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Swifty

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I seem to be quite fortunate in receiving my FT's earlier than some, the latest issue's a good mix of all sorts of weird crap. I'd never heard of the Wych Elm Bella tree before despite me being a brummie ... we've got koala stowaways, Yorkshire UFO crash, Roman ghosts of Chester (although the illustration inside shows the Roman's feet in the famous cellar incident .. I've previously read about this case that described the ghosts only seen from the knee up?) .. art history, smelling colours, the Nazi VW connection, Mark E Smith's ghost experiences and heaps more ... the only thing it's missing is Nessie .. good work team !

Hopefully we'll get that Hexham heads interview in a future issue ..
 

ramonmercado

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I seem to be quite fortunate in receiving my FT's earlier than some, the latest issue's a good mix of all sorts of weird crap. I'd never heard of the Wych Elm Bella tree before despite me being a brummie ... we've got koala stowaways, Yorkshire UFO crash, Roman ghosts of Chester (although the illustration inside shows the Roman's feet in the famous cellar incident .. I've previously read about this case that described the ghosts only seen from the knee up?) .. art history, smelling colours, the Nazi VW connection, Mark E Smith's ghost experiences and heaps more ... the only thing it's missing is Nessie .. good work team !

Hopefully we'll get that Hexham heads interview in a future issue ..

Is Crowley in it?
 

Dinobot

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It is only a wrong un if Crowley is in it!
 

Swifty

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I'm enjoying the spotlight FT has been shining on the Victorian scandal newspapers, I'd also enjoy reading a bit more about Robert Ripley instead of Crowley, I think FT have already done a feature on him in the past but I could be wrong .. I've visited two of the Ripley Believe It Or Not museums so far and they've been a massive treat, the only thing I don't like about them are the 'here's a car that was constructed entirely out of paperclips' type exhibits ..

.. and is it just me or has The Guinness Book Of Records become really boring over the last decade and a half .. they seem to include crap like 'the most times someone's completed World Of Warcraft whilst standing on one leg' these days instead of 'the most telephone directories torn in half in 60 seconds' good old days stuff .. I dated for a couple of years the grand daughter of Mrs McNaught when I was 18, her Grandma made The Guinness Book Of Records for having the most single birth children, 22 in 28 years ! .. I don't now if that record's been beaten yet ? ..

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=P5Al0X60UAIC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=mcnaught guinness book of records most children&source=bl&ots=V8tPz8Ib0x&sig=H7gIwBt2elSKmYL5xOFMk7L4Z2Y&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTmpStmcLZAhUFasAKHR7cA2oQ6AEIRDAC#v=onepage&q=mcnaught guinness book of records most children&f=false
 
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David Plankton

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instead of 'the most telephone directories torn in half in 60 seconds'

Telephone directories aren't as common as they used to be. Getting the technique right of breaking the spine first was the key; the pages were easy to tear after that. I could do it when I was about 14 and not very strong.

The feat of strength(?) I miss is the blowing up a hot water bottle record. This is someone doing it with his nose but it looks like you could blow your own brains out if you weren't careful.



On a Crowley-related note, I was reading a story earlier on a winter attempt at climbing K2 and checking the Wiki page for said mountain I discovered that he was part of the team that failed to reach the summit in 1902.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K2
 

GNC

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Bella in the Wych Elm article was a thorough run through of the mystery, captured what was so strange about it, but I also think it's a really sad story too... we'll never know who she was, even if she was called Bella (or Lubella - is that a real name anyway?).

No idea who Richard Church is (letters page), but his account of being able to float downstairs - even into adulthood! - must have made him the potential world champion of such activity. Let's start a campaign to make it an Olympic event.
 

titch

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bought my copy last night, SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GHOSTS OF ROMAN CHESTER ARTICLE!!!! on a quick flick through all i can find are roman ghosts of York, Chester's roman ghosts are very slippy buggers it would seem.
 

escargot

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bought my copy last night, SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THE GHOSTS OF ROMAN CHESTER ARTICLE!!!! on a quick flick through all i can find are roman ghosts of York, Chester's roman ghosts are very slippy buggers it would seem.

I've often spotted blokes dressed as Roman soldiers wandering around Chester. Nobody takes much notice. Half of them might be ghosts for all I know!
 

Spookdaddy

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Bella in the Wych Elm article was a thorough run through of the mystery, captured what was so strange about it, but I also think it's a really sad story too... we'll never know who she was, even if she was called Bella (or Lubella - is that a real name anyway?)...

Yes, a fascinating - and as you say, sad story. I enjoyed the article, but early on the author repeats what I am convinced is a mistaken derivation of the name of the tree. I suspect that the wych elm is called a wych elm because that's a common name for that type of tree (ulmus glabra) and that any association with witches or witchcraft probably came much later, possibly only at the time of the discovery of the body, and based upon a misunderstanding of the word 'wych' (which means pliant).

In fact I’d be interested to know if anyone who knows their witchcraft has ever seen ‘witch’ spelt ‘wych’. I’m not sure I ever have – but I’m no expert.

There was a pretty good Punt PI based on the case.
 

AgProv

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It's just arrived in Stockport. Yey again WH Smiths appear to have rearranged their shelves and it took some finding...
 

GNC

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Excellent Blast from the Past this issue - the centaur in the coal mine is a prime slab of high weirdness.
 

Dinobot

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It's just arrived in Stockport. Yey again WH Smiths appear to have rearranged their shelves and it took some finding...
Where did they stick it? In with the knitting, I bet....
 

AgProv

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Where did they stick it? In with the knitting, I bet....
For some reason, this time around it was in the "mens' interests" section. No, not among the wank-mags (WHS doesn't sell those, or apparently not so). Whoever decided these things thought FT should be in among all the car and motorbike comics....

reading the "Bella in the wych-tree" article. It all seems peculiarly, intangibly, British somehow. What sticks in my mind was that all this happened in April 1943. Ok, normal life had to go on and normal life clearly involves the fact that some people commit murders and other people try to track down those murderers and this won't stop in wartime. But in April 1943... the fighting in North Africa was coming to its end after three years, and possibly 800,000 people killed or wounded. The Eastern Front was gearing up for the summer fighting where Germany and Russia threw millions of men into the meat-grinder at Kursk. In one British air-raid on a city on Belgium - might have been the same day that Bella's body was discovered, must check this - 936 civilians were killed and at least as many injured. The Japanese Army fighting out of Burma captured a strategically vital corner of Assam, making a springboard for a deeper invasion into India and what is now Bangladesh. On average, 22,188 people died every day in WW2. (and that's an average: some days were busier than others).

But here, in the middle of the war, a police force and its related infrastructure are painstakingly trying to get to the bottom of one individual death. It's a thought-provoking contrast. In an odd sort of way (the bombing, in error or whatever it was, of that city in Belgium by the RAF notwithstanding) you can feel proud to be British - that these things matter....
 

GNC

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Crime didn't go away when the war was on, but I agree, it is curious someone would think of killing another when the world was so blighted with death and destruction elsewhere. There are a few murder cases from WW2 in the UK that seized the headlines, the Chicago Joe and the Showgirl case for example. I also agree it speaks well to the British spirit that the abominations of war did not diminish the need for justice in smaller scale, but still awful, crimes.
 

Yossarian

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My first issue in a while, and really enjoyed the write-up of the Bella In The Wych Elm story - it's one that's always fascinated me, and it seemed to fairly consider every possible angle, without losing the sense of weirdness and mystery around it all. And, yes, a very deep abiding sadness.

I thoroughly enjoyed the "Sacred Geometry of the VW Polo" article, too! A wonderful exercise in showing how simple it can be to fabricate notions of conspiracy or occult significance through cherry-picking from random data. Should be required reading for enquiring minds!
 

Dinobot

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My copy arrived yesterday, nearly a week before the next issue is due out. Still, a cracking good read!
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Yes, a fascinating - and as you say, sad story. I enjoyed the article, but early on the author repeats what I am convinced is a mistaken derivation of the name of the tree. I suspect that the wych elm is called a wych elm because that's a common name for that type of tree (ulmus glabra) and that any association with witches or witchcraft probably came much later, possibly only at the time of the discovery of the body, and based upon a misunderstanding of the word 'wych' (which means pliant).

In fact I’d be interested to know if anyone who knows their witchcraft has ever seen ‘witch’ spelt ‘wych’. I’m not sure I ever have – but I’m no expert.

There was a pretty good Punt PI based on the case.

The Wychwood brewery uses extensive witchy imagery for its beer pump badges and bottle labels. I picked up the quite sexy "Black Wych" fridge magnet at a beer festival recently.

https://www.wychwood.co.uk

There's no historical precedent for spelling witch as wych, but products like this beer and the FT article are popularising this alternative spelling, the appeal of witch SORRY which, I suppose is to make the word look vaguely more weird.
 
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Dr_Baltar

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The Wychwood brewery uses extensive witchy imagery for its beer pump badges and bottle labels. I picked up the quite sexy "Black Wych" fridge magnet at a beer festival recently.

https://www.wychwood.co.uk

There's no historical precedent for spelling witch as wych, but products like this beer and the FT article are popularising this alternative spelling, the appeal of witch SORRY which, I suppose is to make the word look vaguely more weird.

From the ever-reliable Wikipedia:

Wychwood is derived from an Old English name Huiccewudu meaning 'wood of a tribe called the Hwicce. The Hwicce were the Anglo-Saxon people living in the area (Oxfordshire) from some time in the 6th century until the assimilation of the Old English peoples into the wider Middle English society.

See also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwicce
 

blessmycottonsocks

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And the excellent folk/prog album by The Strawbs, which I've got somewhere at home, spells it (From The) Witchwood.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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That's the one.
I'm going to have The Hangman and the Papist earworming its way into my head now!
 

XEPER_

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I took this issue on holiday to Aviemore in March and forgot all about it until I took the holdall out the wardrobe last week!
Read some of it now and it's a great issue. REALLY enjoyed the Bella article, that kind of thing is why I love FT. The rest of the mag so far seems really strong too.
That thing about the men trapped in the mine seeing a door with two other men and marble steps on the other side.....wow, that really fired my imagination. Did the miners REALLY see the door? Who were the men on the other side? Why didn't the miners go through? In general: WTF?!!!! :actw:
 

McAvennie

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Random fact, my ex-girlfriend's parents were/are friends of Chas Cronk.

I'd never heard of the Strawbs but he was a nice guy.
 

McAvennie

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The image on page 75 of the horse's face from another angle giving a sinister simian visage to the beast...

Did we not have a famously sinister IHTM about a horse with the face of a human?

Could this be the explanation? A horse seem at an unusual angle in low light creating the effect of a horse with the face of a human?
 
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