The Real Gentlemen Captains, Redux, Part I

In the lead-up to my appearance on 13 March at Weymouth Leviathan, Britain’s first maritime literary festival, I thought I’d reblog some of my very earliest posts on this site, from November 2011, about some of the characters who will be making appearances during my talk. Here’s the first of them! People often ask me […]

Highways and Byways of the Seventeenth Century: the Prince of Transylvania

Time for another in my (very) occasional series of oddities and little-known tales that I’ve stumbled across during the course of my research. Actually, though, this was one that I came across during my teaching career, my ‘day job’ for thirty or so years. Back in 1987, I took up a new post at Bedford […]

Samuel Pepys versus The Incredible Hulk

Don’t make me angry; you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Or, alternatively, it is a truth universally acknowledged that those who get outraged by things on Twitter are in need of a life. Having said that, occasionally one sees something on Twitter which is so staggeringly crass that the metaphorical shirt-ripping (but, of course, […]

Carmarthenshire Archives – Further Urgent Update

The report on the archives that will be discussed by Carmarthenshire County Council’s executive board on Monday 30 November can be read at this link – scroll down to item 12. If you feel moved to action, please follow the advice in the previous post on this site.

Carmarthenshire Archives: Urgent Message

There’s a new and very important post by Sara Fox of the Friends of Carmarthenshire Archives in the ‘Visitor Posts’ section on the campaign Facebook page. For those of you who might not be on FB, I’ve copied and pasted the text below. Thanks in advance to all those who feel moved to take the […]

The Joy of Myth

It’s a refreshing change to come up for air after the intensity of all the Carmarthenshire Archives posts, and to actually blog about something else: something more like the normal fare of this particular website, in fact! (No doubt many of you will be breathing a similar sigh of relief…) I’m currently heavily engaged in […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: J’accuse, Part 3

Despite being delayed by a holiday, Part 3 of this series of posts has still arrived rather sooner than I anticipated, essentially because Carmarthenshire Council finally responded to my Freedom of Information request to release the correspondence between it on the one hand, and the National Archives and Welsh government on the other – and […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: J’accuse, Part 2

In the immediately preceding post, I produced incontrovertible evidence that Carmarthenshire County Council never installed dehumidifying equipment that would have enabled environmental conditions in the archival strongrooms to meet BS5454, the national standard for such facilities, despite provision to do so being set out explicitly, and costed, in the business plan submitted to, and accepted […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: J’accuse, Part 1

…or, if you prefer, rwy’n gyhuddo. Readers of the previous posts in this series will know that when I first started to express my concern about the future of the archives, and began the online campaign to raise awareness of the situation, there was virtually no clarity at all about what was likely to happen in […]

Carmarthenshire Archives: the Right Hand and the Left Hand

Democracy is a wonderful thing; or, as President Harry S Truman said, ‘if you can’t convince them, confuse them’. (Or don’t reply to their Freedom of Information requests; but that’s another story, for another day.) Such has been the case with the ongoing saga of a possible future location for a new Carmarthenshire Record Office. […]