Conwy Suspension Bridge

According to Wikipedia ‘The Conwy Suspension Bridge is a Grade I-listed structure and is one of the first road suspension bridges in the world. Located in the medieval town of Conwy in Conwy county boroughNorth Wales, it is now only passable on foot. The bridge is now in the care of the National Trust. It originally carried the A55(T) road from Chester to Bangor.

Built by Thomas Telford, the 99.5-metre-long (326 ft) suspension bridge[1] spans the River Conwy next to Conwy Castle, a World Heritage Site. The bridge was built in 1822–26 at a cost of £51,000 and replaced the ferry at the same point. It is in the same style as one of Telford’s other bridges, the Menai Suspension Bridge crossing the Menai Strait. The original wooden deck was replaced by an iron roadway in the late nineteenth century and it was strengthened by adding wire cables above the original iron chains in 1903. The following year a six-foot-wide (1.8 m) walkway was added for pedestrian traffic. The bridge was superseded by a new road bridge built alongside and closed on 13/12/1958 [2] when the Rt. Hon. Henry Brooke, MP performed the opening ceremony of the new bridge. [3]The suspension bridge is now only used as a footbridge and has been owned by the National Trust since 1965 who make a small charge for entry.[4]

Telford designed the bridge to match the adjacent Conwy Castle.[1] The bridge deck is suspended by four tiers of two chains each (a fifth tier was added later)[4] carried over castellated towers that have a central archway over the road with machicolation.[1] The chains are anchored on the east side of the river by a freestone and concrete plinth while those on the western side are anchored to the eastern barbican of the castle and bedrock. Part of the castle had to be demolished during construction to anchor the suspension cables.[4]

Standing on this bridge with the castle in the background is my maternal grandmother in about 1926. In the pushchair – they didn’t have buggies in those days – I imagine we have my mother and Uncle Roy. I think her companion in the second picture is the relative with whom they stayed. These were my two retouching efforts this morning.

Jackie has continued working on the stumpery, seen here in context at the corner of the Weeping Birch Bed.

From my vantage point on the Heligan Path bench I admired the planting of petunias and geraniums in this hanging basket beside the south fence.

Increasingly sleek and vociferous by the day, young Nugget is growing up convinced we are his family.

Darting around from stumps to gravel path and back, with an occasional foray into the ferns, at a speed which Usain Bolt would envy, he was ready with his observations and suggestions.

The afternoon was dull and humid, but cooler than the last two days. Jackie drove me to Waterstones in Lymington to spend a book token. We drove on to Lepe and back. The trip yielded no photographs.

This evening we dined on flavoursome fish pie; crisp cauliflower and carrots; and tender asparagus (left by Becky) and runner beans. Jackie drank Blue Moon and I drank Ian’s excellent El Zumbido Garnacha Syrah 2017.

The Reality

SINGLE IMAGES CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK THAT CAN BE REPEATED. CLICKING ON ANY OF THOSE IN A GROUP ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT

This afternoon Jackie drove me out to Calshot and back.

Waiting in the queue at the Lymington level crossing gave me the opportunity to focus on one of the hanging baskets that adorn the lampposts of the town.

One of the cattle on the moor near Beaulieu Road Station suckled quite a large calf.

Ower Farm on Calshot Road is a splendid Georgian building.

 

On Calshot beach’s shingle, along which a gentleman led a colour coordinated little girl,

and beyond which yachts enhanced the seascape;

gulls basked, preened, and squawked and saw off a couple of crows. One of the sea birds homed in on an ice cream cone and hopped onto the wooded parapet.

The photograph above of Ower Farm is how an Estate Agent’s brochure may have presented it.

In reality it is hemmed in by Fawley Power station.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s splendid lamb jalfrezi with savoury rice. Mrs Knight drank Hoegaarden, Elizabeth drank Becks Blue, and I finished the Saint-Chenian

 

 

En Route To Cornwall

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE. REPEAT IF NECESSARY.

Fence

A.P. Maintenance, in the form of Aaron and Robin, this morning, almost finished the fence they have built  between our garden and that of North Breeze.

Hanging basket

On the way through to the gate to the back drive, I enjoyed the early morning sunlight blazing through this hanging basket,

Thrush

and managed to spot a well-camouflaged dunnock before it took off from the back of a chair.

I took a trip with Aaron to Mole Country supplies to buy more timber. We always have a convivial chat on these occasions, and I am transported in time to my father’s removal van, which contained such familiar clutter and carried the similar evocative odour of petrol and tobacco.

Rose Sawfly larvae

Jackie made a great sacrifice until this afternoon. She refrained from delivering death to a cluster of rose sawfly larvae until I had managed to capture a reasonable shot of these squirming creatures busily engaged in reducing the leaves of Crême de la crême to projecting spikes.

Rose Garden entrance

Entering The Rose Garden I reflected that it bears just one example of Jackie’s signage.

Just as the sun was setting this evening, Mat, Tess, and Poppy arrived for an overnight stay en route to Cornwall.

Tess and Poppy 1Tess and Poppy 2Tess and Poppy 3

Tess lost no time in introducing her daughter to the garden.

Jackie then fed us on gammon steak, mashed potato and swede, sweet potato, roasted vegetables, carrots, runner beans, and piquant cauliflower cheese. Needless to say, this was all cooked perfection. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and Tess and I finished the merlot.

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.

Transformation

Today Jackie and I almost finished working on the boundary mentioned yesterday. She worked on planting in various parts of the area around the house, in particular the blue painted butler sinks, which she did a grand job of disguising.

My task was to continue trimming the invaders from next door. Jackie helped me to post the back to where they had come from. Boundary trimmedBoundary and sinksBy lunchtime the pruning and lopping was complete, and we had made our contribution to the cobbled fencing that separates us from the uninhabited land alongside us.

One further item has been salvaged from the skip pile and now forms part of what passes for a fence. There is an archway inside the house between the entrance hall and the sitting room. Once there was a perfectly fitting door occupying this space. When we viewed, that was in the garage. It had been replaced by a latticed door, straight at the top and therefore leaving a gap beneath the curved top of the framework. We were looking forward to putting the original back where it belonged. Unfortunately, when we took up occupation it had disappeared. I still removed the replacement door and left the archway open.

We fixed the lattice door to the metal posts that are all that remains between the gardens, now that I have removed lonicera and holly branches that were pushing our own shrubs forward and sticking through the makeshift substitute fencing placed there by our predecessors. We tied our large, but leggy, climbing rose back as best we could.

The red painted iron railing was unearthed from further up the garden. Beneath the light green pot is revealed the septic tank cover that Ian Norton has been unable to find as long as he has been pumping out the effluence.

From the photographs it will be evident that we will have to do the same with many yards of foliage.Crow in tree

tree with interesting leavesA shaggy headed crow emerged from the undergrowth looking as if it had just come through hedge backwards.

After lunch I performed some heavy pruning on our fig tree and another unidentified one with interesting leaves. This was in order to give them and the rose space to breathe now that they were not so oppressed from next door and were to receive much more light.

Jackie continued with the planting. She completely camouflaged the blue painted sinks and tidied up the corner adding a few finishing touches like the hanging basket. All that is required now is the application of fresh gravel on the raised area containing the sinks.Rose, fig, and unidentified treePatio corner

Mo and John visited this afternoon, brought a case of wine they had transported back from France, and joined us for a meal at The Jarna. We all enjoyed the company and the food and drank Cobra beer.

The Three Scrubbers

Jackie’s parents, Veronica and Donald Rivett, were great fans of the the theatre, and able amateur performers. My lady’s continuing rummage through her mother’s mementoes produced evidence of this interest that made my discovery of hidden treasures yesterday pale into insignificance.

Like many a teenager of any period, Mum Rivett kept an autograph book. Fred Astaire autograph 1933Ivor Novello autograph 1933John Gielgud & Jack Hawkins autographs 1933Lawrence Olivier autograph 1933Robert Donat autograph 1934Her battered leather-bound collection contains great names from the early 1930s when she was twelve or thirteen. Claire LuceI have not scanned the entry of Claire Luce, one of Fred Astaire’s leading ladies, because I have shown her photograph, signed for Veronica’s sister Maureen, who, when adult, also always had a fag on. Maybe the two sisters saw the two stars performing together.

Among the many talents of Don Rivett was backstage work. In the 1950s he was the lighting man at the Penge Empire. Like many such old theatres this eventually became a cinema, and then a bingo hall.

There is a fascinating pile of signed photographs of performers of greater or lesser note. Apart from that of Miss Luce these are all inscribed for Don.Boris Karloff Matthew possesses a group photograph featuring both my father in law and Boris Karloff in a crowded Penge pub.

Cardew Robinson

My own ’50s memories of Cardew Robinson are not of the theatre, but of the Beano comic, where Reg Parlett illustrated a strip called ‘Cardew the Cad’.

Paul Raymond

During our Soho years, Paul Raymond’s name was emblazoned in lights above his world famous Revue Bar. It did not close until 2004.

Henry & Emmie Behrens

Representative of the lesser known acts was ‘The World’s Smallest Man’, Henry Behrens and his wife Emmie. An interesting aspect of the inscription here is ‘& Wife’.

The majority of those signatures not written in pencil were inscribed with fountain pens.

My avid attention to these treasures was interrupted by a trip to Tesco’s to buy some more household equipment. I couldn’t get back to the computer quick enough.

Hanging basketA further hiatus was prompted by Elizabeth who came, ‘ready to roll up [her] sleeves’, for the rest of the day. She brought a magnificent hanging basket as a house-warming present.

Even the gentlest textured floor tiles can collect a considerable amount of ingrained grime that needs the attention of a scrubbing brush

ElizabethJackie scrubbingDerrick scrubbingElizabeth & Jackie scrubbingNow, when younger, keener, siblings come along and suggest a major cleaning operation, the problem that arrives with the gesture is that, when you would rather get on with your scanning, you feel obliged to join in. At least for a while. Until you can get away with making coffee and mopping the suds off the cleaned surfaces. After I’d managed to rise to my feet again and performed this task, I left the two young ladies to finish off and attended to Cardew Robinson and company.

When Jackie and I were all scrubbed out, Elizabeth started attacking woodwork, grimy and fur-coated, such as doors and wainscoting; or rancid such as floorboards in the downstairs loo. She rendered it all a pale version of its former self. She commented that the lavatory floor was reminiscent of mucking out rabbit hutches.

We all three dined at The Royal Oak just along the road. Elizabeth enjoyed sausage and mash, Jackie chose fusilli salad, and I had steak pie. My sister and I shared a bottle of Invenio South Eastern Australian shiraz 2013, and Jackie drank Stella. John was his usual attentive self.

 

I’ll ‘Ave The Fish

Buttercups

Fields of buttercups on the way through Minstead were rather less than successful in brightening up a very dull morning as I walked the Shave Wood loop.

Forest Minstead

For a few brief moments the woodland was provided with dappled sunlight which managed to penetrate both the clouds and the trees. Violas Perky violas, and unfurling cowslips and ferns penetrated the leaf layer of the forest floor. Apple blossom

Apple blossom (cropped)Was this apple blossom I saw?  If so, how did it come to be in the woods?  Had someone merely discarded a core?

Flora on fallen tree trunk

The bottom of a large fallen tree was almost obscured by the flora covering it, in a clear example of the dead trees’ contributions to the ecosystem.

This evening Jackie drove us to Sopley where we dined at The Woolpack.  The lay-byes on this now clear evening on the stretch of the A31 between Castle Malwood and Ringwood were largely occupied by huge container lorries, their drivers no doubt snug in their hotel rooms which are their cabs. They would have been preparing their evening meals, watching TV, reading, sleeping, or whatever took their fancy.

The piped music at The Woolpack, being session musicians’ performances of old favourites like ‘On the street where you live’, or ‘The last waltz’, accurately determined the client group.  That is, our contemporaries and even more senior citizens.  PansiesAn attractive hanging basket outside the window contained splendid pansies falling over themselves to peer in and people watch.  They were particularly fascinated by an elderly couple and their daughter and son-in-law.

While Dad went to get the drinks in, a prolonged and oft revisited debate took place about what Mother would have for her dinner.  The problem seemed to be that the elderly person’s desire for fish and chips was for some reason doubted, or maybe contrary to some dietary regime.  When the drinks arrived, Mother went to consult the specials board in the other bar.  ‘I’ll ‘ave the fish’, she repeated, iterated, and reiterated.  She had actually been determined on that before inspecting the other offerings.  Her daughter was equally determined she should have the steak.  Fish and chips it ultimately was.  This had the benefit of terminating the discussion.  Now, The Woolpack is famous for serving its fish and chips in newspaper.  I began to feel rather sorry for the woman who had chosen this delicacy, because, of course, it had to be stripped of its newspaper, and someone of at least my generation must have felt nostalgic for eating the traditional English takeaway in the correct wrapping, even if it was to be consumed in the restaurant.  I know I was when I last dined here and said, with no contradiction, ‘I’ll have the fish and chips’.

On this particular occasion I had steak pie followed by pear crumble, and drank Doom Bar.  Jackie enjoyed gammon steak with creme brûlée for afters, and drank Carlsberg.