This Part of the site is devoted to visits/things that do not fit into the other categories.

Liverpool River of Light Firework Display - 5th November 2017


Some of my own iPhone photographs

fireworks (5 of 12)

fireworks (6 of 12)


fireworks (9 of 12)

fireworks (10 of 12)




Kew Gardens and The Hive - 26th May 2017


Click on the photograph for more.

Chelsea Flower Show - 25th May 2017


Click on the photograph for more.

Wirksworth Open Gardens - 25th June 2016


Click photo for image gallery.

Rhosygilwen and Welsh Waterfalls - 10th June 2016

I returned to Rhosygilwen to hear Roman Rabinovich play the piano and managed to squeeze in some more waterfall photography.





Cenarth Waterfall - 7th March 2016


Click photograph for more images.

Aberearon - 7th March 2016


Lots of houses in Aberearon are painted in bright colours but this one has a car to match.

Melindwr Valley - 5th March 2016


Rhosygilwen Weekend 5th to 7th March 2016


Photograph of the mansion - click picture for more photographs

Visit their website.

Littleover School Year of 1989 Reunion - 29th January 2016



This was a really enjoyable occasion and consisted of a guided tour of the school to see how things had changed and then a visit to The Hollybush for a drink and to catch up on 27 years' worth of news.

Lakeside Gallery - 26th January 2016



Exhibition of sculpture by Elisabeth Frink

College Court Hotel Leicester - 23rd January 2016


Click photograph to visit my gallery

Birmingham New Street Station - 16th January 2016


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Flatford Mill - 1st January 2016


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Dovercourt - 1st January 2016


Click the photograph to be taken to the gallery.

Fishbourne - 12th October 2015


Bosham - 12th October 2015


Sheffield Park - 11th October 2015


Fungi 2015


Milton Abbey - 20th - 23rd August 2015


Click the photograph for more images.

Burgh Island, Devon - 3rd February 2015


St Nectans Glen, Cornwall - 29th January 2015


Alvaston Park Community Christmas Celebration - 7th December 2014






Some snaps from a really successful event at which 'Sing for Your Supper' sang a medley of Christmas songs.

Visited Dunham Massey again on my way back from Salford Quays - 25th November 2014


This photograph fits in to my current theme of 'Reflections'


And so does this one.

dunham rose

Rose in Winter at Dunham Massey.

Photographs taken on a walk beside the River Deben at Waldringfield - 1st November 2014


Click the photograph for more images.

Photographing A House For Estate Agent's Details - 8th October 2014


I accompanied another photographer of a photoshoot for an estate agent and was fascinated to see the skills and processes involved. Now I have had a go at doing it myself.

Brantwood - John Ruskin's House - 25th September 2014


Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin for the last 28 years of his life, is filled with many fine paintings, beautiful furniture and his personal treasures.

Hill Top - Beatrix Potter's House - 25th September 2014


A view of the famous garden at Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's House. Peter Rabbit woz 'ere.

Blackwell - The Arts and Crafts House - 25th September 2014


Click the photograph for more images. I spent a long time looking in detail at Blackwell which is one of a number of large Arts and Crafts Style Houses in the area.

Lake District Photographs - 25th September 2014


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Barrington Court - 16th September 2014


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Reknowned for its wooden panelling, Barrintgon Court was once the home of the Lyle family, as in Tate and Lyle.

Montacute - 16th September 2014


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Built in about 1598 of local Ham Hill stone this is one of the finest examples of an Elizabethan English Country House to survive to this day.

Lytes Cary Manor - 16th September 2014


Click the photograph for more images. Visited four National Trust properties on 16th September. Lytes Cary Manor was the first.

I didn't take any photographs at Tintinhull Gardens.

River Cottage Gluten Free Cookery Course - 15th September 2014


Click the photograph for more images. A course tutored by Naomi Devlin who was excellent. She has an impressive, in depth, knowledge of nutrition and a really comfortable teaching style.

The weather was so warm we had lunch, cooked by the River Cottage chefs, in the yard.

River Cottage Web site here.

Wells Cathedral - 14th September 2014


Click the photograph for more images.


Coventry Cathedral - 30th and 31st August 2014


The Choir of St Matthew's Darley Abbey sang for the services at the cathedral. For me this was an immensely important step in my singing.

Photograph taken on a Canon Ixus750 and corrected in Photoshop

Lyveden New Bield - 17th August 2014


Spent a thoroughly enjoyable couple of hours photographing this mysterious place and listening to the fascinating audio commentary. Click the photograph for more images.

Sywell Airshow - 17th August 2014


One of the prettier loops.

Sywell Park - 17th August 2014


I had intended to go to the Sywell Airshow but the tickets were sold out and the lanes were so crowded some local people suggested that I join them in watching from Sywell Park. The swans and geese rprovided entertainment whilst we waited for aircraft to fly over.

78 Derngate Northampton - 17th August 2014


78 Derngate is a Grade II* listed Georgian house in the Cultural Quarter of Northampton, England, originally built in 1815. It is noted for its interior, which was extensively remodelled in 1916 and 1917 by noted architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh for businessman Wenman Joseph Bassett-Lowke as his first marital home. (Thanks to Wikipedia for these notes.) Click the photograph for more images.


Northampton Ballon Festival - 16th August 2014


This is the furthest the whole festival reached in terms of inflating balloons. The weather was just too windy.


My idea was that as the launch field was just behind the green shed I could achieve a sky full of balloons all reflected in the calm water. But not to be.

Tyntesfield - 8th August 2014


This was a revisit to see how things had changed since 21 August 2010. A lot has. I intended to take photographs of detailing on the building but none of them are good enough to publish.

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta - 7th August 2014


Had a fascinating evening watching people and balloons. The video clip below gives an impression of what it was like.


Portishead - 7th August 2014


Had an excellent dinner here in the Aqua Restaurant. After dinner I went for a walk around the newly developed dock area and came upon this statue.


Clevedon Court - 7th August 2014


Visited this house during the afternoon. They have a fascinating collection of Nailsea Glass. Click the photograph for more images.


Blaise Hamlet - 7th August 2014


Blaise Hamlet is a hamlet in north west Bristol, England, composed of a group of nine small cottages around a green. They were built around 1811 for retired employees of Quaker banker and philanthropist John Scandrett Harford, who owned Blaise Castle House. The hamlet was designed by John Nash, master of the Picturesque style. He had worked for Harford on other buildings. The cottages are now owned by the National Trust. They are still occupied and not open to the public, but the ensemble may be viewed from the green. All the cottages, and the sundial on the green are Grade I listed buildings. (Thanks to Wikipedia for these notes.) Click the photograph for more images.

Dyrham Park - 7th August 2014


I found the gardens more interesting than the house. Click the photograph for more images of the garden.

Midsummer Night's Dream by Derby Shakespeare Company - 3rd August 2014


Spent a very rewarding afternoon watching Midsummer Night's Dream performed by Derby Shakespeare Company. It was a colourful, lively, amusing and enjoyable performance.

Alvaston Park Summer Event - 27th July 2014


This was a very successful event. I have voluteered to photograph events at the park working with Alvaston Park Friends.

There are more photographs of the summer event here.

A visit to Lichfield Cathedral - 24th July 2014


Click the photograph for more images.

Visiting the cathedral which is such a short distance from home has been on my list for a long time. I was not disappointed.

After a really interesting and informative visit and a wander round Erasmus Darwin's House I had an excellent lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant called Ego.

A visit to The Ashby Show - 13th July 2014


Visited the Ashby Show which now seems like a natural part of country life. I like agricultrual shows, they are part of our history, they encouraged the deveopment of agriculture which placed Britain as a major force in world history.

I spent much of my time there discussing sheep and looked carefully at coloured Ryelands which seem to be changing the rural landscape.


A visit to garden in Chestnut Avenue Repton as part of The National Gardens Scheme - 6th July 2014


Click photograph for more views.

This was an amazing garden. The owner had purchased an acre of land at the back of the house to prevent a builder developing on it and had made an arboretum, a prairie garden, ponds, a vegetable patch and lots more. It was a real piece of craftsmanship.

A visit to Rectory House Garden as part of The National Gardens Scheme - 5th July 2014


I have watched this garden develop over the last ten years. I am disappointed that I have not photographed its progress. Click photograph for more.

Helene Viscountess Scarsdale has planted a wide range of really interesting and unusal trees and they have matured enormously over the ten years.


A close up of Alnus glutinosa 'imperialis', one of the more unusual trees near the pond.

A Visit to Alderley Edge and Dunham Massey - 21st June 2014


Click the photograph to visit the gallery. This visit fulfilled a couple of ambitions.

The first was to walk along Alderley Edge, a mysterious place that inspired Alan Garner to write his Weirdstone of Brisingamen trilogy. The black and white photos of the trees hint at the atmosphere of the place.

The second was to vist the stately home of Dunham Massey where currently they feature the place as it was when it was a military hospital during the First World War and have employed actors to play the parts of nurses and soldiers as they were then. It was very realistic.

Furthest From the Sea Festival - 21st June 2014

Some snaps I took that day:


Festival - a place to chill with friends.


Festival - a place to chill with friends 


May Pole Dance - May Not


Festival Brings a Touch of Summer Colour.


Mummy Loves You

Ashover Show - 14th August 2013


The Ashover Show is one of the best in the Midlands in our view because it really is a celebration of agricultural heritage. This year we were treated to racing Herdwick Sheep. Not seen that before!

Solar Panels - 8th August 2013


Because 6 The Hawthorns is on a hill facing south these should turn out to be a 'good thing'. It was certainly exciting to see the electricity meter spinning backwards for the first time!

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens - 6th August 2013


A day out in a magnificent hall and gardens. Six full time gardeners and two days a week of volunteers look after these wonderful gardens. Click photo for more.

Brodsworth Hall website.

Syon House - 31st July 2013


Click the photograph for more pictures.

A view of the conservatory at Syon House. We have wanted to visit the house for a number of years but have never fitted it in to a visit to London because it is such a long way from the centre.

This was a day visit just to the house and the garden cetnre. A day really well spent. Syon Park website. Wikipedia entry.

Ashby Show - 14th July 2013


This looked the best place to be. It was a really hot day at one of the best agricultural shows.

Lots of sheep to look at and we both bought new hats!


Barnsdale Gardens - 18th June 2013


Click photograph or here for more images


The Good Food Show and Gardeners World - 13th June 2013


An enjoyable day out being entertained by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry. Food show in the morning: gardens in the afternoon. Many thanks to A for the gift of the tickets.

Lincolnshire Decorated Churches - 30th April 2013


Click photograph or here for more images

We visited the Spalding area for the Lincolnshire Church's Flower Festival and called at the following churches: St Mary and the Holy Rood at Donnington, St Peter and St Paul Gosberton, St Mary's Pinchbeck, then we had lunch at Springfields Garden Centre, followed by All Saints Church Moulton and, we think, saving the best until last, St Mary's Church Long Sutton where the exhibition was entitled 'The New Elizabethans'.

Port Sunlight - 21st April 2013


Beryl visited here with a friend on 15th of April and enjoyed it so much we decided to go together on our way to Crosby. More photographs here.

Thornbridge Hall - 13th April 2013

hall gardens

This is a view of the gardens at Thornbridge Hall. The hall was open to the public who took part in the Friends of the Peak District various walks. Over 100 people took part in the 25 mile walk. We joined the short walk along the Monsal Trail. More photographs here.

Annual Visit To See The Lambs At Calke Park - 2nd April 2013

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  calkelambs3   calkelambs4
  calkelambs5   calkelambs6


Visit to Bridgnorth, Much Wenlock and Church Stretton - 21st March 2013


St. Mary Magdalene, designed by Thomas Telford and consecrated in 1796, is a Grade II listed building and unusual being oriented north south, to set off its position at the end of East Castle Street. The 1796 church was extended in the late 19th century when a chancel and sanctuary were added, along with Victorian pews. More photographs from our visit are here.

2020 Photographic Exhibition at Swadlincote - 19th March 2013


A Pair of Orchids


River Beds


Predator and Grouse in natural environment


Balloons, Wagtail, and Time.

We have great respect for what this project set out to do and have embraced many aspects of it. We went to see the exhibition of the prints and this is what we saw. A case of reality versus reality.

The website for the project is here.

Thriplow Daffodil Festival - 16th March 2013


An annual weekend festival which has been running for 45 years. We had an enjoyable day out with lots of varied activities. Click photo or here for more pictures.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral - 19th February 2013


What an amazing strucure. The largest cathedral in the UK and the fifth largest in the world. More details here.

For more photographs of the cathedral click here.

Photo of Jack - December 2012


Day in London - 17th November 2012

This was one of our regular days out in London. On this occasion we decided to limit our activity to three things: a photographic exhibition, lunch out and some shopping after giving the Christmas Lights a look.

The exhibition we visited was at the Natural History Museum, the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year.  This was one of the images we liked.


Copyright Robert Zoehrer - apologies for using without permission but it is widely available on the net - will remove if anybody objects.

After the exhibition we walked to the Regent Street end of Piccadilly and had lunch at The Fish Works in Swallow Street, then we strolled around Regent Street, Dover Street and Oxford Street and ended up as we usually do at the Marriott on Park Lane where we had a quiet half an hour before returning home.

Derby Zombie Walk - 3rd November 2012

I decided to join a Derby Photographic Walk which happens once a month. The subject was supposed to be 'Landscape' but when I arrived I found out that it had been changed to follow the Derby Zombie Walk. It turned out to be great fun.

This was one of my better shots of the afternoon.


Fungi Foray - 13th October 2012

This was an outdoor meeting of the Derby Natural History Society. About 20 people enjoyed a foray in Bow Wood near Cromford and found many different specimens.


This is not a successful photograph. The depth of field is too short because of the use of extension tubes on a 50mm F1.8 lens but I have included it here because I love the colour.

Baddesley Clinton - 12th October 2012

A day out with lunch at a fascinating property where although built and modified over many generations there was a consistency to the appearance which is quite unusual. Fireplaces and wood panelling had been moved from room to room and retreived from parts of the house that no longer exist but it still seemed a house of just one period.


This shows an example of the beautiful panelling.


This is the famous moat and the large window above the entrance is in the main 'showoff' room.

Felley Priory Plant Fair - 7th October 2012

We went to this plant fair last year but did not have time to look at the gardens. We made sure we looked round them this visit and really enjoyed them.


The East Midlands Food Festival at Melton Mowbray - 6th October 2012

A coach trip organised by the village community association. We went to Ludlow last year but this venue seemed to have even more stalls.


Melton Mowbray Food Festival


Shugborough Hall - 4th October 2012

We had a really enjoyable day here exploring the house and the grounds. We had lunch in the restaurant and spent some time in the farm talking with the guides and admiring the Soay, Southdown and Shropshire sheep.

Photograph of the library at Shugborough Hall. It is a delightful room of very comfortable proportions.


This is just messing to create an antique effect.


Haddon Hall - 14th September 2012

Another visit we had been promising ourselves for some time. The flower arrangements that decorate the house are beautiful. We really enjoyed our visit which was much enhanced by an excellent guide who told us a lot about the family and about Rex Whistler whose work we admired so much at Plas Newydd.


More Haddon Hall photographs here.

Round Britain Cycle Race visits Little Eaton - 10th September 2012

  Bike Race-7    Bike Race-4    Bike Race-5 

Parwich Hall Open Garden - Saturday 8th September 2012

A rare opportunity to view this beautiful private garden arranged by Friends of the Peak District.


Trip to Buckingham Palace - Wednesday 28th August 2012

We decided to spend a day in London and just do two things: take a tour of Buckingham Palace during its summer opening and have lunch out.


'Winter Barn' by Rubens one of the paintings we enjoyed most in the gallery at Buckingham Palace followed by lunch at Grosvenor Hotel in Victoria.

Plas Newydd - Sunday 19th August 2012


The view of Snowdon from the back of Plas Newydd, a National Trust property, that once belonged to the Marquess of Anglesey. It houses one of the largest collections of Rex Whislter's work and includes his 47 feet long mural.


An interesting story about Whistler is written about in this blog. More about our holiday on Anglesey here.

Ashover Show - Wednesday 8th August 2012


Proud owners.

Lunch before the show.
Day out for the whole family.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition - Monday 16th July 2012


This exhibition was on at The Grand Pavillion at Matlock Bath. Full details of the competition are at The Natural History Museum. The photographs are stunning, including the ones by people as young as 10 years.

Ashby Show - Sunday 15th July 2012

  IMG_6671    IMG_6690    IMG_6691 
  Some of Livesey Brothers Mushrooms   Does my bum look big?   Tied up and Fed up!

This is the biggest one day agricultural show in England. There was lots to see. As usual we gravitated towards the sheep and enjoyed chatting to the breeders. We also took a keen interest in the cattle and enjoyed chatting to some of those breeders too. Livesey Brothers Mushrooms whose farm is just down the road from the show site were the main sponsors of the show.

Little Eaton Carnival - Saturday 7th July 2012

  LittleEcarnival    LittleEcarnival-5    LittleEcarnival-6 
  Carnival Queen and Attendants   Disney do well   I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles

This year's Carnival was slightly curtailed by the weather. The field was not in use and so the parade stopped and disbanded outside the church. Still an opportunity to dress up and have fun with friends.

National Sheep Association Biannual Show, Three Counties Showground, Malvern.

Wednesday 4th July 2012

  2012 NSA Show-34

Our car parked with many hundreds of other 4x4s in the quagmire of a field.

A tractor was at work when we left towing other vehicles to dry land.

We have been looking forward to this day for a while and we were not disappointed. We had the opportunity to visit many sheep breed stands, to compare one breed against another, to chat to people about their sheep and to learn lots more about the animal we have come to respect so much. We also watched some collies working and a sheepdog auction. A full list of breeds we saw along with some rather hastily taken photos will appear on the sheep pages when I have had time to sort them out.

Olympic Torch Relay Reaches Derby - Friday 29th June

  torchrelay-9    torchrelay-7    torchrelay-5 
  The Torch just before the changeover   The 'cheerful' crowd   I want to join in

We enjoyed going to watch this. There was a real party atmosphere. Beryl watched it from the height of Julian's third floor office. I chose to photograph at street level which meant I missed the handover which took place outside The Georgian House Hotel where the really responsive crowd were literally 'cheerful'. They cheered the bear, cyclists, police cars....anything.

Monkey Forest Trentham Estate

Tuesday 19th June

This was a visit organised by members of Derby City Photographic Club - and many thanks to them. We spent much of the day wandering about taking photographs. It was just the right time of year to go because of the baby macaques recently born.

  Barbary Macaques-10    Barbary Macaques    Barbary Macaques-7 
  A 'Family Day Out'   Children Welcome   Picnic Site Available

We were so impressed we wrote to them at the end of the day:

Dear Monkey Forest Team,

We spent much of the day at Monkey Forest today and really enjoyed ourselves.

I wanted to say thank you and let you know that we were really impressed by the staff: ticket office, cafe, shop and guides, all were friendly and welcoming.

The guides, particularly, helped to make the day informative as well as enjoyable.  They seemed dedicated to their work which they clearly enjoyed.

So well done team........the best we can do to thank you is recommend you to everyone we know.

Thanks and best wishes.

Monkey Forest Website Here

Culland Hall Plant Fair and Breaston Open Gardens

Sunday 10th June 2012

Actaea simplex Black Negligee

We try to visit these events each year and this year they were on the same day. Plant Fairs offer an opportunity to purchase really good quality plants from specialist nurseries. We were restrained this year because the available space is nearly full. These are the plants we bought.

Dianthus Raspberry Sundae
Dianthus Mother of Pearl
Actaea simplex Black Negligee
Osteospermum jucundum var. compactum
Zaluzianskya Ovata
Primula Vialli


Zaluzianskya ovata - named after Adam Zaluziansky von Zaluzian, a 16th-century Bohemian botanist. This sweet, compact growing, fragrant plant is a frost tender perennial. Adam Zaluziansky von Zaluzian was born in Hradiszcze Mnichowo. In 1593 he became a rector of University in Prague, but after getting married one year later, he had to resign, because at those times rectors had to live in celibacy. He was the first to suggest separating medicine from botany.

The full list of plants we have added to the garden is here. We didn't really do justice to the Open Gardens but did notice how much they had changed since we last visited.

Etwall Village Well Dressing

Sunday 20th May 2012

A record of our annual pilgrimage to the well dressings, this year enlivened by some Maypole dancing.

   Etwall-5    Etwall-4    Etwall-3


   Etwall-2   Etwall 


London - The British Library and a Wander. "Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien

Saturday 19th May 2012

The prime purspose of our visit was to see the 'Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands' exhibition at The British Library. The book to accompany the exhibition is here:


The blurb said, "From William Blake to the 21st-century suburban hinterlands of J G Ballard, Writing Britain examines how the landscapes of Britain permeate great literary works. It will allow visitors to read between the lines of great works of English literature, discovering the secrets and stories surrounding the works’ creation, shedding new light on how they speak to the country today. Over 150 literary works, including many first-time loans from overseas and directly from authors: sound recordings, videos, letters, photographs, maps, song lyrics and drawings - as well as manuscripts and printed editions." It was an excellent exhibition and we spent a long time there. They used the quotation above as part of the publicity and included a section on wandering around London which is something we often do. On this day we wandered in the Fitzrovia area of the city.

   Ossington Buildings    Paddington Gardens    Fitzroy Square    Fitzroy Square
  Ossington Buildings - a back street with style.   Paddington Gardens - more information here.   Fitzroy Square   Built by Robert Adam - now offices for Arup

Fitzroy Square is one of London's finest squares and the only London square designed by Robert Adam. It is named after Charles Fitzroy, 4th Duke of Grafton, who commissioned Adam to design the houses for a new London square in the late 18th century.

Many famous artists, writers and statesmen have lived here. Houses marked by blue plaques (see the full list on the Wikipedia link to Fitzroy Square above) include those once occupied by Victorian prime minister Lord Salisbury and writers George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Woolf, who both lived at number 29 at different times. Number 6 houses the Georgian Group, a conservation organisation created to campaign for the preservation of historic buildings and planned landscapes of the 18th and early 19th centuries. Historical details of the properties can be found here.

During the last 40 years the square and garden have been restored, including the circular stone plinth and railings to the original design. The Fitzrovia Residents Association organises Opera events that take place in the gardens. For a virtual tour, coutesy of Will Peason, click here.

Newark Show

Saturday 12th May 2012

  Newark Show-17     Newark Show-7    Newark Show-12

A really enjoyable day out at an agricultural show - see the sheep page.

Fountains Abbey

Friday, 25th April 2012

   Fountains Abbey    Fountains Abbey-3    Fountains Abbey-5    Fountains Abbey-6

The guide at Rievaulx suggested that we should call in here to look at St Mary's, a William Burges church, on our way to another Burges church at Newby Hall. Although we have been here before we really enjoyed a walk round the grounds and a look at the church.

Further reading about William Burges: Arts and Crafts Home, The Victorian Web, Cecil Higgings Art Gallery. Also, see photos on the PWIP page.

Rievaulx Abbey

Friday, 25th April 2012

   Rievaulx Abbey    Rievaulx Abbey-3    Rievaulx Abbey-2    Rievaulx Abbey-4

We found this an enchanting place. We spent a few hours here, explored all of the site and listened to all of the commentary. It was striking just how careful the monks had been in their choice of site.

This link will take you to more information about the abbey.

Beamish Museum

Wednesday, 25th April 2012

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We went here on a dull and rainy day but that meant that there were not many people about and we had the chance to talk to the guides and ask questions. As we were there for much of the day we saw almost all there was to see.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Sunday, 22nd April 2012

ysp1   ysp2    ysp3    ysp4 
Jonathan Borofsky

Molecule Man 1+1+1


Barbara Hepworth

Squares with Two Circles


Joan Miró



Sophie Ryder


This is somewhere we have wanted to visit for a long time. There was too much to see in one visit so we have put it back on the list for a summer's day - should we ever have one.


26th February 2012

We had a picnic lunch beside the river with a view of the bridge, the mill and the horse, each bathed in early spring sunshine.

Lines taken from....'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester' by Rupert Brooke.

Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester!
To smell the thrilling-sweet and rotten
Unforgettable, unforgotten
River-smell, and hear the breeze
Sobbing in the little trees.
Say, do the elm-clumps greatly stand
Still guardians of that holy land?
The chestnuts shade, in reverend dream,
The yet unacademic stream?
Is dawn a secret shy and cold
Anadyomene, silver-gold?
And sunset still a golden sea
From Haslingfield to Madingley?
And after, ere the night is born,
Do hares come out about the corn?
Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain? . . . oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

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  Oh, is the water sweet and cool,   And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill?
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  Gentle and brown, above the pool?   Rupert still visiting The Vicarage


Cambridge and The Fitzwilliam Museum

9th February 2012


'Cherry Ripe' by John Everett Millais currently on loan to the Fitzwilliam.

We started our day out at The Doubletree Hotel. We know it as The Cambridge Garden House Hotel and have stayed there a number of times. What we didn't know until today was that it was the scene of riots in 1970. No riotous behaviour today, just excellent coffee, a view of the snow covered meadows and people cycling beside the River Cam. From there we went on to the Fitzwilliam Museum where they were featuring the above painting. We had lunch at Browns opposite the museum and then had a wander round the shops including a visit to the excellent Cambridge Cheese Shop before returning to the Fitzwilliam to explore some more galleries.

Ely and its Cathedral

31st January 2012



We visited Ely and enjoyed a guided tour around the cathedral. We found the history of the place fascinating.

The cathedral website has a section on its history.  One thing I found fascinating is that when they started to build the Lady Chapel, which is vast, - the biggest it could be with the shape of arches it has - the main building moved and the square tower collapsed and was replaced with an octagonal one before they continued with the lady chapel.

Quotation from the website.

People often ask why such a vast church was built in such a small town.

In fact the Cathedral came first. When it was built Ely was only a small settlement, the town grew up around the Cathedral.
The Benedictine monks only concern was to glorify God, and nothing less than a building on a majestic scale would do.

Included in the tour was a visiting exhibition of The Quaker Tapestry which we really enjoyed. After our tour we had lunch at The Lamb Hotel and then had a walk around the town. I really liked the how quiet it was and the variety of architecture.

Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum

26th January 2012

radcliffe camera

The Radcliffe Camera

We spent the day in Oxford, starting at the wonderfully refurbished Ashmolean Museum where we spent most of our time in the modern European painting galleries. From the museum we went on to tour the shopping area and look at the Radcliffe Camera, the Bodleian Library and the Sheldonian Theatre. There was not time to look at the current exhibitions. We also had a quick look at the Botanic Gardens and the Oxford Covered Market.

L.S. Lowry at the Lakeside Gallery

Thursday, 19th January 2012


This exhibition was excellent. The notes with each painting not only gave a clear explanation and background but also helped you to see how his work developed. The second room featuring mainly pencil drawings helped one to understand his true qualities as an artist rather than being judged on his most popular caricature style. I really liked the some of the paintings where he deliberately left people out.

  sea   manchester canal   derbyshire
  Seascape   Barges on a Manchester Canal   Derbyshire Landscape



Grassington Dickensian Festival

Saturday, 10th December 2011

Thinking of Chrsitmas and the 200th anniversary of Dicken's birth we thought we would try a visit to the Dickensian Festival at Grassington.  This was not an experience we would recommend or ever repeat ourselves.  The village has a resident population of 700 and there were over 10,000 visitors the day we were there.  Not for us at all.  

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National Memorial Arboretum

Monday, 14th November 2011

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We visit the National Memorial Arboretum about once a year to note the changes and always find our visit worthwhile.

Westonbirt Arboretum - Thursday, 27 October 2011

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This must be one of the best places in England to see autumn colour! We spent much of a day wandering about under an umbrella although ours was not as colourful as some.

London - Saturday, 22 October 2011

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One of our regular day trips to London. We spent part of the day wandering through Hyde Park looking at the statues. We also visited The Wellington Arch and Apsley House. We had a slow lunch in a favourite resaurant near Manchester Square. We had intentions of visiting The Wallace Collection but it had closed by the time we had finished lunch. Instead, we had a wander around and stumbled across St. James' Roman Catholic Church which must be one of the most impressive churches in London. It has a huge nave with a seating capacity of 800 and had a large number of people sitting and kneeling in its enveloping tranquility. We also visited lots of Oxford Street shops and finished our tour as we usually do with a drink at The Park Lane Marriott, this time joined by friends before setting off on the journey home at 6.30.


Fungi Forays - Early October 2011

We went on a couple of visits to Clumber Park and we also searched our local Nature Reserve on Brick Kiln Lane.

Felley Priory Plant Fair - Sunday, 2nd October
The last plant fair this season for us. Bought a couple of items; an Aster and a Lemon Verbena


Saltaire - Tuesday, 20 September 2011

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Lion made for Trafalgar Square but deemed too small and one of four bought cheaply by Salt to adorn Saltaire A four panelled door and rounded window showing higher status. A three panelled door showing more lowly status A vast improvement on previous conditions for workers.

This was a day trip and our fourth visit to the site so we now know quite a bit about it.

Ludlow Food Festival - Friday, 09 September 2011

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Suffolk Food Hall - Saturday, 20 August 2011
We were taken to visit this emporium by M&D

Grimes Graves - Friday, 19 August 2011

Museum of Steel Sulptures - Tuesday 9 August 2011

Osmaston Park Plant Fair - Sunday, 24 July 2011


Blists Hill Museum - Monday, 18 July 2011


Wroxeter - Sunday, 17 July 2011

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Alrewas Show - Saturday, 16 July

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An amazing show of horseriding gymnastics was provided by Jive Pony.

Tutbury Castle Photographers' Day - 26 June 2011

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Alrewas Open Gardens - 25 June 2011


There were twenty gardens (and several churches and pubs) open to the public so there was lots to see.

Lunchtime Concerts at Derby Cathedral - 24 June 2011

We attended the concert today given by Hannah Yip, a student of Cheetam's Music School Manchester. She was outstanding. We attended the last lunchtime concert on Friday last week after being invited by a mystery correspondent. The photograph shows the surroundings for the concert and the acoustics were really good.

Birmingham Art Gallery and the 'Back to Backs' - 23 June 2011

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A group of monks enjoying the wrought iron work of the art gallery.

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Two of the six remaining back to back houses in Birmingham now in the care of the National Trust.


Culland Hall Plant Fair and Etwall Open Gardens - 19 June 2011

We visit these events each year.


Briza Media Limouzi - a perennial quaker grass with hundreds of flat oval flowers with scale like markings. I couldn't resist it and Beryl bought an Eryngium Oliverianum. This is quite restrained for us and is a sign that we think our garden is nearly full.

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Two photographs from a beautifully kept farmer's garden we had not seen before.

Grantham to visit St Wulfram’s Church and Woolsthorpe Manor - 17 June 2011

We returned to Grantham to vist the church which we did not have time for last visit and then went on to Woolsthorpe Manor, the birthplace of Issac Newton.


'Let there be light' - and there was, even in the crypt.


A very clean, neat and tidy place. I'll bet it didn't look like that when Issac lived there.


And this is the famous tree from which the apple fell.

Jacobite Rebellion at Kedleston Hall - 11 June 2011

Went with C&H to Kedleston Hall to watch a Jacobite Rebellion featuring historical re-enactment group Lace Wars.


Fradley and Alrewas - 9 June 2011

On the way back from Boscobel and Ironbridge we stopped off at Fradley Junction and Alrewas to take photographs.

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Ironbridge - 9 June 2011

Revisited Ironbridge and took some photographs of the bridge. The last time we went there it was so cold and wet we did not spend long looking round. This time it was hot and sunny and we spent quite a long time chatting to the man who invited me into his garden to take the photographs.

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Boscobel and The Royal Oak - 9 June 2011

Visited Boscobel, The Royal Oak and White Ladies Prior and had a most enjoyable morning chatting to the guides, the gardeners and the other visitors.

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The house The barn The summer house Sheep sheltering under the Oak next
to The Royal Oak

Weston on Trent - 7 June 2011

Went to Weston on Trent to photograph the bridges along the Trent and Mersey Canal and this time we actually did..... and a few other things as well.

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Aston on Trent - 6 June 2011

Went to Aston on Trent with a view to photographing the bridges along the Trent and Mersey Canal but ended up walking around the grounds of the disused Aston Hall Hosptial. It was a mental hospital that was closed in 2004 and the site has remained unsused ever since. We have discovered that there seems to be many sad aspects to the story of its closure.

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There are more photographs here. However, because the grounds are so undisturbed they are teeming with wild life and we were lucky enough to see lots of Cinnabar Moths. The Cinnabar, a red and black mainly night-flying moth often disturbed/seen in the day, is Britain's most poisonous moth and caterpillar (to birds/predators). The numerous yellow and black caterpillars feed voraciously on ragwort from which the larvae absorb the plant's poison (and retain it to adulthood). They have been imported to Australasia for ragwort control. Many caterpillars die of starvation once the ragworts have been stripped; some turn to cannibalism; a few make it to moth-hood. The bright colours of caterpillar and moth are to warn predators that they are poisonous. We did not see any caterpillars.


Grantham House - 2nd June 2011

Spent an afternoon wandering around the house and gardens.


Summit of Snowdon - 24th May 2011

B took this photo on a day out with C.


View from the top of Snowdon.


Etwall Well Dressing - 22nd May 2011

We made our usual pilgrimage although this year we watched the dog show rather than wander round the wells.


A Visit to the Imperial War Museum - 21st May 201

This was one of our frequent day trips to London and on this occasion we chose to visit the Imperial War Museum to see the Once Upon A Wartime exhibition. We were very impressed by some parts but disappointed that there was not more about ’Goodnight Mr. Tom’. There were some interesting visual effects (see pwip pages) and some writer’s notebooks that were fascinating. On our walk back to Park Lane we noticed this rather fine house on Chesterfield Hill, once lived in by Somerset Maugham.


A Visit to Renishaw Hall plant fair - 15th May 2011

We have wanted to vist Renishaw Hall for a long time and the plant fair seemed a good excuse to go. However, it was raining and cold and so we did not stay long. Just long enough to buy a few plants. We will go back again on a sunny day midweek.

Rhodohypoxis Veneta
Ligularia Britt Marie
Hosta 'Sun and Substance'
Sambucus nigra Black Lace

A Visit to Rosliston Forestry Centre - 13th May 201

A 'Littleover Ladies Who Lunch' visit for a picnic. No photographs or notes but Beryl has suggested that we return to Rosliston Forestry Centre either to walk ar to cycle. Lots to see and photograph.

A Visit to Burrows Gardens Brailsford - 6th May 201

We had not been here before and were most impressed by not just the structure and the planting of the gardens but also the impeccable maintenance of them. We spent a very enjoyable two hours with D and M wandering about. There were lots of ideas for us to ponder on for our own new garden. These are some of the photographs I took.


More photographs here. Web site here.

Alstonfield Photographic Walk - 3rd May 201

This was another walk led by Chiz Dakin of Derby City Photographic Club. The idea was that members of the club would assist people who had signed up for the walk with Visit the Peak District Walking Festival.

These are some of the photographs we took:

Beryl took this one.


And I took these two.

More photographs here.

Breadsall Open Gardens - 1st May 2011

We support this Open Gardens feature each year to help the cricket club and because we like gardens. We did not find them as interesting this year.


Polygonum Bistorta Superbum

G&C's Garden - 29th April 2011

On the way back from Yoxall we visited some friends who have a beautiful, well established garden.

More photographs here.

Yoxall Lodge Bluebells - 29th April 2011

This was a visit to allow me to take photographs of the bluebells. On this occasion Beryl went off separately and took her own photographs of which this is one.

More photographs here.

Yoxall is a delightful place to visit with extensive woodland walks, a cafe, and picnic tables set out to make the best of views of the surrounding countryside. We really had the impression that we were sharing someone else's private land. We hope to go back again in autumn.
Details of Yoxall Lodge are here.

Padley Gorge Photographic Walk - 27th April 2011

This walk was led by Chiz Dakin of Derby City Photographic Club. The idea was that members of the club would assist people who had signed up for the walk with Visit the Peak District Walking Festival.

These are two of the photographs I took:



Southwell Minster and The Workhouse - 20th April 2011

9.52 Left home for Southwell. Hot and sunny day. Parked opposite the minster and had a walk around the inside and then the outside.


The stone carvings in the chapter house are famed as the finest of their kind anywhere. Nikolaus Pevsner wrote a book about the Leaves of Southwell


Chatted to the guide about the story of the Bramley Apple. More here.

On our way out we discovered that the Minister was being used at 3.00 to record Choral Evensong for BBC Radio 3. If we had known we would have visited during the afternoon and joined in the singing.


Took some photographs but am not very pleased with them.
11.30 Had coffee and cake in the cafe there.
12.15 Off to The Workhouse


The Workhouse Southwell

It was a humbling experience to walk around the workhouse. It would be poignant on a cold grey winter’s day but it somehow seemed even more so on such a beautiful sunny spring day - the feeling of freedom and potential in stark contrast to the dark confinement of the building and the exercise yards. Grim beginnings for Beveridge’s Cradle to Grave.

Calke Park - 5th April 2011

A visit to Calke Park to photograph the lambs.

Each year the National Trust erects a marquee to house new born lambs. It is a huge attraction to groups of school children and, it seems, to grandparents looking after grandchildren.

Jumping for Joy - it's that "Good To Be Alive" feeling.

Telling Stories


More photographs of lambs at Calke Park here .

Calke Park - 4th April 2011

A visit to Calke Park to look at the British Wildlife Photography Awards Exhibition.

British Wildlife Photography Award Winners 2010

Our favourite photograph is Water Vole by Chris O'Reilly and it is easiest to view it here.

Dimminsdale - 6th March 2011

A visit to the nature reserve to photograph the snowdrops just before they 'went over'.


London Day Trip - 30th October 2010

Arrived at Park Lane and walked down to Picadilly. Shopped in Fortnum and Masons for fennel seed and a spice new to us called Wild Sumac which had been supplied to Fortnums by Arabicafoods.  I bought it because it sounded interesting and I hoped to use it with fish but when I looked on the web the British Larder featured it, so I will make the recipe she suggests, Orange, Polenta and Wild Sumac Shortbread.
From there to The National Gallery to look at the Canaletto Exhibition which was really interesting. A fascinating aspect was that you could compare him to his contemporary rivals including Luca Carlevarijs, Michele Marieschi, Bernardo Bellotto, and Francesco Guardi. none of whom we liked as much, except possibly Bellotto, his nephew whom he trained.
Then on to the Clive Head Exhibition which was intriguing.

Cottage Delights by Clive Head.  More here.

By 2.30 it was time for food. We started in the restaurant in the Sainsbury’s wing of the gallery but having managed to obtain a table after a wait there was nothing on the menu we liked so we left and went on to Bentleys Oyster Bar in Swallow Street.  We had a superb lunch of fish and chips with a bottle of picpoul.  It looks as though this supplier may well provide authentic Picpoul.  Wine Discoveries.
By then it was nearly four o’clock, we had a wander round Waterstones and a look in Costwold Outdoors and then decided to sit in Green Park for a while to enjoy the last of the autumn sun. From there on to The Marriot at 140 Park Lane for a glass of wine and a sit down before catching the coach back to Derby at 6.30. One stop at Newport Pagnell and back to Mickleover by 9.40. Home before 10.

Smisby and Calke -  29th October 2010

We first visited The Soap Factory  as we often do and then went on to Bluebell Nursery where we collected the tree Gleditsia triacanthos 'Sunburst'  which we had ordered earlier in the year.  After that we called in at Calke Abbey to buy some Christmas cards. We were going to go for a walk and attempt to photograph the deer at this important time for them but hunger drove us home for lunch.


Kenilworth Castle -  30th September 2010


We visited the castle a couple of years ago but went again today to see the completed Privy Garden.  I was keen to note that beds of dianthus were edged with thrift which is just what I have done in parts of our garden.  The trellis fencing of green oak and chestnut looked really good and should last a very long time.

For more about the garden follow these links: The Elizabeth Files, The Garden History Society, The Institute of Groundsmanship.

More photographs here:

 The Elizabethan Garden, Kenilworth Castle 

and the Kenilworth Castle Group photos here.


Mr. Straw's House, Clumber Park, and Steetley Chapel -  21st September 2010

More here.


Ashby de la Zouch Castle  16th September 2010

My photographs here.

The Old Manor and Norbury Church 10th September 2010

We did not expect much from this visit but were rewarded by the Church of St. Mary and St. Barlok  which has some wonderful medieval stained glass. 

Norbury, Derbyshire

St Helen holding the cross, a panel in the east window of Norbury church. Dating from the 1470s

The chancel has been described as a "lantern in stone".  It took our breath away in the same manner as the sight of a cathedral might. 

More information about the house and the church here.

Tyntesfield 21st August 2010

We have looked forward to visiting this property for years and as we were on our way to Penzance with time to spare we called in and spent a very contented few hours here.  For some reason I did not take a camera but here are a few shots others have taken.  And another from Flickr.

Breaston Open Gardens 25th July 2010

Calke Abbey Food Fair 18th July 2010

National Memorial Arboretum 17th July 2010

Hardwick Hall 16th July 2010

Etwall Open Gardens 11th July 2010


We have visited these regularly over the years and it was interesting to see how they had changed and developed.

Little Eaton Carnival 3rd July 2010

This year even bigger and better and partially celebrated in the new village hall.

The Village Hall  and Carnival details are here.


National Botanic Garden of Wales 30th June 2010

We have wanted to visit this garden since it first opened ten years ago so even a short visit felt like an achievement.



Etwall Well Dressing 16th May 2010

A pleasant, sunny day out in the village, a chance to chat and stroll and eat and drink.  An 'English' pastime.

Etwall Well Dressing and Dog Show 2010


Breadsall Village Open Gardens.  2nd May 2010

A selection of gardens, some of which were very much 'work in progress' open to raise money for the local cricket club.


Italian Renaissance Drawings at The British Museum.  1st May 2010

We visited this exhibition on one of our day trips to London.  It was packed with interest and had some very useful multi media material about methodology as well as the drawings themselves.  An engrossing visit.  Here is a link to some of their multi media clips from the guide.


Culland Hall Plant Fair.  25th April 2010

Apparently this is an annual event.  I don't know how we have missed it before.  Lots of stalls and masses of perennial plants.  Well worth a visit.  Photo of the hall.

The Old Barn, Breadsall.  20th February 2010

We visited this local garden again this year and had chance to chat with the owners and look in detail at the plants and the structures.

This is the structure I failed to photograph last year.  It was built by a previous owner who was a mathematician and he built it to test the strength of a shoulder arch.  The current owners who have been there for over thirty years built the pond in front of the main arch.

The Snowdrops which are there in abundance.


More photographs here.

Chatsworth House at Christmas - 21 December 2009

We travelled to Chatsworth House via narrow lanes and the high roads and ours was almost the only vehicle about.  The whole countryside was covered in snow and the sunshine was brilliant and set low on the horizon.  When we arrived at Chatsworth it was a surprise to see the car park so full.  There were not many people in the house but the grounds were buzzing with lively atmosphere as children, on the first day of their school holidays, chased around and played snowballing.  The lights in the house were stunning.  Photos here.

Victoria and Albert Museum 14 December 2009

We were keen to have a look at the new Medieval & Renaissance Galleries at the V&A and so included a visit in our Christmas Lights trip.

The David Hockney Exhibition at The Nottingham Contemporary Galley 26 November 2009

This was one of the first exhibitions at the newly opened The Nottingham Contemporary Gallery. Much of what was included in the exhibition was not of much interest and certainly not as good as some of the work at Saltaire.  However, 'A Bigger Splash' and one or two other of the later works made the visit worthwhile.  The Gallery itself is a welcome addition to arts in the area.

Visit to the Cabinet War Rooms 31 October 2009

We have been trying to visit the Cabinet War Rooms for a long time and on this day it was all we set ourselves to do. We found it absolutely fascinating.  There were two aspects to it: the first was the actual places where all the decisions were made and the actual maps up on the walls, the rooms where they ate and slept - all more or less as they were during the war.  The second was a really modern ( full of gadgets) exhibition detailing his long and varied life.  Details are here:

Two days after we returned home BBC Two showed the film 'Into The Storm' which we thought was a brilliant portrayal of Churchill's life during that period.  The film seemed all the more realistic because much of it was shot in the very rooms we had stood in two days before.  Full details of the film are here:


Corot to Monet Exhibition 31 August 2009

Couldn't have missed this exhibition and we really enjoyed it. 

One of the most memorable paintings was ‘La Ferte’ by Richard Parkes-Bonnington, the Nottingham born artist.

We bought a print of this painting we liked it so much.

Seeing this started us enquiring about other artists from the Nottingham area which led us to Paul Sandby (1731-1809) and Dame Laura Knight.  Works by both have featured in The Nottingham Castle Gallery.

Details of the Corot to Monet exhibition can be found here.

Lots of interesting links to current Nottingham artists here.


Etwall School Sports Day 6th July 2009

Each year we visit the school sports day to support the girls.  I take lots of photographs and we smile afterwards at the facial expressions captured.  I don't like to include the photographs here because I did not seek permission to use them. 

Little Eaton Carnival 4th July 2009

This year the carnival seemed even better attended than ever.  Below are a few snaps and a brief crumbly video.  There are more photos on the Carnival Website here.

Little Eaton Carnival


Etwall Open Gardens 27th June 2009

On the 27th and 28th of June nine gardens opened to the public.  We walked round most of them but found that they were not as interesting a collection as last year.  The few photographs I took are of a newly opened garden which we found charming.  The back garden was equally small but very well planted.  There were just too many people there to make photographs of the planting possible.

Etwall Open Gardens

Repton Open Gardens 20th June 2009

During the week end of 20th and 21st June 15 gardens in Repton were open to the public.  The village hall was open and serving cream teas; there was also a book stall and an accomplished pianist playing popular songs in the background.  All of the gardens had something to delight in but the biggest surprise, which I think is what gardens should be, was the one with a narrow frontage on to the main road which hid over an acre of gardens behind saddling Repton Brook.

Our photographs are here:

Repton Open Gardens


Visit to Dolly Barn 14th June 2009

This garden was open as part of the The National Gardens Scheme.  It was fascinating and a huge tribute to the owners who have only been gardening for nine years.  We were attracted to it by an article in Derbyshire Life which can be found in the May 2009 edition here.

Our photographs are here:

Dolly Barn

Visit to Bridgnorth  22nd May 2009

We had decided to visit a country clothing store and invited Geoff and Caro to join us for the day.  The store we visited was FRS Countrywear where each of us found something we liked. I bought a jacket by Brook Taverner, some trousers by Gurteen and a shirt by Bonart.  After this we went to Bridgenorth where we had lunch in a bistro and then we went on a hunt for a handbag.

The afternoon was spent visiting Wightwick Manor and Gardens.


Etwall Well Dressing 17th May 2009

Etwall Well Dressing


The Old Barn, Breadsall.  28th February 2009

On the theme of snowdrop displays we went to visit an open garden in the next village.  The garden was obviously very well established and had some very impressive stonework structures (the best one is not photographed).  Proceeds of the opening went to the village cricket club apparently.

Snowdrops at The Old Barn


Visit to Hopton Hall 18th February 2009

We went to see the snowdrops at Hopton Hall, having wanted to look round the garden for many years.  Some of our photographs are here:

Hopton Hall

Crinkle Crankle Walls

Being able to view inside the garden was really interesting for us.  We have run/jogged past the outside for may years as part of our Carsington Reservoir circuit.  There were a number of elements which were fascinating for us but seeing the inside of the Crinkle Crankle wall was definitely one of them:


This is another Crinkle Crankle Wall in Flagshaw Lane Kirk Langley.