Saturday, July 07, 2012

On a Rare Sunny Day

On Thursday, having watched both local and national weather forecasts, we decided that we would have a day out.  We set off with the intention of perhaps going to Lichfield calling at the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust's headquarters at the Wolseley Centre on the way.  It was the most beautiful morning and we wandered around the nature reserve and called into in the Visitor Centre for a cup of coffee. It was then we realised that we weren't far from the Shugborough Estate and that we had intended to make a return visit to see the island arboretum, the servant's quarters and the farm.  You may remember my posts from last year about the visit we made to the Essex Bridge at Great Haywood and later in the year to the newly opened Lord Lichfield's apartments in the Mansion House. So off we went to Shughborough.   As usual I took far too many photos and I think the farm and servants quarters deserve a post of their own so here, for now,  are just a few photos I took at both Wolseley and Shugborough of flowers, cats and rugs.

 Dark red poppy and .......

pale blue Scabious in the bee garden at Wolseley

 Clematis on the boat house at Shugborough.  I'm normally a bit nervous of boathouses.  It must be something to do with the low roofs and still, enclosed water but this one was so pretty......

 covered in roses and clematis

The dairymaid at the farm introduced us to a new recruit

Chip, one of the farm cats and below is

 Spud, the other farm cat.

In the Farmhouse and in the servant's dining room up at the Mansion House there were quite a few rag rugs on display.
There were also plenty of posters around offering courses in rag-rug making - I'd love to have a go!

I remember seeing these kind of rugs rugs at my grandma's house when I was a child.

I also remember grandma and granddad sitting at the huge kitchen table in front of the fire making them, each starting at opposite ends and meeting in the middle.  I think they had always done it and still made them even then. 

The rug above has the Stafford Knot on it.  The Knot is the traditional symbol of the County of Staffordshire and its county town of Stafford and is sometimes incorrectly called the Staffordshire Knot. 

The weather was perfect and we had a wonderful day just wandering around, seeing lovely things and talking to some friendly and interesting people including the staff in costume in the different rooms as they were waiting for the next school party to come around.  In all the rain on Friday it was hard to believe we had experienced such a perfect day just a day earlier.  I'll be back with photos of kitchens, trees and farm animals in my next post.


  1. What a lovely way to make the most of the good weather on Thursday. I look forward to the next post.

  2. What a lovely day out. We were at the Wolseley centre a couple of weeks ago, a day trip for my birthday and the weather was very good then. My sister is making a rag rug at the moment and it's given me itchy fingers to try something like that too. Can't wait for the next installment and you an never take too many photos....don't you just love digi cameras! x

  3. What a lovely day.Isn't it great to be retired and to be able do these things.I think we are the lucky generation!

  4. Great photos, how that poppy survived, ofr even 1 day, what has been thrown at the plants lately is a mystery.

  5. I love chip and spud!!! I am a big fan of rag rugs and started making one years ago with denim jeans offcuts. I think they are also referred to as 'proddys'. I think you should have a go at making one! x

  6. You picked a good day, with lovely weather by the looks of your pictures. We have to be flexible in our trips this summer, don't we, and 'prepare to be spontaneous'. Lovely photos too. Thank you Rosie

  7. I love the knot rug. I've got a piece of sacking that I bought in Ironbridge for just this purpose, but I don't seem to have enough suitable old clothes to cut up to make the tabs. I must have another look through the back of my wardrobe.

  8. Fantastic photos - I was amazed at the size of the fireplace. I don't think I've ever seen one so large.
    My grandmother used to make braided rugs. She saved up all the old clothes and coats and cut them and sewed them into long pieces and wound them up in giant balls. Then the braiding started.

  9. so glad you had a lovely day (weather-wise too) and shared it with us. I loved joining you on the tour. A day out with you is ALWAYS lovely. Thank you for visiting, love Helen, Darcy and Bingley xxx

  10. Looks like you had a lovely day out - an interesting place to visit, some flowers and cats - perfect!

  11. I always enjoy your outings almost as much as you do - we used to have rag rugs down in the kitchen when I was a child - I think they were very common in those days as they were a cheap way to cover the floor. Lovely post.

  12. Its a few years since we've been to Shugborough. Lovely photos and lets hope we get some sun for you to take more!

  13. Flowers look more beautiful when they get so much rain :)

  14. I apologize for changing the subject: i came across this book today "the Story of England" [describing the village of Kibworth in Leicestershire - lies at the very center of England].

    I didn't see it in your favorite places (which is ok), but you see what some people read over here. Have a great day. -T.

    amazon link:

  15. Hi Tony - Michael Wood is one of my favourite writers and TV presenters. There was a fascinating TV series that accompanied the book following one village (or set of villages) through hundreds of years of English history. I have quite a few of Michael Wood's books but haven't got this one yet! I must rectify that:)

    p.s. only a small selection of my favourite places are on my side panel photos - if I put them all on I wouldn't have room for anything else on there - England has so many beautiful places to see:)

    Tnanks so much for visiting and commenting.