Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Venus in sole visa

In 1639 at 15:15 on Sunday the 24th of November (4th of December according to the modern, Gregorian calendar) a Toxteth man by the name of Jeremiah Horrocks was one of only two people on the surface of this Earth to witness and understand the transit of Venus across the sun’s surface.

Horrocks' observations allowed him to make a well-informed guess as to the size of Venus, as well as to make an estimate of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. While not perfect, Horrocks' figures proved to be by far the most accurate up to that date. Horrocks was the first to demonstrate that the Moon moved in an elliptical path around the Earth. He wrote a treatise on Keplerian astronomy and studied the properties of the force that became known as gravity; Isaac Newton in the Principia acknowledged Horrocks' work in relation to his theory of the Moon.

In Memory of Jeremiah Horrocks 1619-1641At the intersection of Island Road and Horrocks Avenue in Garston, Liverpool stands a monument to Horrocks - a mosaic artwork entitled "His Mortal Eyes to Scan the Furthest Heavens" - named after a line from one of the astronomer's own poems.

Heading northwards one finds oneself on Mather Avenue - a thoroughfare named after Horrocks' old puritan schoolmaster, Richard Mather. Mather was the first minister of Toxteth Unitarian Chapel, erected in 1618 by the local puritans and still standing today on the corner of Park Road and Dingle Lane. Mather eventually emigrated to Boston, Massachusetts in North America. Mather’s son Increase Mather and grandson Cotton Mather later became known for their involvement in the infamous Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s.

Jeremiah Horrox tabletHorrox’s body was laid to rest in the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth in 1641; he died in his native Toxteth having returned to the area only one year previously. A plaque dedicated to his memory hangs on the chapel wall, each of its four corners decorated with a five pointed star.

This evening at 22:09 UTC (GMT) Venus will once again pass before the sun and will not do so again until December 2117. You should use all the wonderful 21st century tools you have at your disposal, and take for granted every day, to witness it.

"Thy return Posterity shall witness. Years must roll away, but then at length the splendid sight again shall greet our distant children's eyes"

- Jeremiah Horrocks

Monday, 12 December 2011

New article "The Calderstones of Liverpool" in Darklore Vol VI

Darklore is "a journal of exceptional observations, hidden history, the paranormal and esoteric science. Bringing together some of the top researchers and writers on topics from outside of mainstream science and history, Darklore will challenge your preconceptions by revealing the strange dimensions veiled by consensus reality".

The latest Volume contains a new article of mine entitled "The Calderstones of Liverpool" which, if you're a fan of 800 Years..., you might very well enjoy. Here's a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:

After living in the district of Toxteth for ten years, my wife and I have recently moved –along with our son and cat – back into the area of Liverpool where I grew up. We now reside in deepest Beatle country. The unremarkable childhood homes of Lennon and McCartney within easy walking distance; Harrison and Starr’s each just a short bus ride away. Strawberry Field is just around the corner, and I regularly shove a pushchair up and down Penny Lane. Indeed, much of the area is practically unchanged since long, long before the days when moptops walked the earth – a good chunk of it being made up of parks, playing fields, cemeteries and other greenspaces. One of the most impressive of these parks stands next to the institution formerly known as Quarry Bank High School which Lennon attended and named his proto-Beatles skiffle group The Quarrymen after. After numerous mergings with other schools the institution was eventually renamed in 1985. Calderstones Community Comprehensive School took its new name from the adjacent Calderstones Park which is in turn named after the most ancient and perhaps easily overlooked monument in the city of Liverpool: The Calderstones.

Order Darklore Vol VI now on Amazon - perfect for Xmas ;-)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

World Museum talk April 2010

Event: 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool talk

Join us for this talk about the City's ghosts and strange history with 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool author John Reppion.

Date: Tuesday 6 April 2010
Time: 12.30pm
Where: World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, UK L3 8EN
Room: Treasure House Theatre
Suitable for: all visitors aged 10 years and over.
Booking: Free drop-in event, no need to book

More info at

Saturday, 27 February 2010

800 Years of Haunted Liverpool 3rd printing + free Haunted Histories booklet

Copies of the third printing of 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool are now available for pre-order at

Each book comes with a free copy of my limited edition Swan River Press Haunted Histories booklet On the Banks of the River Jordan.

Postage and packing is free to the UK and Ireland and books are expected to ship in mid March.

See for more info.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

800 Years of Haunted Liverpool talk - CANCELLED

"Prepare for Halloween with this talk by John Reppion, author of '800 years of Haunted Liverpool'. Hear about the strange and spooky stories he came across while writing the book."

Entry is free and the talk is suitable for all ages. Begins at 12:30.

See for details of how to get to the museum.

Regrettably, the talk has now been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Apologies.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Interview on BBC Merseyside Wed 3rd Dec 10pm

I will be appearing on the Linda McDermott show on Wednesday the 26th of November at around 11pm (the show starts at 10pm) [Postponed until next Wednesday, 3rd of December, 10 pm. Apologies] discussing 800 Years of Haunted Liverpool.

You can listen live online at and the show will be available for 7 days on Listen Again after the initial broadcast.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

800 Years of Haunted Liverpool featured in's October edition

This month's Halloween themed issue of Magazine features an article entitled "Most Haunted? - Exploring the Darker Side of Liverpool's Paranormal Industry" with interviews with Billy Roberts, Tom Slemen, Dr. Matthew Smith and more.

The magazine is available to read for free online at or you can pick up a print copy (for free!) in many Liverpool City Centre shops.