Sunday, 13 February 2011

Worcester


Worcester is situated on the River Severn just south west of the Midlands and east of the Welsh border.

( This day was originally meant to be a day out to Warwick Castle from Bristol but my car driver decided that because of the heavy and slow traffic on the M5 motorway, Worcester was a better option as the destination seemed to be getting no nearer.)

"Short back and sides please, leave the top long"
We arrived at the riverside car park to find a sculpture demonstration ... or a horse having a haircut !!

Boat trips can be popular on the River Severn with 'The Earl' providing suitable transportation...

The Swan and The Earl !!
This historic boat built in 1926 takes the visitor to see various city sights from an alternative angle.



The Cathedral is probably the main attraction and has a variety of successive cathedral architectural styles from Norman onwards due to the building work commencing in 1084 and being completed in 1504. Most of the building work however is from the 12th and 13th centuries.


The Guildhall, built in 1721, is an ornate and interesting structure decorated with various statues including Queen Anne above the doorway and Charles I and II inside demonstrating the cities loyalty to the throne. The building was designed by Thomas White who was taught by the great man Sir Christopher Wren (St Paul's Cathedral). The interior has a mixture of panelling, paintings and an outstanding period function room upstairs. Lord Nelson and Sir Winston Churchill are also commemorated as Freeman of the city.

Coat of arms
Three black pears were added to the coat of arms to signify the time when A Pear tree was planted in honour of the visit of Queen Elizabeth I. However, another story suggests that Archers gathered under a pear tree prior to the Battle of Agincourt.

Just across the street from the Guildhall, two percussion buskers plied their trade with buckets and paint tins ( leftovers from the Guildhall gate perhaps ??!! )

Not quite so royal !


The main shopping street was enhanced by a central row of trees, various other historic buildings and a craft market. At the top of the street, the visitor is greeted by the most famous son of Worcester ...

Eddie's place !

Sir Edward Elgar (1821 -1906) was originally a Piano tuner who owned a musical instrument shop in Worcester. It is said that he learned his first music in the Cathedral (opposite the statue) and although he studied German in the hope that he could one day go to a German Music Academy, his father did not have enough money. After a short career as a clerk in a solicitors office, Elgar began his musical journey by giving music lessons and eventually becoming a solo and group performer with various instruments. He developed his compositional skills by arranging music for his own smaller band from the influential composers of his generation. The works of Elgar are world famous with the Enigma Variations, Pomp and Circumstance Marches heard regularly at the BBC Last night of the Proms.


Although Worcestershire sauce has it's roots in the 17th century, it was not until the 1840's that it became popular. It was originally an accident as the Chemists of the time sought to design a curry flavour from the Indian sub continent during the early British imperialistic rule of India. The product was so strong that it was left and forgotten about in Lea & Perrins cellar. Storage space became a problem in the factory later and the cellar was emptied. The sauce was sampled again at this point and was found to have mellowed with age and the first bottle was sold in 1838.

Historic label

"You can't seriously expect me to try that thing again after the last time"


The Greyfriars is a National Trust property built in 1480 with extra building work added in the 17th and 18th century. The building was restored and saved from demolition after World War II...



"anyone for high tea ?! "
I am reminded in a visual manner that it is time to leave the seriousness of the city behind on one hand and think about lunch on the other. Having been to Worcester once before, there was only one destination....


Elgar's, makers of the finest Lemon Cake in the world !!! .... well almost.....




After lunch it was time to do a little shopping & check out the shops who were using the historic buildings..

17th century fashion

I must remember to store the gold in the middle of the shop!


Lastly, as the day was coming to an end, this hairdresser reminded me that it was time to check out the progress of my horse head manicure !!

"Lovely, smooth and happy !

21 comments:

  1. That guy was quite talented to be able to carve such a pretty horse's head with a chain saw.
    That was very interesting about Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. I always keep a bottle on hand.
    That cakes looks delicious!

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  2. Such beauty in your photographs. They make me want to take a trip across the pond. And lemon cake...oh, my!

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  3. You made me almost miss UK, J_on_tour! The atmosphere in most of these photos is sooo British. I love them!

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  4. Thanks for popping over from Adrian's and for your kind comment. I noticed some nice framing in your shots. I really enjoyed your picturesque history lesson, especially the bit about Worcestershire sauce. I notice that younger folk simply refer to it as Lea and Perrins, I suspect because they are unsure of the pronunciation. My dad used to call it Wooshter and I must admit I often do the same myself.
    Also enjoyed the story about the pears on the coat of arms.

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  5. Once again, I love the Cathedral--so impressive. We have an artist in Wichita that is famous for his woodcarvings. When a tree died, they would cut it up high and leave a tall stump. He would then make some phenomenal sculpture from it. We had them in all of the parks for awhile, but people would destroy them or paint graffiti all over them---so sad. Looks like you had a lovely time--delicious looking lemon cake--yum!!! Mickie

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  6. Another grand tour. Amazing really that I've been to so few places. This looks another good town.

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  7. Another superb tour! Thank you:)
    I love these timbered houses, and the photo with the block of flat in the background is great.
    Have a great week ahead!
    Joo

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  8. How beautiful the cathedral!
    With all your posts we are learning a lot from
    your wonderful country.
    Thank you again for a trip through Worcester!

    Greetings,
    Monika

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  9. I fancy myself at the Elgar's eating a slice of that terrific looking lemon cake and listening to the composer Elgar's Cello Concerto. Not bad, ha?

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  10. Well, that was sure fun! Love the 'high tea' and your comment about storing all your gold. LOL
    We didn't get to Worcester, unfortunately. I need to see that cathedral. Most Americans, you know, pronounce Worcestershire with 5 syllables. :-) I like that street shot with its B&W buildings! Evidently there's a statue of Edward Elgar in the Cathedral close in Hereford also, a friend tells me...I wonder if the buskers eschewed their parents' funding of a university education to find themselves. :-)

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  11. I much enjoy your beautiful pictures and your interesting post.

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  12. Superb tour, illustrated with great images and magnificent information. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. When you come to tour England, your blog will be one of my guides. nice work

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  14. I really enjoyed this post! Let's see, my favs are always being able to take a boat ride as a scenic option! I LOVE the outdoor markets here! You just don't get that in the States. The lemon cake looks divine and "Who Knew" about Lea & Perrins! Very interesting!
    Thanks for a great tour!
    Have a fabulous day!

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  15. I particulary liked your article and your beautiful pictures dear J !
    Still a nice trip :))
    I liked the history of the sauce "Worcestershire" and the sculptor on wood !...

    Bye :))

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  16. Ciao J,
    I love the worcester sauce as I love this city that you propose to us, its architecture is extraordinary, its historic buildings beautiful, and sculpture created with a chainsaw exhilarating!
    Have a good day!

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  17. I will not try this on my horse...ha ha ...cut his hair with a chainsaw!
    ...but I would like to have a Lemon Cake , close my eyes and liste to Sir Elgar and his famous Enigma ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dsw4IhZ_uQ0 )...
    Have my best regards!

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  18. Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks, I couldn't leave the sauce out !

    Farmchick...Thanks, this is for both those who can make it here & those who prefer to save their money ! Top lemon cake.

    Traveling Hawk... Thanks, this is the ultimate British variety post.

    Pauline... Thanks for your comment, many people here just call it Worcester sauce. I have got myself thinking about a Corned Beef Hash now !

    Stacey Steimie... Thanks for your visit, i'll check out your blog.

    Mickie... Thanks, it's a shame about your local sculptures. I had to return and try the cake on this second occasion.

    Adrian... Thanks, apart from the first picture & the sauce bottles, on arrival, I had no idea how this album was going to be composed. It could be viewed by those not in the know that it is another stereotypical place. I was reasonably pleased with what I could get as I had a patient accomplice with me.

    Joo... Thanks, I didn't originally to expect houses like that here & it was only when I was editing them for this page that I noticed the block of flats. For that reason I considered leaving that one out.

    Monika... Thanks, I'm pleased you enjoyed the tour.

    DUTA... Thanks, I wish I lived nearer Elgars too.

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, I try to have some inspiration when writing photo captions without overdoing it. Hereford is a similar kind of place, called in on the way back from an overnight stop at Hay.... must invest in a digital copier sometime.

    Cimpoaca Laurentiu... Thanks for your great comment.

    Phivos Nicolaides... Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Carraol... Thanks, I appreciate it.

    pharaonx... Thanks, I'm honoured that you think so highly of my blog.

    Debbie Smith... Thanks, I think it was worth putting a bit of detail and variety in this one.

    Mahon... Thanks, not many people know about the history of Worcestershire sauce, I was surprised to read about it on the wall of the museum.

    Sciarada... Thanks, it's not everyday that you see normal shops in buildings like that.

    Wind... Thanks, I'm sure your horse would run to the far side of field. This horse kept still in the hairdressers chair though ! I checked out your Youtube link.. thanks for that.

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  19. It's a very interesting post with useful information.

    Feel Free Visit The Gallery Hair Salon - One of the best Hair Salon in worcester park with a team of hairdressers.

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