21 September, 2008

London Open House

A weekend long architecture fest. I visited many places, the list is the Old operating theatre and herb garrett, the Kircaldy testing works, St Andrews by the Wardrobe, the City of London School, the Law Society, the Former Public Record Office, the Peckham Pioneer Health Centre, Severndroog Castle, 89 Genesta Road and the Woolwich Garrison Church. Phew!!

From Travels around London

From Travels around London

From Travels around London

From Travels around London

15 September, 2008

Ickenham, Ruislip and Eastcote.

No luck with the churches at the end of the Central Line (West Ruislip) but they were quite picture book, with an ancient farm at Ruislip.

13 September, 2008

New Lanark and the falls of Clyde

Roaming in the gloaming
On the bonny banks of Clyde

I was in New Lanark for the UK Society of Coöperative Studies conference on Robert Owen.

From richard 2008 sept

10 September, 2008

Bedford, Where the Messiah will come again?

Bedford, also known as 'somewhere in England' as that was where the BBC used to broadcast music from during the war years. Why they needed to conceal the location of their concerts is rather baffling- it would have been much better to move them around the country if bombing of classical music - very likely by German or Austrian composers - was seen as a difficulty. Bedford was also home to much of the parts of the Second World War the Government would rather have kept quiet about. However that sort of stuff is not my interest in Bedford.
From richard 2008 sept

Bedford was home to John Bunyan, the 'chief of sinners' in his words in his spiritual autobiography. His sins don't seem very sinful to us who are much more versed in wickedness than Mr Bunyan. He played games on the village green at Elstow, enjoyed dancing and rang the bells in the village church. I've indulged in a bit of tintinabulation myself. I would consider the sin was to those listening to me...
However Bunyan, after hearing a voice say "Wilt thou leave thy sins, and go to heaven, or have thy sins and go to hell?" gave up his sin and decided to live in Bedford. His preaching eventually landed him in the County Gaol as he was preaching without a licence, at a time when to dissent from the Established church was to deemed to be traitrous. Bunyan put his time to good use, making bootlaces to support his family and writing the 'Pilgrim's Progress from this world to that which is to come' a book translated into almost as many languages as the bible, and usually to be found on protestant book shelves even today.

Bedford honours Bunyan and his statue can be found near St Cuthbert's church (closed when I called). The Bunyan conventicle still meets for worship twice on Sundays.

Bedford does not really honour another religious sect that also has its home there. The last of Joanna Southcott's followers form the Panacea Society, a charity which is 'a religious organisation with a belief in the latter day prophets and the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ'.

They hold Joanna Southcott's box which must be only be opened in the presence of 24 bishops of the Church of England (the full complement at the time of Joanna Southcott) and, not surprisingly, they have been reluctant to assemble to do the honours.
The Society believes that a small piece of cloth in a glass of water may help heal all illnesses. They believe the messiah will return to Bedford.

08 September, 2008

Barrow in Furness

Barrow is an iron and shipbuilding town opened up in the 19th century by the Furness Railway. It is a bit like Middlesbrough but with fewer people.
From richard 2008 sept

From richard 2008 sept

03 September, 2008


There's a famed seaside town known as Blackpool,
That's noted for fresh air and fun.
And Mr & Mrs Ramsbottom,
Went there with young Albert their son.

Well they didn't think much to the ocean,
The waves they was piddling and small.
No shipwrecks and nobody drownded,
Fact nothing to laugh at all.

Well the waves were not piddling an small the day we went to Blackpool. The sea was pretty rough.
From richard 2008 sept
No shipwrecks though but the chips in Harry Ramsdens were rather undercooked. and the rain didn't half come down.

A tramcar ride though and I was happy!
From richard 2008 sept

02 September, 2008

Cartmel Priory and Grange over Sands

From richard 2008 sept

Grange Over Sands is like Switzerland in Morecambe Bay. Lots of chalet bungalows and an aging population give it a decorous but boring air.

Cartmel has a race course and an ancient priory, the only church where I have seen a bread shelf put to its proper use, and two loaves remaining on it.