I noticed that Vince Cable’s signature is the ultimate paragon of writing efficiency. While the temptation is to suggest that this is somehow a one-eyed smiley I recalled the series of hobo symbols from musespace
Which means “This community is indifferent to a hobo’s presence”
Curiously there seems to be a familiarity to elements of David Willetts’ signature too
“Warning: Barking Dog”
I wonder if, by any chance, they are related?
Today while I was meant to be doing some external examining, writing a paper or possibly writing a strategy document I came across a rather interesting series of advertisements and notices from Jackson’s Oxford Journal spanning 20 years - although the newspaper itself has a longer history.
14th August 1819
To Be Let - a good inclosed stock farm containing 137 acres of arable and grass land with a farm house; barns, stables, &c. In the parish of Garsington in the county of Oxford. To be entered on at Michaelmas next. For particulars apply to Mr Radford, Garsington.
20th October 1821
Stock Farm to Let To be let and entered upon immediately - A farm at Garsington in the county of Oxford comprising a farm house with all requisite buildings and 132 acres of Arable; Meadow and pasture land, divided in convenient inclosures. For particulars and to treat for the same apply to Mr Thomas Radford of Garsington the proprietor, or to Mr Hollier, solicitor, Thame.
I found references to Mr Hollier at this site and at the National Archives as well as more tenuously here where it turns out that this was a father and son operation. In fact Mr Hollier is fairly visible historically and an eloquent letter writer.
11th December 1830
Live and Dead Farming Stock at Garsington Oxon. To be sold by auction by Mr Giles. On Thursday next the 16th of December 1830, on the premises at Garsington, Oxon, - All the LIVE and DEAD FARMING STOCK and Effects of Mr Thomas Radford, who is declining the farming business; comprising 7 in-calf cows and heifers, 1 capital three-year-old bull, 3 sturks [sic] and 3 calves; 4 useful young cart horses and mares, 1 capital six-year-old iron-grey galloway, a pony, several promising well-bred yearling and suckling colts, 2 in-pig sows and 1 boar pig: 2 good wheat ricks, 1 bean ditto, 3 large mows of barley, and part of a mow of spring vetches, the straw to be spent on the premises; set of four-horse harness and other traces, 2 narrow-wheel wagons, 2 dung carts, ploughs, barrows, frame roll, drill, drag, corn screen, winnowing fan, corn bags, bushel and strike, 2 churns, pig troughs, a quantity of useful timber and iron for waggon and cart use, and other useful implements; which will be inserted in Catalogues, to be had at all the neighbouring villages, and of auctioneer, Oxford. Sale will commence at Ten o’clock, on account of the shortness of the days - two months credit will be given for the Corn, on approved security.
3rd August 1833
To be let - A capital Stock Farm comprising 136 acres at Garsington - for particulars inquire of Thomas Radford, Garsington.
6th July 1839
To be let - A desirable Stock Farm at Garsington - For particulars inquire of Thomas Radford, Garsington near Oxford.
This series of advertisements raises a number of questions. Why does the acreage change? Did Thomas Radford have more than one farm at Garsington? As these are the only advertisements over 20 years that seems unlikely.
In 1819 Thomas Radford would have been 50 so leasing the farm that he had presumably worked himself would have made sense. Selling up in 1830 would have seen him gracefully retire at 61.
The terseness of the advertisements when Thomas was 64 and 70 suggests perhaps that the farm had become a bit of a burden. But equally this begs some questions. Thomas did have children but by 1839 the eldest son was only 14 and the only daughter was 15 or 16. The youngest (of 8) was just 5. By 1844 both Thomas and his wife were dead (if the dates are right - he was 74 and she was 45).
Who says beer has to be hard to make, and this one has added meat (if you are prepared to try something called Cock Ale)…
“Take 10 gallons of ale and a large cock, the older the better; parboil the cock, flay him, and stamp him in a stone mortar until his bones are broken (you must gut him when you flaw him). Then, put the cock into two quarts of sack, and put to it five pounds of raisins of the sun - stoned; some blades of mace, and a few cloves. Put all these into a canvas bag, and a little before you find the ale has been working, put the bag and ale together in vessel.
In a week or nine days bottle it up, fill the bottle just above the neck and give it the same time to ripen as other ale.”
Or there is Treacle Ale…
Golden Syrup 500g 18oz
black treacle 250g 9oz
ground ginger 5ml 1tsp
water 4 litres 7 pints
1. Dissolve the syrup and treacle in warm water, add the thinly pared rind and strained juice of the lemons and the ground ginger. Stir well, cover and leave to cool.
2. Add the yeast, stir the beer daily and when fermentation is finished in 4 or 5 days, move the beer to a cold place for 24 hours.
3. Syphon into beer bottles, prime with half a teaspoonful of castor sugar per pint, seal securely and leave for ten days.
I always liked the idea of the Ginger Beer Bug…
Ingredients for ginger beer bug
750 mls warm water
2 teaspoons active yeast
2 teaspoons raw sugar
2 teaspoons ground ginger
- Take a 1 litre preserving jar or wide necked plastic container (an icecream container will work)
- Pour the warm water into the container
- Add yeast, sugar and ginger
- Keep the container sitting on the kitchen bench
- Feed it every day for one week with 1 teaspoon raw sugar and 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
Ginger beer ingredients
3 cups of raw sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 litre of boiling water
5 litres of cold water
juice of two lemons
ginger beer bug
- You will need a large bowl and 7 or 8 x 1 litre plastic soft drink bottles
- Put sugar and cream of tartar into the bowl
- Add boiling water first, followed by the cold water
- Add lemon juice.
- The container of ‘bug’ will have sludge in the bottom and liquid on the top.
- Pour the liquid part into the bowl.
- Stir well and pour into well washed soft drink bottles.
It pays to write the date on the bottles at this stage because you need to wait two weeks before drinking.
Open carefully as sometimes the ginger beer takes on a life of its own and may burst out everywhere when opened, especially if the bottles are hard.
With the leftover bug fill the jar with water and throw half away or give it away to a friend.
Fill the jar back up to 3/4 full and start again.
And what is up with Copha! It has taken me nine years of living in the UK to realise that you can’t buy hydrogenated coconut fat under the brand Copha. Truly shocking…