Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

England in Particular

"England in Particular" is an excellent addition to the library of anybody interested in the bits and pieces that make up England.

Compiled by Sue Clifford and Angela King of the Common Ground charity, it is a celebration of the commonplace, the local, the vernacular and the distinctive.

It has taken these two ladies more than twenty years to compile the book, and I must say that their efforts have been well worth while.

Most books about England, if they follow the dictionary format, have entries listed under place name.

Not this book. The entries are listed under theme, with an article about each. Yes, places come into it, but only in passing within the article.

For example, under "Abbeys", Shaftesbury, Newstead and Tewkesbury are mentioned, but so is Mount St. Bernard Abbey in Charnwood Forest.

Under "Back Lanes", you can find Manchester, Rotherham and Salford.

The extraordinary "Cabmen's Shelters" afford mentions to London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Ripon.

Under "Daffodils", Ullswater, Saltash and Ambergate get mentions.

And under "Earth Pigments", you can find references to the Forest of Dean, Kendal and Dedham Vale.

There are too many entries to list them all, but here are some that I found especially fascinating.

Alleys; Almshouses; Aqueducts: Arches.

Bakewell Pudding; Bandstands; Battlefields; Bells and Bell-Ringing; Black Dogs; Brass Bands; Bridges; Bus Shelters; Butts.

Cafes; Cakes; Carnivals; Castles; Cathedrals; Cemeteries; Chapels; Churches; Cinemas; Commons; Cricket.

Deserted Villages; Devil; Drove Roads.

What a lovely book for dipping into.