The Yorkshire Lad

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ROGER KEMBLE'S WEB PAGE

Great Grandson Seth.

Two Kembles in conversation: Grandson Matthew.

Great Grandson Hayden.

URBAN DESIGN

NEW NANAIMO
CENTER

NANAIMO THE CITY OF
THE
RISING STAR

ESPACIO PUBLICO
DE MEXICO DF

ROGER KEMBLE'S
ARCHITECTURE

SWING CITY

Oh to be a Kemble . . .

Yunno, I'm amazed how many Kemble's there are in the world.

Checking the web there are thousands of references: Kembles and wannabees!

Kemble? We used to talk the name interminably during Sunday dinner when I was a kid. It was cache in England. Even now when I get my name in lights, which is quite often, they say, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree!" And I like that.

There is a saying in the west country of England, attributed to Father John Kemble as he was led away to the gallows in Hereford goal: "I wish you a Kemble cup and a Kemble pipe".' Father John, at 80, was falsely implicated on Titus Oates' papist antidisestablishmentarian plot. He was canonized in 1970. The saying reflects the local sympathy for his cause and it is still so today.

But that isn't the end of the illustrious Kemble's. The first Roger Kemble, my name-sake, with his wife Sarah Ward sired a family of famous thespians, indeed, so famous according to family researcher Maureen Hobbs of London, they were revered in the same way soccer stars are today Sarah Siddons, nee Kemble, and John Philip Kemble became great actors on the English stage during the Regency period. Even today London is replete in their memorabilia: Kemble Street, near Covent Garden, similarly the Kemble's Head Pub.

Our side of the family is directly related to Stephen Kemble, the brother of John Philip and Sarah.

I get the impression lots of people want to be Kemble and go through all kinds of gyrations just to prove the point. I'm not going to go through it now but check for yourself if you doubt me.

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Kemble's Cascade

Kemble's cascade is one of the finest binocular objects in the winter sky, but it is situated in one of the most difficult constellations to detect in the night sky, Camelopardalis or the Giraffe. This northern circumpolar constellation is situated in a star-barren region between Polaris, Cassiopeia, Ursa Major, Lynx, Perseus and Auriga. Camelopardalis culminates at midnight around Christmas. Camelopardalis has no bright stars. It's brightest is Beta, with a magnitude of 4.2. The constellation is host to a few open clusters, but has only one deep sky object for small binoculars, an asterism called Kemble's Cascade.

Kemble's Cascade, which lies in the southwestern corner of the Giraffe, was named after the man who first reported observing it, Father Lucian J. Kemble, a Franciscan and amateur astronomer from Canada. In 1980 he wrote to Walter Scott Houston that he had found a beautiful cascade of faint stars tumbling from the northwest down to the open cluster NGC 1502. Walter Scott Houston, the author of the Deep-Sky Wonders, a column in Sky and Telescope, decided to name the asterism Kemble's Cascade. Since then it is known under this name.

To find Kemble's Cascade, draw an imaginary line from Beta Cassiopeia through Epsilon Cassiopeia, and extend the line with the same distance (from Beta to Epsilon) using your binoculars.

Ummmm, those Sunday dinners, lunches actually; at around 2.00 pm, were quite an exercise.

Dad would down play the family history telling us not to rest on the laurels of the past. Whatever achievements the past display it is up to us to hoe our own row; good advice!

But I could tell he was encouraging us to bask in the family glory even as he was trying to discount it.

Typical of the Kemble sense of superiority we would engage in very sophisticated intellectual games. A sense of inferiority was not for us. We didn't see ourselves as superior but we knew we could hold our own with the best. That stands me in good stead even today.

So how does this scan today? Well, the Kembles' Head pub in Covent Garden has closed. Books are continually coming out about Fanny or Sarah. I tend not to favour many: I have attempted to read most only to lay them aside as though they were sugarplum cookies. The authors, although I have never met any of them, give me the impression of being very nice, sort of genteel, Cheltenham ladies who discuss their subject amongst themselves over tea and crumpets in the spa.

Lurking not too far below the surface is the satisfaction of knowing exactly where I came from.

Despite Cheltenham it is possible to find good reading. Frances Anne Kemble's Journal, On A Georgian Plantation, for one. She was one tough lady. Good for her. She was a Kemble . . . and like her . . . so am I!

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POETRY WITH ATTITUDE

TOM WOLFE

FOURTEEN STATIONS
OF
THE CROSS

ALLIGATOR REPORTS

LOWERING THE ANTE

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THU ROOM

CULTURAL EVENT
OF THE
21 st. CENTURY

SAILING

MEMORIES. LOVES: PAST PRESENT LOST

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