Goulburn War Memorial was inaugurated in 1925, as a memorial to the men of this New South Wales shire who served in the First World War. It stands on Rocky Hill overlooking Goulburn and district. Visitors can ascend to the viewing platform on top. This photo was taken from the train as we trundled past in 2012.
Today is ANZAC Day.
25 April 1915
Lest we forget
The infamous Gallipoli campaign began 100 years ago today and was a disaster for all those involved, with appalling casualty figures which include Simon's great uncle William Schlitt, born 1897- died 6th August 1915, a Private in the Essex Regiment
service no. 3/2098.
We visited the Chatellerault Motor Museum when Simon's brother was visiting a week ago. Part of the museum is given over to an exhibit on the arms and cutlery making industry.
In the 19th and first half of the 20th century Chatellerault was home to an enormous arms manufactory, known as la Manu. Nowadays divided between an adult training centre, a circus school, military archive storage, a car museum and a hydro-electric plant it is the remnant of a long history of industry in this place.
From medieval times to the early 20th century, and particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries Chatellerault was a centre of knife-making. The industry ranged from large well regarded establishments such as Pagé frères to much humbler and smaller scale cottage manufacturies.
Cutlery made in Chatellerault, from the collection of Camille Pagé.
The director of Pagé frères was Camille Pagé, who became the chronicler and historian of the trade in Chatellerault as well as a serious collector of knives and related cutlery. His firm participated in the Paris Exhibition of 1878 and supplied cutlery to fine households.
The small scale manufacturers were obliged to submit their wares to an authority which judged their quality, but they were essentially making workaday knives sold cheaply to travellers on the street. The knives had a good reputation for being nicely finished, but their 'temper lacks hardness'. Chatellerault is on the Vienne River, on the main route from Paris to Bordeaux and women and children would hawk their cutlery to the many people passing through the town.
The making of table knives, scissors (and nails) was a family affair. Each house in some streets had a forge and each member of the family worked making cutlery, engaging in all the processes required. As a result the industry wasn't terribly efficient and families just barely scraped a living from their endeavours. This was different to in the large factories like Pagé, where each process was a specialist task and the product was passed from artisan to artisan until finished. As a consequence the factories used proportionally less fuel and their output was higher.
According to Camille Pagé, the Chatellerault table cutlery was stylistically much influenced by the presence of the large arms manufactory in the town. Although not made for the outdoors, the cutlery often looked like hunting implements, and workers migrated frequently between civilian and military spheres.
Badgers appear to be thriving in the southern Touraine, although they are declining in many places in Europe. Within a kilometre stretch along the Claise river near Chaumussay there are at least 3 large badger setts. This one, built into the roadside bank, is like a multistorey apartment block, with more than a dozen entrance/exit holes at varying levels up the bank.
Badger hunting is allowed in France and they are widely regarded as vermin (although not officially designated as such). The main reason is the damage they do to banks like this, undermining the stability of the upper edges and steep slopes.
Setts are not the only signs of badgers that one commonly sees. Recently we wrote about seeing tracks near Richelieu, and paths made by badgers regularly traversing the grass and undergrowth criss-cross the countryside all over the southern Touraine.
European Badger Meles meles (Fr. Blaireau européen) is unmistakable, with a stripey black and white head and the deportment of a miniature bear. They are about 75 cm long and 15 cm high, weighing around 10 kg. They are tremendous diggers, excavating a burrow system known as a sett, with at least 3 entrances (sometimes several dozen). The setts can be for occasional use, or the type which are occupied for years by multiple generations. Foxes and wild cats will often take them over once they are abandoned by the badgers.
Badgers emerge from the sett at dusk and after checking for danger sit around the entrance grooming themselves. Once it is dark they trot off in search of worms, insects, fruits, bulbs, grains and possibly small animals in the forests and neighbouring fields.
Where are the Loire Chateaux?
The Loire River is very long and many of the administrative districts along
its length make reference to it. Several French *départements* (counties)
Susan was born in Victoria, but moved to Queensland when she was 11. Simon was born in London, but moved to Canberra when he was 7, and to Queensland when he was 28. In 1997 they moved to London. Susan worked for a large heritage and nature conservation trust and Simon taught music technology at tertiary level.
Now we live in Preuilly-sur-Claise, a small town with a population of less than 1000 people in the south of the Loire Valley. We write about the restoration of our house, the history of our local area, nature, cooking and anything else that strikes us as interesting. When we are not blogging we run Loire Valley Time Travel, doing individually tailored tours of the Touraine for anglophone visitors in our classic Citroën, Célestine.
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