Sunday, 26 January 2020

A Thimble Trail

Hi all,

Lots of places have souvenir thimbles which can be taken home as a small memento of a journey to a far away place, a visit to an historic building, a theme park, or even a popular tourist attraction.  

Most of the souvenir thimbles in my collection have either been given to me by friends and relatives or purchased in charity shops or from ebay.    Rather than being a record of places that I have been they are more of a wish list - a thimble trail of places I would like to visit.

One of my friends brought this back from a recent trip to Scotland.

I picked the next couple up from Ebay.

Both Scotland and the Lake District are places that I haven't been to yet but would like to.  I could visit both in the same trip to as I would have to go That isn't the only thing they have in common.  They are both a bit soggy and grey at the moment so maybe that's a trip I should save for summer months ☺.

In the meantime, here are some thimbles with a nice bit of blue sky and sunshine...

Bye for now

Twitter @OlwenWhite

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A Passage of Time

Hi All

Time flies doesn't it? Seems like only yesterday when I last posted to this blog. Can't believe it was March 2015! I think I must have been asleep because I have no idea why it has taken so long to post.

These thimbles show the passage of time. All of it a lot before mine, I hasten to add. These little ladies show the changes in fashion in the United States from 1900 through to 1947. Originally part of a collection from Avon in the1980s.

The four above are from left to right, 1910, 1900, 1928 & 1927.

These four are 1923, 1938, 1942 & 1947.

The 1920s must have been a great decade for fashion in the US, with 3 examples from that era included in the collection. In fact the 20s were a time of great change and not just for clothes. It was the interim period between two world wars. People thought that with the end of the First World War, conflict was over and there was a new, vibrant, buzz for the future. It was the age of bobbed hair, the Charleston and automobiles.

I must admit it was Miss 1923 that first attracted me to this set. She's the one with the blue hat, lilac top and chunky scarf. Isn't she lovely? I can just see her sitting behind the wheel of a 1920's car, wind in her face, grinning from ear to ear as she tootles around town, scarf flapping behind her. I wouldn't mind a scarf like that. It's perishing cold outside at the moment. She looks so snug.

My second favourite is the one on the far right. Miss 1947. Such a lovely shade of purple and would you just look at that hat?  Another post-war era. Relaxed times with relaxed clothes. She looks the most laid back of all of them. Ready for a nice, peaceful stroll along the river bank on a warm sunny day.

This collection has been discontinued for some time now which is a shame. It misses the fashions of the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Although thinking about it, the 70s was all flairs and funny colour combinations... maybe missing that decade is justifiable.

Bye for now

Twitter @OlwenWhite

Monday, 9 March 2015

The White Steamer

I quite like vintage cars. I also like vintage sewingmachines.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that the White Steamer was made by the same company that made White Sewing Machines. How cool is that?

When Thomas White, the founder of the White Sewing Machine Company bought a steam car back in the 1890s, it inspired his son, Rollin White to develop a steam generator which was made up of stacked coils.  Water was pumped into the top of the coils with steam being produced in the bottom coils closest to the fire. Not only did his design allow water input to be regulated, it also allowed temperature control. He patented the design describing it as being a quicker, safer and more economical way to generate steam power.

Even with the improvements though, the engines still had to warm up enough to start producing steam. That’s probably why the combustion engine became more popular. It was a lot quicker to get going.

Eventually, when steam power could no longer compete, the White Motor Company switched to combustion engines for their cars. They also made trucks, buses and tractors.

I’m glad that their sewing machines went electric though. Not sure a petrol powered sewing machine would have been very healthy. And can you imagine having to sit about and wait for a steam machine to warm up before you could sew? It would be like watching a kettle!  

Bye for now

Twitter @OlwenWhite

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Gettin' My Kicks on Route 66

Route 66 is the historic and iconic road leading across the USA from Chicago Illinois to Los Angeles and more recently, Santa Monica California. Passing through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona along the way, it is probably the most famous road in the USA.

Originally covering a distance of 2,448 miles, it has been immortalised in songs like “Get Your Kicks on Route 66”. It was known as the “mother road of America,” and has a cult following that I haven’t seen or heard of for any other road in the world.

Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985 when it was replaced by newer, faster interstates. Although some parts have been preserved, it is now impossible to travel the original Route 66 for its full distance. Some sections have been abandoned. Other parts of the road which travel through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona are now a tourist attraction renamed “Historic Route 66”. In Winslow Arizona, for instance, you can find people “standing on a corner”, a tribute to the Eagles song “Take it Easy.”

Having been to parts of Historic Route 66 in Arizona, I can say that it has a buzz, its own vibe. Like it is a living being just bursting with the kind of freedom you can only get from an open road. Something which you just don’t get from the new modern-day interstates.

Bye for Now

Twitter @OlwenWhite

Saturday, 7 June 2014


Hi all,

It's amazing what you find hiding on your desktop when you're looking for something else. I don't mean an actual desktop, I'm talking about the desktop on my laptop.

When I'm working on something, I always save it to my desktop so I can find it. It's a trait that really, really annoys the IT people I've worked with. You see, the more stuff you have on your desktop, the harder the computer has to work just to wake up in the mornings.

Somedays, I know just how it feels.

You see, every document and photo sitting on your desktop becomes part of the starting sequence or boot-up routine for your computer. The more it has to load, the longer it takes to start. Until, eventually, you've got time to go pop the kettle on, make a cup of tea, come back, drink it... and still have to wait ten minutes for the PC to wake up.

IT techies everywhere, fed up with solving problems caused by overloaded desktops are yelling, "Use Shortcuts!"

My desktop gets so overloaded that I hear them yell, "ALVIN!" whenever I call for help. Which brings me to the point of this post.

By the time I'd sifted though my assortment of icons, I'd forgotten what I was looking for. Totally distracted by all the overlooked goodies on there, I came across this picture.

A set of The Flintstones thimbles.

I've no idea how long it had been there, but thought it was quite fitting. As I don't have any Alvin or  Chipmunk thimbles...yet, The Flintstones are the next best thing.

With Fred normally in over his head his cry of, "WILMA!", is this show's equivalent to the long suffering Dave's forlorn rebuttal to the most troublesome of chipmunks.

Sitting by the side of it was this picture for some long forgotten blog that I never got around to writing.

Pewter teddies. Looking more than a little bit menacing. A bit like the IT guys who have to fix my tech gadgets. I'm sure that one second in from the right is shaking his fist at me...

OK! OK! From here on in, instead of saving to the desktop, I'll save it to my documents folder and then save a shortcut to the desktop.

Got to keep the IT Teddies happy!

Bye for now


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

What Links The Moon To Supersonic Flight?

Most people will be aware that man first landed on the moon in 1969. What might not be so well known is that the world's first supersonic flight was also in 1969.

Supersonic means faster than the speed of sound which at around 768 miles per hour, is pretty quick. Although not as quick as 7 miles per second which is the speed Apollo 11 had to travel to escape Earth's gravitational field. 1969 was definitely the year for speed.

Up until 1st October 1969, flights had been subsonic, meaning that they were slower than the speed of sound. Concorde's first supersonic flight meant people could now travel across the globe in a fraction of the time.

Concorde was a collaborative project between the UK and France and was heralded as a triumph in modern engineering. The planes were operated by Air France and British Airways. The name was chosen to reflect the partnership between the two countries. The words “Concorde” in French and “Concord” in English, mean the same. They both mean agreement.

Concorde's first commercial flight was in 1976. With a cruise speed of 1350mph, she could make London to New York in a little over 3.5 hours. The time in a normal plane was around 8 hours.

Unfortunately, Concorde was expensive to run and maintain. Not everyone liked the planes flying overhead due to the loud sonic boom whenever they broke the sound barrier. Air France and British Airways jointly announced the retirement of Concorde in 2003. The last Concorde flight for Air France was on 27 June 2003. Concorde's last commercial flight for British Airways was on 23 October 2003. I'd love to know if October was a coincidence or if it was chosen as a nod to that very first supersonic flight back in 1969.

These days surviving Concordes can be viewed by the public at locations around the globe. Obviously, things change so make sure the plane is still available to view at your chosen location before making a long trip.

Bye for now

Twitter @OlwenWhite

Monday, 27 May 2013

A Tribute to Dad's Army

Hi there,

These guys are the characters from Dad's Army, a British TV comedy from the 1970s.  It was a sit-com about the Home Guard during the Second World War.

Originally called Local Defence Volunteers, the Home Guard was made up of men who were either too young or too old to enlist. Most were too old. Hence the nick-name Dad's Army.  Their job was to defend the home front against possible invasion. In the early days, the Local Defence volunteers had to wait for equipment as the regular army had priority.  This is where most of the more comic moments of the TV series came from.  The never-ending enthusiasm to invent ways of hindering an invasion using whatever tools they had to hand.  The re-runs are still popular today.  An everlasting tribute to the real band of Dads and Grandads, all of them volunteers, who watched over and protected our coastline and homes.

Dad's Army is and always will be one of my all time favourite comedies.  Which is why I read with some sadness today that Bill Pertwee, the actor who played Warden Hodges, has passed away.

So this is my tribute to the cast of Dad's Army the series:

Arthur Lowe  1915-1982

Clive Dunn 1920-2012

John Laurie 1897-1980

Arnold Ridley 1896-1984

Ian Lavendar 1946-

James Beck 1929-1973

Frank Williams 1931-

John Le Mesurier 1912-1983

Bill Pertwee 1926-2013

Bye for now 

Twitter @OlwenWhite