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
Several months ago I saw a photograph of Francis Godolphin Osbourne Stuart’s grave on a Facebook local history page and discovered it was hidden somewhere in the Old Cemetery. This little bit of knowledge set off a search that would take up my Saturday mornings for the whole of the summer. The Old Cemetery is huge and maze like. This summer it was also very overgrown. With no idea of where the grave was it was never going to be easy but a walk in the Old Cemetery is never a hardship. Continue reading Gravehunting, a photographer’s story
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
It was time to leave the little secret garden and head back towards the car park. As it was still a little early for Commando to be back from his Half Marathon run I figured I had time to get a coffee in Costa on the way and maybe dry out my damp old bones. As I hadn’t had breakfast before we left home and the milky hot chocolate I’d had at six thirty seemed a long way off, I might even treat myself to a croissant too. Thinking about it made my tummy rumble. Continue reading Postcards from Winchester Cathedral
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
The very first picture postcard was posted in Fulham, London to the writer Theodore Hooke in 1840. It’s thought he hand painted the picture of postal workers and posted it to himself as a practical joke on the postal service. In 2002 the card sold for £31,750, making it a very expensive post card indeed. The first commercially printed postcards were lithograph prints produced in France by Léon Besnardeau in 1870. Over the next ten years sending postcards with pictures of holiday destinations became popular and so began the golden age of the picture postcard. Of course those days are long gone and Facebook posts have largely taken the place of sending postcards. Continue reading Postcards from Southampton
With a little getting lost we wound our way through Lower Manhattan past shops bursting with Halloween pumpkins the like of which we never see at home. We were heading for the next item on our must see itinerary, a place that had played a part in both our lives although neither of us had ever been there. Back in 2001, the World Trade Centre was nothing more than two tall office towers in Manhattan. On September 11, that changed and the world and our lives changed with it. Continue reading Two towers, a sphere, a memorial and a cruise
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