97; hair salon.


Spotted this 97 in Hinckley.

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96 tears.

It’s taken me a little while to find my 96, but at last I’ve found it.

Last weekend we visited the V&A museum to see the

You Say You Want a Revolution  Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970 exhibition.

Headphones don’t guide you through verbally, but play relevant music for the section you are in. I was delighted to see a young boy really grooving to the Beatles’ track Revolution while immersed in the display. There were handwritten Beatles lyrics, stage costumes worn by Sandie Shaw, Mick Jagger, several of Mitch Mitchell’s costumes and many more. The brocade jacket worn by John Lennon while recording the All You Need is Love telecast is remarkably beautiful.

There were sections on politics, space travel, mind expanding drugs, literature and space travel including a piece of moon rock. Also a section on the Whole Earth catalogue , which Alan tells me he once owned a copy of.

The Woodstock festival room was a highlight, interrupted during our visit for the two minute silence of remembrance. Poignant.

We exited to the inevitable shop where we bought the book of the exhibition and a CD set called Records and Rebels which includes the track 96 Tears by ? and the Mysterians, a noodly repetitive track that I love.

96 Tears

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95; birthday cake.


A couple of years ago my number 5 was my grandson Jos’ birthday cards and balloon. This year for his 7th birthday we had a family meal on his return from holiday in Disneyland California where he had enjoyed the Cars bit. (I know nothing about all this as you might guess). But I was pleased to see the cake and one of his cards had 95 on, at least twice.

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94; Memorial garden.

I found 94 in this touching memorial garden in Bury St Edmunds Abbey gardens

Many US airmen were based in Suffolk in WW2, and in Norfolk too; my grandparents were active in welcoming them.

And they are still here; at Lakenheath for example.

The Abbey gardens themselves are spectacular, worth a look if you’re over that way.


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Yes, the kitchen is now decorated! For the first time I ‘got a man in’ , actually 2 men, Steph and his son Alfie.

They did a great job too; I couldn’t have tackled it.

The walls are in Dulux soft peach and I’m delighted with the warm, subtle colour. The wallpaper does what I wanted it to do, that is, provide some colour and interest, though I’d got so used to plain walls that it took a while to get used to it.

Looking good!

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93; After the great fire of London.


Last week I visited the Fire, Fire exhibition at the Museum of London, which is where I found my 93.

It’s on the key to an illustration of the post fire waterfront showing buildings, mainly churches, that had been rebuilt.

The exhibition is well done and contains fascinating artefacts such as a Bible burnt in the fire and contemporary letters. It examines the possible causes, what happened to the people who fled the flames and what happened afterwards. It’s made fun for children too. I enjoyed watching a small boy wearing a reproduction fireman’s helmet wrestling with a hose shouting’Fire!’



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Suffolk family history.


My Grandad, Wilfred Gardiner, did me a big favour by doing some family research back in the 1940’s. Of course back then he did this by travelling to the villages where we came from and looking at the parish registers themselves.
When I started to look into my family history my first task was to check his research against the digitised information on Find My Past, and as far as it’s possible to be certain, it’s all correct.
The Clarke and Gardiner families he traced came from villages east of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, Walsham le Willows and Badwell Ash. I was brought up in Norfolk, not far away, and went to school in Thetford, but apart from a few trips to Bury in my teens, didn’t know this area.
Last week we checked into the new Premier Inn in Bury in order to explore the area and see where my ancestors lived.

Walsham le Willows turned out to be a very pretty, friendly village. With the help of information from the local history society I identified a house that at one time was owned by Richard Clarke, my ancestor from the late 1600’s. The current owner was happy for us to take photos and I explained my interest. (Clarke is a common name here; there’s an agricultural merchant on the high street.) In the Suffolk record office I examined and tried to read Richard’s will. I also read his wife Alice’s will and an inventory of their property, which included a warming pan, trundle bed, feather bolster and a joint of bacon!

In Badwell Ash we went into the church to find a memorial that includes two of my Grandad’s great uncles, Herbert and Arthur Gardiner, both of whom lost their lives as a result of the First World War.
The church is in a very poor state of repair and is currently fund raising. The wooden angels in the roof are beautiful; we found more later in the roof of St Mary’s in Bury.
Three other branches of the family have Bury connections.

Walter and Amelia Brett, my great great grandparents, lived in Raingate Street in the 1851 census. Their house is no longer standing, but was where Alan is in the photo. Their house may have been like these two which were built in the 1880s. Walter was a bricklayer and I wonder if he helped to build the nearby Greene King workers’ houses, an area like Bournville in Birmingham.
Another Walter, Conlan this time, my great uncle, with his wife and three children lived in West Road. He was a local councillor and chairman of the Bury Constitutional Club in the 1920s. On my next visit to Bury I’ll look for his house and for his grave in the adjacent cemetery.

His brother Ernest, a railwayman, lived in Risbygate Street before he moved to Norwich. His house has gone too, but stood where this Yamaha dealership is.
Several Smiths were born in Bury, this is the family of another great great grandmother. For obvious reasons I’m wary of researching the Smiths!
I’m grateful for the help of three ladies in Walsham church who were busy dismantling a recent flower festival and Jenny in Badwell Ash who turned out to have been a Princes Risborough library user, but before my time.
Also the very busy but patient member of staff in the Suffolk Record Offfice in Bury. I need to return there too, once I’ve gathered more information.



One of the flower displays in Walsham church. They had a TV theme ; this display is This is Your Life. You can spot the name of someone I like who featured on the programme!

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Fixing a hole.

Well, fixing a bulge by digging a hole.
The floorers returned and having lifted the bulging Palio Clic, removed both the screeding underneath and the parquet in the offending section. The thinking was that the parquet had shifted causing the screeding to fragment and create the bulge.

Then the hole was filled with more screed.When this was dry the underlay was put on top. There was a delay for a day or two due to the bank holiday and the fact that more Palio Clic had to be ordered.

So now the floor is done and we just have to hope that no more bulges develop. If they do all the parquet will have to come up.

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92; BT thingy.


…at least I think it’s a BT thingy, I’m unsure now. These plates in the ground are everywhere, all with numbers on, so this one’s my 92. I assume they’re so engineers can access underground cables. If I’m wrong about its use, let me know.

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91; something to do with genes…

image image


My 91 is a page of a volume of the human genome sequence to be found at the Wellcome Collection in London.

I don’t understand it but it’s interesting anyway. The Collection is a fascinating place for a visit, very close to Euston station.

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