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 Baker's Cat

Once there was an old lady, Mrs Jones, who lived with her cat, Mog. Mrs Jones kept a baker's shop.

Every morning, Mrs Jones got up early, and made dough, out of flour and water and sugar and yeast. Then she put the dough into pans and set it in front of the fire to rise.

Mog got up early, too, to catch mice. When he had chased all the mice out of the bakery, he wanted to sit in front of the warm fire. But Mrs Jones wouldn't let him, because of the loaves and buns there rising in their pans.

Then Mog went to play in the sink. He liked to sit by the tap, hitting the drops with his paw as they fell, and getting water all over his whisker!

Mrs. Jones said, 'You are shaking water all over my pans of buns, just when they are getting nice and big. Run along and play outside.'

Mog was affronted, he put his ears and tail down (When cats are pleased they put their ears and tails up) and went out. It was raining hard. Mog sat in the water by the rushing rocky river and looked for fish. But there were no fish in the river, and he got wetter and wetter. At last, Mrs. Jones put the buns in the oven, opened her door and let Mog come inside. As Mog sat down by the fire he sneezed nine times. He caught a cold.

Mrs. Joes dried him with a towel and gave him some warm milk with yeast in it. Yeast is good for people when they are poorly. Then Mrs. Jones went out shopping.

As Mog sat dozing in front of the lovely warm fire he was growing bigger and bigger, because the yeast was making him rise.

First he grew as big as a sheep, then a donkey, a cart-horse,and a hippopotamus!

By now he was too big for Mrs. Jones's little kitchen, or to get through the door neither. He just burst the walls. When Mrs. Jones came home with her shopping-bag, her whole house was bulging, swaying. Huge whiskers were poking out of the kitchen window, and a paw came out of one bedroom window, an ear out of the other. Then the whole house fell down.

The people in the town were very astonished. The Mayor gave Mrs. Jones the Town Hall to live in, but he thought Mog was too big, and might not be safe. He let Mog live outside the town, up on the mountain.

Mrs. Jones was very sad. She began making a new lot of loaves and buns in the Town Hall, crying into them so much that the dough was too wet, and very salty.

Mog walked up the valley between the two mountains. By now he was bigger than an elephant - almost as big as a whale!

It had been raining for so long that the river was beginning to flood. Mog thought, "If I don't stop that water, all these fine fish will be washed away." So he sat down, plump in the middle of the valley, and he spread himself out like a big, fat cottage loaf.

The people in the town had heard the roar of the flood-water, they were very frightened. They all rushed up the mountain, saw Mog sitting in the middle of the valley. Beyond him was a great lake.

The Mayor let the best builders make a great dam across the valley, while other people took turns tickling Mog under his chin with hay-rakes and brought Mog all sorts of nice thing to eat, so they can Mog stay there till they built a dam across the valley.

Mog saved the town, and won a badge which was on a silver chain to go round his neck.

So Mrs. Jones and Mog lived happily ever after in the Town Hall.

(by Joan Aiken)


Popular posts from this blog


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…