Thursday, June 30, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt - June 2011

Here are my photos for the June Scavenger Hunt.   Thanks as always to Kathy at Postcards from the PP for hosting the Scavenger Hunt and keeping us on our toes with her wonderful choice of topics.  Here is, I hope,  a -link- to other participating blogs.

A Childhood Memory
Buying a bucket, spade and fishing net when we got to the seaside and carrying them down to the beach where sand castles would be built with the bucket and spade and rock pools dipped with the net. 

A Farm Animal
One of the Highland Cattle at Wimpole Estate Home Farm, Cambridgeshire

A wheel trim
On a Bristol Fighter at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire

An Elephant
Carved wooden elephant in a shop window
Architectural Detail
Chimneys on the Precentor's House across the green from Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

from the cheese counter in the Red Lion Quarter, Spalding, Lincolnshire

On a table display in the Wedgwood Factory shop, Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent

On the outside looking in!

Something beginning with Z
Zinfandel wine - goes well with the cheese!

The view right outside your door
Back door that is - outside my front door which is actually on the side of the house is next door's brick wall which doesn't make for a very interesting photograph.

Something with your town's name on it

Of the six towns that make up the city of Stoke-on-Trent, Longton is the closest to where we live.  This is the sign for the Longton Interchange (bus station) near the Tesco, Argos and Next stores.  Behind you can see the railway station where trains run between Derby and Crewe stopping at all stations in Stoke along the way and behind the station an old, derelict pottery factory with its bottle oven and chimney.

Tree Branches

Monday, June 20, 2011


Sometimes, when life gets too much............ just have to go and cuddle a cushion!
'bye for now:)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Highlights from last two days

On Thursday we drove over to Spalding in Lincolnshire to visit some friends.  We had a lovely lunch in a pub by the riverside and then a wander around the town.  Spalding has altered so much since we left in 1995.  It was nice to go back and look at where I used to work.

This is Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, a 15th century red brick house at the side of the River Welland.  I used to work in the room whose window is just to the right of the black door in the photo below.  This was just behind the main hall and reception area which was then a Tourist Information Centre as well.

I was too busy enjoying myself to take many photos but we did visit a new place called the - Red Lion Quarter - where there was a restaurant and a shop full of mostly local produce.  We also popped into -  Sergi's Deli - down the Hole in the Wall -  Mr Sergison, who took part in the recent TV series called 'Turn Back time - The High Street' was behind the counter and had a chat with us.  We then visited  'The Bookmark'  a wonderful local, independent bookshop that has regular visits and talks by well known authors and then we had afternoon tea in the outdoor courtyard at Pennington's florist and gift shop.

After saying farewell to our friends we set off across the Cambrdgeshire fens to Ely.   Once we'd settled into our accommodation we took a late evening stroll along the riverside - photo above - and around the Cathedral.

View from parkland at the back of the Cathedral

The next morning we moved on to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.  A whole morning was spent here gazing at the aircraft. 

The Flying Fortress

Concorde 101

RE8 - a world war one spotter plane

In the afternoon we visited the Wimpole Estate.  The Hall doesn't open on Fridays  but we had a wander around the gardens and the home farm.

The Hall from the Dutch garden

The Walled Garden

Two lovely, noisy residents of the home farm - Clementine and Daisy.

I'll be back with more on Wimpole Hall later this month as we are off on our travels again so I'm taking a break for a while.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ancient Waymarkers

In the corner of an area of land belonging to the Longshaw Estate is a wooden pole.   It stands near the triangular junction where the road from Sheffield to Hathersage joins the road down to Froggatt and Calver.

It is just a wooden pole in the ground but it is so well known that the area around it is known as 'Wooden Pole'.
What is it? 

According to some sources it is an old way marker for a pack horse route which leads down to Hathersage and marks the boundary between Hathersage and Holmesfield.   It isn't one of the original way markers or 'guide stoops'  but it has been there for many, many years and is occasionally replaced by the National Trust who own the site.  According to others and referring to the stone in the ground which is engraved 'T1778'  it is a boundary marker for the parish of nearby Totley at that date .

It is quite tall too!  I'm sure many people pass by without noticing it or think that it is the remains of a dead tree.  There is a little pull off on the road for a few cars and a gate through onto the field so you can get close to it.

In the grounds of the Longshaw Estate is another way marker or guide stoop (stoop being a Scandinavian word for stone).  This is a stone one engraved on each side of the stone.  The side above says 'Tidswell Rode'  - Tideswell Road

The engraving on this side says 'Hope Rode 1787'  - Hope Road

and this side says 'Sheiffeild Rode' - Sheffield Road.

There are a few more of these way markers around the estate and many more are to be found in the Peak District area of Derbyshire.

These were guides to follow along the ancient pack-horse trails which criss-cross the moors, hills and valleys of the Peak District. These trails are part of the industrial heritage of the area used by pack horse trains to carry such local  commodities as silk, cotton, lead and salt to the growing industrial towns of Manchester and Sheffield.  Travelling across the moors could take several days and  in certain weather conditions, be quite treacherous.  Travellers could easily lose their way.  In 1697 an  Act was passed that local surveyors should erect guide posts in the more remote areas showing the way to the nearest market towns.  There was no defined standard to presentation or appearance so many different types of guide stoops are to be found across the Peak District.

By the mid 18th century turnpike roads began to appear across the region with their own mile stones and signposts and the need for the guide stoops faded.  The stoops themselves usually date from 1709 onwards when another Act made it compulsary for parishes to provide guide posts at road junctions.  They were used to supplement or replace other types of  guides like cairns, crosses, way markers and wooden poles.  Which is where this post started - with a wooden pole!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Gardens - Herbs and Books

I was so lucky recently to win a give-away organised by Valerie at - Acornmoon - to celebrate her two years of blogging.  I won a copy of a book called  'In and Out of the Garden' by Sara Midda.  I'd seen this book on another blog - I can't remember which one - quite a while ago and I've had it on my wish list ever since then so I asked to be included in the draw.   You can imagine my delight when I found out that my name had been pulled out of the hat and when the postman arrived with the parcel!

I'm sorry that my photos can't do justice to the prettiness of the book as the colours are so delicate.
It is an exquisite book, hard backed, cloth covered  and everything I expected of it.  The illustrations are delightful- I just keep picking it up and gazing at the pages and finding something new each time. I can't believe how lucky I am!  Thank you, Valerie.

Last week on a visit to my sister in Chesterfield we called at the - Herb Garden - at Hardstoft.  We used to go there quite often when Mum and Dad were still with us, we've taken them there for lunch a few times but sadly the cafe part of the gardens is now closed and the whole place is for sale. The cafe used to make the most wonderful quiche and salad lunches and things like lavender cake and scones. The gardens are still open at the moment so we popped in to take some photos.

It was just as I remembered it!

Enclosed all around by a high hedge it is a peaceful little oasis just off a main road.

There is an intricate 'knot' garden 

Full of statues, water features and tinkling bells.

Down an avenue at the side of the hedge are three separate gardens containing herbs for special purposes.  There is the scented 'pot pourri' garden.  The 'physic' garden  full of herbs for soothing and healing and the 'lavender' garden full of many different varieties of one of my favourite flowers.

Down one side of the knot garden are the 'culinary' herbs.  Everything is labelled with an explanation of uses.

It really is a peaceful place and I hope whoever buys it will keep it just as it is.
Here are the details of the house and gardens for sale - link -  I think I might just buy a lottery ticket this week!

The garden is noted for its collection of Echinacea plants!  We bought some there a few years ago and they lasted in our garden for several years before they disappeared after the cold winter of last year.   It was time to buy some more!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

High Peak - Part Three

On to part three of our visit to New Mills.  After our visit to the Heritage Centre and our walk around the town which included a visit to both the indoor and outdoor market and a browse in the bookshop - we can't not browse in a bookshop if there is one to be browsed in - we headed back down the path and steps to the  valley towards the ruins of the Torr Factory and the viaducts over the river.

I loved the atmosphere down here - surrounded by the ruins and the tall viaducts.  It felt protected and had a quiet magnificence about it - almost like being in the ruins of somewhere very ancient; like an old abbey or stately home.

I think industrial buildings have an appeal and grandeur all of their own.

These are the ruins of the old Torr Factory built around 1790 for the Schofield family and originally known as Schofield's Mill.  It was destroyed by fire in 1838 and rebuilt with the addition of a steam engine in 1846.  Cotton production stopped in 1890 and the mill became a fustian cutting firm until it was again destroyed by fire in 1912. The area alongside the river is known as The Riverside Park and also as 'the Park under the town'.  We are hoping to visit again before too long and walk along the Sett Valley trail to the village of Hayfield.

Below is the Torrs Hydro-Electric plant.  It is the first community-owned plant in this country and produces enough energy to supply the local Co-op supermarket  with any surplus being re-sold to the National Grid.  It uses the power of a small weir in the gorge and is known as 'Archie' because it uses a device known as a 'Reverse Archimedes screw'.

In case you were worried about the fish in the rivers getting caught up in the device there is apparently a 'fish-pass' under the steps to the right of the screw turbine.