odo, Robert was a stalwart of his duke-king
A leisurely walk over eight miles - 13 km - through the valley of the South Tyne centred on Lambley and its handsome railway viaduct. Follow the South Tyne Trail around Lambley, where the railway ran
This time we look around the links to ironstone mine workings that dotted the landscape around late 19th-early 20th Century Guisborough, a quiet old market town that was an unlikely industrial hub.
Here we look at the stations, as they were and as they are now, whatever's left of them - where they are and how they fit in. We also look at other features of the permanent way and the lineside
A walk around lifted railway lines in Cleveland in North Yorkshire, looking at once busy mineral, goods and passenger routes between Nunthorpe Junction and mining centres near historic Guisborough.
Gael deities and heroes use their powers for good and evil - Lugh, god of light; Macha the seer; Mail Duin pursues raiders; Miodchaoin on his hill; Ronan had his son killed; Ruadh's interesting voyage
A famous Irish work of illumination begun on Iona, a pair of legendary kings who trumped their rivals, the Celtic origin of knights and a short history of warlike migration to Ireland's shores
Here's a brief glimpse at a few more Gaelic gods and legends, and a view of the Celtic influence on the Isle of Man before the Norsemen showed. Steeped in mystery, shrouded in the mists of time
A short history of the Irish harp, a history of the Christian settlements of Columba on Iona and Celtic Christian culture on the Isle of Islay - and a weird little tale of the discovery of 'Brazil'...
Otherworldly beings war on one another and attack humankind; a hero is asked to help. Heroes and champions betray one another; an early race of migrants is sent packing. This is the world of legend!
A look at three greats of the Gaelic world, characters with a lot of punch - a king, a daughter of a scheming king and queen, and a hero who caught the Salmon of Knowledge and was born again as Mongan
No capricious god, Daghda was a father figure; Deoca asked the impossible; Devorgilla would have been a slave but for Cuchulainn; Dian Cecht was a healing god; Donn Cuailgne was plain bullish
Cuchulainn the warrior-god, the invincible... or so he thought until he saw the goddess of the fallen wash his armour in a nearby river before his battle against Erc.
A brief look at the kingdom of Connacht, Cuchulainn's son Connlai and his death, Cormac mac Airt is portrayed and we finish this brief glimpse into Irish myth with a tale of dark warning
Another look into the myriad Gaelic lore, beginning with a die-hard romantic's search for the woman of his dreams; warriors, kings, demons and monsters abound as usual - ending with a gruesome warning
Goddesses and other colourful characters in Ireland's mythical past - the talent was in the telling.The bard who created a memory that lasted won his audience. More insights into Gaelic legend
Tales of the Gaels: children turned into swans, jealousy and fighting he supernatural. With tall stories like these you can only be in Ireland (they didn't need to kiss the Blarney Stone)!
Hafgan the dueller, Hefeydd Hen, Hwychdwn and Hydwn - and a few others to keep you going as well as Helena, daughter of King Coel. More characters from the British panoply before we take on the Gaels
The notion of a quest like Galahad's was ingrained in the Celtic psyche, as it was for Gilfaethwy. Goleudydd on the other hand was a soul possessed, a sad creature beset by her demons...
Into deep waters now. The first of several pages about characters from Welsh mythology - pour yourself a drink and sail into the dim distant past for this voyage into the unknown
See how the Celts saw death. An insight into the way the Celts did. Also, Infant interment, Wales after the Conquest, the Celts in Italy, how the Greeks saw them and a brief look at knot work
This time we look at Gaulish gods, another region on the Continent colonised by the Romans and Boudicca's Iceni tribe in the east of Britannia Major. And 'January'? Well, hang on and keep reading.
The Celts of Cymru brought Christianity to the Barbarian Germanic migrants to Britain in the Dark Ages - they were also regarded by the Saxons as being masters of the 'dark arts', the 'hwicce'.
You know about Hallow E'en, but have you heard of Habren, the 'Hag of Hell' and Hallstatt? Settle yourself and keep your eyes and ears open as you follow this piece on what goes bump in the night...
Further on the Celts on the western edge of civilisation, from goddesses with links to the animal world to Knotwork designs - get a coffee and settle down to travelling into the dim distant past...
We know the Celts mainly from contemporary Roman sources, their hierarchy and society largely unknown. What do you know of the Celts beyond Boudicca and her defeat at the hands of Suetonius Paulinus?
Midwinter, a time for telling and sharing. In a Midgard dwelling a man tells of how, when he paid his respects to the Allfather, he was given wise counsel on how to live his life and prosper...
Shape-Shifter Loki has been up to his tricks again, and Tyr pays with his hand to get one of the Sly One's 'little monsters' under control!
In the underworld Freyja visits the dark elves in their cave, sees the newly forged treasure known as the Brisingamen Necklace. To gain the necklace she has to 'lie for one night' with each dwarf...
'Remember, Remember the Fifth of November...' What do you know about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605? What was behind a meeting held in the Home Counties to remove the head of state?
Hunding's saga does not end here, taking young Ivar to join kinfolk - his aunt Gytha and her husband Earl Godwin. He also meets Godwin's sons Svein, Harold and Tostig who befriend him. There is more
Not just the language divides us - there's a pond between us. A salutary tale of a Tyke across 'the Pond', so far west you nearly fall into a proper sea. Written for billybuc's writing competition**.
The Lyke Wake Walk, an infamously arduous route between Osmotherley on the western edge of the North Yorkshire Moors and Ravenscar (Peak) on the North Sea coast... Would you be up to it?
Queen Skuld and Hjorvard give battle in mid-winter and, just as Hrolf seems to be winning Hjalti awakens Bodvar 'Bjarki' from his slumbers. When Skuld brings her sorcery into play fortunes change...
Reluctantly Knut agrees young Ivar must leave Roskilde for Earl Godwin's home, to stay with his aunt Gytha. His nobles are rebellious as the boy proclaims himself as treasonous Jarl Ulf's son.
With King Adhils humbled on the battlefield, Hrolf and his champions return to Hleidargard. On the way they are met by Hrani who offers weapons and a mailcoat seen by Hrolf as low quality and refuses.
Before being tested by Adhils' sorcery, King Hrolf's men are tested by Hrani (Odin). With his champions, Hrolf enters Adhils' stronghold. It is now the Svear king's turn to test step-son Hrolf...
Hunding is asked by Knut to befriend Ivar, but to hold back from letting the lad know he is his real father. Ivar thinks he is Jarl Ulf's son and wishes to be known as such.
Walk or cycle in England's most peaceful beauty spot by Kielder Water, the largest man-made lake in northern Northumberland. Watch out for red squirrels by day, go star-gazing at night.
An easy tour of Bamburgh, castle, Budle Point and Bay, and the burial place of lifeboat heroine Grace Darling. Suitable for all ages. Views to the Farne Islands, plentiful birdlife and sandy beaches.
Having shunned a kingship in his own land, Bodvar seeks the court of King Hrolf. He raises the son of a poor couple from being a target to being a true champion and humbles Hrolf's berserkers.
Stand on the Roman Wall, look over the northern hills, a view beheld by foederati from as far off as Asia Minor. Walk Steel Rigg to Housesteads on paths trodden by home-sick, shivering legionaries!
Back in the Dales, this time the top of Wharfedale adjoining Langstrothdale. A nice, leisurely family trip with flora and fauna in abundance, pleasant country inns. All within seven and a half miles.
At the Yule feast Jarl Ulf loses to Knut at chess, and hints that Knut has cheated. The moment passes, the feasting goes on but Ulf is uneasy. Knut makes a show of letting matters rest - has he?
Cycle or walk from Gateshead Metro Centre via Consett to Chester-le-Street on the former Consett & Sunderland Railway route, legendary home of the Lambton Worm, a monster fished from the Derwent.
Brothers Elk-Frodhi, Thorir hounds-foot and Bodvar are briefly reunited and a new hero seeks out King Hrolf at Hleidargard after first dealing with King Hring's queen, the witch Hvit...
When Svipdag arrives at the king's hall at Hleidargard, Hrolf does not seem overjoyed at Adhils' men wishing to join him. Yet he welcomes them, although Svipdag almost clashes with his berserkers.
Walk the coast from Hinderwell to Port Mulgrave, Staithes and Runswick Bay with a brief history of the area and past industry. High cliffs, small fishing harbours and an early mediaeval miracle.
How do you see late Turner? Blurred daubs, early Impressionism? Turner's career began under the tutelage of masters. His father exhibited early works in his Covent Garden shop alongside bespoke wigs.
Queen Olof tells Yrsa that Helgi is her father, and she - Olof - is her real mother. Yrsa is then wedded to the grasping Yngling king Adhils of the Svear, the only king rash enough to take her.
Rid of their uncle Frodhi, Helgi and Hroar part company. Hroar sails to Northumbria. Queen Olof humbles Helgi. Jarl Hrok demands the ring of the Skjoldungs.
The first part of the Saga of Hrolf 'Kraki' in which his father Helgi and uncle Hroar flee from their uncle, King Frodhi after the killing of their father Halfdan at Hleidargard.
The Saga of Hrolf 'Kraki', parallels and links with 'Beowulf', mythical background attached to the Danish Skjoldung dynasty in its neighbourly struggle. Background and pagan connotations...
Hunding sees son Ivar for the first time, but must think of him as his nephew. Only Knut, Eirik of Hladir and Astrid know the truth of Ivar's birth - and only they can be allowed to know... For now.
Walking in the western Dales above Malham, with a couple of diversions. Visit Pen y Gent Cafe at Horton near Settle, with its views of Pen y Gent. Nearby are Ingleborough and Great Whernside.
Let the train take the strain - from industrial Middlesbrough to Whitby over the northern Moors and down through Eskdale. Rural idyll brought to life by way of picturesque country stations to the seaside.
Walk along the clifftop of one of Yorkshire's great natural landmarks, Flamborough Head. Scenery includes lighthouses, fishing 'cobles', cliffs with nesting gulls, caves carved out by the North Sea.
Visit Upper Nidderdale in the Yorkshire Dales. Start at How Stean Gorge, follow country tracks to Scar House, taking in the scenery. Finish at The Crown, Lofthouse with a pleasant meal and drink.
Danish-English, English-Danish - aside from the spelling, much of the time you wouldn't know which was which when spoken. A brief introduction to one of the easiest languages in Europe!
Stride the fields between Towton and Saxton, where Yorkist met Lancastrian on Palm Sunday, 1461. Although outnumbered, Edward IV's army won the day. Henry VI fled with his queen to Scotland.
An easy four and a half mile walk along the River Nidd at Knaresborough, via mediaeval soothsayer Ursula Southill's (Mother Shipton's) Cave, with a stroll below the castle opposite.
Fancy running off the turkey and pud near Otley, (Leeds, West Yorkshire)? Views away as far as the Kilburn White Horse near Thirsk. See the hilarious Chevin Chase run on Boxing Day, 26th December.
Remember that lovable rogue 'Compo' Simmonite, his friends 'Cleggy' and 'Foggy'? Walk the byways around Holmfirth, take in the smell of late August's new-mown hay, sheep bleating in the Dales...
Rick tries to pen a verse for a competition. Thrown out of their local, he and his mate with their girls settle at a roadside cafe to finish the verse. Ride through the Essex countryside with them...
Hunding and Gunnlaug have become lovers whilst Jarl Ulf is far away. They take their fond farewells and she tells Hunding she is with child.
Follow the nature trail by the Mere and on to the seashore at Hornsea in the East Riding of Yorkshire. View scenery that may have altered the next time you come, or may not even be there next year!
Following York's fortunes, Roman Eboracum and Anglian Eoferwic to Viking Jorvik, Danish, Irish Norse and West Norse kings. In a Europe-wide trade network, its 'tentacles' reached east to Byzantium.
Hunding bids his farewells in Jorvik to return to Roskilde. He and Gunnlaug are almost thrown together by Knut. All Roskilde knows of their time together... Does her husband Jarl Ulf also know?
From the mists of time and legend, a small number of famed Danes who played a part in the formation of the kingdom. Some are kings, others figures from legend linked with the kingdom from early days.
The strongest Danish kings of the Viking Age reigned late 10th, early 11th Centuries, their names synonymous with Denmark's zenith, Harald Gormsson, Svein 'Forkbeard' Haraldsson, Knut Sveinsson.
Visit Middleham Castle in Wensleydale, amid racing stables and the grey stone buildings of the small town of Middleham. Welcoming inns, tearooms, historic structures, race-horse gallops...
A stirring saga involving spurned affection, revenge, seafaring, Vikings, misunderstanding and an heroic if foolhardy venture that leads to the hero coming to grief in Scotland...
The Vikings from raiders and traders to empire builders, Europe could not have been the same without them. Russia could never have influenced the east, Britain would have stayed a peaceful backwater.
Eastern and western Slavs came into contact with the Norsemen through trading and raiding. In the south the Bulgars and Croats came into conflict with the Vikings in the pay of the Byzantine Empire.
Wondered how Irish blood came to Iceland or Norway; blonde, blue-eyed people came to the East? Long before Africans were sold in the Americas Vikings had a roaring trade in thralls across the seas.
A brief history of Man, its Celtic and Norse crosses and an array of kings from the 9th-12th Centuries (some of which are shrouded in mystery).
Another moorland walk, starting and ending in Commondale near Kildale. Pass war memorials to local heroes. Climb to 'Hob on the Hill' and 'Hob Cross' , Bronze Age tumuli and ancient boundary stones.
Another Viking dig, this near Carlisle in Cumbria, found a complete late Christian cemetery with artefacts including a pair of oval brooches, jewellery and weaponry.
A Viking hoard, covered by a lead sheet, found near the Lancashire coast tells of 9th C conflict between King Aelfred and his nephew Aethelwold. Rare coins and arm-rings from the Danelaw and Jorvik.
From historic Kildale, take in the moorland air to north and north-west. Return another way by footpaths and a minor road. Take care on sharp bends for oncoming traffic, hidden until the last moment.
"Let's hear it for the greatest Rock'n'Roll band in the world!" goes the intro on the live album 'Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!' To get where they are today was a rocky, hazardous road. This is the start...
A day in Scarborough should include a ride on the North Bay Railway close to Peasholm Park and the Open Air Theatre. Sample the catering in the Glasshouse Cafe, the Boatman's Tavern or Scampi Shack...
The origins and given duties of the 'huscarls' after introduction to England by Knut Sveinsson. After the Conquest the survivors are understood to have left England for the eastern Mediterranean.
Viking incursions in Frankia brought about a near-collapse of an empire built by Charles 'the Great'. Trade and culture suffered until Charles 'the Simple' turned attackers into guardians...
A chance meeting with a Chelsea Pensioner in Sloane Square at the end of the Kings Road shows a London youngster how boring his life really is. Late 1960's fiction.
A walk in Captain Cook country taking in woodland and moor with Roseberry Topping as its pivot. Other attractive physical features include the Hanging Stone, Highcliff Nab and Hutton Lowcross Woods.
Look into 'Head of Steam', Darlington's North Road museum with its long railway history. At nearby Shildon combine a visit to NRM's 'Locomotion' exhibition with the Hackworth Museum and Soho Works.
Overlooking the seaside for much of the way, the walk combines countryside and coast with attractive scenery. History is there, too, with recent mining and a railway connection to the Pease family.
Hunding is regaled in Jorvik. When word comes from Knut that Hunding's presence is demanded, Hunding descends into a dark mood. He worries that Gunnlaug has spoken of him to her intended, Jarl Ulf.