Snape Maltings


Sailing barge “Cygnet” at Snape Maltings

On the first day of the trip (which was also Christmas Eve) we went to Saxmundham for a few last minute supplies and enjoyed a hectic half-hour of being bashed by shopping trollies and delayed by senior citizens before joining a queue to get out of the car park.

That is the Magic of Christmas.

As an aside, although the town fought off TESCO for years they seem to be quite enthusiastic about it now they have one. They also have a Waitrose just across the road, but there was no fight about that. The leader of the original anti-TESCO campaign was Lady Caroline Cranbrook, which could probably form the basis of a PhD on class bias in modern supermarket shopping. Things have never been the same since posh people ran out of money and could no longer afford butlers to do their shopping.

It’s interesting what they say about local food in the article, but I’m fairly sure that families with jobs and kids find supermarket shopping faster and easier than visiting individual shops. The quality might not be the same but I’d rather spend time with the family than trekking round shops. That’s not the fault of the shops, it’s the fault of modern life and my priorities.

I didn’t take any pictures in Saxmundham.

I did take some at Snape Maltings, a large complex of concert hall, antiques centre, shops and tea rooms. There is also a sailing barge and various other things to have a look at, though it was getting on a bit and we didn’t have time to look at everything. Even if we had wanted to stay we were made to feel unwelcome in the antiques centre where the man on the front counter put a barrier across the stairs and announced loudly to his assistant that he was going to close as soon as the place was empty.


One of the plaques with Newson Garrett’s name on.

There were some nice things in the antique centre cabinets, but many of the prices were concealed, which always annoys me. If you want to sell stuff, show me the price. If you want to annoy me, turn the price ticket the wrong way round.

We looked round a craft shop and a fancy goods shop, which were both nice, with some interesting things. Sadly, a lot of stuff in the craft shop was made abroad, and cheap, which makes it cheap giftware rather than crafts. The stock in the fancy goods shop was also often made abroad, but wasn’t cheap.

We also had tea and carrot cake in a tea room. It was upstairs and access was difficult because the tables were close together and inconsiderate people were sitting so that the gangways became impassable.

It’s times like that when I seriously consider becoming registered as disabled so I can plough through blockages like that making loud comments. Julia, as you would expect, is against this idea. She points out that it’s taken her 30 years to stop me making loud, rude, comments about people and doesn’t want to let me slip back. Slightly more reasonably she also points out that being lazy and irritable with a limp and a bad finger isn’t actually being disabled.

I suppose she has a point.

The other notable event of the visit was nearly falling off the wharf into the river whilst taking photographs. There were some interesting bits and pieces along the top of the wharf (well, I find ferns and rusty bits of metal interesting), but I got a bit too close and I’ve always had a bit of trouble when looking down. I also seem to have a balance problem when looking up to take pictures of towers. The difference is that there’s nothing to fall into when you are looking up at a tower.

I stumbled slightly and dropped my stick. This was awkward as it got under my feet. For an instant I teetered. Then I recovered my balance and pretended nothing had happened when Julia arrived to pick up my stick.



19 thoughts on “Snape Maltings

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  3. Helen

    I would add to tottlepedal’s comment by saying that whether or not you can access local food (and from sources other than supermarkets) depends where you live. Where my parents live, it is shocking – they are thinking of joining a box scheme to access ‘better’ food, although it might still not be local or from a small business.

    Leeds is reasonably good in this respect. Of course, there is room for improvement but the more people buy local from independent stores, the easier it will be to avoid supermarkets šŸ˜Š.

    1. quercuscommunity

      This is going to take a whole post to answer, but here’s a short answer for now.

      Despite all the bad things about supermarkets I like the convenience of being able to go shopping at 8pm and buy from an increasing range of local and organic produce.

      They aren’t all bad. šŸ™‚

  4. tootlepedal

    Speak softly and carry a big stick, someone said.

    As far as supermarkets go, they are cheap and they are convenient but they treat a lot of their suppliers shamefully in a way which local shops couldn’t treat local suppliers. Also they create vast amounts of traffic and huge amounts of waste so they are definitely a mixed blessing.

    And the quite unnecessary amount of choice they offer hurts my head. I don’t want choice, I want good products fairly priced.

    I particularly enjoyed your pictures today.

  5. Lavinia Ross

    I enjoyed the photos from you day, especially the ferns. A beautiful capture showing the sori on the underside of the frond. Life will grab a toehold anywhere it can.

  6. derrickjknight

    The antique man deserves to be closed permanently. More good-natured humour from you, Quercus. I’m afraid I would just ask inconsiderate people to move out of my way – or just stand there until they got the message.


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