Author Archives: Jim McNeill

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.

Liberation celebrations, Descartes, 1944

Here’s a fascinating photo of the liberation celebrations of Descartes in on a sunny autumn day in September 1944. The population of Descartes at the time was about 1,500 and it seems that up to a half of them were … Continue reading

Posted in Descartes/La Haye, Resistance in the Touraine Region, World War II | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Touraine: host to the world’s first solar powered home…..in1864!

The next time you are in the city of Tours take a trip along the rue Bernard Palissy and stop outside of number 4. There you will see an old stone plaque on the facade of a house: “A. Mouchot … Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century Touraine, Augustin Mouchot, Electricity generation, Solar Power, Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yet more on old french signs

Hi all, Quite some time back I posted a blog about old signage in the Touraine region. You may be interested in visiting Poitou-Charentes In Photos where the author gives some insights into the history of these ‘ghost signs’; see … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century | Tagged | Leave a comment

Gaston Monmousseau (1883-1960): trade unionist and political agitator of the Touraine.

Gaston René Léon Monmousseau was born in Luynes on 17th January 1883. He was the son of John and Mary Silvine Monmousseau. Gaston spent his childhood in Azay-sur-Cher. After leaving school he was apprenticed to a carpenter from Luynes. After … Continue reading

Posted in 20th Century, Azay-sur-Cher, French Communist Party, Gaston Monmousseau, Luynes, Transport ~ roal. rail, water, World War I, World War II | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Wine-making in the Touraine during World War II: a story of Resistance and Resilliance

Over the past 4-5 weeks I’ve been talking with Florence Rowland a researcher for the London-based TV/Film company, Jura Productions. Jura make programmes about wine and were interested in finding out more about wine-making in the Loire Valley during the … Continue reading

Posted in Agricultural labour, Amboise, Chançay, Cher, Demarcation Line, Loire River and Loire Basin, Saumur, Vineyards, Vouvray, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Touraine Flint Tool ~ the stone age predecessor of the Swiss Army Knife?

Hi all, Local historian and general, all-round good guy, Tim Ford as written an insightful piece comparing a small, local, stone age flint tool found by his wife, Pauline, to today’s modern Swiss Army knife….click here to find out more…

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Pigeon Post from Tours? The siege of Paris and the use of microdots!

France declared war on Prussia in July of 1870 and so began the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71 (1).  The south German states, allied with Prussia and the superior organisation and Krupp manufactured artillery pieces of the Prussian and German armies made … Continue reading

Posted in 19th Century Touraine, Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), Pigeons, Postal Service, Tours | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment