Monthly Archives: October 2014

Mysterious hoard baffles cathedral experts

The discovery of a forgotten time capsule has baffled history buffs at Durham Cathedral.

Workmen dismantling a Victorian bookcase to make way for a new door were surprised to find two newspapers from 1880 hidden under the base – and names written on the timbers in pencil.

The discovery has puzzled historians who believed the towering bookcases were installed when the stunning Monks’ Dormitory was opened in the 1850s.

Cathedral archaeologist Norman Emery now believes the Dormitory, a library, may have been extended at a later date.

But even that theory raises questions, as Mr Emery explained:

“Perhaps the library was extended at a later date and the new bookcases made as exact copies of the existing ones, but they appear to me to have all been made at the same time, which is baffling.”

Meanwhile, Mr Emery and colleagues are investigating the graffiti, bearing the names John Milbanke, believed to have been a Victorian builder and joiner from Church Street, Durham, and Robert Robson , a builder, mayor, alderman and justice of the peace whose eldest son served as the cathedral’s clerk of works.

The newspapers unearthed were the Newcastle Daily Chronicle of July 13, 1880, and the London Weekly Times of June 17, 1880.

Stories of the day included parliamentary debates, imperial affairs and a Sunderland manslaughter trial, all featured alongside adverts for assorted miracle cures and agricultural show results.

The Times carries a name and address written in ink across the centre page: Mr R Yelloby, Berwick on Tweed.

“It would be fascinating to know the link between this man and the man who ended up with the newspaper,” Mr Emery said.

The mysterious find follows the discovery of Roman pottery and a single pre-historic flint under the cathedral’s Great Kitchen in April.

The cathedral is undergoing major renovation as part of the £10m Open Treasure programme, which will see the creation of a world-class exhibition space capable of hosting priceless artefacts from the cathedral’s collections and across the world.

For more information, visit durhamcathedral.co.uk/open-treasure

Source –  Durham Times,  30 Oct 2014

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Rare bird spotted in Sunderland

Picture by Harry Richardson

Picture by Harry Richardson

Twitchers  have got into a flap over a Wearside visit from a Siberian bird.

An Olive-Backed Pipit was spotted in Roker Park. Sunderland, and has caused excitement among the city’s bird lovers.

It’s  a small passerine bird of the pipit genus, which breeds across South, north Central and East Asia, as well as in the northeast of European Russia.

It’s thought to have ended up in Sunderland after being blown off course.

Mark Newsome, of the Durham Bird Club, said:

“This is the fourth one we’ve seen in the County Durham area. They’re more commonly spotted in the Shetland Islands.

“However, there’s been strong easterly winds recently so it’s probably been blown off course.”
Source –  Sunderland Echo,  17 Oct 2014
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Aliens in the home! UFOs sighted across the North East England are revealed

We are not alone in the North if the Ministry of Defence’s records of UFO sightings in the last decade or so is to be believed.

Scores of worried people have filed reports after fearing strange lights in the sky were evidence of little green men – with one person even claiming they’d seen an alien in their home.

Twenty six reports have been made of extra-terrestrial encounters since the year 2000, with fast moving, flashing lights the most common complaint.

These include someone in Carlisle who said “a UFO was seen and there was an alien in the witness’s house,” and in August 2004 at Greenside, near Ryton, Gateshead a report that cryptically says that the report is “only alien sightings above the house.”

Other “sightings” include “a three dimensional diamond shaped object, approx. size of a large helicopter,” at Wolsingham, Northumberland in 2005, and someone that called 999 after seeing an “orange ball shape going across the sky on a flight path” in November 2009.

In May 2003 someone reported a “black orb with five or six tassles underneath it” in Gateshead.

While someone else in Hetton-le-Hole was disturbed by “many lights seen up in the sky” in August 2006.

Some people were sure they had seen a UFO. One person reported “a black triangular UFO” that had three lights on Halloween in 2006.

Somebody else was concerned by “two bright orangey/red lights moving towards Durham Tees Valley Airport.” These lights “flew steady, level and straight”.

One of the more detailed accounts says “a silver pyramid that was rotating at a low speed and off centre” hovered over Sunderland in 2006.

Across the UK there were 1999 UFO sightings looked into by the Ministry of Defence between 2000 and November 2009, when the MoD stopped counting.

Nine people specifically mention aliens or something alien about their UFO sighting.

Elsewhere in the UK someone in Bristol reported that “a big alien craft” landed on their house in 2008. It then apparently flew off towards the city.

In April 2005 someone in Basildon said they saw a spaceship with grey aliens sitting on top of it above a bungalow.

Elsewhere in the North in 2001 brightly lit cone shaped objects were seen hovering and speeding along above Berwick, while in Darlington there were reports of “large number of lights flashing and moving around.”

A witness said: “There was white light – like a broad band and then tight! They made a circular sweep.”

While in Hartlepool in February 2009, someone reported that they “saw four spaceships that flew over the house into the sky.”

They had a bright light that faded and was then gone,” he said. “They returned to the same spot they had come from.”

And even Middlesbrough has got in on the act, when in September 2008, a “large, silent craft” was said to have “had bright green lights and a blue light that was moving quickly through the trees.”

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle,  11 Oct 2014

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North Yorkshire Wallaby recaptured after 15 police officers and a specialist vet drafted in

An escaped wallaby forced the closure of a major road during rush-hour today.

Some 15 police officers were involved in the operation to retrieve the animal, which fled from Askham Bryan College in York yesterday.

Officers closed a section of the A1237 between Haxby and Strensall in North Yorkshire at around 6pm after the wallaby was spotted in the area.

A specialist vet was drafted in to help retrieve the creature, which was eventually cornered on an embankment near the North York Bypass, police said.

A tranquilliser dart was used to stop the wallaby, which is being returned to the college where an animal management course is run.

The road was reopened shortly before 8.30pm.

Inspector Richard Mallinson said:

“We detained the wallaby – without the use of handcuffs.

“The risk was, if the wallaby went across the road, it could have caused an accident. We have to look at the safety of the public first.

“It’s an animal not common in the UK so a specialist vet was brought in from Hull who used a tranquilliser dart.

“The experts advised we couldn’t use a Taser because it could kill the animal or make it wild.”

 Representatives from Askham Bryan College were in attendance during the rescue, police said.

While native to Australia, there are small colonies of wallabies in the Lake District and around Loch Lomond in Scotland. Last year a wallaby was seen around London’s Highgate cemetery.

Source – Northern Echo,  10 Oct 2014

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Head Of Brigantia Statue Uncovered In South Shields

RARE FIND ... The head of Brigantia which was found at Arbeia roman Fort in South Shields.

RARE FIND … The head of Brigantia which was found at Arbeia roman Fort in South Shields.

THE head of an ancient goddess has been unearthed at a South Tyneside Roman fort after being buried for1,800 years.

The discovery of the stone head was made by a member of the community archeology project WallQuest at Arbeia Roman Fort in South Shields.

Experts believe it is possibly the goddess of the Brigantes, the tribe that inhabited northern Britain during Roman times.

Brigantia was known to have been worshipped in South Shields, with an altar dedicated to her found at the Baring Street site in 1895 only 100m away from this recent discovery.

Nick Hodgson, WallQuest project manager, said:

“The head is a truly wonderful find. Northern Britain was a dangerous place for the Roman army in the second century AD; if the goddess is Brigantia it shows how keen the Romans were to placate the spirits of the region.”

The relic was found in an aqueduct channel that was filled in about AD 208 to make way for the enlargement of the Roman fort when it became a supply base.

These finds seem to suggest that there may have been a shrine to Brigantia  somewhere close to the present excavation site at Arbeia.

It seems that the shrine got in the way of the extension to the fort and was demolished meaning the statue was broken up.

The head will go on display at Arbeia after conservation work in spring when the museum reopens for the 2015 season.

WallQuest will also return to the excavation sites at Arbeia in spring and members of the public are encouraged volunteer for the project.

Source –  Shields Gazette,  08 Oct 2014

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Parrot found living in Sunderland park

An exotic bird has been seen living in a Sunderland city park – but now a twitcher is hoping to track down the animal’s owner.

Michael Lowes says he first saw the Blue-headed Amazon parrot sitting in a tree in Roker Park, close to where he lives, more than a month ago.

Mr Lowes, a member of Durham Bird Club, says he believes that the animal is someone’s pet that has gone missing from its home.

The bird has been seen mingling with other creatures in the park and eating berries from a Swedish Whitebeam tree.

I’d heard about the bird being in the area and it has a really distinctive shrill,” said Mr Lowes, 63, who lives in Park Parade, Roker.

I live across the road from where the trees are and it’s there first thing in the morning and at night too,” he added.

It’s very bold and if the pigeons come into the tree, it chases them away.

“You can see its claws are sharp by how it rips through the twigs to get berries.

“It’s obviously someone’s pet and needs to get back to them.”

Mr Lowes added that he has tried to find the owner of the bird online, but as yet has had no such luck.

“I posted something on the Sunderland Message Board and there was someone mentioning that a person in Chester Road had lost a parrot, but nothing more came of it.

“Hopefully, the owner sees this and comes to get it back, because with the weather starting to turn worse, you wonder how it will be affected as it gets colder, and that’s what worries me.”

Source –  Sunderland Echo,  08 Oct 2014

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Cassetteboy – Cameron’s Conference Rap

Conservative Party policy in under two minutes…

 

 

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