Armchair Exploration

Armchair Exploration 4

Grand Union Canal BridgeThis bridge over the Grand Union canal at Woughton on the Green was for farm access, and sat in the middle of fields. It's now just yards from the (usually) busy A421.

Now I’ve been on a few officially sanctioned walks, I’ve realised there’s still scope for a bit of local exploration. Best of all, it gives me somewhere to go, a destination.

This is great.

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Armchair Exploration 3

School photoThis is your humble scribe, aged five. How do I know how old I was in this school photo? See below.

Exploring Your Own Past

I’m so glad my mum was so good at getting things organised. All our family photos are sorted out, captioned, and in albums.

I’m glad, because Mum passed away two years ago, and it’s too late to ask about them now.

The albums are named. She named the biggest album “Photographs From 1959” and in it are all our childhood pictures, including at the back our school photos.

The captions tell me who is in the photo, where it was, and when it was taken. Sometimes the exact date is there. In our earlier childhood photos Mum has given our ages. Mum passed away two years ago, so now I’m looking after the photos; I’m the eldest child.

At some point, all the people who knew about your family photos will be gone. So if they are all piled randomly into a box, or perhaps sitting on a computer hard drive or filling up your phone, maybe it’s time you sorted them all out.

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Armchair Exploration 2

Still in that armchair? Had enough of television and the same old view from the window?  Time for some more armchair exploration, with a look through your old family photos.

What might you find? Perhaps you don’t realise it, but things change all the time. If it’s something you see every day, like your garden or the clothes you wear, the change is so gradual you might not notice it at all.

But start exploring the past by looking through those old photos and you’ll soon start to remember. When I looked through my family photos again I found a few things that jogged my memory; things I hadn’t thought about in years, or had never noticed before.

For example, this is what I found...

Church Street  WinslowAround 1962. I’m 3.

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Armchair Exploration 1

Horn Street  WinslowSheep Street, Winslow.

Part 1
Armchair exploration? No, I don’t mean putting your arm down the gap at the side of the chair and finding a fluff covered peanut, a biro that doesn’t work, and a bit of that mouse the cat brought in last year.

What I mean is, we can explore North Bucks without leaving our front rooms. The county is full of things to go and see, but until we can do that freely again we can explore it in other ways, and not just online.

I’ll show you how to look back in time, explore tiny back lanes and rural villages, and even find Roman roads. There are many more than you might expect, and I was very surprised to find that one minor Roman road goes through my back garden!

There’s lots to see, but don’t forget to take notes of what you’ve found; one day it will be okay to go and see things for yourself again.

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