Saturday, December 31, 2011

To Scotland For Hogmanay (New Year's Eve)!

We've bidden farewell to our friends in old London, and have made our way to Edinburgh via airship, all so we can share in the bright skirl of Highland bagpipes and thrill at the throng atop the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.
For this holiday, we came dressed appropriately for the wintry weather there, some of us wearing tartan or plaid.......

Our Travel Attire

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The pleasures of wearing tartans and plaids are unending, as our friends can attest.......

Tartans & Plaids

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We took a brief side trip to a country lodge, where our Edinburgh Hangar Club friends provided us with good company, along with songs by the fire and the best in fine dining Scottish style--and I did not try the haggis!

Fine Dining Scottish Style

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We brought home a tin of homemade shortbread to nibble during the highly anticipated fireworks planned for New Year's Eve.

A Scottish Music Party

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We quickly learned there is much to see and do in old Scotland. We were rewarded at outset by visits with an elderly bagpiper of some repute, who piped us into dinner and then stayed so we could enjoy the many tunes he could play as we relaxed by the fire of the lodge's great hall. 
On exploring the upper rooms of the weatherbeaten castle nearby, we stumbled upon war relics of times past. One of us was lucky enough to find an old £20 note (unsigned, of course!) secreted in an old shoe at the back of a derelict, cobwebby wardrobe.

Adventures In Scotland

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We returned to Edinburgh just as it was starting to snow, with warm memories of our frolics in the countryside to keep us in good spirits for many days to come.

Visits To Edinburgh & Countryside

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Happy New Year!!! 

"...and days of auld lang syne...."

For Your Further Listening Pleasure......

Such grace!

Scotland the Brave!

For more on Scottish history in relation to New Year's Eve celebrations, you may find a great deal  to think about by going HERE.
And for more on the history of the singing of Auld Lang Syne, including the song's lyrics, you can go HERE.

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courtesy and Wikimedia Commons

A Fond Farewell To Old London!

Our time-travel sight-seeing continues in retrospect this time, with clippings and souvenir pictures of the various lively entertainments to be had in old London.
Many of us were delighted to have their children join them for a few days, prior to our heading into Scotland for more fun. They were greatly entertained by a pantomime show for children, given at the Crystal Palace, where tea was also taken.
They also enjoyed a showing of Puss In Boots, along with a Christmas fair.

Puss In Boots Play Poster

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There was a sleigh ride out in the countryside with friends on Christmas day itself, a treasure of a memory for each child in turn. Many were the tears shed on departing. But any sadness was soon forgotten once we'd arrived at the George Street School for another Pantomime on Boxing Day (that is, the day after Christmas).

Souvenirs of London #1

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The children who have journeyed with us now have new yet old toys to play with while we relax in comfort aboard the HMAS Viola as she soars aloft into old Scotland.

Toy Ephemera

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Then, of course, we had plenty of time for shopping in old London, where I know several of our members became smitten with the shoes they saw being worn by various ladies in their holiday finery.


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Even our gentleman members had a fine time finding new suits of clothes for the journey. Some even chose to have their whiskers trimmed and their haircuts freshened. One of their number found a fine new hat as a gift for the Hangar Club's stable's best groom. His brilliant care of our club's personal coach and four also called for a special yuletide bonus collected for him from the various members.

Gentlemen's Shopping Excursion

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Meanwhile, we ladies kicked up our heels with a few dance lessons, as well as tried on new outfits from various eras in fashion.....

More Souvenirs

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...and also found we were able to each purchase copies of a very lovely souvenir portrait of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.

It's been a lovely time all the way round, our London journey. Before we share with our readers our experiences in Victorian Scotland, I'd like to personally thank our co-author, Rhissanna, for her galloping great adventure, and for sharing with us her inventive fictional character, Dr. Crupper. 
Thank You all for joining us on the first leg of this our Holiday Journey.
Up next: Bonny Scotland!  (later today!)

Images used (prior to our fiddling)
courtesy and Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chapter Three

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Words by Rhissanna
Ephemera Sets & Reprocessing by Rose

Dr. Crupper lowered himself into one of the thickly padded seats as the ladies of the Hangar Club gathered around him. His engineer stood respectfully to one side, the offending newspaper advertisement now discreetly rolled away.
"Well, dash it all," one tall lady said, rather stridently, "There must be some fix for this! Come along, Crupper! Stiff upper lip, and all that."

He nodded, and dug about in his waistcoat for his Chronometer. It resembled a large and well-appointed pocket watch, fitted with three dials and the hands for all of them were moving alarmingly. Dr. Crupper got to his feet and, holding the device in his hand, watched the sweep hand as it wound itself counter-clockwise. Backwards...

"Confound this thing! I can't get a reading!"

He looked again at the women and then. In sudden inspiration, he moved to the window. Outside, where there should be the brick walls of his carefully constructed tunnel, he saw open fields and a soft snow falling in the moonlight. The ladies clustered behind him.

"How lovely," one said, softly.

The Pneumatic Conveyance plunged onward. However, Dr. Crupper now looked much less alarmed.
"Dear Ladies, we will make a short excursion! I know the very place!" He nodded to the Engineer, who had been staring out of the window and together they headed toward the rear of the machine.

"Crupper!" cried the tall lady, who really did have a loud voice.

Dr. Crupper winced a little. "Yes, my dear?"

"What are we to do?"

"Do?" said Dr. Crupper with an enigmatic smile, "Why, get dressed, of course. You can't go out like that!"

The ladies looked at each other, resplendent as they were with their fur-lined muffs, their beautiful hats and their colorful coats. Whatever was wrong with their clothes, they wanted to know. They all started talking at once. To each other, to the Engineer, (who backed away in alarm at being accosted by so many ladies) and to Dr. Crupper.

"You can't wear those because you'll draw the curious eye. We can't have that. Please, allow me..." He pressed a button, which summoned a servant in livery, ''Bring the steamer trunk, would you, my good fellow?"

The servant nodded slightly, gave a glance to the ladies as if counting their number, and left. When he returned, he dragged behind him a large trunk, which proved to be full of cloaks and hooded capes. The articles were examined and the universal opinion was that they were warm, but rather roomy.

"You need to be covered, ladies. Concealed. Did I not promise you an adventure?"

The vehicle drew to a halt in a narrow and dark little station. It was much less well-appointed than the one from which they had begun their journey. In answer to their questions, Dr. Crupper would only say that the station was rather old and that they'd best hurry along.

The ladies chattered animatedly as they walked the chilly street, although they had little idea where they were as Dr. Crupper evaded every question but one, their destination.

"We're bound for the Crescent Moon Apothecary, dear ladies."

This, of course, only added to the questions, but Dr. Crupper would offer no more information.

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It wasn't until the party turned into a wide and open road, that the ladies began to exclaim. "Why, this is London!"
And so it was, but rather different from the London they had left. There was snow, and it was still winter, but this was a London they could hardly recognize, with no modern buildings, and the citizens were dressed in VERY old fashioned clothes.

They were ushered into the little shop under the sign of the Crescent Moon. The ladies were told to touch nothing, to ask no questions and, under no circumstances, were they to interrupt the procedure. Rather chastened by Dr. Crupper's stern demeanor, the ladies, for once, fell silent.

Dr. Crupper was sat down in a chair and a strange device was placed on his head. A label on the box stated in large letters that this was a Hill's Magnetic Cap.

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"I must re-set the Chronometer. It is attuned to my magnetic resonance and I'm afraid, my dear ladies, that your outlandish gear has rather upset it. Please, a few more moments of silence."

The rather odd hat didn't seem to do anything observable. In fact, all the ladies could see was that Dr. Crupper went a little pale. He held his Chronometer in his hand, watching it while the cap did its mysterious work and then, without a word, he got unsteadily to his feet.

"Steady!" cried the engineer, hastening to support his employer. "Let me help him."

But the ladies of the hangar Club had already clustered round their Doctor. They guided him back to the station, where the Pneumatic  Conveyance waited, gleaming softly in the tunnel's half light. They sat with him, in the engine room, while he carefully re-calibrated the machinery, and they dabbed his brow and offered smelling salts, as the device swept them through strange fields of ice and moonlight, before plunging into another tunnel.

It was alarming, but only for a moment. Then they were out in fields of fresh snow and bright sunshine. Around them they could see a lake, filled with happy skaters.

"Oh," they cried, and clapped their hands. "How wonderful."

Dr. Algernon Crupper nodded. He looked fatigued, but triumphant. "I believe skating would be in order, if one of you dear friends would assist me?"

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Would they! They were more than happy to parade their hero over the crisp and clean ice. In fact, they wore the poor Doctor out.  He pleaded the day's excitement and exertions, had been too much for him  and so they all retired to a country inn in the snow, where the ladies took turns to attend him. The offered him restorative medicine and hot cocoa and one took it upon herself to write down his notes of the day's curious events.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011


Text by Rhissanna
Ephemera Sets by Rose & Co

The ladies of the Hangar Club gather together their reticules and muffs, cloaks and boots, to head out into the snowy, bustling streets of Old London.

(Old London as it was in summertime)
(Just add snow, and stir)

They could hail a hansom cab, maybe, or call for a carriage, but no. Instead, the adventurous ladies exit their hotel, stepping out onto the sidewalk, to be met by Dr. Algernon Crupper, whose secret subway experiment they are about to become a part of.

"Algie!" They cry. "Where is this startling new contraption you want us to try?"

Dr. Crupper bows slightly, sweeping off his top hat with a graceful gesture. "Dear ladies, once again, I am delighted and disarmed by your intrepid nature. The Pneumatic Passenger Subterranean Transport Conveyance, which I call the PPSTC, is ready to convey you, if you so desire."

A voice calls out from the back of our group: "I do hope it's safer than your Automatic Hair Cutter, Algie! My poor parlour maid is still bald as a coot!"

There is some sympathetic murmuring, as Dr. Crupper replaces his hat on his head.

"Most regrettable. Do apologise again for me, won't you? And yes, dear ladies, it is quite safe. As long as you are all adequately attired?"

Adventure Apparel for Ladies & Gents

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Dr. Crupper's assistant steps forward, opening a rolling chest full of goggles, stout boots, gloves, puttees and other essentials for adventures of a subterranean or experimental nature. The ladies gather around, examining this stash, excitedly exclaiming over every detail.
"Very wise, Algie dear, but really we can't put them on in the street! This device of yours, it does have a Ladies' Waiting Room, I take it?"

"Of course!  of course. If you would step this way?" 

Dr. Crupper bows again, his gloved hand indicating the direction the ladies must take, towards an unassuming door set into one of the walls of the neighboring hotel. 
Once inside, the ladies find themselves happily ensconced in a warm room, fitted with mirrors and several dressing tables, along with everything one could require. There are two girls, adepts at fastening buckles and lacings, who help the ladies on with their new apparel. 

There is also a very large tapestried hanging on the wall opposite the entryway, and a separate powder room for more private functions such as ladies might require. The tapestry is beautifully made, depicting a dozen smartly dressed people, all riding to hounds.

Dr Crupper takes out his watch, peers at it,  and raps smartly on the door of the Ladies' Waiting Room.

"Ladies, it is time!" He calls out. 

With a sudden surge of excitement, one of the ladies flings wide the door, to reveal Dr. Crupper, his goggles glinting in the light from the gas lamps inside the Waiting Room.

There is a secret hatchway hidden discreetly behind the vast tapestried wall hanging just steps from the Waiting Room door. Dr. Crupper removes a set of curiously shaped keys from one of his pockets, and the next thing our Hangar Club members know, they are standing in a somewhat drafty passageway which leads them away from the comforts of the Waiting Room and into regions of the mysteries of Time Travel in London's underworld realm! 

It is a walk of around ten minutes' duration, yet no one feels inclined to speak. They are all simply too amazed at this new development for words. Just ahead, the good professor is striding confidently in the direction of heaven knows what. The walls are of solid mortar and brick. The steps of the ladies echo strangely, while all about them, the gas lanterns jutting  here and there like arms in the subterranean gloom, flicker overhead.

All the while, the floor slopes away from underfoot, leading ever downwards....

Then, rounding a corner of the strange passageway, they encounter quite a stirring sight. For, lo and behold! There is a station--almost, but not very like, the train stations all know so well. Along one side, a platform awaits them. Dr. Crupper's bold steps lead them thither.

Dr. Crupper's Secret World

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The Hangar Club ladies form an impressive lot as they stand together on the platform. Goggles firmly fixed, bright eyes taking in the splendid scene, they stand crowded together, eagerly awaiting what's yet to come. Dr. Crupper stands at the open end of the tunnel and gazes down it. In the distance, a man raises a signalling lantern and then steps aside for safety.

The ladies gasp as the pneumatic train wooshes into the station, steam hissing, whistle blowing. A few of the more timid ladies discreetly cover their ears hastily. Then they all applaud and Dr Crupper blushes slightly above his mustachios and bows dashingly, his brass rimmed goggles gleaming.

On the train, there is plush seating, all tufted, quite comfortable. Along with this, there are pretty cabinets of fine burled wood  and  the new electric lighting. It is like a best parlour, with everything one could desire for one's comfort while en route to one's next destination.

Dr. Crupper nods and smiles as the transport glides forward, all the while adjusting his Chronometer. He answers the ladies' many questions, but his expression becomes more and more distracted.

He moves out into the empty carriage at the rear of the train, where he is seen in earnest discussion with one of the engineers. The ladies peer through an adjoining window. "What on earth is bothering Algie?" they murmur to one another.

"I told you it wasn't safe,"  mutters the skeptic.

The engineer hands Dr. Crupper a newspaper. Even from where they are stationed, they can see his emotions have taken a decided downturn. The paper is open at a page advertising--well--ladies' personal attire, and the engineer is pointing and gesticulating to a particular magnetic item on the same page.

Essential Unmentionables

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"Well, really," says one of the less modern members. "I thought he was a gentleman!"

Dr Crupper steps back into the carriage, clearly discomfited. He displays the advertisement for the view of each of his passengers, all the while with a worried air. "I regret to inform you, ladies, that we have been experiencing what can only be called a serious malfunction.  There is an issue with the train in conjunction with my Chronograph, and it may be one of you splendid ladies is the unwitting cause. Is any one of you, by an chance, wearing one of these?" His hand points to the alarming magnetic corset.

One lady blushes and raises her hand. "Algie, dear, I think we might all be."

"Then," said Dr Crupper in a solemn tone, "I don't know quite where our train is taking us. It could be anywhere. Or anywhen..."

To be continued...

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

London & Edinburgh for the Holidays!


By Rose

Here we are, in exciting old 1880's London town! Our train from Dover having arrived on schedule, and our afternoon tea soon to be served in the drawing room of the London Chapter of the International Hangar Club, we unpack, laying out our wardrobes as we go......

Our Winter Attire

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The beauty of time travel is, it allows one choices as to the where and when together. So, while we are dining in this evening, our minds will be filled with delightful ideas as to our next shared adventure. This will lead us back through time to the previous decade (to 1875, to be precise), where we hope to be able to spend an enchanted evening enjoying the musical delights of Gilbert & Sullivan's first run of their light comic opera, Trial by Jury

On our arrival, it was already drizzling, and had been for about half an hour, according to our private club's porter, but now it is looking more and more like fresh snow is on its way! 

Our view, on arrival, was a wet one.....

St. Paul's from Ludgate

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Some of us are already beginning to restyle their evening attire, as we mustn't appear too outlandish for this stellar performance at the Royalty Theatre, where the famed dramatic duo, Gilbert & Sullivan have all of London agog. Here is a scene from their first production--

Trial by Jury

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The audience is packed, full of all sorts of people from every walk of Victorian life. It is quite an eyeful!

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All of London seems awash with excitement as we head homeward for a late night supper at the club, followed by a good night's rest in our lush separate suites.........

To Be Continued 

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