Changing Times…. Changing Fortunes


Dysart, Fife, Scotland

Along the Firth of Forth, the Fife Coastline has many ports and harbours.  One time Fishing was king.  Gas and Petroleum have become the principle cargoes.

Dysart is one of the oldest harbours.  It is recorded in records dating back to 1450. Its importance to the local economy  saw the harbour expanded and strengthened over the centuries.  Fishing was of course for a time an important  trade for Dysart Harbour. But its real economic importance was the export of the areas two principle products.  Fife had an abundance of productive Coal Mines. It also was a Salt Producer of some size, from the many ‘salt pans’ along the Firth.

The export trade in both these mineral commodities produced a profitable trade across the Norths Sea to the European Low Countries. Return cargo was often Pantiles and bricks.

But times and economics change.  Dysart soon became too small to handle the larger and faster ships that progress  demanded, so its fortunes waned.

Today, Dysart makes use of its harbour mainly for leisure. A rugged harbour still offering safe sanctuary for those venturing out to the Firth of Forth and maybe beyond.

If you are venturing further afield or remaining local…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st September

(C) David Oakes 2021

Wordless Wednesday….. Another Favourite Place


Location:-   The Clock Warehouse on the Trent and Mersey Canal, Shardlow, Derbyshire

Where ever you are today, at your favourite spot or just busy at work…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

28th July

(C) David Oakes 2021



Evening at Liverpool’s Waterfront

Long before the Beatles created headlines for Liverpool, the skyline of the “Graces” was a skyline recognised over the world. But as of 10am this morning, those, who so called know all about culture, i.e. UNESCO, stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage Status.

Why…. because Liverpool has done its best to develop the City, fit for the times we live in, whilst protecting its heritage. In that process it has had its history, commerce and the economy of its citizens at its heart.  Liverpool, a City that has had to undergo many dramatic changes, which at times has seen its citizens suffer hardships, yet still remain proud of its long history and their unique culture.

So what do we have to understand from this decision.  That progress is frowned upon and we should view our history  pickled in aspic in a glass jar.

Liverpudlians are a tough and philosophical breed…..  they will take this blow in their stride.  Just a shame that they have to.

Where ever you are today and whatever you  doing…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st July

(C) David Oakes 2021

Thoughtful Thursday…….


Magpie Mine, Sheldon, Derbyshire Peak District

The buildings at Magpie Mine are a protected monument, a tribute to its mining history.  Deserted and ruined but they still seems full of life, a life long gone.

Every visit to this lonely spot high on the Derbyshire Limestone Peak District, I always stop and ponder.  I try to imagine a busy working environment with harsh conditions both above and below ground.

Derbyshire has been linked with Lead Mining for a great many centuries.  It was lead that attracted the Romans to Derbyshire.  A great deal of Lead mining occurred in this general locality since then.  But for Magpie Mine its historical records appear to start in 1682 with work on what became know as the Shuttlebank Vein. There were in fact a number of Lead workings in the immediate, Magpie Mine, Dirty Red Soil, Great Red Soil, Maypit and Horsesteps…. all becoming known simply as Magpie Mine.

It wasn’t until 1840, and a new owner, that modern equipment was added in the hope of great productivity and of course profit.  Much of what we see today, dates to that period of the mines history.

Trying to imagine those times, and all those centuries of labour before, is hard.  No doubt lots of stories to be told.

There  was though one in particular.  A major dispute in 1833, resulting in a murder charge that followed the deaths of 3 miners whilst underground, but that is another long story.

There are no ghost stories that I am aware of, but when you walk through these Mine buildings,  I often have a feeling that the spirits of those miners walks with me.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

15th July

(C) David Oakes 2021

More Natural Power……


Lower Slaughter, on the banks of the Rive Eye, Gloucestershire

Yesterday I sang the praises for wind power….. but of course water has also been used for centuries to power mills.  From small village mills, as here in the Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, to the large mills of the industrial revolution.

Obviously one needed a constant water flow, but it also needed engineering skills to channel the water into a ‘mill leat’.  This enable the force of water to be increased, sometimes stored in a mill pond, but also provided the ability to regulated flow, to match the working demands of the mill.

Today, just like yesterdays windmill they are attractions across our countryside, all reminders of our creative forefather’s.

Old or new…  please

Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

9th July

(C) David Oakes 2021