Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 222

Swan Upping

 

Hello Everyone

 

 

ln the River near Auntie Alice’s cottage, there are many water birds and the largest and most graceful of them all are the swans.  They are the super models of the bird world.

 

You may have heard that all swans belong to the Queen – or at least all the mute swans anyway.

 

The Queen has the right to own all mute swans in open water throughout the United Kingdom if she so wishes.

 

Swans were a very popular food between the 12th and 17th centuries.  They were considered good to eat, so the monarch claimed them as their own to ensure a ready supply – no matter whose land they were on.

 

A tradition called swan upping began in the 12th century and the ceremony took place all over the country.  Now it takes place on the River Thames along the stretch of water that runs through Windsor.  The monarch has retained the right to own swans along certain stretches of the River Thames.

 

The swans are no longer eaten, apart from at an occasional Royal Banquet.  ln fact, they are a protected species.

 

Every July, the swans are rounded up by men in the scarlet uniforms of Her Majesty and some have a swan feather tucked into the front of their cap.  The men are called swan markers.  Even in really hot weather they keep their jackets on!

 

They travel in long, shallow boats called Thames rowing skiffs.  These are adorned with flags.

 

The boats encircle families of swans and edge ever nearer until the swans are near enough for the men to catch.

 

The swans are bundled up and taken to shore where they are measured, weighed and checked for injuries.

 

The cygnets (baby swans) are at a vulnerable age and checking the swans in this way ensures that they are kept safe and healthy.

 

Swans can be injured by discarded litter or fishing lines and hooks.

 

The skiffs take a five day journey up the river to Abingdon and any swan that they catch on the way is marked with a ring around its leg to show it has been checked and its details have been recorded.  Each ring has individual identification numbers.

 

Each time the swan upping ceremony takes place, the men in the skiffs gather in Romney Lock, in sight of Windsor Castle, and give salute to the Queen.

 

School children are always invited to the ceremony so that they can learn more about swans and their welfare.

 

The swan markers work the rest of the year too.  They help anyone around the country who wants to learn more about how to care for swans.  They also help to clear the stretches of the Thames that will be used for regattas of swans so that the birds will not be harmed whilst people are rowing in the competitions.

 

lf you would like to see this ceremony too, it takes place in the third week of July.

 

On course, there are swans to be found on lakes and rivers all over the country and in other countries too.  ln the Southern Hemisphere swans can have black markings on them.

 

There are some especially clever swans in Wells, (the smallest city in England).

 

ln 1875, the Bishop of Wells’ daughter taught the swans swimming in the moat around the palace to ring a bell when they wanted some food.

 

And every generation since, has taught their babies, from the age of about one month old, to ring the bell too.

 

Even today, the swans swim up to the gatehouse of the palace every morning and pull on the string which is attached to the bell with their beak.

 

Then someone opens the window and throws them some breakfast.

 

Clever swans!

 

 

Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

 

Love and kisses

 

 

Salty Sam

heart

www.christina-sinclair.com

 

 

 

Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke

 

Bob: When is a swan not a swan? 

 

Bill: l don’t know.  When is a swan not a swan?

 

Bob: When it is aloft. 

 

 

Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com

 

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Picture Gallery

 

Checking a swan

(bbc)

 

Swan upping

 

Windsor Castle

 

A swan asleep

 

A swan on the water

 

A swan’s neck is very strong and flexible

 

A swan preening itself

 

You can tell the breed of a swan by the markings on its beak – this is a mute swan

 

 

 

 

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 desk    THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESKdesk

 coffee

 

This week Auntie Alice was showing the children how to sew on buttons – she said that there was no reason why boys couldn’t learn to do it as well as girls.

And what is more, you could have fun with it if you used different coloured threads and different ways to sew the buttons on.

 

 

You can use two colours across between the holes.

You can use sewing thread or embroidery threads.

 

 

You can have arrow heads pointing in different directions.

 

 

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Quick Quiz

 

Unjumble the letters to find things that are white…

 

  1. nosw
  2. wasn
  3. loscud
  4. tootcn oolw
  5. kilm

 

 

 

 

 

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lt’s the Weekend!

 

 

HOW TO MAKE A COWL

This lovely cowl will keep your head and ears warm in chilly weather.

You can wear it around your neck and when the weather gets really cold you can pull it over the top of your head.

You will need 200g of yarn

 

WOMAN’S COWL (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on:

74 stitches

 

Sl1 (k2, p2) repeat these last 4 stitches until there are 3 stitches left, p3

Repeat this row once

 

Sl1 (p2, k2) repeat these last 4 stitches until there are 3 stitches left, k3

Repeat this row once

 

Repeat this 4 row pattern until your work measures 125cm

 

Cast off at the end of a 4 row pattern and darn in the two ends of yarn

 

 

CHILD’S COWL (KNIT ONE)

Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on:

54 stitches

 

Sl1 (k2, p2) repeat these last 4 stitches until there are 3 stitches left, p3

Repeat this row once

 

Sl1 (p2, k2) repeat these last 4 stitches until there are 3 stitches left, k3

Repeat this row once

 

Repeat this 4 row pattern until your work measures 110cm

 

Cast off at the end of a 4 row pattern and darn in the two ends of yarn

 

 

Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

 

 

Quick Quiz Answers

 

  1. nosw – snow
  2. wasn – swan
  3. loscud – clouds
  4. tootcn oolw – cotton wool
  5. kilm – milk

 

 

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