Mill Pond Reflections….


The Mill Pond, created by a weir on the Derbyshire, River Derwent, is mirror calm.  The Old Mill, at New Bridge Curbar, is no longer a working water powered Mill.  It still manages to create an image of a time and industry long gone

Something else to recall….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

12th October

(C) David Oakes 2020


Moody Monday…….


A Workhouse Dormitory….

Monday would be just another day of the ‘same again’ for those people, not too many years ago, who were confined to the Workhouse.  Bleak as it may seem it was probably better than life in poverty on the streets, and sleeping rough.  But there can be no doubting that it was a very tough regime.  Workhouses were founded on a sound humanitarian/Christian base, but soon became known as places where life was tough and unforgiving.

They were tough times,  a different tough to our current lives, still …..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

3rd August

(C) David Oakes 2020

Everything Changes……


Seahouses, Northumberland

It is many years since I first had the pleasure of discovering Seahouses.  The lasting memory is of lots of small fishing  trawlers.  They packed the harbour as the tide came in, the a frantic struggle to unload the catch onto waiting lorries.  It had to be quick as they wanted to leave the harbour before the tide dropped too low.

Seahouses is just one of many small harbours that were vital to the fishing industry along the Northumberland coast…. an industry that declined as fish stocks ran low.

It is still possible to explore the streets that surround the harbour and discover cottages, store sheds, netting yards and bits and pieces that once kept the fishing boats afloat

I have witnessed change on every visit.  The boats that fill the harbour and the men who man them, all plying for trade…..  all offering to take you out to the Farne Islands, a mecca for Bird and Nature lovers over the summer months.  Very well worth a trip.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

22nd June

(C) David Oakes 2020



On the Canal…..


Fradley Junction.

Fradley Junction and the Swan Inn on the Trent and Mersey Canal in Staffordshire.

Head north to the Potteries, then onto Manchester and Liverpool.  Head South to Nottingham and onto London.  Or turn left at this junction and head to the Industrial heartland of  Birmingham, The Black Country, Coventry.

Just one tiny part of the network of canals that criss-crossed our country before Trains,  Cars and major Roads.   It looks idyllic today but it was a hard life for those who worked these canals.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

29th May

(C) David Oakes 2020

Saturday…. and another Grand Day Out


Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland

In hope, and looking forward to being able to travel once again, I am recalling places that have proven to be great days out.   So lets head to  the Ayrshire Coast of Scotland.

Culzean Castle and its surrounding Country Park is one such location.  It is quite a ‘new’ castle.  Built on the ruins of and earlier building, the 10th Earl of Cassilis,  commissioned the Architect Robert Adam to build a Grand Country House.  Culzean Castle is the result.  It was built between 1777 & 1792.

I would describe the Castle as being double fronted.  The landward side above overlooks a beautiful formal garden with many exotics.

The seaward side overlooks the Firth of Clyde, Ailsa Craig , Isle of Arran, and beyond into the Irish Sea.  So the castle was designed to provide rooms with great sea views.


The Earl of Cassilis was Chief of the Clan Kennedy.  It was the Kennedy family that gifted Culzean Castle to the National Trust  of Scotland in 1945.  The Kennedy family attached one condition….. That an Apartment within the Castle be kept for the use of Dwight D Eisenhower in recognition of his service to the Country as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in WWII.  As President of the United States, he took advantage of the honour as a holiday venue.

Once we overcome the current difficulties it will once again become a both a grand holiday location  and the opportunity for a Grand Day Out. 

If the Ayrshire weather is kind and you linger into the evening you may well be graced with a sunset over the Isle of Arran….

 and that’s a bonus in itself

When life becomes more normal it is well worth a visit….  Till then…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

23rd May

(C) David Oakes 2020