Sightseeing in Leicester

In truth Leicester is neither quaint, nor full of historic places to visit. However, the few truly ancient or historic buildings it has are shown off well and the city is quite rightly proud of them. Here are a few of the sites worth seeing in Leicester.

The undoubted oldest structure in Leicester is the Jewry Wall. This is a section of ancient wall about 5m high and 23m long alongside Talbot Lane in the city center. Originally known as Hadrian's bath House, it is part of what was the Roman baths, built there sometime around 130 AD. Unfortunately, unlike other Roman bath houses, due to an engineering error the aqueduct that was supposed to feed water into the baths was mis-aligned, resulting in the Roman bathers having to use a cistern to fill the baths by hand. A shocking state of affairs in those days! There is of course a Jewry Wall Museum, which also houses Roman artefacts, including Roman milestones from nearby Fosse Way and mosaic floor-tiles.

Enclosed in the same grounds as St Martin's, Leicester Cathedral, and in-between Guildhall Lane and Peacock Lane, is the Guildhall. This half-timbered building was originally built in the late fourteenth century and has, through the ages, been the Town Hall, a prison and a police station. Now open to the public, the warped beams and rickety floor in the Great Hall immediately demonstrate that you are in a truly ancient building. In 1642 part of it was occupied by the town's library, making it the third oldest public library in the country. For the more ghoulish visitors, it is reputed to be the most haunted building in Leicester. You can see the old prison cells and the conditions endured by their captives and if you wish, you can see the gibbet from which the bodies of the hanged were put on public display up until 1840. Whilst in this area you can also visit the cathedral . However, apart from the finely carved medieval wooden entrance porch, there is little evidence of the original eleventh century building.

Refurbished in 2006 and early 2007 Newarke House Museum is housed in two sixteenth century buildings, Wygston's Chantry House and Skeffington House, at the bottom of the Castle Gardens. Its main theme is the daily life of 'Everyman in 20th Century Leicester', with galleries dedicated to displays on the story of immigration into Leicester, the Teddy Boy era and a recreation of shopping in the 1940s. The museum also houses the history of the Royal Leicestershire regiment.

Another newly refurbished museum in Leicester is the New Walk Museum off Princess Road West, as you head out of the city center to the South West. This is Leicester's oldest established museum and houses scientific and artistic collections. Current exhibitions include; Wild Space – looking at the biodiversity of the planet, Mighty Dinosaurs, Leicestershire's rocks, Ancient Egyptians, and of course, art galleries. The art galleries contain varied collections on themes such as; Our World through Art, Expressionism, The Captured Image, World art and Gallery Nine, which is devoted to the artistic expression of the multi-ethnic nature of the city.

Leicester is the home of the National Space Center, which is off Corporation Road to the North of the city. If traveling to it by car, the road signage can be confusing. However, when near, you can't miss its distinctive shape. Unfortunately, you won't be able to see any rockets taking off from here as the National Space Center is a museum concerned with space exploration. The center has a constantly changing series of events and activities. However, it also houses permanent exhibitions such as space rockets, space capsules, satellites, orbiting the earth and exploring the universe. There is an emphasis on the National Space Center being an interactive museum, so there's plenty to get involved in rather than being a passive viewer. After standing by the huge booster rockets that are on display, you can go to The Space Theater, which takes you on a journey through the galaxy. The National Space Center excels as an educational museum and supports a variety of educational activities.

Nearby to Leicester city is Market Bosworth, not necessarily in itself worth a visit although it is a pleasant village to see. The special thing about it is that nearby, to the south at Sutton Cheny, is the historic Bosworth Field, site of the famous defeat of Richard III by Henry Tudor. Here there is a visitor's center to provide all the background information you might need before you proceed on a tour of the battlefield itself. There is an annual re-enactment of the last battle in the 'War of the Roses' on the week-end nearest to August 22nd, to commemorate the actual battle of 1485. NB. Archaeologists are currently re-assessing whether this was the actual site of the battle or not. If you visit it you may wonder how well the site matches the contemporary descriptions of it.

You might also consider visiting Belvoir Castle. Historic home of the Duke & Duchess of Rutland, it commands a beautiful view (belvoir) across the Vale of Belvoir. Dating back to Norman times it was almost completely destroyed during the 'Wars of the Roses'. The current building was completed in the 19th Century. Belvoir Castle is off the A1 near Grantham.

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The Diary of Jack the Ripper – Book Review

Jack the Ripper remains the most notorious serial killer of all time. The fact he was never caught and never identified maintains the mystery. Here is a book that purports to reveal Jack's actual diary. According to the writer, Jack the Ripper was in fact a cotton merchant from Liverpool by the name of James Maybrick. No I am not giving away the ending, that much is revealed on the first page. He traveled to London by train, murdered and mutilated his victims, and calmly returned home to torment his young wife.

James Maybrick was unquestionably an interesting man. He traveled to Norfolk, Virginia on cotton and tobacco business and on the boat journey home, met and fell in love with an American beauty by the name of Florence Chandler. She was 18. He was 41. It would seem that both parties imagined the other to be wealthier than they actually were.

Florence was destined to become the first American woman to be tried in an English court, and as the charge was one of murdering her husband, it was a case that entranced the nation. The book argues the reason for the sudden end to the Ripper killings was because Maybrick was dead.

The mysterious diary that came to light at the end of the eighties is reproduced almost in full. I will leave you to make up your mind as to its authenticity. As for the book itself, I found it an interesting read, and I certainly learned much I did not know before. It may contain glaring anomalies, but you might like to get hold of a copy yourself and make up your own mind.

There is a vaguely interesting personal footnote. Among the photographs in the book is a picture of Knowsley Buildings in Old Hall Street, Liverpool. This is the building where James Maybrick maintained his offices. It was an old block with Dickensian outside metal staircases, almost a cross between a workhouse and a prison. In my youth I knew it well. There is a photograph in the book of Knowsley Buildings and within the basement, clearly visible, is or was, a gents' hairdressing saloon. I knew that well too. I well remember sitting there waiting for a trim, as a teenage office boy, clutching my newly released Sergeant Pepper album.

The saloon was ancient and was dismantled when the building was knocked down in 1970. The thought occurs to me that could it possibly have been been that James Maybrick, who maintained an office just upstairs, had his locks trimmed there too? He was a neat dapper chap, his photograph tells us that. It would seem very likely he would pop downstairs for a cut.

Could it possibly have been that I sat in the chair that was sat in by Jack the Ripper himself, as he thought of his hideous business? Now there's a thought! I liked the book. It brought back many memories, most of them good ones.

The Diary of Jack the Ripper

By Shirley Harrison

ISBN: 1562827049

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David Beckham

David Beckham, born David Robert Joseph Beckham, was born on May 2, 1975, in Leytonstone, London, England. His parents were Ted Beckham, a kitchen fitter, and Sandra West, a hairdresser. His parents, big fans of Manchester United, reputably the most popular football team in the world, may have had quite a bit of influence on the talented man during his early years.

He attended Bobby Charlton's football school in Manchester, where he won a spot in a training session at FC Barcelona when he was a boy. At the age of 11, he was Manchester United's mascot for a match against West Ham United. He was captain of the English national team from 2000 to 2006, and he played midfield for clubs in Manchester, England, and Madrid. Last year, he began to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy team, which began July 1 and is expected to last for five years.

While he was with Manchester United, he helped them win the Premier League. He is married to Victoria Beckham, better known as Posh Spice (of the group, the Spice Girls), with whom he has had three sons: Brooklyn Joseph (named after the city where Victoria found out she was pregnant with him), who was born in 1999, Romeo James, who was born in 2002, and Cruz David (who was named in honor of the family friend, Tom Cruise), who was born in 2005.

David Beckham is not just a prestigious football player; his name is also an elite advertising brand known all over the world. Though his resume is not as long or as star-studded as some other famous football players, he is still one of the most popular in the world today.

As can be seen in any iconic athlete, David Beckham is a prime example of a role model for teenagers and young football players all over the world. Let's hope he can live up to those standards.

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Barclays Premiership FAQ – How Does the English Football Premier League Work?

The Premier League is the creme del la creme of English football and England’s largest football league. Twenty teams play in the the Premiership. A total of 38 games are played of which 19 are played at home and 19 away. Each team players the others twice with the season starting in August and running until May the following year. A system of promotion to and relegation from the Premier League works to decide which teams stay in and, which are out. Sponsored by Barclays Bank, the English Premiership is formally known as the Barclays Premier League. If top two teams are level pegging on points the winner is decided by goal difference and the title is handed to the team with the largest goal difference.

Promotion – automatic promotion and the play offs

The teams in first and second place in the Championship league are automatically promoted to the Premiership. A play off round decides who gets promoted from the third to sixth team. The football teams who finish 3, 4, 5, and 6th battle it out to see who goes up. The 3rd and 4th team play each other and the 5th and 6th teams get a match. The winners of these games then play each other to decide who is promoted.

How does the points system work?

If a team wins a Premiership game it is awarded 3 points and 1 for a draw. A loss results in zero points. Teams that win more get more points and move higher in the league compared to other teams. Top teams, those most likely to win, must also be mindful of the number of goals scored. If the teams draw at the top, the winner is decided by goal difference and then total goals scored.

Relegation

Teams finishing in the last three places are automatically demoted to the Football League Championship. There are no ‘play offs’ to see who goes down unless the bottom two draw on points. The play off match is played at a neutral venue.

Qualification to other competitions

The UEFA Champions League is the equivalent of the English Premiership but for the whole of Europe. Qualification rules for getting a place in the UEFA Champions League change during the 2009 – 2010 season. The top three teams get to play championship football opposed to the top two before the changes. These three teams go straight into the group stage. The fourth and last team to get to play Championship football starts in the play off rounds. To progress from the play offs to the group stage this team must win a two stage knockout tie.

Another three teams can play European football as a result of getting placed fifth, sixth and seventh in the Premier League. In this instance it is the UEFA Europa League, which used to known as the UEFA Cup. Fifth place receives automatic promotion. The sixth and seventh teams chances of getting to play in the Europa League depend on a system of ranking using special UEFA Coefficients.

So, why does the Scottish Premier League split into two at the end of the season?

The Scottish Premier League is different. There are 12 teams in the Scottish Premier League. The teams play each other 3 times to see who stays in the top half of teams. Another 5 games are played amongst the top half to decide who gets some European football action. Three places are allotted for European football. First and second placed teams go forth to play in the European Champions League and the third placed team is entered into the UEFA cup.

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Using Zoning Laws to Protect Affordable Housing

After five years of negotiating with Mayor Mike Bloomberg's office, the New York City Council has approved extension of a zoning-law amendment aimed at protecting affordable housing units in several districts. Affected areas include the Garment District, West Chelsea and Hudson Yards – three areas that have seen a lot of new developments and increases in property prices.

The new zoning law prevents both landlords and developers from significantly changing more than twenty percent of existing units in multi-family buildings. Renovations and updates can be made, but can't significantly alter the unit's price.

Historically, when an apartment or townhome complex is renovated, the result is increased rental or purchase prices. The ability the charge higher prices is typically the motivating factor behind renovations and upgrades. While the city council doesn't want to interfere with a property owners right to make changes (or profits), it has also seen low-income people repeatedly forced to move out of renovated properties that they can no longer afford.

The Chelsea area, in particular, has become a popular place for new developments – both residential and commercial. City Council members were concerned that landlords – in an effort to capitalize on higher-end business – would renovate existing structures to the point that they would become unaffordable for current residents.

City Council members also hope the new zoning laws will preserve some of the older architecture in the affected districts. The new law extends an existing Special District amendment that was passed in 1974. It affects all multi-family buildings of three units or more that were built in 1974 or prior.

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Sweetheart Written by Chelsea Cain

Gretchen Lowell is a real conniver that can get in someone’s mind and stay there, as she has with Detective Archie Sheridan. Susan Ward, a reporter with the Oregon Herald, also seems to have allowed Gretchen to get in her mind too. Archie’s reliance on drugs to keep his physical pain away was getting worse. The farther the case went the worse his addiction was, even though he tried to hide it but those close to him knew and worked hard with him to get Gretchen out of his mind and life. This Archie couldn’t do. Mass murderer Gretchen was so beautiful that Archie dreamed that he was making love to Gretchen while physically doing this with his ex-wife who he still dearly loved deep inside.

Gretchen Lowell worked her way into the prison infirmary by either attacking a guard or being attacked by the same or both! She was good-so good. Archie and his partner, Henry, went to investigate the prison attack by first visiting Gretchen, as she lay bound up in shackles and appearing very beat up. Of course she would not tell Archie exactly how she got in this condition. He had to guess as Gretchen sweet-talked him. Shortly afterward, a guard was found dead and Gretchen had escaped, sore and beat as she was, that did not deter her escape from prison. Now that Gretchen Lowell was on the loose, Archie knew she would resume her killing and he could do nothing to stop her nor could he visit her as he did when she was in prison where she used each of Archie’s weekly visits as a bribe to disclose another of her many victims from years past.

The sudden death of a reporter and a politician in a car that went over a bridge appeared to be a suicide. This brought the authorities and news media out of their «Gretchen Lowell» shell and realize there was other crime occurring. Susan had previously uncovered a political bombshell about this politician and thought that the reporter might have been working on the same story. The reporter, Parker, was a tutor and close friend of Susan’s. Susan had tried extremely hard to get the newspaper to print the corrupt politicians story but no one would commit, not wanting to hurt the guy.

Meanwhile more bodies were being found, some old and some newer but most smelled of Gretchen Lowell all over the way they had been killed and where found. The authorities did all they could to protect Archie and his family knowing that they were in extreme danger with Gretchen Lowell on the loose. All the protection in the world could not stop her from contacting Archie and sweet-talking him once again. Susan Ward was constantly on this case and she and her mother were also in danger as Gretchen knew her and felt Archie could be near Susan.

Chelsea Cain, you have spun a follow-up story to Heartsick that is every bit as suspenseful or possibly more intriguing. The ending of this book makes me wishing I had a follow up book following Archie in his adventures. I truly hope you are working on this Chelsea. I would suggest that the reader start with Heartsick and then read Sweetheart. Both stories are fast moving and full of suspense and adventure that are nothing short of sensational.

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Mario Gotze’s Golazo Deserves the FIFA Puskas Award

Football often provides us with exciting, astonishing goals. With six months until the end of the year, I think it is safe to say that the most valuable goal of 2014 is the one that gave Germany the 2014 World Cup title in Brazil. Mario Gotze, the hero in the final match in Brazil, came in as a substitute and with just minutes on the field, Mario Gotze scored the goal of his life.

The final game of the World Cup 2014 between Germans and Argentineans was a close game with very few goal opportunities. Germany was the favorite, but Argentina had the best soccer player in the planet in their squad. Nevertheless, Lionel Messi’s magic never appeared and it looked like the winner of the 2014 World Cup was going to be decided in the penalty kick shootout, but then in the 112 minute of the match, already in the second half of overtime, the magic finally happened, not from Messi, but from the 22 year old German player Mario Gotze, who received a cross from Andre Schurrle, finding Gotze, who controlled the ball with his chest, and with his left foot finished the volley to score a golazo that broke the hearts of millions in Argentina.

Mario Gotze’s golazo should be nominated to the FIFA Puskas Award.

More than 170 goals were scored through the 2014 World Cup, some of them great goals too, like James Rodriguez’ exquisite definition for Colombia in the match vs Uruguay. And how about Gervinho’s golazo a la Messi to give Ivory Coast the victory in the match vs Colombia.

Mario Gotze goal was not only valuable but also had an astonishing definition, and it should be considered for the FIFA Puskas Award. The beautiful goal meets the criteria «Aesthetically significant, or «most beautiful goal of the year» and it was scored in the most important soccer competition, The World Cup, with millions and millions watching. WOW!

The tournaments at club level are starting around the world, and I’m sure we will see many beautiful goals, perhaps more spectacular than Gotze’s goal. Maybe in the 14-15 UEFA Champions League we’ll get to watch a brilliant definition, or in the derby Barcelona vs Madrid, but in my opinion Mario Gotze’s golazo is pure gold and it will be in the memory of many for years. In Germany, the young Mario Götze will be remembered as a hero for years and years to come.

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United’s Player Antonio Valencia’s Injury History

In recent times, a great number of injuries have been taking place to football players, while the cause is being investigated, with most evidence hinting at the boots that they wear. They are attempting to figure out the blades are responsible for the injuries, or the regular studs used.

There was another injury that took place to Manchester United’s player Antonio Valencia, while he ended up trapping his foot in attempt to tackle the ball. The tackle in itself was not that severe however it resulted in his leg being snapped badly.

A lot of arguments go against the turf as it is more firm and stronger than it is actually meant to be. Not only this, but also a combination of studs and turf both could be the main problem.

A preference of most players is wearing boots that have bladed studs, as it provides better acceleration while playing the game. While on a firmer ground, they tend to choose the traditional designs of circular stud.

No player is forced to wear a specific brand, nor advised about its advantages or disadvantages. Apart from wearing that brand which sponsors them, they have the liberty to choose anything according to their will.

A type of custom made shoes that go around among most players is a combination of studs and blades both. However if there are too many variations, that could lead to more problems.

Nike seems to be the only considerate brand around as it has a new range with designs such boots which have the greatest amount of stability and resistance being offered.

Nowadays, every single manufacturer makes it a point to have the lightest weighing shoes so that lesser injuries start taking place and the performance of the players can also be improved.

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