Castle Coop News

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Off to the Trenches

Posted by on Apr 24, 2015 in Castle Coop News, World War 1 Centenary | 0 comments

Off to the Trenches

 

 

 

 

 

Off to the Trenches

 April 22nd 1915, 

‘Nothing of any importance occurred this day’.

(Source: War Diary, National Archive)

Unfortunately this statement wasn’t accurate.

The first gas attack of WW1

On the afternoon of April 22nd at around 5.00pm, the Germans unleashed the first poison (cholorine) gas attack on trenches north of Ypres.. At around 5.00 pm , French sentries in Ypres noticed a yellow-green cloud moving towards them – a gas delivered from pressurised cylinders dug into the German front line between Steenstraat and Langemarck. They thought that it was a smokescreen to disguise the movement forwards of German troops. As such, all troops in the area were ordered to the firing line of their trench – right in the path of the chlorine. Its impact was immediate and devastating. It caused immediate asphyxiation and 6,000 casualties. Despite the Canadians heroically trying to hold out against the enemy, the gas attack opened a four mile hole in the allied defences and created an opportunity for the Germans to advance into the strategically important Ypres salient. 

Reinforcements were needed immediately.

(Source: The Northern Echo)

 

April 23rd 1915

War Diaries National Archive. April 23rd:

11am: Orders received  from Brigade HQ to prepare to move forward at once to the fighting line

1.45pm: The Bn. concentrated just north of CASSEL and proceeded by march route to RIVELD.

                From here orders were received to proceed at once to STEENVOORDE.

                Large numbers of French troops were seen here proceeding north in lorries.

5pm:      The Bn. left in two parties in motor buses for POPERINGHE and onwards to VLAMERTINGHE.

                Here the Bn. went into billets at the W end of the town.

                The following information was received at VLAMERTINGHE.

11pm:    The French had been attacked by the Germans with poisonous gas and the former had given way.

               The Canadians had filled the gap and were winning back the lost ground.

               Very heavy artillery fire could be heard and YPRES was reported to be heavily bombarded.

As April 23rd dawned, the 8th [Battalion DLI] received its emergency call-up.

With the noise of the distant guns getting louder, the Durhams marched to Steenvoorde, where they gathered in a field, were issued with dressings and phials of iodine to treat the injuries they were going to sustain, and those who had not yet done so were ordered to make a will. Then a fleet of red Lond double-decker buses carried them towards the guns.

The moon shone down on a strange scene for us –  a faint mist covered the ground. Our buses swayed and bumped along the uneven pave. The men were in excellent spirits, and sang and cheered like boys out for a school treat. – Capt. Harvey.

(Source: The Northern Echo)

 

Saturday 24th April:

On April 24th, the red London buses dropped off the Bede boys who had been trained as teachers rather than soldiers, near Ypres. They marched through the devastated town, its buildings collapsing into the streets and its roads blocked with dead bodies.. German missiles were flying overhead, and gassed and injured Canadian soldiers were flooding into the town from the opposite direction. Then it started to rain heavily, soaking their greatcoats.

Leaving Ypres, the 8th Battalion marched through the night towards the front, the noise getting louder, the very lights getting brighter and the stream of casualties turning into a torrent.

Just before dawn on April 25th, the 8th DLI stopped at Boetleer’s Farm at the top of Gravenstafel Ridge. Two companies, the Bede boys in A and the Durham Pals in D were selected to walk down the ridge, picking their way past dead bodies, to the partially – flooded trenches. The shattered Canadians in the trenches were delighted to see them and showed them how to wet a cloth and place it over the face to protect from gas.

Then the Canadians left, leaving the Durhams – who had never fired a shot in anger – beside the gap in the lines through which the Germans were about to flood.

(Sources: The Northern Echo & Harry Moses)

 

VLAMERTINGHE:

                All the morning the Bn. stood by ready to turn out.

                The heavy artillery fire continued.

6.30pm:  The Bn. turned out and proceeded east through YPRES to the fighting line where it went into action.

                Casualties of the fighting were:                 OFFICERS                                             OTHER RANKS

 

 

                                                                KILLED                                   8                                                              81

                                                                WOUNDED                         9                                                              153

                                                                MISSING                              2                                                              340

 

                                                                TOTAL                                   19                                                           574

(Source: War Diaries National Archive)

 

Yours ever,
The Agent signature
WW1 Centenary Information Correspondent: The Agent has just returned from a trip to Ypres where he has been researching WLS’s WW1 experiences and is helping to co-ordinate Castle Coop’s WW1 Commemorations.

 

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April 21st and 22nd, 1915

Posted by on Apr 22, 2015 in Castle Coop News, World War 1 Centenary | 0 comments

April 21st and 22nd, 1915

 

 

 

 

April 21st 1915

 

 

STE MARIE CAPPEL (near CASSEL) :

Day spent in inspections and issuing stores.

A telegram was received from HM The King.

War Diary April 21 1915 (arrow)

The numbers arriving at STE Marie CAPPEL were:

Officers                29

Other ranks        1001

April 21st & 22nd War Diary

(Source: War Diary National Archive)

It was usual for  novice soldiers to be introduced slowly to the horrors of the trenches. The plan was for the Bede boys in A Company, 8th Battalion DLI to do more training before being placed in a quiet area on the front with more experienced troops to break them in.

Ste. Marie Cappel – a  first hand account of April 21st :

In an account later published in book form, H. W. Tustin recorded his memories of the 21st April, a shortened extract of which I reproduce below:

A hen fluttering down from its perch on to my face aroused me…The stench of a sodden pigsty steamed up through the loose boards of the soiled hay which made our common bed.

It was not a sweet billet this; but neither the hens above nor the pigs below had disturbed us..We had passed the night oblivious of the fitful glare and rumble of distant gunfire – careless even of the tearing reverberation of bombs dropped near us during this, our second night in France – for we were dog-tired, and, being Tommies of a Northern Territorial regiment, had learned to make the most of the little rest allowed.

We were still drowsy on that cold Wednesday morning of 21 April 1915 ..but … we stirred ourselves into activity. One or two hardy warriors bathed in the duck pond near at hand and emerged declaring themselves much refreshed…

The morning was occupied in routine work and wearisome inspections and parades, and then in the afternoon, we were free to explore the village of Sainte-Marie-Cappel, which lay within half a mile of our farm.

The peace of this hamlet fell upon us like a benediction…The war seemed far, far away. Yet as the children played there came, rising and falling on the breeze, the sinister jarring and rumbling of the guns.

Credits: Richard Corr and www.pen-and-sword.co.uk

April 22nd 1915:

Nothing of any importance occurred this day.

All arms were tested with ball ammunition.

(Source: War Diary, National Archive)

Yours ever,

The Agent signature

WW1 Centenary Information Correspondent: The Agent has just returned from a trip to Ypres where he has been researching WLS’s WW1 experiences and is helping to co-ordinate Castle Coop’s WW1 Commemorations.

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April 1915 – 100 years ago…

Posted by on Apr 20, 2015 in Castle Coop News, World War 1 Centenary | 2 comments

April 1915 – 100 years ago…

 

 April 1915 – 100 years ago…

 

 

On Saturday, the military historian, Harry Moses gave an illuminating lecture entitled, ‘Bede Spirit – 8DLI’ in the Durham Light Infantry Museum.

 

Harry Moses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Moses immediately prior to giving his lecture 18/04/15

 

Harry Moses has been researching and writing about the WW1 experiences of the men who belonged to the DLI since the 1980s. In particular he has tried to piece together what happened in April 1915 when the students from Bede College who had joined up as Territorial soldiers, were suddenly rushed from their duties guarding the coastal defences to fight on the front line in Belgium.

 

Bede Spirit

1914

 

On August 3rd 1914, WLS, Tutty & Bob H, together with their fellow studentswere at Conway Army Training  Camp when they heard that war was imminent. Hurriedly the Territorial recruits packed up the camp and returned to Durham.

 

They clattered home in a train, arriving at Durham station at 1.00 a.m. and marching down to the Market Place where tables had been set out with a meal for them (their officers were refreshed in the Rose & Crown Inn in Silver Street). They spent a last night in their college before being formally mobilised the following day, and sent to the east coast near Whitburn to guard against invasion. (Source: The Northern Echo “When the Bede boys took on the Kaiser”)

 

  • 4 August – Gathered in the Market Place; no orders were received during the day so men were allowed home with orders to report as early as possible the following morning; mobilisation orders were received at 7pm
  • Battalion strength was 29 officers and 996 other ranks

What did the battalion do at the start of the war?

  • 5 August – 8DLI moved to the Sunderland area for coastal defence duty
  • 19 August – Moved to training Camp at RavensworthCastle

D/DLI 2/8/60(71) Soldiers of the 8th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, constructing a trench, 1914  (Picture credit: Durham at War/ Durham County Record Office)

8th DLI constructing a trench

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Moved to billets at Gateshead prior to the end of 1914; undertook further training and remained there until April 1915

(Source: Durham at War)

The ‘Bede boys’ were in A Company of the 8th DLI & were under the command of Captain Frank Harvey. Although amongst themselves, they called him  ‘Captain Cardboard’, they held him in great affection and respect. After 8 months of coastal duty and training, the 8th Battalion were suddenly rushed to Newcastle so as to be ready to be sent off to France. WLS, Tutty & Bob H were about to take active part in fighting a global war in which more than million combatants & 7 million civilians died.

War Diaries from  April 1915 -100 years ago:

The War Diaries from the National Archives give an account of the days of April 1915 which immediately followed.

War Diary 17th April extract

 

 

17th April 1915

At 3.35pm on 17th April 1915, all horses and vehicles plus 3 officers and circa 80 – 90 other ranks entrained at the FORTH CATTLE DOCK NEWCASTLE for Southampton en route for Le Havre.

This was the advance party.

Major JH Smeddle was the senior officer in this group.

18th April 1915

 Final stores were drawn from ordnance.

 19th April 1915 – 8th DLI leave England for France:

The Battalion proceeded from billets at GATESHEAD and entrained in two parties at the CENTRAL STATION NEWCASTLE as follows:

C & D Cos. Under Captain Bradford entrained at 10am

A&B Cos. Under Lt. Colonel Turnbull entrained at 11am for Folkestone where they entrained on one of the Cross Channel mail boats.

Folkestone was left at 11.30pm on a clear fine night.

BOULOGNE was reached at 1am on the 20th April:

Officers                26

Other ranks        921

1.30am BOULOGNE:

Marched from landing place to a rest camp at OSTROHVE

12 noon:

The Bn. left the rest camp for the PONT-DES-BRIQUES station to entrain for the front. Distance marched about 3 miles

2pm:

The train arrived from LE HAVRE with Major Smeddle and the transport. The Bn. left on one train for St OMER. Here orders were received to proceed by train to CASSEL which was reached about 7pm. After detraining the Bn. marched to billets about STE. MARIE CAPPEL. There was some delay in finding the billets in the dark as they were much scattered.

(Source: War Diary – National Archives’ reference WO 95/2841/1)

War Diary 17th April

Arrival – exactly 100 years ago today:

& so in early in April the 8th DLI received orders to join the British Expeditionary Force. The days that followed were full of final preparations and farewells. On April 17th the transport and machine-gun detachment departed via Southampton en route for Le Havre, and two days later, the 8th Battalion crossed by the shorter route, Folkestone-Boulogne.  On April 19th, patriotic crowds crowded into Newcastle Central Station to line the platforms. They watched as nearly  1,000 Tommies poured into railway carriages whose sides were graffitied in chalk with the legends – ‘Berlin Express‘, ‘Up the Bede‘ & ‘Bede v. the Kaiser‘  -and they waved the youngs lads off on their journey to the front line.

At Folkestone the  Bede boys joined a troopship & having reached Boulogne, were loaded into ‘horse trucks’ which ‘rattled through the French countryside  & arrived at Cassel, about 12 miles west of Ypres…’ 

(Sources: Harry Moses & The Northern Echo)

Thus, WLS, Tutty & Bob H arrived just behind the front line trenches exactly 100 years ago today.

Yours ever,

The Agent signature

WW1 Centenary Information Correspondent: The Agent has just returned from a trip to Ypres where he has been researching WLS’s WW1 experiences and is helping to co-ordinate Castle Coop’s WW1 Commemorations.

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Taking a Punt & Wielding an Oar for Women!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2015 in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Taking a Punt & Wielding an Oar for Women!

 

Taking a Punt & Wielding an Oar for Women!

 

 

Will you be taking a punt on the Grand National? Despite my historic lack of success with Euromillions, The Agent has just left to go to the Bookies & place our bets. It’s so exciting! He is going to back Lord Windermere:

Lord Windermere

 

but I’m gunning for Rocky Creek.

Rocky Creek

 

 

 

The Boat Race – an historic first!

There’s the Oxford & Cambridge  Boat Race to come as well this afternoon! I’ve used the singular rather carelessly as this year will be the first time that the Women’s Boats are racing each other on the same stretch of river as the Men’s & so there will be 2 races today. Clare Balding has decided to commentate for the Boat Race rather than the Grand National so as to wave the flag for the women. Yay!

Women's Boat Race

According to Anna Watkins (Cantab) who won a gold medal (sculling) in the London 2012 Olympics , women’s phenomenal success in the Olympics plus funding with commercial clout (Newton Investment Management/ BNY Mellon) has enabled the women’s squad to finally break free from hanging on the coat-tails of the men’s squad.

Equality at last:

Helena Morrissey, CEO Newton Investment Management & a former Cambridge cox, calls today’s Boat Race, ‘A milestone for equality’, and writes:

“…only 5 years ago, the Women’s Boat Race had no financial support, & the athletes had to cover the high costs of participation. Today, men & women receive equal sponsorship, a breakthrough for diversity in sport that we believe is the start of putting men’s & women’s sport on an equal footing…”

 

Elite men & women university rowers are now really being given the same racing opportunities; given that equal opportunities are meant to be a given, it’s a change that has been a shamefully long time coming. It makes me so cross that women have had to deal with all this discrimination rubbish and in this case, right up until today!

Crews

 

Yours applauding this recognition for women athletes and keeping my fingers crossed for Rocky Creek!

LLH signature

 

 

 

Henmanship rating: Placing a bet on the Grand National: 7

Losing the bet : 2

Watching the Boat Race on TV: 4

 

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Perfect Happiness!

Posted by on Apr 6, 2015 in The International Friday Night Foyle's War Club | 2 comments

Perfect Happiness!

 

 

 

Perfect Happiness!

 

In the nick of time, my faithful correspondent, Digby D, has very kindly saved me from my post-holiday-blues, by alerting me to Vanity Fair’s May ’15 Proust Questionnaire.

 

Back of the Net:

Please see in the screen shot below,  Ms. Bergen’s answer to Question no. 1. which I think scores a perfect 10.  I am pretty sure the entire International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club would agree with the general sentiment.

perfect happiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours, absolutely delighted to find that Ms. Bergen is a kindred spirit,

LLH signature

 

 

 

Henmanship rating: Watching Foyle’s War in bed: 8

 

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Back to the Drawing Board!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Back to the Drawing Board!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to the Drawing Board!

 

I have been practicing my parallel turns like mad since the Graf ‘s Masterclass.

 

Scope for improvement TAH

 

yours wondering if maybe a beach holiday would be a good idea for next year,

LLH signature

 

 

 

Henmanship rating: regularly falling down : 2

 

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The Parallel Turn

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Castle Coop News | 4 comments

The Parallel Turn

The Parallel Turn

Lady Egality and I are determined to crack the ‘Parallel Turn’ this week on the slopes. Before we went off to Gatwick, we consulted the internet for advice. Just look at Wikipedia’s explanation :

The parallel turn relies on two dynamics: turning the ski up on its edge and bending it at its center to create an arc.

The skier initiates the turn by moving their knees laterally in the direction of the desired turn. The motion of knees is translated through the calf to the high cuffs on the ski boots, through the boots to the bindings, and then to the skis. This causes the skis to rotate up on their edges, with the skier’s weight and the force they put upon them bending the skis at their center into the arc that turns them. To stop the turn the knee is rotated back to the neutral position. 

Can you believe this stuff ? I know it’s written in English but I don’t understand a word of it & look, there’s more…

While both skis take part, in practice the ski on the outside of the turn is dominant… The skier pressures the front of their skis to keep the fore-and-aft center of gravity of the skier’s mass over their toes. (Source: Wikipedia)  

Are you any the wiser about how to do a parallel turn? Neither Lady E nor I were so the Graf, who has skied all his life and who is our Team Leader, kindly volunteered to try and show us how to do them. He says they’re perfectly easy as long as you concentrate a bit.

 

The Parallel Turn (as demonstrated by The Graf)

ski sunday turns TAH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours thinking the Graf should be on Ski Sunday,

LLH signature

 

 

 

Henmanship rating: watching a friend ski with elegance: 10

 

 

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Skiing in a White-out!

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Skiing in a  White-out!

 

 

 

Skiing in a White-out!

 

Yesterday we were skiing in a massive white-out. In the cloud, we missed the intended blue run (Route A) down from the top of the Saulire peak.

Map showing where we went wrong:

Route map from Saulire

We found ourselves unable to see a thing on red Route B – the cloud was so thick, even a double- decker bus would have been invisible. As none of us could make out any of the piste markers lining the routes, we didn’t know where we were skiing or even whether we were skiing up, down or standing still. It was a very disorientating, peculiar experience. Lady Egality felt terribly sick and I kept falling over; one time it took me about 15 minutes to get up, find all my bits and bobs lying scattered in the snow and get myself sorted ready to go again. In the gaps between my falls, we inched along with absolutely no faith that we were going in the right direction. As you might suppose, morale was not particularly high.

 

Luckily, Sir Plym came to the rescue with the hip flask and hurrah! – eventually we all made it down in one piece.

 

On reaching the sanctuary of the Biollay chairlift, we jumped on so that it could whisk us asap up to a little mountain restaurant. There we each had a restorative mug of hot chocolate to make us all feel back in a holiday mood and then I had another one (out of greed rather than need).

 

Biollay chairlift in a white-out TAH

Yours very relieved to be able to see more than 5 yards ahead again,

LLH signature

 

 

 

 

Henmanship rating: skiing in a whiteout: 3

drinking hot chocolate in a mountain restaurant: 7

 

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Guess what!

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Castle Coop News | 2 comments

Guess what!

 

Guess what!

 

Here is a photograph of blue skies and gorgeous snow. It was taken in the Courcheval ski area of the 3 valleys in France :

 

 

skiers in the 3 valleys

 

 

It is such a beautiful scene isn’t it?  Or perhaps you are thinking, “Liberty Hen, this is a very pretty picture of some skiers coming down a piste, but so what?

Are you thinking that?

 

Please look a bit harder… can you see anything special? Do you recognise anyone ?

No? Here is a clue…

 

 

A Clue:

Castle Coop skiers in the 3 valleys

 

Can you believe it –  we’re in The 3 Valleys for a whole week! Hurrah! Hurray! Yay!

 

Castle Coop skiers CR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours, clutching my lift pass,

LLH signature

 

 

 

Henmanship rating: going on holiday with one’s friends & neighbours 10

 

 

 

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Decision Making

Posted by on Mar 21, 2015 in Castle Coop News | 0 comments

Decision Making

Decision Making

 

 

 

 

 

Hmmm…

 

Too orange TAH

 

Certainly not!

Too dull...TAH

 

 

 

 

Not quite what I had in mind…

Too clompy TAH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps if I just shuffle…

 

Too big TAH

 

 

Hurrah!

 

just right shoes

 

 

yours decisively,

 

LLH signature

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Captain Frank G. Harvey

Posted by on Mar 17, 2015 in Castle Coop News, World War 1 Centenary | 2 comments

Captain Frank G. Harvey

Captain Frank G. Harvey

In memoriam Bede College, A Co, 8th Battalion DLI…

Part 3

(click here for Part 1 and Part 2)

 

 

Just before WLS and his friends, Tutty and Bob H. posed for this photograph at the Army Training Camp in Conway, whilst on their Senior Year summer vacation,

WW1 army training camp group. 1914

 

 

Bede College, Durham, had bidden farewell to a long-serving member of the Senior Faculty, Captain Frank G. Harvey.

Harvey was a much admired member of the Bede staff, and greatly respected by the students. When interviewed by Harry Moses in the 1980s, WLS spoke of him with much affection, saying with enthusiastic emphasis,

“…oh, he was a great fellow!’

A Warm Tribute:

The Bede strapline

 

 

 

 

 

The frontpage of this June 1914 edition of the Bede College magazine, features a warm tribute to Mr Harvey who was leaving Bede after 14 years to study for a BA at Cambridge.

The Bede tribute to Mr. Harvey

 

 

Just 2 months before the outbreak of WW1, Capt. Harvey thought he was going up to Cambridge University in October 1914. He had no idea that his immediate future would actually lie far away from Cambridge’s academic cloisters,  commanding his former students in Front line trenches.

 

 

Captain Frank G Harvey – a brief biography:

Frank G. Harvey joined the Bede Staff in 1900, straight from Peterborough Training College. His appointment was as Arts Tutor and Assistant Master in the Model School. In 1902, there is a Sgt. F.G. Harvey in the Bede Company (then part of the 4th Volunteer Battalion D.L.I., later 8 Bn. DLI in 1908). He was a keen tennis player, coach of boats and President of the College soccer club. In 1904, Frank Harvey was appointed the headmaster of Gilesgate Council School in Durham and trainee teachers from Bede (including WLS) used to hone their classroom skills there.

 As all fit students were expected to join the Bede Company on starting college, WLS and his best friends amongst the Junior Year of 1913, Tutty and Bob H  knew Harvey (who had been promoted to Captain in 1909) very well.

Captain Harvey commanded ‘B’ Company (the Bede Lads) until the Territorial units were re-organised shortly after the commencement of the First World War, to reflect the organisation of the regular battalions i.e four companies per Battalion and not eight. When the Durham City Platoons merged with the Bede Company to form the new ‘A’ Company, it was commanded by Frank Harvey.

Thus it was their well-loved Captain Harvey who led the Bede Lads, (including WLS, Tutty and Bob H ) off to fight in WW1.

Wounded in the hip and hand at Gravenstafel in 1915, Captain Harvey was sent back to England then returned to France in 1916 and promoted Major.

A Distinguished Post-war Career:

Frank Harvey finally made it to Cambridge. After WW1 ended, he went to Queen’s College, where he took a degree in History at the age of 42.

He joined the Army Education Corps as a Captain in 1921 and was posted to India.

In 1926 he was appointed M.B.E. In 1928, he was promoted Major. In 1931 he was with London District as Command Education Officer and was presented to King George V. He retired in 1937.

 (All information courtesy of Harry Moses)
It must have been extremely comforting for WLS, Tutty and Bob H, who after all were only just out of their teens when they were suddenly all caught up in WW1, to have the steadying knowledge that they were to be under the command of an extremely fine man whom they already knew, liked and respected.

Yours ever,

The Agent signature

 

 

(click here for Part 1 and Part 2)

WW1 Centenary Information Correspondent: The Agent is passionate about barbecues and Manchester Utd. Football Team; he has just returned from a trip to Ypres where he has been researching WLS’s WW1 experiences and is helping to co-ordinate Castle Coop’s WW1 Commemorations.
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#FridayFitness: The Toe-touch

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Castle Coop News, Health & Fitness Efforts | 2 comments

#FridayFitness: The Toe-touch

Castle Coop’s #FridayFitness Class: Exercise of the week:

 

 

Today’s #FridayFitness exercise is the Toe-touch

 

The toe-touch:

According to our fitness instructor, exercising to improve flexibility is just as important as doing cardio or strength exercises.  Toe-touches can help improve your flexibility, stretching your shoulders, back and leg muscles, especially the hamstrings.

Toe-touches are multi-tasking! They work multiple muscle groups in addition to offering flexibility and stretching benefits. Having flexibility in your muscles allows for more movement around the joints and that means:

  • Better posture – no more walking around with a book on your head!
  • Less muscle tension and soreness – save money formerly spent spray-on pain relief!
  • Reduced risk of injury – hmmm… that’s what I was told about the squat
  • More relaxation for the mind and body- perhaps I could toe-touch while lying on the sofa? Hurrah!

Toe-touching exercises are a basic calisthenic form of exercise that provides a number of benefits. This exercise can be performed while standing up or lying down on the floor, and it works multiple muscle groups in addition to offering flexibility and stretching benefits. Toe-touches are also an effective cool down after a cardiovascular workout.

Source: www. livestrong.com

Toe-touching methods:

I have discovered that whether standing up or lying down, there are two more ways in which toe-touching can be performed which exercise manuals and instructors don’t really cover.

Method 1. (recommended):

The most gratifying way to perform the toe-touch is to do it in theory:

In my imagination I am extremely flexible (and graceful). I think nothing of touching my toes while executing the splits and can remain in this position whilst reciting the alphabet backwards.

In theory, I am a skilled practitioner of the toe-touch.

The toe-touch (in theory)

 

 Method 2. (not recommended):

In my experience, the least rewarding way to perform the toe-touch is to do it in practice:

 

In reality, my waist doesn’t seem to work as a fulcrum upon which to pivot. This design flaw means my arms are simply too short for flexibility exercises such as toe-touches.

In practice, I have to confess there is a depressing amount of scope for improvement.

The toe-touch (in practice)

Yours inflexibly,

LLH signature

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#FridayFitness: the Squat

Posted by on Mar 6, 2015 in Castle Coop News, Health & Fitness Efforts | 0 comments

#FridayFitness: the Squat

 

 

 

 

Castle Coop’s #FridayFitness Class: Exercise of the week:

 

 

Today’s #FridayFitness exercise is The Squat.

 

The Squat:

The squat trains the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quadriceps, hamstrings, as well as strengthening all sorts of other bits of the body such as bones and ligaments. Squats are considered a vital exercise for developing core strength and are supposed to be a thoroughly good thing. 

The squat improves the metabolism and the cardiovascular system and a 2013 review concluded that deep squats performed with proper technique are an effective exercise. To add intensity, one simply adds weights.  I gather that because squats build strength, they decrease the risk of  sustaining an injury in every-day life. Hurrah!

The Squat (to prevent injury)

 

Yours wondering if the open-toed shoe is a practical look in early March,

LLH signature

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#FridayFitness: the Press-up

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Castle Coop News, Health & Fitness Efforts | 0 comments

#FridayFitness: the Press-up

 

 

 

Castle Coop’s #FridayFitness Class: Exercise of the week:

 

 

 

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.

(Source:  Mayo Clinic )

The Press-up:

Today’s #FridayFitness exercise is the Press-up which is designed to build muscle strength and boost endurance. Apparently of all the exercises one can do, the press-up is one of the most effective: should you wish to improve your  pectoralis major, anterior deltoids and triceps, there is nothing that tops it. Those who are skilled at performing press-ups can further improve themselves with a brisk rendition of the Military Press-up.

To do regular pushups, you bend your arms and lower your chest until it breaks the plane of your elbows. Military pushups require a full range of motion: Marines must touch their chests to the floor for every pushup.

Source: www.ehow.com

To enjoy the many benefits of the Press-up however, you may be glad to know that you don’t need to be a Marine or even to join the Army.

 

 The Press-up

 

 

Yours imagining Samson could probably execute a mean press-up before horrid Delilah went & cut off his hair,

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A Cautionary Tale

Posted by on Feb 20, 2015 in Castle Coop News, Cautionary Tales | 12 comments

A Cautionary Tale

A Cautionary Tale

 

Just in case any of you are thinking of Spring Cleaning in the near future, I thought I should post this cautionary tale so that you may take an informed decision as to whether or not it’s a good idea…

 

What happens when Martha Stewart cleans her windows:

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