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

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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).