An account of an outing yesterday, with huge numbers of photographs.
This was an outing arranged by my mother and my aunt which happened yesterday. Binham is a village about ten miles beyond the market town of Fakenham, Holt is a Georgian market town a little beyond Binham (more of this later). Binham is home a to an eponymous blue cheese, and also to the remains of a Benedictine priory (the same order who in the days when they were powerful controlled Ely, where the cathedral still stands). Holt as it is today is almost entirely the product of rebuilding after a huge fire in 1708 reduced the town to ruins, and as such is one the most noteworthy Georgian towns anywhere.
Most of this section will be told by means of the photographs I took while at the priory, starting with some which give you some information about it:
Just before moving on I will note that although this is an English Heritage site they do not charge for admission, clearly not reckoning they would take enough to justify paying someone to work there selling tickets.
INSIDE THE PARISH CHURCH
This is the only part of what was once a construction on an awesome scale that is still standing and usable – the rest was very determinedly destroyed in 1539 (not quite a match for Treebeard and the ents at Isengard, but a fairly thorough piece of destruction!). There are some very interesting exhibits within the church.
Outside the church there is a substantial area covered by ruins:
Having finished at the priory and the shop selling local produce (including raw – i.e. unpasteurised – milk from the local cattle, not available in quantities of less than a litre, which since it only stays good for a maximum of four days is too much to be worth buying) we headed to the village pub for lunch.
The first good sign at the pub was that it had three beers, two decent and one excellent, on tap. The food looked good as well, and while we were waiting for it to arrive there was what I chose to interpret as a further good sign, a delivery from a supplier based in nearby Fakenham. The food turned out to be excellent and we went on our way happy.
We did not spend long in Holt, a few minutes exploring and photographing, ending in the shoe shop, where I bought a pair of what looked like excellent walking shoes (more about them in a later post).
A photographic account of Downham Market, an old market town in Norfolk.
As those of you who read the post I put up earlier today will know I spent part of Saturday in the town of Downham Market. These post showcases everything I saw there other than the Town Hall.
This was my first visit to Downham Market, as opposed to passing through the station en route to further afield destinations. The pictures here were taken at two distinct periods, in the morning immediately post arrival, and in the afternoon when I had rather more time to kill than I would have wished. The only way across the tracks at Downham Market is by way of a level crossing, and the train from London to King’s Lynn arrives just before the one going the other way. The crossing gates close a couple of minutes before the King’s Lynn train arrives and stay closed until the London train has departed, which means that if you are looking to catch the King’s Lynn train, which departs from the far platform from the town centre and the crossing gates close you have missed it, and such was my fate on Saturday. For those affected this also explains both my later than usual arrival at the venue for Musical Keys and the fact that I was a tad breathless when I got there – I had stepped off a train at 15:20 at King’s Lynn and walked straight out to the Scout Hut in something of a hurry.
THE REST OF DOWNHAM MARKET
I start with two pictures to set the scene, a huge pictorial map which can be seen in the town centre and the information board about the railway:
The ‘Downham’ part of Downham Market comes from Anglo-Saxon (afterall, we are in the lands of the North Folk of the East Angles) and literally means ‘homestead on a hill’, and indeed the market town that grew up around that homestead (it has been a market town since Anglo-Saxon times) is slightly elevated from the surrounding countryside, which in Norfolk constitutes being on a hill! These photos are presented in the order in which they were taken.
I realised that there could be only one explanation for a signpost in cengtral Downham Market giving the distance to the town of Civray, namely that the two towns are twinned. Civray for the record is pretty much exactly halfway between Poitiers and Angouleme, due east of La Rochelle. I include a map as well as a close up of the sign.
Producing a photographic wall calendar has become a tradition for this blog, and courtesy of a magnificent offer at Vistaprint (25 calendars plus postage for £129) this year’s are now on order (eta with me October 25th). The rest of this post gives you a preview.
Most of the pictures for this calendar come from my Scottish holiday, so they do no relate to particular months. There are one or two exceptions as you will see.
An account of an educational event about the Gaywood River that took place in the Scout Hut on Beulah Street on Sunday.
I have had a very busy few days, which is why there have been no new posts here since Saturday. I will mention my activities since Monday in later posts, but this post is solely concerned with the activity that dominated (in a good way) my Sunday. At the end of this post I will be including a variety of links related in various ways to its content. Here is a map showing the course of the Gaywood River:
FINDING OUT ABOUT THE EVENT
I got an email from my aunt a few days before the event was due to happen explaining her role in it and asking if I wished to meet her there and go back to hers for sausage and chips or if I would prefer a saturday supper. I decided that the event could be quite interesting, so I opted for the former course of action.
Since the event was taking place at the Scout Hut on Beulah Street, which is on the bank of the Gaywood (Beulah Street ends in a bridge that crosses the Gaywood into the car park that serves the Scout Hut) I was going to walking, and since it was a bright, sunny morning I decided on an extended route. Leaving my flat I headed across Baker Lane Car Park to the bridge over the upper Purfleet, heading across King Street to the north bank of the lower Purfleet. Here are some photos from that early part of the walk:
From there I followed the line of the Great Ouse as far as my favourite cormorant observation point…
…before heading round by way of All Saint’s Church to the Library and entering the parkland area, following the Broadwalk until the path through the Vancouver Garden splits off from it, when I followed that and then the path out of the Vancouver Garden that joins the Tennyson Road end of St John’s Walk, at which point I was back on what would be the officially recommended walking route to Gaywood. There were squirrels about (in King’s Lynn only the grey ‘bushy-tailed rat’ variety as opposed to the red ‘Squirrel Nutkin” variety), though it is not always easy to get good photos of them…
From Tennysod Road I followed the footpath the runs between the King Edward VII Academy and the Lynn Academy to Gaywood Road, which I crossed, then crossing the Gaywood on a pedestrian bridge before following its bank all the way to the Scout Hut.
AT THE SCOUT HUT
Immediately outside the Scout Hut the Gaywood Valley Conservation Group had a gazebo and display boards (it was there that I took the photo that appears in the introduction).
Inside the hut was the Civic Society Stall, a cake stall, and various river related learning activities (colouring in pictures of river creatures for the artistically minded, an A-Z quiz of which more later). Although it was not the first thing I looked at, because it was my aunt’s reason for being there I start with…
THE CIVIC SOCIETY STALL
They were looking for people who knew about the history of the Gaywood river, because information boards will be going up at various points along it. They already had some good stuff, but wanted more.
Now we turn out attention to…
THE REST OF THE INDOOR ACTIVITIES
The cake stand looked awesome but discipline prevailed, and I did not sample any of the products. Although it was not really aimed at people my age I did the quiz, and predictably got all the answers in short order. The colouring proved popular, and many of the coloured creatures were then stuck on to a large picture of a river on the wall of the hut.
That is the inside stuff finished, but there was also plenty going on…
IN THE BACK GARDEN
There were two major centres of activity in the back garden, and I make my first port of call there, as I did on the day, at…
THE NORFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST GAZEBO
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust were showing children how to make portable ‘bug hotels’, and they also had a natural history display including a folder full of photographs of animals, and a stash of leaflets, to which I may return in a later post.
We now come to what was for me the best of all the exhibits, courtesy of…
THE NORFOLK RIVERS TRUST
There were two parts to this exhibit. The minor part was display showing graphically how different treatment of land in the winter affects the soil:
The second part of this display was a living exhibit from the river – two large buckets of river water with creatures that naturally live in it there to be seen (the amount of dissolved sediment in the water, the small size of these creatures and the fact that some of them live on the bottom of the river means that this the only way to make them visible). There was also a small sample dish which the person running the exhibit used to show as very small curiosities…
There was also a story teller outside…
To start this section we look at organisations who were actually involved in some way or other with this event:
I conclude this section by mentioning a couple of bloggers who regularly feature nature in their work:
CindyKnoke – keen photographer and nature lover. Below is the feature image from (and link to) her most recent post:
Anna – her posts about fighting to save nature in her part of the world are always inspiring, and her two recent series of posts “Paradise on Earth” and “Butterflies in Trosa” are both stunning. Below is the feature image from (and link to) her most recent butterfly post.
This was an excellent event and I learned a good deal about the history and nature of the Gaywood River. I have one kvetch which is that the event was poorly publicised – I only found out about it through my aunt and then only a few days before it was happening, meaning that anyone else I might have alerted would almost certainly have had other plans. If half of you have enjoyed this post even half as much as I enjoyed the event I have done a good job. I finish by urging you to take the time to follow up those links.
Some thoughts on round two of the 2017 six nations, and a few Sunday shares.
Yesterday saw the first two matches in round two of the 2017 Six Nations. This afternoon Scotland and France will fight out the final game of the weekend.
ENGLAND SQUEEZE PAST WALES
In the women’s match which preceded this England won 63-0, which gave them 89 unanswered points in their last 120 minutes of rugby (they were 0-13 down at half-time against France last week).
Wales dominated the men’s match for long periods, but too often did not turn pressure into points and eventually a 77th minute try put England in front for the first and only time of the match. England have not been all that impressive in either of their matches to date, but is the mark of champions to find a way to win even when not playing well.
IRELAND THRASH ITALY
Ireland were always in control of this match, with two players (Stander and Gilroy) recording hat tricks of tries. For the first hour the scoreline was semi-respectable but then the floodgates opened and the Irish winning margin mushroomed to over 50 points.
Two matches in to this tournament it is hard to see Italy doing anything other than bring up the rear, a long way adrift of the rest.
SOME SUNDAY SHARES
We start the shares with a couple of public transport related bits…
THE GREED OF THE PRIVATE RAIL COMPANIES
Private operators have creamed of more than £3.5 billion in profits from running Britain’s railways over the last ten years, while services get worse and prices go up. Click on the image below to read in more detail, courtesy of AOL:
AN EXTENSION FOR THE BAKERLOO LINE
The extension, from Elephant & Castle to Lewisham is expected to open in 2028-9. Click on the image below to read the Time Out piece in full. I have already pressed a link on to my London transport themed website and will be writing about it in more detail in due course.
THE WENSUM VALLEY UNDER THREAT
The Wensum Valley is a very beautiful part of Norfolk, but a malign group of ‘planners’ are putting this beauty at risk – they intend to send a big new road through the heart of it. Please watch the video below to see what we are seeking to protect:
A COUPLE OF REGULARS
Another reminder that James and Sons next auction is on the 20th, 21st and 22nd of February, the first two days at our shop, the third at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich. Click on the image below, from lot 891, to view a full catalogue…
Finally, the Autism Awareness Cup 2017 will be taking place at Ingoldisthorpe Social Club on June 4th. Click on the image below to visit the website.
An account of today at work and yesterday at Musical keys.
This post has two very disparate strands – yesterday’s Musical Keys event for Autistic People and tody at work.
While I have imaged a wide variety of stuff today at work I am going to concentrate on some commemorative coin lots that were of particular quality…
The 12 years and older session of the Musical Keys workshop run as an NAS West Norfolk activity started at 4:45PM yesterday and ran until 6:15PM. I was there both as participant and as one 0f the two designated committee members to be present at the event (the other was group leader Karan whose younger son was participating). As usual with Musical Keys the main piece of equipment we were using was a miniature computer:
For the first part of the session we were playing computer drums:
After a mid-session break during which a birthday cake which Karan had very kindly made (gluten-free as her son has an adverse reaction to gluten) and which was absolutely delicious, we moved on to the second part of the session, which featured a system whereby lines had to be drawn across the screen so that balls would bounce of them to create sounds. For those of my generation it looks a bit like a very early BBC Micro game!
The basic set up
An arrangement of lines which prevents any of the balls (released from the nozzle you can see top centre) from escaping. I do not know what kind of sound this generates, as at no time while the sound was on did I have this many lines in place.
As anyone who knows what the weather was like in King’s Lynn yesterday early evening will be aware it was not suitable for photography on the way to the Scout Hut, where as so often with NAS West Norfolk events this took place, but I did get this picture on the way home…
Acknowledgements to the Eastern Daily Press for this story of local diversity…
From dusk ‘til dawn, volunteers scoured 25 nature reserves and beauty spots to see how many species they could record there.
And now, with the results all in and analysed, the winners can be revealed: with Norfolk sites in the top two spots. The so-called “Bioblitz” study was carried out by the National Trust at 25 of its coastal sites in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The surveys were carried out over 24 hours, with volunteers scouring their patches for species, to see how many they could find in the time.
The location with the greatest number of species was the Brancaster estate, where 1,018 were recorded. In second place was Blakeney nature reserve, with 934 species. The Brancaster Bioblitz took place in July. Keith Miller, coastal ranger at Brancaster, said: “We only had 24 hours to survey wildlife. I used every single one. From surveying for owls at midnight to leading bat walks for families the following evening.