Spot Jones!

by Matthew Cobb

This tw**t by Chetham’s Library popped up in my feed. Can you spot Jones? [JAC: You can see Jones below the fold: click on “read more” at the bottom.]

Chetham’s Library (pronounced ‘Cheetums’, or at least that’s how I and many others pronounce it) is in Manchester and was founded in 1653. It is the oldest surviving public library in the English speaking world and is well known as a place where Marx and Engels would meet to discuss their work (Engels worked for him family’s company in Manchester). You can browse some of their collections here. In another tw**t, the Library contrasts their attitude to dogs and cats with that of another library, in Leiden University (I have studied some of the manuscripts that were collected by the Leiden library – an extraordinary place; the library building is still there, but the collection is now in a swish new building).

The Manchester Ship Canal connects Manchester and the Irish Sea. Nearly 60 km long, it was built between 1887 and 1894, and meant that Manchester – well inland – became a bustling port (technically the docks were in the adjoining city of Salford). When I was growing up in the 1960s, I remember seeing ships apparently moving through the green countryside as they went along the canal – a bit like that scene in Lawrence of Arabia when he stumbles across ships in the Suez Canal.

The docks are now closed and have been redeveloped – there are swish flats, a huge media centre (BBC, ITV and many small companies). And thanks to work begun by my colleagues at the University of Manchester, in particular Keith White, the water is now clean enough to swim in (though very cold and deep – swimming is strictly controlled for safety reasons). Sadly, they recently removed two of the last signs of the 20th century bustle that characterised the docks – a pair of rusty blue cranes that were used to unload ships in the pre-container era.

The canal still wends its way through the Lancashire and Cheshire countryside, and very occasionally ships pootle up and down, but the canal is far too small to be commercially viable, although the current owners are optimistic. If I recall correctly, it never made any money, despite its influence on the region. If you want to know more about the Canal, the Wikipedia article is pretty good.

Here’s Jones! Matthew made this plot and his notes are below:

He’s a face in profile, rotated 90* looking down (turn your head to the left and it will be much easier), in those weird lines (= his glasses) above the adults’ arms. Where their arms join makes his nose.  Here:



  1. Chris G
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    But that’s Smith isn’t it??
    Chris G.

  2. GBJames
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    So, who was Jones?

    • Diane G.
      Posted August 13, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Who else?

      • GBJames
        Posted August 13, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


        • Diane G.
          Posted August 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          That suggestion was just the result of word association, not meant to be an actual proposition. Somehow, I never imagine Davy Jones looking like some mild-mannered clerk in glasses. But then again, he’s a sly old dog–who knows what he’s capable of? 😉

  3. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I suppose that’s the precursor of the ‘rude’ (actually pretty lame) seaside postcards I remember from the early sixties…


    • Chris G
      Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Wow, not even subtle.
      Good ole British humour, don’t ya just love it!
      Do/did they have that kind of smut in the US?
      I grew up in Bradford (county of West Yorkshire, UK) in the 70s, we used to alternate each summer holiday going to the east coast (Filey, Scarborough) and west coast (Blackpool, Morecambe).
      That postcard brings back happy memories … or should that me mammaries??
      Chris G.

    • mordacious1
      Posted August 13, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      She looks as if she is wearing spiked heals in the sand. That can’t be an easy thing to do.

      • Posted August 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        Aren’t there some people who basically equate sexy and impractical? 😉 (It was a female friend of mine who endorsed this, years ago …)

  4. DebbJ
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Wow, that’s not the cat I was looking for! (Silly me!)
    Nice puzzle!

  5. rickflick
    Posted August 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    I was just visiting the Warrington area in May and stayed at a B & B on the Bridgewater Canal, which is, I believe, an extension of the larger Manchester Canal. It was build in the 1700s to move coal on barges to the Manchester port but is now used for pleasure cruising. Here’s a clip I shot on a short hike along the canal. The barges are nicely fitted out with living space – one even with a solar panel:

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted August 13, 2016 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to do a canal barge holiday in England.

      • David Harper
        Posted August 14, 2016 at 4:37 am | Permalink

        It’s a lot of fun. Some years ago, I hired a narrowboat with friends and we spent a very happy week on the Llangollen Canal, which is one of the prettiest canals on the English/Welsh waterways. The high point (quite literally) was crossing the Pontcysyllte Aqueuct, which carries the canal high above the valley of the River Dee. It’s one of the marvels of early 19th century civil engineering, designed by the renowned Thomas Telford, and now a World Heritage Site.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted August 14, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          Sounds wonderful!

  6. David Harper
    Posted August 14, 2016 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    The Manchester Ship Canal was built so that Manchester didn’t have to rely on the port of Liverpool to handle its imported goods. There had long been a rivalry between Manchester and Liverpool, characterised by the expression “Liverpool gentlemen, Manchester men.” This drew a distinction between the Liverpool merchants who imported cotton and the Manchester mill owners who turned it into cloth. I’ll let you guess which city the saying originated in.

  7. Posted August 14, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Ok, after reading through all the comments I’m still wondering who is Jones?

    Carl Kruse

  8. Mike
    Posted August 15, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    What is almost never mentioned is the part played by Navigators or Navvies, who dug the Canal out by hand. Mostly Irishmen ,who for the princely sum of 4 1/2 pence per day,( the equivalent of £16 per day in modern terms) shifted 20 tons per day per man by hand. Hard drinking and hard living they occupied temp Camps that moved as the Canal moved.

%d bloggers like this: