Trinity Men’s Fellowship Eccleshall - Staffordshire

 © Trinity Men's Fellowship       Webmaster David Sandham

Lester discovers a major design fault ………on a coffee pot.

Here's another Germanic tableware item for you

Along with the potato peel dishes featured earlier, this is another thing I wanted to inherit from my Nan.

 It's the coffee pot that used to sit on her range, stewing all day.

The reason I wanted it was because of the clever design: It's designed so that when you pour the coffee, that nuisance of a drip runs down the groove under the spout then through the hole back into the spout.

But the reason I really wanted it was that it doesn't work!

All that design ingenuity and clever manufacture and none of it taking account of the surface tension of water.

I wonder if it would work if there were a couple of drops of washing up liquid in the coffee to reduce the surface tension...…


Back in the late 70s the school at which I was working decided to purchase a coach. We had one member of staff who already had his PSV licence as he “moonlighted” at weekends driving a coach all over the country for a local coach firm, he was a geography teacher so very appropriate for field trips. But more drivers were needed so I volunteered to be one of them.  At the time I was a biology teacher so a good choice and the other two were PE teachers.

As a result an instructor turned up from Staffordshire County Council and he took the three of us out for one afternoon per week for a few weeks. We covered all aspects of coach driving, manoeuvring, town driving, country driving and even motorway driving and health and safety.

I must admit it was great fun. We tended to drive around various places in the Potteries and surrounding countryside but it always seemed to end up at the maintenance depot on the M6 where the instructor had arranged for us to have a brew.

Once he thought we were ready we had our test. This was quite daunting because of course we could just imagine the comments we would get back at the school had we failed after having an afternoon off each week. But the three of us passed and shortly afterwards we received our badges through the post.

The first trip out “live” with children on board was rather intimidating because of the responsibility but I soon became used to it and over the years I spent many hours taking groups out to various activities and field trips. The most memorable ones were the two annual “Special Needs” trips. One to Weston Park  (house and gardens in the morning and the adventure/assault course in the afternoon) and one to Chester (City and history in the morning and the zoo in the afternoon).

The coach was quite old when the school purchased it but it was still going strong by the time I had left for pastures new.


A badge which brings back fond memories of an unexpected aspect of my job.

This is a drawing of the coach as near as I can remember.

My PSV badge - worn with pride.

The DD indicates West Midlands.

Edward Orme High School

Black Dragon

A dragon carving on a Chinese Tektite (Asteroid Impact Glass)

"The Dragon"


This 3D sculpture showing a dragon chasing a pearl, is carved from a single piece of the Gibeon iron meteorite from Namibia.

"Dragon's Tooth"

A Carcharodontosaurus serrated tooth.

This large carnivorous dinosaur hunted in Morocco 100 million years ago.

"Imperial Dragon" ( 5 claws)

This reverse intaglio gem black opal inlay consists of 3000 pieces of opal and symbolises the Emperors of China.

Roman bronze "dragonesque" brooch

3rd century AD - Western Europe

My grandson, Oliver, asked me " Grandad are Dragons real ?"

"Do you know" I said, "I believe they are".

Dragons are often depicted in folklore  and myth from cultures all around the world.

Listed by Ptolomy, the dragon is portrayed in the heavens, as the constellation Draco.

We have the Welsh Dragon and our own St.George slaying the Dragon

"Sea Dragons"roamed the ancient oceans and evolving 4 million years ago, the Komodo Dragon is the largest extant lizard species growing up to 10' in length.

Returning from the International Space Station, the Crew Dragon capsule splashed down safely on 3rd August.

I'm sure there are large unknown and unrecognised animals hiding in the vast uninhabited and unexplored wildernesses of our planet - like the Bigfoot of western USA or the Yeti, tracked above the snow line in the high Himalayas - and perhaps even dragons ?

Tony Pace sends us some thoughts, information and objects on the topic of Dragons

Below are some Dragon Related objects from Tony’s collections

Interesting objects/activities  from TMF Members

On this page we are displaying and giving information about  objects we own which might be of interest to other members. We are keeping the value down to a minimum because we don’t want Mr Burglar to know you have a Picasso,  a Ru Guanyao Brush Washer Bowl, a Chippendale desk, etc, Just items worth a small amount of money, but of interest.

Abnormal Numbers of Butterflies?

Over the last few days we have been having abnormally high numbers of butterflies on the semicircular flower bed at the front of the house.  The main attraction for them currently are the Lavender plants,  Yesterday I counted 14 Small Whites and 4 Tortoiseshells at the same time on this very small area. Two days before that there were 17 Small Whites and two Tortoiseshells at one time!

In the photo you see how attractive they have become, Di, Margaret and Tony Pace with Tony and Liz Carling stopping to look from the car. It is very difficult to spot the butterflies in the photo.

It is interesting to note that within a 100 yards semicircle from this spot there live 5 members of the TMF. David Beswick lives in the red brick house directly behind the car, Keith W. lives to the left in the Old Vicarage and the two Tonies to the right in Sheriffs Way.

A Small White feeding on the Lavender plants

Below you can see the clue I gave in the email, it is an antenna from the Tortoiseshell butterfly on the right. You can see it if you look closely?

This is one of the Tortoiseshell butterflies. Just look how hairy it is?

More aerial activity above Eccleshall

The warm weather creating the required thermals brought out the gliders. Here you see the plane towing the glider up to a suitable height before relasing it to find it’s own way back to Seighford


Click here for more interesting objects

David Milner has an interesting bovine to show us!

This is a teapot! It pours badly! The tea does come out of the spout slowly but badly. I think that the milk should come out of the ‘udder’ end. It was painted by my daughter as part of her early decorating/artistic career at Wedgwoods back in the day. Later she painted free hand, figurines and other intricate ware.

David M.

Having seen David’s cow above, Rob has sent in this photo he took.

Talking of pottery cattle, I attach a photo of Elvis. I hasten to add that we did not purchase this, or have it in our possession. It was in rather a grand castle in Austria, which was still a private residence.



Once they joined the war, the Japanese helped the Allies by providing escort duties for troopships and other merchant vessels in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. They also provided hundreds of thousands of labourers for the French and the Brtish.

As part of my small medal collection I have specialised in Inter-Allied Victory Medals. On the left is a display case containing some of them and below is the one produced by Japan. Most of the Allied countries had a winged figure of  Victory but this was not in Japanese culture so they had Tako-Mikazuchi-no-Kami. The medal ribbon is similar in all cases

Did you know that Japan was on the side of the Allies in WW1?

A selection of Inter Allied Victory Medals - note the different designs for Victory

This is the delicate wooden box which contains the medal. It has Japanese characters stamped into the lid and the medal is held in a fitted liner.

The reverse of the medal. For more details on Inter-Allied Victory Medals click here to go to my  website for Arthur Saunders VC which contains a comprehensive section on these medals

I have written a brief summary of the achievements of a highly talented local man who had a strong connection with my job when I was Postmaster at Eccleshall. His name was Arnold Machin O.BE.  R.A. who lived out his last years at Garmelow Manor - till 1999.

Born in 1911 at Oakhill S.O.T.,he served a 7 year apprenticeship as a china painter at Mintons. Moving to Derby, he attended art school, then on to the Royal College of Art London,where he won the silver medal as top sculpture student in 1940.

Between 1942/43 he was sent to Wormwood Scrubs Prison as a conscientious objector - after which became employed by Wedgwood.

The Tate purchased several of his sculptures and he became a member of the Royal Academy of Arts - moving to Offley Rock in 1959 to develop a large scale garden design.

During the 60's and 70's he went on to design our decimal coinage, royal commemorative crowns, medals and undoubtedly his best known achievement, the definitive postage stamps issued in 1967.

By 2007 Machin's iconic image of the Queen had appeared on more than 200 billion postage stamps!

Machin was indeed a master sculptor, potter, tutor, architect, designer and a great artist.


2001 Machin Exhibition Catalogue showing artist and

his paintings,sculptures,medals and coins

First Day Cover showing higher value Machin stamps

60mm dia sterling silver commemorative coin issued

in 2007 showing Machin's final stamp design in relief

(The Queen faces left - on decimal coinage - to right)

Garmelow Manor

Tony Pace tells us about Arnold Machin O.B.E., R.A. a British artist, sculptor, and coin and postage stamp designer.

Arnold Machin

Arnold Machin’s grave in Holy Trinity graveyard. It is in the north West corner overlooking the meadow.

Thanks to Jonathan Jones for the photo.