The Man on the Clapham Omnibus

by | Feb 1, 2017 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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First of all, just to remind you of the derivation of this phrase which I quote from Wikipedia:

The man on the Clapham omnibus is a hypothetical ordinary and reasonable person, used by the courts in English law where it is necessary to decide whether a party has acted as a reasonable person would – for example, in a civil action for negligence. The man on the Clapham omnibus is a reasonably educated and intelligent but nondescript person, against whom the defendant’s conduct can be measured.

The term was introduced into English law during the Victorian era, and is still an important concept in British law. It is also used in other Commonwealth common law jurisdictions, sometimes with suitable modifications to the phrase as an aid to local comprehension. The route of the original “Clapham omnibus” is unknown but London Buses route 88 was briefly branded as “the Clapham Omnibus” in the 1990s and is sometimes associated with the term

Today Wednesday we went to the ceremony of Imbolc, which is the Celtic rite celebrating the first signs of spring. English people will be aware of Chalice Well some regard as a holy and blessed place from which particularly pure water flows. At such ceremonies many people dress up for the occasion with special walking sticks, colourful clothes and flowers in their hair. It becomes for a few hours a microcosm of how society should be. Everyone is  in a good mood is not elevated and conversations of sharing are easy to strike up.

The gardens were showing early signs of spring including snowdrops and daffodils. This secluded garden has its own micro climate. It is south facing and I believe protected from the worst depredations of frost. I did in fact put the proceedings on you Tube and you may like to be witness to some of the sentiments of the lady who led the half-hour celebration.

We left about an hour later after having sat round a log fire and went on to the Somerset levels. These are particularly prone to flooding and the water level was approaching road level. It is always pleasant to be there but better on a sunny day. Locals like to take their dogs. The local swans have learnt to ignore the barking.  Nature is never inactive; it is just going through phases and each phase is vital in the chain.


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