Another lovely sunny day, though a slight breeze this morning made it feel a little cooler. Went for a walk along by the river and back through the town. No sign of the fair, all packed up and gone and the roads all open again. Was able to take some more photos as quieter today. Here are the ones I took on the river walk. There are two rivers that run through Tewkesbury, the Avon and the Severn. There were quite a few people fishing and they had some serious gear. I only saw them catch small stuff but they put everything in their keep net so I wondered if it was a contest.
I was glad to see they are doing some work to restore the Old Black Bear pub at the bottom of the town. It was a shame to see it empty last time I came. It is very old, said to date back to 1308. The buildings in Tewkesbury always fascinate me. Although a mix of styles they are all old. There are hardly any new buildings at all which is so nice to see.
Beautiful day today really warm. Went for a walk round the town this morning and again this afternoon. Picked up a few things from the charity shops including a pretty cut glass scent bottle, a jumper, cardigan, some mohair wool for my blanket and some pieces of fabric. Pictures later as they are packed away in the car.
Town was very busy with the mop fair so taking photos was tricky. I love all of the old Tudor buildings.
When I got back a couple of powered paragliders flew over.
Back in the van for the last time this year before I put it away for the winter. I am at Tewkesbury Abbey. I have stayed here before and I like it because you can walk into the town and along by the river so don't need to keep using the car.
On the way in I noticed some signs on the lamp posts to say that it is the Mop Fair today and tomorrow. I didn't even know that Tewkesbury had a Mop Fair. (I know Warwick and Stratford do). Anyway the main road to the site was closed and I had to find my way round the diversion to get here. Always a bit nerve racking following diversions with the van as they are not usually very well signposted and three point turns are tricky if you go the wrong way!. Anyway got here OK and weather very mild. Site is busy. I think everyone is having a last fling.
From my pitch I can see the tower of the abbey in one direction and one of the rides from fair in the other!
I have done a bit more to the little Jenny Wren. Needs a beak but I will have to do that at home as need glue to stiffen it. Also have to put some tiny white dots on the wings and not sure how to do it.
No blog yesterday as internet signal very poor. Weather was looking OK so drove through Bromyard (nice town) and headed for Tenbury Wells. Little walk round the town and a few photos of the river and some nice old buildings.
On the way back to the car I noticed a signpost to Cleobury Mortimer. I have been meaning to visit there for a while as I have ancestors from there on my mothers side (Wyre). My grandfathers grandfather married a lady from Mawley Hall in Cleobury Mortimer in 1845. Family legend has it that she was the daughter of the hall but I'm afraid she probably lived in one of the houses or cottages on the estate. My research found that her name was Margaret Reynolds (the family who lived in the hall were Blount) and her father was I think a carpenter. I think my great, great grandfather had gone to Cleobury Mortimer for farm work and I used to wonder why he had gone so far from where he lived in Wollescote (Stourbridge) but I discovered there were a lot of Wyres around there so I guess he went to family. His trade was actually chain making as was my grandfather, his father, mother, and sister.
Anyway I thought I may as well take a look at Cleobury Mortimer and see if I could find Mawley Hall which still exists and was actually up for sale a few years ago so I was able to get some lovely photos of it from the estate agents website. The estate agent's blurb gives some of the history and said the grounds contain five houses and cottages, one of those could have been my ancestors'. Pity I didn't have the £10 million asking price!
I did find it, at least the gateway to it but couldn't see the house and nowhere to stop for a closer look. Apparently the new owners are busy transforming it. My journey there took me over the Clee Hills, amazing views and I managed to get some diesel from a garage over there. Bonus!
Have done some more to the little Jenny Wren and have also discovered that I have a photograph on my calendar that will be useful to follow.
Back home now and unloaded the plants from the car. Was getting quite excited to have them planted when the gardener rang to say he was not coming today after all. Now have to keep them a bit longer. I hope they don't suffer. I now have 22 flowers ready for planting and 2 raspberry canes.
Wet today but decided to go out anyway and headed for Leominster. I always go through Leominster when I go to the office in Wales (Builth Wells), through the town and turn right, up the hill and towards Wales. This time I went left to Aldi's car park. I was hoping that Clever Betsy would be open as they have lots of wool, material and other crafty bits that they sell for charity. I had a load of mohair from there the last time which I am using for my midnight sky blanket and was hoping they might have some dark grey. Anyway they were open and I got 4 lovely sewing patterns (all new) for 50p each, some pretty turquoise blue mohair and some tapestry wool. No grey though. I also got a very pretty scent bottle from a vintage shop.
Took a couple of photos round the town but a bit wet.
I could hear rain on the roof in the night so was expecting a wet day. When I opened the roof light however I could see some blue blue sky which grew and it turned out to be warm and sunny.
Decided to go to Hereford as I don't think I have ever been. Looked into catching the bus but the service is very patchy so took the car which turned out to be a good thing. The site wardens said the easiest place to park was Morrisons so as I needed some shopping anyway that sounded like a good idea. I found it OK, paid my £1 parking for 2.5 hours and headed off for a walk round the town. As towns go it was not remarkable, the cathedral was impressive and there were some other nice buildings. Disappointingly few charity shops, I only found 2.
Back to Morrisions for my shopping and outside they had some nice garden plants reduced so I got 4 yellow chrysanths and 2 other plants. (don't ask).
On the way back I detoured to the Hop Pocket which was advertised in the leaflet given to me by the caravan site as 'an Aladdin's cave of crafts and gifts'. Mmmm it's a garden centre! I did ask about the crafts and was told they had slowly disappeared. There was a place next door which had a lot of vintage stuff plus some haberdashery and some lovely cushion covers and rag dolls made locally. The trouble is a always look at things like that and think 'I could make that if I put my mind to it'. The garden centre did however have some nice plants and a helpful gentleman so I came away with four more plants, 2 anemones and 2 other (again don't ask) . My car now contains 10 plants which I don't know whether to take out or leave in.
The picture below was taken outside a bookshop in Hereford. Typical British humour!
Writing this listening to the sound of rain on the caravan roof. Better than sitting at home in the rain though, much cosier. It hasn't rained all day anyway, just on and off. I am at Bromyard Downs which is a pretty little site built on the site of an old quarry, with a lower level (where I am) and an upper level. Went for a walk round the site and took a few photos.
The last couple of years during September I have made damson jam. This year however I have been struggling to find damsons till Mark and Michelle noticed a whole row of trees loaded with damsons when they were on their morning run. So, on Monday afternoon the three of us picked three bags full. (I should add that the trees didn't belong to anyone, they were between the road and a public footpath).
They were very good quality damsons, hardly any to throw away and there was 9lb (don't do kilos) altogether. I prepared and cooked them on Tuesday night, took the stones out when they were cold today and made 20 jars of yummy jam! Just need to label them and add pretty covers.
Last year during the first lock down I bought a ticket for the Black Country Museum to help them out and today I decided it was about time I used it before the weather turns. Unfortunately so did a lot of other people and it was very busy. Because of this I didn't go into all of the properties so my photographs are a bit limited. Still, I can go back as often as I like over the next 12 months so I'll try to pick a quieter time next visit. Lots of references around the site to where various scenes in Peaky Blinders were filmed. Can you spot the table set with drinks among the anchors and chains?
The black country signs made me smile.
I am Jenny (when I was little my dad always called me Jenny Wren) and I enjoy making hand crafted things. Watch this space to see what I am working on.