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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Revealing who Thomas Edward Bulch wasn’t? (Part 1)

One of the fascinating things about researching a subject in significant depth is that you sometimes happen across something that may well not have been apparent previously. When this happens you need to make sure to a reasonable degree of comfort that you are correct, and then comes the uncomfortable job of challenging ‘common knowledge’…

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Sidetracked #2 – The Enduring Influence of Samuel Lewins

Once again I thought it important to deviate briefly from the story of Thomas Edward Bulch and George Allan to tell a little about another of their New Shildon born contemporaries who, whilst not becoming a composer and hence not equalling Bulch and Allan in terms of influence on the brass community, nonetheless went on…

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Breathing New Air Into Sleeping Giants Of Brass

Over a month has now passed since our first concert of George Allan and Thomas Bulch material. I thought it might be a good idea, now that some of the footage is finally emerging, to reflect on the process and the event itself. The Idea The group that we are, as well as the subject…

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The ‘Quest for the Windy Grail’ Fulfilled

Windy warning

It was far from an inevitable outcome, that was for sure. I first understood that “The Typhoon” was going to be a critical part of the story of Thomas Edward Bulch when I read his grandson Eric Stanley Tomkins’s well researched book “Thomas Edward Bulch – Musician – A Family History”. In the book Eric…

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The Day That Almost Changed Everything


This week I am still reeling from the discovery of a story of a day that could have changed everything, and may well have meant that I would not be creating this website here in 2018. The day I refer to being the day that a locomotive rather like this one illustrated above (No. 125…

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Haigh-ho, let’s go! A publishing mystery.

One of the fantastic things about investigating the lives of Thomas Buch and George Allan is that new mysteries arise almost every week, some of which you think you might be able to trace an answer for and some of which you think you might not. Which category this latest mystery falls into we’re not…

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What London told us about Tom and George

At the Archives

At the end of April I had the good fortune to have a little time away from work, and a little money to afford me to pay a visit to the National Archives in Kew, London. I’d been hoping to do this for a while as I knew they had at least two resources that…

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Sidetracked #1 – The Remarkable Robert de Lacy

This week, despite receiving a flurry of new pieces of information of interest to the overall story, I have been taken on something of a detour concerning someone other than Thomas Edward Bulch, or George Allan, but without whom it’s possible that their stories may well have turned out very differently. Robert de Lacy (1831-1908)…

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A first hand account of Tom Bulch from 1916


For this post I must credit Mr Eric Tomkins, (Thomas Bulch’s grandson) as it’s not something I have written but something he found in a New Zealand newspaper of 1916, but it’s so interesting that I wanted to publish it directly as a blog post. It’s one of those rare things which is a first-hand…

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