Two Times A Ghost – The Battle of Olney Bridge

Oh the English Summer – what a joy to burble about on a Sunday dreaming of the England of yester-year…oh how my mind is haunted…..

To explain – I was going for a walk to Emberton because it was a nice day and I had spent too long slaving over a hot computer (so hot it got stuck). This was the first visit for me and the last outing for my baseball boots which had, like all my other cheap footwear, given up the ghost. But not before I met some ghosts of my own.

The way to the country park (read campsite) was over a bridge. On the bridge I paused because I saw a plaque, and the plaque said that on the bridge back in 1643 The Battle of Olney Bridge took place. This had my blood racing, for I realized that at this place I was in the land of my ancestors.

To explain, from being a Family Tree enthusiast I knew that at least one or two of my family were involved in the English Civil War. Unfortunately though, the more I learn about it, the more questions are thrown up because during a Civil War records are not kept properly, if at all.

The connections hinge on one Sir Samuel Luke who was the head honcho at the Newport Pagnell barracks. He was a staunch parliamentarian and Puritan – to the point that some wit wrote a satirical poem about him in a rather unflattering way. (‘Hudibras’ published after the restoration of the monarchy in 1663, by Samuel Butler, was basically a mock heroic poem criticising the Puritans, later the style was called ‘Burlesques’. He actually worked as a secretary for Sir Samuel Luke – its as if he was stalking him for a literary attack in his own home!)

Sir Samuel Luke was also the squire at the Manor of Haynes, the residence of my folks in the early 1600s. Being a smallish place the gentry would have known and employed the village people. By 1643 the Luke family had been in Haynes for two generations and my family would also have been there for two generations. Or would they?

The investigation began when I got home – the family tree at that time has some unknowns which had not been untangled, and I tried yet again to make sense of the information!

Richard (1)of Shillington, Born 1586, married a lass (Marie) in 1612 and went to live in Haynes :

It is possible that Richard (1) was the father of Matthias (1), born in B1628 Haynes (Son of Richard) but this sits badly with the surviving records of the siblings of Matthius(1). The clues to geneology are all in the names:

Richard 1)’s oldest child was Alice born 1614, named after Marie’s mother. The next child was named Thomas, possibly after Richard1s brother. Then a birth in 1619, with no name, then in 1622 Joan – the name of Richard (1)’s grandmother. A child that died as a baby was named John, probably because he was not expected to survive.Then in 1624 the initial A only – no parents named, may have been another Alice, and then at last the child with his fathers name, in 1627 a Richard. The youngest child may have been Matthius born 1628.

But the records are a jumble – nearby places show evidence of an extended family with other Richards having kids – and there are two more births recorded in Haynes having Richard as a father – which would make Richard (1) 47 when his last child was born. Not likely, but not impossible.

What is pretty certain is that Richard (1) would have been 42 when Matthias (1) was born. And this raises the question as to whether there was an unrecorded birth of a Richard (2) around the time that Richard (1) and Marie were married in 1612, their first child. This makes sense name-wise as Richard (2) would have been the eldest son with his fathers name.

The theory failed a little when I considered that if Richard (2) was born in 1612 he would only be 16 when his son Matthius (1) was born in 1628 – a young age and not following the pattern of eldest son named after the father.

But then I had to consider that a year before, the records show a Richard born in 1627, son of Richard and I wondered if this could be Richard (2)’s son, thus suggesting that Richard (2) DID exist, but was born BEFORE Richard and Marie were married in 1612 – say perhaps in 1610 (his father, Richard (1) would have been 24 years old). And Richard (2) would have been 17 when his eldest son Richard was born in 1627, brother of my ancestor Matthius (1) born 1628.

This date fits with the other dates and perhaps Richard (2) was born in another place and had his mothers surname before changing it to his fathers after they were married which is why he was not discovered in the records. Great detective work, I thought I could live with this theory!

Information from  the Parish Records of Bedfordshire

The records were not kept properly during the Civil War

But it didnt stop there of course! Confidently I decided to tackle the information I had about Matthius 1 (born 1628 in Haynes)

The records at Haynes show Matthius (1) had children, but do not mention his marriage or his wife.Again there was no eldest son named after his father Matthius. Things were looking messy again.

What I can say is that Matthius (1) was fifteen at the time of the Battle of Olney Bridge – and I am pretty sure that he was there (and obviously survived). His father may have been there – whether it was Richard (2) who would have been about 33 years old, or Richard (1) who would have been 57 had he still been alive. So there may have been one generation of my family there, or there could have been two, or three. What fascinates me is that Richard (2) is a ghost on my family tree and also a ghost of Olney Bridge. Maybe one day I will come across a record somewhere that will allow me to really see him….

Portrait by Gerard Soest, now at the Moot Hall Museum, Elstow, Bedford

Sir Samuel Luke Lived in Haynes and Cople in Bedfordshire during and after the English Civil War.

Ice Cream and Iron Age Huts

The hot summer sun eventually slid from behind the clouds and the sky changed from a blue bruise, to the blue that accompanies lashings of ginger beer. A quest was sort, a quest was made, but nothing from the quest was gained. Not materially anyway!

To explain – the Reckless Relic fraternity set out for a carboot and on arrival at the country farm destination – no one had ever heard of it!

I believe it happens frequently that someone has a good idea, tells the world via the internet, then forgets to let the world know when the idea falls through. So on a lovely hot
day we ended up in a nature reserve, the fish were jumping, the kids were playing and someone had slapped together a reconstructed iron age hut that looked like it would probably dissolve in the next squall of wind and rain. We spotted some heavy duty screws and some plastic, so I predict it will be half the disaster it could have been, but on the day of its demise it is still going to look right sorry.

In the nature reserve - hut held together with big screws

A quest was sort, a quest was made, but nothing from the quest was gained

I sometimes wonder how people managed back in those days – what a hard, short life. Nothing like the constant pressure of survival to make a person value what little they own and what little time they had got on the planet. Our ancestors would scoff at us for our little gripes about trivial things.

Mind you – I bet they wouldn’t have said no to a minty Cornetto – you know the day can’t have been a dead loss when ice cream is involved!

Sunny Days with pictures of the Queen and the Emperor

Its been a very busy summer and despite failing at dieting (although I must say I am failing ‘well’), old friends have been about and I am coming close to finishing my latest book.

Catching up with friends meant a trip to Rochester and peering into the wonderful cathedral brought me eye to eye with Her Majesty The Queen – two huge images of her in what is called the Jubilee Photo Mosaic, commissioned to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Made from five thousand photos, it was quite stunning. The artist was Helen Marshall, aided by Polly Tiles, a computer art expert. The piece is exhibited in the Nave of Rochester Cathedral from 8 to 19 August.

Jubilee Photo Mosaic of the Queen at Rochester Cathedral

Exhibited in the Nave of the Cathedral

Finding pictures for my books is never easy but I came across a fantastic artist who has allowed me to use a picture. Her name is Steph Roche and her website is:

She studied at Blackheath School of Art in London, then went on to Leeds. A copy of her contribution is shown here, I believe she has called it ‘Underworld Duality’ and for me it gives an evocotive view of early man’s perception of leadership, representated by a figure wearing stag’s antlers seated on a throne (as we know the Stag is the Lord of the Forest). So I am over the moon that Steph has allowed me to use her brilliant picture and after one more proof reading I will be publishing ‘The Emperor’ – the fourth issue in the series ‘Tarot Decoded’.

Underworld Duality is the title for this picture

An example of Steph Roche’s art. This picture will appear in The Emperor, Issue Four of the series ‘Tarot Decoded’ – This series is designed to assist in learning about the meanings of the Archetypal images of Tarot cards.

Steph Roche is currently exhibiting her amazing art at ‘Postcards From the Astral’
La Terre, 22 High Street, Glastonbury, Somerset.
From 14 Aug to 30 Sept 2012

This coin is from the fifth century AD, based on the Gupta style

The Huns were a force to be reckoned with and challenged the Romans, trying to conquer many parts of Europe in their attempt to build an empire. They feature in the Emperor as the history of empire-building is examined in this book.

Diamond Seeds Podcast Three


Andrew Robbins drops in to DJ for Diamond Seeds and presents a radio show of specially picked tunes from the best up-and-coming artists of 2012.

This show is a Cousin Special with shouts going out to Stevie G and cousin Julie who is going to the Zoo. We send a shout also to John in Wales who only just avoided a flooded caravan this summer. The Welsh summer put us in the mood for these great tunes – and we send a Happy Birthday to Chris in Wales and a shout out to the Dark Lord who had us summoned to Kent at short notice! (Big Up to the Bristol Ring Road and John’s dodgy sat nav).

Also have to mention the Leviticus crew who put on the Leftfield site in Luton while some people were running around with an Olympic Torch – the bands were great and it was great to catch up with Janet, Kath Keenan (!), Tim (thanks for letting us stay over), the performers, and the organizers who did a fantastic job.

It may be a wet summer but it wont stop the Diamond Seeds crew from loving the music. Keeping up to our usual high standards – we hope you enjoy Podcast Number 3!

Track 1 – Baloji, Going Home, from the second album called Kinshasa Succursale
Track 2 – Schiralli, The Clearingand from her debut single, May 2012
Track 3 – Veronica Falls, My Heart Beats – this track will be on their second album.
Track 4 – The Milk, Broke up the Family – released in April. The Milk are on tour – but looks like the gigs have sold out around London
Track 5 – Nostramus, Wow Interesting from the album Doomsday Dot Com on the Diamond Seeds Record Label
Track 6 – Clark, Secret – featuring Martina Topley Bird
Track 7 – Ella Jo, Brak the Sound from her third album ‘Attitude is Everything’ released on the Diamond Seeds Label.
Track 8 – Wind Up Bird, Being Dramatic – from the album The Land on Sturdy Records
Track 9 – Mystery Jets, Someone Purer released 30th April 2012 on Rough Trade Records – from the album ‘Radlands’ which came out in May
Track 10 – Boom Bip, Clocked released it on 29th April. From the compilation album called Complex on the Co-operative music label


Cleaning Up Da House

A busy day cleaning up the house meant it was time to tidy the livingroom – which was a big job. It was a joy to discover a little copper jug, which compliments my copper kettle, so now the two keep each other company on the wood-

The Scythians liked to make  elaborate patterns with the stag's tines

I think this design came from a tattoo

burner, along with my mystery candle holder. They all look good together.

As the day passed and I tackled the kitchen I found a couple of things which should have been put away! It always seems something must be left out! In this case it was four egg cups with a classic pattern in blue. No backstamp on them, and they seem quite modern, but they have an elegant, retro style. Next to them was a small vinigarette jug in the Irmari
style. I was washing it out and forgot about it on the window ledge. This doesn’t have a backstamp either, and it wobbles a little on a flat surface. Makes me think it could be quite
old, so I will look it up. Shame it has a tiny chip – its barely visible, but there all the same! Still, another reason to believe it may have seen a long life!

At long last I now have the time to get on with my current book, ‘The Emperor’ about the Tarot card of that name. I have reached the fun part where I get to choose the pictures and I am looking at lots of Scythian art. They exaggerated the horns of animals like stags and goats, making elaborate patterns which they used in tatoos!

Will I ever get round to making tea?

Diamond Seeds Podcast Two

Ds Cast Two

Ds Cast Two

The show where the cat from next door was banned, Ella Jo reminisces about a gig at Belper River Gardens and shouts go out to people around the world, including Paul the traveller who was the first traveller to visit a Himalayan mountain in 2012 and listeners in Sydney Australia and Singapore.
Ella Jo plays a track from neighbour Garrys birthday party and advises listeners to clear some space so they can get a boogie on during the show….


Send demos to
and have a look at our website –

Track 1 – Bev Lee Harling, Barefoot In Your Kitchen, from album of the same name on Wah Wah 45s Label
17th June Lovebox festival, London, 21st July Secret Garden Party, Cambridgeshire, 23-27th August Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire
Track 2 – Chrishopher Rees and the South Austin Horns, Warm By My Fire from the album Heart on Fire on the Red Eye Music Label
Track 3 – DJ Food, Giant re-mx featuring Matt Johnson, The Illectrik Hoax EP on the Ninja Tune label
Track 4 – Nostramus, The Ooh from the album, Earthlights on the Diamond Seeds Label
Track 5 – Fiction, Careful on the Moshi Moshi music Label
Track 6 – Ella Jo, Subplane Highway from the album Limits of Milkweed on the Diamond Seeds Label
Track 7 – The Wind Up Birds, Cross Country from the album The Land on Sturdy Records
Track 8 – Damn Damn Patriots, Family Unit on Wooden House Records
Track 9 – Kid Kombat, Chinga on Televizion Record label
web sites :
Track 10 – De La Soul’s Plug1 and Plug 2, Must Be The Music from the album First Serve on Pias Recordings


A Storm In A Tea Cup

Its a frustrating thing when you just want to get on and the weather puts a stop to your plans. Three days in a row I have had to turn off the computer because the rumble of thunder is just too close. And therein lies the frustration – I am unable to carry on with my projects and have to think about boring things like housework. I have danced in the rain already last week, and marvelled at the rainbow that went over the house – (then the sky went a very peculiar orange!)

I can see a rainbow

Plans to go camping have been scuppered (especially after seeing how badly the Isle of Wight Festival went this year). As for a getting a tan – don’t make me laugh! I’m an English girl and the weather is my constant companion.

So to make up for the lack of sun, or exercise – and the interruptions to writing my book and setting up this website, I invited my cousins around for tea, during which time my cousin Andrew was DJ for the Diamond Seeds Pod Cast (number 3) which became a Cousins Edition.

The night ended on a jolly as we looked at some family pictures I had scanned onto the computer. These were among the first pictures I had tried to restore and the early attempts were not too successful. Hence there was general hilarity at one picture of my grandmother, whose face I had cleaned up successfully, but had not got round to her neck and shoulders! (I think she was wearing a ball gown). My cousins saw the mistake and found it very funny!

Hetty Pustansky in her Ballgown

Hetty Pustansky in her Ballgown

So having an evening off with family was all very well, but now I have found another job waiting to be done – and still the thunder rolls which has me dashing for the off button and the plug socket!

Some days its better to just pick up the guitar and write a song!


A Double Rainbow means twice as much good luck?

A Double Rainbow means twice as much good luck?

Watery Sunset making for an orange and purple sky!

Watery Sunset making for an orange and purple sky!

Things I have washed up lately!

Although I am having a busy time writing my the fourth book in the series ‘Tarot Decoded’ (about the Emperor Tarot card), I still made time to wash up a couple of items for Reckless Relic. Its such a joy to watch the dust disappear and the beauty of a piece reveal itself, and luckily I didn’t have to scrub anything too hard!

Firstly a little cream sugar bowl, curly handles at each end and with a neat lid, started to shine as it dried. Such a simple piece of pottery, yet so elegant – the bottom says, B then WRM Bursem England. It’s far too old to use now, although I am sure at one time it graced a table and held sugar lumps!

I also dusted down a beautiful wooden ornamental plate,with an tastful pattern in the centre. It looks Islamic and is in excellent condition, far too fine to eat ones sandwiches from, but would be lovely to hold wrapped sweets to offer around ones guests!

Finally I gave a quick dusting to an old candle holder, whose age I cannot fathom at all. It seems to be made of tin and looks like it had been mass produced, although research turned up no clues. It was probably common to see them at one time, but since gaslight and electricity these cheap, everyday objects have become a rare curiosity. It’s design is sheer functionality – probably for lighting ones way to the privy – and it enthrals me that a disposable, seemingly valueless item at one time, has survived.


Diamond Seeds Podcast One


Diamond Seeds Podcasts 2012


The first hot day of the year in 2012 – in the middle of the countryside with the birds tweeting and the horses clip clopping and the lambs bleating – actually my producer and I were sweating it out in our studio on a mission to launch our first podcast radio show. We launched now because we keep hearing amazing music and we think its time to make these tracks known to the world. We are enthusiastic about new, original music from just about any genre – my philosophy is that if your song sits well on my ear it deserves a spin!!!
As the temperature rose EJ the DJ tried to communicate, wearing the wrong glasses and feeling like her mouth was full of spaghetti (you know the feeling???) Luckily we produced a great 45 minute podcast – guys keep sending your promos in – we will listen to all of them and choose the best to share.
Send your MP3s or soundcloud for download to EJ the DJ at Diamond seeds
Address –

DS Cast One: Tracklist

Track 1 Nostramus Strange Pursuit from the Album Doomsdaydotcom on the Diamond Seeds Label (
Track 2 Milagres  Halfway from the album Glowing Mouth on the Memphis Industries Label
Track 3 Savoir Adore_ Dreamers from the album Our Nature (release due 2012) (
Track 4 Jim Moray_The Eighteenth of June from the album Skulk
Track 5 Polly and the Billets Doux_ Fortune of War from forthcoming album release due 2012 (
Track 6 Jess Morgan_A Musket of My Own from the album Aye Me (
Track 7 Belleruche_Afan from the Album Rollerchain (
Track 8 Ella Jo_Anytime from the album Alter Ego on the Diamond Seeds Label (
Track 9 The Pond_Memory Let Down from the album The Pond
Track 10 Fracture_Ride from Distiller Records


About Reckless Relic

Reckless Relic

Ella JoReckless Relic was born from a curious nature. My enquiring mind has taken me into museums all over the world – pondering at history and marvelling at stories of human culture. RR started off as an idea for designs for clothing, using pictures of ancient works of art. (Some of these will be available here!)

The project has evolved into this website as my collection of vintage curiosities has grown too large for my living space and I must allow some old friends to find new, appreciative homes.

Selling my vintage things on a website makes saying goodbye easier as I can share pictures and information about some of these fantastic objects. I can also incorporate the other loves of my life – books and music.

As a researcher I am always working on a book (currently compiling the Encylopedia of Tarot) and it has been fun to research lovely vintage items and appreciate their history.

As a musician I am quite fascinated with music from other cultures. The songwriting challenge of my life has been a concept album called ‘Almost Anglo Saxon’- an album written on a historical theme, designed to educate as well as entertain. This will be my fourth album on the Diamond Seeds Label which can be accessed from Reckless Relic.

Thus I am able to provide music for this site, made by myself, Ella Jo and the musician Nostramus (also on Diamond Seeds). Spon has designed this site for me and I give him my deepest gratitude.