The Lamp Room……. A sign of the Times

The Lamp Room

The Lamp Room….

There was a time when the Lamp Room was one of the most important rooms in our large Town and Country Houses.  The heart of those houses was debatably the Kitchens, but like all the other rooms, from Bedroom the Ballroom, Lounge to Library, Nursery to Games Room…. all needed light when the days became darker.  A light switch and electricity were not an option.

So, you can understand why the Lamp Room was so important.  In this room a member of staff was responsible for cleaning the lamps, trimming the wicks, filling with oil….and the distributing them as needed in the house.

Tonight, we have a change in TIME…….  24th October the last day under British Summer Time.  Tomorrow we are back to Greenwich Meantime.

As we gain on hour overnight, as we ‘put our clocks back’ by one hour….  you could say that time, for a short while, stands still.

So, remember to change your watch and also….

Please Remember ….

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

24th October

(C) David Oakes 2020

For Better or the Worse…..

Heage-Windmill

Heage 6 Sail Windmill, Derbyshire

For better or worse, this year’s Harvest should be safely in.   The weather has been, let’s just say strange and unpredictable this year.  Reports sound as if overall it has not been anywhere near a bumper crop of cereals.

The magnificent Heage Windmill with its 6 sails is in full working order.  Lovingly restored with challenging work for volunteers and fund raisers…..  a true labour of love.

In none CV19 times it is open to the public.  Then it is worth taking a step back in history to view a Windmill, which just like the Harvest, is dependent upon the weather.  The name Heage is derived from the Ango Saxon word  Heegge  which became ‘High Edge’…. easy to understand as you stand beside the mill on top of a high hill. 🙂

Please Remember ….

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

10th October

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Bridge with Historical Links

Conway-Castle

Conwy Castle looms large over Conwy Suspension Bridge.  The bridge spans the River Conway as it heads on and into Colwyn Bay.  The famous engineer Thomas Telford was commissioned to design and built the bridge as a replacement for the Ferry river crossing.  It was completed in 1826, has a span of nearly 100 metre’s  and if I remember correctly, at an eye watering (for the time) of £50,000..  For years it carried road traffic.  Progress ensured that a Railway bridge to be constructed (to the left of the image) whilst a ‘new’ road bridge (to the right)  which was opened in 1958.

The Suspension Bridge is a listed Grade 1 structure and now in the care of the National Trust… foot traffic only.  A small fee is charged but worth it for a walk through and too history.

Please Remember ….

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

12th September

(C) David Oakes 2020

 

Silent Sunday…….. Too Many Memories

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Freddie Gilroy – Retired Miner and Soldier.

Deep in thought, or painful memories, this sculpture capture, a gentleman  recalling events that  would have scarred anyone’s life,  creating images permanently etched  within the mind.  Freddie Gilroy joined the army at the start of WW2,  but it was just before his 24th Birthday, when he was one of the first groups of soldiers to relieve Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.   It is said, that he cried and every year on his birthday he shed more tears.

This sculpture, created from steel, is the work of Ray Lonsdale from County Durham.  Freddie was also from a mining community in County Durham.  I understand they became friends and that Ray heard  Freddie recount events from his life and the terrible memories he retained.  This inspired  Ray to create what has become a fitting memorial.  It has been said by others that Freddie was ‘a normal person, leading a normal life but had to experience extraordinary events and dangers of WW2’…..   the horrors of Belsen can never be forgotten.  Harsh lasting memories and a hard mining life, Freddie Gilroy died in 2008.

This larger than life sculpture can be found on a bench, with Freddie gazing out to sea, on the Promenade at North Bay, Scarborough, Yorkshire.  It was originally only an installation for a season.  However it was taken to the hearts of locals.  One person so moved donated the funds to secure its permanent location.

As we make new memories in difficult times we must not forget the trauma experienced by others over the years……   Today it is  also important that we….

 Remember to….

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

23rd August

(C) David Oakes 2020

A Silent Signal…….

BROADWAY

Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

Is this just a ‘Folly’ or was it constructed to fulfil a vital role as a ‘Signal Tower’ or Beacon.  The Tower was built long before the invention of instant signalling devises.  So I like to think it was  built of practical reasons…but also like the fun idea of having such a dominant building erected…. just because I could!.  You can make up your own minds…. here is the back story of  the most likely of theories and its History…

It was built on the whim of Lady Coventry who persuaded her husband the 6th Earl of Coventry to pay for the design and construction…  Her home was some 20 miles away from this hill on which the tower was to be built. The hill itself had been a “Beacon Point” for signal fires for several centuries.  Lady Coventry was not sure that she would have been able to see such a beacon signal, so two famous names in Landscaping and Architecture were commissioned to construct a Tower.

Capability Brown and James Wyatt collaborated to build Broadway Tower, it was completed in 1798….. and yes, Lady Coventry could gaze upon it from her distant home. . No real surprise as the hill stands at some 1024ft and the tower itself a height of 65ft.

Over the intervening years Broadway Tower has provided a useful function apart from being purely visual and decorative.

In 1822 Sir William Phillipps installed a printing Press from which to publish his catalogues of his large book collections.

This was followed in the 1880’s as a ‘Retreat’ for two famous Artists and Designers, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones.  The Tower seemed to make a great impression upon them as they went onto to establish the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

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Today the Tower is part of a Country Park and is open for visitors to climb to the Tower and enjoy panoramic views over the Cotswolds, the Industrial Midlands, six counties and to the far-off Welsh Hills. 

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Well worth a visit but as always…..

Please Remember ….

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

20th August

(C) David Oakes 2020