Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Rare Sightings - The Loch Ness monster

 The Loch Ness monster or 'Nessie'


The-Loch-Ness-Monster

When it comes to folklore, few tales capture the interest as much as The Loch Ness monster, or Nessie. This legend never dies and forms a link between our modern world of convenience, and the ages past, when dinosaurs roamed( and terrorised ) the land.


However, is this legend real? Well, according to Wikipedia:

"The scientific community regards the Loch Ness Monster as a phenomenon without biological basis, explaining sightings as hoaxes, wishful thinking, and the misidentification of mundane objects."



If that is the case, why, then, does the myth not simply die out...have it's delusions overridden by common sense? We put it down to two main reasons: It's long and extensive history, and it's location. Firstly, let's have a look at the location, Loch Ness.



Never A Better Place Than Loch Ness For A Great Story


Loch Ness, Home of Nessie
Loch Ness, Scotland



One need only look at Loch Ness, and it's location to notice that it would be hard to find a better place to lay the foundation of a story, that the lake itself.

Located in rural Scotland, the Loch is a place of great character, where any urban sprawl is yet to spoil, and cold misty days simply add to the character.



Loch Ness - Scotland






The Loch itself is 36.2km long, and 2.7km wide, with a depth of around a whopping 132 metres! More than enough to hide a beast of Nessie's girth. In fact, so big is the Loch, that it contains more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined!

The Loch also boasts several species of fish, vital for the diet of a dinosaur, if one were to exist there. Among the varieties to be found there, are:

  • The European Eel
  • The Northern Pike
  • The European Sea Sturgeon
  • The Three Spined Stickleback
  • Brook Lamprey
  • The Eurasian Minnow
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Sea Trout
  • Brown Trout, and
  • The Arctic Char.


Although the Loch has a rich history with it's waterways, it's average water temperature means that it is hardly the place for a swim. With an average temperature of only 5.5 degrees Celsius, it is certainly not a place for a paddle for those who are faint of heart, something that Nessie is not, apparently.

However, since most 'dinosaurs' are cold blooded, it would be strange for a large cold blooded animal to thrive in frigid waters. 




The Loch Ness Monster - A Long and Rich History







Editorial Comment



Whilst the prospect of a prehistoric beast living..alone...in a frigid lake in Northern Scotland may seem far fetched, it's continuing existence as a legend never seems to die. 

Despite the scientific community occasionally throwing some resources into investigating the claim...and find nothing, and then thumbing their noses at the claim, the myth remains one of the World's foremost, and most cherished tales.

Even though the existence of 'Nessie' may be more fantasy than fact, the tale should be cherished and passed on to future generations. After all, if fishermen can exaggerate(ever so slightly!) every catch they make, then why can't proud Scots boast over Nessie, whether he be a large fish, dinosaur, or, figment of people's imagination?


For more information on Scotland, visit our UK local business directory.






Sunday, November 15, 2020

Rare British Cars - The Ford Sierra

 


What Is Rare About The Ford Sierra?


Ford has always mass produced cars that have been familiar sites on roads throughout the World. The Sierra is no different. Reportedly, the total production between 1982 and 1993 is 3,470,524. This probably means that if you bought into Ford advertising in this period, that you may well have owned one!

As with all mass produced cars, they tend to not keep up with the latest innovations, especially, when the latest 'new' release can trumpet these.So, it is no surprise that by 2005, there were only 67,817 left. However, in recent years the rate of disappearance from British roads has accelerated, such that the latest figures indicate that well under 2425 remain taxed for use on British Roads.

Whilst the Sierra may not be a 'classic car' in the full sense of the term, it's scarcity will surely increase it's collectors value..and all the more so as the numbers continue to fall.



Famous Owners


As you can imagine, mass produced cars such as this were not especially coveted by the upper tiers of society, however, one UK celebrity figure certainly valued their ownership...if only for a while!

Former Labour leader Neil Kinnock allegedly purchased one of the first few Sierras manufactured. This was just before becoming Labour leader in 1983. However, the July 14,1983 Glasgow Herald reported that Mr Kinnock crashed his Sierra on the M4 in Berkshire. One thing is for sure, the seatbelts must have been well designed in the Sierra, since Mr Kinnock attributed that wearing this saved his life.

 

Main UK Competitors

 

Whilst the Sierra had competitors internationally, the Sierra was targeted in the UK to compete with the Vauxhall Cavalier(1981 onwards). However, despite the Cavalier being front-wheel drive, the Sierra retained the rear-wheel drive feature. In years to come, the Sierra also had, in addition to the Cavalier, the Rover Montego, the Peugeot 405, the Renault 21, and the Nissan Bluebird to contend with.


Where To Buy A Ford Sierra Today?


Whilst you may want to check with your UK mechanic prior to purchasing an ageing Sierra, the cars can still be readily purchased. At time of writing, Ebay.co.uk has 28 listed on it's site, ranging from £1900 to over
£50,000!. In addition, autotrader.co.uk has 4 used models, with prices ranging from
£9,995 to
£69,950

 

 

Editorial

 

For me, the Ford Sierra is not top of my list for cars to collect. However, what was once the epitomy of functionality, has now become a trend of it's own. As the numbers continue to dwindle, we will likely see the price of those that remain continue to rise.

Despite that, it is unlikely that this rare British car will ever be seen in my garage! However, if you are a collector, or the Sierra evokes wonderful memories of bygone years, grabbing one now, before the prices do rise, may well be a worthwhile investment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Rare British Flowers - The Spring Gentian

 


What Is A Spring Gentian?


You might never have heard of a Spring Gentian, and you are probably not alone. This wild flower, native to the UK, is one of the least prolific flowers that you will see on a forest walk. It's Latin name is Gentiana Verna Gentians, and it is generally found at higher altitudes.

 

Where In The UK Can I Find It?

 

Although variations of the Gentian can be found in various locations throughout Europe, in the UK the flower can generally only be found in one of two locations: Teesdale, and Western Ireland.

 


Teesdale in the UK

 

 

The Gentian generally prefers Chalky soils, which further reduces it's ability to become a prolific species. As noted, it's rare appearance in the United Kingdom is a feature that also characterises the flower throughout Europe, so much so that the flower has been designated as an 'Endangered Species'.

 

History And Folklore

 

 The flower was first discovered in the UK by John Harriman, and now serves as the county flower of Durham, in England's north.

Holly Somerville's drawing of the flower has since become the logo for the botany department in Trinity College Dublin, and has also appeared on a British stamp issued in 1964.


Superstitions


As with most things that are rare, the reputation of the flower has led to various superstitions being formed regarding it. For instance, bringing the flower into a house would risk the offending individual running the risk of being struck by lightning! Also, death, the ultimate penalty was said to follow anyone who picked the flower. However, the threat of the death penalty for picking the flower has not increased it's abundance, although it could arguably be said that it may have stopped it's extinction!


The Takeaway


It is unlikely that you will ever see a Gentian in the UK, unless you visit Teeside or Western Ireland. Even then, it would require a foreknowledge of what you are looking for in order to identify it.

Should you be planning a trip, familiarize yourself with this rare flower, you could be one of the relatively few British folk who have set eyes upon it.


Saturday, October 17, 2020

Rare Collectors Items - The Morgan Dollar

 


The Morgan(Silver) Dollar


I have been in love with the Morgan Dollar for many years. Frankly, for me, it is one of the more collectible coins that I have treasured. It is, a brand of Silver coin that ranks along with the 'Canadian Maple' in terms of it's esteemed value.


A Brief History Of The Morgan Dollar


The Morgan Dollar was minted from 1878 to 1904. However, it was again commissioned in 1921, which year now forms the most common Morgan Dollars that you will likely find in a collection.

After 1921, the mantle of popular Silver Dollar arguably went to the Peace Dollar. However, whilst also iconic, the Peace Dollar in my estimation, is not as valuable a brand as it's older cousin. Frankly, the 2 coins, whilst both consisting, to a large degree, of Silver, represent two completely different periods of United States history. And, as such, will evoke different feelings of worth in the minds of different collectors, depending on their familiarity, and affection for stages of American history.


What Does This Have To Do With The United Kingdom?


Yes, I am fully aware that the 'Morgan Dollar' is a brand that is completely associated with the United States. However, in today's interconnected world, sites such as Ebay mean that British collectors can also add U.S. coins to their collections. The 'Morgan Dollar' is one such coin that should be added.

You may be wondering: Why is the 'Morgan Silver Dollar' on a site dedicated to rare finds in the UK? Well, I believe that the brand that was the 'Morgan Dollar' is now so long out of minting, and it's intrinsic value was so high, that it should be added to your collection.

I have always sourced my Morgan Dollars from eBay. However, I have noticed, in recent times, that many fakes are now being sold. By law, these 'fakes' should be identified as such. However, I have noticed many now being sold that are not being legally identified. These fakes are often hard to spot with the naked eye. In times past, identifying a fake 'Morgan Dollar' was as simple as holding a magnet next to it. The real Dollar would not be attracted to the magnet, since Silver is not magnetic. 

In recent times, fakers have become more clever, most modern fake Morgans are not attracted by a magnet, making it much harder to identify. The reality of this situation was highlighted to me when I bought a 'roll' of 'Silver' dollars on eBay very cheaply. Everything seemed ok, however, after on-selling them, one of the few that I still had began to peel, losing it's silver coating and showing a brass base. Sadly, after contacting the purchasers of my dollars, most refused to return them, insisting that they were real. Oh well, I tried to do the right thing! However, it does show the number of people that must be fooled by cheaper fakes.


So..In Conclusion


I thoroughly recommend adding Morgan Dollars to your collection. As owner of a London business directory, I deal with buying and selling on a daily basis. Despite seeing literally thousands of products and services each day, I truly value quality merchandise...the Morgan Silver Dollar is one of these.

As with any transaction, do your due diligence. When done, you will have added not only a dollar whose face value is much lower than it's intrinsic value, but you will have added an heirloom that can be passed on to the next generation!

Rare Sightings - The Loch Ness monster

 The Loch Ness monster or 'Nessie' When it comes to folklore, few tales capture the interest as much as The Loch Ness monster, or Ne...