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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Express delivery

Some time in 1958, during a rainy day at school, when we were kept indoors reading during the lunch break, I discovered a comic, Express Weekly. That weekend, I went to our local newsagent, Mr Beckman and ordered it. He hadn’t heard of it but promised it would be delivered on the next  Tuesday with our daily paper. When the day came, I rushed downstairs at the sound of the letterbox flapping and my excitement dissipated when I found instead a copy of the newspaper, The Daily Express. Happily, it was eventually sorted out and I received my weekly dose of Express Weekly on Tuesdays and The Eagle comic on Wednesdays.
The 'two greatest western strips' mentioned were Lone Ranger and Gun Law

My favourite character in Express Weekly was Wulf the Briton, drawn by R.S. Embleton. Ronald Sydney was born in 1930 and sadly died of a heart attack in 1988; his brother Gerald was born in 1941 and also became a superb artist, and his work can be seen in the books of the military publisher Osprey, for example.

Ron Embleton’s artwork is much sought-after.
 
Like many schoolboys, I was fascinated by the period of our history when the Romans occupied Britain. The Wulf stories seemed very accurate in their depiction of those times. Wulf’s adventures concluded in September 1960.

The Iron Age in Britain lasted for about 800 years – from 750BC until 43AD, when the Romans returned to occupy the country. During the pre-Roman period coinage was introduced and wheel-thrown pottered mastered. People became more aware of hygiene and personal appearance and were living in larger and more settled communities. The Romans, in their plain coloured togas, were surprised at the Britons’ brightly coloured trousers and cloaks, often in striped and checked patterns. Over the years of occupation, friendships and inter-marriage resulted and the Romans absorbed Britain as much as the Britons absorbed the culture of their conquerors.

If you want to see what an iron age farm looked like, you can visit Butser Ancient Farm in Gosport, Hampshire, UK. Their website is http://www.butserancientfarm.co.uk/

The late Bob Jenkins ran an interesting article about the Iron Age farm in the July 2003 issue of The Portsmouth Post.
Cover photo of Post's staff member Stacey by Mike Walker -
as Bob said, 'We took liberties with the choice of costume...!'
 

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