It is odd that two of my favourite programmes are presented by ex Conservative ministers. On radio I enjoyed David Mellor on Sunday afternoon on Classic FM, oh don't get me wrong Mellor can be a little pompous (well that's the wrong word, he's not a natural) but his programme is interesting and he plays a nice range of music... strangely I'm listening to Radio 3 a lot more these days.
On TV, as I think I've said before, I really enjoy Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journey's using as his guide George Bradshaw's Tourist Handbook.
I was chuffed to find that there is now a facsimile edition of the 1863 edition so I ordered it. I fully expected this to be a total waste of money but if I didn't get it I'd wonder....
So it has arrived today....
The book is split into 4 sections. Section 1 is fairly logical concentrating on the South East but it does wander a bit! But 2 3 and 4 are a little more outre 2 goes from Berkshire to Ireland!
But the book is fascinating. It tells you the population, market days, fairs and hotels but it also tells you whether there is a telegraph station and info on Bankers. Yarmouth (Great that is) has Gurneys & co, Lacon & co, Branch of East England Banking Co, National Provincial Bank of England.
Caroline maybe interested to know that steamers go from Yarmouth (IOW) to Lymington and Cowes daily and that tickets cost 1s & 6d and 1s with day tickets costing 3s. Oh and Yarmouth is described as "another decayed borough" whereas Shanklin is "a beautiful spot".
You realise just how much the world as changed when Barking is Essex is mentioned as having a Fishing fleet.
Oh and Trish may like to know that of Esher he says. This is the nearest station for Esher and Claremont: the former, once a place of some importance, is now little better than an inconsiderable village!! How things have changed.
In tonight's programme Michael has to use an 1880's edition as the railway hadn't reached Bournemouth in 1863!!
A book worth dipping into!