#bitesizeroyston

Since February I have been tweeting a factoid about Royston’s history every day. From the town’s links to ‘The Greatest Showman’ film to the prehistory of Therfield Heath. Interested? Visit Twitter and search for the hashtag #bitesizeroyston

The Hertfordshire Hermit and the Solar Farm

(Image: RNA Energy)

A new solar farm that is set to make a significant contribution to North Hertfordshire’s ambition to be net zero by 2040 is going to be sited on or next to the site of the Hertfordshire Hermit’s former home. James Lucas was a Victorian celebrity who lived an unusual life. Here is a piece I… Continue reading The Hertfordshire Hermit and the Solar Farm

Gallipoli and the gilded goat: Royston in the Great War

Towards the end of February 1915 Melbourn Road echoed to the sound of two thousand aching feet. The 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers had marched the paltry thirteen miles from Cambridge (nothing compared to their usual route marches) and were to collapse that night into makeshift beds hastily found for them by the… Continue reading Gallipoli and the gilded goat: Royston in the Great War

Cracked voices, uncracked

In recent months, it’s been a delight to hear two songs from Jenni Pinnock’s and my Cracked Voices (2017) being given a fresh airing (links below). In Scottsdale Arizona (USA), Michael Tallino and Riley McKinch chose ‘Earthrise’ as part of their Songs of Peace for a Wild World concert (part of the Arts at Nativity… Continue reading Cracked voices, uncracked

‘Super Saturday’

There is a small Roman household god (a Lar) on display at the Guildhall Museum in Rochester that found its way back out of the dark after several hundred years. This is something I wrote about it for the ‘Ten Songs for a Lar’ project. It seems right to share it on Super Saturday.  … Continue reading ‘Super Saturday’

Surviving the pandemic…

In his report the Medical Officer recommends ‘the immediate breaking up of all the schools at Royston, at Foxton, and at Thriplow.’ It starts with a sore throat, headache, fever, nausea and vomiting. Within a day a rash develops on the stomach or chest and spreads over the whole body. The cheeks of infected children… Continue reading Surviving the pandemic…

Finding Roger Britten…

Proceeding up-stairs we came first against a printing press, with which an intelligent looking African was printing off copies of a handbill… Herts Guardian, Agricultural Journal, and General Advertiser Saturday 17 May 1856 I was not looking for Roger, but those words in an article about a small-town exhibition had me hooked. – Why was… Continue reading Finding Roger Britten…

In Black and White | Roger Britten | Royston’s Printer

Columbian Printing Press similar to the one Roger Britten operated

I’m excited to be able to share details of a project that I have been collaborating on with the composer Jenni Pinnock and artist Stacey Leigh Ross for Black History month (October). Some time ago – while looking for something else – I came across reference to Roger Britten is an old newspaper. He was… Continue reading In Black and White | Roger Britten | Royston’s Printer