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Plant-lore Archive – November 2022

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

November was another enjoyable and productive month with 48 items of information being received from 45 contributors, bringing the totals up to 9147 items from 3165 contributors.  Thank you everyone!

Despite the rain a successful walk was held on Tooting Common, and a talk was contributed to the London Fortean Society’s Haunted Landscape Day. Visits were paid to various events around Remembrance Day, and to Lopen’s Mistletoe Fayre.

17 posts were added to the website’s Blog page.

Image:  tributes, almost all composed of artificial flowers, on grave of James Connors, d. 4 October 2022, St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, photographed 2 November 2022.

In memory of Colin Townsley

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Flowers placed below a plaque commemorating Colin Townsley of Soho Fire Station, who ‘gave his life in the line of duty at the Kings Cross Underground Fire’, 18 November 1987.

In the forecourt of King Cross Station, London Borough of Camden, photographed 29 November 2022.

Municipal Christmas tree, Crewkerne

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Municipal Christmas tree, Crewkerne, Somerset, photographed 26 November 2022.

Lopen’s Mistletoe Fayre

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Lopen, a small village in south Somerset, held its annual Mistletoe Fayre on Saturday 26 November 2022, from 2 – 4.30 p.m., in the village’s All Saints church.  Although called a Mistletoe Fayre, mistletoe (Viscum album), which grows on local apple (Malus domestica) and poplar (Populus sp.) trees, scarcely featured in the event.  One of the church’s light-fittings had a few twigs of mistletoe hanging from it, but otherwise the event resembled what other communities might describe as a Christmas Bazaar, though a rather upmarket one.  Stalls included plants, cakes and preserves, bric-a-brac, a book lucky-dip, a bottle stall and a raffle.

Refreshments were served in the Sunday School Room, and proceeds were ‘shared between the Church and the Sunday School Room repairs’.

Sloe juice ink

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

From  My Garden‘an intimate magazine for garden lovers’, no. 129, September 1944:

‘How many people know that sloe [Prunus spinosa fruit] juice may be used as an ink for marking linen?  Plunge a clean nib into a ripe sloe; the writing will not wash out, and no application of heat is necessary.’

Image:  Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, November 2022.

Poppies for Abraham Lincoln

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Wreaths of red poppies were first produced by the British Legion in 1924, since that time such wreaths have been laid on war memorials throughout the United Kingdom on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November.  However, as noted elsewhere on this website, wreaths of red poppies are also placed on memorials which are not associated with the First World War or subsequent wars in which British service people were involved.  In 2017 it seemed that poppy wreaths were placed on any memorial, but since that time this practice has diminished.

However,  poppy wreaths are sometimes placed on memorials to people who have nothing to do with the First World One.  Here we have two poppy wreaths placed on the plinth of the statue of Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), in Parliament Square, Westminster.  These were placed there by the Daughters of Union Veterans of the American Civil War (on the right), and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (on the left).  Membership of both organizations is limited to direct descendents of veterans who fought on the Union side in the American Civil War (1861-5).

Photographed 12 November 2022.

Red poppies for Indian soldiers

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Display at Hampton Court, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, November 2022.  In June 1919 almost 1,500 Indian soldiers sailed from Mumbai (Bombay) to take part in the Victory Parade in London on 19 July.  Unfortunately they arrived too late.  The soldiers camped in Home Park, Hampton Court, and at King George V’s request a special parade was held on 2 August.  Approximately one and a half million Indian troops, of whom 50,000 died, participated in the First World War.

Photograph taken 18 November 2022.

Flowers at Tower Hill

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Yellow roses placed at the Tower Hill execution site, in Trinity Gardens, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, 14 November 2022.

A plaque at the site reads:

‘To commemorate the tragic history and in many cases martyrdom of those who for the sake of their faith country or ideals staked their lives and lost.  At this site more than 125 were put to death.  The names of some of whom are recorded here.’

Similar flowers were also placed on other memorials in the area.

REMINDER: Folklore & Dangerous Plants

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Saturday 19 November, Folklore & Dangerous Plants, a talk by Roy Vickery, one of eight contributions to the London Fortean Society’s Haunted Landscape day, 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.,  at Conway Hall, near Holborn  underground station (Central and Piccadilly lines).  For further information see the Events page on this website.

Report: 201 people had registered for this event, and despite  Dangerous Plants being the second talk on the programme, starting at 10.30 a.m., people arrived early and were settled and receptive.  The talk started by referring to the Folklore Society’s Survey of Unlucky Plants, conducted in the early 1980s, with its results being published in 1985.  Then there was a brief run through the comparatively few plants which are considered to be ‘lucky’, before a discussion of some the ‘unlucky’ species – hawthorn (Crataegus sp.), lilac (Syringa vulgaris), cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris), duckweed (Lemna minor) and parsley (Petroselinum crispum).                                                                                                               Several people commented how much they had enjoyed the talk, and Vickery’s Folk Flora was sold out on the bookstall.

Remembrance Day Service in Brixton

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

The annual Remembrance Day Service, for ‘men and women from Africa and the Caribbean who served alongside the forces of the British Commonwealth and her allies’ during the two world wars, was held at their memorial in Windrush Square, Brixton, London Borough of Lambeth, on 13 November 2022.  It is estimated that a total of five million service people from the Commonwealth served in the two wars.

Although wreaths of black poppies have been laid on the memorial in the past, in 2023 most of the wreaths were of standard red poppies, the exception was that laid on behalf of the local Green Party, which incorporated white poppies.

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