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Ageing & Growing Old

Are you growing older?

  • Yes, I am

    Votes: 71 61.2%
  • No, I'm getting younger

    Votes: 23 19.8%
  • Sorry, I don't understand the question

    Votes: 15 12.9%
  • I'm a Mod; I think adding silly polls to chat threads is pointless

    Votes: 7 6.0%

  • Total voters
    116

Iris

Justified & Ancient
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
2,637
Reminded me of this.

The Thames Frost Fairs​

Between 1600 and 1814, it was not uncommon for the River Thames to freeze over for up to two months at time. There were two main reasons for this; the first was that Britain (and the entire of the Northern Hemisphere) was locked in what is now known as the ‘Little Ice Age’. The other catalyst was the medieval London Bridge and its piers, and specifically how closely spaced together they were. During winter, pieces of ice would get lodged between the piers and effectively dam up the river, meaning it was easier for it to freeze.
Although these harsh winters often brought with them famine and death, it was the local Londonders – as enterprising and resilient as ever – who decided to make the most of it and set up the Thames Frost Fairs. In fact, between 1607 and 1814 there were a total of seven major fairs, as well as countless smaller ones.
These Frost Fairs would have been quite a spectacle, full of hastily constructed shops, pubs, ice skating rinks… everything that you would expect in the crowded streets of London but on ice!
The first recorded frost fair was during the winter of 1607 / 08. During December the ice had been firm enough to allow people to walk between Southwark to the City, but it was not until January when the ice became so thick that people started setting up camp on it. There were football pitches, bowling matches, fruit-sellers, shoemakers, barbers… even a pub or two. To keep the shopkeepers warm, there were even fires within their tents!


The Frost Fair in 1683


The Frost Fair in 1683 / 84
During the Great Winter of 1683 / 84, where even the seas of southern Britain were frozen solid for up to two miles from shore, the most famous frost fair was held: The Blanket Fair. The famous English writer and diariest John Evelyn described it in extensive detail, writing:
Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cookes, tipling and other lewd places, so that it seemed a bacchanalian triumph or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgement on the land, the trees not onely splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in divers[e] places, and the very seas so lock’d up with ice, that no vessels could stir out or come in.
Even kings and queens would join in the festivities, with King Charles reportedly enjoying a spitroasted ox at this very fair.


The Thames frozen over in 1677


In this painting from 1677, you can see how thick the ice would have been on the Thames.
However, as you may imagine from holding a festival on a rather precarious piece of ice, there was the occasional tragedy. During the fair of 1739 a whole swathe of ice gave away and swallowed up tents and businesses as well as people.
Another tragedy occurred at the fair in 1789 where melting ice dragged away a ship which was anchored to a riverside pub in Rotherhithe. As the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ wrote at the time:
“The captain of a vessel lying off Rotherhithe, the better to secure the ship’s cables, made an agreement with a publican for fastening a cable to his premises. In consequence, a small anchor was carried on shore, and deposited in the cellar, while another cable was fastened round a beam in another part of the house. In the night the ship veered about, and the cables holding fast, carried away the beam, and levelled the house with the ground, by which accident five persons asleep in their beds were killed.”


The last ever Thames Frost Fair in 1814


The last ever Frost Fair held in 1814 / 15
By the 1800’s the climate had started to warm, the severity of the winters had waned and the last ever London Frost Fair took place in the January of 1814. Although only lasting for five days, this was to be one of the largest fairs on record. Thousands of people turned up every day, and there was said to be every possible form of entertainment including a parading elephant!
“At every glance, there was a novelty of some kind or other. Gaming was carried on in all its branches. Many of the itinerant admirers of the profits gained by E O Tables, Rouge et Noir, Te-totum, wheel of fortune, the garter, were industrious in their avocations, and some of their customers left the lures without a penny to pay the passage over a plank to the shore. Skittles was played by several parties, and the drinking tents were filled by females and their companions, dancing reels to the sound of fiddles, while others sat round large fires, drinking rum, grog, and other spirits. Tea, coffee, aud eatables, were provided in abundance, and passengers were invited to eat by way of recording their visit. Several tradesmen, who at other times were deemed respectable, attended with their wares, and sold books, toys, and trinkets of almost every description.”
Perhaps the river would have frozen over a few more times before the end of the Little Ice Age, but the demolishing of the medieval London Bridge in 1831 meant that this was not to be. Instead, the fair of 1814 would be the last.



Related articles​

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Cockpit-Steps/
 

Dick Turpin

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Mar 28, 2018
Messages
804
Reminded me of this.

The Thames Frost Fairs​

Between 1600 and 1814, it was not uncommon for the River Thames to freeze over for up to two months at time. There were two main reasons for this; the first was that Britain (and the entire of the Northern Hemisphere) was locked in what is now known as the ‘Little Ice Age’. The other catalyst was the medieval London Bridge and its piers, and specifically how closely spaced together they were. During winter, pieces of ice would get lodged between the piers and effectively dam up the river, meaning it was easier for it to freeze.
Although these harsh winters often brought with them famine and death, it was the local Londonders – as enterprising and resilient as ever – who decided to make the most of it and set up the Thames Frost Fairs. In fact, between 1607 and 1814 there were a total of seven major fairs, as well as countless smaller ones.
These Frost Fairs would have been quite a spectacle, full of hastily constructed shops, pubs, ice skating rinks… everything that you would expect in the crowded streets of London but on ice!
The first recorded frost fair was during the winter of 1607 / 08. During December the ice had been firm enough to allow people to walk between Southwark to the City, but it was not until January when the ice became so thick that people started setting up camp on it. There were football pitches, bowling matches, fruit-sellers, shoemakers, barbers… even a pub or two. To keep the shopkeepers warm, there were even fires within their tents!


The Frost Fair in 1683


The Frost Fair in 1683 / 84
During the Great Winter of 1683 / 84, where even the seas of southern Britain were frozen solid for up to two miles from shore, the most famous frost fair was held: The Blanket Fair. The famous English writer and diariest John Evelyn described it in extensive detail, writing:
Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cookes, tipling and other lewd places, so that it seemed a bacchanalian triumph or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgement on the land, the trees not onely splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in divers[e] places, and the very seas so lock’d up with ice, that no vessels could stir out or come in.
Even kings and queens would join in the festivities, with King Charles reportedly enjoying a spitroasted ox at this very fair.


The Thames frozen over in 1677


In this painting from 1677, you can see how thick the ice would have been on the Thames.
However, as you may imagine from holding a festival on a rather precarious piece of ice, there was the occasional tragedy. During the fair of 1739 a whole swathe of ice gave away and swallowed up tents and businesses as well as people.
Another tragedy occurred at the fair in 1789 where melting ice dragged away a ship which was anchored to a riverside pub in Rotherhithe. As the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ wrote at the time:
“The captain of a vessel lying off Rotherhithe, the better to secure the ship’s cables, made an agreement with a publican for fastening a cable to his premises. In consequence, a small anchor was carried on shore, and deposited in the cellar, while another cable was fastened round a beam in another part of the house. In the night the ship veered about, and the cables holding fast, carried away the beam, and levelled the house with the ground, by which accident five persons asleep in their beds were killed.”


The last ever Thames Frost Fair in 1814


The last ever Frost Fair held in 1814 / 15
By the 1800’s the climate had started to warm, the severity of the winters had waned and the last ever London Frost Fair took place in the January of 1814. Although only lasting for five days, this was to be one of the largest fairs on record. Thousands of people turned up every day, and there was said to be every possible form of entertainment including a parading elephant!
“At every glance, there was a novelty of some kind or other. Gaming was carried on in all its branches. Many of the itinerant admirers of the profits gained by E O Tables, Rouge et Noir, Te-totum, wheel of fortune, the garter, were industrious in their avocations, and some of their customers left the lures without a penny to pay the passage over a plank to the shore. Skittles was played by several parties, and the drinking tents were filled by females and their companions, dancing reels to the sound of fiddles, while others sat round large fires, drinking rum, grog, and other spirits. Tea, coffee, aud eatables, were provided in abundance, and passengers were invited to eat by way of recording their visit. Several tradesmen, who at other times were deemed respectable, attended with their wares, and sold books, toys, and trinkets of almost every description.”
Perhaps the river would have frozen over a few more times before the end of the Little Ice Age, but the demolishing of the medieval London Bridge in 1831 meant that this was not to be. Instead, the fair of 1814 would be the last.



Related articles​

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Cockpit-Steps/
And of course, bear in mind that the Thames was a lot wider and shallower that what it is today, which also would have helped with the freezing process.
 

brownmane

off kilter
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
3,093
Location
Ontario, Canada
It is just above freezing in the flat, I've taped up the windows to stop the draughts, I sit in a shawl and blankets, I sleep with two duvets and a cover - just like last winter. I have just now spotted two hot water bottles in the spare room - how could I have possibly forgotten about hot water bottles !!?
Flannel. My house is set at 18C, and on windy snowless days, it is freezing. My house is always warmer when things are snow covered. And I hate snow. Winter can't go quickly enough.

Here, we haven't gotten any substantial snow. My city is only about 20-25 km from the lake, so it does affect the snowfall. 20 km further north and you're in the snowbelt of southwestern Ontario.
 

Mungoman

Mostly harmless...
Joined
Feb 25, 2010
Messages
2,896
Location
In the Bush (Peak Hill, NSW)
And of course, bear in mind that the Thames was a lot wider and shallower that what it is today, which also would have helped with the freezing process.
What about the tides though?

With the tides daily ebbing away and flowing in, wouldn't the vacuum and alternately the pressure buildup between water and ice, tend to weaken the integrity of the ice...or was the ice of that proportion that worry was needless?
 

Endlessly Amazed

Endlessly, you know, amazed
Joined
Aug 6, 2020
Messages
1,355
Location
Arizona, USA
Flannel. My house is set at 18C, and on windy snowless days, it is freezing. My house is always warmer when things are snow covered. And I hate snow. Winter can't go quickly enough.

Here, we haven't gotten any substantial snow. My city is only about 20-25 km from the lake, so it does affect the snowfall. 20 km further north and you're in the snowbelt of southwestern Ontario.
I am in the Phoenix AZ area in a large retirement community. Since it has dropped to the 50s Farenheit, my elderly neighbors have started putting coats on the dogs for their walks. The dogs are stoic. I view situations in which the dog and the owner wear matching outfits as just another opportunity to practice patience and agree with the owners that yes they look great dressed alike. The fake Burberry trench coats don't look too bad on the dogs. The homemade knitted ones, often with appliques on them, are a different story.

In case anyone is wondering, I have yet to find an ironic dog owner who has stuffed his dog into a knitted coat for laughs.

In my locale, in December, the temperatures can range from 35 to 85 Farenheit. If it gets below freezing, some of the landscape plants die and have to be replaced.

I am from the Chicago area, where it could get to -20 F in the winter. I love the winters in Arizona.

Edited: to increase relevance to thread title of "Ageing & Growing Old."
 
Last edited:

Floyd1

Antediluvian
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
5,240
I am in the Phoenix AZ area. Since it has dropped to the 50s Farenheit, my neighbors have started putting on coats on the dogs for their walks. The dogs are stoic. I view situations in which the dog and the owner wear matching outfits as just another opportunity to practice patience and agree with the owners that yes they look great dressed alike. The fake Burberry trench coats don't look too bad on the dogs. The homemade knitted ones, often with appliques on them, are a different story.

In case anyone is wondering, I have yet to find an ironic dog owner who has stuffed his dog into a knitted coat for laughs.

In my locale, in December, the temperatures can range from 35 to 85 Farenheit. If it gets below freezing, some of the landscape plants die and have to be replaced.

I am from the Chicago area, where it could get to -20 F in the winter. I live the winters in Arizona.
Wrong thread. Please move to 'chat about the weather'. @hunck will not be happy. Many thanks.

Ps don't dress dogs up in clothes. They wouldn't like that.
 

brownmane

off kilter
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
3,093
Location
Ontario, Canada
I am a coward. People over 80 sometimes have, er, variable reactions to jokes. Also a few of them can move surprisingly fast. I have had a wet one planted on me from someone confined to a walker.
People who know me, know my weird sense of humour. Fewer people get it.

There was a desktop pic on work computer of a lone cactus at the edge of a cliff. My coworker commented how lonely the cactus looked. My reply, "jump, jump."
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
39,697
Location
HM The Tower of London
Reminded me of this.

The Thames Frost Fairs​

Between 1600 and 1814, it was not uncommon for the River Thames to freeze over for up to two months at time. There were two main reasons for this; the first was that Britain (and the entire of the Northern Hemisphere) was locked in what is now known as the ‘Little Ice Age’. The other catalyst was the medieval London Bridge and its piers, and specifically how closely spaced together they were. During winter, pieces of ice would get lodged between the piers and effectively dam up the river, meaning it was easier for it to freeze.
Although these harsh winters often brought with them famine and death, it was the local Londonders – as enterprising and resilient as ever – who decided to make the most of it and set up the Thames Frost Fairs. In fact, between 1607 and 1814 there were a total of seven major fairs, as well as countless smaller ones.
These Frost Fairs would have been quite a spectacle, full of hastily constructed shops, pubs, ice skating rinks… everything that you would expect in the crowded streets of London but on ice!
The first recorded frost fair was during the winter of 1607 / 08. During December the ice had been firm enough to allow people to walk between Southwark to the City, but it was not until January when the ice became so thick that people started setting up camp on it. There were football pitches, bowling matches, fruit-sellers, shoemakers, barbers… even a pub or two. To keep the shopkeepers warm, there were even fires within their tents!


The Frost Fair in 1683


The Frost Fair in 1683 / 84
During the Great Winter of 1683 / 84, where even the seas of southern Britain were frozen solid for up to two miles from shore, the most famous frost fair was held: The Blanket Fair. The famous English writer and diariest John Evelyn described it in extensive detail, writing:
Coaches plied from Westminster to the Temple, and from several other staires to and fro, as in the streetes, sliding with skeetes, a bull-baiting, horse and coach races, puppet plays and interludes, cookes, tipling and other lewd places, so that it seemed a bacchanalian triumph or carnival on the water, whilst it was a severe judgement on the land, the trees not onely splitting as if lightning-struck, but men and cattle perishing in divers[e] places, and the very seas so lock’d up with ice, that no vessels could stir out or come in.
Even kings and queens would join in the festivities, with King Charles reportedly enjoying a spitroasted ox at this very fair.


The Thames frozen over in 1677


In this painting from 1677, you can see how thick the ice would have been on the Thames.
However, as you may imagine from holding a festival on a rather precarious piece of ice, there was the occasional tragedy. During the fair of 1739 a whole swathe of ice gave away and swallowed up tents and businesses as well as people.
Another tragedy occurred at the fair in 1789 where melting ice dragged away a ship which was anchored to a riverside pub in Rotherhithe. As the ‘Gentleman’s Magazine’ wrote at the time:
“The captain of a vessel lying off Rotherhithe, the better to secure the ship’s cables, made an agreement with a publican for fastening a cable to his premises. In consequence, a small anchor was carried on shore, and deposited in the cellar, while another cable was fastened round a beam in another part of the house. In the night the ship veered about, and the cables holding fast, carried away the beam, and levelled the house with the ground, by which accident five persons asleep in their beds were killed.”


The last ever Thames Frost Fair in 1814


The last ever Frost Fair held in 1814 / 15
By the 1800’s the climate had started to warm, the severity of the winters had waned and the last ever London Frost Fair took place in the January of 1814. Although only lasting for five days, this was to be one of the largest fairs on record. Thousands of people turned up every day, and there was said to be every possible form of entertainment including a parading elephant!
“At every glance, there was a novelty of some kind or other. Gaming was carried on in all its branches. Many of the itinerant admirers of the profits gained by E O Tables, Rouge et Noir, Te-totum, wheel of fortune, the garter, were industrious in their avocations, and some of their customers left the lures without a penny to pay the passage over a plank to the shore. Skittles was played by several parties, and the drinking tents were filled by females and their companions, dancing reels to the sound of fiddles, while others sat round large fires, drinking rum, grog, and other spirits. Tea, coffee, aud eatables, were provided in abundance, and passengers were invited to eat by way of recording their visit. Several tradesmen, who at other times were deemed respectable, attended with their wares, and sold books, toys, and trinkets of almost every description.”
Perhaps the river would have frozen over a few more times before the end of the Little Ice Age, but the demolishing of the medieval London Bridge in 1831 meant that this was not to be. Instead, the fair of 1814 would be the last.



Related articles​

https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/Cockpit-Steps/
There was a BBC Radio 4 series years ago about the Little Ice Age, and very interesting it was too. :cool:
Went into detail about Frost Fairs and so on.
 

ramonmercado

CyberPunk
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
55,579
Location
Eblana
Still unsinkable at 100.

A Royal Navy sailor who was reported dead during World War Two has celebrated his 100th birthday.

Morrell Murphy, from Lisburn, was on board HMS Capel when it was torpedoed by a German submarine in 1944. Four days after the attack his family was informed that Mr Murphy had been killed. The family even received a letter of sympathy from King George VI but soon afterwards Morrell turned up fit and well at the family home.

He is now living in County Down and his granddaughter Jennifer organised a party to mark his 100th birthday.

"It's hard to believe that I'm now 100," he told BBC News NI. "Hard to believe that I've survived all these years but I still enjoy life."

Morrell Murphy celebrating his 100th birthday
IMAGE SOURCE, MURPHY FAMILY Image caption, Morrell returned to the navy after the attack and was in service until the end of the war

Morrell joined the Royal Navy on St Patrick's Day 1942, aged 19, as World War Two was raging. In December 1944 he survived a German attack in the English Channel which killed more than 70 of his fellow crew members on HMS Capel.

He was saved by the American navy and taken to France to recover. It meant the British authorities did not realise he was still alive.

When he arrived unannounced at his parents' home the following month there was disbelief.

"There were tears of joy when they opened the door and found out it was me," he said. "I remember my sister running over to a telephone kiosk to tell my cousins and my uncle and aunt that I was alright." ...

In spite of his near-death experience Morrell returned to the navy until the end of the war. ...

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-64548304
 

charliebrown

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
3,078
Location
Earth
The old saying is that if you don’t see your name in the obituary column when you wake up in morning, smile and go eat a big breakfast.

There is also a saying that the telomeres lengths that protect the ends of your chromosomes will tell you when you will die.

Supposedly, short telomeres, then you better make funeral arrangements.

Is this really true because telomeres can be medically measured ?

At least I am not suffering from “ covid brain fog “ like a much older friend of my wife ( 89 years ) who went to her bank and asked for her prescription medicine.

Do we have a telomere expert among us ?
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
34,910
Location
East of Suez
There is also a saying that the telomeres lengths that protect the ends of your chromosomes will tell you when you will die.

Ah, yes. My grandpa often said:

If telomeres be long, a man may fear no wrong; if telomeres be short, a coffin should be bought.

Red sky in the morning, shepherd's pie tonight...
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
6,339
Location
York
I want to know why it is that, if you have older (and I mean considerably older, not just a couple of years) friends and acquaitances, they seem to presume that you are at the same stage of life as they are?

My old friend John is a case in point. He's over 80. I am (just) over 60. He will give me lists of places I should visit (which is fine), and then the next time I see him will ask if I've been to them all. I have repeatedly to point out that I have two jobs and a lot of activities which don't leave me unlimited time.

And the less said about the time he rang me because I hadn't responded to an email within a day, because he though I may have 'had a fall', the better! His ears were ringing when I'd finished with him on that one (I run 30 miles a week, and work would miss me - I am highly unlikely to be lingering at the foot of the stairs for any length of time, should I 'have a fall').
 

Delightful

Devoted Cultist
Joined
Feb 3, 2023
Messages
100
I suspect we are all living in one of the last couple of generations where everyone ages at roughly the same rate and with the same rough life expectancy. It's easy to imagine a near future of some people living healthily into their 200s.
 

Floyd1

Antediluvian
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
5,240
I want to know why it is that, if you have older (and I mean considerably older, not just a couple of years) friends and acquaitances, they seem to presume that you are at the same stage of life as they are?

My old friend John is a case in point. He's over 80. I am (just) over 60. He will give me lists of places I should visit (which is fine), and then the next time I see him will ask if I've been to them all. I have repeatedly to point out that I have two jobs and a lot of activities which don't leave me unlimited time.

And the less said about the time he rang me because I hadn't responded to an email within a day, because he though I may have 'had a fall', the better! His ears were ringing when I'd finished with him on that one (I run 30 miles a week, and work would miss me - I am highly unlikely to be lingering at the foot of the stairs for any length of time, should I 'have a fall').
My Grandad would often say things like ''Floyd, do you remember those Austin 7's?''.
 

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escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
39,697
Location
HM The Tower of London
My mother (92, all marbles present) was telling me today that at the sheltered housing block where she lives there are people who have the Death's Head. They look sort of skeletal and doomed. She expects them to die soon. o_O
 

catseye

Old lady trouser-smell with yesterday's knickers
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
6,339
Location
York
My mother (92, all marbles present) was telling me today that at the sheltered housing block where she lives there are people who have the Death's Head. They look sort of skeletal and doomed. She expects them to die soon. o_O
To be fair, I know what she means. I've got a couple of customers, both men, who have that cadaverous, sunken cheeked look. Mind you, they've looked the same for the six years or so that I've known them, but both smoke about 100 fags a day, so I guess they might not go on fro much longer.
 

brownmane

off kilter
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
3,093
Location
Ontario, Canada
To be fair, I know what she means. I've got a couple of customers, both men, who have that cadaverous, sunken cheeked look. Mind you, they've looked the same for the six years or so that I've known them, but both smoke about 100 fags a day, so I guess they might not go on fro much longer.
I too know this look. My BIL who had serious health issues and just died two years ago. He outlived my expectations by a couple of years. I think people who are very sick get this look.
 

gordonrutter

Within reason
Staff member
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Messages
6,522
The old saying is that if you don’t see your name in the obituary column when you wake up in morning, smile and go eat a big breakfast.

There is also a saying that the telomeres lengths that protect the ends of your chromosomes will tell you when you will die.

Supposedly, short telomeres, then you better make funeral arrangements.

Is this really true because telomeres can be medically measured ?

At least I am not suffering from “ covid brain fog “ like a much older friend of my wife ( 89 years ) who went to her bank and asked for her prescription medicine.

Do we have a telomere expert among us ?
Telomeres are repetitive sections of DNA at the ends of chromosomes. Basically like aglets at the end of laces they stop the end fraying. But every time the cell divides the telomeres shorten until eventually they become too short and the cell dies.
 

Floyd1

Antediluvian
Joined
Apr 2, 2019
Messages
5,240
To be fair, I know what she means. I've got a couple of customers, both men, who have that cadaverous, sunken cheeked look. Mind you, they've looked the same for the six years or so that I've known them, but both smoke about 100 fags a day, so I guess they might not go on fro much longer.
Light smokers then.
 
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