Selfie With George Clarke

  The Cool House at Signal Lane (1975-1985)   I think that Nanna Joan Cool’s most looked-forward-to day was a Sunday, because on Sunday morning, she got up bright and early, spent a long time selecting which hat to wear, and walked down to St Cuthbert’s parish church[1] in Donington to show off her finery….

Day 1: Misery on the M6

It’s time. It’s been a year of a year in Sudbury, Suffolk and something is lacking. It’s time for a pep-me-up, a bit of a filler, a return to centre-court – a top-up! A top-up with a back-up! “Is it our sort of a holiday, Mum? Or, your sort?” “Well, …” “Mum?” “It’s a …”…

Curly Toes

1939-1945 – the war years at Single Lane, Cosford, Albrighton The patriotic reader might be forgiven for wondering why my grandparents were happily ensconced at their home Single Lane, Albrighton. What entitled such an insignificant couple to remain in the Shropshire countryside, growing and selling their own produce, during the second world war, during a…

Bone Chin

1946 – Spike Joe Cool (1939 – present), Jay Cool’s father, of Single Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire Foolhardy. Spike, like his predecessor Humphrey Kynaston of Myddle, could only be described as the perfect embodiment of the phrase ‘bull in a China shop’. Spike, just like his mother Joan Cool of Albrighton, was forthright and fearless. And,…

Stone Toes

  Joe Cool (1760-1833), Jay Cool’s Great-Great-Great Grandfather, from  Myddle, Shropshire     I don’t recall having too many conversations with my Grandad, Arnold Cool, as I spent most of my time during family visits to Single Lane, taking a wide berth around his armchair, for fear of my leg being grabbed and my foot…

Back to the Myddle: Day Five and a Half of an Ancestral Adventure

    Back to the Myddle: Day Five and a Half of an Ancestral Adventure Roots. Take root or take a risk and brave the traffic for the inevitable four-hour route back to Suffolk? As I leave Myddle, I realise that my roots are elasticated, and they won’t give enough to allow me to hurtle away unhindered. Old Beezlebub gallops ahead…