Mike McLellan

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About Mike McLellan

  • Rank
    Member
  • Birthday 31/07/46

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
  • Interests
    Repairing & tinkering with older Smith & Wesson revolvers, Wildlife & Bird watching, Met Police insignia, Running errands for my dear bride.

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  1. Riviting story of a young man's heroic sacrifice, gleaned from the edge of a quite common medal. Thanks to the Olde family of Cornwall, and thanks to you for sharing the story. The memorial is breath-taking. I've never seen it before.
  2. I'm sure that Mrs. Beevor undoubtedly reminded him, whenever the occasion allowed, that she had told him to slow down!
  3. That's not very encouraging news for a first-time poster. Can you be even more specific?
  4. Can you please elaborate for us non-experts?
  5. I've followed this thread from the start and have enjoyed the journey from beginning to end. Very enlightening and interesting. Thanks. I don't know how eager I would be to wear such a hat into battle, though.
  6. Holy cow!! What a great story to read and see. Thanks for sharing.
  7. May we see them?
  8. Igor, If you have time, please give us some basis for your conclusions. Just a word or two for the sake of rank amateurs / students like myself. Thanks, Mike.
  9. You've given us a valuable lesson in restoration of artifacts bordering on the 'priceless' range. Very informative. Thank you for sharing. Mike.
  10. What great reading! Constable Lodge should have received a medal for finding Christopher's hat under the stolen goods. Pretty convincing evidence, I'd say. Not guilty? That was a bit of a surprise. Sgt. Walsh's misadventure with the little girl, the butter thieves, and the dog hanging on to his trousers would make a great scene. I can almost hear the banjos. Anyway, a great bit of research. Thanks for sharing it. Mike.
  11. All things considered, it is a beautiful and important historical artifact. It is certain to be the center-piece to any collection. Mike
  12. Asking for advice prior to having such a rare artifact restored may have inspired more candid opinions. There are those who feel that any restoration to such a piece would be anathema to its integrity. It would be similar to re-blueing an antique gun or repainting an old faded truncheon. Feelings on either side of the argument would be passionate and both sides would have some merit. Asking for opinions after the work is done may stifle the argument. It would, after all, be a moot point, and, being gentlemen, we might be inclined to keep our opinions to ourselves. Cheers, Mike.
  13. Thanks. I did consider Dublin, but I also felt that the castles were wrong (no flames), and the crown suggested the mainland. Mike.
  14. I know that you're not looking for "atta boys", but you get one none the less. Very commendable.
  15. Update! Well, as much of an update as I've been able to uncover, which isn't very much. Professor Google was able to provide a hint here and a hint there, but placing an artifact in the hands of an actual person is very difficult indeed. Presuming that this tipstaff was used between 1842 and 1877, based on the maker's mark, and searching for a T WILSON who was active in political circles around that time, produced only two possibilities. One was a Thomas Wilson who was a leader of sorts within the clergy. As he was active mainly in and about London, I ruled him out as a likely candidate. The only other possibility that the internet was willing to offer up was another Thomas Wilson. This one seemed promising, but with some serious reservations. Thomas Wilson (1773-1858) was born in Gateshead (actually Low Fell). He worked in the collieries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne as a child and was a serious student in Sunday School, which was the only institution for higher learning available to most working people. He landed a job in a counting house, and soon became a partner in the firm Losh, Wilson, & Bell, which was also located in Newcastlle. He was also a noted poet. In 1835, he was elected to serve as one of the Common Council members in Gateshead where he lived, across the River Tyne from his place of business. In addition he was also appointed to the post of Alderman, a post in which he served for eighteen years. He surely was entitled to display a tipstaff, and being a man of some wealth, he would have had the means to have a 'better than average' tipstaff. The problem I have in declaring a "match" is that the tipstaff bears the arms of Newcastle rather that those of Gateshead , as one might expect. Why? When I asked the folks at the Gateshead Heritage Group what they thought, I was told that my tipstaff had nothing whatever to do with the poet Thomas Wilson, because of the Newcastle Arms. I thought, at the time, that maybe their conclusion was swayed just a little by some friendly civic rivalry. The Tyne and Wear museum, for a small fee, conducts research on historical persons, etc, and after some digging, they weren't able to produce any other alternative theory. They did search the minutes of the Newcastle Council meetings of the time period and were not able to find any other T WILSON. A request for help from the Northumbria Police was not answered. Presumably, and understandably, they haven't the time or resources to investigate such a 'cold case'. Back to the Arms. Perhaps Mr. Wilson felt that the Newcastle arms appeared more regal than that of Gateshead, which at the time displayed the severed head of a goat. After reading about this man and enjoying his poetry, much of it in the Geordie Dialect, I have a feeling that he wouldn't have cared about appearances, regal or otherwise. On the title page in his book of poems, is a picture of the seal of the city of Gateshead, (an identical image is in the British Museum) showing a castle with three doors. As the Newcastle arms shows three castles with one door, maybe a mix-up in the initial order to Parker, Field & Sons, was to blame. Maybe we'll just never know. If there's a resource that I might try to take advantage of, please let me know. There is another alternative, but it's a long shot. During the Big-Band era of the 1930s, Benny Goodman aka "The King of Swing" had a terrific piano player named Teddy Wilson. You don't suppose…. Nah… Cheers, Mike.