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Mike McLellan

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Everything posted by Mike McLellan

  1. Well? What did you find out from the Heritage Centre? I'm willing to bet that your truncheon was used by the Metropolitan Police, and not associated with any dockyard agency. In his book on truncheons, Alan Cook reminds us that the Defense Ministry inspected as much of the Met's equipment that they could lay their hands on in 1884, and left the ubiquitous WD Broad-Arrow stamp on everything. This thread is four years old now. What else have you scored for your collection. Let's have some more pictures! Mike.
  2. In his description of the shown rattle, the seller, from England, wasn't sure of its origin or what to call it. He wrote that it was quite load and perhaps it was used as a fire or police alarm or used to scare birds away. In fact, on the customs declaration, he wrote, "Bird Scarer". It is very similar to the watchman's rattle shown in Mervyn Mitton's extraordinary book in several ways. An examination of it suggests, by the patina, tool marks. and fastening devices, that it is quite old. There is a hole in the body that approximates the location of the turning knob in Mervyn's book. I would like to believe that it is. in fact, an early rattle with a policing connection, and I'm leaning that way. It's pictured along side a Parker, Field ( 59 Leman St E) rattle in my small collection for comparison. My question to the experts of this fine forum; Would I be justified in believing that this rattle is the "real deal", or should I face reality and take it outside and scare some birds way? Thanks for any comments, Mike.
  3. It's disappointing to note that the photos of PeterMc's pre-harp RIC rattle have disappeared. His is probably the coolest policeman's rattle in existence! I hope he can re-post his photos as everybody needs to see this rattle! It's a real beauty. Better yet, he should sell it to me and I'll post the photos. Anyway, I have a new rattle that I'd like to show you. It's a Parker, Field item, and I'm sure it was delivered to the Metropolitan Police in 1883. The firm, Parker Field moved from their shop at 233 Holborn in 1877, and moved again from Lehman St. in 1883 to Tavistock Street. Alan Cook reminds us in his book on truncheons, that the Defense Ministry Ordnance Board inspected the Metropolitan Police equipment in 1884, leaving their broad-arrow WD mark as proof. We also know, with some certainty, that in February of 1884, the Metropolitan Police received their first consignment of 21,000 General Purpose Whistles. With the introduction of the police whistle, the rattles, which served policemen, constables, and the watchmen from the seventeenth century, were deemed obsolete, Although reincarnated in 1939 as an all-clear signal as needed by the ARP and again later to supplement the din at football games, the rattle became an historical curiosity. This rattle, despite being 133 years old, is in brand, spanking new condition.
  4. What a fine story. The gallantry of individual soldiers and the sacrifices that they made magnify, in retrospect, the horrible folly of war. All soldiers deserve our tribute. Thanks for sharing the story and photo. Mike.
  5. Help identifying

    Honor cross (Hindenburg) combatant & Kaiser Karl's Troop Cross WWl. (?) Welcome to the forum. I'm not one of the experts on medals here. I just happen to be awake at this ungodly hour (4:40 am).
  6. Display Eagles

    Don't forget Waterloo medals. Just kidding. Simply amazing work. Your posts (with pictures, of course) are among my favorites. Your artistry is unbelievable. Keep it coming. Mike.
  7. French Aux Heros De Fachoda Medal information please

    Don't know anything about the medal, but the ribbon strongly resembles the Crimea Medals of 1855(?).
  8. Nothing seems to elude you for very long! Beautiful collection. Thanks for sharing. Mike
  9. Without the benefit of a cup of coffee, a clear head, or any knowledge whatsoever, I'd have to guess that it is an unofficial representation of "Hermes'" wings. Maybe to commemorate service on the aircraft carrier?
  10. 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.
  11. I'm sure that Mrs. Beevor undoubtedly reminded him, whenever the occasion allowed, that she had told him to slow down!
  12. That's not very encouraging news for a first-time poster. Can you be even more specific?
  13. German iron cross 1 class!

    Can you please elaborate for us non-experts?
  14. 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.
  15. Holy cow!! What a great story to read and see. Thanks for sharing.
  16. Mervyn

    May we see them?
  17. Imperial cross of st george

    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.
  18. You've given us a valuable lesson in restoration of artifacts bordering on the 'priceless' range. Very informative. Thank you for sharing. Mike.
  19. 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.
  20. All things considered, it is a beautiful and important historical artifact. It is certain to be the center-piece to any collection. Mike
  21. 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.
  22. I recently obtained a Parker, Field tipstaff at auction. I'll try to add pictures. It's (I think) silver-plated brass bearing the badge of Newcastle. The silver is almost completely worn, as is the gilding of the crown. The ivory (?) hand grip has a hair-line crack running its entire length. The tipstaff is engraved to T. WILSON, and the makers name and address is roll-marked in small print. I don't collect tipstaves, as such, but picked it up as "trading stock" for things that I'm interested in, namely, items of the Metropolitan Police. If anyone has any information or opinions that they would like to share, I'd be a grateful student. Also, if anyone has something from the Met, of comparable value, please keep in in mind. There is a Newcastle tipstaff in Mevyn's book that somewhat resembles mine. Thanks, Mike McLellan
  23. Thanks. I did consider Dublin, but I also felt that the castles were wrong (no flames), and the crown suggested the mainland. Mike.
  24. I know that you're not looking for "atta boys", but you get one none the less. Very commendable.
  25. 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.