Monday, 30 April 2018

New DLs


Mr David Lindsay, Lord-Lieutenant of County Down, has been pleased to appoint

  • Miss Amanda Fiona C BLACKMORE, Greyabbey;
  • Mr Noel LAMB, Downpatrick;
  • Mrs Sara Caroline P C McCORKELL, Dromore;
To be Deputy Lieutenants of the County

David Lindsay
Lord Lieutenant of the County

Castle Saunderson Visit

I paid a fleeting visit to Castle Saunderson on the 22nd July, 2013.

It reminded me somehow of Crom Castle in neighbouring
County Fermanagh.

Wasn’t it designed by the same architect?

The mansion is roofless and ruinous, alas; once the nucleus of a great estate in County Cavan.

The Saunderson arms adorn a section of the wall.

First published in July, 2013.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

BBC iPlayer Abroad

Regular readers shall be cognizant that I seldom broadcast my opinion via the medium of this blog nowadays.

An issue, however, has caused me some irritation, viz. the ability, or inability, of BBC Licence Fee Payers to watch BBC iPlayer abroad, legitimately.

Of course we have VPNs.

I am well aware of them.

I do think it would be gracious of the Corporation to afford the reception of  their iPlayer abroad to licence fee payers.

They have been telling us for ages that they’re working on it.

Well, Lord Hall, get a ruddy move on!

Monday, 23 April 2018

Joyous News

Today has been one of those special days in the British calendar of events, viz. the safe birth of a healthy new Prince of the United Kingdom; and two new appointments to the Most Noble Order of the Garter.

I am naturally overjoyed for TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; Her Majesty, who has another great-grandson; and the Royal Family as a whole.

Of course I had no idea that Alan, 3rd Viscount Brookeborough, would be appointed to the Garter.

His grandfather, Sir Basil Brooke Bt, the 1st Viscount, was installed as a Knight of that Most Noble Order  in 1965.

Now we have two Knights of the Garter resident in Northern  Ireland, namely James, Duke of Abercorn, and Lord Brookeborough.

I send cordial congratulations to Lord Brookeborough on what is the highest order of chivalry in this kingdom.

The Abercorns and Brookeboroughs have a distinguished and honourable record of dedicated service to sovereigns and the crown.

Friday, 13 April 2018

The Wooster Style

Any readers who zealously or otherwise follow the Belmont narrative shall doubtless be aware of my regard for Sir P G Wodehouse's fictional character Bertie Wooster, and his valet Jeeves.

The 1980s television series Jeeves & Wooster portrays Bertie as sartorially subtle and generally understated (when Jeeves lays his clothing out for him at the end of the bed).

In town Bertie invariably wears subtle grey or dark blue chalk-stripe, double-breasted, three-piece suits.

Although the shirts appear white, they are far more subtle than pure white.

On closer inspection, they have feint stripes of vague greys, or a colour that matches the suit.

The ties, too, are hard to describe, because they are usually patterned, though the pattern is quiet, unfussy, and complements the other clothing.

Breast pocket handkerchiefs or pocket squares are invariably white.

The hats and gloves, and the Albert Strap all make distinctive individual accessories.

In the country Bertie generally wears shades of brown or green: country tweed jackets, sleeveless, v-neck jumpers, cable-knit perhaps; woollen patterned ties; flat caps.

Apparel like this may well be unpopular today, though to my mind true Fashion is timeless.

So Bertie's apparel is generally never loud or bold; always quiet and unfussy.

Unless, of course, he chooses to disregard Jeeves's counsel.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Ducal Accounts

The Secret Rooms is a factual book written by Catherine Bailey about John, 9th Duke of Rutland.

The 9th Duke's life changed when his elder brother, Lord Haddon, Lord and Lady Granby's eldest son and therefore heir-presumptive to the dukedom, died aged only nine years old, following an accident.

The Dukes of Rutland were one of the wealthiest noble families in the realm.

In 1899, the wage roll of Henry, the 8th Duke, was £900,000, about £98,000,000 at today's values.

At Belvoir Castle, the Duke employed
  • Groom of Chambers; 
  • House Steward; 
  • Usher of the Hall; 
  • chef; 
  • pastry chef; 
  • confectioner; 
  • plate butler; 
  • clockman; 
  • steward's-room boy; 
  • housemaids; 
  • kitchen maids; 
  • scullery maids; 
  • footmen; 
  • odd-job men; 
  • porters.
Outside the Castle, many more staff were in the employ of the Duke, including
  • grooms; 
  • stable lads; 
  • dairy maids; 
  • studmen; 
  • brewers; 
  • rat-catchers; 
  • mole-catchers; 
  • millers; 
  • mechanics; 
  • gardeners; 
  • groundsmen; 
  • gamekeepers; 
  • river-keepers; 
  • huntsmen; 
  • kennelmen; 
  • slaughterman; 
  • stockmen; 
  • horsemen; 
  • farm-hands; 
  • woodsmen
The Belvoir Estate cost £13,000 per annum to maintain, equivalent to about £2,000,000 in today's values.

First published in July, 2013.  Rutland arms courtesy of European Heraldry.