Thursday 24 May 2012

Upcycling at Brampton Halt

Carole has been working with a small group of Year 3 children in Bedford, on a special project, working from images taken along the Brampton Valley Way, they have been designing and making scarves, using up-cycled fabrics.

Carole decided to spend a day at Brampton Halt

measuring out backing fabrics

pinning, placing and

sewing in a railway carriage

Some of the scarves - 

work in progress

View from the window

Carole also took the opportunity to photograph

a series of calico duffle bags

the fronts have been reworked

with some of the tea towel textiles

from the Invisible Threads Collection

Tea Towel Installation at Sudborough Green Lodge Cottages in March 2010

The bags and a selection of the printed Tea Towels will soon be available at Longdogs Bazaar on Etsy and part of the proceeds will be added to our future projects fund.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Congratulations David Harrison!

Congratulations to David Harrison (you can see him in action wearing yellow in the Arthingworth posting) who entered the image below into a Northampton Camera Club Competition

"Post Box" - Highly Commended in Heat 3

Original photograph taken during the Lamport walk

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Towards Arthingworth and Back

Our walk started at the Kelmarsh car park and we were all curious about the almost lunar base structures in the area next to it - it was the former railway access to the Kelmarsh depot " a 1960 map that indicates "Air Ministry Petrol Storage Depot" with 3 sidings immediately to the east of the station, and another siding to the north-east of the railway line.". Andrew (ex-RAF) spotted an A Frame and bomb winch which looked strangely like a child's swing!

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Arthingworth like this:
"ARTHINGWORTH, a parish in the district of Market-Harborough, and county of Northampton; on an affluent of the river Nen, 1¾ mile NW of Kelmarsh r. station, and 5 S by E of Market-Harborough. Post Town, Kelmarsh under Northampton. Acres, 2,030. Real property, £3,056. Pop., 275. Houses, 53. The property is divided among a few. Arthingworth Hall is the seat of the family of Rokeby. The parish is a meet for the Pytchley hounds. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Petersborough. Value, £323. Patron, the Rev. H. R. Rokeby. Charities, £39."
from A Vision of Britain Through Time

It wasn't the most photogenic of days, the grey cloud cover hardly lifted but it was mild and thankfully we were spared the rain.

It was a slow walk, as people stopped singlely 

or in small groups to look at small details,

Photo by Meriel White
listen to bird song and catch up on life events.

Map showing site of Kelmarsh Station 

The cows and the farm buildings reminded Carole of Kathleen Hale's book Orlando Buys a Farm

Industry imitates nature

Our walk into Arthingworth took us past what looked like an agricultural machine graveyard, still and rusting equipment being overtaken by grasses and weeds.

Sort of Sci-Fi!

Taking a moment to consult the OS map

as a cyclist and dog spin past the rapeseed field

"Arthingworth in 1908 - Arthingworth lies 5 miles to the south of Market Harborough. This image is a copy photograph of a postcard produced by Northampton photographer A. Addington. The village is very compact, with all the houses clustered around the church of St. Andrew. Arthingworth is first recorded in the Doomsday Book as Arniworde meaning enclosure of Earnes people."

Some more Arthingworth history can be found here

Cottage garden

I spy lovely glass!

Hold still!

"No one knows precisely how old our village church is, but it seems certain part of the present building was standing here in the 12th century.

The south chapel and aisle were probably added in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The tower is of the 15th century.

The whole church was extensively renovated in Victorian times. The roof of the chancel is a particularly good example of a Victorian reproduction of medieval work, although owing to lack of sufficient funds at the time it was never painted as the architect had envisaged.

A sixth bell was installed for the Millennium, and now bellringers come to Arthingworth to ring a a full peal. The funding for this was grant-aided and additional money raised by public subscription and private donations.

We welcome you to our church and, in a building hallowed by over 700 years of Christian worship, invite you to meditate on St. Andrew - the fisherman who became the 'fisher of men' - for Christ."

(text taken from Notice inside church)

On our walk out of the village we were passed by this tractor load of village revellers - early Jubilee celebrations, birthday party - we couldn't be sure but they seemed to be having a good time! 

Heading back towards the Bridge

 near the site of Kelmarsh station

It was a good walk and a lovely afternoon - really it didn't matter too much about the weather - more light and blue skies would have been wonderful, but the great thing is this walk, this countryside is there for us to explore any time the fancy takes us!

You can see more images by the walkers here

Monday 21 May 2012

May Book Talk

Opinions were divided about The Pleasure of English Food - Alan Davidson - Meriel felt it was more of a list of foods rather than an engaging bedtime read (like many, she loves a good book to unwind with at the end of busy day). As a vegetarian, the meat heavy cuisine was hard to read about, however she did enjoy finding out more about some of the pioneers of food writing ie Mrs Beeton, who she knew very little about other than having heard her name.

To complement the contents of the book, our picnic contained a tiny taste of some traditional treats like pork pie, eccles cake, treacle tart, apricot frangipani, Bakewell tart, apples, sponge cake and salad.

Meriel thought Some Country Houses and Their Owners - James Lees-Milne was a far more interesting bedtime read as the book is based on the gossipy yet engaging diaries of James Lees-Milne who described his encounters with the owners of country houses just as their world of privilege and entitlement seemed to be ending forever. The book gives an insiders view of eccentric lords, oil millionaires and raffish socialists, all made as Lees-Milne travelled over England saving properties for the National Trust. It also describes the damage and rough treatment such houses received at the hands of  soldiers billeted in them during the war and how painful it was for people to contemplate losing their ancestral homes. Many buildings were lost after the war as owners could no longer afford their upkeep. It shows the National Trust and James lees-Milnne's attempts to persuade people to give their properties over to the care of the Trust instead of letting them fall into ruin and decay. 

Monday 14 May 2012

Country Churches Reprise

On a recent trip to Derbyshire Carole Miles and Andrew Rushton had the pleasure of exploring St Oswald Church in Ashbourne and only after their return to Northamptonshire did they realise that it was one of the churches recommended by Simon Jenkins in Country Churches, one of April's book choices. The building is imposing and rather disturbing from the outside, features like the clock are set to one side rather than centrally, life and death press for your attention from the moment you enter the gates. Elegant headstones rest amongst a sea of waving bluebells, buttercups, daffodils and long grasses. Jenkins says that it was a church for "the clergy and the gentry" and George Elliot said it was 'the finest mere parish church in the kingdom'. Jenkins goes on to say that "The interior is as eccentric as the exterior. No corner is without interest" and he is absolutely right, decorated ceramic tiles, tombs, painted ceilings, stained glass and green men jostle for attention and the interior offers a clearer view of the pink limestone. It is easy to loose yourself in the space and the detail and very well worth a visit.