Guarding the Tower of London

🙂 A reminder of happier days.

I hope it goes without saying these photographs were taken by myself, ‘snapped’ during a daytrip visit 2019 to the Tower of London, incidentally an earlier posting tells the tale of how ravens came to be residents at the historic ‘Tower’.

Hopefully one day we’ll adjust to a New Normality, I don’t think life will ever return to the happy carefree days before this awful pandemic, however we human beings have always adapted to our surroundings, through out World War 2 my four Grandparents became accustomed to food shortages restrictions and hardship, they grew their own fruit and veg, my Grandmother pickled perishable produce to extend it’s life well into autumn and winter and COVID-19 is no different. Both young people and the young at heart will adapt to the New Normal whatever that may be. 🙂

On a more personal note I’ve set myself a goal. As of yesterday our Government is beginning to loosen its grip on ‘lockdown’, people are tentatively returning to work, social distancing remains and probably will for the foreseeable or possibly for evermore, and everyone is nervously hopeful there won’t be a second spike………… finger’s crossed but I’m far from hopeful.

🙂 I’ve set myself a personal goal, on the first day restrictions are lifted to visiting The Tower of London, I’m going to take a day’s holiday from work and have myself a daytrip to our wonderful capital City……….. oh and without forgetting my face mask!

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Guarding the Tower today are soldiers from The Grenadier Guards (lol says so on the sign!)
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These bronze 6- pounder guns were fired at the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ commanded by The Duke of Wellington, they’re individually named and saw action in various parts of Napoleon’s Europe 1813….. yep the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ no less!
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Grenadier Guardsman resplendent in robin red tunic and rich brown bearskin…. which incidentally are now made from fake fur, damn vegans!
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Sentry boxes such as these can be seen ‘dotted’ around the Tower grounds….. I guess they’re good cover because did you know it rains a lot in the UK?
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I was pleasantly surprised to see the Grenadier Guards were on duty, resplendent in their scarlet red tunics and probably the most recognisable regiment in the British Army.

 

A. Shepherdson 2020

 

‘Tower of London’ ravens

Our tour group was assigned a Yeoman Warder (above), a lovely guy his humorous and fascinating tour lasted one hour and interestingly they are ALL serving soldiers in the British army…. if you wish to upset a Yeoman Warder lol call him or her a tour guide, being an entertaining story teller is a prerequisite and you know how children love tales of murder blood and intrigue! 

I wouldn’t imagine these photos taken during my 2018 summer visit to the Tower of London will be of terrifically great interest, but I feel passionately about the Tower’s 1000 year royal history and cherish the wonderful stories that it holds because I’m unashamedly proud to be British…. sometimes I wonder if I can admit such a ‘heresy’ within present day multi cultural Britain? Not to worry 😀 tonight’s post was as much an exercise in historical research for me, as well as an excuse to ‘show share’ my photos somewhere!

(Please note ALL the unpublished photographs below were taken by me.)

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Clear blue skies… I’d forgotten how lovely the day was.
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Raven facts written in many different languages for the benefit of tourists.
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A raven looking at the central White Tower which seems pretty apt for a Castle that’s recognised the world all over, an image that defines England and what it is to be English.
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Enjoying the warmth from a late afternoon sun.
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Perched precariously on one leg… now that’s what I call a clever raven.

Our Yeoman Warder Guide would pause at points of interest throughout the Tower grounds, address the assembled group of tourists with captivating facts and lurid tales of murder intrigue and English history anecdotes I’d last studied 40 years ago!

One of the many legends to have grown around the Tower of London, is that of the Tower ravens. The legend states that if the ravens, which can be seen dotted around the grounds or perched on walls, should ever leave then the iconic White Tower would fall along with the entire kingdom (happened 2016 after Brexit!), incidentally it’s said to be King Charles II (1660-1685) who first insisted that the ravens of the Tower should be protected. 

Long before the conquest, ravens had been a familiar sight in the streets of London, where they were welcomed as natural scavengers who carried away bones and edible refuse from the gutters. The legend of the ravens, and no one is quite sure by whom it was started, has become of such importance that for hundreds of years royal decrees have been issued protecting the birds…  our Yeoman Warder said they can never leave, they cannot fly away because a vet has clipped a single flight wing.

I guess the saying ‘better safe than sorry applies’!

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Apparently this is the brand new raven enclosure, housing 6 birds.

One Yeoman Warder is tasked with caring for the ravens and is termed ‘Raven Master’. Up until just recently 6+ birds were caged by the Wakefield Tower but have since been rehomed, and I guess rather than name the birds each Tower raven has a different coloured band on one leg, interestingly captive ravens in the Tower grounds have reached the age 40 years…… I imagine the lack of predators helps!

Click here I’ve been sightseeing in London again! (The Tower of London)to view ‘loads more’ gloriously colourful photographs.

A. Shepherdson 2020

On Days Like These

Perhaps a little self indulgent self promotion, but hey I’m feeling chatty this evening and I’ve always wanted an excuse to share the video below, ‘On Days Like These’ is the Title music to a very British Movie Classic you may never have heard of……… Michael Caine’s ‘The Italian Job’ possibly one of the greatest British crime films ever made, the tune is sublime and sung by Brit crooner Matt Monro. Have you heard of Matt, he was our very own Frank Sinatra……….. oh and a bus conductor!

The song and video are perfect together, the Lamborghini Miura driving through the Alps is spectacular and the Italian gangster even manages to make smoking a cigarette look cool…… not easy! And not forgetting Michael Caine staring in possibly his wittiest and coolest acting performance ever. Enjoy 🙂 .

Eight months writing for my own little private space on the internet!

Let me explain, I began March 10th 2018 with a fictional erotic tale published on this very personal WordPress I described as ‘Blogging Thoughts Photos & Life’, well 122 randomly themed eclectic writings later and that’s exactly what’s transpired, (not forgetting a sprinkling of saucy sexy admissions) 🙂 Btw I’m quite popular in India which is a constant source of joy.

So I have to be honest and say I’ve not run out of ideas quite yet, I have several posts currently in draft stage however before ‘publishing’ those literary masterpieces (not!) I’ve a series themed The Tower of London. (Yikes I’d better pull my finger out and start them!!!)

Let me enlighten you, 2 weeks ago I visited The Tower of London taking many photographs and seeing as I’m a history buff I’ll be writing factual shorter posts than usual he says! They always begin with dreams of being short but finish 1000 words long, anyways I love them.

The Tower had quite an effect on me, slightly emotional even, my Country’s History has ALWAYS captured my imagination and where’s the harm in admitting I’m proud to be British?…………. Sometimes I feel to be an English male with an ancestry I can trace back 4-10 generations isn’t something to be proud of within a multicultural Britain, a melting pot of ethnicities, if ever there’s a TV program screened with lol tooo many white faces then Twitter suffers a meltdown, a tongue lashing by thousands of mortally offended keyboard warriors, anyways no point harking back to those good old days that (perhaps) never were?

Hmm are you a touch shocked? Well don’t be, try to enjoy your life that’s what I say, people across the Globe live in the moment happy in the knowledge whatever happened pre fifty years ago isn’t worth worrying about! Earning a wage to put food on your family’s table, now that’s important! 

Anyways I’m far from being racist (feel free to comment) but I am proud of my heritage so before you read my three unfinished posts, you’ve an English History lesson coming your direction and as always I’ll write from a very personal perspective.

🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy reading (they could be considered ‘slightly dry’) and don’t forget the photos were all taken by me 20/10/2018.

Finally my post with the most views is!!! Helen

A. Shepherdson 2018