Tuesday, 26 January 2016


Weather vanes are ornamental instruments used to show the direction of the wind and can be found on the highest point of a building.  Early versions had either cockerels, ships or horses as the main feature of the weather vane, with the letters N (North), E (East), S (South), W (West) represented the compass points of the wind direction.  Weather vanes work by having the main feature with a larger surface area at the opposite end of the directional arrow.  So that when the wind catches the larger surface area this is blown away from the wind direction, so that the smaller end with the pointer faces into the wind.

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Sheringham on the Norfolk Coast of England, is well known for its coast and history of fishing, especially for crabs, so it was no surprise to find this lovely weather vane featuring a ship.  This type of ship was known as a 'Steam Drifter' steam being the propulsion used to power the ship.  The small sail at the back, know as a 'mizzen sail' was used only to steady the ship when the fishing nets were out.  The mast at the front was used as a crane for lifting the catch ashore.  The nautical theme is completed with the fish shaped compass points at the bottom.  I can also assure you that the weather vane was accurate, as the day I took this photo, there was a very cold, strong, easterly wind blowing!

The next weather vane can be found on top of the Maltings, on the waterfront of the historic city of Ely, England.  The weather vane features a malt shovel, representing the Maltings origins as a Victorian Brewery, built in 1868 for the production of Ale.  In this design of weather vane the handle of the shovel also doubles as the arrow indicating the direction of the wind and again I can confirm that it was another cold easterly wind blowing.  As you can see from the poop underneath the weather vane, this appears to be a good vantage point for local birds.

My fascination with weathervanes has meant I have started to notice more of them because I am looking for them.  Unfortunately a lot that I say are while we are driving past in the car and don't have the chance to stop, however I am starting to add more to my collection.  Here are another two recent finds.

Appropriately I found this one at Womack Staithe, Ludham, Norfolk, it depicts a Norfolk Wherry. The Norfolk Wherry is a sail and ore craft dating back to 1604.  They were small boats carrying passengers and small perishable cargo.  After 1800 the Norfolk Keel or Keel Wherry disappeared.

This weather vane was on the top of an old stable at Mundesley in Norfolk and shows a jockey on what looks like a racing horse.

This one was on a house in Sheringham on the Norfolk Coast, unsurprising it has a nautical theme although a submarine is quite unusual and you can see three fish swimming underneath.

Again on our travels today, I came across some more weathervanes.

An old fashioned tractor on our friends farm in Isleham, Cambridgeshire.

A Windmill on a shop in Isleham, Cambridgeshire.

Pigeon shooting has always been a popular pastime in this area, so this scene of a gunman and his gun dog is very fitting.  This one was on a barn in Fordham, Cambridgeshire.

Today I came across another variation of the gunman and his gun dog in a different pose, also in Fordham, Cambridgeshire.

A galloping horse over the top of a house in Fordham, Cambridgeshire.

Now this one is very unusual, I wonder if the owner of this one in Fordham, Cambridgeshire is a plumber?

I almost missed this one in Fordham, as it does not show up very well especially at an angle and is very unusual, it looks a bit like reeds either side of a river bed.

No this one was not on top of a piggery, but a house in Fordham, Cambridgeshire.

An animal (of some description?) weathervane in Sheringham, Norfolk.

A simple single sailed sailing boat on top of a house in Sheringham, Norfolk.

We often drive past this one in Fordham, but it was only fairly recently that walked past it for me to get a photo.  It is funny how I had admired the Cockerel, but it wasn't until I took the photo that I noticed the small micro light.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Hunstanton, Norfolk

The beach at Hunstanton, Norfolk on a beautiful winter day.  When the tide goes out here, boy does it go out.  It is such a shame that so much of the sand has been lost here, when I was young this beach was completely covered in deep sand, where as now there is a lot of rock.

Burnham Overy Lower Mill, Norfolk

This beautiful mill on the coastal road at Burnham Overy was originally built in 1790, after the bridge was built the previous year.  The course of The River Burn was altered to provide a mill dam of sufficient size to operate the water wheel.

Here is the link to the website which provides lots of interesting history of the Mill and its supporting buildings.

Wells-Next-To-The-Sea, Norfolk

A bright, winter day on the Norfolk Coast at Wells-Next-To-The-Sea.

The Albatross, a former Dutch cargo ship built in 1899, she is now permanently moored along side the quay here in Wells-Next-To-The-Sea as a bar, restaurant, music venue and B&B.

One of the many ducks enjoying the winter sunshine, I think this one is a female Gadwell.  It is more streamlined than the female Mallard duck and has a smaller, squarer head and it doesn't have the blue hind wing of a Mallard. It's beak is dark with an orange edge.

Crab and lobster pots sitting on the quay waiting to be loaded on to a fishing boat.

I thought I was being watched, not expecting to see these colourful characters peering down at me.

The local butcher has quite a selection of Partridges and Pheasant's waiting for customers.

It seems quite strange to see a pub named The Edinburgh Inn, here in Norfolk.

Here we are walking down the main shopping street, with lots of small, boutique, gift shops, with cafes and restaurants scattered between.

Love the sign hanging from this seat outside 'Mine' I bet that gets used quite a bit.

There's that colourful dragon again, spying on the visitors.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Yesterday we went to Peterborough a cathedral city in Cambridgeshire, for some Christmas shopping, but while we were there I could not resist taking one or two photos.  The first thing I found unusual with the centre of Peterborough is that despite having a Cathedral there is a church within view, down the same street.  St John The Baptist was constructed in 1407, it was built using materials from the first parish church on this site dating back to 1229.

The church is located in Cathedral Square, along with the Guildhall or Butter Cross, it was constructed between 1669 and 1671 and was the headquarters of the town council until 1933.

Here we can see the new Christmas tree which has made headlines this year as it cost 40,000 pounds and is a bit too modern for some people.

Sandwiched between Starbucks and NatWest its the West Gate of Peterborough Cathedral, you can see the towers peering over the top.  A monastry was founded on this site back in 654AD, the present day Cathedral was built between 1118 and 1238 after the previous one was destroyed by fire.

Everywhere you look there is evidence of the history and age of Peterborough especially when you look up at the tops of the buildings.  This weather vane sits on top of the HSBC Bank building, the initials LC & MB refers to the London City and Midland Bank who resided in this building back in 1902.

Here we can see the clock face on the top of the building housing the NatWest Bank, which was constructed around 1929.

We are now standing outside the Town Hall which was constructed in 1933 and is still in use today.

For lunch we decided to have a bratwurst sausage, something I always associate with Christmas Markets, I love the hut that has been constructed for Christmas.

The Christmas decorations in the Queensgate Shopping Centre where quite subtle, but work really well,

Father Christmas certainly has a posh residence, very imaginative.