Thursday, May 25, 2017

A Kentish Easter

James Lloyd muses on the history of Easter and takes a quick look at some of the customs by which it was observed in his home county. Regular visitors to this column will be familiar...

The Captain of Dunstaffnage

James Lloyd visits the wild and hoary coast of Argyle, with a story about how no one ever went wrong sucking up to the government. I want you to meet the Most High, Noble and...

The Mystery of the King’s Grave

James Lloyd visits County Antrim, where an orator with delusions of grandeur and easily deflated pride was outwitted by a desperate king, with a little help from the dead. Rathmore Trench, in the townland of...

The Wight Kingdom

James Lloyd visits the Isle of Wight, the only county in England to be coextensive with an island and reviews its violent past. The Isle of Wight is a curious little county. When the tide...

The Village of Fools

Three wise men of Gotham went to sea in a bowl And, if the bowl had been stronger, my song had been longer. (Anonymous) One fine day, twelve villagers of Gotham went to fish in a...

Willikin of the Weald

James Lloyd revives the memory of a champion of England, famous in his day but now much forgotten in the country that he saved. Kensham is the name of a farmhouse near the village of...

The Quiet Hero

James Lloyd belatedly celebrates Saint David’s Day, remembering what little is known and much of what is made up about the life of Wales’s heavenly defender. The British really can pick ‘em. Saint George and...

Señorita of the Hebrides

James Lloyd remains in the Inner Hebrides to visit the Isle of Mull, scene of a military tragedy that memory transmogrified into a supernaturally charged love story. What’s the story in Tobermory? Wouldn’t you like...

The Fairy Flag of Dunvegan

James Lloyd visits the Isle of Skye, a land of chiefs, castles, fairies and a magical banner that can be used only thrice. In 1772, the Welsh antiquary Thomas Pennant toured Scotland and immortalized his...

The Hell Hounds of Guernsey

James Lloyd outdoes the Honourable Sir David Attenborough by going to the Channel Islands for a documentary on some extremely unusual fauna. The Channel Islands, even if squished together, could not even cover the Isle...