Archive for January, 2015

I’ve retrieved the Day family photo albums from the chap I’d left with them eighteen months ago.  He and his relatives have scrutinised them without being able to identify anyone else on the Days’ side of the family tree.  The positive aspect to that is the increased likelihood that many of the people depicted therein are the Holes rather than the Days, and when I show these albums to S I am very hopeful that more names will be put to faces.  That’s likely to be a few months away, when S will be available again.

Collecting the albums entailed a hundred miles each way drive for me, and another longer journey beckons now to Uttoxeter for a meeting to discuss the book and, I hope, the launch plans.  I’ve printed the text out once again (92 A4 pages) to read it while I’m there.  Not having looked at it for a few months should make it easier to spot any mistakes, though I hope not to find many! Others have proof-read it a few times in the last six months and I haven’t made many changes other than those they suggested.  On the other hand, because it’s quite a long time since I wrote some of the text I may look at a passage now and ask myself  “is that right?”  That entails going back to my notes and source material to check the facts.

I am drafting an agenda for the meeting, which includes considering any more pictures we might put in.  There are still some fairly basic decisions, such as the title, that we haven’t finalised yet.  Perhaps unusually, the agenda includes “Actions” that I know must follow on from the meeting.  The most immediate action will be deciding whether to go to the nearest race meeting that same afternoon.

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The correspondence with S has continued, debating the niceties of the Hole family history and its connection with Binda.   We haven’t arrived at any firm conclusions, though, and neither albums nor meetings have been forthcoming yet.  Nevertheless I’m sure this story has further to go.  Quite apart from the fact that I am reminded by the presence of six files/boxes of Fontwell-related research material in the living room rather than in their customary place (the loft), in readiness for further review and theorising with S.

There is no more news about Uttoxeter this time.   I have, however, been continuing the research on that possible future project.   I’m still not saying what it is, in case it comes to nothing.

In the last fortnight there’s been a seasonal increase in visits to the blog from people doing the Racing Post Christmas Quiz.  I don’t know if there were any questions relating to anything I have written about, but one gentleman contacted me to ask about two multiple-choice questions of a historical nature.  I enjoyed fathoming out the answer to one that was pleasingly cryptic, but the other was tougher; in the end I came out with two tentative suggestions based on circumstantial evidence only for my interrogator to come up with a better answer himself!

I have booked a trip to Chantilly races in the spring, which will be a little adventure.  It’s 25 or 45 minutes’ train ride outside Paris, depending which train you get.   Simply buying a railway ticket when in Paris to the Chantilly station will be exciting in its own right.  The monumental stables on the far side of the racecourse and the adjacent chateau are on my to-do list but a Eurostar day return means they’ll have to wait for another day.

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