All Manner of LINKS to Diverse Cool Sites!
Last Update: 24th September 2009

First, Of Course, Some Metalworking Links

Col Croucher's Home Foundry Website
A great Aussie site with tons of info on home metalcasting, much of it downloadale as eBooks.

Cupola Furnaces Yahoo Group
A new forum just for home foundrymen using cupolas and casting iron at home.

Association of Backyard Metalcasters - Link Page
Lots of great links to a wide range of sources.  Surprisingly my own site is not listed even though we have been online at this same URL for over a decade.

Institute of British Foundrymen.
Okay, so they have changed their name to something else now.  Sign of the times I guess.  A fine old organization even so.

 Other Neat Stuff

The LONDON TIMES, Foreign News.
Get the real scoop each morning as to what's going on, from one of the World's top newspapers.

This is the official Monty Python homepage, presided over by Eric Idle, with all sorts of neat T-shirts and other goodies you can order. For the true Python fan; don't miss it!

British Horological Institute.
A large site from this prestigious organization. A must-see if you love old clocks, watches, and the history of timekeeping. Plenty of information here.

Period Costume
Some really cool opening graphics, lots of neat info and links.

BBC World Service
Live online broadcast round the clock, of the most accurate, intelligent radio news in the English speaking World.

Tannahill Weavers
One of the best groups in the world! Guitar, fiddle, flute, Scottish bagpipes and sweet harmonies on traditional and contemporary ballads. Available on tape or CD, too.

Leta and I are both of English and Scottish descent.
Here are some interesting sites on various topics for anyone
who is interested in their Anglo Heritage or history in general.

Alfred Rowe, an Anglo-Texan who went down with the TITANIC.
Born to British parents in Lima, Peru, Rowe received formal schooling in agricultural management in Britain then began at the bottom as a lowly cowhand on the Texas JA Ranch owned by a fellow Brit, John Adair. He worked his all the way to the top, acquiring over 200,000 acres of land for his own famed RO Ranch and forging it into one of the most successful ranching empires that ever existed. With homes in both Texas and England, he travelled back and forth constantly and met his fate on the maiden voyage of the doomed liner.

The Story of The UP Saddle.
Forgotten by historians and completely unknown to the average person today, this single piece of military kit helped shape the World as we now know it. The Universal Pattern British cavalry saddle was in regular use in every corner of the Globe for well over a century and is still seen today. On the features page of this site is a photo of the 1902 version UP in use by Grey's Scouts, a unit of the Rhodesian colonial and Commonwealth forces during the fierce fighting in the late 1970's that ultimately culminated, for better or worse, in the birth of the modern nation of Zimbabwe. It is still recognized that a mounted unit can rapidly cover ground too rough for any mechanized transport. Know when the last cavalry skirmishes occured for both American and British forces? How about Afghanistan 2002! Both the Pakistani and Indian armies still maintain mounted troops to this day for duty in the more inaccesible parts of the old Northwest Frontier using a variant of this same saddle. This is the region of The Punjab and the infamous Khyber Pass. Usable original UP's turn up on eBay occasionally.

Scottish Enterprise.
Plenty of links to everything Scottish. Massive amount of info.

The Gateway to Scotland.
Another great site with tons of links and info.

The War Horse and Militaria Heritage Foundation.
Not strictly related, but a very impressive website from a group of equestrian military reenactors in California.
Incredible amounts of detailed information on British and Colonial military forces worldwide. Particularly good for Indian Army and British Raj forces.

Correspondence in British archives related to the Texas Republic
Texas almost became part of the British Empire before it was annexed as a state. The British offered help in the Texas Revolution against Mexico and even negotiated the release of prisoners. The first foreign embassy in the new republic was British, and the British Government put pressure on them to release their slaves as a condition of trading with the rest of the Empire. This was twenty-odd years before the Civil War! Here is some of the historical material related to this surprising situation which has turned up in Foreign Office documents released and moved to the Public Record Office in London. This page is one of many on this site maintained by the University of Texas in Austin. More of the above, in a different area of the website. And here is an index page to all the articles, many of which are unrelated but still of interest to any student of early Texas history. And here in the Texas State Archives is Queen Victoria's letter of ratification of the convention between The Republic of Texas and Great Britain, for Britain to mediate between Texas and Mexico in ending the hostilities remaining from the Texas Revolution.

Another Famous English Texan
At the bottom of the page, read about William (Billy) Anson, the father of American Quarter Horse breeding and who introduced polo to Texas in the Nineteenth Century. He was a younger son of the Earl of Lichfield; and his uncle, Major-General George Anson, was commander-in-chief of British and Colonial forces in India at the beginning of the Great Mutiny in 1857. Building up a successful ranching operation in the Panhandle, Billy made a fortune selling thousands of hardy Texas horses to the British Goverment for service in the Boer War. An enthusiastic horseman himself, he worked closely with a professor at Texas A&M University in the early 1900's, Robert Denhardt, to trace the early lineage of the quarter horse and get them officially established as a distinct breed. Here is a photo of him. Billy's famous ranch was south of the huge XIT ranch in the Texas Panhandle, the largest ranch in US history, covering an area of over thirteen modern Texas counties. Did you know the mighty XIT itself was British owned and operated? The state's sale of this vast landmass to British owners provided the money which built the Texas State Capitol Building in Austin.

Her Majesty's Texans
A neat book from TAMU Press about two influencial Nineteenth Century English emigrants to Beaumont, in East Texas. One of them, John Leonard, started the Beaumont Enterprize which continues to this day as one of the foremost East Texas newspapers.

History.Net Article about Col. Fremantle
A great online article about Lt. Col. Arthur Fremantle, an unofficial British mililtary observer with the Confederacy during the Civil War. He landed near Brownsville, Texas and spent a month crossing the state by horse, train, and stage coach on his way towards the main theatres of action; and left a wonderful diary of his travels. A modern-day Englishman, Roger Hughes, portrays Fremantle at Civil War reenactments and has a neat website devoted to this. He has contacted the living descendents of the Colonel; and also located and restored his lost gravesite in a Brighton cemetery. Fremantle passed away in 1901 after a long and honourable career, one of the British Army's most senior generals and a past governor of Malta.

An introduction to Polo
Website of the famous Ascot Park Polo club, with a great description of the game for beginners, with neat pictures. I played polo on the Texas A&M Polo Club team many years ago and those days remain some of my happiest memories.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The old India Office is no more, and the British Foreign Office itself has a new name, a lovely new website, and a warmer, fuzzier mission. What can I say? Times change.

British Library.
Where all the India Office records are now. The entire body of archives from over three centuries of the British Raj, from roughly 1600 to its end in 1947.

Military Heritage - The Discriminating General
A neat source of equipment and kit for Anglo-oriented reenacting. These fellows have all sorts of interesting goodies.

Reenactor's Links.
A page of great links from Fort Langley B.C.

Soldiers of The Queen.
Cool site with LOTS of old photos and information.

British Victorian Military Society
Yahoo group. A very knowledgable and friendly bunch of chaps.

A neat small company that replicates period tents. Beautiful workmanship and great service. They do a wide range of period military tents and will customize any of them to special requirements.

Officers Died.
A massive, but sad, website with casualty lists of British officers in every conflict from the Seven Years War and American Revolution thru The Falklands, Kosovo, Afganistan, and Iraq.

Ronnie Johnson's Forgotten Soldiers pages.
A huge effort by a very dedicated and considerate man, to record the burials in forgotten cemeteries in India, and in some cases to try and restore the cemeteries and grounds themselves. Also enjoy the many pictures, on his well-known Bangalore Wallah site, of the beautiful but rapidly vanishing old Bangalore, The City of Gardens and Pensioners' Paradise.

Vintage Computers

The OAK Repository, CP/M Archives
Remember CP/M? Well, it is still around and there are tons of programs hoarded away on the Net for it. Perhaps the best collection is in the OAK Repository. Many hundreds of programs for all your favourite old machines, KayPro, CompuPro-Godbout, NorthStar, etc.

Borland Online Museum
Borland Turbo Pascal and Turbo C were among the finest programming environments for many early platforms. Borland has placed several early DOS versions of both in their online museum for free download. My favourite for PC was Turbo Pascal 5.0.

Cosmac Elf Group
Yahoo group devoted to the RCA 1802 processor and the little Elf computers which used it. Many of us built an Elf as our first computer way back when.

Steve McCoy's TRS-80 Site
Here is an excellent site for TRS-80 fans. I still have a pair of the monster Model 12's with twin 8 in. floppy drives. With Pickles & Trout CP/M, this was real seat-of-the-pants computing!

Herb Johnson's S-100 Pages
Herb is the premier online authority for S-100 computing and for a number of years wrote the well-known "Dr. S-100" column for the The Computer Journal. His site has a wealth of info and he is happy to send copies from his extensive collection of original manuals and documentation at nominal charges.

Vintage Computer Festival
This is an annual event in Silicon Valley, with a huge flea market and many exhibits celebrating our computing heritage. These chaps have one of the finest collections of older computers and a terrific pool of expertise to call on if you need answers to questions regarding a vintage machine or program. Their LINKS page is the finest on the Web.

The Analytical Engine
The first true computing machine, built by Charles Babbage in the Nineteenth Century. This beautiful steel and brass mechanical marvel embodied most of the concepts of modern computer function. Many of the principles of computer programming were pioneered for this machine by Lady Ada Augusta, Countess of Lovelace, the first true programmer. The Ada language was named in her honour. This is a wonderful and marvelously crafted site, worthy of an extended visit! Henry Ledgard, a professor of computer science and a well-known author on programming languages, wrote a marvelous book in the early 1980's which was built on the premise that Sherlock Holmes had known of the Analytical Engine and employed it in many of his investigations. FROM BAKER STREET TO BINARY, MacGraw-Hill, 1983, is written in the best Holmesian style and is both fun reading and an excellent tutorial on computer use and programming from the world's most famous detective and deductive reasoner. The popularity of this book led to two more, ELEMENTARY BASIC and ELEMENTARY PASCAL, both of which are most excellent reading and a welcome addition to anyone's lilbrary if one is lucky enough to come across them.

The Manchester Baby
Largely neglected by American computer historians, the Manchester SSEM or "Baby" as it was affectionately called, built in the late 1940's at the University of Manchester, was the first computer which had all the normal components we now regard as characteristic of a basic computer system. On 21st June 1948, it ran the world's first successfully stored program and could handle any short user program from its electronic memory. This led immediately to a full sized system, the Manchester Mark 1, and further, to the world's first commercially available system, the Ferranti Mark 1.