Melmerby is a small village in East Cumbria located on one of my favourite road drives in Northern England, the A686 (the same road that I used last year for the Alston blog post). Although the village is situated on a well travelled and popular road, it is a place where generally travellers omit to either get to their destination quickly or to continue the enjoyment of the roads twists and turns.
It may be surprising to know that I have passed through this village on numerous occasions stretching back to the time in my parents car when I was seven years old. Although I have never ever stopped here before, it has to be said that it has a mixture of insignificance to a 7 year old and not enough time for the Lake District Day or weekend visitor. As I was in no rush to get home, I decided to check out the most famous building in the village in a converted stone barn ... The Village Bakery.
The Village Bakery has been making bread and cakes for about 35 years and won awards for their organic produce. In more recent times, the success of the establishment has warranted the addition of a restaurant and shop opened by the organic loving Prince Charles who flew in by helicopter for the occasion. The founder & original owner of the bakery, Andrew Whitley, used a wood fired oven in favour of the poor electricity supply and locally grown organic wheat from a nearby watermill. Another local firm called Bells of Lazonby keen to join the process eventually gained a majority in the company as they wanted a bite or a slice of the organic ... Pie !! Andrew Whitley was more passionate about teaching bread making skills and began to run courses for those interested before eventually moving these training sessions to Scotland.
Although the Bakery is not seen directly from the road, the above building is, as shown in the title photograph. On looking for a place to park the car, I came across this unusual building for the first time. This was of great interest to me as an architectural piece and I had no idea what its original purpose was at the time. The details are a bit vague but it was originally a school house (1860 -1974) to the left and is thought to be converted into two houses. My research is not conclusive but I did come across two websites that suggested that Andrew moved down the road a little for the bread making courses and another that suggested the above property had a planning application in to run such a course. All very interesting but not currently topical as the building has been sold on to a private owner.
The Shepherds Inn on the other side of the road seems to be in memory, due to the painting on the pub sign, of a farmer and shepherd called Albert Bousfield Teasdale who lived and worked in the area all of his life (1880 - 1957).
|Flowers and Fosters !! ... in memory of Albert ?!|
Lastly I'm going to finish this trip,which has taken me far too long, a little distance further on with another visit to the highest cafe in England, Hartside Cafe with a few alternative shots.
It's a place where you can take a break from your journey and admire other machinery,
.... sample the delights of a no nonsense cafe as bikers and cyclists have this one marked on their list,
and it's a place where you can either get married !! .....or otherwise lose yourself in solitude !! ...
(A last look for a long time of the the view looking west to the Solway Firth, South West Scotland and the mountains of the Lake District just out of shot to the left)