Skip to main content

Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

The Old Man Who Lost His Horse

Percy Wakefield was born in 1891. In 1910 he moved to Derby and got a job working with horse at the midland Railway depot.

At the out break of the First World War, he volunteered to enlist but was rejected by the Army, again, as unfit. He was reported to have a 'weak heart'. Frustrated at being rejected again, he volunteered to become a railway ambulance man. His duties included unloading the wounded off the specially-built ambulance trains that arrived at Derby station. These trains arrived at night so as not to draw attention to the dreadful carnage they contained. He transported these poor souls to hospitals and nursing homes around the county. He was very moved by the suffering he saw and became grateful to the medical board that had declared him 'unfit'.

Percy retired from the railway in 1963 and had an active retirement enjoying his garden and reading just about anything he could get his hands on. He lived in the same house and remained fit and strong until his death at age of 95 in 1986 - he just wore out - so much for his weak heart!

This story reminds me of a Chinese story, "the old man who lost his horse":

There was once an old man who lived with his only son at the border of the state. They were fond of horses and often let them graze freely in the meadow.

One time a servant reported to the old man, "A horse is missing! It must have gone into the neighbouring state."

His friends felt sorry for him, but the old man was not bothered at all by the loss. As a matter of fact, he said, "Who knows! The loss may bring us good fortune!" a few months later, a strange thing happened. Not only did the missing horse return home safely, it also brought back with it a fine horse from the neighbouring state.

When his friends heard the new, they congratulated the old man on his good luck. But the old man said, "Who knows! This may bring us ill fortune!" One day, when the old man's son was riding the fine horse, he accidentally fell off the horse, broke his leg, and was crippled.

Many friends came to comfort the old man, but the old man was not the least disturbed by the accident. "Who knows! This may bring us good fortune after all!" he said.

A year later, when the neighbouring state sent troops across the border, all the young and strong men were drafted to fight the invaders, and most of them got killed. The old man's son was not drafted because he was crippled and so his life was spared.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

coat-of-arms

Heraldry probably began with the knights in armour. When wearing a helmet in battle or in tournaments a knight could not be recognised; so he used symbols to decorate his shield and surcoat. The surcoat was the loose garment worn over the armour to protect it from rain or hot sun and actually was the "coat-of-arms"; it was decorated on the front and back with the same device as on the shield.
The correct expression for entire design is an achievement. An achievement consists of the shield, helmet, rest, wreath, mantling and motto. These are the main parts. To them can be added supporters and a compartment.

In the centre is the most important part, the shield. The surface of the shield is called the field and on it the colourful charges are placed. The shield is called the arms or coat-of-arms and can be drawn in any shape - in an upright position or slanting, which is the position it would fall into if hung on a peg. In Heraldry it slants to dexter.


The helmet denotes the ran…

Is Aladdin a Chinese?

Aladdin is an Arabic name, but he lived in China.  Is he a Chinese?
Aladdin's wonderful Lamp was included in the first European version of the Book of the Thousand and One Nights (1704-1717), but not in the original Arabic manuscript.
So it's a problem who originally invented the story,  Arabic or European? In a 19th Century Pantomime, Aladdin's hometown is Beijing or Peking, spelled "Pekin" in the report,  now capital city of China.
 Derby local newspaper Mercury reported the pantomime in December, 1878. The reporter said "the representation of the city of Pekin, illuminated for a fete, is really very good indeed".  Above all, Pekin, Beijing or no, it would be found to be delightfully local in parts, with the opportunity never missed of getting  at the Derby City Council, as in on Scene:
BADROULBADOUR - And you will live here, dear Aladdin? ALADDIN -  Yes, And livery servants in most gorgeous dresses shall wait upon you - you shall hear the lark Sing from you…

The Meaning of Derby City Council Logo

The logo of Derby City Council looks quite abstract and modern. I wonder what's the meaning of it? The lower-left part of the logo looks like a snail (or the initial letter D in Derby?), the upper-right part seems a river, (Derwent river?) these two parts are connected by a straight line at the bottom.

I did some searches on the web trying to find out the true meaning of Derby City Council logo, but without success. So, I wrote to tourist information, and got the answer from Michael:
The Logo is a representation of two of Derby's oldest emblems, one being a ram the other a buck (deer). Obviously the logo is a modern interpretation of these two figures so it is not obvious unless you know what to look for. Most people do seem to agree with you that it looks like a snail however.
Ram! the curly horn of ram looks like a snail indeed. The ram and the deer are from coat of arms of City of Derby,
In this coats of arms, we can see the deers both in shield (arms) and supporter, but the…