Bored of Titanic?

April 15, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

I think I mentioned that I was born in mid April some time ago on this blog, on April 14th to be exact - forty one years ago.

It just so happens that on that date one hundred years ago, on her maiden voyage, RMS Titanic hit an iceberg  (at around 2340hrs BST) en route to New York and sank on 15th April (at around 0230hrs BST), killing 1500 oddcrew and passengers.

So.... 100 years ago (59 years before I was born) RMS Titanic hit an iceberg - and there's been nowt else to watch on tv all week it seems.

I'm under the weather at present so forced to watch tv and I'm bored of the bleedin' Titanic!

April 14th (apart from being my birthday) just so happens to have a far more interesting story attached to it.

On the very day RMS hit an iceberg (on April 14th 1912), an amateur coleopterist (beetle scientist) by the name of E.C. Bedwell, found a pair of unassuming tiny wee beetles in a Moorhen nest in Potters Bar (in south Herts).

Not particularly world shattering you might think?

Well....the beetle had never been seen before..... and has never been found since. ANYWHERE.

Species from the family of beetles to which The Potter's Bar beetle (scientific name of Aglyptinus agathidioides) belongs to are invariably found in the Americas.

So what on earth was this Hertfordshire moorhen doing sitting on a pair of them?


Experts have ruthlessly torn apart countless north London moorhens & swans nests in the last hundred years (so I'm reliably told) in the vain hope of finding another one of these tiny brown insects - but to no avail - the only record is in a case in the bowels of the Natural History Museum so it seems (under my sister's feet who is a zoology manager there).


It just so happens, (if I can get out of my sick bed on Tuesday), I will be driving past Potters Bar on the way to a meeting in Hatfield (rock and roll eh?)

If you're in the area and see a rather big chap up to his proverbials in the Mimmshall Brook on Tuesday, fllinging bits of reed from waterhens' nests, you'll know what I'm looking for then, eh? and this weekend, spare a thought not for a boat which sank, but the mysterious and utterly unique "Potters Bar beetle".


What else have I seen this week (apart from Titianic programmes on tv) - well... my favourite horse race of the year fell on my birthday again (it often does).

Anna (my wife) and I have a very good success rate on the National, winning on Numbersixvalverde (2006), Silver Birch (2007), Comply or Die (2008) and Ballabriggs (2011) before yesterday. Anna's "Shakalakaboomboom" did finish the race but we won naff all I'm afraid.

Apart from that (and a robin sitting on five eggs in the garden), just gloriously impressive April skies - huge great dark clouds in blue skies  photographers dreams - just a shame I'm not up to much at present...


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