Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Over Hedge and Gate

Taking a break from munching on the sweet grass this cow wondered who was coming down the lane so took a look over the hedge.
Not too far away on a warm April day a farm gate was the perfect place to lean and contemplate the distant hills.
It may not be a case of anyone looking over this gate but perhaps something with a zig zag pattern slithering underneath. When the wooden gate leading onto this woodland path gently rotted away and became more difficult to open and shut it was replaced by this new one. What amused me was the installer opted to use the old notice that was attached to the old gate
Obviously he considered it had not outlived its useful life.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at O here   

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Nags Head, Bunbury
There is often a story connected to pub names and one of them for the many called 'The Nag's Head' comes to us from the time of pirates and smuggling when a lantern would be tied around the neck of a docile old horse and this 'nag' would be led slowly up and down the hilltop or highest point to signal to the ship offshore that it was safe to land its cargo and occupants. The sight of the bobbing lantern was known as the Nag's Head.

The sign's designer shows an instantly recognisable outline so here is the real thing
Welsh Pony, Woodland
in this case a hardy Fell Pony who turned to look at me as I passed but only briefly before it returned to its main purpose .
of nibbling on whatever was tasty on the woodland floor.   Its companions were further
up the hillside. It is very rocky and stony ground but the fell ponies (whose ancestors have probably roamed about on the fells and valleys since neolithic times) seem to thrive.
Their coats looked glossy after the winter.

Although the word nag usually refers to an old or inferior horse, its older usage is that of a small riding horse or pony and comes to us from the Middle English word nagge whose origin is unknown.   

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at N here

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Mehodist Chapels

Methodist Church, Broughton
As we have just celebrated Easter it may be just the time to feature Methodist Chapels, so here is the one in Broughton in Furness, Cumbria.  If  passing by on a Tuesday then
the sign welcomes anyone to pop in for Morning Coffee.  The chapel has stood here on Princes Street since 1875 and was gifted by Nathaniel Caine (1808-1877) a Liverpool industrialist and co-owner of the nearby Hodbarrow Mines who considered the religious facilities in the area inadequate. He funded a number of nonconformist chapels in the 1860s and 1870s and although he himself was a baptist his faith was such he readily funded chapel buildings for those denominations that needed them. 

The reason there was a shortage of religious building here in the second half of the 19th Century was the large influx of workers and their families to work in the booming local industries.   The chapel cost £2,500 to build and is made of the very durable Kirkby Stone, still quarried locally.

In contrast the Marshside Methodist chapel, located in one of the hamlets that makes up the village of Kirkby
Kirkby Methodist Church
Marshside Methodist Chapel
was built in 1870 but with only the slate roof tiles from the local Burlington Quarry and the building is made of sandstone is from St Bees further up the coast. It was a similar story of workers emigrating into the area, mostly here from Wales and Cornwall.  They would come from different traditions of Methodism, the Welsh tending to be Calvanist Mehodist and those from Cornwall, Primitive Methodists but I guess they would all join together in worship here.

These simple chapels contrast with the one in Harrogate, Yorkshire,  built in 1862 and
Wesley Chapel, Harrogate
a much larger and ornate example.  The heartlands of Methodism were the north of England, Cornwall and Wales, its egalitarian message contrasting with the established church which it split from.  This like the first chapel I showed in Broughton both started life as Wesleyan Methodist Chapels.  In 1932 all the strands of Methodism reunited and today are simply called the Methodist Church of Great Britain.

The archives of the Methodist Church and  the papers of the founder of the religion John Wesley are held by the John Rylands Library of Manchester University which opened its doors in 1900 and also contains Wesley's statue alongside John Wycliff, William Shakespeare, John Dalton, William Caxton, Johannes Gutenberg and Francis Bacon. The choices of statues are explained here. This cathedral of  books has a magnificent reading room -
"The John Rylands Library" by Mdbeckwith - Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons"
Year ago I was sent on a course to the Rylands Library and I can't for the life of me remember what it was about but vividly remember enjoying my meander around the library in the lunch break.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at M here