Sunday, 21 September 2014

Tombstone quip

Epitaph on the Littleton tomb at Penkridge Church

I'm not sure whether the writer of the epitaph on this tomb at Penkridge Church is being rather learnedly-clever or writing with tongue-in-cheek. 
Maybe the point is that each of the relatives could interpret it as they wanted...?    Or maybe I'm reading too much into a few simple lines?

Here's the modern version:   
Reader!  It was thought enough, upon the tomb of that great captain, the enemy of Rome, to write  no more but 'Here Lies Hannibal'. 
Let this [the two lines, below] suffice thee then, instead of all [that might be written]:   Here Lie Two Knights, Father & Son / Sir Edward and Sir Edward Littleton.


Now, is the writer being sarcastic with his comparison of regional land-owners to a major figure of history like Hannibal?  Or respectful?  Or, very subtly, both?!

Friday, 19 September 2014

Buried for eight centuries

The medieval seal of Stone Priory

The medieval seal of the ancient priory in Stone turned up a few years ago - buried in a field in Surrey.  A metal detectorist had found it.
So the local people of the town raised thousands of pounds to buy it, even though the priory is long gone.
You can see the seal on permanent display in the parish church.

See:  BBC news story

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Clayhanger - book and cottage


Clayhanger Cottage sign

Anyone from Staffordshire will immediately react to the word Clayhanger - it being the name of the first of Arnold Bennett's trilogy of novels of family life in the Potteries.
Why this cottage (just outside Cheadle) adopted the name, I don't know.  Maybe the owner is a Bennett fan.

They're great books of course.  Read the workhouse section by clicking here.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Truck knot

Stafford Knot on truck

As people may know, I collect sightings of the ‘Stafford Knot’- it being the symbol of Staffordshire.
This is a nice example, from a shotblasting-company whose owner clearly is proud of his/her Staffordshire roots.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Codsall tomb of bright colours

Sir Walter Wrottesley tomb, Codsall

This astonishing monument at St Nicholas Church in Codsall dates back to the seventeenth century when nearly all such grand tombs were decorated in such bright colours.  The fashion for unpainted stone came later.
Sir Walter Wrottesley is the grand lord's name.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sunny bratch

Bratch Locks

The Bratch Locks are quite a feature in Wombourne.  Not only interesting to canal enthusiasts, they often make for the starting point of various walks.
You can see why.  The toll-house tower, which you see in this photo - is a nicely fantastical talking-point.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Autumn a-coming

Autumn tree

I don't usually go much on 'pictures of oddly-shaped trees' - but this one appealed to me. I'm not sure why.
It could be that its russet colouring reminds us that autumn is almost upon us.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Penkridge's grand parish home


This very grand building, Haling Dene Centre, is the home of a parish council.  This surprised me, as most parish councils that I know can just about afford to rent out a village hall room for their monthly meetings, let alone run a rather portentous centre like this. 
What's more the parish council concerned - Penkridge - has bought the place outright (it's not on a lease) and the facilities there are used extensively by locals.  It even runs its own transport fleet!

Admittedly, Penkridge can safely be described as a large village, even a small town, but the whole set-up is still rather an impressive feat for a parish council - a body that is (essentially) the most ignored tier of local government...

Friday, 5 September 2014

Walking Alstonefield

Hills over Alstonefield

This late burst of summer has brought some glorious days that make you want to be outdoors.  Enjoying a walk on the hills over Alstonefield is a solution...

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Play Me I'm Yours

Play Me I'm Yours piano

You will never see this piano here again... 
This piano is one of over a dozen that were planted in various public sites across Stoke-on-Trent for August, but their time is up, and they have now been distributed to charities. 
The whole idea is part of one of those lovely eccentric art projects that pop up every so often to make one smile (yes, yes, I know there is a serious intent behind it, but, honestly!, it's a smile really).

The artist (conceiver?) has planted over a thousand such pianos in cities across the world.

Rich Starkie, who blogs in north Staffordshire, has already been to see nearly all of the (local!) pianos. Well done to him...