Monday, 18 December 2017

Happy New Year ... Happy Christmas !!


It seems a surreal and an unfamiliar experience to be publishing a post after a break of about 18 months. It's been a busy period due to getting married, selling two houses and moving to the countryside.

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More recently I have had to empty and return a rented garage back to the local council as I had no further use for it near where my Mother used to live. It has been a monumental task trying to downsize and although I'm not quite there yet, (1/2 a room to sort) it seems within touching distance. I was incapacitated for a while when I broke a bone in my foot and was off work for six weeks in the middle of the year.

Bridge at Sunset GJC_IMG_7401

I had planned to get a new laptop in the autumn but that still hasn't happened do to distractions of a new kitchen and annoying maintenance and repairs to brand new and old large household appliances. thought you may like to see some very local scenes. I was encouraged by a follower (Cranberry Morning) to join Instagram a while back so have been active on there to keep myself operational !! I also had to apply comment moderation to this blog a few months ago due to spam.

Riverview Bakery view GJC_IMG_0526

There is a bakery just opened up in the village and it serves a variety of savoury and sweet treats to eat inside or takeaway. Whilst waiting for a breakfast, I caught up with the weekend sports news with a sourdough bread to take home afterwards.

Cafe window GJC_IMG_0478

The view from the other side of the table on an earlier occasion looking out on the snow.

Christmas Tree GJC_IMG_6824


Hello to whoever is still following me and I thought I'd squeeze in a solitary 2017 post
and wish you all a Happy Christmas from the local village green, Hopefully I should be back at some point in early in 2018.



Thursday, 30 June 2016

Stratford upon Avon, North East Railtours


Following on from my previous North East rail tours excursion to Fort William post, I was able to follow this up with a trip to Stratford upon Avon, a place I had been wanting to photograph for many a year. From my home location a road trip was never an option so this provided the ideal opportunity to visit. The title image depicts the train arriving in Newcastle upon Tyne at the start of the day.

Shakespeare's Birthplace  GJC_008830

It is thought that William Shakespeare was born in the above house in Henley Street during 1864 and that he spent a good number of his childhood years there. Very little is known about his early life but he went on to become one of the worlds most famous playwrights, writing at least 37 plays between 1590 and 1613.
His birthplace is now a small museum which is run by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and attracts many visitors over the course of the year. The Trust have restored this 16th century half timbered house, which at the time that Shakespeare lived in it would not have been thought of as modest. It was built from local oak taken from the Forest of Arden and Blue Grey stone from Wilmcote and features the traditional wattle and daub of the time. The property had an interesting history being passed down through the family line for some years but regrettably fell into a state of disrepair until it was purchased for the sum of £3000 by the Shakespeare Birthday Committee (which became the Shakespeare Birthplace trust) in 1847.

The Jester  GJC_008699


The Jester touchstone who was in the Shakespeare play "As you Like it".
It stands on a plinth and is made of bronze with the inscription "O noble fool, a worthy fool - The fool doth think he is wise but a wise man knows himself to be a fool"

Shrieve's Yard  GJC_008799

The Shrieve's barn and house is the oldest lived in dwelling in Stratford with the first house being built on this site in 1196. During the 16th century the building was used as an Inn with the landlord becoming the influence for Shakespeare to develop the character of Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Shrieve's Barn and House  GJC_008801


It was later the residence of the first mayor of Stratford and also Edward Gibbs who was the person responsible for renovating Shakespeare's birthplace from an Inn to a museum.

The White Swan Hotel  GJC_008687

 The White Swan Hotel built in 1450 and renovated in 2012

Old Pub GJC_008741

The Garrick Inn is a timber building that dates back to the 15th century and is accompanied by a rich tapestry of stories including fatal fires, the plague and priest holes. It is still believed to be haunted and has the reputation of being the oldest pub in the city.

Old Bank  GJC_008745


The mosaic portrait of William Shakespeare is Venetian in style with the design being based on Shakespeare's monument in the city's Holy Trinity church. It was created by Antonio Salviati who famously installed venetian mosaics in more than fifty English churches.

Tudor Door and Window GJC_008750

A tudor style door and window adjacent to The Guild Chapel 

Hall's Croft  GJC_008757

Hall's Croft was owned by William Shakespeare's daughter Susanna Hall and her husband Dr John Hall (married in 1607). Interestingly the property boasts a walled garden at the rear which contains a collection of plants that may well have been used by Susanna's husband in his role as a doctor.

Hall's Croft door  GJC_008759

Nowadays the building hosts paintings and furniture from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre GJC_008764a

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre was built in 1932 and re-opened in 2010 following an extensive renovation project that it was part of costing £112.8 million. The aim throughout has been to create an authentic / traditional Shakespearean "one room" theatre experience. It seats over 1040 and stands adjacent to the site of the original theatre which opened in 1879 and was destroyed by fire in 1926.

The Canal GJC_008785

The Stratford upon Avon canal was built during the time of The Industrial revolution between 1793 and 1816 and runs for over 25 miles. The canal became unnavigable in the mid 20th century and was later used in modern times for pleasure trips and cruises.

Railway Station bridge  GJC_008836

Time to return for the train at the railway station ...  still thinking about what a canal side Shakespearian Ice Cream tastes like. It looks like he enjoyed it anyway !!



Ice Cream Barge GJC_008776
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