Posted in family, Travel

Tiny Research Steps

The steps today seemed tiny and, on occasion, even a bit futile. Which seems like a strange thing to say about a day touring around in a foreign country.

Our visit to the Liverpool area was twofold. We wanted to visit our friends who live there and do some research into my great uncle’s life, death and perhaps final resting place. The computer “paper” trail of my great uncle’s life has gone a bit cold. I was lucky that my Canadian cousin did a lot of base research. Born 1886 in a poorhouse in Ormskirk, that’s also where we believe he died. A brief stint in Canada from 1911 to 1925 but as he was an “undesirable” due to some sort of mental illness that rendered him unemployable, he was deported from Canada shortly after his mother’s death.

So armed with a great local driver we set off for Ormskirk. The history section and a librarian were a good start.

So then info turned up that the Ormskirk work house was closed in the 30’s when it became the Ormskirk County Hospital.

Which was then closed in 1948 and the patients were farmed out. So we’ve managed a couple of descent suppositions about where he went in the as either Greaves Hall Hospital or Sefton House Hospital.

The National Registry office at Ormskirk sent us to Preston. Preston to Liverpool. Liverpool had already replied to my email in the negative. Ah fun and games. Perhaps I wasn’t asking for the right info from the right place?

Our heads full, my research assistants and I went to the beach to check out a cool art display there.

Then this evening, as we told info to our lovely friend, she picks up her tablet and starts finding connections. More info to tract down and possible places to look for more info. Plus an offer to check out records if my future email inquires turn up more leads. It really helps us that she grew up here and totally understands the changes to boundaries etc.

One tiny step closer to perhaps finding out an answer or two. First up though sleep!


Ps never managed to hit post last night as it was a long day, late evening and then an early morning today.

Posted in Travel

Quick Step by the #’s

There were 3 Distilleries

Balanced by 2 Castles

Plus 1 Cooperage

There was a graveyard to walk

There were endless windy country roads

There was lunch in the village square

There was 1 stone circle

There was 1 Co-op store

There was 1 Railway Station

But oh what a station it was

There was a mountain road

There was a ski hill

There was the sunset

But oh what a sunset it was


It’s late // there is more to the story but that’s it for tonight. Have to go do our Scotch notes.


Note to self

  • Chat with elderly lady in cemetery (( done due to insomnia))
  • Background on train station
  • The ski hill
  • Co-op store reference
  • Balmoral Castle
  • Pheasants
  • GDP of Scotland
  • Crop rotation and heather flowering
Posted in Food, rural life, Travel

Ancient Steps

Today, besides like 5000 miles (an exaggeration of course but it felt like it) in a car, we also took a few steps alongside the ancient

Hadrian’s wall.

The sheer size (117 km) and location (middle of nowhere really) of it make it quite a logistical accomplishment. It makes our rock walls look little but they had a legion of 80 men per section. This thing, in places, has stood the test of time since being completed in 128! That’s a legacy all right.

We had been to the wall in 1998 on our first trip with our children. I can remember them climbing up it and walking along it for quite a ways. We had also stopped at a old Roman fort site.

It was on our list to make a stop and so I picked a random spot off the map to have lunch and hike along it for a ways.

Our lunch spot was actually the old quarry site so it was a good hike to the top of the escarpment.

The vista at the top was worth it. Along the way we saw a couple of cool things.

I now want one of those stile gates as they are so easy but I digress. Off to the top for the vista.

It wasn’t a long stop and not a wordy blog post but it was the highlight of our long travel day.