Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Out And About

Up On The Roof With Mr Pepper


Some rather battered cottages opposite Trumpington Church are having a bit of a face-lift at the moment, most obviously they're getting a new thatched roof courtesy of Peppers The Thatchers. When I took the photo the roof was looking a bit "Boris Johnson", though when I zipped past in a car yesterday I glimpsed that it's now very smartly trimmed and styled.


Wheel Change


A few months back I discovered these odd artefacts stacked behind my local church. Meldreth has a famous peal of bells and bell-ringers travel from other parts of the country just to ring them, but every so often they need to be refurbished. Those wheels are what the bell ropes are attached to to enable the bells to be swung. The work has now been completed and according to my bell-ringing correspondent they are now much easier to ring. One day I'll get around to recording their wonderful sound for you.


The Karnser


Having recently been reading Robert MacFarlane's book Landmarks, which is about old words used to describe landscape features and their loss in the modern age, perhaps it's appropriate to record that this street in Stowmarket preserves the name for "causeway" which in various parts of East Anglia is usually "caunsey" or "cansey". "Karnser" may well have been a local variation, the raised section of path seems to reinforce this idea. 


The Gate Of Honour
 

Gonville And Caius College is one of those rare establishments that was founded twice; originally by Edmund Gonville in 1348 and then again in 1557, when it had run out of money,  by John Caius. Dr Caius was physician to Edward VI, Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth but was dismissed from his post for being, confusingly, a Roman Catholic and an atheist. He had very strict rules about who could study at the college, banning those with any kind of sickness or disability and also Welshmen. All the above is the kind of interesting but rather pointless information you learn if you become addicted to certain search engines!

More to the point Dr Caius (pronounced Keys, incidentally) built  three gates in the college. One enters as a new student through the Gate Of Humility. In the centre of the college stands the Gate Of Virtue, which students have to pass through regularly. The Gate Of Honour however leads to the University's Senate House and is only used when students go to collect their degrees at the end of their studies. You will see that the Gate is grand in design but extremely small in scale, indicating how difficult Honour is to attain

There is a fourth Gate in the college which leads to some toilets and is known by students as the Gate Of Necessity.


 A Note To All Romantics



For all those drooling over the traditional Romany caravans that I showed you at Stowmarket's Museum Of East Anglian Life or those who dream of living a carefree gypsy life on the roads, I should point out that many Romany people used to live in tents like the one above. They called these tents "benders", not apparently because of the bent wood supports but because you had to bend to get in!

The Superhero Is Honoured
 

Nah! Not really. Just some wag has been defacing the sign for Bateman Street. Again.



Take care.


 

17 comments:

  1. Benders are still quite popular among the New Travellers and some of them are a bit more refined than what you have displayed. The Hazel ribs are closer together about 18 inches apart & wool blankets are attached to give a second layer between the rib and the tarp. Plus a few benders are heated with a pot belly stove and pallets are laid over the ground as a floor. I have had many a good nights sleep in them when visiting friends.

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  2. My schoolfriend was at St Johns, more or less next door to G and C, and used to see Steven Hawkinge hurtling about in his wheelchair, him being a fellow of G and C

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  3. Such a nice variety in this post. The thatched roof was my favourite.

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  4. neat post John. I am really fascinated by those thatched roofs

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  5. Very informative post John! I liked seeing the thatched roof being worked on, never seen one being trimmed or replaced. Also, Robert MacFarlane's book Landmarks sounds interesting!

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  6. Interesting post John. I have read the Macfarlane book - most interesting. I particularly like that thatching photo - there is little or no thatching round here. Thimbleby - a village in Lincolnshire, quite close to where I was brought up, used to be almost all thatch.

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  7. Love all the photos and information! Interesting topics. But I love the "batman" sign the best! tee-hee!

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  8. I would love to hear the bells ringing. I guess like Dr. Caius we are full of inconsistencies.

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  9. Great series! I'd love to get a good look at that thatching process. To my untrained eye it just doesn't look sound.

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  10. Those bell wheels could be recycled into something useful, I'm sure. Love the thatch rof and your description of it looking like Boris.

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  11. Lol! The Boris Johnson thatch :) I have to say I am a romantic John but I don't find camping the least bit romantic :)

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  12. Such a wonderful history lesson. I was trying to remember who Boris Johnson was, so I googled his name and had a very good laugh. Here that look would be called a "Trump." It never occurred to me that Thatcher was a name related to thatched roofs. Made me want to google Becky Thatcher to remember where we'd heard that name, and of course, good ol' Margaret, as well. Love all the images and stories, bells and karnsers and tents and signs!

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  13. I know that road in Stowmarket! Interesting post, I now know how to pronounce Caius and I love Bat Man Street - hope they leave it like that:)

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  14. Hi John - I thought the Bat Man Street was meant to be Bathman Street ... but you enlightened me ... Boris Johnson thatch - that part will be much rubbed up in the next few years - a lot of hard work ahead for him. I must get to Cambridge one day to have a good look around. That Landmarks book - I've got here as I really wanted to read it ... so will soon get to check it out ... thanks for the thumbs up for its input ... cheers Hilary

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  15. Bit high for the animals all that grass on the roof. Made me think of those goats that climb trees.

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  16. I had to think twice to get the Boris Johnson reference! Good one! I remember those gates--you showed them to us when we were there. A good lesson in life, in some respects, but I admit, the Gate of Necessity is my favorite! Very down-to-earth, that one.

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  17. Maybe more Donald Trump than Boris Johnson? :-)

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