Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Spring In St Ives, Cambridgeshire

Myself and my husband have recently taken over as Wardens of Roseberry Tourist Park in Willingham near Cambridge and one of my jobs is to manage the tourist information hut we have on site.  This is giving us the opportunity to visit local places of interest to broaden our knowledge of the area.  One of the first places we decided to visit was St Ives which sits on the bank of the Great River Ouse.  The town is mentioned in the famous Doomsday Book, which was requested by William the Conqueror in 1086 to detail who owned what land and what it was worth in his kingdom.  It was a bitterly cold day when we visited in early March and not long after taking the following photos it snowed.

Here we are looking down the Great River Ouse on its journey towards Huntingdon, from the St Ives Bridge, with the modern water frontage properties.  In the centre of the shot you can just make out the spire of the All Saints Parish Church , a church has been on this site since AD970.

Across the river from the town can be seen the Dolphin Hotel, which has a lovely seating area to enjoy a drink or a meal over looking the river.  There has been a pub standing on this site with the name Dolphin for over 400 years.

Here we are looking back towards the old part of the water front, know as the Old River Port.

At the centre of the bridge on the right hand side as you look back towards the Old Town Harbour can be seen the unusual location of a Chapel, one of only four examples in Britain.  After the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1537 the Prior was given the chapel to live in.  Since then its uses have included a private house, doctors surgery and a pub called Little Hell.

Here we are looking down the Great River Ouse which eventually meanders towards Earith and joins the River Delph.

Beware when walking along the bridge, because despite its narrowness, you will need to dive into the passing points as large delivery vehicles still use the bridge, although it is one way traffic only.  The steeple you can see to the right of the shot is The Free Church (United Reformed Church) built in 1865.

If you look up while standing on the corner of The Quay you will see a lovely painting depicting the hustle and bustle and colours of the once thriving busy port of old.

After walking along the bridge, take time to stand back and admire the bridge in its entirety, it is an elegant structure.

The brown brick facade of one of the buildings long The Quay is all that remains of the Magpie and Stump Public House with records of its Landlords dating back to 1851.

Watch out for the Gulls wanting to photo bomb your shots.

One spectacle to watch out for are the flocks of gulls, swans and ducks when they are fed, it very quickly turns into a feeding frenzy.

We had another trip to St Ives this time on a much warmer, brighter day mid May.  Again we spent much of our time down by the river, although we did have a quick walk along Market Hill.  To the left of the picture you can see The Free Church (United Reformed Church).  In the centre of the road in front of the parking spaces is the War Memorial.  On a Monday, St Ives is renowned for its market held along Market Hill with varied market stalls.

As the weather was much warmer and drier, we decided to have a short walk along the river bank from the Dolphin Hotel carpark, on the opposite side of the river to St Ives.  If you carry on along this path you can eventually walk to Huntingdon, which we will do on another day.

It must be quite something to have a river like this at the bottom of your garden, as long as you are high enough from the river level not to get flooded.  Which unfortunately has happened here back in 1947, 1998 and 2003, since then extensive flood protection works has been carried out to hopefully stop this repeating.

Here you can see All Saints Parish Church poking out above the trees of Holt Island.  In 1913 the towns outdoor swimming pool was dug here and remained open until 1949.  It is now used for canoeing by the Scouts and is within the grounds of the Holt Island Nature Reserve.

Just cruising down the river on a sunny afternoon.

At this point along the river is where we will have to turn round and continue the walk another day.

The meadow that we are along side of is full of yellow buttercups it looks so pretty.

After heading back to the Dolphin Hotel and over the bridge, it is time to stop at The River Tea Rooms for a cup of tea.

This Cormorant was keeping a watchful eye over the river from his high vantage point.

On our way back to the car we came to part of the river where it splits off from the main river and runs between All Saints Parish Church and Holt Island Nature Reserve.

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.

* * * * * * *

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.