Leicester Clothed The World – Not Anymore

Sheering sheep leicester by Crimson Tazvinzwa

Hosiery; the main manufacturing light industry in Leicester, Leicestershire – from 19th century to late 20th century – produced a variety of clothes, shoes, and there was also a vibrant mechanical engineering industry.

Names such as Corah, Wolsey, Bentley, Stibbe, the British United Shoe Machinery Company and the British Shoe Corporation were well known nationally and internationally.


Due to the scale of the clothing industry in Leicester it was named the second richest city in Europe in the 1930s. Working for one of the big companies came with a healthy social life, with many sports and social clubs linked to each of the factoriesin the early 20th Century Leicester was renowned as a place where there was always work for both men and women


Today only a very few of these ‘big’ names remain in business. There are well-known names such as Next, Dunelm, Bostik, Walkers and a host of companies involved in manufacture and engineering, but the giants of the past are no more.

Industry has not abandoned Leicester at all – there are many products still made in this city, but the hustle and bustle of factories and workshops downtown is now an ancient story – same with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The ‘rise and fall’ of industry in the city has left a legacy of buildings and places that have been shaped by industrial activity but now retrofitted for other non-manufacturing work spaces like offices, accommodation, cafes, bars and restaurants.


UK – Leicester; Help The Homelss This Christmas Season


Homeless Services – Christmas & New Year Information – LEICESTER//CRIMSON TAZVINZWA

Homeless Services – Christmas & New Year Information

*Eat ‘n’ Meet*Housing Options*The bridge*Homeless Healthcare Service (provided by Inclusion Healthcare Social Enterprise)*The Case Restaurant*Dawn Centre*Centre Porject*Homeless Outreach*Triangle, Holy Trinity Church*The Y Support Project*Open Hands*Homeless Outreach Team


Brexit looms, Berlin’s ‘Broken English’ shop aims for Ireland

Munich-born Antje Blank is an avowed Anglophile and the new owner of Berlin-based shop Broken English, which supplies homesick expats their favorite UK products. But Brexit might change the future of the shop.
Credit:Orla Barry/The World

Broken English, a Berlin-based shop that stocks British products, doesn’t fly the Union Jack outside its door anymore.

The British flag has become a source of shame for the shop’s new owner, Munich-born Antje Blank.

Blank, an avowed Anglophile, says the flag that once, for her, “oozed a sense of cool,” has now become tainted and stands for “insularity and borderline racism” following the Brexit vote.

“It has been hijacked by the Tory party, the Brexiteers and the Farage people,” Blank said, referring to Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party. The UK is currently gearing up for a Dec. 12 election, prompted by an impasse in parliament over Brexit withdrawal agreements.

Related: Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal: What’s in it and how is it different from Theresa May’s version?

The Broken English shop is a Berlin institution that provides homesick British expats and anglophile Germans with everything from Tetley’s tea and Branston Pickle to Cadbury’s Chocolate and Walker Biscuits.

But Brexit has shaken the shop’s existence. Its long-time owner, Dale Carr, who is from Sheffield in the UK, closed the store earlier this year. Although she had plans to retire, the prospect of all the paperwork Brexit would entail to import goods to Germany from the UK was the final nail in the coffin.

Blank, who spent 15 years living in the UK and was a huge fan of the store, was devastated when she heard it was going to close. Instead, she decided to take it over from Carr and give Broken English new life. It was also a way to boost her family’s income, which had dropped as a result of the Brexit referendum, she said. Blank’s husband is an academic who travels to the UK every week — his salary dropped as the British pound tumbled.

Blank worries that Brexit will also prove challenging for her new store. The shop imports specialized British produce from many small, family-owned companies who may find it difficult to keep up with exports if Britain leaves the European Union.

Related: Statement pieces: Fashion designers worry over Brexit’s cost to UK industry

“They probably won’t be able to afford to export to us. To fill out the forms that will be necessary for every single product to be exported across the border,” Blank said.

If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, exporting and importing goods will likely be even harder. “Operation Yellowhammer,” a government report detailing the consequences of a no-deal Brexit, show that businesses are not well prepared to handle such a scenario. Small businesses are likely to be even more affected.

To ease the pressure, Blank’s plan is to replace some of the lost produce with goods from Ireland, which — although further away from Berlin — will still allow her to continue to import under EU rules. In fact, Ireland has been the EU’s fastest growing economy over the past three years of Brexit talks.

As for the change in product sourcing, Blank believes her customers will understand.

“Those customers talk about Brexit every day,” Blank said. The British reflect on it with “a sense of slight shame and exasperation. Germans treat it with complete bemusement,” she added. “It’s a feeling that they’ve all gone bonkers, but it will be alright in the end.”

Blank is skeptical that the long-haggled Brexit will actually come to fruition. “They will come to their senses.”

She herself sees the UK’s decision to leave the EU as “monstrous stupidity.”

“I think it’s a shambles,” she said. “I find it’s a very backwards move and a very insular move.”

But even if the shop ends up stocking produce from Ireland, the name will stay the same.

“It will be quite prophetic if we call ourselves Broken English and the UK opts for a hard Brexit.”

In the meantime, Blank is considering flying the Saltire — the Scottish Flag — outside her shop. Many of her customers approve of the idea.

Related: How much will a 25% tariff hurt sales of Scotch?

“Because we have a lot of Scottish customers, and a lot of German people who enjoy Scotland.”

But one thing won’t change. The shop’s bestseller: Marmite, the quintessentially British yeasty spread with a “love it or hate it” following.

Broken English shoppers should be able to stay well-stocked with the Britsh delicacy. “We do Marmite from a number of different distributors. Some are in the UK and some in Germany,” Blank said. “I am hopeful they will be able to supply us even if there is a hard Brexit.”


ZIMBABWE: “Finding Our Voices” – And Then Using Them for Good Effect – Catherine Buckle


The ‘last kicks of a dying horse’ is arguably the best and only qualifying description of the numbered days in the life of Mugabe’s larger than life, oversized regime – personified from inception to adulthood by protests, demonstrations and defiance; consenqently met by tear gas, baton sticks and the brutal police force aka militia- abductions perps who brought families and communities asunder – and shocked the global family of humans – during all that time///CRIMSON TAZVINZWA

Cathy Buckle’s ‘Finding Our Voices’ is a story of Mugabe’s grip on power for a ‘millenia’ – call it that;  ending in a military-style take-over of governance instigated by none-other-than the once-blue-eyed-boy; the chosen one – Emmerson Mnangagwa- within that circle – or the son he, Mr Mugabe had never had the opportunity to sire and look after, and the unceremonious pensioneering of the strongman himself.

My new book “Finding our Voices” is hot off the Zimbabwean press and will make its first public appearance on Sat 8 Nov at the Maasdorp market in Belgravia, Harare between 9am and 12.
International orders www.lulu.com/spotlight/CathyBuckle2018///CATHY BUCKLE

Oh My God!  That time! 2013 – 2017 forever shall be memorialised as coming of age – weaning; for  the majority of  Zimbabweans, in which they found and finally were capable of manipulating their voices for a good cause, learned the power of hope, patience and persistence, and finally came together in humongous numbers – and in unison – said “Enough is Enough.”

And that was it. He was gone in a flash.

‘Finding Our Voices’ – the dawn – is Catherine Buckle’s fourth book in a series describing the imapct of Zimbabwean politics on real Zimbabwean people.

‘Finding Our Voices’ – the dawn is Catherine Buckle’s fourth book in a series describing the effect of Zimbabwean politics on people’s lives.
  1. Can you Hear the Drums’ covers 2000 to 2004.
  2. Millions, Billions, Trillions’ covers 2005 to 2009.
  3. ‘When Winners are Losers’ covers 2009 to 2013 and
  4. ‘Finding Our Voices’ concludes as Mugabe government is booted out of power after more than 3 decades  of iron-rule and dictatorship.

Good reads for historians, researchers and political scientists – plus all those others who care about democracy.


The Netherlands to force companies to have more women on boards — Canoe


AMSTERDAM — The Dutch parliament voted on Tuesday to require companies listed in the Netherlands to have at least 30% of supervisory board seats held by women. Read More

via Netherlands to force companies to have more women on boards — Canoe