Bosworth and Berlin

The other day Mr Esther was watching a documentary on the BBC made by Ian Hislop (of ‘Have I Got News For You’ fame) called The Olden Days. In it Hislop showed how Arthurian and Alfredian legends have been used in different times of history to promote current causes. The Telegraph had a good review for it, should it interest you. I didn’t quite catch all of the programme but what struck me very much was Hislop’s repeated assertion that when Britain wants to move forward, it always looks to the past to do so and more so than many other countries do. I have been pondering that and yes, I think he has a fair point. Parts of the ‘good old days’ get glorified and sometimes that is helpful but sometimes it also stands in the way of progress. I get a sense of that with this whole Brexit crisis. Many British people seem to be saying “we’re better off alone like in the good old days” and in my heart I just feel that those who think that are stuck in the past, not facing the reality of a global world today.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that knowing history and learning lessons from history is extremely important! Many lessons from history really can and do help us move forward and hopefully make us evolve as human beings. I also feel that focussing so completely on the past can possibly also undermine moving forward.

So, what caused me to even blog about these thoughts here? I hadn’t previously even intended to do so! But Richard Armitage posted two tweets yesterday about the Bosworth battlefield outside Leicester that is threatened to be used for development by a Japanese company that wants to test driverless vehicles there.

And there is this message of protest from Richard on the Richard III society page on Facebook, with a lovely photo to go with it….

Richard and Richard III

I never sign petitions blindly just because a favourite person of mine asks me to do so. So, I tried reading that ‘Pipeline’ article Richard linked to and boy is it long and rambling and repetitive. I ended up skimming through large parts but in the article I did understand that the Japanese automotive company already has a technological park there, which already does cover a part of the battlefield. And they don’t want to take over all of the battlefield (which the messages seemed to suggest to me) but they only want to expand into a little corner of the Bosworth battlefield which potentially could be interesting (but possibly also not) to archaeological research.

I did a quick search and found this Telegraph article which shows a map of the area. A map makes things that much clearer for me and I find myself wondering: is that little corner really so essential to the whole battlefield preservation? And if so, why wasn’t the establishment of the Japanese company there deterred in the first place? The company’s property already covers Henry Tudor’s vantage point. I was at the Bosworth battlefield last summer and the area is large, we certainly didn’t take the time to walk over every inch of it. A large part is already preserved and needs to stay preserved, so can’t a little corner be sacrificed? Couldn’t they just do archaeological research in that corner of the battlefield before they build and then display what they find in the Richard III museum in Leicester or at the Bosworth visitor centre? If new things can’t be built over (the edges of) old places, aren’t we stuck? Is this an example of history taking prevalence over future and development? Or, on the other hand, is this really such a very important corner that it needs to be preserved at all cost? If that corner were to be sacrificed, is that giving an inch before they take a mile? I really wouldn’t want that to happen! And does the Japanese company really need that expansion, can’t they do it on the considerable plot they already have? And if it is really so important to keep that corner, shouldn’t the proposal be to also take back that part of Henry Tudor’s vantage point?

I can’t decide one way or the other what to do about this petition, I know too little about this and frankly, I don’t have the time or inclination to go into it in any depth. For me, as it stands now, there are far too many questions. It’s also about history or the future, what to choose? I find both important and I really don’t know! Is there a history AND a future solution? When I sign my name to something, I want to completely be able to support that cause and so, as I am undecided, I haven’t signed anything yet. I have a feeling that Mr Esther would be for signing this petition, so maybe he can convince me once he reads this… or maybe some of you can convince me one way or the other in the comments…

Now that I have written all that down, I can hopefully let it go from my thoughts for a bit and get back to work concentrate on the Richard glimpses in the new Berlin Station trailer for season 3. The trailer, while slick, doesn’t tell us anything about the story, so in that sense I guess it isn’t a great trailer. But it sure does look pretty.

Mat Khal over on Twitter took a few lovely screenshots of the quick Richard glimpses we get, I’ll share my two fave shots here…

RA BS 3 trailer screenshot1RA BS 3 trailer screenshot3

… and now, Richard Armitage, stop keeping me from work while I sit here in our at home office trying to look extremely business-efficient! (Oops, is that Mr Esther coming home, calling me downstairs for lunch? Procrastination, thy name is Esther!)

19 thoughts on “Bosworth and Berlin

  1. I totally understand your doubts regarding the contents of the petition!
    Living in a city with lots of historical remains from ancient origin, be it Roman, jewish or earlier, preservation orders are always a topic when new buildings are to be set up.
    Bigger cities with a similar history like for example Mainz or Cologne always have to deal with questions of heritage preservation and the archeologists are usually called when there are remains in the ground of a construction site.
    As you say they often secure archeological discoveries for restoration or exhibition but in many cases the construction doesn’t have to be stopped.
    I don’t know if this could be an appropriate solution for the Bosworth battlefield site.
    After all such a petition can be important to alarm the public and keep an eye on the heritage site to emphasize its historical value. And I appreciate Richard’s personal involvement.
    We’ll see what will happen…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Servetus

    Good for you for not automatically jumping on the bandwagon here. I haven’t read the proposal (and don’t have time), but we can’t preserve the entire human past. It is simply not possible. (And we should spend more money on the things we do choose to preserve, i.e., fire protection for museums in Brasil and so on.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. squirrel.0072

    Il vaut mieux tester les voitures autonomes sans conducteur, à l’extérieur, dans de vastes espaces, avec des mises en situations proches de la réalité, avant quelles ne sortent dans les rues. Ces essais nécessitent de vastes étendues. Le Japon est un pays où les espaces vides sont inexistants. Connaissant les intentions de mon fils de partir au Japon, dans les mois qui viennent, en tant qu’élève ingénieur stagiaire en robotique, je devrais être heureuse de ce projet. Mais je n’aime pas les voitures qui utilisent l’énergie électrique des centrales nucléaires ou bien l’hydrogène liquide ou encore le lithium dans leurs batteries. Je ne connais pas leurs futures voitures. Si l’énergie était propre pourquoi pas? Ne vous méprenez pas, la protection du patrimoine restera toujours primordiale, dans mon esprit. Mais la destruction d’un espace naturel vierge, au profit d’ un projet de progrès non polluant me semble acceptable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that would be acceptable to me too, especially as only a small part of the field would be used. The battlefield would not completely disappear. Not yet, in any case…


  4. squirrel.0072

    En écoutant les CD de “The lords of the North” je n’ai pas l’impression que ces temps anciens étaient des modèles plus enviables. La vie en Essex, Est-Anglie, Kent, Mercie, Northumbrie, Sussex et Wessex où chacun défend son territoire me semble une réplique du monde moderne (L’Heptarchie est le nom donné à ces 7 royaumes fondés par les Anglo-Saxons dans l’île de Bretagne au Haut Moyen Âge). Que retiennent les hommes présents du passé? Le passé n’est pas un espace temps idyllique. J’en avais parlé lors de mon étude du livre du géopolitologue Dominique Moïsi : “La géopolitique des séries “.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Servetus

      I’ve often thought it interesting that we choose predominantly to preserve spaces of violence as memorials, often over much more pleasant memories. The official justification for this is that they are suppose to make us remember the evils of war, but in fact, they do not have this effect to the extent that they would end war — war just becomes worse and worse. Given that, we might as well preserve sites of pleasant memory-worthy things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. squirrel.0072

        WARNING! Abstain if kind soul! This is not something to read for the sensitive persons. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Lors de travaux dans le centre du Mans, des charniers remontant à la révolution française ont été découverts
        Des fouilles archéologiques de sauvegarde ont été déclenchées. L’étude des squelettes humains a permis de comparer les exactions réelles avec celles des récits historiques arrivés jusqu’à nous. Une telle étude globale d’une population du 18° siècle, incluant leurs conditions de vie et de mort, est rare pour les chercheurs.


      2. squirrel.0072

        J’ai beau chercher, les choses positives commémorées sont très rares. Peut-être les conquêtes sportives ou aventurières des territoires terrestres, maritimes ou astrales inconnus? Il reste les prix remis aux chercheurs et personnes bienfaisantes. Mais tout ces prix sont-ils mérités et combien d’individus, dignes d’être honorés, oeuvrent dans l’ombre et resteront sans reconnaissance?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Fatima

    This is tricky in Canada. So much Indigenous history is tied into the land, even the dark chapters like residential schools. There’s a mass grave at a campground. It used to have one of the many residential schools in Manitoba. I didn’t sign it because it felt like his end, so hopefully a lot of UK fans seriously considered it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was only just recently reading a bit about what residential schools in Canada were about. I knew schools like that had existed, I hadn’t remembered the term. So heartbreaking to read about…
      Yeah, agree that the petition is very much a British choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. squirrel.0072

    Avant-hier j’ai discuté de ce sujet avec une archéologue conférencière retraitée. Selon elle, en France il est admis par les spécialistes qu’il vaut mieux recouvrir un tel site de 20 à 30 cm de bitume. Cela suffit pour protéger le sous sol. Il ne faut pas creuser, souvent les vestiges sont à quelques dizaines de centimètres sous terre…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe there is concern that once this chunk or chink of land gets taken by Japanese, it will open the floodgates to other companies to buy it up and do un historical stuff. Or maybe it’s because it has deep sentimental value to Richard and it is a cause that hit close to home on many different levels. I know the petition didn’t work but I took away that he showed a very personal side and that he would open that up on Twitter was very heartwarming to me.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.