Major Teddy Norton of Morstead & Everest

12th Feb 2017

Major Edward Felix Norton (21 February 1884 – 3 November 1954)

Norton set a record for climbing to extreme altitudes without oxygen—28,126 feet 

When living in Owslebury Bottom after WWII , our journey to or from Winchester passed by and acknowledge the house of Major Norton. The man known to us for his exploits as a mountaineer and being a member of two expeditions on Mount Everest in 1923 & 1924.

1924 Group Photo

His house was almost opposite Morstead Church just before the road forks, left to Longwood & Upham , right over Jackman’s Hill through Owslebury Bottom to Owslebury.


I have just ordered a copy from

Diaries of Edward Norton, James Mallory & Andrew Irvine.

While there are some well known characters and gentry who were at one time residents of Owslebury , I think Major Teddy deserves additional recognition. I wonder where he was buried


Who reads our stuff ?

Saturday 11th Feb. 2017

Two years on from Blogday 1, I have logged 84,000 page reads, almost 7,000 last month. Which begs the question, who reads my stuff ? Since I write across such a wide range of topics it is unlikely to be defined as a group with common interests, so how do they find my piece on the topic of their interest ?


Virtually none of them ever leave a comment before moving on . The Blogger stats does not yield useful info in this regard.

Feel free to share your experiences .


Airmail – Par Avion letter writing.

Friday 10th February 2017

Old Airmail Letters


A word long forgotten in the age of Txt me and Twitter etc.
I was practicing my handwriting with a selection of my fountain pens when I realised that my grandchildren will never have experienced receiving a handwritten letter . That is, seeing a letter, and recognising the handwriting even before excitedly opening the envelope.  Now eager to read the news from a dear friend, a lover or distant aunt or cousin. These were often shared around the household widening the family bond. Many of those letter writers had learned to write with a beautiful cursive hand , their letters beautiful to behold.

Cursive Business Script

I decided to that I would write such a letter to each of my grandchildren , one that would be a surprise and eye catching , it would be an Aerogram . Though easier said than done . While I have written many hundreds of Aerogram and Airmail letters before and since my emigrating to Canada in my twenties . The electronic world has delivered instant connectivity and hand written mail has vanished into its ether .

A blank  prestamped Aerogramme

First challenge is to find a pad of airmail writing paper and matching envelopes, this paper was usually described as Onion Skin . My local stationer just laughed when I asked for these “not seen for years” they said . But adding that, “all our steel pens had suddenly disappeared” since it is now apparently cool to write with pen and ink again, so maybe the Spencerian era is returning.

Interestingly I found on the web several printable .pdf files to print download and print your own Aerogrammes . Here is a link to one in my Dropbox –

Meanwhile I have found pads of onion skin at Staples 8 1/2″ x 11″  so I can put these through my printer to create my own Aerogrammes it need.. I will hand write my letters but it is equally possible to type and print them onto the template. This circumvents the need to find the elusive Airmail envelopes.

Airmail Envelopes were of a lighter paper to minimise weight.

Here is link to my Google Drive for a .pdf Airmail US Letter page template created with iStudio for Mac so you may print your own airmail pages.

So “Write On! my friend”

Update Thurs. 16th Feb.

We had cause to go into town today so called at Staples to find the Onion Skin Pads . I just sat down and tried the first sheet with various fountain pens . This paper is beautiful silky smooth to touch and all my nibs glide over it oh! so nicely. I highly recommend this writing material. You’r gonna love it  to:)

Bye! I’ve got letters to write.