Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bells, fountains and courtyards

Before I was reminded about my 3rd blogging anniversary I was telling you about some of the connections I made with Loughborough whilst I was on holiday: I know I didn't get very far, and the moment has now passed, but last week we visited Chatsworth House. I admit I was a little disappointed that I saw no more of the artefacts and the building than I did the last time I visited, which was one Christmas when the Alice in Wonderland display was on. 

I hadn't realised that Chatsworth also hosts a regular exhibition for most of the year, and this year it was called House Style. The exhibition covered five centuries of fashion focussed on events and visitors to Chatsworth. It was all quite imaginative, but I found it very dark and hard to see the displays properly, and read the associated information.


That said, we had a great time, and spent about six hours there altogether. There were a number of things that struck me on this visit: 


The last time we came there was a very poignant exhibition about WW1 in a couple of rooms on the side: in those rooms this year, to chime with the fashion exhibition, there was an opportunity for children and adults alike to try on a variety of different hats, and take photos to post on social media under the #hatsworth hook!

As we walked around I couldn't help noticing the courtyard. This reminded me so much of a recent visit I made to the Ramada Loughborough, on High Street, when I discovered the beautiful little courtyard area, which was open to the public for afternoon tea. I was so enchanted at the book launch I went to, that I took the other half there for a chillaxed drink and an attempt at doing the crossword! There was a very helpful guide at Chatsworth who told us about the annual sculpture auctions they have and he pointed out the one in the courtyard which will be leaving soon. It was a bell in a stone fountain with a hare leaping over the top!
The courtyard and fountain at Chatsworth

The courtyard at Chatsworth

The courtyard and fountain at the Ramada Loughborough

The courtyard at the Ramada Loughborough

I also spotted some lace -albeit Venetian - in one of the display cabinets, and this reminded me of Heathcoat and Boden's lace factory on what was Mill Street, and is now Market Street.



Another thing that reminded me of Loughborough was the huge fountain in the huge pond!!! Rather like the ones in Queen's Park, although ours are naturally somewhat smaller! At Chatsworth the sun was shining, and we were lucky enough to spot a rainbow around the fountain. If you see me in Queen's Park one day, just sitting staring at the sky and the fountain, you'll know I'm waiting to see a rainbow!



One of the main features of the exhibition were the costumes worn to the fancy dress ball of the century in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Guests included Col. and Mrs Arthur Paget: not our Arthur Paget, engineer, inventor and maker of hosiery, who lived with his wife Rose, their eight children and five servants, in Radmoor House! Of course, the Duchess of Devonshire attended her own ball, and she was dressed in an elaborate costume representing Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, which reminded me of the Loughborough perfume!


Radmoor House, the home of Loughborough's Arthur Paget and family


Duchess of Devonshire's Zenobia costume

Artefacts at the Old Rectory Museum

Then there was the helmet for the Derbyshire Yeomanry, which reminded me of the Leicestershire Yeomanry museum in the Carillon Tower.



And finally the conservatory, probably built by Messengers, but any large conservatory could have been built by them!

Well, that's all for today! See you next week.
  
You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Bells, fountains and courtyards. Available from: https://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/08/bells-fountains-and-courtyards.html [Accessed 13 August 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne 


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Your favourite posts!

So, I can hardly believe that the blog has been going for 3 years now! When I first started it on August 4th 2014 it was in response to a real concern that some people had a very dim view of Loughborough, and I wanted, not to change their view, but at least to tell the story of our town in a different way, through its people, its buildings, its history, and through its current day life. I hope, if you've been following me all this time, I've informed you, amused you and left you wanting to know more. If you've only just found the blog, do go and have a look at some of the older posts, accessible via the archive of posts, or the labels listed on the left-hand side. 

As is now usual at this time, I like to review the past year, and have a look and see which posts you've looked at the most. So, first these are the posts from this year with the most views - with links so you can click and go directly to the if you wish:

* 10th most popular post: From the rooftops, part 1 with 1363 views

* 9th most popular post: Loughborough in 50 shades of red with 1389 views

* 8th most popular post: Village Bands with 1429 views

* 7th most popular post: Christmas trees with 1435 views

* 6th most popular post: Loughborough, Ladybird and book illustrators with 1439 views

* 5th most popular post: Swithland Slate with 1452 views

* 4th most popular post: Cinema memories with 1473 views

* 3rd most popular post: From Loughborough to Melbourne and back again with 1501 views

* 2nd most popular post: Obelisks everywhere with 1540 views

* 1st most popular post: Bradgate Park with 1669 views


And, here are the most popular posts of all time:

* 10th most popular post Christmas trees with 1435 views

* 9th most popular post Loughborough, Ladybird and book illustrators with 1439 views

* 8th most popular post Swithland Slate with 1452 views

* 7th most popular post Red and green houses abandoned in favour of a picnic! with 1456 views

* 6th most popular post Cinema memories with 1473 views

* 5th most popular post From Loughborough to Melbourne and back again with 1501 views

* 4th most popular post Obelisks everywhere with 1540 views

* 3rd most popular post Spotlight on Ashby Road with 1620 views

* 2nd most popular post Bradgate Park with 1669 views

* 1st most popular post Ghost signs of Loughborough with 2327 views

As well as the regular (well, as regular as I can make it!) Sunday evening posts, I've also added a few pages that are fairly static. In order of popularity these are:

* 10th most popular page Photo gallery with 70 views

* 9th most popular page Exhibitions at Loughborough Local Studies Library with 146 views

* 8th most popular page Musical and creative Loughborough with 283 views

* 7th most popular page #100daysaboutloughborough with 373 views

* 6th most popular page Bibliography with 1008 views

* 5th most popular page What's on with 1009 views

* 4th most popular page Loughborough Zeppelin trail with 1049 views

* 3rd most popular page Books about Loughborough with 1142 views

* 2nd most popular page Loughborough, Luddites and lace trail with 1255 views

* 1st most popular page Loughborough sculpture, art and architecture trail with 1312 views


For the coming year, I have some plans to re-vamp the site, and add some new things, as well as pruning out some of the pages and some of the information on the pages. Hopefully, this won't put you off reading! If there's anything you ever want me to investigate, do please leave a comment below (I know, it's not as easy as it should be) alternatively send me an email at the address on the About Me page (following the instructions about substitutions!).


You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Your favourite posts. Available from: html https://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/08/your-favourite-posts.html [Accessed 6 August 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Nanpantan Reservoir

If you have read any of my previous posts, you'll know I am rather partial to water - Pillings Lock, Charnwood Water, Nanpantan Reservoir - so you'll understand how disappointed I am to have read about the closure (albeit temporary) of the latter. Such a beautiful, calm, relaxing and historic place, being peaceful, full of wildlife and plants, and the source of the first piped water supply to the town in 1870, campaigned for by the Rev'd Henry Fearon.

Apparently, there are some repairs taking place, and it's been deemed too dangerous to let the public wander around, although anglers are still able to use it to fish. It is expected to re-open at the end of 2017.

Pop over to my post on Nanpantan Reservoir to get an idea of what's there from my photos. 

Sorry, I've hijacked this post which should have been about holiday connections!! 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Loughborough holiday connections 2017 Part 1

Well, just returned from the annual summer holiday, which this year took a bit of a different turn.

A week booked into a cottage in St Ives, Cornwall, turned into only 5 full days, as we travelled across to Southampton for the graduation of the eldest son, and then spent 2 days discovering Dorset before returning home and discovering more about Derby and other local areas.

As ever, wherever I am, Loughborough is never far form my mind, and the less I look for, the more I find things that connect my holiday destinations with Loughborough. I've probably got enough to write a book, but I shall restrain myself and go with a short blog post! Some of the content here has already been covered in brief detail over on my #100wordsaboutloughborough page - do pop over and have a look! I'm about a third of the way through the initiative now, so need a bit of encouragement to keep going!

Setting off at just before 5am, we arrived in Penzance just before 11am. We parked in the large car park by the harbour and walked to Marazion and St Michaels Mount. Nothing to connect this to Loughborough, apart from walking next to the train line, passing a signal box, and spotting a train wash! However, when we came back towards the town centre, we spotted the lovely dome of the Lloyds Bank at the top of the street called Market Place. In reality, Lloyds of Penzance only takes up half of Market House, and is distinctive because of its lead covered dome with octagonal lantern. A quick bit of research reveals that this was a Grade I listed building when it was originally registered in 1950. Here's a snippet from the original listing description:
"1837. Architect Harris of Bristol. Large building of granite ashlar. 2 storeys. Crowned by lead-covered dome and octagonal lantern, the drum with alternating twin Tuscan columns and semi-circular headed windows, and entablature with heavy cornice. North and south elevations 9 windows, ground floor semi-circular heads, flat pilasters, 3 bay beneath dome pedimented. East end, tall Ionic tetrastyle facade. West end, central pedimented entrance, curved corner bays set back with giant engaged columns, entablature, raised pediment at centre with clock."
By contrast, our own Lloyds Bank, 37-38 High Street, is only locally listed. To my mind, it's a stunning building (I would say that, wouldn't I - leading a group of folk around our town the other day, I realised my focus is very much on banks and pubs!!)

Our Lloyds Bank is of red brick, and terracotta, the latter possibly by the Hathern Station Brick and Tile Co.. The parapet is decorated with elaborately sculpted fish, and an allegorical figure, holding in the left hand a money bag, and in the right a rolled up deed or bond. It is possible that the work is by A.E. King, a sculptor who was active between the years of 1899 and 1928. I've seen a picture of the figure from 2008, and all was well, but when I took a photograph in 2014, the left forearm and the money bag had been lost.  
Here's an extract from the local listing for our Lloyds:
"Bank & Offices Late C19/Early C20. Neoclassical/Baroque Revival. Red brick on stone plinth with expressed piers and stone string courses. Richly modelled stone embellishments include GF fascia, arched window heads with feature keystones , engaged pilasters, decorated panels between 1st and 2nd floor, cornice and upstanding parapet crowning rounded corner elevation. Pitched slate roof. 3 storeys. Generally, casement windows to GF, vertical sliding sash windows on 1st and 2nd floor. Only 2nd floor windows appear original." 
So, there were at least 60 years between the building of the Penzance bank and the Loughborough bank. A quick bit of research into Penzance reveals that the brick used in their buildings was probably of Dutch origin, as because they were a port, it was actually cheaper to buy brick in. Also, Cornish granite was not often used to build with. And, because it was a seaside resort, many of the buildings were stuccoed anyway, and apparently there was some lamenting the loss of this stucco in the 1970-1980s.

On the opposite side of the road to Lloyds Bank, at no.3 Market Place, there stands another Grade II listed building. This one was originally for the Devon and Cornwall Bank, and this can be seen on an engraved panel "D and CB" and "Est. 1832": this reminds me of our HSBC which has similar engraving on its two pillars, "1829" on one and "1893" on the other, indicating the date the original bank on this site (Middleton and Cradock) was built and the date the new bank was built.

Back to Penzance - the polished pink granite colonettes on the former Devon and Cornwall Bank are most likely to be Scottish, rather like those on the Fearon Fountain in Market Place, Loughborough.

Goodness me, so much to write, and only the end of day 1 of the holiday! This could go on for a week!

Lloyds Bank in Loughborough

You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Loughborough holiday connections. Available from: https://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/07/loughborough-holiday-connections-2017.html [Accessed 22 July 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne 


References:























   

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Fete on the Green

Another busy week in Loughborough and beyond! I hope you're enjoying my daily #100wordsaboutloughborough: I'm certainly enjoying writing them, although brevity has never been my strong point, so they are rather challenging!!

This week I was lucky enough to visit Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon, and part of my birthday treat was to see Titus Andronicus at the Stratford theatre. I've only been to Warwick twice before, once being so long ago I can remember nothing from that visit, and once a couple of years ago. Last time we did some of the museums, but the town museum was closed when we went, so we were pleased to pop in this year. We also managed to get to Lord Leycester Hospital, a fantastic set of Tudor buildings that used to house the Medieval Guilds: a little bit more impressive than our own former Guildhall, which is now Lowe's the furnishers on Church Gate. 

Whilst we were looking around, we spotted a chart showing various crests, and saw some of the actual crests dotted around the complex. Several of these had connections to our area - Hastings, De Lisle, Ferrers, 

The gardens were beautiful too, with flowers, hedges, herbs, and statues.

Once we'd finished in Warwick we went over to Stratford for something to eat before the start of the performance, and we had time for a quick stroll around. This weekend they have had a boat festival on the river that passes next to the theatre. They were just setting up when we were there, but it looked like it would be a great event, similar to our canal festival.

In the town, we passed a lovely art deco cinema, and a pub called the Oddfellows Arms. The branch of Oddfellows in Loughborough used to hold their meetings in the former Georgian Theatre on Sparrow Hill, but we have never had a pub named after them.








On Saturday I popped along to the Fete on the Green, next to Fearon Hall in the grounds of the Church of All Saints with Holy Trinity. What a pleasure it was to see the re-sited WW1 memorial, and the wonderful book of remembrance that is now beneath it.

Exciting too, to be able to go up into the bell tower, and see where the bellringers ring their changes. And even more exciting was to be able to go right up to the bellchamber and see the eight Taylors bells, and hear the tenor bell ring out (albeit with our fingers in our ears, as instructed).















Sunday, 25 June 2017

Loughborough in 100 words

So, I have finally finished the year-long local history course I have been doing. To say it has taken up all my waking hours - apart from going to work and eating - would not be far from the truth, although there have been moments when I have had to go and do something else: most of these other things I've blogged about at the time, so you probably know what they are.

Now, in the words of that famous pickpocket trainer, "I am assessing the situation", before deciding what to do next. I've found a few online courses that appeal: ironically, one is called "Getting started with online learning: this ... course will explain how you can study online without putting the rest of your life on hold" - how I wish I'd found that one before I committed to the local history course!!! And there are a couple of others that I started previously but never quite finished so I'd like to get on with those at some point, as well as a few other new ones which appeal.

In the meantime, I happened upon a website called the 100 days project, touted as a creative marathon that requires a person to do one creative activity for 100 days. Now, I've just written a report at work, amounting to about 22 pages, which is far too long for the purpose it was intended. I asked a colleague if she could precis it for me, down to about just two pages, because I cannot write succinctly! Thinking about this problem, I decided a good way to learn how to write more concisely would be to practise, but the opportunity to do this doesn't often present itself. I also only really want to write about Loughborough ... so, I bet you can see where this is going!!

My plan is to write 100 words about Loughborough for 100 consecutive days! No pre-planning, no preparation, no writing it in advance, but writing 100 words sometime during each day. This could be challenging, because I shall be posting each 100 words on this blog, but I'm not guaranteed to be at a pc when the 100 words come to me!! So, I must also practise my one-finger typing on my phone! And, on top of that, I still want to write something more substantial on here every Sunday too! Beginning to wonder if I'll find the time to do those online courses I mentioned above!!

Anyway, you can find my #100wordsaboutloughborough over on the end of the top bar of this blog, or if you're on a mobile device, click the three parallel lines, and all the pages should appear as clickable links. Failing that, here's a link. I actually started doing this on National Writing Day, which was on 21 June, so there are already 500 words over there for you to read!

Hope you enjoy the project, and do wish me luck - it's going to be a long 100 days!

You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Loughborough in 100 words. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/06/loughborough-in-100-words.html [Accessed 25 June 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne 





Sunday, 11 June 2017

Picnic in the Park

So sorry for not posting last week: I'm in the midst of completing a final assignment for my course, and it's taking a lot longer than I anticipated! Still, when it's all finished I'll be able to blog more authoritatively about trade in Loughborough during the 19th century!

In the meantime, this week I've been out and about in Queen's Park. I say this week, but of course I don't mean all week, only Saturday! The event taking place was Picnic in the Park, an annual event that's been going for 36 years, making this the 37th event. The focus is on music, dance, street theatre, art, and stalls featuring arts and crafts and local groups. 

As part of the festivities, last year the Loughborough Library Local Studies Volunteers set up an information camp - the Ludd Hub - in commemoration of the Luddite attacks on John Heathcoat and John Boden's lace making factory on Market Street in 1816. Alongside the stall, they also had a reading - in full costume - of Lord Byron's maiden speech to the House of Lords. Visitors were invited from Tiverton Museum - Tiverton being the place that Heathcoat moved to after the attacks - and the long, nearly 200 mile journey from Loughborough to Tiverton that Heathcoat's Loughborough workers made in 1816, was re-enacted by the "Tivertonioians", accompanied by one of the LLLSVs. I believe it took them two weeks to reach their destination!

So, this year the LLLSVs information camp focused on Lord Hastings and the Civil War - hte Hastings Hub - in and around Loughborough. Looking back at my blog posts this time last year, I see there is a Civil War connection between Loughborough and Tiverton: 

"Both towns were affected by the Civil War of 1642-1651. Royalist Tiverton Castle was under siege from Parliamentarians in 1645, and in December of that year Oliver Cromwell paid it a brief visit. On 17 March 1644 there was a minor battle at Cotes Bridge, just outside Loughborough, when Parliamentarians occupied the bridge. "

Anyway, this year's LLLSV stall told the story of the Civil War in and around Loughborough, and a brief history of the Hastings family, the Lords of the Manor. 




They also had a visiting 17th century family, complete with dining table, woollen fleeces awaiting spinning, and two strapping sons, one with a pike, the other with a musket. They had some very interesting information to impart to me on the subject of dyers, and pinfolds!



During the early part of the afternoon, I was lucky enough to be able to attend a debate between parliamentarians and royalists, and with the levellers, diggers and ranters (for a better explanation of what these groups were about pop over to the Oxford Scholarship Online webpage) presenting a completely different view. The case for the beheading of Charles I was ably put by local MP, Nicky Morgan, whilst that for the case against the beheading was engagingly presented by Dr Robert Knight of Loughborough University. The case for the levellers was put by Professor Martin Bennett of Nottingham Trent University. Following the debate, questions from the floor and the rebuttals, a vote was taken, and sadly, it was agreed that Charles I would lose his head.



This was a truly exciting day, made even better as the rain held off, and the sun tried to shine a little! Of course, as well as the buzz of the picnic and stalls, it was business as usual for Loughborough Queen's Park Bowlers:



Here are some pics of the day:






















You are welcome to quote passages from any of my posts, with appropriate credit. The correct citation for this looks as follow:

Dyer, Lynne (2017). Picnic in the Park. Available from: http://lynneaboutloughborough.blogspot.com/2017/06/picnic-in-park.html [Accessed 28 May 2017]

Take down policy:
I post no pictures that are not my own, unless I have express permission so to do. All text is my own, and not copied from any other information sources, printed or electronic, unless identified and credited as such. If you find I have posted something in contravention of these statements, or if there are photographs of you which you would prefer not to be here, please contact me at the address listed on the About Me page, and I will remove these.
Thank you for reading this blog. 


Lynne