Thursday, 31 October 2013

More From A Brief Holiday (and a few bits of trivia)


 (Photo circulating on Facebook).

We were out at dawn yesterday to hunt for a missing purse. We found it at Partner-who-loves-tea’s office; so all was well.  We celebrated by visiting out new favourite café, Mills Café in Upton, for breakfast.  I had the cheese, ham and tomato omelette.  Gorgeous.

A Brief Holiday - Day Two (16th October 2013) – Part One

It’s Cheltenham and it’s wet!

 “Cheltenham was specifically designed in its 18th and 19th century heyday as a pleasure health resort for wealthy visitors, the legacy of which is an exceptional range of quality accommodation, restaurants and entertainment in an elegant Regency spa town.”  (That's the local tourist board's way of saying it's expensive).

Fountains trying desperately to compete with the rain.


I photographed this post-box and accompanying four phone boxes many years ago and have been selling postcards of it on Zazzle.  It was so dark and wet this morning that the flash kept wanting to come on.

And another six phone boxes.  These now have a preservation order on them and, fortunately, are being looked after.  A lot of ones in rural areas are just being allowed to fall to bits.

I sheltered under a Lime tree to take a photo of this church but it was raining far too heavily to get a photo of a lovely Georgian crescent so that will have to wait for another year.

On to the city of Bath in Somerset where we parked in the Pyramid car park which, for future reference, proved ideal for accessing the Abbey and Baths.  You exit the car park through a supermarket and the Library where this display was on show. 

Outside it had just about stopped raining – perfect timing for wandering around outside the Abbey.

Presumably erected in the time of the Victorian temperance movement....

Even on a wet October day the area outside the Roman Baths and Pump Room was crowded.   

The city was first established as a spa with the Latin name, Aquae Sulis ("the waters of Sulis") by the Romans sometime in the AD 60s about 20 years after they had arrived in Britain (AD43), although oral tradition suggests that Bath was known before then. They built baths and a temple on the surrounding hills of Bath in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs. Much later, it became popular as a spa town during the Georgian era, which led to a major expansion that left a heritage of exemplary Georgian architecture crafted from Bath Stone.

Edgar was crowned king of England at Bath Abbey in 973.   

On the left hand side of the West front of the Abbey the angels ascend to Heaven. 

On the right side they descend.

There must be easier ways of getting down!

Lots of my Postcrossing friends collect cards of the World Heritage Sites (of which Liverpool is one, by the way) so Bath gave me plenty of scope to buy cards for them.

A picture for Meike and Monica.

And one for Mish.

And this one is for everyone…

Singing a capella, brave soul.

“Is that a camera or binoculars you’ve got there?”

A dead bike??

Excuse me but aren’t we in Somerset??? 

More inn signs.

On the way back to the car we had coffee in this church with it's own little café.


And just a reminder in case you had forgotten –

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A Brief Holiday – Day One

Day One (15th October 2013) - Part 2

Welcome to Tewkesbury, a town in Gloucestershire,   where you can still find the occasional horse on the streets (well I saw one :-)).

We had a coca-cola (bottled with ice and lemon, of course) in the Tudor Rose.  

The interior celebrates the Battle of Shrewsbury (Oops I meant Tewkesbury - thanks Helen) of 1471 which was one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses. The forces loyal to the House of Lancaster were completely defeated by those of the rival House of York under their monarch, King Edward IV. The Lancastrian heir to the throne, Edward, Prince of Wales, and many prominent Lancastrian nobles were killed during the battle or were dragged from sanctuary two days later and immediately executed. The Lancastrian King, Henry VI, who was a prisoner in the Tower of London, died or was murdered shortly after the battle. Tewkesbury restored political stability to England until the death of Edward IV in 1483.

This 16th century Tudor building has a rich history. It also has a number of spirits lurking its corridors. The ghost of a dog, a one time maid who likes to tuck people into bed, and the spirit of a young boy have all been reported... 

The original foundations of the Tudor House, were laid in 1540, however main building was built sometime in the 17th century. Front elevations were added in 1701, and restoration was carried out in 1897. An interesting thing to note, is that the door leading to the garden has axe marks, believed to made by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers. The Tudor House was turned into a hotel in 1926.

Nearby, Gloucestershire’s oldest inn is the Black Bear which dates back to 1308.

Tewkesbury stands at the confluence of the River Severn and the River Avon, and also minor tributaries the Swilgate and Carrant Brook.

The River Avon runs through (and sometimes over) Tewkesbury.  Just across the fields is the River Severn which also has a habit of running through the streets of the town.  

The building on the right in the above picture is the one in which William Shakespeare (the twentieth century one) founded his powerboat building company.  But of greater interest from the point of view of flooding is that the water reached half way up the double doors on July 22nd 2009.

The classic English Shakespeare speed boats are named after their designer, William Shakespeare. William, or Bill, raced powerboats from 1960 until 1971 when he was tragically killed on Lake Windermere while practicing for the Windermere Grand Prix. The year before, he had set the world speed record of 104 mph (90 knots).

This iron bridge was built in 1822 and leads to the flour mill.

 A little alleyway.

Another inn sign.

This warning sign delighted me.

Even more so because next to it was a door with this notice.   

If no one is supposed to go in who is likely to be coming out???

Day two soon.....

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