An English Country Churchyard


After dinner yesterday evening we popped down to Barton on Sea to view the sunset.

This morning we drove around the forest.

The thatcher I spoke to at East End, where the albeit somnolent donkeys were having fun with the traffic,

replied that the project was “beginning to take shape”.

Jackie on tree seat

Our next stop was at St Mary’s Church at South Baddesley, outside which Jackie sat on a seat cut into a very large tree stump.

Ken Allen gateposts

Gateway and church

Alongside the church stretches a patch of uncultivated land accessed from an open gateway dedicated to Ken Allen 1918 – 2005.

Path from church to playground 1

From here a  path leads down


to a playground beyond a locked five-barred gate. I was unable to gain any information about Mr Allen or the leisure area that I speculated must be related to him.

It was quite refreshing to discover that the Victorian church itself was unlocked and welcoming. I found the stained glass windows particularly attractive.

Cap on pew

Hanging on the edge of a pew was a gentleman’s cloth cap. If it is yours it awaits your collection.

Primroses, English bluebells, and other wild flowers wandered, as did I, among the gravestones in this English country churchyard.

Angel gravestone sculpture

Most of the stones were quite simple, but there was one angel and child,

and the amazing resting place of Admiral of the Fleet George Rose Sartorius, GCB, Count de Penhafirme who died on 13th April 1885 in his 95th year. This was 70 years after he had served with Nelson at the battle of Trafalgar.

Admiral Sartorius's grave 2 – Version 2

What is particularly astonishing is the knowledge that the credible articulated linked anchor chain winding around the cross was carved from stone.

After lunch Jackie continued working her magic in the garden where I did a bit of clearing up and repelled some invading brambles along the back drive.

This evening we enjoyed our second serving of Mr Chatty Man Chan’s Chinese Take Away with which I finished the madiran. Jackie didn’t imbibe because she had drunk her Hoegaarden in the Rose Garden where we had a drink first.

P.S. Bruce Goodman, in his comment below, has provided a link to Ken Allen, which, incidentally explains that the playground I noticed is attached to a school. This is no doubt why the entrance would be locked during the Easter holidays.


A Swing, A Wall, And A Seat

Today, the virus is loosening its hold a little.

Jackie’s sister Shelly, glowing fresh from Florida, brought a bit of sunshine to us this morning.

This afternoon I scanned another batch of colour slides, this time from July 1972.Matthew 7.72 03Becky 7.72 02

I don’t remember where I obtained the swing I set up in the garden of our home in Amity Grove, Raynes Park. It was pretty old then, and was to remain in situ for more than thirty more years. Matthew, Becky, and many other children had much fun on it.Matthew 7.72 02

My one attempt at bricklaying was a very low, and very uneven, wall providing a divider between the small back garden and the alley between us and next door. Matthew and his friends used it as a roadway for their model cars.Beccy 7,72 (3) copy

The fully illustrated text of the only children’s book I have ever produced is featured in ‘Becky’s Book’. The wall on which Matthew is playing appears on the frontispiece of this home made work, unpublished until the aforementioned post. The seat I had placed in the apple tree on which Becky is perched, is the focus for the tale, using the seasons as an essentially optimistic device to demonstrate the ups and downs of life.

This evening we dined on pork ribs in barbecue sauce accompanied by savoury rice, and followed by syrup sponge and custard.