Browsed by
Author: Andrew

Berrington Hall

Berrington Hall

Today we visited Berrington Hall, a Georgian mansion with a garden designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. It was Brown’s genius that he could take a piece of undistinguished farmland, and by moving hills, diverting streams, replanting trees, and applying a final layer of sheep, create something that looked exactly like undistinguished farmland, but was in fact much more expensive. Looking at this view you could almost imagine that you were looking at ordinary English countryside, and not a carefully landscaped…

Read More Read More

Puzzle Time

Puzzle Time

We finished the last stretch of the Staffs and Worcs today, winding through narrow sandstone cuttings down to Stourport. We’ll be staying with my brother and his wife for a few days. Meanwhile, here is a puzzle for you. Our boat makes a screeching sound when the engine is going at about 1200 RPM. It starts at 1000 RPM and dies out around 1400 RPM. It happens when the engine is in forward or reverse, but not neutral. It does…

Read More Read More

Stewpony

Stewpony

It was a beautiful sunny day today, and we went through some lovely countryside on the way south on the Staffs and Worcs. There were quite a few locks at irregular intervals, though, so I did not have much time for photography. I couldn’t resist this one, though. The old toll house at Stewpony Lock. Nobody is quite sure where the name Stewpony came from, or even how it is spelled. Apparently “Stewponey” is also acceptable, and there was a…

Read More Read More

New Levels of Pre-Raphaelite Boredom

New Levels of Pre-Raphaelite Boredom

Our regular readers may remember our visit last year to Wightwick (pronunced WIT-ik) Manor, which houses a large collection of terminally boring Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I’m not going to inflict that on you again, so here’s a picture of the great hall there, which had hardly any Pre-Raphaelites visible if you look at it from here. The gardens are nice too, and there is next to no chance of being bored to tears by Pre-Raphaelites there. But oh, dear, since we…

Read More Read More

Brewood

Brewood

We filled the diesel tank today. It cost about £131 ($171), which seems like a lot, but the last time we filled it was May 26th near Leeds, so that means we are spending about £3.45 ($4.50) a day in fuel. In fact our fuel costs are cheaper than the cost of traveling by train to the same places. We also stopped for groceries at Gnosall Heath, a fact which I mention only because it is pronounced NO-zull. The Shroppie…

Read More Read More

Cuttings and Embankments

Cuttings and Embankments

Tyrley (pronounced TUR-lee) Locks must be some of the prettiest in the country. There are five of them, with the lowest cut into sandstone bedrock… … and the upper one with a pretty cottage. They are also difficult to get into because of the vicious side weirs which push you off course, the worst we have seen yet. The first one was particularly nasty, and it was only a couple of locks later that I worked out what I should…

Read More Read More

How Now Brown Cow

How Now Brown Cow

Today was a hard slog up twenty two locks, with a flight of two, a flight of fifteen, and a flight of five. We have climbed from the Cheshire Plain to the Shropshire Plain, over a distance of about ten miles. These were all narrow locks with only room for one boat, and only a few inches clearance on each side. It took both Paula and I a few tries to get our precision steering chops back, especially as most…

Read More Read More

Return to Nantwich

Return to Nantwich

I’m not sure what this gargoyle is meant to represent. Perhaps it’s a dreadful warning of what happens if you have sex with sheep. We visited Nantwich last year, but did not have time to visit the church or museum, so we rectified that this time. At first glance the church of St Mary looks like a typical old village church… … but there are some lovely details in both the stone and wood carving, including this delightful study of…

Read More Read More

A Brief Guide To Kings Called Richard

A Brief Guide To Kings Called Richard

The English royal family doesn’t have that many names for kings and queens, and some of them they give up on. For instance, there has only ever been one King John, for as every A A Milne fan will tell you, King John was not a good man There is never likely to be a Queen Jane, because then the powers that be would have to deal with the tricky question of whether Lady Jane Grey was actually queen for…

Read More Read More

For The Rain It Raineth

For The Rain It Raineth

When that I was and a little tiny boy, With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, A foolish thing was but a toy, For the rain it raineth every day. The weather forecast hasn’t changed much since Shakespeare’s day. The rain looked set for the day, so we stayed in Chester this morning. Greg and Karen went to the Grovesner Museum, and Paula and I hit the thrift stores. By lunchtime it was down to the familiar soul destroying…

Read More Read More