Yesterday, after Commando’s Running School appointment we drove into town to get something from the bike shop in Cumberland Place. There was a coffee in it for me so I didn’t much mind. It was also a chance to walk through East Park and have a look at the Cenotaph.
We left the beautiful new benches and set off across the park, our heads filled with the lost and wounded soldiers of so many wars. Neither of us said much as we walked across the grass of the cricket pitches towards the distant chapel. We were too busy thinking of all those past sacrifices made so we could live in freedom. War is neither good nor glorious but, when the alternative is to sit back and let evil and injustice prevail, it becomes an unpleasant necessity. Today we would be remembering those who gave so much. Continue reading Postcards from Victoria Country Park
We’d walked from the top of Weston Lane to the bottom and the closer we got to the shore the more the wind buffeted us. We were now walking on what would once have been part of the Weston Grove Estate. Of course, the whole of Weston once belonged to the Chamberlayne family. The exact history is unclear but in 1424, Alice, the wife of Ralph Chamberlayne, inherited an estate on the east bank of the River Itchen. By the late 1700’s all the land between Itchen Ferry and Hamble belonged to William Chamberlayne, in part inherited from his father’s friend and client, Thomas Dummer.Things have changed beyond recognition since the Chamberlayne family owned this land. What was once the domain of one family is now home to thousands of people and the word Estate has a whole different meaning. Continue reading The lost estates Weston, Weston Grove
The area directly outside the south door of Highfield Church is dominated by a war memorial, dedicated in 1921 to men of the parish lost during the First World War. For such a small parish, there seem to be an awful lot of names inscribed upon it. Their loss must have been a terrible blow to the area. We stopped for a moment to read and think. No doubt, a wreath of poppies will be laid here soon to remember them, although it’s doubtful if there is anyone alive now who knew them personally. Continue reading A postcard from Highfield and a wild goose chase
We’d had an adventure in Eling and I’d given my knee a good testing, but the walking wasn’t quite over for the day. This evening I had a meeting to attend close to the town end of the Itchen Bridge. Commando needed the car for work but he offered to drop me off in Woolston on his way. The timings were a little out, meaning I’d be more than a little early, but at least I’d only have to walk across the bridge. Time to kill down by the water there is never time wasted so I didn’t much mind being early. Continue reading More than one way to cross the Itchen – a postcard from Crosshouse
On the far side of Eling Causeway we passed the modern sluices that have kept it safe since the 1940’s. These days it’s hard to imagine the tide washing away the bridge across Bartley Water, which is probably a good job or we could have been stuck in Eling for a long time. We’d successfully crossed Hampshire’s only surviving medieval toll bridge, in use since at least 1418, without having to pay a penny, now it was time to explore. Continue reading A postcard or two from Eling church
It seems like ages since I last walked along the river and, with spring bursting out all over the place, I thought a stroll along the Itchen was well overdue. There were bound to be some new flowers to see along the way, maybe even some new leaves starting on the trees. There was an F.G.O. Stuart postcard of Woodmill and I had an idea I knew exactly where the shot had been taken. Recreating it might involve a tiny bit of trespassing but it was trespassing I’d done before so I was fairly confident it wouldn’t be a problem. Continue reading A Postcard from Woodmill
The day seemed to be getting warmer and warmer and, even though I’d taken my coat off and stuffed it in my bag near the start of our walk, I was overheating. After yomping into town, running an errand and wandering all over Andrews Park taking photographs, CJ and I were in need of a coffee. We both agreed to head for Artisan Coffee in Guildhall Square. Maybe we’d even have a cake.
Today I had an errand to run. It involved a walk to the top end of town and, while I was there, I thought I’d have a wander round the parks. After my recent search for signs of spring at Millers Pond I was fairly sure they weren’t going to be exactly bursting with flowers but a walk in the parks is always a welcome thing, flowers or not. Besides, there were a few F.G.O. Stuart postcards from the area to recreate. Continue reading Postcards from Andrews Park
Meteorological spring starts tomorrow, although the vernal equinox and the real, official first day of spring is a few weeks away yet. In the spirit of positive thinking CJ and I set out for Millers Pond this morning in search of signs of spring. It might be considered jumping the gun just a tad but we had high hopes as we set off along Spring Road. Continue reading Searching for signs of spring at Millers Pond