That “Eureka” Moment!

If I were to exclaim “Eureka!” you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d discovered something – after all it’s an expression probably best associated with Archimedes discovery that if he plopped himself in a bath tub filled to the brim with water then, lo and behold, all of the water that spilled over the side would…

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With Family in Mind – a Mazurka for “Alice Bertha”

We’ve been looking a little more closely at a recent find that we couldn’t help but want to explore as a priority. The reason? Well, on this occasion it has a family relevance for one of out two subjects – which makes it just that little bit extra special. When you care for your family…

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A Family with Military Tradition – and Music.

This piece has been inspired by the fact that I have just rendered an arrangement of one of Tom Bulch’s military descriptive fantasias – The Young Recruit – in Sibelius software, a recording from which will be featured in this post. It had me reflecting upon how important the military tradition was within the Bulch…

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Covid Times – Part 2 – the ‘other’ Newcastle

In my last blog post I explained how as the banding community is currently stood down whilst the virus pandemic has created mayhem I had looked to other ways to explore the sheet music in our collection and, on the advice of Mr Tim, our local music shop owner, turned to music software for help…

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Covid Times – The Jubilee March

It’s hard to believe that the last time that we heard anything new in person from our collection of George Allan and Tom Bulch music was back in August 2018 when we had our first concert at Ushaw College. A second concert we had planned, in partnership, was to have happened in April this year…

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How did an ill-paid blacksmith from Shildon open a Music Shop?

As a researcher into Tom Bulch, I’ve been (very gratefully I might add) receiving some help from the Patron of our group, Tom’s grandson, Eric Tomkins. Eric has some very early first-hand memories of his grandfather and started looking into his grandfather’s story long before it came to the attention of this group, and as…

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Looking Out During The Lockdown – The Power of Data

There can be no doubt that these are unprecedented times for us all, wherever we happen to be. The breakout of a global pandemic has wreaked havoc on our day to day lives and brought suffering and uncertainty to so many. As with many countries around the world, the British Government has ordered a lockdown…

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Distant Echoes Return Transformed (Part 1)

For this post, we’re dipping back out of the past and into the present to give you an update on a partnership initiative the Friends of The Wizard and The Typhoon are involved in with Greenfield Community College, the school that now provides education for many of the young people here in Shildon as well…

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Going Home 1919

Most recently I’ve been writing up the story of Tom Bulch and George Allan during the Great War years and have finally reached the end of the war and the return of George Allan’s son Willoughby and Tom Bulch’s son Jack (his other son Thomas Edward Jnr was killed in 1916). I learned that Jack…

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Minutes, Manuscript and Munitions

When I think of the Victorian era, which came to a close almost 120 years ago, it’s tempting to consider how our perception of the importance of time has changed.  We currently enjoy an era of near instant gratification where much of the information we need can be summoned to our presence within seconds; where…

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