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Edwardian last won the day on February 9

Edwardian had the most liked content!

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    Land of the Prince Bishops

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  1. I, too, am interested in the prototype for that covered wagon. Excellent work and good to see, and, no, I wouldn't make the bolster's floor any darker; distressed unvarnished wood is captured well by your light and subtle tones.
  2. The main drag, I reckon, on the transition to steam in the Navy, was endurance. The school-boy narrative I was given was that early steamships had full suites of sails because steam was not trusted or reliable. That is not really true. The main problem was endurance. The early steam engines were relatively inefficient, thus the cruising endurance of the ship was limited between coalings. Just as early submarines had to spend most of their time above the waves, the steam warships did most of their sailing with, well, sails. It was the advent of better boilers and the efficiency gained by triple expansion that allowed a coal-fired fleet to gain the endurance it needed. So long as ships needed to combine sail and steam, the steam bits, paddles or screws, were literally a bit of a drag. The advantage of screws is that they could be made to be raised when not in use, though this created its own problems. See, I'm being a good boy and keeping up with my homework!
  3. A series of largely internal matters. No general war between western the powers, so relatively peaceful compared with 1690s-1815. HMG tended to wake up when there was a serious threat to the balance of power in Europe. The only example of this was Russia threatening the Ottoman Empire, hence the Great Russian War, fought brilliantly and successfully by the Royal Navy in the Baltic, which I suggest was rather more decisive than events in the Crimean theatre.
  4. Or so, until four years ago, we thought. There is a fashion to debunk all sorts of battles once thought decisive. I hear people do it about Waterloo. This only goes to prove that in academia, as in all walks of life, we are blessed with many idiots. It rather depends, of course, on how long your long view is. Like the housing and stock markets, if you wait long enough, no slump really matters. For those who are destroyed in the meantime, however .... They call it the "long peace of the 1830s" for a reason, and, in general, Waterloo did result in half a century of relative peace in Europe, and a century before the next Europe-wide conflagration. True, for most of that period Britain continued to regard France as the principal threat and a present danger, but, the Napoleonic Wars was the "Great War" so far as people of the Nineteenth Century were concerned. Such wars and their outcomes can make more than one generation pause for thought before risking another such. After Waterloo it took a century to forget that a Great War is a bad idea, and then it was the Germans, rather than the French, who decided to risk one.
  5. Glad to hear all is not lost! All being well it will yet be a case of Patience Rewarded
  6. I'd say they were off to Farnbourgh to visit the grave of the Prince-Imperial, then I reflected that this was the wrong Napoleon. Empires, for the French, are Like monarchies and republics; they go through so many that one tends to lose count.
  7. It seems so obvious to me that neither the Prussian nor Anglo-Allied armies could have turned the engagements of 18th June to a decisive victory without the other, yet so hard, apparently, for historians to accept this simple fact. That's just British and German historians, of course; everyone knows that no one lies like a Frenchman writing history!
  8. I am so sorry to hear this. I shall keep my fingers firmly crossed for you. Meantime, nil desperandum!
  9. Or ABBA on the concourse singing Waterloo, causing the dismayed cry of "la garde recule" from parties of French school children, who, of course, had been taught that Napoleon had actually won the battle!
  10. You do see some odd sights at Waterloo from time to time ....
  11. Yes, a typo that had gratifying unintended consequences, but turning to the work of the Ballard you find less Admira{b}l{e} ... I found it well written, compellingly so, but perhaps more prescient than it is cheerful! The central theme, as I saw it, of Drowned World, was the tension between a survivalist resistance to the altered conditions, which is perhaps seen as ultimately futile, and the protagonist changing his outlook to embrace or adapt to the new environment, becoming part of it, rather than at odds with it. I wonder if there something for us there in the Age of Covid?
  12. On the loading gauge issue, there are perhaps two points. First, the revised track side openings do not appear to be any higher than the original. Second, Mike the Stationmaster is aware of no change in the loading gauge that might account for the alterations to the arches. He pointed me to a 1921 loading gauge diagram showing a height of 13'6" above rail height. He further pointed out that in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries, the GW had already built some goods vehicles to a height of 13' above rails. This suggests to him, as it does to me, that the loading gauge issue is a red herring. As I mentioned before, he puts the change down to (rather more utilitarian) renewals of the structure. Height-wise, the BG openings were, as you point out, Annie, rather generous and, as it turned out, future-proof.
  13. Anything is possible! While 'parliament' seems to be the most common collective noun applied to rooks (a building and a clamor receive honourable mentions), it was clearly a botheration in the circumstances you describe! Since you've circumvented parliament, I offer a collective noun for special advisers; a sinister of special advisers. Pretty impressive. I'm bound to echo Northroader and ask if it laneded!
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