Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Rudyard fisherman

Angler at Rudyard Lake

I don't understand angling.  One sits all day (usually completely alone) - in all sorts of weathers - and ... little happens. 

But I understand it's one of the biggest participant sports in the country.  Is it a form of meditation?  A chance to get away from the world? 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Up there, in my beautiful...

Hot-air balloon

Bank holiday weekend - which means that hot-air balloons are out in force in our skies.  It seems that a fun gift for somebody these days is to buy them a balloon ride.
Strange pastime...

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Stone five centuries old

Ousley Old Cross

This lump of old stone rock, which, curiously, has a lot of pebbles studded into it (why?), is a Grade II listed building.  Stuck behind a fence, just away from the road, it doesn't look at all significant.

In fact, it is the fifteenth century Ousley Old Cross - so called because it sits almost next to the Ousley Brook, because it resembles an ancient preaching-cross, and, er, it's old.  You wouldn't know.  

No one knows its history really; it just seems to have been a fixture here since forever.   But someone must have thought it worth preserving, even three or four centuries ago.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Get the rat look

Car painted to look as though it is rusty

There is a saying "...only in the Potteries..." - accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders - meaning that it's so crazy it could only happen here.  (I suppose the phrase is used in lots of regions, but everyone likes to think it's unique to them.)

This car has been freshly painted.  Hard to believe.
Now, why anyone would want their car to look like it's been left in a field for thirty years I don't know, but if you too want your car to "have that rat look", just check out rustypaint.co.uk.

Like I say... only in the Potteries .... !

Friday, 15 May 2015

War damage still with us

Blank window in Blithfield Church

Talking of the past being in the present (see previous post), I had assumed that the blank window in Blithfield Church was either where the church ran out of money to build the twin-piece or some irreparable vandalism.

Actually, it was the latter... in a sense.   The blank window is where the original window was blown out by the blasts from enemy bombs landing many miles away. 
It stands, unreplaced, as a reminder that even quiet communities far from the front line can still live in terror in war.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Holme Farm & its crosses

Holme Farm & its crosses

This cross decoration on the roof of Holme Farm at Mayfield is one of two crosses, one at each end of the roof.
But it is not just there for ornament - the crosses signify that this house (parts of which are very old) was part of the possessions of Tutbury Priory some five hundred years ago.
The Mayfield Heritage Group has produced a wonderful leaflet of a walk around the village outlining all these wonderful facts.

Isn't it strange how the past keeps a presence (albeit not always understood) in our ordinary lives?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Country church mystery

Saxon carving at St Mary's at Enville

Country churches contain mysteries. St Mary's at Enville has number of these strange Saxon carvings, and it places them prominently up on its walls.
But - are they Saxon?  Tradition says so, but historians err toward Norman.
What does it represent?  Tradition says it is a former priest, but ... really?
And is that a beard under its chin?

What's great is that the church doesn't care.  Church wardens in these situations know they are just the custodians of the village's history, not the interpreters.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Empty park

Hanley municipal park

Gloomy day.  The election results are in, and it looks like the far-right MPs on the Tory backbench will hold the balance of power in a government which only has a very slim majority.  This gives foreboding.

Hanley's deserted municipal park, full of diverging lines-of-sight and people-less, made reflection easier.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Still, warm canal

Tow-path at Shelton

These May days are great for walking - still and warm.

This is the canal that goes through Shelton.  At one time, the place would have been inside a hot, steamy fog, as, on these banks was once the Shelton Ironworks.  Now, it just seems abandoned.