From cold South Pole to warmth of Baxi fire

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Firstly an historical fact about something which happened on this day in times past.

It was on this day in 1909 that the Antarctic expedition, led by Ernest Shackleton, reached the South Pole.

Now today I don’t seem to be able to keep away from dogs, fires, dog collars and bishops in my pictures and script.

On first glance, you might think my top first picture is just that of a dog, Dexter, before an open fire.

It is that and more. For this fire and fireplace was one of the first “through draft” Baxi ones in Garstang and Bonds, being installed when the bungalow was built in 1934.

It is still giving out abundant heat some 79 years later and brings back many memories of a roaring open coal fire.

Do you remember gazing into the burning coals, making toast on the red hot embers or even just warming yourself by an open fire, like the one which the dog on my picture today is enjoying?

You may also remember having a Wills Cigarette Card Picture Album, like the one shown in my second picture (above, left). Again, you may have put the cards in this by your open coal fire.

This is Series No 2 and the card I have superimposed asks the question: “Do you know why a bishop wears a laced hat?”

It was part of the traditional uniform, the card tells me, just as a dog collar is for a vicar today.

Today, January 16, also marks the anniversary, of the day in 1661, when King Charles II appointed a Bishop as the first Postmaster General.

This was not a cleric, but Henry Bishop who introduced the use of postmarks for the first time in England.

Do you still look at the postmark on the envelope before opening your letters?

My final picture (above) is one from Scorton School’s summer show in 1985.

It really is amazing how many people tell me they recognise themselves, or someone they know, on these weekly offerings of mine.