Sunday, 14 September 2014

Footnotes And Discoveries

From time to time, having shown you something of (I hope) interest, I get another take on the subject. So here are a few such:
(the links - the phrases which are printed in green - will take you back to the original posts if you click on them)


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A long time ago I showed you a picture of a busy Cambridge street and explained that there was a tunnel leading under the road so that the students of Emmanuel College could move from one part of the college to another without having their lofty cogitations interrupted, and perhaps even terminated, by an encounter with a double-decker bus. The other day I investigated and found that, though the tunnel itself is rather unattractive, the steps leading down to it make a nice picture. You might notice that to the left of the steps there is a ramp so that even bikes can be pushed along underground.


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And speaking of bikes.....



This used to be the scene at Cambridge railway station! Even more surreal than some of my "interpretations" of the cycles of that city. But now all is order and efficiency - a multi-storey park for bikes...




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From the modern and functional to the ancient and flamboyant....(I'm really excited about this one!)......



A few posts ago we were at St Andrew's Church in Chesterton. I went there to look at the medieval wall paintings...I also found the plaque to the memory of Anna Maria Vassa, the daughter of a slave....and, while poking about, I spotted and photographed the royal coat of arms seen above.

It was hidden away in the gloom at the foot of the bell-tower but I photographed it anyway as I liked its exuberance and ornamentation. Yesterday I edited the photo on the computer. Now when I say "edited" I actually mean I pushed it to the absolute limit to see how much detail I could uncover by increasing the contrast and colour of a rather dingy image.

And there it was - at the top are the letters J2 and R which indicates that it was created during the reign of King James II, which dates it very precisely to between 1685 and 1688, the period of his brief time on the throne. This means that it's not only extremely old but also as rare as hen's teeth since very few coats of arms would have been commissioned during such a short period and of course even fewer would have survived.

The royal crest has undergone many subtle changes over the centuries. if you look at the central roundel you will see that the top-left and bottom right quadrants show the triple fleur-de-lys of France; this is because England maintained that it had a claim to the French throne during this period. At the bottom there's the English rose and the Scottish thistle celebrating the recent union of the two countries.

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And finally......I said that I feared for the safety of the two model sheep which had appeared outside some Cambridge offices. They are just the kind of thing which appeals to the playful and imaginative side of the great minds which we have here at Cambridge University. The other Saturday morning I saw that the inevitable had been attempted; drunken sheep-rustlers had been at work. They hadn't quite succeeded in liberating the poor animal but they'll be back...they'll be back....

Take care.




14 comments:

  1. That little mermaid is priceless. A wonderful shot.

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  2. Ah well the sight of the bicycles is very familiar to a Dutch girl ;)). I like that huge boulder!

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  3. The bikes look far more organised now I must say! What a lucky find in the Coat of Arms and to be able to date it to a near precise point is brilliant. As for the sheep, oh dear, I'm going to worry now that the weekend has finished!!

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  4. Oh my, I'd have a hard time finding my where I left my bicycle.

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  5. Great pics John and I love the history you put into your posts. I found the boulder fascinating and enjoyed its thoughtful little mermaid on the top, interesting about the coat of arms, thought the bike park was very clever. I've seen parking lots like this for cars in big cities, double-decker style. The staircase I liked and hurrah for the sheep, I'm glad it wasn't carried off. I would like to see him in my back garden by the way :)

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  6. The girl on top of the carved boulder is sweet and the mass of bikes (eek!) is interesting, but, like you, the one that amazes is the coat of arms that you found. Do you think they know what they have?

    And, I have my original hips and knees, and a camera with a swiveling viewfinder so I can put the camera on the floor and see what I'm doing, so getting up is no problem.

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  7. Especially at this time the Coat of Arms is a real find and you have done a wonderful job editing the photo, John.

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  8. Intriguing images. I like the contrast between disorderly v orderly bike, lines up in serried ranks - not sure which one I prefer. The news about the sheep is, of course, devastating - please keep us posted... And the coat of arms is, as you say, pretty special; I wonder what happens to the current Royal Coat of Arms if our brothers and sisters north of the border vote for cessation (I can't call it independence) on Thursday?

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  9. An interesting post. I especially was impressed with the Coat of Arms, as you say, extremely old and rare.

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  10. Do you think those students read your blog which gave them the idea about the sheep?

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  11. WOW! So many bikes! I approve of the mermaid on the boulder so who cares what Mr. Randall-Page thinks. lol I hope the sheep finds its way home.

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  12. The bike photo is truly stunning

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  13. Drunken sheep rustlers ALWAYS come back, believe me I live in Australia :) What an exciting find you made there, a wee bit awesome standing looking at something so ancient oui! A multi level bike park.. well I never!

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  14. The double decker bike park takes the cake! In America we have cow tipping in the countryside. I see here in England you have sheep tipping in the city. Hmmm....

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