Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label National Trust. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Trust. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Two Bits of Jazz, some National Trust, and a Book


Busy busy. We enjoyed The Harlem Hot Stompers at Eagley Jazz Club on Monday evening, and even managed to get home before they closed the M60 motorway!

On Tuesday Sue demanded a shopping trip for some boots that she apparently needs for work. Can you identify the venue?


Later, we attended a family gathering that took a stroll from a National Trust property, Packwood House. The pace was brisk, albeit Sue’s mum turned up in what we thought were her pyjamas. “No”, she explained, “they were curtains!”


The family (some of them, anyway) are religious, so I took them through a pleasant churchyard. Nice stained glass windows. Apparently 800 years old.


Here’s the 5 km route, easily extended to the east to the towpath of the Grand Union Canal.


I noticed a copy of a book lying around – self published by one of Sue’s cousins. A tricky subject on which Jonathan is passionate. Well done to him for putting this together and self-publishing. It’s a huge task. We will get a copy (from here).


Sadly our motorway luck ran out on the way home, the M6 being closed at junction 18, which made us a bit late (and extremely cross with a juggernaut that was tailgating us as we proceeded through country lanes in a long line of traffic).

On Wednesday the short motorway journey to and from Hazel Grove Civic Centre was thankfully free from the road closures which appear to have become the norm for late evening travellers around Manchester. That journey to the weekly SWOG presentation was most worthwhile. The speaker, a 78 year old musician who plays in numerous jazz bands and also on his own as a busker, was Eric Newton from Stoke-on-Trent. He spliced his life story with a few familiar tunes on his clarinet. It was a wonderful tale. We came away with a CD, and we will keep an eye out for him as he busks in places like Stone and Nantwich as well as other parts of the Potteries. Dot may have encountered him, or have heard of him. He has run 38 marathons, all whilst playing his clarinet, raising over £60,000 for charity and setting a record of 648 plays of ‘When the Saints Come Marching In’ during the course of one marathon run.


Friday, 31 March 2017

Tuesday 28 March 2017 – A Visit to Styal Mill


Helen’s treat for the day was a visit to Styal Mill, the history of which – dating from the late 18th Century, can be found here.

We first visited the Apprentice House, where a well informed lady called Jenny gave us a conducted tour of the building in which about 90 children at any one time (60 girls and 30 boys) spent up to ten years of their lives working as apprentices in the mill – 12 hours a day for 6 days a week. The much worse alternative was the workhouse.


It was unusual in those times for a doctor to be available, but Samuel Greg’s mill employed one. His medicine chest may have included some of the items displayed below.


Fresh vegetables were available from the garden, but porridge featured heavily in the children’s diets. The spoon is standing up for a reason – the porridge is solid and could be cut into chunks for the apprentices to eat on their way to work – it was more than poor form to be late for that.


The National Trust, aided by volunteers and charitable donations, are slowly making big improvements and extending the area available to visitors. We hadn’t been in the gardens before. They are very much ‘work-in-progress’, but at least the glass houses have been renovated and the gardens are open to the public.


Here, Sue and Helen explore the greenhouse on the left of the above picture.


The gardens are not all as bare as the top garden shown above!


From the bottom of the gardens the owner’s house provides a backdrop to the River Bollin. Following renovations, that house should soon be open to the public.


Here’s a view of the mill from the lower gardens.


And here’s the classic view of the mill, beside the River Bollin, whose waters provide the power. The waterwheel has been renovated and is now the most powerful working waterwheel in Europe. Its width and its diameter are both in the order of 7 metres. It’s massive!


After lunch we did the full tour of the mill, but I took no further pictures.

If you haven’t been recently, it’s a good day out.

Monday, 7 November 2016

This ‘n That


Last weekend passed quickly. Don’t they all!

Wythenshawe Park was being used for bonfire night celebrations, so their parkrun was off. Not to be deprived of our Saturday morning fix, a number of regulars went on tour to Delamere, where the gently undulating 5 km course includes a scenic long loop around Blakemere Moss.

Very enjoyable, with a good, but rather expensive, café afterwards.

Thanks for the jolly welcome from the run director, the lift from Andy W, the photo from Frank, etc. What a jolly bunch…

The picture below shows ‘Syd’ poised to fly past Jan Williams in the finishing straight. Magic!


On Sunday, Sue and I paid a visit to the National Trust property at Charlecote Park. We had a quick look around before enjoying a latte.


The lilac flower below was in full bloom, but nobody could identify it for us.


We chatted with a gardener for a while, but it was a cool day and he needed to stay active to keep warm, unlike the dog loving musician.


Then we went to my Aunt Jackie’s 80th birthday party. A very jolly affair hosted with style, and accompanied by some suitable anecdotes related by Jackie and her three sons.

Others took pictures, so (not wanting to be intrusive) mine are just two random shots that provide a flavour of the occasion. It was great to see everyone looking happy and well.


Then we went home, calling on Sue’s mum and dad en route – thanks for the tea and cake, which was all we needed.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Friday 6 April 2012 – Cliveden, and a long journey home

In the garden at Cliveden

It takes us less than a day to return home from Ottawa.  Why then should it take two and a half days to return from Kent?

After some last photos of Water’s Edge and a long chat with Gemma and Ed about the ups and downs of renting out a cottage in your own garden, we reluctantly departed the lovely cottage that had been our home for the past week.

Water's Edge

Several hours on the M25 later, and our butties were finally unwrapped in the delightful gardens at Cliveden, another National Trust property.  We’ve certainly got full value from our National Trust membership this week!

The garden at Cliveden

Whilst the gardens are fully open to the Public, the house at Cliveden is a posh hotel, a place of history, mystery, intrigue and scandal for over 350 years.


The current house dates from 1851, previous incarnations having been destroyed by fire, and the most notorious scandal involving the house was the Profumo Affair, which my contemporaries will no doubt remember – here’s an extract from the Wikipedia entry about that:

In the early 1960s, Profumo was the Secretary of State for War in Harold Macmillan's Conservative government and was married to actress Valerie Hobson. In 1961, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a London call girl, at a house party at Cliveden, the Buckinghamshire mansion owned by Lord Astor. Many years later Profumo would claim, in discussion with his son, David, that he had met Keeler previously at a night club in London called Murray's and "probably had a drink with her." Also present at the Cliveden party were Profumo's wife and the fashionable osteopath, Dr Stephen Ward, a long-standing acquaintance of Keeler. The relationship with Keeler lasted only a few weeks before Profumo ended it. However, rumours about the affair became public in 1962, as did the allegation that Keeler had also had a relationship with Yevgeny "Eugene" Ivanov, a senior naval attaché at the Soviet embassy in London. Given Profumo's position in the government and with the Cold War at its height, the potential ramifications in terms of national security were grave, and this, along with the adulterous nature of Profumo's relationship with Keeler, quickly elevated the affair into a public scandal.

Our journey continued uneventfully over the next two days, via Solihull where I took part in the Saturday morning Parkrun, (‘parkjog’ in my case) the first time I’d tried jogging for over a month, due to a pulled calf muscle – luckily it stood up to the test.  The runners here are much quicker than those I usually jog along with at Wythenshawe, with a turnout of 160 people, many of them club runners, whereas Wythenshawe – a newer event – usually gets fewer than 100 participants.

Finally, a visit to Dot, on her 87th birthday, concluded our holiday.  It was good to see her continuing to recover, albeit slowly, from her hip replacement that got infected.  Hopefully the antibiotics she needs to take for the next 2-3 months will get rid of the infection and obviate the need to go through the whole process again…

Here we are with her last Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve 2011 in Timperley