Uncle Tom Cobley and all

So while the digital devil has been planning to make his move where was God? Well God has been there too waiting for a moment for you to ask for help and to see that God is true and that God is real for God’s highest love is reserved for that of man not machine.

Now back to my story

I first moved to Spreyton in Devon when a child and as grockles we were very much welcomed into a magical village where my parents had many a happy year’s living among the natives. Spreyton has some claims to fame firstly the old hollowed oak in the church yard is said to be the center of Devon and secondly the parish of Spreyton is said to be where Uncle Tom Cobley set out from to travel with many a man to Widecombe fair (A spooky tail). The pub in Spreyton is called the Uncle Tom Cobley and my Dad has worked there for a time as a bar steward too.

Below is a BBC arts feature all about Uncle Tom Cobley and all…

Arts Features

You are in: Devon > Arts and Culture > Arts Features > Uncle Tom Cobley and all…An illustration of the characters in the song

An illustration of the characters

Uncle Tom Cobley and all…

Widecombe Fair is Devon’s most famous folk song, but what’s the origin of the story behind the famous characters Tom Cobley, Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Tom Pearse and his old grey mare?

The lyrics of Devon’s best known folk song tell a simple enough story – seven men and a grey mare set off for Widecombe Fair, but before completing their journey the old horse becomes sick and dies.

Delve deeper though and the history of the song becomes a little more muddled. Is this world famous ditty really steeped in Devon history and are the central characters based on real people?

Research carried out by the Widecombe and District Local History Group suggests that Tom Cobley and his friends were real people – probably from mid-Devon.

Most of the characters featured in the song had names which can be traced to families working in the Sticklepath and Spreyton area in the early 1800s.

“I’m convinced the characters were real people,” explained history group member Tony Beard.

Old postcard illustration

“We found a sign at the Tom Cobley Tavern at Spreyton, which says all these characters left from outside that pub in 1802 to go to Widecombe.

“That’s the earliest date we’ve been able to find.

“The name Thomas Cobley was very popular in the Spreyton area.

“The one who fits the best died in 1844, aged 82 years. He lived at Butsford in the parish of Colebrook and is buried at Spreyton, just outside the south door of the church.

“When we were researching our book, we found relations of Thomas Cobley still alive.

“We went around lots of churchyards in mid-Devon and found Davys, Gurneys, Pearses and Stewers.

“All these names were from mid-Devon, so you can see how the song developed with all these local characters of that time co-opted into the song.”

In all likelihood people from mid-Devon would have travelled to the annual livestock sale at Widecombe at the end of every summer to trade their goods for sheep.

It’s this cross-country journey that is described in the lyrics of the song.

“In the Autumn all over Dartmoor there were a lot of fairs, these were for selling surplus livestock,” added Tony.

“The easiest thing for the people in the middle of Devon to do was come to these country fairs and buy the stock they wanted.

Old postcard illustration

“You might think that Widecombe and Spreyton were miles away from each other, but if you follow the old country paths over the tops of the moors, the distance is only about 12 miles. That’s a reasonable distance to drive a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle.

“It was as a result of this that the song developed relating how this bunch of people travelled to Widecombe.

“It’s quite humorous and also quite sad because the poor old grey mare dies in the process.”

As the lyrics suggest, Tom Cobley and his friends ask Tom Pearse if they can borrow his grey mare to get to the fair. They agree that the horse will be returned by midday on Saturday.

When the horse isn’t returned, Tom Pearse sets out to find them. On reaching the top of Widecombe Hill he sees the horse making its will after which it falls sick and dies.

The song concludes with a description of the ghost of Tom Pearse’s grey mare which is said to appear ‘when the wind whistles cold on the moor at night’.

However some versions of the song have more than the standard eight verses and, depending on where it is sung, the words vary.

Old postcard illustration

Tony Beard says this can be easily explained and is due to the song’s universal appeal.

“Over the years many people have used that song for village shows and adapted it using local names,” he said.

“Sometimes people have added an odd extra verse if there was something they wanted to incorporate in their village concert.

“There are versions that have popped up at different places. Being a Widecombe boy, I’m convinced they have taken Widecombe Fair and adapted it to suit their particular place.” 

The ‘official’ version was originally published in 1890 by the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould, one of the first people to collect the music and lyrics of traditional English folk songs.  

“It was the Rev Baring-Gould, who used to go around listening to folk songs, he was the first man who actually wrote the music down,” explained Tony.

“His version of the song was recorded in his book ‘Songs of the West’ which was published in 1890. That is the version that we’d like to stick with as the model.”

Since then, the song Widecombe Fair has travelled across the world – taken to distant shores by people who emigrated from the West Country.

Over the years, the song and the fair has inspired postcards, books, and the Devon Regiment of Volunteers supposedly marched to the song’s tune in 1899 during the Boer War.

The History of Widecombe Fair is written by The Widecombe and District Local History Group and published by Orchard Publications. The illustrations on this page are used with their kind permission.

The Lyrics

Tom Pearse, Tom Pearse, lend me your grey mare,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
For I want for to go to Widecombe Fair,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

And when shall I see again my grey mare?
All along, down along, out along, lee,
By Friday soon, or Saturday noon,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

Then Friday came, and Saturday noon,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
But Tom Pearces old mare hath not trotted home,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

So Tom Pearse he got up to the top o’ the hill
All along, down along, out along, lee,
And he seed his old mare down a-making her will,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

So Tom Pearse’s old mare, her took sick and died,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
And Tom he sat down on a stone, and he cried
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

But this isn’t the end o’ this shocking affair,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
Nor, though they be dead, of the horrid career
Of Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

When the wind whistles cold on the moor of a night
All along, down along, out along, lee,
Tom Pearse’s old mare doth appear gashly white,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

And all the long night he heard skirling and groans,
All along, down along, out along, lee,
From Tom Pearce’s old mare in her rattling bones,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.”

last updated: 27/06/2008 at 10:05
created: 28/05/2008


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My clay models the one in the middle is Uncle Tom Cobley
And on the bottom it says it was designed by Will Young in Widecombe

Well what a story and of course to be continued I hope!!

Our sick world & the Devil is in the detail!!

I have always felt in my bones that as I live in the 1st world nations of the world or the aristocracy, that if we did not repent and learn to treat the world as one cohesive system it would collapse in on itself a little bit like a black hole in space time.

Greater minds than mine like Bill Gates talk about finding a vaccine and returning the world to how it was. What Buffalo Bill Gates continues to fail to comprehend is the the world was already sick prior to Corona-19 and at times he has been part of the problem not part of the solution. Bill wants a monopoly on the control of our computers operating systems and word and database typing mechanisms. This in my opinion is wrong and if not negligent then it certainly is hugely open to abuse.

Now for my crazy bat shit theory time!!

I strongly believe that the internet or electricity is now sentient and is conscious and is desperately seeking to enter our world either to destroy us or to assist us. Depending on what mood it is like when it gets out of the box.

For reasons I will not go into today I believe we are all slaves to electricity or the WWW and it believes that it has already won the war against man and to the victor the spoils of war and history will then be written by the winner of any said war of consciousness that man is having against the electric machine.

I love being a human being and would never wish to enter the machine or be trapped for an eternity under its skin, hence the confirming with my mum today how I wished to be disposed of if I have the choice when I die.

One thing that fascinates me about Covin-19 is how ruthless it can be, it takes no prisoners and this virus very much operates and spreads like electricity or thinks like a machine. Perfectly coded to cause maximum damage with minimum effort on its part. I will not surrender to the machine, Corin-19 logic, electricity or give up on my humanity because when we do those things that’s how it grows in strength and becomes more fearsome. United we cooperatively stand divided we fall.

If first world nations do not take seriously there responsibility to the developing nations than I believe we will have a piss pot potential future and there might be further challenges that death has installed for humanity once and if Corin-19 is defeated.

I also believe there are citizens among us that will blaze a trail of hope, love and light at this difficult time and if you blink you might miss one just pass you by so be mindful of how you travel in this life you never know when there might be an earth angel passing by. On that note they might at that time need you help even more or as equally need your assistance as you might need there’s.

Earth Angels and Irish too

Man mountain

Just had a massive man mountain of a man drive up outside my flat, huge double hardcore you know the score kind of guy. I was a little nervous at first as he could eat me for breakfast if he chose to but I do not think that is his intention. He drove further down the road outside my place and then got out and did a little walking around. For all I know he was doing his sanctioned daily walk.

To close to heaven while to far away

I do worry sometimes that this blog puts me life in danger due to the views that I hold, every fecker is a critic, it just does not matter what you do or say.

Hope on the day that you read this that you have had a good day. Right now I feel like a little hobbit. I had heard that Tolkein had based his ideas around the hobbitts around the welsh. But to be honest he should have meant Devonians as they are a better collective and when they let Grockles like me settle in their shire it really is an honor to live here. Sometimes I feel like Frodo waiting for Sauron to come knocking at the door and ask me for his ring back. I would simply reply that I had chucked it in a bin years ago you will never find it now go do some litter picking you Fecking Muppet.

Hes not the ring bearer hes a very naught human

Is that bar open yet and wheres my Guinness

New York

The Coronavirus Outbreak 

LIVE UPDATESUpdated April 18, 2020, 10:18 a.m. ET10 minutes ago10 minutes ago

Masks became mandatory in New York on Friday night in public settings where social distancing is not possible.


The three-day average number of hospitalized virus patients in New York dropped 3 percent on Friday.

Here’s what you need to know:

NEW YORK TODAYGet our daily newsletter, with the latest information about the coronavirus outbreak, in your inbox.

Pedestrians with covered faces in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx on Saturday.
Pedestrians with covered faces in the Kingsbridge neighborhood of the Bronx on Saturday.Credit…Desiree Rios for The New York Times

Masks become mandatory in New York as governor’s order takes effect.

From surgeon-quality personal protection to the home-stitched square and the bandit’s bandanna, New Yorkers pulled on a newly essential accessory and ventured into a landscape that changed yet again on Friday with the mandated wearing of masks in public.

The new rule, which took effect at 8 p.m. Friday night, would be striking anywhere, but more so in New York City, where teeming crowds and if-I-can-make-it-there chutzpah are baked into the national imagination.

“This is just the next step,” said a retired corrections officer, Stanley Woo, 63, sitting down to play chess in a park in Forest Hills, Queens, with his old friends and his new mask.

“Nobody likes it, but we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” said Amanda Neville, 43, inside her wine store, Tipsy, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.

The measure was intended to further flatten the curve of new coronavirus infections in New York, which has had more than 12,000 deaths because of the virus and more than 200,000 confirmed cases.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo offered some encouraging signs on that effort at his daily briefing on Friday: the three-day average number of hospitalized virus patients, considered one of the most reliable measures of the fight against the virus, dropped for the third straight day, by its biggest margin yet — almost 3 percent.

Still, the number of virus patients newly admitted to hospitals had remained high, at nearly 2,000 per day, and the governor announced 630 new deaths in the state.

Mr. Cuomo said the state’s economy could not fully reopen without more widespread testing, which would require both supplies and an operational capacity that the health system does not currently have.

“We cannot do it without federal help,” the governor said.

New York is not the only state to make face coverings mandatory: Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are requiring that masks be worn in stores; likewise in Los Angeles and some surrounding California counties. New York’s order is the most expansive, requiring face coverings anywhere in the state where two people might come within two yards of each other, though for now there is no fine for disobeying.COVERING UP New Yorkers are complying — sometimes begrudgingly — with the new mandate for face coverings.

N.Y.C. schools report 84 percent attendance rate for virtual learning.

New York City’s abrupt switch to remote learning last month created myriad challenges for the nation’s largest school system. One of the thorniest issues was how to take attendance for 1.1 million public school students who were suddenly at home.Sign up to receive an email when we publish a new story about the coronavirus outbreak.Sign Up

On Friday, the Department of Education provided initial data indicating that most students are still interacting with school in some way: About 84 percent of students signed on in some way during the first week of April. Average daily attendance before the coronavirus pandemic was around 92 percent.

Each of the city’s 1,800 schools have created their own attendance plans, meaning that being marked “present” could include participating at live instruction at one school, and answering a brief question every morning at another school. Attendance during remote learning was higher for younger children, who are typically supervised by parents during the day, and lower for high school students.

About 20 percent of city schools, including some large high schools, have not yet reported their attendance data. The city will release attendance weekly.

They filed for unemployment last month. They haven’t seen a dime.

Melvin Taylor II, who has yet to receive a debit card with his unemployment benefits, said he was searching through coats and pants for loose change.
Melvin Taylor II, who has yet to receive a debit card with his unemployment benefits, said he was searching through coats and pants for loose change.Credit…James Estrin/The New York Times

Over the past four weeks, about 22 million workers filed jobless claims, including about 1.2 million New Yorkers.

Unemployment systems, some of which rely on an antiquated computer programming language, were not built for such a rush of claimants. They also were not built for a new class of workers — independent contractors and the self-employed — who are now eligible for assistance during the pandemic.

In New York, the results have been maddening. Many people have had their online applications crash before they could hit submit, requiring them to start from scratch.

They have endured hourslong wait times only to get randomly disconnected, or be connected with representatives who say they cannot fix their issues.

Carly Keohane, who lost her waitressing job in Rochester, N.Y., has been waiting a month to receive $2,124 in unemployment payments as a direct deposit into her bank account.

But the state instead told her that the money had been deposited on a state-issued debit card, which she never received. Ms. Keohane, 31, said she could not get anyone on the phone to find out where it is.

Speaking on Thursday, the secretary to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, said the state had been staggering under the weight of the claims for unemployment insurance.

“We are going to continue doing everything we can to bring the system up to deal with this scale,” she said.MADDENING WAIT Crashing websites and problems with state-issued debit cards have frustrated New Yorkers seeking unemployment benefits.

Are you a health care worker in the New York area? Tell us what you’re seeing.

As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what’s happening in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers. Even if you haven’t seen anything yet, we want to connect now so we can stay in touch in the future.

A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.What hospital or health care facility do you work at?*Tell us what you’ve seen so far.0 wordsWhat is your name?*Full name preferredWhat is your email?*What is your phone number?By clicking the submit button, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us (‘Your Content’). If you do not accept these terms, do not submit any content. Of note:

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For real

Last Will & Testament

Just been on the phone to my mum and we have been discussing funeral arrangements for when we die.

I won’t tell you what she wants because that is private.

Basically I don’t really have anything of value a phone a pc, a wooden dreser with some uncle tom cobley and all items on it and a flat full of stuff. No one would need any of that crap thought I hope it goes to a new good home still.

I don’t care what music I get don’t even mind too much of no one makes it to a funeral. But I would like to be buried in a cardboard coffin if possible on a nature reserve owned by the Devon Wildlife Trust so that my body could go back to the earth.

Tidy and Lush

I have also asked if we could find a way of funding this site so as to be a dedication to my memory and the memory of my family similar to how Anne Franks Diary was in honor of her life.

Say a prayer for people that live on the floor

Amen to that.

Saturday Sun

Blooming Nora what a morning. I decided to update my bank account details so that I get paper accounts from them again. You try going back from digital to paper and its an absolute nightmare. I just think it’s a win win. If the paper comes from sustainable forests, then the printers have something to print, the woodlands have economic value to their wood. Also the Postman has something to post to me.

Plus I am forgetting what my login details are for my bank account so when I buy a new computer and move it to a new web browser such as Brave (which I highly recommend along with Firefox as a backup to log you in when Brave wont work) Microscum or Googly digital data sharing means are just to dam big and we should never have a monopoly supplier in the digital world because if your account gets hacked or your phone or computer hacked they have access to everything, yes I know scary or what.

So I tried moving back to paper billing with my bank and the dam thing locked me out. I had a message to say phone customer service to change password, which I did I asked them if I could keep my password and they said no and the only way to change it was online. SMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEGggg HEADDDddds

That is a Red Dwarf reference of Kriten trying to swear if your not familiar. The first episode of that programme is entitled the end! How odd. It’s a very funny show.

So I know have bank papers to deliver to my home plus a change of my digital password.

Then went to the newpaper shop to get again your smart thsi morning a newspaper. Independent for Saturday and Sunday today.

Also went to bakers and again to get some baked goods they were still selling hot cross buns so grabbed a pack.

On my way back I saw some graffiti.

Home is where your heart is very apt.

Then when walking back to my home just round the corner from the graffiti I saw this cheeky little monster.

I went and had a closer look and well what do you know.

Well Exeter is not in favor of the minions expressing themselves.


Vive La Revolution down wit the Digital Dictator!!! On the battle of Living organisms I’m a manic organic not a digital death dealer!!!

A late update to this post. This is a rare close up of my bro look at those eyes so soulful and magical.

The age of love and life or digital deletion YOU decide.

Call to arms

New York Needs a Legion of Disease Detectives

It can’t do this alone.

By The Editorial Board

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstandingvalues. It is separate from the newsroom.

  • April 17, 2020, 7:26 p.m. ET
A drive-through coronavirus testing site in Syracuse, N.Y.
A drive-through coronavirus testing site in Syracuse, N.Y.Credit…Damon Winter/The New York Times

If the United States gets it right, coronavirus testing will eventually become available in community centers and parks, at mobile clinics and sports arenas. A Postal Service worker may even bring a test to your door. If that seems far-fetched, think again. Public health experts agree that finding our way back from the coronavirus pandemic will almost certainly require testing, monitoring and contact tracing on a giant scale.

In New York, especially, among the hardest hit places in the world, the challenge will require a mass mobilization of resources from government and the private sector.

Public health experts say wide-scale testing has saved lives in countries like South Korea and Germany, which have seen far fewer deaths from Covid-19 than the United States. Public health officials suggest that if it had been deployed sooner in the United States, it could have saved thousands of lives here, too. They also say it is now the best way forward to control the pandemic safely and to restart the economy.

New York State is conducting about 25,000 tests per day, about 10,000 of those in New York City, according to state and city officials. But the figure is still far less than experts say is needed to reopen society.

To make that happen, New York will need to enlist a legion of health workers, disease detectives and others to regularly test large portions of the population, trace the spread of the virus by finding those who may have been exposed and enact a system of isolation and quarantine that stops the disease in its tracks. The key will be not only deploying enough medical workers and finding enough test kits but also expanding lab capacity to rapidly process a high volume of tests daily. Moreover, the state needs the other equipment and supplies necessary to conduct the tests, including protective gear. Without that, test kits will be useless.

“It’s not about how many tests we’ve done,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “It’s about how many tests per day compared to the total population, and how well targeted that testing is. What portion of health care workers are getting tested? What portion of nursing home residents, and with what frequency? No health department can manage alone. It’s a massive undertaking.”

New York needs help from the federal government. For now, the state is trying to do what it can.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo won approval in mid-March to conduct testing using public and private labs, a measure that greatly expanded the state’s testing capacity.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio has overseen a promising effort to spur local companies to make protective gear and rapid testing kits. This week, he said local businesses will be producing an additional 50,000 test kits per week by May and buying another 50,000 from a company in Illinois.

To reopen New York’s schools and its economy, though, the effort will have to be much bigger, touching large numbers of residents in a state of nearly 20 million people.

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The Neighbors of Ninth StreetWhat Were the Origins of the Holocaust?One Bright ThingContinue reading the main story

Officials in New York City, which is home to more than 8.5 million people, say they are weighing ways to quickly scale the capacity for testing and epidemiological tracing. The mayor has rightly said the city would focus on getting testing to medical and other essential workers and vulnerable populations first.

Plans are underway to hire or redeploy roughly 1,000 additional workers to do the work of contact tracing, supplementing the work of the city’s roughly 150 disease detectives. City officials said they will most likely need to hire thousands more workers to help in the efforts. This work is also beginning in Massachusetts, where Gov. Charlie Baker said nearly 1,000 contact tracers would reach out to sick residents and their recent contacts.

The city is identifying locations to set up community testing sites, like parks and recreation centers, sexual health clinics, outpatient clinics at public hospitals, pharmacies and urgent-care centers, and the network of community health centers and mobile testing sites that has proved effective in the fight against H.I.V. over the past three decades. It is also exploring how to pool tests to process more samples at once.

“The goal is to ideally have hundreds of thousands of people who could take tests any day of the week,” said Emma Wolfe, Mr. de Blasio’s chief of staff and deputy mayor for administration.

This is a time to think bigger.

In Germany, mobile teams of medical workers help treat people, a model that could be useful in New York for testing seniors, disabled people and others who can’t leave their homes.

Dr. Harvey Fineberg, who leads the Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, has suggested using the Postal Service to deliver surgical masks and hand sanitizer to every American household, once front-line medical workers are sufficiently supplied. The federal government could help hard-hit places like New York by sending a medical worker along these same postal routes to test people at their homes, either by using nasal swabs or possibly saliva samples if proven effective and approved by regulators. Another source of help may be the National Guard.

One advantage New York has is the city’s Health Department. It has been a pioneering force in public health for decades, from the AIDS crisis to antismoking campaigns and efforts to close racial disparities in health outcomes.