Christmas is a time when people far from home (perhaps sipping a gin and tonic in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore or watching the dawn come up like thunder somewhere on the road to Mandalay) fondly remember their roots and cast a fleeting thought for the ones left behind before chasing tigers and dressing for dinner. This crossed my mind as I opened the latest communication from the Lord of Bowland who sadly was unable to join the rest of us in and around storm lashed Bowland over the festive period.
William Bowland, our feudal lord, has done much over the past couple of years to re-awaken consciousness of our Forest's rich history. His most daring act was perhaps to revive the ancient office of Bowbearer with the appointment of Robert Parker of Browsholme Hall. Not uncontroversial in some quarters. William has also uncovered details of the hitherto forgotten life of Richard Eastwood, the greatest Bowbearer of the Victorian period, whose descendents still live in the Forest to this day.
A photograph of Eastwood was unearthed and now sits on our Lordship page. To this, we must now add a fresh and exciting discovery. Tony Kitto at Towneley Hall has found a lithograph of Eastwood and today, for the very first time, we unveil it to the world - with due thanks to Tony.
Rumour has it that William has other plans afoot - a revival of his manorial court at Slaidburn in the autumn and perhaps even a return of the Perambulation of the Forest that last took place in the 1660s to pace out the boundaries of his noble demesne.