Thoughtful Thursday…. A Touching Tribute


Ilam Cross, Derbyshire

At the crossroads in the middle of the tiny Derbyshire village of Ilam, is this rather fantastic memorial cross.  It is  intricate in design, built in the Gothic Renaissance style….  I am also told that when first constructed it also had a spring of fresh water for the benefit of travellers.

The connection of the cross, with the village is simple. The village lies within the shadow of Ilam Hall.  Owned by the Russell family and later, by marriage and name change, to the Watts-Russell family.

Mary Watts Russell was the wife of Jesse Watt-Russell and this is his tribute to his wife who died, at the age of 48, in 1840

The wording on a nearby plaque says it all

Memorial on Cross

Understandably it is often called an “Eleanor Cross”.  It is not, but the styling is so similar.

“Eleanor Crosses” of which there are 12, were built on the instruction of King Edward I.  Again it was a tribute to his wife, Queen Eleanor.  in 1290, the King and Queen were on their travels in the North East of England.  It was whilst on this ‘Procession’ that the Queen died. The body of Queen Eleanor had to be returned to London for burial in Westminster Abbey, a long journey.  Each night on the journey they paused.  King Edward decided to mark these special night halts where the coffin rested, by the erection of a series of memorial Crosses.  So between 1291 and 1295 this line of crosses were constructed, all intricately sculpture..  

Ilam Cross is very much in tune both with the style but also the poignant and lasting Memorial to a lost wife.

I am sure that there have been, and will continue to be, many personal tragedies in this strange times we live in.  

So Please Remember ….

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

29th July

(C) David Oakes 2021



Evening at Liverpool’s Waterfront

Long before the Beatles created headlines for Liverpool, the skyline of the “Graces” was a skyline recognised over the world. But as of 10am this morning, those, who so called know all about culture, i.e. UNESCO, stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage Status.

Why…. because Liverpool has done its best to develop the City, fit for the times we live in, whilst protecting its heritage. In that process it has had its history, commerce and the economy of its citizens at its heart.  Liverpool, a City that has had to undergo many dramatic changes, which at times has seen its citizens suffer hardships, yet still remain proud of its long history and their unique culture.

So what do we have to understand from this decision.  That progress is frowned upon and we should view our history  pickled in aspic in a glass jar.

Liverpudlians are a tough and philosophical breed…..  they will take this blow in their stride.  Just a shame that they have to.

Where ever you are today and whatever you  doing…

Please Remember ….

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

21st July

(C) David Oakes 2021

Wordless Wednesday…… A Favourite Place


Location:-  Warkworth Castle, Northumberland

A defensive Castle built in a crook in the River Coquet close to the Northumberland coast.  It is suspected that it is much older, but usually dated to the 12th century, built on the instruction of Prince Henry of Scotland the Earl of Northumberland.

Where ever you are today…

Please Remember ….

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

21st July

(C) David Oakes 2021




More Natural Power……


Lower Slaughter, on the banks of the Rive Eye, Gloucestershire

Yesterday I sang the praises for wind power….. but of course water has also been used for centuries to power mills.  From small village mills, as here in the Cotswold village of Lower Slaughter, to the large mills of the industrial revolution.

Obviously one needed a constant water flow, but it also needed engineering skills to channel the water into a ‘mill leat’.  This enable the force of water to be increased, sometimes stored in a mill pond, but also provided the ability to regulated flow, to match the working demands of the mill.

Today, just like yesterdays windmill they are attractions across our countryside, all reminders of our creative forefather’s.

Old or new…  please

Remember ….

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

9th July

(C) David Oakes 2021




Thoughtful Thursday….. Nothing New


Heage Windmill, Derbyshire

Wind turbines may well be the new technical wizardry to save us all from fuel starvation. Wind power though is far from new.  The Windmill above was built in 1797, but many earlier Windmills can still be found.  Mostly used, like Heage Mill, for the processing of Flour….  many others were used for pumping water, to drain areas of potential agricultural land and some were for the the grinding of bones.   A truly versatile source of power.

Heage Windmill is built high above the Lower Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, its six sails are unusual but all the better for catching the wind.  The name Heage, is the name for the small village that encompass this hill side.  The name itself means ‘High Edge’ more than likely derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Heegge’ also meaning high or lofty place.

From name to purpose…. nothing is really new.

Nor is the daily message new, but just as important….

Please Remember ….

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

8th July

(C) David Oakes 2021