Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Unexpected Items In Blogging Area

A number of peculiar and puzzling things that I've collected in my wonky-wheeled trolley as I travel up and down the tempting displays in life's supermarket. I'm afraid to say that I'm the equivalent of the person who stops to read the ingredients and the consumer information on things they don't really want, blocking up the aisles and wasting everybody's time - much as I'm wasting yours right now.

Take Two Signs

The county boundary between Cambridgeshire and Suffolk performs some remarkable contortions, one of which is to divide the twin villages of Kennett and Kentford so that the former is in Cambridgeshire while the latter swears allegiance to Suffolk. This is odd, to say the least, since the two villages join up to form one settlement. They are so close to each other that the two village signs above are actually opposite sides of the same board!

Owt Of This Mortall Lyfe

Centuries ago it was common for the more wealthy parishioners to be buried in the body of the church and commemorated by brass plates attached to huge marble slabs set into the floor. Usually nowadays the brass plaques are missing, most often due to the attentions of metal thieves rather than Puritanical zeal. Somehow this one has survived for nearly 430 years. 

Wartime Refugees

It was not only children who were evacuated from London during the war years. The building above, which is in Cambridge's Trumpington Street, housed The London School Of Economics from 1939 to 1945 at the invitation of the master and fellows of Peterhouse College.

Changing Times

In my student days, back in the early 1970s, the words "student" and "haircut" seldom appeared together!

Bar-Room Stationery

...or beer mats as they are sometimes called. I used to have a splendid collection of these, advertising many brews and breweries that have long disappeared. Lots of people collected them, sneaking an odd little cardboard coaster into their pockets as they left the pub. I discovered that it was a much better tactic to go and ask if I could take a beer-mat for my collection. I was never refused and, often as not, I was given a stack of other mats which the pub no longer needed. The hobby faded as so many breweries closed down or were absorbed by the larger companies. Nowadays the increase in small specialist  breweries has made it interesting again. I wish I hadn't thrown all mine away.

A Mystery

High up on a wall in Cambridge, above a modern shop selling chocolate, is this ornate stone. It bears the crest of nearby Emmanuel College along with the words "The Chalice". But what was The Chalice? What's the connection with Emmanuel College? Why is it high up on the wall of this building? I don't know and can't find out.

Pet Hates

If there's one thing I can't stand it's the little resin animals with which people decorate their gardens at huge cost. But these two, spotted in Kentford, where we began today's ramble, are the exception to the rule. Ahhhh! 

Take care.


  1. So, does the barber do house calls on his/her bike? Funny that one town would be split like that, but here in Canada we have a city that's in two provinces: Lloydminster, Alberta and Lloydminster, Saskatchewan.

  2. That was an interesting collection - however I have an assignment for you! I definitely need to know the story behind The Chalice!! What was it - the holy grail, a medieval pub, the FA Cup of its day? So iintriguing!

  3. Such an interesting lot of little gems John. I especially like that two villages sign - just the sort of quirk for which we English are famous I think.

  4. A wonderful variety of photos! I love the 2 signs on the 1st photo, and the bike as well.

  5. Hi John, I don't know if this is of any help? This link gives some clue to Emmanuel and The Chalice which was a house in St Andrews in Cambridge and linked to Emmanuel.


  6. An interesting collection!

  7. You found the little treasures! I can imagine how you were happy. I would be happy to look at them and take pictures. I like the bike with words "student" and "haircut". And the little animals stole my heart!

  8. I'm sure your last two creatures appeal to you because they tell such a sweet story, resin or not!

  9. Intriguing collection of tidbits, John, and just the kind of thing that fascinates me too. That last, "Fox went out on a chilly night..." Somewhere around here I have a framed set of German beer mats that came in an auction lot. Someone certainly went to a lot of trouble with them.

  10. maybe twin towns are more common than you think. We have two that come to mind that sit on the border of two states. Coolangatta/Tweed Heads on the border of NSW and Qld. Aubry /Wodonga on the border of NSW and Vic.

  11. Fascinating collection of quirky things - would be interested if ever you do find out any more about the chalice:)

  12. That seems like the sort of place where they would play a village versus village olde footballe match, or merely kick hell out of each other for three days on may day bank holiday

  13. I enjoyed this collection of unrelated things and especially liked the title!

  14. Isn't there always an exception to the rule...I bet your bar mats would really make somebody happy if you still had them. I mean someone besides you....


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