Sunday, 30 April 2017

THE DUEL Penned by BB

                                                             Copyright 30/04/2017

                                                               The Year is 1743

History does not identify him,as fact or even fiction,but he served like many do today.

He was always in all circles  referred to  plainly as Bagley. A name known at Horse Guards,The British Admiralty and to Kings and Princes. All respected him although most feared him for his coat buttoned up on many sides. He wore several uniforms when there was need to do so,but far preferred a bland pattern cut to his cloth of grey,but always he favoured well his waistcoat of light green and that long blue black coat that carried important letters from the Crown ,The House of Lords,and Parliament of England. His three cornered hat given to him by the P M of the day.
His own King George, along with other royal heads was fettled to a fine sharp shine of iron and all had fell out from the same sagging mould after being cast up into a troubled sea of struggling world power. A repetitive thing ongoing still in our own time,for those with big sticks like to flex enough muscle in order to use them. Bagley, served a mad king,and that highly proven fact would create high costly wars and eventful loss throughout the colonise. For the America`s were the sweet Prize in the jewel of many a kings crown,sitting upon many a throne.

                                                     BOSTON MASSACHUSETTS

So upon such a sea of constant intrigue  this loyal kinsman was often a target for insult, and even a target for murder, but his sword saw fit to dispatch the many who had tried ,and as for those highly paid in polished coin to insult him, they soon came to realise his ice cold skill with both pistols and sword upon the duelling field.

However it was not always a killing field,
but many came to limp along through life because of it.

One such  duel happened to take place in America in 1743 or 1744 dates are often a great mystery for me at odd times. It involved a French Officer, during the peace, he having stamped hard on Bagley`s shoe rendering it in deep twisted red clay at his now painful big toe end. An outright insult indeed and with no apology forthcoming from this dressed up dandy in fine white cloths. A Duel, a place and time was arranged by others acting for both parties concerned.

At that particular time inside The Hare & Hound Tavern, it being rather stuffy, filled up to brimming point with odd sized gentleman, all clay pipe smokers of the finest twist of sweet Virginia. Within this haze of towering smoke swaying heads were soon puffing gossip fit enough  to unseat a king.
                                                     DUEL ARRANGEMENTS

It was a rather rushed affair and the time for it being at midday on that day,and with only a few minutes to prepare for it. It was agreed pistols would be primed and loaded on the field of gallant display. For such Peacocking was duly witnessed by others seeking fair play. It was agreed two pistols each would be used to settle well this day of outlawed activity. The place arranged a nice quite spot called and recorded as Fox Hill just outside of Boston on the Common near the large twisted tree. The Frenchman and his seconds rode up to that spot, as did Bagley, with his fellows following on behind. Time being short and without reliable pistols to hand, a British Officer of Kings 1st Dragoons approached  the gallant gentleman, and offered both his pistols and his horse, and a good shake of hands in agreement was welcomed as were the few silver coins for a round of drinks.  For Bagley was a realist who thought this might well be his ending upon this day. So a parting gift for a drinking spree, left behind by him was to his liking. With fresh drink arriving the whole  house  stood up and cheered him, for most certainly he was no ordinary common man.

                                                       ON THE COMMON

For those who do not realise it horse pistols of that day and age were indeed fearsome huge long barrelled things. I only make mention of it because the Frenchman an Officer in shinny white lace had brought two fine pocket pistols that had been taken out of the highly polished wooden box. He looked very nervous as his weapons were being loaded with powder and shot, while he could see two huge Dragoon pistols being likewise primed for a broadside action he now cared little for.
"I object!" He said. "
You object Sir?",replied all who were to stand in support of him. "I do. His weapons are monstrous  things not fitting a gentleman." He declared. One and all could see his point even the smiling Bagley, because a Frenchman peering at two alarming large primed weapons, while he himself had ornate pocket pistols,well it must have looked like he was indeed looking at the business end of two British six pounders?
After walking around,sizing up each other it was agreed to be unfair to the other gentleman by those overseeing this rather rushed forward occasion. Now the fellow who had accepted gold to dispatch Bagley in this American field of opportunity seemed now rather relieved not to face a blasting from those black powdered devil's.  Shinny Devil`s that the Englishman held in each hand while tilting them back half cocked against his breast.  " Does the young gentleman wish to apologise and withdraw from the duelling field?" The Frenchman was asked.
"Bien sur que non!"____________________"Of course not!"
After a brief discussion concerning this  tricky situation it was agreed, both would duel with the French gentleman`s pocket pistols. Bagley, agreed as did the other gentleman who seemed to have passed his ill at ease activity of sweating enough to float a small boat. "The Englishman will chose his weapon as he is the party slighted."
And so it came about both did pace it out,turn and fire. In that instant of time both pistols misfired. Bagley`s hand was stung to share extremeness! Much like being caned at school, leaving him having to flap it about while doing a very fine jig of a dance. Finally his dance finished, he placed his hand , as if it would cure it in some magical awesome way under his other arm. A sting and powder burns,he had come off light.
As the Frenchman's pistol misfired it blew apart blowing off two of his fingers. He too danced such an up and down jig of frenzy! Proving that the French can keep pace with any Englishman on any day of the week for such jigging about.
Gradually the smoke cleared away, and the screams and fine hot dancing subsided and after a few minutes of medical treatment such as it was,it being the case a white handkerchief was wound around the poor gentleman`s hand while he sat upon the damp grass his face covered in tumbling tears, enough to float another small boat.
With his mind now fully accepting the constant repetitive throbbing,Bagley the fine upstanding fellow that he was approached the worst off of such a days play,and shock the injured Frenchman`s hand with the remaining thumb and two fingers. Honor was served.
Two days later the body of the French gentleman was fished out of Boston harbour.

As for Bagley, his story is far from being over, but it is important he be mentioned at this particular time.____After serving many years, but being no way an old man another story begins to unfold for him in the year 1759 with a house and parcel of land being granted to him, in crusty old England for his service to the Crown. The why of it was never penned upon such a Royal Letter he had received. The Property & Deeds thereof were for a house, and included those pertaining to outlaying buildings along with 30 acres of meadow land at Old Catton with The Tills cutting a  pathway along one side of it,and 15 acres of woodland named Fiddle Wood, with the Gurney Stream passing through it.

It certainly was a very strange house for it had many a plumb line and set square angle added to it. The extension of rendered brick with gable end dormer window,and roof with a new double chimney was added that year 1759, and so it was that Mr Johnathan Bagley Pollywhat and Mrs Belinda Catherine Pollywhat, moved into the house in 1760,and soon after a child was born and the date of the birth it being the 2nd day of February 1760 was recorded in the family Bible as being a Girl Child named Peggity Belinda Pollywhat. Yes dear Peggity had arrived.

There will be other story`s pen and inked concerning Peggity`s earlier life,but that is for a later time.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

THE HOUSE : A Story Book Tale presented by BB

                                                               Copyright 2017

The house had long since fallen  into disrepair followed by pointless dilapidation  and it being very old, but recently arrived there among the tall sea of flax, was most feared by the locals because of many a strange tale concerning it and  those that had tried to live there. I came upon the look of this house during a dream of utter torment for such details were very strange to me. While having such a vision of this house,I awoke and got up, made a cup of tea,just in order to break such a dream theme up. Drinking the last sweet brown stuff down I returned to my slumber. However, yes it continued where I had left off.

I guess silly me,  I must have left it on pause?

Since then the days passed into weeks and then one day it being an Easter Sunday those details came flooding into my mind again, but not in any dream,but in broad daylight in my wide awake day time activities. Although hazed in shape the wood framed building was easy to mark out,as if I had been doing it in repartition during many an earlier time. As I placed the first dark outline upon the paper card I realised it to be a very large building with a dense roof of thatch and it did seem to have grown there as if a natural reed bed on the nearby fens. For this part of East Anglia, was awash with such floating read beds of friendly waving flax. Of course in reality the house never existed. but now traced out within the outer framework of this story it did,and it along with nameless characters were fitting together piece by little topsy turvy piece. _Soon after starting the writing of this, and the scratch building of  that medieval timber framed house I realised this was getting most scary and it was as if I was being compelled to pen and ink it down,and also build this uncommon place up.Uneasiness began to dominate both types of work,and over a few days that which I had dreamed of stood complete upon my small work table. The numerous windows seemed very dark black eyes of this hair-raising place, for truly I knew it as such without really knowing it before at all. Such are uncommon places stemmed from such dreams.                                                                

The photo results seem very clear to view,but does the human eye always pick out that which is there?       The old solid door now stripped bear clear of wicked rose thorns is locked tight, and some in Nat Village say it is bolted shut tight from inside,and those that did such a locking and a bolting of all those dark Oak doors and windows are still there,if only in dismembered remains. For certain there are no Winkle graves in the nearby village church. No not even a one. So when was it that Sir Edward Charles Winkle, a Knight placed his stamp of authority upon such a blot on this landscape ?  As near as I can tell it was during and after the Wars of The Roses ,and oppressed peoples were given over to seek other means of gaining a living other than working of land afforded them.


The red brick lower part of the rendered walls crumbled in places seem to date this place and firmly plant it around the 1480`s and in fact Henry the King who had six wives made royal mention of it in  1539. The case being the Monks from  the near by Anglesey Abbey had been discovered in hiding there ,and he boasted while stuffing his neck with chicken. " They all wanted to go to Heaven, but were in no great awful rush to get there. However they all went anyway." He laughed out shockingly aloud. That Court loved Henry,for to do otherwise meant being shortend by a neck it being hacked off something terribly cruel ,and with much more than just one blow at the hacking block. It did seem the stiff necked English sure put a dead certain dullness ,and wicked bluntness to the shine and sharpness of all the axe-mans tools.

It was 1537 Easter Day,a Sunday evening when the house servants left for the Church Service in the village, while the family occupants preferred not to hold with any religious  house for fear of Henry, and that awesome blunt axe. As Old Mott,with no other name beside it left the house, with the rounded plump dogmatic swearing Cook, trundling on behind him,called Beggs, and the two young serving girls following along behind her whispering girls talk with giggles, all headed towards the sound of that dong, dong bell.                                                                                                          

Little did they realise it then that they would soon be free of that overburdened place of regal  servitude.                                                                                                                                                         As the mist rose from the surrounding Fen land.                                        
Most certainly it was a most solemn silent Meeting in that tiny flinted church,as Mickmead, the Priest had left for safer shores. It seemed although he being a rather short ,but very loud, fat, and double chinned man of the cloth in his mid 40`s, he had no intention of getting a lot shorter in Henry`s ,England. Such was his chin that gave resemblance to that of a chewing Hamster to him that owned it, and it that hung so well was much more the worthwhile  a saving.  So he took fearful flight to safer shores carrying the golden cross and goblet along with the small  finger bowl from the church. Fate decreed rather oddly for him, that it all turned out to be some kind of ornamental shinny brass.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
It was indeed Flaggend,,,that had rung the bell since Brother Mickmead`s, timely scarpering! He being the digger of graves when there was such a call of opportunity  for it. As it was a Sixpence in his hand for a doing it, "Spand, Spick, Hand Proper," as was his a calling of it. Most certainly Flaggend,,, the dark skinned man with curly hair, will be written of in other tales.

As for the house it had remained long after the Winkle family`s disappearance, some reckoned an evil event had befallen them all, because on that night of the large full Moon they vanished without a trace. The last half eaten meal still settled to cold congealed fattiness upon the dark metal plates, ___indeed the long table was still set out untidy-like in the six odd places around it. All their belongings intact with cloths hanging where they would've been while others were out for the wash,but them gone never to be seen or heard of since.The only living thing left in that house seen above, was the family`s one eyed skinny dog,that answered to Keats! It being a tiny thin dog it could never have been accused of eating them that is for sure. It was Pennwick,the Church recorder of family names, and village Fish Monger that took the dog in,and it played out its life span in pure delight with the village children that nicknamed him little Cyclopes, although very few of the younger kids knew of it or understood such a name. As for the dog, she would only ever answer to Keats,a name put into place long before he ever existed. Another mystery was concerning that one eyed dog,and how certain children in 1537 knew of the Cyclopes?
Such are the ongoing stave's of time changed and passed along without any comprehensive answer. With the rustic sound of the Saxon Church bell come a Sunday, and that place the house left shut tight.  That house now silent still has settled well into this wetland and overgrown has become a mystifying part of it.                                                                                                                               



After I took all those photo shots,something strange occurred upon the viewing of them, 
a ghostly figure in the upper  window.   The hairs on the back of my neck stood up,and each did quite prick a well deserved nerve ending of frightening chill.  

                                                Written & Scratch-built  by  BB                                                                                     
A Few Shots More.


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Massed French Columns & Cavalry presented by BB

Using the large table I unpacked my boxes of toy Napoleonic soldiers. It must be mentioned that I am just an average painter, and up close viewing of my infantry would confirm that. So I place large columns of troops to achieve the Panoramic View, like those Epic Movies of old. The pictures are raw and to the point and show a tiny part of Waterloo and that awesome battle. They are sample set ups and at that time of camera shootings, each was move aside and other Battalions took their places. What is to be viewed is the French Grande Battery of Guns firing, and then after the infantry filtered through that Gun Line, they quickly reformed and advanced  toward La Haye Sainte, and towards the sandpit and Wellingtons British and Allied Army. There were three massive columns and some accounts confirm  about 17,000 Infantry and Cavalry support. The Farmhouse was engulfed in a sea of fire.
 I am not a Wargamer,but welcome seeing toy figures,and reading some battle reports on Line.

                                                                        JUNE  1815  

All the cavalry seen are conversions.
Above a French Line Lancer.


 The French Gunners have been firing solid iron shot, exploding round shot,all laced up neat and nicely with rusty horse shoe nails  by the half bucket, it being poured in after loading. They have given La Hay Sainte,a good pasting,along with a Belgium regiment standing on the higher ridge in plain sight for well over an hour.

There were 84 Guns in The Grande Battery on that wet muddy day.

  Some of my old tree`s donkey years old came out of storage. They are a bit battered but they are old friends.  The Gunners above all conversions.

French Line Lancers and  Cuirassiers are supporting the advancing French Infantry. So there`s lots of Guns & Bayonets moving up.

The Dove Cote over the Main Gate.

The German troops actually destroyed the roof in order to set their sights on the enemy marching past. My scratch-built Farm Complex has all the windows and doors and gates,but I squeezed the structure in order to save space,but feel it worked out really well. Made 14 years ago of cardboard from boxes and with the roof being plastic drinking straws. One has to start some how,and some where in this hobby.

I do have enough guns and crew painted to make up the Grande Battery,and when I set it out it was a  line of 84 Guns 10 foot long. No Picture though.


The British Heavy Cavalry would break up this advance, but suffered greatly while attacking the French artillery, both by Gun fire, and the Napoleons regiment of Red Lancers which are viewed in the picture above.
Other staged events. 

British Lt Infantry Cold Stream Guards are standing their ground, against the Red Lancers Middle Guard Lt Cavalry. Allied Belgian Cavalry come to give aid to the Brits,but  most fall  by the Lance  thrust and a few from friendly fire. Confusion rained on this battle field and in my mindful play.

I painted those Red Lancers up over 15 years ago.

Converted Italeri,Officers mix it with French Cuirassiers

" That`s not sporting of them,they are in armour! "

Hougoumont was under constant attack as more infantry tried hard to take this place. All the French Infantry are HAT Industries conversions.

Thanks for stopping by. BB

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

MY WORK MY HOBBY Presented by BB

It would be a hard fought out fight and as more and more French were thrown into the fight around this place formally named Goumont, the wood afforded them ample cover from which to range shot upon the defenders,but the cabbage patch stretching along the entire length of the wall was wide open ground affording one no cover at all.                                                                                                                                                      


Although not the correct firing steps as used upon that day, match-sticks look more pleasing to the eye.  I had always been fascinated with the woodland  in front of what Lord Wellington referred to as Hougoumont,and for us Brits this miss-quote has stuck to this very day. Over the years making tree`s with the purpose  of seeing the sight of them captured in photographs was a goal that drove me onwards, but it also entailed making stretches of wall too. Slowly things started to slip into place,but of course the main massive works was making the complex of buildings that would represent Hougoumont. It took years and only working from pictures in books borrowed from the City Library in Norwich. There was no Internet in those days, and so using a magnifying glass to determine what needed making was my only option.

                                                           SOLDIERS AND BUILDINGS

                                                                             The Back Gate


I love scratch building and have taught many on the Internet in topics, that yes of course takes time, but cost Pennies rather than Pounds. Here I am raising the stone work on a small medieval storage building.Small houses can be seen in the background

Often I would chill out and relax having a break from project Hougoumont. and build houses for Honey Well my mythical Township,of which as it sprawled out it took an entire room to accommodate it and its railway layout. A something I like to work on too,now and again. It is so much fun that I wish never to reach its end. Above the long lines of Terraced  Houses stretch out along my table all made of paper card. With the walls having been raised by see through resin to form each brick,and the roofs scribed out with an old Parker Pen,and the chimney with pots of paper ,the painting was about time to begin.

The end result of some of my own design work paid off,and as I also collect diecast toys what better place to present them,and much better write story`s of those that live there,in many a period in time.

Fantasy & Sci-Fi sets feature greatly in this tiny make believe place too

                                                          A RADIOACTIVE PARTY

Here a shinny screw driver stands in for a dropped bomb.

        As evening closes in, Force Fields protect these Alien Pepper Pots,but from what?

                                               ABOVE HONEY WELL IS DESTROYED



However painting Napoleonic toy figures draws me back and gradually regimental coloured units make their forlorn hope charge upon one table

The Thin Red Line,and the Massive Battalions

Rise up me lads,your time has come.

                            OUT FLANKED THE FRENCH ARE DUE A PASTING

Reserves Defending The Gateway

The cavalry Screen masks the placing of Guns and the oblige  movement of French Infantry entering the wood.

Defending one third of the entire wall firing through holes

                                           LA HAYE SAINTE UNDER ATTACK

                                    No Green Uniformed German Troops Painted AS Yet.

                                                    Above most seen are Conversions

                                   After Years Of Painting I Began  To Show Them.

                                                 THE DOVE COTE AND WELL

                                                                        THE CHAPLE

                                                THE TROOPS ARE POURING IN

                                           LOOKING DOWN ON MY VERSION OF HOUGOUMONT

                                                                 THE BACK GATE

                                            The French Are Filtering Out Of The Wood

                                                            THE POST MILL



                                         An Old Photograph of 660  French Cavalry.

                                                                 1806 Prussians

                                                                   GUNS MOVING UP


It is all in the game plan of Paint & Play!
A wonderful hobby of compulsive  behaviour for a growing Beano Boy.