However wouldn’t they be perfect for an ambidextrous sidesaddle rider ?If you find yourself in Trafalgar Square I would recommend visiting the crypt of St.The vicar of St Pancras brought the case when he believed that four or five hundred bodies had been disinterred.

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OK, this isn’t exactly a John le Carré story – it is, however an interesting glimpse into someone’s life…

I recently bought a collection of cowboy / western gear – it’s always intriguing to wonder how it ended up here in the south west of England. “To the purchaser of these cowboy reins, stirrups and spurs.

It had to stop en route to Spain for repairs and eventually was wrecked at 10.30pm on February 2nd 1786 at Peniche, north of Lisbon.

One hundred and fifty two people died in the wreck including seventeen Tupac Amaru rebellion prisoners who were still manacled at the time, fourteen officers, five women and one hundred and twenty eight crew members.

(it may help to click on this image for a larger version) It was pretty difficult to read, but after a while fiddling with the lights and the camera focus I could make out a quick delve into Wikipedia, I think I have my answer. Or was it part of a collection in the USA & got moved over here much later ?

The spur seems to have belonged to a colonel in the second regiment of the Light Dragoons during the American Revolutionary War (or War of Independence ? The 2d was a common abbreviation of second at the time. More questions than answers, I’m afraid On reflection it seems that these stirrups were intended for someone riding astride, and given their large size (their interior width is 4 inches or 10.2cm) probably a man.

They belonged to my Great Uncle Percy Brown who lived in Southend-on-Sea.

In the early twentieth century my uncle went to the USA to gain some experience of a different life before settling down to be a master tailor like his father.

They lived in Leigh-on-Sea where he had a tailor’s shop.

Connie and Percy never had children of their own but adored their nephews and nieces especially my mother.

He made the suit that she wore for her 1944 wedding” This old spur came as part of a collection of rather more glamorous 18th Century examples Frankly I wondered why the previous collector had bothered to keep it.