83 days ago
There is a Winnifrith family phrase coined by my late father, for reasons I cannot remember, “a beautiful Balkan spy”. In my own family, when the Mrs is giving me, almost certainly with some justification, a bit of grief, I say to Joshua “That’s is it, we are off to Mother Russia where the streets are paved with gold and where we will be served caviar on gold plates by a beautiful Balkan spy who will then let us win at chess.” Having watched a TV show on life in Russia, Joshua is now suggesting that the streets of Moscow may not be paved with gold but he knows all about the beautiful Balkan spies.
199 days ago
Almost finally, in the small selection of photos uncovered by cousin John Stafford and found in the papers of Sir John Winnifrith is one of the woman at the heart of the mystery, Edith Maude Winnifrith. This shot is from 1899 when she would have been c24. Now look at the nose and chin.
199 days ago
This small set of photos were in a set of papers relating to the affairs of my father’s late nephew John Stafford who was another family member gripped by the mystery of Edith Maude Winnifrith (EMW): who was she? Yesterday I posted a photo of a baby which came from EMW and which I can now date pretty accurately. The dress worn by the woman holding the baby is, according to the leading expert on Victorian dresses, from 1868-70 but it looks tight and ill fitting so may be a few years old. The photographer, Thomas Prothero started business in Bristol in 1875 or maybe a bit earlier. I have a submission he posted from his Wine Street Bristol address for a Royal Photographic Society exhibition in September 1875. EMW said she was born in 1875 though her birth certificate is a forgery so I assume the photo of the baby she kept was of herself, why else keep it? So who is the lady below?
200 days ago
I described the other day my researches into, inter alia, the big mystery in my family – who was Edith Maude Winnifrith, my great grandmother? She was certainly illegitimate but who were are parents? Is her mother really Edith Wingfield Digby? I continue to go through the papers of her son, Sir John Winnifrith, and stumble across this photo marked up on the back, in Sir John’s writing, “my mother?”
207 days ago
Among those things I collected from the house of my late father in Shipston yesterday were some ancient photo albums and several boxes of family papers and documents. I have started reading but these things almost make me tearful.
250 days ago
It is my birthday so the entire family became a criminal family to celebrate. I reckon it was five crimes under the new lockdown laws and with the Orwellian North Wales Police and the Orwellian West Mercia rozzers to cope with it, it is lucky we were not all arrested and deported to Australia. In order we:
276 days ago
Thanks to the certifiably insane First Minister here in Wales, Mr Mark Drakeford, boozers shut at 6 PM and can’t serve booze anyway. I can’t remember whether it is illegal to cross the border with England yet or whether the North Wales Police start arresting folks for this heinous crime on the 24th, 25th or 28th. Anyhow, we set off from the Welsh Hovel last night, four of us in the car, dashing the few hundred yards to the bridge to free England and what we found was heartbreaking.
284 days ago
The photo below is from the 1913 wedding anniversary of my great great grandfather, the Reverend Alfred Winnifrith. I have the press cuttings which his wife kept of his work as a parish priest. He was a good man, a high Anglican and staunch Tory who was rewarded by the Belgians after the First war for his heroic efforts in assisting refugees with the Medaille du Roi Albert avec Rayure.
304 days ago
As Miss Winnifrith returned home yesterday, her elder brother Joshua displayed a mixture of pride and alarm that he may be overlooked. He certainly likes the T-shirt received from his godmother and Aunt F as you can see below. Miss Winnifrith now has two three Christian names selected.
360 days ago
Of course the first order Verditek (VDTK) won in the land of high culture was way back in 2019. But that turned out to be a fake “take or pay” contract designed to ramp the shares ahead of three bailout placings. Having finally ‘fessed that it made that one up, Verditek has today announced a real order from down under. But it is tiny and will do sod all to ease the financial woes of a company that is technically insolvent, having negative net current assets and which is still burning cash.
1060 days ago
Islington dwelling daughter Olaf seems to be in charge of securing public speakers for a posh girls school debating forum. She asked if I knew any funny and controversial speakers. I offered up friends such as James Delingpole of Breitbart and Dominic Frisby but was told that they were Alt-Right, fascists or just not acceptable. I am sure you get the picture. In this world anyone to the right of the Guardian is Alt-Right and should not be offered a platform
1263 days ago
My father knows why I am in New York rather than Shipston and approves so he has had to make do with a card (which has arrived) and a present (which has not). But he is aware of what it is, something that combines two of his great loves in life: Kent and cider. Fingers crossed it will arrive tomorrow.
1528 days ago
Dick Zinnendorf is a well known American Jew Hater. His lies and smears against Marco Rubio were a lowlight of the last election. And it seems he does not like what I write either and has sent "a letter to the editor". That would be me. Nazis like Dick may not believe in free speech but, like the Israeli state, I do so here goes. Dick, may your soul burn in hell and I shall continue to fight against anti-semitism, for the Israeli state and to expose Jew haters like Dick until I drop, however many fascist letters they send me..
1573 days ago
I have two great fears when travelling. The first is that I will miss my train or plane. This is hereditary. My grandmother Lesbia Winnifrith never missed a train in her life apart from once when she arrived so early that she caught the previous one in error. I like to travel with plenty of room for error.
1799 days ago
As you may know, my daughter is a diehard West Ham supporter. She is also, incidentally, a total goal machine for her top of the table side. Her membership of Slaven Bilic's claret and blue army is good for me as it is someone to talk to after a game: The mrs is not interested and has never been to a game with me. I am ticked off by my daughter when I start talking about relegation but we can share the joy after the mighty Irons get a result as we did yesterday.
1811 days ago
Naturally the surname is Winnifrith. None of this double barrelled nonsense in this household. But we have now decided on three Christian names...
1837 days ago
My father's family are generally not a terribly glamorous lot. They are serious, often bookish and, very often, holding stern and sober convictions. But there is one branch that is totally different. My grandfather (Sir John Winnifrith) had a younger sister Joan who moved to Hollywood, took the stage name Anna Lee and became an actress.
1838 days ago
I asked you to submit captions for the picture below and the entries were all suitably filthy and on predictable themes. thank heavens Diane Abbott was not in the shot or I really might have started to get a little squeamish.
1844 days ago
The first time I met my parents in law it did not go terribly well. I understood fully that a man who was at that stage worth minus £200,000 was, at 44, materially older than a darling daughter and who had been married before was not exactly an ideal potential son in law. Indian families want their daughters to marry up not to marry a bankrupt bum who is a proven marital failure. I understood.
My mother in law had been trying to arrange for the Mrs to get hooked up with a nice Indian dentist from Plymouth.
1928 days ago
Winnifrith males have loud voices and we like to tease each other and also anyone unfortunate enough to join us, in the case of supper last night that meant my dear wife. And thus as the wine flowed we found ourselves discussing the output of our various universities.
My father is, of course, a full on elitist but knowing that his deluded lefty wife who forces him to read the Guardian may disapprove sometimes finds himself having to pretend otherwise. And thus as we discuss the Brexit vote, I note that John Stuart Mill raised in "On Democracy" the idea that more intelligent folks should get more votes. Why not, I suggest give 10 votes to those of us who went to Oxbridge (my father and I), 5 to Russell Group graduates, 2 to those who attended other old universities, 1 to those with no degree and minus 1 to those who attended the former Polytechnics. Thus my wife would get 2 votes and her students would all get minus 1 votes. On reflection having lectured ti them, make that minus five votes.
I am joking but with this wheeze get a double tease. My wife is naturally appalled
1929 days ago
I bring you with no comment from myself something that I'd personally find unpalatable but which deputy Sheriff Nigel Somerville has unearthed. We simply ask you to post a caption in the comments section below with a deadline of midnight tonight, 7 June
1958 days ago
I am no late arrival on the Eurosceptic ship. Euroscepticism is hard wired into my DNA. My father's father, the Bennite Sir John Winnifrith spoke for the "out" side in 1975. My mother's brother is Christopher Booker. How could I be anything other than an "outer"?
And so three years ago I designed a T-shirt which I have worn happily in Greece & England ever since. It's Time to Leave. The imposition of a Soviet hammer & sickle on the EU stars says it all about this most undemocratic of establishments.
As hatred of the EU has grown not only in Britain but
1978 days ago
Barring a successful last minute appeal by two married celebs the celebrity injunction will be lifted on Thursday morning. The celebs front up an Aids charity but do not want you to know that the younger of the two plays away from home having unprotected anal sex including in threesomes in baths filled with olive oil. The UK Courts are now minded to accept that an injunction is pointless since the latest polls suggest that 55% of folks in England & Wales can now name the celebs. This is the Streisand effect - gagging is counterproductive.
Up until ten days ago while my father, Thomas John Winnifrith, could wax eloquently on
2101 days ago
There are again lavatorial issues with our two cats Chez Winnifrith. One of them has disgraced himself or herself with a deposit just inside the front door. But it is the season of goodwill and as you can see below my morbidly obese three legged cat Oakley is taking it easy...