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Those, like me, who are looking forward to the Christmas Day special of Downton Abbey on ITV may be interested in the following festive morsel spotted by my great friend Tom Fairbrother.
What a nepotistic plug for copies of the shop-soiled biography of Lady Almina languishing unsold on the shelves at Highclere! For the sake of ensuring that book lovers across the media are made aware of other titles about Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon ( including her political profile and campaigning zeal ) ( and notwithstanding readers political allegiance or for their following of Channel 4 ) may I just point out that there is my fuller and more candid account of the Countess’s story entitled ” The Life and Secrets of Almina Carnarvon”. Because of Almina’s husband lack of interest in politics ( he was so different to his father, Henry Herbert, “ Twitters”, the 4th Earl of Carnarvon, a Victorian Cabinet Minister who served three Prime Ministers. Derby, Disraeli and Salisbury ) Almina also worked tirelessly in 1911 to secure her brother-in-law Aubrey Herbert’s election as a very independent minded Conservative for South Somerset. Almina secretly loved Aubrey, so the impassioned speeches made for Aubrey against Lloyd George’s National Insurance proposals of the time were as much a outpouring of her love for this oddball prospective candidate as well as her life long support for Conservative policies and the distaste of toffs like her of the common herd making any inroads in securing universal welfare benefits. When Almina was exiled by Highclere to a small, dingy terraced house in Bristol in the 1950s, she was often visited by her local Tory MP for tea and sympathy, he being one Walter Monckton. The hero of the Abdication crisis wanted to fight Almina’s corner after she was made bankrupt, in part at least at the hands of her family. Almina would not consider grovelling to those who had caused her downfall. In that respect she was as iron cladded a lady as Mrs Thatcher. You won’t find this in Highclere’s version of their sanitised, and conservative life of Almina 5th Countess of Carnarvon.
Nice to see the reference to Bristol. I live in Bristol. Bristol has a problem caused by multiple car ownership in streets designed for horses, carts, pedestrians and bikes. Add to this the limited number of crossing points over the river which bisects it.
It’s also interesting to note in warm weather the streets trap pollutants raising their concentration above EU air quality limits.
Bristol is planning a circular transport route, but I’ve been unable to find any analysis of the increases in pollution; light, noise & air quality, expected from its implementation.
Bristol would be an ideal city in which to introduce the enforcement of the following for cyclists aged over 18; registration plates, 3rd party insurance, compulsory passing of the National Cycling Proficiency exam for bikes and riders.
As a pedestrian (I don’t drive or own a car) I am fed up with avoiding cyclists on pavements or watching them go through red lights, abusing zebra crossings, blocking bus lanes or going the wrong way up one way streets. Bristol is rife with this selfish, often dangerous behaviour.
I don’t foresee Cameron, Clegg or Miliband sorting any of this out.
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