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British Heritage: November 1996 Letters

9/23/1997 • British Heritage Archives

In your June/July issue (page 6), a letter to the editor asks about the 13th century hero, William Wallace, and his leading theScots toward freedom from Edward I and England.

You gave an excellent answer but then stated that you would feature a talk with direct descendent, Andrew Wallace, in younext issue. What happened, since I cannot find this ‘featured talk in the August/September issue? And how can Andrew be adirect descendent?

Elizabeth Shirley Cobb
Dallas, Texas

Editor’s note: There’s many a slip ‘twixt the scheduling of an article and its publication. Due to some unforeseendifficulties, we simply did not have the article ready for publication by our August/September deadline. We apologizefor misleading our readers. However, all’s well, for you’ll find this very feature in the current issue. Just turn to page41. In additition to Mr. Andrew Wallace’s interesting perspectives on his role as a future clan chief, you’ll read aboutthe accuracies and inaccuracies of the recent film Braveheart.

As the above reader points out, we were mistaken in our reference to Andrew Wallace’s family tree. Andrew is relatedto the 13th century Scottish hero, William Wallace, but not by direct descent.

The article on the Roman Baths Museum (‘Bath’s Sacred Spring’, August/September, page 26) brings back the memory of anamusing spoonerism.

On Sunday, 3rd September, 1939, the day the Second World War started, a BBC announcer introduced a musical interludeby the ‘Bathroom Orchestra at Pump.’ Honest, I remember it well!

Bath is a beautiful city, full of the most interesting ‘yesterdays’, but the parking situation is a disaster.

David Green
Ocean Park, Maine

I so much appreciated J. A. Hiestand’s information on Jeremy Brett (Letter-Box, April/May 1996, page 6). I wonder whetheranyone knows what has become of Julie Christie? She did not appear in the PBS documentary on the making of Dr. Zhivago,nor have I seen her on film.

Pat Hoad
Plainsboro, New Jersey

Editor’s note: According to Julie Christie’s agent, she has recently been involved in Kenneth Brannagh’s production ofHamlet as well as the 1994 Rob Cohen film Dragonheart. She also recently appeared in Old Times, which played atWyndham’s theatre in London’s West End.

The photo below shows Carolyn Grace, one of the subjects of your article ‘Flight of Dreams’ by Corydon Wagner (April/ May1995, page 61). The photo of Mrs. Grace, the only female Spitfire pilot in the world, along with BRITISH HERITAGEsubscriber Alan R. P. Golding was taken on 4th May, 1995 in the memorial corner of the Merilin Caf? at the Hurricane andSpitfire Museum located at the R.A.F. Station Manston in Kent.

You may note the name tag on her flying suit says ‘LESLIE’, the same as is printed on the side of her Spitfire ML-407. Mrs.Grace had just completed putting Spitfire ML-407 though its paces as part of the aerial display on the occasion of the 50thAnniversary of the Second World War.

Alan R.P. Golding (Retired)
Canadian Forces (Air Element)
Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Many years ago in England, my mother used to make ginger beer that was absolutely delicious. I do recall that the ingredientsconsisted mainly of ginger, yeast and sugar. The results were bottled and placed in the cellar for a period of time in which itobtained an effervescent mixture. Occasionally a bottle would burst due to the pressure. However, the resulting non-alcoholicbrew was very refreshing and we kids loved it. I do recall that after the liquid was bottled sediment that remained was used tomake a further batch by adding more of the original ingredients. I would dearly love to be able to make this ginger beer andshould any of your readers know of the recipe I would be delighted to hear from them.

Denis A. Wadey
Edenton, North Carolina

Editor’s note: Here is a common recipe for ginger beer that we hope will bring back some happy childhood memories.Do take note, however, as Mr. Wadey recalls, that fermentation creates intense pressure inside the bottles which couldcause them to explode. Make sure to use proper beer bottles with clip-on bottle seals or screw tops. Keep them in acardboard box and store them in a cool, dark place.

Ginger Beer

1 oz fresh root ginger, bruised
thinly pared rind and juice of 2 lemons
1 lb sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 sachet dried beer yeast


Combine the ginger, lemon rind, sugar and cream of tartar in a suitable white brewing bucket with lid. Add 8 pints hot water. Stir gently until the sugar has dissolved, then leave to cool.


Add the lemon juice to the cooled liquid and sprinkle the yeast over the surface. Cover and leave in a warm place for 48 hours, skimming off the yeast head after 24 hours. When fermentation has finished, skim the surface again before bottling.


Thoroughly wash sufficient beer bottles to hold the ginger beer, and sterilize them in Campden solution or by using another suitable wine-making product. Siphon the ginger beer into the bottles, being careful not to disturb the deposit in the bottom of the container. Seal the bottles tightly and leave in a warm place for 3 days. Use at once or store in a cool dark place until required, checking the bottles frequently.


Makes about 83/4 pints.

Researching the origin of the English word ‘marmelade’ (‘Kings, Queens, and Marmelade’, June/July, page 8) need take one nofarther than the terminology used in French cooking regarding the preserving of fruit.


A marmelade is the result when a fruit is cooked down, usually with added sugar, to soften it. This is often a preliminary stagein making a confiture or jam. The preserve that the English call ‘marmalade is called ‘marmelade d’oranges’ in French.


Traditionally, jams are made from soft fruits, but the use of citrus fruit to make preserves was a late development, as thesefruits were not grown in Britain, and were rarely imported, in the 16th century.


Anglicizing a French word to give a name to a food that did not have an English name was a common practice in the past.


Mary, Queen of Scots had very close ties with France and her chef was probably French, so a myth connecting her with theinvention of this preserve is quite understandable though not founded on fact. The fact that the spelling of the latter part of theEnglish word happens to duplicate a French word for sick or ill (‘malade’) is pure coincidence. Marmelade is an entirelydifferent word, in spelling and origin, as well as meaning. It is feasible to imagine Mary’s chef preserving this luxury fruit in the16th century by making ‘marmelade d’oranges’, but that is as far as the connection goes.

Sylvia M. Skelton
Victoria, British Columbia

In our June/July Travel Notes department piece ‘Leonardo Da Vinci Drawings at Buckingham Palace’ we mistakenly reportedthe admission cost of the exhibition to be ?12.95. The correct cost of admittance for that exhibition, which will be on display atThe Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 12th January 1997, is ?3.50 for adults, ?2 for children, ?2.50 for those over60, and ?10 for a family (2 adults and 2 children). A fully colour-illustrated catalogue written by Martin Clayton, AssistantCurator of the Print Room, Royal Library, accompanies the exhibition and is priced at ?12.95. We apologize for the error.


The British telephone numbers provided in British Heritage include an initial zero, which callers from North America do not need to dial when placing a call to Britain. North American callers should dial 011-44 in place of the initial zero. When travelling in Britain, dial the telephone numbers exactly as printed.Please note that all prices quoted in editorial material are correct to the best of our knowledge. We suggest readers call ahead before visiting stately homes, etc., to ensure they have up-to-date details.

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