Shaping the Future

A Bit About Britain's History the book“What is history? An echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past.”– Victor Hugo

Editorial Comment: Before I begin today’s post – One or two bloggers have become confused and have created pingbacks to this site Nan’s Farm instead of Weekly Prompts. 

Weekly Prompts belonging to my partner GC and myself, was set up to create the challenges and not our individual sites. We don’t mind the errors, but others may not notice your pingbacks.


The midweek Word Prompt over on GC and my site Weekly Prompts is READING. We asked our readers about their preferred choice of reading material, and whether they prefer to read a physical book or an electronic device.

In recent years my love of reading and owning books has changed considerably. I read the odd magazine, but rarely do I pick up a book or read my Kindle, and probably because there is usually some other activity or project taking priority that I’m itching to get on with.

Last week, however, I purchased the above book. I chose the paperback as opposed to the electronic, and mainly so that daughter Sophie could borrow it as I know she will enjoy reading this just as much as I.  

The author is Mike Biles, a fellow ‘Englander’ and blogging colleague from A bit about Britain. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to visit Mike’s very interesting and comprehensive site. The book is available from Mike’s site as an e-book or paperback and from Amazon.

On Sunday my daughter next door came through to my kitchen with a few bits she’d been storing that belonged to my late husband, including three commercial vehicle magazines that were over a hundred years old, and a treasure chest full of old British coins and banknotes from his travels around the world. 

To View Clearly – Click an image to enlarge all and scroll.


I was unaware my husband had these magazines,  I’m guessing he picked them up at a classic car rally. He had several classic cars in his time, including a 1930’s commercial wagon. Reading some of the pages in the magazines was fascinating. Click to enlarge


To order a product, readers were invited to write to the advertisers, and as the magazines are dated 1907 and 1908, it’s hardly surprising they needed to order in writing! There weren’t many telephones around back then; however, I managed to find one telephone number and from Leeds of all places (my home city). Prefixes have been added over the years, and now I’m wondering if the Leeds telephone number ending in 1674 is still in existence?

I felt a buzz reading these magazines, holding and reading something so old that was printed over a hundred years ago is not something that happens every day; I’m not surprised my husband purchased them.


A few snippets included someone congratulating the bus company for having a sixteen-month-old bus that was still in service! Another said that brake failure was to be expected, whilst another was recruiting engineers for India but must be aged between 21 and 24!

Next, I turned to the treasure chest and had a look at the old pennies, I realise they’re not rare coins, but it was interesting to think about their history.

IMG_3095I needed to clean them up a little to enable me to read the dates on the coins and make out which King was which. Kings and Queens of England a TIMELINE

Finally, I turned my attention to the bank notes.

Bank Notes

I’m afraid I couldn’t read all of the banknotes although some are pretty obvious.

All in all, not a bad reading activity for a wet Sunday afternoon!

(C) 2019 Word Prompt Reading from Weekly Prompts


29 thoughts on “Shaping the Future

  1. A fascinating read Sue, history/antiques of magazines and newspapers, always make for interesting reading…..I do prefer reading books rather than the digital form, although I don’t read as much as I used to… I’m basically restricted to reading short stories and poems these days……

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m not sure I have a preference, but if I was impatient to get started, the download would be there immediately. I loved owning books and seeing them lined up on the bookcases, today ownership seems less important. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love the feel of books, the turning of pages, using that personal bookmark, the sound of hard-cover closing……. hmmm maybe a poem is brewing…….

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent, Sue. I must admit to preferring an actual book to an electronic one. There’s something so special about a brand new book that just can’t be replicated on a reading device. As for history, I visited my Paternal Grandparents flat in Margate last month. Although I couldn’t go in, it was so wonderful to be able to touch the railings outside, knowing that all my family who are no longer here, all touched those railings in their day. A tactile link to the past. Sorry, I’ve gone on a bit too much, great post, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I prefer children to read actual books because I believe this where a love of reading and their education begins. For myself, I no longer have a preference.
      I understand exactly what you mean about your grandparent’s former home.
      Opposite St James’ hospital in Leeds there is a car park where rows of terrace houses used to stand. I was born in one of those houses, my aunt’s house, and other family members lived on the street. Each time I go to the hospital I stand and look around and remember the family who are no longer here and the good times we had on those streets. Thank you for the kind comments Trev. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I much prefer physical books with pages I can turn, although I also like the immediacy of online books. The pictures of pages from the old magazines remind me of some old fashion magazines owned by my grandmother. She used to let me read them and pore over the pictures of elegant women in beautiful dresses. Such a treat! Thank you for prompting these memories, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike found me last year when I wrote an article about Beatrice Potter. He’d also written one. I do love his site, so interesting. Thank you very much Derrick

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to have more bookcases and quite a thing about owning books. The need to own has thankfully left me. The ones I own today are useful or are the ones I enjoy re-reading. I like the convenience of the Kindle, being able to read something here and now as and when the fancy takes me. Thank you for your input. 🙂


  4. Murphy's Law

    I don’t like reading a book electronically. I stopped purchasing books years ago. Creating storage space for them was getting impossible. I donated them all to the local library, and that’s where my steady supply of books comes from. I am an avid reader with mysteries at the head of the list.

    That’s a wonderful collection your daughter kept. It is incredibly interesting, and sometimes greatly entertaining, to read old newspapers or magazines. They may not have any monetary worth, but they are priceless in terms of reminding us of how things were and how far we’ve come.

    I bet your library would love to have them!!

    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And we certainly have come a long way. We stored a lot of his stuff under the old staircase and I think we’ll probably unearth more before we’re done.

      What a great idea about offering them to a local library. My son wants to frame some of the pictures, I told him we’ll need to scan them because we’re not ripping out pages. They should go well in his old house. Thank you Ginger 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. gc

    Great article Susan. You offered us an insight into your late husband’s love of cars and his collection of dated magazines. Thank you for that. I too prefer the “hands on” type of book but in this day and age have to admit that I have been won over by the added benefits the electronic contraptions offer me. Reading a book with a large magnifying glass in one hand and the book in another is not really my cup of tea. Other than that I did enjoy your article and hope you will continue to surprise us with your archive of material . Great work. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked the article, my leisurely Sunday afternoon fitted perfectly for this prompt.

      If you read the other comments, you will have noticed that I no longer have the desire to own a collection of books and just so long as we encourage our youngsters to read the real thing I am perfectly happy with e-books – when I’m not wrapped up some project or other! Thank you for your comments, and for choosing just the right prompt for me! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I do hope you enjoy the book, Sue. I don’t have a kindle, only my phone, if I did want to read anything electronically. I do prefer books if I’m reading a novel/poetry or if it has lots of pictures/ information. However, to quickly look something up or if I need a dictionary/thesaurus, I do tend to use my phone. The old magazines & currency are wonderful, such lovely items to treasure! I love the way they write & explain things from another time. I’m always drawn to the old adverts too, & often find myself thinking, “what on Earth…?”
    When we moved, I found an old scrapbook I’d got. Some of the ads & articles were fascinating! It was full of cuttings from the time of the moon landings & an old newspaper about the tragic disaster in Aberfan in 1966. Both made a huge impression on me. Strangely, this October, The Aberfan Male Voice Choir will be singing at our village church & I’m amongst some ladies who’ll be their support act! Life coming in full circle in a roundabout way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started in the middle of the book with the Victorians! I’ve begun to set aside a little time each morning when I’ve finished the first round of domestic chores and before I get myself engrossed in yet another computer project.

      What an interesting scrap book, my grandma kept scrapbooks but after my mother died I couldn’t find them.

      I agree with life does come around again in an unexpected way. I love a Welsh Male voice choir, they can’t be beaten. Enjoy your supporting role and thank you for your comments. 🙂


    1. The BBC is usually my first choice and mainly because it’s the only channel that doesn’t have commercial advertising. And because it has good drama! I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and I thank you for your comments. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah – good drama is right! I was in Canada in June and caught some bbc shows – had to laugh because it follows me!
        And did I mention I love tea??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Most people here start their days with a cup of tea, except me. When I was expecting my first child, morning tea made me feel sick so I switched to coffee first thing. The dislike of tea in the morning is still with me, very weird, but come lunchtime and it’s tea for the rest of the day! It’s like a drug, a cure all for when you get home with tired feet and an aching head! Thank you Yvette.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well I just happened to make tea before a nap today! And it is a cure all here at times
        And so interesting about not liking tea in a.m. – those pregnancies sure can change us – ha
        And isn’t it nice to have coffee and tea options – all kinds –
        And when I see those locked tea containers of yesteryear I feel grateful to have so many affordable options

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Sue. FIRSTLY – thank you for buying the book, which of course I hope you and Sophie enjoy, and for giving A Bit About Britain such a lovely mention. I’m dead chuffed 🙂 Reading – I spend so much time on the computer and use the internet extensively for both casual and serious research. I check the news several times a day on my ‘phone and have even developed the habit of looking up people’s biographies – actors, politicians etc – while I’m watching them on TV. “Who was it in so-and-so programme?” And out comes the ‘phone! E-books are great – fabulous for holidays, storage and ease of use. But I love real books and getting rid of one is painful – despite the long-suffering Mrs B’s best efforts. She actually tries to keep me away from bookshops, especially second-hand ones. I like the feel and smell of a book and have at least one on the go all the time. The only problem is reading large books in bed; I have lost count of the number of times part of a heavy tome has thumped down on my nose as I’ve nodded off. More seriously – your point about preferring children reading actual books is an excellent one. I’m still amazed when I come across someone that doesn’t read, except perhaps a newspaper; I find it bizarre. Giving children the gift and love of reading is a huge benefit. What a treasure-trove you unearthed among your late husband’s things; oddly enough, I was discussing pre-decimal coinage with my daughter the other day. And don’t you just love finding something wrapped in old newspaper? Sorry, I’ve gone on a bit – thought-provoking post! Thanks again, Mike x.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike, thank you for such a lovely reply. It was my pleasure to purchase and begin to read your book.
      It has also been my pleasure visiting and gaining so much information from your blog. I Thank you. 🙂


  8. I’m only just reading this as, for some obscure reason, my following had ceased to be, it was no more, it had popped its clogs, it had terminated. I thought you had gone into early hibernation, but no………………!
    So a little bit of catching up to do.
    If you have a 1933 penny do not clean it, send it to me!!

    Liked by 1 person

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