Monday, December 29, 2014

A few Ulverston shops we visited today

We visit Ulverston about twice a year and have done for the last 30 years to visit my wife's parents and other family.
The China shop had a 75% off sale today as the owner is retiring at the end of 2014. Somebody said "It is a shame to loose shops like this."

Ulverston is not immune to closed shops: the old Stead and Simpson shoe shop has been vacant for years, and currently has a nativity scene in the window.  But Ulverston still has a large number of interesting independent shops.
Ulverston still has a fruit and veg shop.
and a butcher with cooked meat and pies one side and fresh meat the other. There is also a permanent butcher and fruit and veg stall in the Market Hall.
The best fish and chips in town come from the Chippy Bank.
The equivalent of the Pound Shop is full of mostly useful things. We were asked to get toilet paper, and Yorkshire Tea from there, and I got some gloves - having lost mine.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Walney Island Sunset

This afternoon we visited Walney Island - a long island separated by a channel from Barrow in Furness.
The sun was going down as we stopped next to the Round House, on Biggar Bank. Distant windmills looked like tropical palm trees in the sunset light. 
There were still many dog walkers about.
Small waves lapped the pebbled shore, as the sea and sky grew dark. The air was cold, and frost  formed on the windscreen when we got back to the car.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Trip to Oxford - a lot of birds and books

I was struck by the deer carcass at the covered market - its head stuck in a plastic bag to catch any blood and hide the stump. There were many more turkeys strung up with their heads similarly covered.

I read some beautiful words of Praise to God from a book of Celtic prayers in the Norrington Room in Blackwells bookshop. I moved from theology to the self help books, and then to Psychology.
Outside the University Church on High Street there were more birds strung up - without explanation.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917 and currently hosts an exhibition on the Centenary of WW1. The two great naval guns outside dated from that era. The exhibition was fascinating.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fighting The Flames II

Wood Cooling Towers Catch Fire at Didcot B Power Station. Electrical Fault Blamed.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fighting The Flames

'Fighting The Flames' is a picture in a book called 'The Beacon Light' published by the Stow Hill Bible and Tract Depot to instruct children growing up in the Exclusive Brethren.

We did not have many picture books when I was very young and the pictures in that book were so vivid. I found the picture 'Fighting the Flames' particularly fascinating and frightening as a child.

 Looking at the book again, all these years later, I can now see why it was frightening. Before and after the picture are stories of children who burned to death in their homes. In one case three children, in the other two. And there was nothing rescuers could do to help - the flames were too intense. One rescuer, described as a great hero, lost his own life trying to help. The story goes on to say that an even greater hero, Jesus Christ, gave his life for us and can save us.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Harwell Feast

The English Civil War Society were one of the features at this year's Harwell Feast. The event began with a Parade of vintage vehicles and floats. There were crafts, a car boot sale, all the fun of the fair, and a couple of arenas with entertainment. The Winchester Regiment, of the English Civil War Society,  had set up camp in a field adjoining the show area, and marched in to give a display of pikes and musketry. Despite rain through much of the day there were still a lot of people enjoying the event.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A walk done many times before

This morning we walked up to Birkrigg to the limestone common that rises up above the town. At the stone circle somebody had performed some sort of ceremony and left  crystals, flowers, and ashes near one of the stones.
We then descended by farm tracks to Morcambe Bay by way of Bardsea.
At the Holy Trinity Church my wife's Grandmother, formerly of Hull, is buried, aged 100 years. That funeral was 22 years ago. We remembered how hot it had been that early April and how Cindy who was then new to the family had been very emotional. We said goodbye to Cindy at the Crematorium in Warrington just 2 months ago.
Then we had an ice cream by the shore having peeped in at the Restaurant where we had our wedding reception almost 30 years ago. The same priest still serves at the catholic church in Ulverston, although he is now a canon. He won't remember us as he offers us a basket with small chocolate eggs after the Easter Day service like so many times before. We may also go to the 6am service on Birkrigg but have said that many times before and not done it yet.

Good Friday at the Market Cross in Ulverston

About 60 members of the Churches Together in Ulverston met at the Market Cross on Good Friday at 10:30 for a short service.
They were led by a band in singing the three hymns:
  • There is a Green Hill Far Away 
  • Were you there when they crucified my Lord 
  • There is a Redeemer It was a lovely summer morning. 
 Only about half the shops were open.
After the service we went for a walk up Gill Bank, and then through some woodland, and out towards Hode.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kenley Treatment Works Saved

Politicians went down from London to Kenley to view the floods that were in danger of engulfing the water treatment work this week.
A nearby school was evacuated and its playing field acted as a flood plain. Sand bags and other barriers constructed, and pumps brought in to save a vital facility. Boris Johnson(Mayor of London), Ed Milliband (Labour Leader),and Eric Pickles (Minister for Communities) wentdown to show support, and leadership in what could have been a messy situation if things had got out of control.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

In The First of the Welsh Valleys

My sister moved into a community in Wales about three years ago - a few miles from where our Granny Llewellyn lived. It was once an area of coal mines and steel works. The Working Mens Club closed in December 2013 when the Co-op Bank foreclosed on a loan the club had taken out for improvement work.
We drove up into the Brecon Beacons where slag heaps are deeply furrowed by decades of rain.
We saw industrial sites that had helped make Britain Great.
My sister and her partner keeps hens. The hens have grown old and don't lay eggs that often, but they seem happy. They still get fed.
As time and money allows they work on the property. Previous owners have built new walls hiding what was behind and so there are secrets to be revealed like an old bread oven.
A lot of the old old oak beams had to be replaced with new but the old timbers are kept. They did not go in the skip with the breeze block and concrete

Lots more work still to do.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Story Museum soon coming to Oxford ....

Along Pembroke Street, near the Museum of Modern Art, a Story Museum is being made and they have put a storyboard outside to make it much more exciting.
It is going to be much more than just the building you see now.
The planned opening is in the spring, and there is a special post box where people can post ideas about what they would like to be in the Story Museum.
Some entries are displayed inside an old telephone box. This one says: Secret Passageways ... dress-up costumes .... competitions ... LOTS OF VISITING AUTHORS ...