Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Weather Takes a Turn For The Better

Yes, we actually saw some blue sky today and the temperature briefly touched 20 C on the car's gauge, but soon after it was 15 so it may have been a bit of a hiccup. However it was very much OK for a trip down to Stoke on Trent, just for a look, and on to Biddulph Grange, Ashbourne and Tissington which are all worthy of a good looking at and so that is what we did.
Biddulph Grange is a magnificent garden run by the National Trust, created by it's visionary owner James Bateman with the plants he collected from his world travels including, so we are told, a flax from New Zealand.

Biddulph Grange Garden and House

The Lawnmower Collection

Tissington is a village owned by the Fitzherbert family who still occupy the hall, it is a charming wee village with some great little cottages to look at. We came across four people sitting on the benches at the front of their houses, reminded me of "the last of the summer wine", but they were friendly enough, wanted to know from whence we came.

Tissington Hall

A couple of Cottages in Tissington

Tissington is best know for the annual event known as "Well Dressing". This is not, as I had thought, a ritual akin to Morris Dancing where people dress well in oldy worldy costumes and make prats of themselves, rather the dressing of wells, you know the sort that you get water from. It is thought to have originated as a way of thanking the Lord for the unending supply of clean water that the wells provided and it is thought this could have prevented the plague. Whatever, it is carried out each ascension week and the wells are decorated with petals and cones and whatever else pressed onto a board which has been soaked in the village pond and covered in clay. Some 50,000 visitors come to see the spectacle each year, so there!

Hall Well, 1 of 6 which are dressed for Ascension Week

That, then, is all we have been up to over the past couple of days. We did venture into Chesterfield the other day and we will be going back. I want to have another look, as it looks like it deserves a couple of our hours. It has a church, and this is it's claim to fame, with a crooked spire. It is very crooked and I had thought that it had been built this way, you know as a point of difference, a bit of a touristy thing but no, it seems that green timber was used and as it dried it twisted into the crooked spire it is today. I shall get a picture of St. Mary's crooked spire, I shall.

Well that is all that I have and so I will leave you in peace.

All the best and look after yourselves


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