Sunday, 22 February 2015

A Capital Collection!

Major Montague Maximilian GCSE is exceedingly fond of pipes. Ensconced in his estate in Yorkshire he claims that there is no finer feeling than, pipe in hand, enjoying quality shag. The Major has sent The Trumpington Bugle a photograph of some of his collection, with the following description:

"The collection is growing. The three on the left are Savinellis, a standard dry system, an academia, and a Roma rustica KS. In the other column there's a meerschaum-lined Kilimanjaro, a Peterson rocky Donegal, a Jean-Claude tigrato bent prince, and lastly, the newest addition, a GBD sandblasted bulldog, filled with Dunhill Durbar blend. Capital!"

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Train Daze

There are rumours - rumours of the largest ever Ragged Rambler excursion taking place tomorrow. Our sources suggest that members of The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers will be travelling to Ipswich from Norwich, by train. It has been suggested to us that they will be liaising with a small party of three Suffolk-based antiquarians with whom they will explore some of the town's historic sites. 

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Ancient Earthworks Discovered

An ancient earthworks has just been discovered in the north of Norwich city. Members of The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers first noticed evidence of this extraordinary find last Friday:

"Following an extensive breakfast - bacon, eggy dip-dobs, peas, fried bread, blood sausage, pork chops &c - I was perambulating along New Botolph Street, in considerable discomfort from a badly fitted truss, when I looked up and noticed a long earth barrow. 'By Jingo, ratherer!' I exclaimed, as I realised what it was I had discovered: an extremely large erection indeed!"
[Society Member, Munro Tweeder-Harris, Esq.]. 

Ragged Rambler, Dawson Bulwer-Rant, in between tears of joy, added,
"Hotspot of prehistoric... hic... activity we have here. Stone Clock near... hic... here! Old... it's very old..."

Initial analysis released by the RSAR suggests that the earthworks may be around 4,000 years old. When asked what it was used for, Mr Tweeder-Harris, Esq. and Mr. Bulwer-Rant explained thusly:
"Old... hic"
"Yes... hic... ritual - definitely ritual!"

Thursday, 1 March 2012

A Fine Specimen - the Editor remembers..

As many a Rambler will tell you, the pleasures of a church can often be as intense outside as in, where the gentle hum of bees & trill of birdsong owe their presence to a peaceful churchyard.

   In this age of vast garden centres & expensive "features ", the un-sung heroic volunteers of these beautiful green spaces are ignored, and yet gaze ye upon their handiwork.  Can the modern lawn owner not learn from their modest means, plying the ground with the most basic of tools, shared, kept, passed down the generations, like surnames in a parish register?

  Ramblers have long appreciated such relics of the common man (and lady), coming across them as they do in their diligent investigations, and at times have celebrated them in their own right.  The Bugle archives contain many a yellowing memory of fine traditions, which the privations of war brought to a sad end.
One such was The Great Home Counties Watering Can Relay, where history, motoring and eco-friendly sportsmanship came together, in spectacular style.
So as the threat of summer drought looms large over the promise of a rich green summer, methought this little memento from the back-catalogue may help some reconsider their gardening vices.

A Fine Specimen - Dougie Womptoncroft with his Great
Home Counties winner, July 1927
  After all, were there not many centuries of fine green sward before some money-grubby tradesmen invented hose pipes and lawn sprinklers?!  My father's gardeners were up with the lark & out with their watering cans, as it should be, world without end, you idle, simpering, one-click & you're bored - no no, sorry, sorry!  I'm at the end of… oh, god, look, better just enjoy the pictures… Phew.  Breathe

Friday, 30 September 2011

From The Archives

The Secretary writes:
Ramblum Mortuum...

  One cannot help but notice that the topic of death has arisen in recent postings, and indeed was the subject of some debate over cigars & brandy the other eve.  Observing that there were many uncertainties over the appropriate etiquette in dealing with dead Ramblers, or those who become so during Rambles, methought Members may benefit from some archival investigation.
The Society's basic tenet in these matters is that death makes no difference to status of Membership.  This is self evidenced by the healthy number of dead Members who regularly contribute to Society matters, such as Colonel Hampton, R J Oooooostead and others.
However, the Society does frown upon applications submitted after death.  One such is that of Peregrine “Trip-hammer” Fontenheim, who was nomination recusaverit in spite of his mother’s argument that the funeral service & burial in the family mausoleum should be counted as his first Ramble.
  Cessation of mortality during Rambles is not uncommon, and raises numerous challenges for which no one policy has proven universally applicable.  As a general consideration however, a Rambler mortuus occupies no more space than a Rambler vivus, so no major alteration of plans should result.  Only the most churlish would expect their fellows to Ramblus Interruptus.
Lord Tiggy Periwinkle’s Party continued their four-day excursion into the Caledonian Highlands in spite of the tragic First Cake-stop near Bannockburn.  Indeed they returned the good Lord to his ancestral home four days later, exactly as consue tudine, in time for High Tea.  In fact, so calmly was the matter handled that it wasn’t until that evening’s poor showing at billiards – where-in His Lordship normally excelled – that his Great Aunt, Lady Glockshot, observed the inevitable change in his demeanour.
This particular case may well have benefited from the remoteness of the Ramble itself, however, as the Caledonian peasantry are hardened to the sights of Nature in the raw, so to speak.  More southerly centres of population may prove more complex scenarios, requiring discretion to be uppermost.
Tiggy Periwinkle's skull  in the Society archive
Tweeder Munro’s suggestion of placing the cadaver upright in the passenger seat is certainly better advised than Mrs Cynthia Peynton-Blanc’s insistence on the placing of her demised spouse on the roof-rack of their shooting brake.
Other party members recall she was concerned to acquire more room for the Afghan hounds, and that indeed all progressed smoothly until rain & wind so disturbed the covering picnic blanket that they found themselves somewhat alarmingly confronted by numerous Constabulary (“Like a cohort of over educated Storm Troopers!” as Mrs P-B still relates the story) shortly after Staines.
However, even the simplest solutions can be derailed, if only by well-meaning honesty. One Rambler party found themselves in delicate waters while on a pleasant Cotswolds jaunt tracing the remnants of whipping posts, stocks, gibbets and other instruments of civil order in picturesque hamlets.
  An unfortunate case of “the Battenburg Gargle” had struck down T C Leathersmocq (Junior or Senior – I confess my uncertainty) at first elevenses.  An un-anticipated consequence of this development was that in each successive village, the back seat remained permanently occupied by one tweed-clad gent, while the explorations & perusals of worn down stumps & street corner signs proceeded.
A Rambler Mortuus occupies no more space than a Rambler Vivus
The good Cotswold folks’ ancestors must have clearly benefited from the aforementioned floggings and gruesome humiliations, and were now at such an advanced stage of social sophistication that, noticing this repeated pattern, they kindly rose to provide a remedy for what they perceived as an impediment to the full enjoyment of their parishes.
Thus by the mid-afternoon stop for a long lost ducking stool, a small party awaited the Ramblers’ Lagonda by a village pond, consisting of a vicar, a churchwarden, a Postmistress and two school governors, with a bath chair at the ready for the perceived invalid.  Four sturdy immigrant workers stood by, ready to assist with practicalities!  Overwhelmed with such kindness, and yet at a loss as how to reject such hospitality, our Members were in an awkward pickle.  Fortunately her years behind the counter had made the Postmistress an astute judge of human dealings, and she clarified all matters to such an extent that the good vicar offered a service of interment there & then!
  Thus each situation must be approached afresh and when in doubt, seek the solution which causes the least disruption to the Ramble.  Clearly on occasion the boot may be more efficacious than the passenger seat.  Member Many Coats’ suggestion that expiring mid-Ramble should be entirely prohibited is understandable, and has been adopted in the past, but can cause awkward conflicts of interest: hence the number of deceased Ramblers still on the books, as it were.  The proposal of a statute requiring two weeks’ written notice of impending mort to the Committee, while commendable, carries certain logistical problems relating to Sunday post and availability of clerical staff.
Take heed...

  Some debate arose over the Guzzle-Rights to the deceased’s picnic hamper, as to what constituted precedence amongst the remaining party for first dibs.  Again, no one particular policy will suffice; but harken to St Benedict's warning: Above all things, gluttony must be avoided. Take heed lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting.
Lemon Drizzle must be handled carefully, as it seems it can be the cause of the most vociferous exchanges.  Obviously occasions shall arise where specialist tastes should be given preference, for example, are we not all aware of Many Coat’s international reputation as connoisseur of the French Fancy?
Hopefully the above will shed some light on matters mortuus, and that regardless of where we find ourselves on the ever turning Wheel of Dame Fortune, all Members shall strive to preserve the purity of the Pax Ramblum.

 The Secretary

Sunday, 31 July 2011

An Ancient Erection!

Professor Greenidge, suckling the aardvarks prior
to the remarkable discovery of the obelisk

The Trumpington Bugle is pleased to bring you yet another astounding arkeological discovery! (See HERE for a previous exclusive - the Anglia Square Standing Stone Clock.) Professor Greenidge (pictured above), from The Ragged Society of Antiquarian Ramblers , was relaxing with friends somewhere in the East of Norfolk when he noticed something quite remarkable...

In an ostensibly ordinary domestic garden - albeit a most delightful one! -, he noticed this - a genuine ancient obelisk! Gently laying down his aardvarks, he began to inspect the artefact. He very quickly realised that it lay within a date range of between 5-7,000 years. 

Here he is sharing his excitement with you all...

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Pg III Venustas
Aqua Nympha ..?

This enigmatic beauty gazes patiently over a secluded pond in a truly fabulous secret garden, but is she Water Nymph or Rhine Maiden?  She's not telling, but the lucky heroicus for whom she waits probably won't lose sleep over it... and who could blame him!