Fisherton Mill Arts Centre

Fisherton Mill entrance

This morning, Jackie drove us to Salisbury where we met Frances and her friend Jenny for lunch at Fisherton Mill.

We arrived in good time. This was fortunate, because we walked the wrong way out of Central car park and took forty minutes, which was eight times what it would have taken had we gone the right way. Our problem was compounded by being directed to The Mill public house on the river Avon which flowed round the car park.

Moorhen preening

Leaving the parking area we crossed a bridge over the stream in which a moorhen preened its plumage, snaking its serpentine grey neck and burying its red and yellow beak into motley wing feathers.

Lichen on tree trunk

The banks of the river were lined with lichen-covered trees.

Fisherton Street

Our venue was located in Fisherton Street. Since we found ourselves at the wrong end of it we were able to take in a little tour.

Begonias, bidens, and lobelia

Salisbury’s municipal hanging baskets splendidly flaunt the sometimes reviled begonias.

Knight & Compy

A young woman eyeing Foxtrot Vintage Clothing window looked as if she may have just stepped out of it. I wondered if the original mart may have been owned by unknown ancestors of mine. Another passer-by seemed more interested in the gold and silver on offer next door.

Water Lane

Water Lane’s pavement runs alongside the river, which flows under Fisherton Street.

Dick Barton's sign

On a wall on the opposite side is fixed an old sign advertising Dick Barton’s.

Dick Barton was the hero of required radio listening in my ’40s and ’50s childhood. Wikipedia has this to say about him:

Dick Barton – Special Agent was a popular radio thriller serial broadcast in the BBC Light Programme between 7 October 1946 and 30 March 1951. Produced and directed by such well-known British radio broadcasters as Raymond Raikes, Neil Tuson, and Charles Lefaux, it was aired in 15-minute episodes at 6.45 (later 6.15) each weekday evening. From 11 January 1947 an additional “omnibus” edition repeated all of the week’s programmes each Saturday morning between 11.00 and 12.00. In all, 711 episodes were produced and the serial achieved a peak audience of 15 million.[1] Its end was marked by a leading article in The Times.[2]

The serial followed the adventures of ex-Commando Captain Richard Barton MC (Noel Johnson, later Duncan Carse and Gordon Davies) who, with his mates Jock Anderson (Alex McCrindle) and Snowy White (John Mann), solved all sorts of crimes, escaped from dangerous situations, and saved the nation from disaster time and again.

Mum joined Chris and me in listening during those pre-television days.

It was very good to see Frances after so many months of incapacity of one kind or another. We enjoyed wide-ranging conversation with her and Jenny over an excellent lunch.

Beef sandwich

My roast beef sandwich consisted of well filled home made bread. It was delicious.

Derrick, Jackie, & Frances

Jenny photographed Frances, Jackie, and me.

Fisherton Mill also contains galleries of top-quality artwork on two floors. Notices throughout ask us to respect the artists’ copyright and refrain from taking photographs.

Fisherton Mill alfresco dining

It seemed acceptable to photograph the alfresco dining area through an upstairs gallery window.

On our return we nipped off to Otter nurseries and bought winter pansies and chrysanthemums for planting tomorrow.

Mr Pink’s fish and chips, picked onions and gherkins constituted our evening meal with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Shepherd Neame’s Spitfire Kentish ale.


  1. There are some great photos in this post Derrick. i loved the tree trunk – doesn’t it look well worn and venerable! The hanging basket caught my eye – I’m just about to start potting mine up for our summer. The photo with you and Jackie catching each other’s eye …… just lovely. What a pair you are!!

  2. Thank goodness you went the wrong way and took us on this lovely stroll! The Knight and Company signage is most definitely an ancestor of yours, because the sign on the blue building to the right says WANTED!

  3. I have fond memories of Salisbury…walked from the station to the Cathedral; a very pretty walk. Later I visited the town; I remember lots of buskers and many vintage shops. I bought a scarf from one; it had poppies on it. Not sure if it was Knights.

  4. Is lichen a fancy (British) term for moss? And why doesn’t my homemade bread look like that? Geez, I can smell the sourdough from across the ocean. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Johnna. From Wikipedia: ‘A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colors, sizes, and forms.’ It takes a long time to grow. You also find it on old stone

      1. I looked up both lichen and moss before I commented. I wasn’t sure there was a difference between the two, but I was just having a little fun, Sir Derrick. 🙂

  5. I think I’m a lichen that tree shot! You must have been facing South as you photographed. Lichen grows lush on the North side of a trunk…you could have used that tid-bit before you got lost. But I’m glad you did, the road less traveled is always more scenic!

  6. I just listened to “Classic BBC Radio Theme ~ Dick Barton (Devil’s Galop)” on youtube. The theme song is around 2.5 minutes. Did they really play the whole thing before the show? It’s great music, I think. I wonder it I could find the shows. It would be a great thing to listen to in the car or at bedtime.

  7. Great post. The Dick barton sign and the tree truck are very effective, as is that final shot looking down on the diners. I had to look up moorhen. That was a curious action shot. 🙂

  8. What an enjoyable day! Thank you for sharing with us, Derick! Beautiful town via your lens.
    Like the smile of you, Frances, and Jackie. 🙂

  9. A favorite author of mine, Susan Howatch based a series of her Church of England novels on a place she calls Starbridge but is really loosely based on Salisbury, I think. Great to see those pictures.
    I would have made a beeline for Knight’s vintage shop!
    Love the way you and Jackie are looking at each other. Having read your account of your sometimes star crossed paths…makes me like that even more… sigh… so romantic

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