Sunday, April 21, 2019

An Early Morning Walk

Last week we made a long overdue visit to relatives and we decided that now we don't have to dash there and back in a few hours in order to look after Max we would treat ourselves to an overnight stay and visit some of our old childhood haunts as well.  We grew up in the same area and our parents took us to the same places even though we didn't know each other at the time.

Which is the reason we found ourselves early one morning walking in Clumber Park  a Grade1 listed park now owned by the National Trust.

The Chapel was built in the time of the 7th Duke of Newcastle whose family lived on the estate.  Construction started in 1886 and it was opened three years later.  It was designed by G F Bodley. 

The Serpentine Lake

My favourite geese - Greylags

You can see the outline of the old house next to the chapel in front of the stable block.  It was almost destroyed by fire in 1879 and rebuilt.  The house was finally demolished in 1938.

It was very quiet down by the water's edge, there were very few people out and about so early.

We walked towards and over the bridge.

Unfortunately it was vandalised last year and is still being repaired.

It is a beautiful bridge.

 After our walk it was time for tea and toast in the cafe which had just opened at 10a.m.  We sat in comfy chairs beside this fireplace which was decorated ready for the Easter weekend.

After breakfast it was time to move on so there was no time to see the walled garden, the Discovery Centre and inside the chapel.  Maybe we'll go back again.

In my next posts we'll visit Creswell Crags and Sherwood Forest.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

In the Garden

In the garden Spring is beginning to make an appearance.  

Old leaves, stems and twigs have been cleared from on and around the plants.  Lawns have been trimmed and green leaves are beginning to return on trees and bushes.

There is blossom on both plum trees

The Camassias we started off in the green house were planted outside.

The next day the flowers were starting to open

Red Sorrell


Blueberry in the pot and Goosberries in the bed.



Spirea - Bridal Wreath


I love the garden at this time of year.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Thank You

Just popping by to say thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post, they meant so much to me.  Also thank you too for letters, cards and e-mails we've received over the last week.

Yesterday there was a knock on the door and a staff member from the vet's surgery came with flowers and a card too.  Max was so well known there as he'd been registered with them for twenty two years.  We only had to ring and they'd say Max?  Especially over the last year.

We've been busy in the garden where things are looking blooming I'll be back with a post about that soon and will also get back into the routine of visiting you all again.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Farewell to a Friend

We had to say goodbye today.  The house feels so quiet and empty.

Max aged 22 years.
April 1996 - 30th March 2019

I'm going to take a break from blogging as the last few days have been quite stressful. Please forgive me if I don't visit you all for a while.
I'll be back soon.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Scavenger Photo Hunt - March

It's time for the Scavenger Photo Hunt again and this month's words/prompts are Flat, Wheel, Swing, Ragged, Pot, My own choice

Flat - as a pancake, photo taken on Shrove Tuesday when we had pancakes for lunch.

Wheel - well two on a cycle hanging on the wall of a pub or club in Congleton, Cheshire.

Swing - photo taken in the Nicholson Institute Museum and Library in Leek where there is an exhibition called 'Through the Eyes of a Child' these were fairground toys.

Ragged - I didn't get to see and photograph a Ragged School in Sneinton, Nottingham (now the headquarters of the Nottingham Wildlife Trust)  as I had planned to do but I did find a packet of Ragged Robin seeds at a local garden centre.

Pot - Found on Priesty Fields, Congleton in 1992 and full of coins dating from the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553) through to the reign of Charles II with coins dated as late as 1670. From a display at Congleton Museum.

My Own Choice - Lots of daffodils at Trentham Gardens, Stoke-on-Trent they looked lovely in the sunshine.

Thank you to Kate at I live, I love I Craft blog for organising.  Click on the link below to find others joining in this month.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

A visit to Congleton

I think this post is a 'Friday Five' meets 'Miscellany Monday' as I didn't get my act together to produce it on time for Friday and it's nearly Monday.  I've been feeling a little low with worries about the aged cat and having a crown fitted on one of my teeth the first procedure of which last Wednesday I found quite traumatic for some reason.  I had one fitted last year and that didn't bother me much at all.

On Thursday the sun was shining and we decided to visit the little town of Congleton just over the county border in Cheshire and about half an hour away from home. We had been before, quite a while ago but usually we only get as far as Little Moreton Hall and never drive the few extra miles to the town.  It's also a place we bypass on the way to Quarry Bank Mill at Styal near Wilmslow or Alderley Edge.

Below are five of the delights we found in the town. 

The Town Hall

Quite a spectacular building.  We popped into the Tourist Information Centre to collect a map and find out how far it was to walk from the centre to the canal as there was something special we wanted to see.  After a coffee in the town we set out to visit....

The Museum

Congleton  Museum can be found behind the Town Hall.  It is quite a small building with and entrance hall shop, one room of Museum displays and a temporary exhibition and education room upstairs.

Jiggy Bear in the entrance to the Museum reflects the towns heritage of bear baiting and cock fighting many centuries ago during the town Wakes. 

Exhibitions in the small museum take us through the town's history using four main eras.  Pre-History,  the 17th Century and  Civil War period,  the 19th century and Industrial Revolution and the Second World War.
Established methods of display and information are coupled with new information technology including a wonderful display from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Plus further information than can be found in the displays on interactive computers especially with reference to the hoards found relating to the unsettled times of the Civil war and the effect it had on the town and its people.  John Bradshaw who lived in Congleton was Attorney General for Cheshire and Flintshire was a supporter of Parliament during the wars and was the first to sign the death warrant of King Charles 1st.

The displays for the 19th century include recordings about life in the mills by both owners and workers.  The main industries in Congleton being ribbon weaving, cotton spinning, fustian and velvet cutting and also cigar making.

During the Second World War Congleton was one of the bases of the Royal Dutch or Princess Irene Brigade and a safe haven for many evacuees.

The Bridge

We walked from the town centre up to High town where we were able to join and walk along the towpath to find bridge No 76 The Morris Bridge on the Macclesfield Canal.

Also known as roving or snake bridges they were built so that a horse could cross from one towpath to  the other side without having to be unhitched from the narrow boat it was pulling.

There are two of these bridges still remaining along this part of the canal. I bet these paths are very slippy in wet or icy weather.

The Church
When you glance up Chapel Street towards St Peter's Church you would be forgiven for thinking that there was an earlier church  hidden behind the houses but you'd be wrong.
It is actually a Grade 1 listed Georgian Church.  The earlier church on this site was a wooden structure covered in wattle and daub. During the 15th century a stone tower and chancel were added to this chapel. In the early 18th century galleries were added but the building was still too small to cope with the influx of people created by the growth of industry in the town.
In 1740 permission was gained to demolish the timber framed chapel and build a new church on the site.  Apart from the medieval tower there is little left of the earlier church.  Renovations did take place in the 20th century but most of what is left is of the Georgian era.  The church was closed when we visited but apparently it opens on a Tuesday and Saturday so we may go back one day to look inside.  It does look rather spectacular - church website
Victoria Mill

The building which dates from c1859 is a former ribbon factory which later also made bias binding and woven garment labels amongst other things.

It now houses four floors of antiques and crafts.
After all the walking my feet were jumping and I needed to sit down.

Time for lunch - well a coffee and a cheese scone in the little cafe on the top floor.  The soups and cakes also looked delicious.

Below a collage of other interesting features spotted on our visit.