Saturday, 19 September 2020

Voices in the Coalshed

 Inventions

 

“The best thing since sliced bread”, so the saying goes. 1928 that was invented. 113 years earlier a thin slice of gauze wrapped around a flame saved thousands of lives. Humphry Davy’s miners’ safety lamp was the best thing as far as colliers were concerned.

To mark “Light in the Darkness”, the Davy exhibition in the Technology Gallery at the National Coal Mining Museum, “Voices in the Coalshed” invites you to nominate what you think is the best invention… “…since sliced bread”.

Simply say,

I think the best invention ever is…………………, because………………..

Send your idea to:

voicesinthecoalshed@gmail.com

Suggestions will be post on www.coalshedpoets.blogspot.com and then become exhibits the virtual museum.

 

Dave Alton

Writer in Residence

National Coal Mining Museum of England


 




 

I think the best invention is the paper clip designed by Johan Vaaler because it has never needed to be redesigned because it completes its intended function perfectly. Some people have created different variations of the paperclip; however, it is purely for aesthetics as the original is frugal in design.

Amy Boothroyd

 


I think one of the best inventions was the Newcomen engine, an atmospheric stationary engine which was the starting point of the Industrial revolution. It was the first invention to effectively harness steam to produce mechanical work.

Mark Carlyle

 

I think the best invention ever is the ballpoint pen, because it has contributed to so many other inventions, ideas and interests by just being a quick and easy way to make a note of what you're thinking. It's not a totally accessible form of mark maker but there is good general availability of ballpoint pens.

Jules C.

 


My choice of invention or rather discovery is Fleming and the anti-biotic penicillin. I like the idea that chance as well as scientific discovery came into it.  Penicillin has had a huge impact on medicine and allowing people to recover from infections and has particularly enabled operations to take place. This pandemic has shown how important research is and how a problem often leads to a solution.

Sharon Healy

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Voices in the Coalshed

 

Voices in the Coalshed

September

 

“The best thing since sliced bread”, so the saying goes. 1928 that was invented. 113 years earlier a thin slice of gauze wrapped around a flame saved thousands of lives. Humphry Davy’s miners’ safety lamp was the best thing as far as colliers were concerned.

To mark “Light in the Darkness”, the Davy exhibition in the Technology Gallery at the National Coal Mining Museum, “Voices in the Coalshed” invites you to nominate what you think is the best invention… “…since sliced bread”.

Simply say,

I think the best invention ever is…………………, because………………..

Send your idea to:

voicesinthecoalshed@gmail.com

Suggestions will be post on www.coalshedpoets.blogspot.com and then become exhibits the virtual museum.

 

Dave Alton

Writer in Residence

National Coal Mining Museum of England


 

The Invention of Light

 

Candles! Count them on your birthday cake, then

Blow! Make a wish first, of course. Power cut,

Light a candle, the teardrop of flame makes

The shadows dance, a warm glow of past times

Until reconnection with the present.

Scented candles received as gifts, then wrapped

In coloured tissue they’re given again

As gifts.

Candles! Just the one and it stinks,

Just a stub of putrid animal fat

With a weak flickering flame that flutters

And gutters when the trapper hauls open

His trap for hurriers to hurry through.

Weak, but yet too strong when the mine’s bad breath,

The methane, the feared fire damp, concentrates.

Then blows!

Make a wish it isn’t so, of course.

Far, far better though to not wish but do,

Tame the flame, stop it becoming angry

With a wrap of gauze, simple, yet profound.

How many thousands of lives screened from death

By a plan with so many holes in it?

Light the lamp, labour in its yellow glow,

Know to go when it sputters and turns blue.

Davy or Stephenson? Stepping from darkness,

Colliers couldn’t care who invented the light.

 

                   Dave Alton

 

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Postcards

 

Voices from the Coal Shed

 

August! Holiday season! And so many of us going…nowhere! Why not send a postcard anyway? Instead of the usual “Wish you were here”, how about, “Wish I was there”?

“Wish I was there” this month’s theme for contributions to the Voices from the Coal Shed blog and the virtual museum at the National Coal Mining Museum of England. This is open to any age and from anywhere.

Send your postcard message to:    voicesinthecoalshed@gmail.com

Whether you can travel or not, everyone can wish.

 

Dave Alton

(Writer in Residence

National Coal Mining Museum of England)




 Jersey is a home from home. I wish I could walk along the St Aubin promenade as the sun sets after a busy day exploring. Or I’d visit the magnificent castles steeped in layers upon layers of history, where you can traverse five centuries in just five paces if you know where to go. I wish I could sit on the quiet and hidden golden beaches, the only sounds the waves against the rock pools. Bliss.

 

Brittany Holmes

 

 

 

 

I asked my 6 year old Grandson where he wished he was. This is his Postcard.

 

"I wish I was at Thomas Land but I really wish that I was at my friend's house playing with him, or at school in the playground playing Tig or Field of Lava with all my friends."

Isaac Reddington Aged R

 

My Postcard would be 

 

I wish I was on the beach in the sun in San Stephanos, Corfu. We would swim in the warm sea then relax on sunbeds listening to the familiar holiday beach 'soundtrack' of the sound of the waves, sun umbrellas flapping in the breeze, children playing and jet skis. We would discuss which wonderful local restaurant we might eat at tonight.

 

Pam Utley

 

 

Strolling on a beach

Feet wet and tingling

Cold waves catching.

 

Sand washes away

Reveals shells gleaming

Pebble gems glistening.

 

Footprints come and go

Life's pace pausing

Just breathing and being.


Julia C.

 

 


I wish I was…

 

…in Norfolk at my favourite camp site. I would be swimming in the swimming pool and running on the grass. It is a massive camp site with play areas which have lots of fun things to do. When I am there I feel as happy as a laughing hyena.

Caitlin Alton



 

I wish I was…

 

…in Toronto where I was due to be, before Covid. I was going to watch Leeds Rhinos v Toronto Wolf Pack and go in the nice pool on the top of the hotel. I was also looking forward to a theme park.

Rebecca Alton



 

I wish I was…

 

sailing on Adriatic Sea surrounded by endless blue sky and sparkling sea. The wind whipping the sails as we skim along bouncing on the gentle waves. Anticipating clambering into the dinghy to be whisked ashore for a delicious meal in a restaurant.

Jacqueline Garrood

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Voices From the Coalshed

 

 

August! Holiday season! And so many of us going…nowhere! Why not send a postcard anyway? Instead of the usual “Wish you were here”, how about, “Wish I was there”?

“Wish I was there” this month’s theme for contributions to the Voices from the Coal Shed blog and the virtual museum at the National Coal Mining Museum of England. This is open to any age and from anywhere.

Send your postcard message to:    voicesinthecoalshed@gmail.com

Whether you can travel or not, everyone can wish.

 

Dave Alton

(Writer in Residence

National Coal Mining Museum of England)

 


 

 

We went to a farm in the Peak District. We went for a walk and got drenched in the rain. We walked some alpacas and went in the hot tub. Portugal would have been hotter and less rainy. We wish we’d been there, swimming in the big swimming pool and eating ice cream.

 

                                                                                                                          James (8) & William (6) Fraser

 

 

 

Sun, sea and sangria

Wish I was there

Dining out, diving in ,acting on impulse

Wish I was there

Even traffic jams and airport chaos and that little voice from the back seat enquiring “are we there yet?”

Wish I was there….well almost

 

It’s not too far

You know we have to book!

Will the loos be open?

Which is the quietest day with the least people about?

That’s where we are

Wish I wasn’t there

 

                                                                                                      Anon.

 

 

Dear Joe …

Why not take an outing to the N.C.M. Museum?

 

Ingredients

        Parents (better still – grandparents!)

        A spare morning/afternoon

Method

        Follow the footsteps and your interests

        Note the free and challenging adventure playground

        Marvel at the machinery

        Discover the pit ponies

        Unlock the past and see how children worked

        Listen to your ancestors

        Explore what’s under your feet.

Result

Follow the big people and let them talk!

You will then be able to wander and wonder.

Have fun!

 

                                                                                                                                                Lesley Randal

Friday, 14 August 2020

Voices Abroad 2

 



 Introducing Michael Lee Johnson, a poet from Itasca, Illinois. USA, to Voices Abroad.




   Flower Girl

(Tears in Your Eyes)

 

Poems are hard to create

they live, then die, walk alone in tears,

resurrect in family mausoleums.

They walk with you alone in ghostly patterns,

memories they deliver feeling unexpectedly

through the open windows of strangers.

Silk roses lie in a potted bowl

memories seven days before Mother’s Day.

Soak those tears, patience is the poetry of love.

Plant your memories, your seeds, your passion,

once a year, maybe twice.

Jesus knows we all need more

then a vase filled with silk flowers,

poems on paper from a poet sacred,

the mystery, the love of a caretaker−

multicolored silk flowers in a basket

handed out by the flower girl.

 

   Silent Moonlight 

 

Record, she’s a creeping spider.

Hurt love dangles net

from a silent moonlight hanger,

tortures this damaged heart

daggers twist in hints of the rising sun.

Silence snores. Sometimes she’s a bitch.

Sunlight scatters these shadows

across my bare feet in

this spotty rain.

Sometimes we rewind,

sometimes no recourse,

numbness, no feeling at all.

 

   July 4th, 2020, Itasca, Illinois

                  (At Hamilton Lakes)

 

Stone carved dreams for men

past and gone, freedom fighters

blow past wind and storms.

Patriotism scared, etched in the face of cave walls.

There are no cemeteries here for the old, 

vacancies for the new.

Americans incubate chunks

of patriotism over the few centuries,

a calling into the wild, a yellow fork stabs me.

Today happiness is a holiday.

Rest in peace warriors, freedom fighters, 

those who simply made a mistake.

I gaze out my window to Hamilton Lakes

half-drunk with sparkling wine,

seeing lightning strikes ends,

sparklers, buckets full of fire.

Light up the dark sky, firecrackers.

Filmmakers, old rock players, fume-filled skies,

butts of dragonflies.

Patriotism shakes, rocks, jerks

across my eye’s freedom locked

in chains, stone-carved dreams.

 

*This year, 2020, due to COVID-19 I watch fireworks off my condo balcony alone,

share darkness alone, share bangers in the open sky.

 

   Fall Thunder

 

There is power in the thunder tonight, kettledrums.

There is thunder in this power,

the powder blends white lightening 

flour sifters in masks toss it around.

Rain plunges October night; dancers

crisscross night sky in white gowns.

Tumble, turning, swirl the night away, around,

leaves tape-record over, over, then, pound,

pound repeat falling to the ground.

Halloween falls to the children's

knees and imaginations.

Kettledrums.

 

Michael Lee Johnson