Sunday, June 26, 2016

Piddles and Puddles

We have moved house and have taken up residence in Dorset, in a lovely little cottage on a large working farm. Whilst there has been nothing wrong with our cottages to date, it is nice to have a little more room. Everything, though, comes at a price and in this case the it is the road access, down a country lane for a few miles and it is a particularly narrow country lane is this one.

Our Cottage in Dorset, Kitchen Living Upstairs and Bedroom Downstairs.

Whilst out driving yesterday we were prompted to "Turn right to Spring Grove" "Ah" thought I but this soon turned to dismay as we were sent along PIDDLE LANE, I mean the indignity, Spring Grove down Piddle Lane. It is, though, not as bad as first thought you see there is quite a history around here because the Piddle becomes a Puddle and the Puddle has several towns along it. The river Piddle is really but a stream and babbles along through the Dorset countryside, past the towns of Piddletrenthide and Piddlehinton, but then a curious thing happens. The Piddle becomes a Puddle. Legend has it that a young Princess Victoria came to visit and the locals thought a river by the name of Piddle may be a little coarse for delicate young Princessy ears and so changed the name to Puddle and so Piddletrenthide and Piddlehinton are the only two villages with Piddle in their names, below them we have Puddle names. There's Puddletown, there is Affpuddle, there is Tolpuddle and there is Briantspuddle. Now Tolpuddle is the claim to fame to which alluded as in 1834 a group of 6 local men were arrested for having sworn a secret oath to the "Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers" and were sentenced to be transported to Australia for seven years. What these chaps had in fact done was to form what was in effect the first trade union, naughty naughty. Anyway off they went to Sydney (and Hobart) but they left behind a terrible commotion and before long 800,000 signatures had been collected demanding their release and in 1836 they were so released. This then is the story of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and why a lane called Piddle on the way to Spring Grove is not all bad.
We have been today to  Dorchester, Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage, oh talking of swans reminds me of being stuck for sometime behind a queue of traffic just the other day when a family of them wished to cross the road. 

The Family "Swan"which held up traffic for sometime.

Bournemouth is one of England's finest beaches and even looks good on a not so good day, of which we seem to have had plenty. Never mind plenty there enjoying themselves nevertheless.

It was 14 C when we visited Bournemouth today

Nearby Poole was the subject of a recent TV series in New Zealand and boasts that in Sandspit it has the priciest property in Britain. Reminded us a bit of Kohimarama in Auckland, no photo, no where to stop.
From Poole one catches a chain ferry across a short expanse of water and drives on down to Swanage on the Jurassic Coast. We went to Swanage but will leave the Jurassic Coast for another day.

The Restored Railway Station at Swanage

Dorchester hangs on the coattails of Thomas Hardy and most specifically "The Mayor of Casterbridge" which was supposedly set in Dorchester to the extent even that houses proudly display plaques proclaiming "The Mayor" lived here.

A Great Cafe in Dorchester for a Morning Cuppa

The other day, it matters not which, we went to visit Charles Wade's house, I know not where and nor does it  the where matter. What is relevant is that Charles was  my sort of eccentric, he had in his lifetime collected many thousands of objects and what makes him different is summed up by

"I have learnt a little from books and a lot from pictures but an immense amount from looking at what craftsmen have made. I care not for the rarity or value of an object but for the skill which made it." Amen to that.
His collection, which includes items from Samurai armour  to musical instruments was so great that he and his long suffering wife had to move from the main house and into the smaller vicarage. I must point out that the vicarage could hardly be called uncluttered, but that's the way he liked it. He also had a beautiful garden.

There's that Kiwi Rose again.

Some of Charles' many and varied collection.

He deliberately kept the lighting low so as to make one peer into the exhibit and as a result see it in more detail.

Charles Wade, Architect, Artist-Craftsman,  Collector, Poet and first class Eccentric.

Earlier we had visited Worcester Cathedral and while Mrs Currin was entertained by a some local schoolgirls rehearsing  for an upcoming concert, I went on a tour of the Cathedral. It's main claim to fame is that King John was buried here in 1216.

A School Group Practicing in the Cathedral

King John's Tomb and a collection of 1000 year old bells in the Cloister 

The Wonkey of Worcester

All in all a thoroughly good few days in the life of a traveler and we have even more to come.....YIPPEE.

That's all for now folks, take care and all the best and may our thoughts be with my brother who, to avoid mowing my lawns, has broken his leg. Thanks will go to Chris, or so I'm told.


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