Friday 28 February 2014

NEW EBOOK - King Lud - The Celtic God who founded London

NEW EBOOK - King Lud -  The Celtic God who founded London

According to legend, London was founded by King Lud, ruler of the Trinovantes tribe of Celts in the 1st century bc. But there is much more to King Lud than prehistoric kingship. Tracing the ancient legends back to their source, historian Oliver Hayes reveals a remakable truth - that “King Lud” was really a god and London was his Holy City.

Get your copy HERE

Visiting Roman Britain - Travelling Beyond the Empire

Visiting Roman Britain - Travelling Beyond the Empire
You may be in Britain for the Roman high life, but why limit yourself just to the parts of these islands that fall under Roman sway? If you’re not the timorous sort and can handle your own in rough company, you might want to consider heading north of the frontier garrisons and even further afield.
Where the northern frontier lies will depend on when you’re visiting of course, and if you’re within a few days walk of the army posts you will still likely find something of the southern mentality and maybe even bump into a Roman patrol checking up on the locals. It’s possible you are already starting with trade contacts, such as at the great hill fort of the pugnacious and silver-loving Votadini (Traprain Law). Otherwise, save your trade goods for further away where there’s no garrison footprint and these items are scarcer and more valuable. You’ll have to make do with tracks rather than roads to get anywhere, so travel sensibly. Unless you have a guide with good local contacts, consider going in armed company if slowed down by carts.
As you travel, take the opportunity to look more closely at the rocks around you. On some of them you may be lucky and chance on some of the strange Pictish artwork occasionally on display. You may also come across it on some of the rudimentary jewellery the locals may try to sell you.
It’s rather charming and quite mystical, though you mind find after a while if you stay in the one place it can get repetitive. That may have something to do with the way various groups associate themselves with particular images, such as fish, crescents, mirror shapes or sundry wild animals, for instance using bull carvings where it has local religious importance. But where there are a lot of images coming together you can get a real feel for the spirit of the tribes people.
There’s also plainer craftswork though. The locals are also reasonable silver smiths and if the local look is your thing, try on a torc as a neck guard. Some of the most striking are made out of chunky chains, making you look as if you’ve just busted free from an insane royal treasurer’s jail.


Wednesday 26 February 2014

NEW EBOOK - Sci Fi Worlds

NEW EBOOK - Sci Fi Worlds
Internationally renowned blogger and writer on the paranormal, science fiction and conspiracy theories, Richard Thomas takes the reader on a tour through the galaxy of sci-fi worlds that have dominated our TV screens over the past 50 years. Along the way he interviews Nick Redfern, Nick Pope, Lex Gigeroff and others.

In this fascinating ebook, Richard Thomas explores the deeper meanings behind some of our best loved TV science-fiction shows. He looks at Dr Who, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Doomwatch, and many others. He explores the themes used in the programmes, from time travel to transhumanism and explains some of the hidden meanings of the visual imagery shown on screen.

* Introduction
* The Eleven Faces of The Doctor
* A History of the Cybermen
* William Hartnell Back in Time
* Nick Pope: Interview With A Real Man In Black
* Interview With Nick Redfern - Author of Science Fiction Secrets
* Interview With Richard Holland - Author of Haunted Wales
* Interview With Richard Freeman of the Centre for Fortean Zoology
* Interview with Lance Parkin - Author of A History: An Unauthorised History of the Doctor Who Universe
* Interview With Lex Gigeroff: Lexx Co-Writer/Actor
* Battlestar Galactica
* Rise of the Planet of the Apes
* Secret Society Symbolism In Ridley Scott's Blade Runner And Other Sci-Fi Films
* Nigel Kneale
* Interview With Scott Burditt - Webmaster of
* Transhumanism in Doomwatch
* Interview With Dean Haglund - Star of The X-Files And The Lone Gunmen
* Conclusions

About the Author
Richard Thomas is a freelance feature writer specialising in Fortean subjects. Richard has written for high street magazines, including Alien Worlds Magazine, Paranormal Magazine and UFO Matrix Magazine. He is also a blogger for UFOMystic and Binnall of America. In addition to writing about the paranormal and unexplained, Richard also writes a column entitled “Big Day Out” for the South Wales Evening Post, Wales’ largest circulation newspaper. His first book PARA-NEWS - UFOs, Conspiracy Theories, Cryptozoology and much much more was published by Bretwalda Books in May 2011 as an ebook.

Tuesday 25 February 2014



A series of short stories written by an Englishman who spent some time in Fiji. All the tales are based on true events, though the names have been changed to protect the innocent, as they say.

The tales are primarily about the ex-pat community in the islands, the stories cover much ground about the islands, their culture and history. Most of these stories are slightly fictionalised accounts of real events which took place in the Fijian islands or nearby in recent years – the author’s involvement in the events is often fictional as the events generally happened to other people (often the Reggie referred to in one story).

Get your copy HERE

Visiting Roman Britain - the climate

Visiting Roman Britain - the climate

Compared with other lands this far from the midday sun, the island is relatively warm. The reasons for this are not known, but suggest Britannia faces more out westerly into the ocean than some maps indicate, tucking in beside Hispania (Spain). Though visitors from sunnier places find it very cold under the stars of the Great Bear.
There are four main seasons, during all of which rain is a persistent menace. The sky is permanently hidden by clouds.
Experts who have measured these things declare that in the far north in particular, days here are longer than in Rome. There is light in the night time, since there is nothing to obstruct light from still reaching the high sky in these flat and empty parts, and in the furthest north but a slight difference between night and dawn at all as you watch the sun neither rise nor set but merely travel across the sky.
Temperatures vary from hot to cold. In the summer months, ensure when travelling you have enough liquids, ie stop to replenish your water skins when passing streams. In winter, particularly the exposed terrain in the north, the winds can get very biting. Snow can fall in some quantity. Not for nothing do some call it the island “rigid with ice and cold, far removed from both lands and the visible sun.” However, the land is spared the worst extremes of northern frosts.
Happily, the more established buildings have what is known as central heating. Gaps are left under the floors and in the walls for heated air to circulate, thus increasing room temperature. If you go and have a look how they do it, you might spot a local oddity. There is a type of marvellous black rock dug out of the ground locally that catches flame and burns with a ruddy glow giving off heat, and this is sometimes used.
Strong winds, storms, and lightning can be encountered. Fortunately, there are a large number of shrines and altars that can be used to keep the gods happy for when you are out and about.
Note that for repeat visitors, you may notice a change over time. In terms of temperature, you might spot a tiny increase around AD 300, then a gently sliding drop. You may find increased rainfall in the fifth century, leading to increased risks of flooding and difficulties travelling. You might also observe a drop in general temperature, and an increased level of public anger in general as they become seasonally depressed more easily, such as if crops fail. At the same time, you may over the long years also notice the sea level going up by several feet. Some talented sorcerers have calculated a rise of over two feet a century from the moment the Romans appear, perhaps thirteen feet over the whole period of empire, meaning extra earth and levels of props that keep needing to be added to water fronts and coastal roads.
Of course, such predictions may be alarmist. But they might explain why you need to take a bigger step off the boat next time you’re in harbour. Just be aware of the possible dangers your pillaging can have on the environment. Think of all those flooded coastal communities back home you’re forcing to up sticks and move into Roman lands. Have a social conscience. Try a smoke-free sacking. Take the ‘burn’ out of slash and burn.
That outdoorsy feeling: air vents like these keep Roman buildings free from barbarous odours

from  The Discerning Barbarian's Guidebook to Roman Britain: People to Meet and Places to Plunder [Paperback]  by Lee Rotherham

Monday 24 February 2014

Tourist Seasons for visiting Roman Britain

Tourist Seasons for visiting Roman Britain
Arranging your visit to Roman Britain is a tricky choice. Every season has something special to offer.
In the high season (from around AD 43 to AD 180) you can witness the height of the Roman experience. Set in densely populated countryside from even before the Conquest, Roman towns are growing and then flourishing. Trade expands. Theatres and amphitheatres spread across the land, allowing visitors access to the highlights of the not-so-ancient world. Despite some periods of civil war, these mostly take place far away and lead to minimal destruction and third party burning to interfere with your holiday arrangements. This is a silver age holiday ideal for silver age holidaymakers.
Mid-season (say AD180 to AD 370) and there are rocky periods. Occasionally, accommodation is patchy as civil war kicks off, sometimes with Britain as the starting point for a little provincial insurrection. The importance of the island waxes and wanes. Sometimes it is at the very heart of all that is Rome, as Emperors come to wage war in the north of the island. Two great emperors are even proclaimed here in these very shores during this period. But this is also the period of slipping decline. The territory is divided into smaller provinces in their own right; and the island forms part of smaller imperial patches as the great empire is occasionally broken up into two or four to make it more manageable. Travelling during this period can be more exciting and there are fantastic people to meet, but it can also be less comfortable for more exacting travellers. The great villas for example no longer provide the same sort of accommodation opportunities as of old, and are often replaced with more basic amenities.
The low season by contrast (perhaps AD 370 to AD 478) is ideal for backpackers, particularly those that bring their own transport, such as a raiding ship. The last great flourish of Roman culture does not end with complete and sudden extinction, however. Roman forces are mostly withdrawn first as part of the ongoing civil wars of the period, and then to fight off persistent barbarian threats on the continent. Roman reinforcements do briefly cross the channel to support what remains of local government, but the country splits and power is fragmented. The great towns decline. Trade becomes more difficult, and merchants reading this book may be more inclined to barter with contacts amongst the new barbarian settlers in the east than take their chances with the sub-roman world in which old rules and laws are often arbitrarily upheld by petty tyrants. Coins become rarer, and even if the move outside of direct rule from Rome around AD 410 still leaves a lot of quite wealthy people around, what’s happening over in Gaul and beyond makes everyone nervous that the whole system is going down the drains. But it is an exciting time all the same, and provides opportunities for settlers seeking new lands, plus plenty of hiring opportunities for professional soldiers who want to keep well away from the highly dangerous fighting that involves Attila the Hun over in northern Gaul. Even after direct rule from Rome ends, some embers of Roman existence continue to glimmer in the West of Britain, and reward the patient traveller with a hint as to what has been lost in this new pan-Barbarian age. Note, however, that currency becomes rare: yours will be valued, but be prepared to barter.
As we go through some of our profiled spots, you’ll also find a box with information in italics. This is for the benefit of those poor people who can’t visit Roman Britain at all, because they have to come out of season, in the twenty first century. Things aren’t so wonderful by then. You’ll have to dig for your Roman memories. But there are still traces of the old magic, and students who are gifted with a hint of imagination and understanding will be lucky enough to gaze on some ancient treasures.

NEW BOOK - The History of Waterloo Station

NEW BOOK - The History of Waterloo Station

The definitive history of Britain’s busiest rail terminal, written by a long term commuter to the station and bulging with illustrations.
Waterloo Station has a massive 91 million passenger movement every year. It has more platforms and a greater square footage of floor space than any other station in Britain and is second in terms of train movements. The main facade erected in 1920 is now a listed heritage building. In terms of size, importance and bustle there is quite simply nothing like Waterloo.
In this book retired commuter John Fareham looks at the history, trains and diverse range of characters that have made Waterloo what it is today. Built in 1848 as a small station for the London Southampton Railway Company, Waterloo grew with that company over the years until by 1913 it had become a vast, sprawling and confusing mass of rails and platforms. A planned rebuilding was delayed the Great War, but began in 1919 and was completed in 1920 creating the core station we see today. More developments in the 1990s and in 2012 saw the station enlarged and renovated.
In this amusing, enthralling and engaging book, we meet the characters who have worked at Waterloo or who have used it. We see the key events in the history of the station. We look behind the scenes at the hidden warren of rooms and tunnels never seen by passengers. A fascinating and engaging book guaranteed to be of interest to all users of this mighty station.

About the Author
The author commuted on railways throughout his entire working life with some 25 years spent on the daily grind to and from Waterloo Station. He knows the station and its personnel well. His knowledge of enthusiasm for Waterloo are unequalled.
John Fareham is the author of the Bretwalda book “Heroes of the RAF: Guy Gibson” and other works.

Get your copy HERE

Sunday 23 February 2014

Eboracum - Visiting Roman York

Eboracum - Visiting Roman York
You can’t come all the way to Britain and not see it. Eboracum is the northernmost jewel of Roman civilisation, reportedly two hundred and twenty seven thousand paces from Londinium (we recommend you don’t try counting them). It’s the city of emperors. It’s a key part of the northern military complex (so steer clear of trying to assault it). And it’s got all the touches of Rome you could seek.
Its waterfront facilities and demanding population (including grouchy soldiers) means that it’s the emporium of the north. Look in the shops for engraved glassware or fine lamps by Fortis. There are local potteries and tile manufacturers if army surplus material is what you’re after. The city is a major manufacturer of jet carvings, a German frontier favourite, so fans of this black stone should definitely stock up during the visit.
The city is divided into two by the river Ouse. It’s a pleasant enough stream to follow; tip Marcus Minucius Audens a couple of coins and he may take you along on a short trip next time he acts as a pilot. Ask him for a couple of stories from his military service to pass the hours. If you’re there at the end of the first century, see if you can drop by the bar when Demetrius of Tarsus is there. Demetrius explored some of the islands of Britain for Vespasian. Later on you might try to drop by Marcus Aurelius Lunaris, a handy man to know for all his contacts, as he trades with the main city of south western Gaul and is also a priest of the imperial cult both here and in Lindum.
Keep to the south west of the river unless you have a reason to be in the military quarter, especially if there’s trouble on the frontier. The military area itself is huge, a good fifty acres. It’s long needed to be, since the place has long housed the best part of a full legion. Look at Constantine’s walls as you approach from the south, and you’ll be impressed by the formidable broad towers. It’s also the quarter with the greatest historical pull, with the headquarters associated with every emperor whose ever come up to campaign on the empire’s borders, supported by titanic pillars.
Even so, you’ll be able to visit the bath house to the south of the river, one of the largest in the country, and if you’re able to pull some strings you might be able to get a glimpse inside the imperial residence. It’s out of use now of course, or rather a bit short of the fancy furnishings, but you can still get a tingle as you step in the tracks of great men.
If purple isn’t your colour but you’re still into the borderland city experience, then head south west for Deva Victrix (Chester). It’s the Roman gateway onto the middle sea. Arriving by boat brings you into the harbour area with the warehouses sited to the west of the town, by the military quarter. The bustle however lies in the more densely packed eastern part of the place. Outside of the walls you get a semi-rural feel, and there’s nothing so pleasant on a summer’s day as strolling down to the water’s edge to watch the boats go by, or listening to the strain of the sailors as they tentatively manoeuvre under the arches of the great bridge before scrambling into action to make the sharp turn as the river bends. Deva dominates the North West in the way that Eboracum looms over the mid north. Originally intended to keep the western mountains of the island under control, the fort’s massive stone wall (built under Trajan) still impress. Check out the south east of the town. The area is dominated by an amphitheatre capable of seating several thousand. A fitting touch if you can spot it is the little shrine to the goddess Nemesis. It’s not the biggest amphitheatre you’ll come across but you might sense a different feel from it, as overwhelmingly its customers come from the barracks and the sandy part is larger than you’ll be used to, designed as it is to cater for the military using it to practise. When they’re not training, or executing some malfaisants on a timber scaffold, you might be able to get access and watch some blood sports alongside veterans who do the same work in the field. Perhaps you may find it makes the ‘civilian’ amphitheatres a little more tasteless afterwards, since the audience have little real appreciation of what the victims genuinely might be feeling.
Dismiss such thoughts and clean the dust off at the baths, from whose size alone you can tell this is a major legionary city packed full of soldiery. If you can get into the military sector, ask to see the Ellyptical Building. It’s an unusually shaped large posh oval edifice with a pleasant fountain in the middle, providing a civilised refuge from the toils of the day.
Gastronauts will not be disappointed. The town has a variety of suppliers of the best sea food, reared animals, deer and boar. Goose, pheasant and swan can also be found. If the opportunity to binge gets the better of you and stomach ache strikes, track down Hermogenes the doctor to sort you out. Be patient with his Latin accent as he’s a Greek speaker; a bit of pointing is probably enough.


Get your copy HERE

Saturday 22 February 2014

NEW BOOK - 101 EU Facts [Paperback]

NEW BOOK - 101 EU Facts [Paperback]

A fun and informal book about the European Union. The book presents 101 amazing, amusing and scandalous facts about the EU accompanied by humorous cartoons to make a serious political point in a light-hearted way.
Author Rory Broomfield has spent the past two years studying the European Union, its eccentricities and foilables. While putting together text for high level political briefing papers and academic studies he has been carefully collecting less intimidating facts, figures and anecdotes of more interest to the general public. This book is the intriguing and informative result.
Cartoons by Leanne Goodall.

Gnaeus Julius Agricola

Gnaeus Julius Agricola
Agricola is the name of just one of Britain’s many governors and military commanders, but perhaps the most celebrated. In part he has his son-in-law, Tacitus, to thank as his biography is an enduring hit. But there would be no story without the amazing Agricola himself.
He served his military apprenticeship here in Britain years ago, as a tribune greatly respected by Gaius Suetonius Paullus. This Suetonius was the remarkable general who would crush Boudicca, later end up as Consul, and be a prime backer of Otho during the civil wars. His immense military reputation went unheeded: he recommended delay when fighting fellow claimant Vitellius. Otho disagreed, fought, and lost.
Standards had dropped in Britain after the Boudiccan revolt, partly to reduce tensions but also in part because discipline in these distant legions wasn’t what it used to be. With Vespasian on the throne and the civil wars over, order was restored and local forces pushed into the troublesome northern tribal lands. Agricola himself now reappears, and astounds the locals with a surprise attack on the troublesome island of Mona by sending some auxiliaries swimming across the shallows.
Like Vespasian, Agricola is a modest man, downplaying his successes. His appearance is described as graceful rather than commanding, but his style gets results . He sorts out the grain market and ends exploitation of farmers, traders and buyers. He supports the establishment of temples and courts. He educates the sons of the nobility, introducing a love of the toga, the Latin language, the bath house, and dining. As Suetonius says, what they call civilisation in fact is just another part of their servitude.
Agricola’s campaigns take him to the distant north, beyond the rivers Clota and Bodotria that almost cut the far north into two. The Caledonians are terrified by the presence of a fleet off their very shores. They gather an army of said to number 30,000 men under Galpagus. The deciding battle takes place at Mons Graupius. Although outnumbered, the Romans push back their opponents, and a dangerous attempt to swamp their flanks is beaten off by the cavalry reserves. The slaughter that follows is terrible, though an ambush by rallying locals in the woods is narrowly avoided.
If in social company with Agricola, don’t discuss his family. In the latter stages of the war in the far north, he is busying himself to distract from the fact that his son has just died. His virtuous mother was killed in the civil war by Otho’s marauding fleet. You could discuss the large role his German auxiliaries played in the front line at Graupius, however, which could get you some brownie points.
You won’t have much chance to discuss his victories, as with the army returning to winter quarters, the governor is now recalled. The news of this success has travelled back to Rome, where Agricola is honoured. But the emperor Domitian is a worried man. In Agricola he sees a possible rival. It doesn’t help that other wars across the empire are going badly wrong. Agricola retires to a private life, where he will pass away.

from  The Discerning Barbarian's Guidebook to Roman Britain: People to Meet and Places to Plunder [Paperback]  by Lee Rotherham

Friday 21 February 2014

Things to do in Roman Britain - 7. Shopping in Londinium

Things to do in Roman Britain - 7. Shopping in Londinium

Whenever you time your visit, Londinium is a must-see location. It’s one of the earliest Roman conurbations, and while you’ll have to time your visit to avoid Boudicca’s, at least you’ll have some advanced warning to head out of town if you time it badly (there’s a ship leaving with the governor for Gaul in twenty minutes). On the other hand, for most of the rest of the time you’ll find an important city that is a major political power centre, on the trade routes across the Channel. Want the latest in continental fashions? Come to the market stalls of Londinium: you certainly won’t find them on the frontier! 

from  The Discerning Barbarian's Guidebook to Roman Britain: People to Meet and Places to Plunder [Paperback] by Lee Rotherham

Wednesday 19 February 2014

NEW BOOK - In Defence of the City

NEW BOOK -  In Defence of the City

Written by six of the leading financial theorists in Britain, this book puts forward a powerful case for the freedom of the City of London and the financial industries that it holds. Free trade and innovation are the keys to future prosperity. The siren voices calling for government interference and regulation must be resisted.

Authors are:
Dr. Tim Evans MBA - Senior Fellow, Adam Smith Institute; Senior Fellow, The Cobden Centre
Anthony Wilkinson
Abhishek Majumdar
Duncan Flynn is a Public Affairs consultant based on Chancery Lane.
Tim Congdon is a highly respected economist, served as one of the Treasury’s “wise men” and founded Lombard Street Research.
A former Chief of Staff to British Prime Minister David Cameron, Alex Deane now provides counsel and advice to a range of companies and organisations as Head of Public Affairs at Weber Shandwick, the world’s leading Public Relations firm

About the Editor
Dia Chakravarty works for the Freedom Association and is a key insider for their campaigns relating to the City of London and financial services.

ISBN        print        978-1-909698-44-4
               ebook        978-1-909698-45-1

Get your copy HERE

Tribes and tribulations of Roman Britain

Tribes and tribulations of Roman Britain

If you come in the High Season, Roman Britain offers a rich diversity of peoples. The peoples have always been said to be simple and as such free of vice, rubbing along with one another quite well. True, it’s essentially a bag of Celtic peoples, but the differences between the tribes point to different seasons of migrations from the continent. Put someone from the east in the same room as someone from the west, and you can tell them apart. This is all the more so with the differences between the ‘free’ Britons, keeping up with their ancient traditions, and those living in the Roman Empire.
The Caledonians of the far north, our Roman observers noted, have red hair and large limbs, suggesting to them they may be of German origin.
The Silures, who live in the west and mid west, have curly hair and are darker skinned. For this reason, and the reason that Spain is opposite, have suggested an Iberian origin.
Those that are opposite Gaul are taken to be of Gallic origin. Of the three, this at least seems likely. Though Romans also suggest that perhaps the climate has made people the same on both sides of the channel.
Taken as a whole, the Britons are said to be taller than their Gallic neighbours, with darker hair and looser build, a good half foot taller than your tallest Roman. They are, however, widely held to be bow legged and uglier.
In Caesar’s time, it’s said that the most civilized of all these nations are they who live in the south east, a heavily maritime district. Cingetorix, Carvilius, Taximagulus and Segonax are four of their leading rulers, with Cassivellaunus as a High King in the making.
They have most of the same customs as you can find in Gaul, though cheese making has had to be imported. Most of the inland inhabitants do not sow corn, nor do they for that matter have gardens, but live on milk (lots of it) and meat and wear skins. Dye is very popular, with a blue that comes from wood, making them look more frightening in battle. They wear their hair long, and shave their whole body apart from their hair and moustache. Up to a dozen men are said to share common wives, even between brothers.
What has certainly been noted since then is the effect of conquest on people in Gaul and Britain. These latter have kept their independence longer, and it shows. While the languages differ slightly, there is the same level of derring-do when danger approaches, and the same fear when faced with it. However, the Britons show more spirit, as they have only lately been living under a peaceful regime, and have not yet lost that warlike edge when they “lost their courage along with their freedom”. Note, however, this level of aggression while it is increasingly sapped amongst the residents of Roman Britain, will very much remain beyond the frontiers for long years to come. So remember to show more respect when you travel outside of the provinces, as you may find fights break out much more easily, like home.
Britons you’ll note endure cheerfully the conscription, taxes and the rest imposed on them, providing there is no oppression. It is said of them in the first century that “they are reduced to subjection, not as yet to slavery,” and that they are impatient of such yolks. It’s a trend you might see retained, contrary to expectations. By the low season, the Britons have forgotten their old tribal differences, and even when you see break downs in power, it’s not to the old tribal structures locals will turn. But they will still keep something of their old independent spirit, plumping for leaders so they can do things their own way. It’s not for nothing the third century sees Britain called “a province fertile in tyrants”. They may be plumping for tough rulers, but they are their own rulers.

From The Discerning Barbarian's Guidebook to Roman Britain: People to Meet and Places to Plunder [Paperback] by Lee Rotherham

Monday 17 February 2014

NEW BOOK - The Future’s Bright, the Future’s Global

NEW BOOK - The Future’s Bright, the Future’s Global

f Britain is to take control of its destiny it had better hurry up. Time is running out.

This important new study looks at the economic, regulatory and demographic challenges facing Britain in the early 21st Century. The author argues that a dynamic new global market has opened up right at the time that the EU market is becoming more regulatory. And Britain is being dragged down by the EU at precisely the time it should be setting out to embrace the world.

While the future trend among most nations, certainly those that enjoy free trade, is to become more intertwined with trade and commerce while ditching cumbersome international bodies overlooking these agreements, Britain is stuck in the sclerotic embrace of the EU with its heavy regulations, anti-free trade policies and oppressive government controls.

In essence this is a story about the rise of global trade a relative to the decline of the EU region. It will look forward to 2050, to economic and population predications. It shows that the UK needs to act fast to benefit from the changing world.

About the Author
Rory Broomfield is Deputy Director of The Freedom Association (TFA). Author of “Membership of the EU: there are alternatives”, Rory has worked for a number of Conservative Members of Parliament and small businesses. He is also a former Director and Board Member of the United Nations Association in the UK (UNA-UK).

Get your copy HERE

Carausius - the British Emperor

Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Carausius
Keeping the North Sea free of barbarian pirates in the late third century is a man by the name of Carausius. Carausius is a famous Belgican. He also becomes famous for not handing over all of the loot he grabs from the pirates he nabs. Before the emperor’s men grab him, in AD 286 he scoots to safety and decides to go it alone. He grabs Britain and the important North Sea fleet for himself.
Carausius is a bull of a man with a huge neck and a bit of a Neronian look to him. His luck holds out, with one invasion attempt failing, until Constantius Chlorus is appointed to get him out. Chlorus besieges him in Carausius’s continental foothold in northern Gaul. However, one of Carausius’s commanders kills him and takes over the usurper’s throne for himself, in AD 293.
As a barbarian, in his presence make sure you distance yourself from whatever tribes have been doing the latest raiding (probably Saxons). If cornered, you might chance it and point out he wouldn’t be half the man he was today if your fellow pirates hadn’t been half a fine as body of looters that they are.

From  The Discerning Barbarian's Guidebook to Roman Britain: People to Meet and Places to Plunder [Paperback] by Lee Rotherham

Saturday 15 February 2014



Langford Mud is a story about the inhabitants of a small coastal village. It is set in the 1950s for a very good reason. Relationships in those days were almost entirely about people talking to one another. There was little alternative.

Most of the action revolves around twelve major characters who make a significant contribution to the plot. They are a quite diverse group of villagers.

Their backgrounds are so dissimilar that it becomes quite challenging for the reader to even contemplate their respective relationships with one another.
For the author it is the heart of the story. It is the very essence of the plot. How far can the relationships be pushed before they become completely improbable.

Gordon Drake, a fifth generation resident of Langford Quay was the son of a lamplighter in Portisham. Yet he has a close relationship with Sir Phillip Dymle-Whyte, the local squire. It stems from their childhood. Sir Pip thinks of him as his alter ego.

How likely is it that a young  priest, Hector Chorley, in his first parish can enjoy the company of Gordon Drake a self-confessed worshipper of Sea Nymphs.

Reggie Frogmore RN retired, enjoys the company of a man whose formal education finished when he was expelled from school at the age of fourteen. What they have in common is a love of the sea. What keeps them together is their admiration for one another’s intellect.

Freda Baishley is married to Marmaduke. She has called Gordon a despicable little duck man.  It is a matter of breeding for Freda, and Gordon has none of it. Marmaduke Baishley, retired Major in the Army Pay Corp, secretly admires Gordon and would quite like to become one of the club.

The greatest paradox and least understood relationship is between Felicity Trimble and Gordon. She a relatively well off spinster of the parish and secret writer of steamy fiction and Gordon the creator of true life drama which surpasses all the fiction. How close is their relationship? How deep is their affection for one another? Where will it lead?

Get your copy HERE

Thursday 13 February 2014

Eaton Villa

Eaton Villa
Travellers in the north west may be surprised to learn that villas in the area are extraordinarily rare: in fact, in our travels we’ve only come across one. If you are visiting the area and out to experience this aspect of Roman life, that means you need to look at what’s happening at what some called Eaton, by Taporley.

Of course what you see depends on when you go. For much of the timeframe, you’ll see a large timbered building with a stone hearth. But this’ll get destroyed by fire, which is a bit ironic given the ditches and pits sitting around that are for wooden tanks for holding water brought in from the hillside spring (so you don’t have to mess around fetching it on a grim day). But around AD 170-200 up goes the new building and this is far more to our tourist liking, much more solidly built in sandstone, limestone and slate.

It has two wings, which include you’ll be delighted to know a bath suite. There are five rooms, with wall plaster and mortared pebble floors, plus central heating: try to get a room here as one of the wing rooms is a bit more chilly. A nice touch is the colonnaded frontage which adds an extra tinge of dignity and authority to the place. A century later, visitors will still find the bath suite, but the colonnade is converted into more rooms and look out for the second storey.
Notes for out-of-season travellers
Eaton Villa itself can’t be visited, as it’s on private land. However, you can get a good feel for Roman Cheshire at the Eaton Museum. It’s on Grosvenor Street in Chester (CH1 2DD) Monday to Saturday 10.30-5, and Sunday 1-4, around ten minutes’ walk from the Town Hall. Amongst the galleries is a one on Roman Chester which includes some good models plus the equivalent of legionary discharge papers, and a second one holding an extensive collection of Roman tombstones.

Wednesday 12 February 2014

A Handy Guide to German Tribes

The German Visitor
Always remember that several major political crises have been triggered by Romans losing bloody battles to German hosts across the centuries. The Romans have a thing about their supposed superiority to us, which turns into a neurosis as their power wanes. They like to see a chained German, either in real life or in imagery. It’s reassuring. You frighten the children. Bear that ancient trauma in mind when dealing with old style Roman officials.
The German tribes change over time as smaller tribes go their own way, or group together to make a new alliance. But in the time of the High Season, if you bump into a fellow German in Britain who’s in town trading, you can often spot which tribe he’s from by a few pointers. For the benefit of non-German travellers, here are a few signs from just some of the tribes.
Cattans: Live in the Hercynian Forest and in swamps. Hardy and robust, compact limbs, stern. Full of common sense and good planners rather than reckless. If your Cattan has a massive beard and long hair, and is still wearing an iron ring, it’s because he hasn’t killed anyone yet.
Batavians: Left the Cattans to associate with the Romans after some fierce fighting created mutual respect. Live on an island in the Rhine. Often used as Roman auxiliaries.
Tenctarians: Fine horsemen. Consider trading in goods relating to these.
Chaucians: Populous, undomineering, contented but swift to support others when wronged. They live in stilted huts on tidal plains catching fish in the ebb flow.
Cheruscans: Formerly considered good and upright, then grew weak and lazy and were conquered by the Chattans.
Suevians: Several large tribes, who wear their hair in a knot (but not their slaves).
Langobards: Includes the Angles. Small in number but daring. Worship the earth. They have a sacred wagon that does the rounds terrifying the locals with awe, until it goes off to be submerged in a holy lake along with the doomed slave-priests in charge of it.
Hermondurians: Pro-Roman occupants of the source of the Elbe. Trusted to the extent that they are the only tribe allowed to trade freely in Roman territory and more generally with Rome. If you’re not Hermondurian by birth, you are if anyone asks.
Arians: Stern, truculent, who carry black shields and paint themselves black to attack at night.
Suiones: Have ships with prows at both ends so rowers can just swap places to change direction. They have an absolute ruler and weapons kept secured away.
The Hellusians and Oxiones are said to have the heads of men but bodies and limbs of beasts, but that’s just Roman ignorance as our uncle is one and he looks quite normal, other than his fur coat.


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Tuesday 11 February 2014

Visiting Roman Britain - What to take

Visiting Roman Britain - What to Bring
Britannia is a part of the Roman Empire and as such has a great selection of traders and stores able to sell you most of your comforts from home, and more importantly many of the comforts you have never even heard of before.
There are limits. During the early period of occupation, the Roman authorities took a harsh view of the druids, considering them (rightly) from their experiences in conquering Gaul as closely associated with the national identity of their new subject peoples. The extent to which the old-time druids practised human sacrifice remains contentious. There are suggestions that Roman historians such as Julius Caesar egged up reports to make their enemies look bad, just as their ancestors made great play of claims that the Carthaginians spent every other weekend immolating babies to their gods. So while reports have been made of giant wicker figures, packed to the brim with sundry sacrificial livestock and even humans, there is a flip side. Nothing has been reported to us of conversations Cicero and his friends also had with a rather civilised druid who popped up in the city of Rome by the name of Diviacus. The long and the short of it all is that the druids were quickly cooped up in an island called Mona, which after a vicious battle involving all manner of supernatural weirdness the legions then stormed.
In turn, this means the traditional apothecaries of society were hacked to bits. Even in Gaul, where their suppression has been less forceful, they are a thing of the past since Augustus banned Roman citizens from attending their ceremonies, and Claudius outlawed them completely.
So you might therefore want to consult your own priests before coming, and bring your own stock of traditional herbal remedies. Graeco-Roman medicine is very good, but its greatest physicians weren’t looking for special roots amongst the weeds in these climes and would have no idea what mistletoe is for.


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Monday 10 February 2014

NEW EBOOK - Make your own Diddly-Bow - A Science Experiment to do at Home

NEW EBOOK -  Make your own Diddly-Bow - A Science Experiment to do at Home

Dr Duncan’s Fun Lab is a series of ebooks, each of which features a fun and educational science experiment to do at home.

Are you enjoying Dr Duncan’s Fun Lab experiments? Perhaps this is the first time you have come across this series of ‘science discovery’ in your own home.
Here is one for you to try yourself.
How about making your own music and finding out something about sound?

In this book you will learn how to make a DIDDLEY BOW
Isn’t that just a lovely name for a musical instrument?
When you watch a live band do you sometimes wish you had your own group and could play like the guitarist? Playing an air guitar is fun but not very satisfactory without sound is it?
It is thought the diddley bow came to America with African slaves. Because it is such a simple instrument it was played mainly by children, sometimes by two children, one who beat the instrument with two sticks and another who changed the pitch by moving a slide up and down. They would often give it up to begin playing the guitar. The diddley bow is mainly played in South America, but has influenced music throughout the world. The first recording made of a diddley bow was in the 1950's and it has grown in popularity since.

Series consultant: Dr Duncan Westland MBCS, MBA, MA, D.Phil.

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