Awoke this morning to the sound of rain on the caravan roof but within an hour it had cleared up and gone sunny again. Last day of Heritage Open Days so this time we went to the needle museum in Redditch. I was always told as a child when we drove trough Redditch to visit relatives in Leamington Spa that it was famous for making needles so I was interested to see the museum. Apparently Redditch once made 90% of the World's needles. The museum is set in Victorian times and it appears it was a very labour intensive and painstaking operation with many processes to complete. Parts of which were very unhealthy due to the dust created. It was all driven by water power from the river.
Besides the many types of sewing needles, from surgical to leather, Redditch also made knitting needles and crochet hooks, sewing machine needles, hat pins, gramophone needles and fishing hooks. There were some lovely framed displays. Millwards was the largest producer.
There was a display of knitting needle size gauges and I was surprised to see one very much like one I have at home so when I got back I took a photo of it to compare. Mine is on the right.
After the museum we went on a guided tour of Bordesley Abbey which is next to the museum. Although now just ruins it was interesting to learn of the history from the guide who was very knowledgeable.
Nice sunny day after a misty start. Decided we would go to Evesham. Walked along by the river then checked out the charity shops and The Works and picked up a few things. Ate our picnic and then went to Alcester to the Roman Museum. All of the artefacts were found around the town and it was one of the best collections I have seen. A walk round the town to check out some more charity shops and then back to sit out for the rest of the day. Matt and Kay came about 4.00pm which was nice and we all sat around chatting till it got dark. A nice relaxing day.
Happy birthday to me! 68 years young today. Thank you to everyone for all my lovely cards and presents.
Went to B&Q for a look round and bought some plants for the garden. All perennials and nice bright colours.
Mark, Michelle, Anais and Roman have now joined me and we enjoyed tea outside under the gazebo. Michelle made a delicious blueberry and lime cake and we opened the mead that I bought from Lindisfarne.
Back in the caravan!. There will not be too many more opportunities so have to make the most of it. Weather much better than I expected, really warm.
Arrived about lunch time, set up and then went to Aldi to pick up a few things. Have been looking for some clogs to keep on the doormat in the van, to slip on quickly when I need to go to the tap or somewhere. I had some for years but they gave up the ghost this year. Anyway, what did I find in Aldi....only some fur lined ones!. Also treated myself to a nice bunch of flowers.
Heritage Open Days started on the 10th and goes on until the 19th. There doesn't seem to be so many places open this year, which I guess is not surprising, but recommended by Mark and Michelle I went to Hartlebury Castle on Sunday. I haven't been there for 50 years (giving my age away) when I went with a school friend. It used to be the home of the bishops of Worcester and also contains the county museum which was really good. These first few pictures are from the bishop's house.
There were also some beautiful examples of needlework done by local people. Some tapestry kneelers in the chapel and some re-creations of chair covers originally created by Lady Carew, a renowned needlewoman, in 1918. Needlework always fascinates me. I wish I was that good.
The museum was really interesting. There was a display of the 1950's and I'm afraid I could remember everything in it! (Giving my age away again). I actually had one of the toy sewing machines in the picture. Love the 50's dresses.
There was also an interesting display of farming in Worcestershire, focussing on the main crops produced such as asparagus, hops and fruit.
Here are a few random pictures from the rest of the museum inside.
I was fascinated to read about the Bromsgrove Guild, an association of international designer craftsmen who worked in a variety of materials including metal, wood, stone and glass and produced the gates for Buckingham Palace, the bronze doors to the Bank of England, two of the Liver Bird statues on the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool and many memorials commemorating the 1st World War. Who knew!
Outside there is an excellent collection of gypsy and showman's caravans as well as other horse drawn vehicles and a car made in Kidderminster.
Seriously behind with my blog again but actually not a lot to report.
Drove back from Lincolnshire on Saturday, about 3.5 hours. Put caravan away and popped to see Mark and Michelle. Back home to unpack and then off to Malvern for the theatre to see Looking good Dead. Production was fine but storyline was rubbish, didn't make any sense.
Have spent most of the rest of the week working but went to the Rep to see East is East on Tuesday which was excellent. First time I have driven into Birmingham since the introduction of the clean air zone. Good job I changed my car or I would have had to go on the bus or pay the charge. I don't mind using the bus in the day, in fact I prefer to with all the road changes in town, but not at night.
Drove over to North Somercotes this morning to visit my friend Jackie and her husband Piete. I have worked with Jackie for about 15 years and Piete services my caravan. They used to live in Warwick but in January this year they upped sticks and went to live in Lincolnshire. They are not far from Donna Nook where there is a seal sanctuary and also an RAF bombing range (odd combination).
Their new property is a large bungalow with a lot of land at the back. They have lots of fruit trees, plum, pear and apple and Piete picked a big bag of small black plums for me to make some jam. They also have some greengages which I have never tasted before, they were delicious.
Unfortunately I never thought to take any photographs.
Happy Anniversary Mark and Michelle. 20 years today.
Had to do some work this morning but after lunch went to Tattershall Castle. I like properties that are a bit different and this one certainly is. The castle is basically a tower with five stories and a roof. There is one large room in the centre of each floor and a turret at each corner. Three of the turrets on each floor contain small rooms and the other the spiral staircase. There used to be other buildings around it but they are no longer there. It was built in the 15th century of locally made brick which is unusual. The view from the roof was very good. I could see a water park with speedboats racing round and an area for water skiing. The stained glass windows are not 15th century.
On the way back I stopped off to visit the local town of Woodhall Spa. It is a Victorian spa town with large Victorian houses and a parade of shops (including three charity shops where I got some beads and some hand made coasters. I also got a book from the bookshop at Tattershall Castle).
There is also a memorial to the 617 squadron 'dam busters' who were based at Woodhall Spa.
Behind the shop on the corner with the blue signs there is a wood managed by the Woodland Trust. I had a little walk there as I had read about a 'Kinema in the woods' and wondered if it was here. I didn't find it. I should have looked up where it was first. Woods were pretty though with lots of squirrels scampering about.
Happy birthday to Mark, 48 today.
Left Rutland this morning and drove north to Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire. Site is surrounded by countryside and very quiet. Richard and Debbie and the children (and the new puppy) spent the bank holiday weekend here but left yesterday so I missed them by one day!.
Had a Teams call for work from 2.30 - 5.00 so didn't get chance to go anywhere other than a walk round the site.
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.