Jul 15

The tank banks

I saw this piggy bank at Stonehenge. At the time I had no idea about the history behind it, which is, like most history, rather interesting.

It comes from a World War 1 British fund raising campaign. Six tanks toured the countryside promoting war bonds. You have to remember this is in the fall of 1917 and tanks were still the high end of war marvels. The public was fascinated to see in person what they were just starting to read about.

The tank rolled in with soldiers and artillery alongside. Airplanes dropped pamphlets, speeches were made. The tank was put through its paces before spending several days in the town with a table inside where people were giving money. They raised millions of pounds, nationally. Soon a competition emerged to see which place could raise the most money and “win” a tank. West Hartlepool would win and Egbert — they do know how to name things, don’t they? — stayed in the town until it was scrapped in 1937.

After the war was over, the government gave 264 tanks to towns and cities in 1919. Most just rusted out over time and sold for scrap. All but one was gone before the end of World War II. The town of Ashford still has their tank, the only one left. It is now a registered war memorial, though without its engine or gearbox and with replica armaments. You can see the tank here:

That tank, one of 1,200 Mark IVs the British built for that particular war, is thought to have never seen combat. Only eight remain. The Mark IV carried a crew of eight and traveled at seven miles per hour.

Jul 15

In Tower Bridge

Here are a few photos from a terrific day in London. See more of it here.

Except for the pedestrian sidewalk, I did not know you could walk across the Tower Bridge. You can do it indoors, across the top. And there are places where you can stand on a window and look down at the bridge and the Thames:

She did a handstand there, but I don’t have a copy of those pictures.

We walked across the pedestrian part of the bridge, too. Got photobombed for our troubles:

And here’s the bridge in the background, as seen from London Tower:

Jul 15

British selfies

(A few extra shots from our last visit to London, because it is summertime and our trip was grand.)

We were playing around with the selfie stick. Yes, we have one, and it facilitates the production of quality photographs. We’re actually laughing at you for not having one.

Anyway, this was outside of our flat in London. We were waiting on a family friend to stop by. She goes way back with The Yankee’s folks and lives and works in London. Turns out she lives not basically around the corner from where we were staying. We only had time to take a few pictures:

Jun 15

Just good enough for a national museum’s front porch

Here we all are, getting set to learn what it means to be British at the British Museum.

That’s not what you learn at the British Museum, actually, but we saw a lot of great artifacts. Here is a selection I shared on the site last month.

We were very pleased that Adam got to come and traipse around London with us for a weekend. Always nice to hear another accent you understand. We also got to see where seven-times or so removed ancestor immigrated from. Mostly we were just happy to see our friend.

Jun 15

Panoramas from Liberty

We were just installing some drawer pulls that we bought in London. Supposedly they were salvage from homes in India. Liberty is a high-end boutique kind of place. Outrageously cool stuff at often outrageous prices. We were there for tea.

The drawer pulls were inexpensive. So we sat there independently counting up how many drawers and cabinets we had. (We arrived at the same number every time!) And then we started picking out mixed and matching sets of the tiny ceramic knobs. They look pretty sharp now that we have them installed.

Anyway, since I was doing that, I figured I could return to Liberty here today with two large pictures I took. Click to embiggen them!