Monday, 30 July 2007

Olly back on Dragon's Den

This week saw Olly Daglish back on the TV show “Dragon’s Den” – this time in a follow-up show entitled "The Dragons’ Den – Where Are They Now?"

The BBC show is based around would-be entrepreneurs pitching their money-spinning ideas to gain business financing to a panel of five "dragons". The Dragons are all established business people with money to make things happen. However, the entrepreneurs need all their powers of persuasion, reasoning and presentation to convince the five Dragons that their business is worth investing in.

Olly first appeared on the show in February seeking investment in his Ollypop surf towel – but then his idea was harshly criticised by dragon Theo Paphitis. “It’s about as useful as knickers on a kipper!” Theo declared.

This week's show looked at what had happened since, and showed Olly in his home environment - down on the beach.

Olly reflected: “Theo’s not from a surfing background so I can understand why he couldn’t see the potential in the towel. But I was determined to come away from the Den with something, and the “kipper’s knickers” quote was it!”

He added: “I just couldn’t resist. It would be a shame to let such a quirky phrase go to waste so we’re using it as our new slogan. Ollypop - the kipper’s knickers!- just like the ‘bee’s knees’ or the ‘cat’s whiskers’!”

The Ollypop towel range has been expanded to include ‘Girlpop’, designed specifically to appeal to the growing band of surf girls, and the ‘Grompop’ for kids - in addition to the 'Original', which is an updated version of the towel Olly took to the Den. Orders are up - and the ‘kipper’s knickers’ phrase is catching on.

Friday, 27 July 2007

Australian convict records

This week it was announced that details of Australian convict records for the period 1788 to 1868 have been released online through subscription site Ancestry.

The BBC web site reported:

The records of tens of thousands of British convicts sent to Australia from the end of the 18th Century have been put online for the first time. Subscribers can browse names, date of conviction, the length of sentence and which penal colony they went to.

It is estimated two million Britons and 22% of Australians will have a convict ancestor listed in the records.

Transportation of convicts to Australia began as British prisons were becoming overcrowded in the late 18th Century and crime in cities increased following the industrial revolution. The journey to Australia by boat took eight months, six of which were spent at sea and two in ports where supplies were picked up.

The majority of the convicts were men and although a small number had been found guilty of serious crimes such as murder and assault, most had committed minor offences. Some of the crimes they were punished for included stealing from a pond or river and setting fire to undergrowth.

After serving out their sentence many convicts remained in Australia and the BBC site comments:

Many Australians are said to consider a convict in their family tree is a badge of honour and 22% are direct descendents of these convicts.

The documents are from the National Archives in the UK, and include two Daglishes.

James Daglish in December 1832 on board the ship "Jupiter" to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania). He had been convicted on 28 July 1832.

The New South Wales and Tasmania Convict Musters 1806-1849 show that James had been assigned to Public Works but died on 31 October 1836.

William Daglish in May 1865 on board the ship "Racehorse" to Western Australia. He had been convicted on 22 July 1863.

More details of the voyage can be found on the Convicts to Australia site which shows that the Racehorse left Portland, England on May 26, 1865 bound for the Swan River Colony. The voyage took 76 days and the Racehorse arrived in Fremantle on August 10, 1865 with 172 passengers and 278 convicts.

The list of convicts shows that William Daglish, aged 31, had been convicted of house breaking on 22 July 1863 and sentenced to 12 years.

Could this be the same William Daglish who was reported in The Times in May 1858 under the heading "A Notorious Burglar"?

"William Daglish, a powerful, thick set young man, 25 years of age, is in the custody of South Shields police, and has been identified with two desparate burglaries ... there seems no doubt but that, though he is only 25 years of age, he is the leader of the gang of burglars who have caused so much alarm in the north country towns during the past two or three months ... He has suffered four years penal servitude for shoplifting at Sunderland; 18 months imprisonment for a burlary in the parsonage of Holy Trinity Church, South Shields and has been imprisoned for three other offences. It is suspected that his companions are either returned convicts, or ticket-of-leave men"

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

UK flooding

As anyone living in the UK will know, the country has been suffering with serious flooding in many parts of the country. A couple of weeks ago it was the North of England, in particular Yorkshire - but now it is the areas around the rivers Severn and Thames. The map below shows some of the areas affected.

Many thousands of families have had their homes flooded and many more are without electricity or clean water. Although the peak levels seem to have been reached in the areas worst affected, it will take many days for the waters to recede - and much, much longer for life to return to normal. The forecast is for the UK summer to continue to be unsettled, with more rain to come.

The BBC web site is publishing a number of stories from its readers under the heading Your stories: Fighting the floods; this includes the following from George and Emma Daglish:


George Daglish, 34, said he and his wife were relying on bottled water to help feed their six-month-old daughter, Olivia, and were still waiting for a bowser to be delivered to their area.

"We ran out of water at the weekend and went to get some supplies from Morrisons, but it was like a scene from a film," said George.

"People were panicking and just grabbing things off the shelves. I've never seen anything like it.

"We managed to get some water from elsewhere, so I'm not too worried at the moment. Our electricity went off during the night, but it came back on this morning, so if it stays on then we should be OK.

"If things do get too bad then my wife will probably take the children and go an stay with her parents in Blackpool. We have a two-year-old and a six-month old baby, so getting bottles made up for her is obviously the most important thing.

"We don't think the floodwater will reach us, so we are better off than many people. We just have to tough things out for a few more days."

Story and map from the BBC News web site.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

The Land of Nursery Rhyme by Alice Daglish

Alice Daglish was the first wife of my father, Eric Fitch Daglish. Born Alice Archer in 1896, she married my father in 1918 toward the end of the First World War. They had three children - two sons (twins) and a daughter. Alice died in January 2000, aged 103.

The Land of Nursery Rhyme was a book that Alice worked on with Ernest Rhys (1859-1946), a friend of the family who was a writer and founding editor of the Everyman’s Library series. This series, published by J.M. Dent in the UK and E.P. Dutton in the US, published classic book titles at an affordable price. The aim of the series was to publish 1,000 titles, in batches of ten titles at a time. The target was eventually reached in 1956, ten years after Rhys died.

The Land of Nursery Rhyme was first published in 1932, containing drawings by Charles Folkard (1879-1963), an illustrator of children's books.

These included some very rich, colour illustrations of particular rhymes - such as the one shown for "Ride A Cock Horse To Banbury Cross". Later editions and re-prints of the book did not contain all of these full colour illustrations.

In a sign of the times that it was written, in the introduction the authors note:

“Here are the favourite old Nursery Rhymes along with some others which are more or less new … The very latest of all is one about a Flying-man.”

Flying-man, Flying-man,
Up in the sky,
Where are you going to,
Flying so high?

Over the mountains,
And over the sea -!
Flying-man, Flying-man,
Can't you take me?

A later book "A Christmas Holiday Book" was published in 1934, this time with illustrations by Mary Shillabeer.

George Melly on Peter Daglish

George Melly, the jazz musician and writer, died on July 5.

Back in 1979, George Melly reviewed an exhibition of lithographs by Peter Daglish - the review was published in the February 1979 edition of the London Magazine. This particular issue was the 25th Anniversary of the London Magazine, and had a painting of Bjorn Borg by Rosemary Taylor on its cover.

The exhibition was at the Graffiti Gallery in London and was made up of a suite of 25 lithographs entitled the Ofay Suite.

In his notes entitles "Ofay Melody" Melly wrote:
"With a rapidity approaching Picasso, and with intentions not dissimilar from that painter's loose variations in a single theme, Peter Daglish has produced twenty-five splendid black and white lithographs to be looked at in any order.

He has worked at them ritualistically. With one exception, he has divided each print into two upright rectangles, two separate images. In the left-hand frame he has drawn a woman. In the right, a man. On completing one image, he covered it over while he drew the other. In this way the first image couldn't directly affect the second. Only the memory of what he'd just invented could influence what he was about to do ...

In the case of every rectangle containing a man there is, either at the top or bottom, a word in a frame. Some refer to poems: "Oranges, for instance (Frank O'Hara is Daglish's favourite poet). Others to art: Vincent for example. (Daglish has also made a series of prints based on Van Gogh's "Painter on the way to work".) Jazz too. "Jellyroll" it says under the image of a thoughtful moustached man who in no way resembles Morton. The words add poetic resonance. They are also formally beautiful. In some cases letters are reversed "as in a mirror".

Melly concludes:
In whatever order these prints are arranged it would be possible to invent "a story". There would also be no point in it except as a test of ingenuity. What they are far more like is a "blues" (isolation or desertion hover). In most blues the verses can be sung in any order and still convey their meaning.

In one print "MEANWYLE" (sic) a sailor in the right-hand frame leans forward to hold the breast of the girl in the left hand frame. Contact is made. The effect is so tender that I would always wish to see this print last".

Thursday, 12 July 2007

John Snowden Jackson Daglish - The Battle of Kohima

On Wednesday evening, the BBC screened a special edition of Who Do You Think You Are, featuring the TV and radio presenter Nicky Campbell.

Nicky was adopted, and the film followed his adopted family, and featured a section on the involvement of Nicky’s father in what is known as “the forgotten war” against Japan in India, and in particular at the Battle of Kohima. This was a critical battle of the Burma Campaign, fought from April 4 to June 22, 1944. It marked the end of the Japanese offensive in India and was described as the “Stalingrad of the East”.

The British and Indian forces lost around 4,000 men, dead, missing and wounded. The Japanese had lost more than 5,000 men in the Kohima area fighting.

I was reminded that Private John Snowden Jackson Daglish of the Durham Light Infantry lost his life at Kohima on 22 April 1944. John was the son of Septimus Joshua Daglish and Hannah Jackson, and was born in Gateshead - but his family was originally from Morpeth. When he died he was 32, and he left a wife Amelia and a young son. Some ten years later Amelia married George Septimus Daglish, John’s younger brother.

John is buried in the Kohima War Cemetery (see picture below). The cemetery is completely terraced and contains 1,420 Commonwealth burials. At the lower end of the cemetery, near the entrance, is a memorial to the 2nd Division. It bears the inscription:

When you go home
Tell them of us and say:
For your tomorrow
We gave our today

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Daglish of Alnwick - update

I received a letter this week from the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick with some more information about the Daglish clock makers - see below.

The workshop was located in Peaks Lanes (sometimes spelt Peakes Lane, and now known as Paikes Lane). The narrow lane is still there, and is part of Alnwick Market Place, running from the north west corner through to the junction of Bondgate Within and Narrowgate.
So the family ran its business in the heart of the town, almost next to the 18th century Town Hall. The Museum provided an early 19th century street plan of Alnwick, with Paikes Lane marked in red.

My thanks to Mrs. Marjorie Brown at the Bailiffgate Museum for these additional details.

Talking of maps, I would like to mention a company which sells a series of old Ordnance Survey maps.

Most Daglish families have their roots in the North-East – so it is frustrating for me living in the South East of England with little access to local information.

One resource that I have found very helpful is a series of old Ordnance Survey Maps published by Alan Godfrey Maps under the title The Godfrey Edition.

The maps date mostly from the late 19th century and are highly detailed, taken from the 1/2500 plans and reprinted at about 14 inches to the mile. The area covered by each map is relatively small, covering about one and a half square miles.

On the back of each map are some interesting historical notes on the area concerned, written by local experts for this series. Many also include extracts from contemporary directories giving the names of local residents and trades.

With more than 2,000 maps already published, there is a good range of maps covering the whole country, and County Durham and the Newcastle area well represented. The company is also based in the area, so has some useful local knowledge. Maps are priced at £2.20 each and can be ordered on-line through the on-line store at the company’s website.

Alan Godfrey Maps, Prospect Business Park, Leadgate, Consett, DH8 7PW, England. Tel. (01207) 583388