It’s amazing the odd things you come across when you are cruising around on your motorbike, even in your own small seaside town which you’ve lived in for umpteen years. Thus, I was slowly riding down a small road leading to the cliff top and a famous local landmark, the house where Charles Dickens wrote his novel ‘Bleak House’, when something caught my eye. However, the interesting feature I discovered was not related to Bleak House but consisted of a large iron ship’s anchor cemented into the rear wall of Dickens’ house together with a representation of a seven-masted sailing vessel. A plaque next to it said it was an anchor from the ‘Thomas W Lawson’, once the largest sailing ship in the world and which was wrecked during a great storm off the Scilly Isles in 1907 with great loss of life. It was an American ship and had travelled across the Atlantic with a cargo of paraffin oil bound for London. How and why the anchor ended up cemented in a wall in a small Kentish seaside town on the opposite side of England is anybody’s guess.