Monthly Archives: September 2018

Odds and Sods

The header picture is a sunset and thistles in the car park near the Scallop at Aldeburgh. Here’s another one, plus a lamp post shot from Aldeburgh. It seems a shame to waste a sunset when you have a camera in your hand. There’s a cobweb in there somewhere too.

 

 

According to this article the pub sign – The Magpie at Little Stonham on the A140 in Suffolk – is unique in the UK for having a gallows sign across the road.

 

 

Having recently driven under the sign for The George in Stamford and The Green Man and Black’s Head in Ashbourne I can confidently say that if “unique” means “one of at least three” the article is correct. If, however, “unique” still retains its original meaning, then the article’s research is incredibly sloppy.

Why is it that some people can get published when others (no matter how handsome, charismatic and talented) can’t? Not that I’m bitter or anything.

Finally, a football card. I’ve been putting them on  eBay.  Enter 45 names and numbers, take 45 photos, rotate and tidy 45 photos…

It’s Duncan Edwards.  He was selected for the National Morris and Sword Dancing Festival whilst at school, but went to a football trial instead. The rest is history.

Duncan Edwards

Duncan Edwards – Manchester United

 

 

All Saints, Panxworth

We were pottering along through the Norfolk countryside when we found this tower.

Fortunately there was a notice to give us a clue.

All Saints Church Tower, Panxworth, Norfolk

All Saints Church Tower, Panxworth, Norfolk

It seems that it fell into disrepair, was rebuilt in the 19th Century and again fell into disrepair, being pulled down in 1969. It was reputedly used by Satanists, struck by lightening (which may or may not be connected) and restored again.

It’s an interesting place, and well-looked after, but there isn’t much to keep you, not even an information board. Fortunately there is plenty about it on the internet.

Interestingly, some of the gravestones show the same names as the war memorial. The continuity of the countryside is an amazing thing.

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War Memorial, Panxworth.

Things I found on the beach (or nearby)

The top picture shows the Scallop sculpture on the beach at Aldeburgh. It can, it seems, look like a seabird, two men in a boat or one man in a boat, as you walk along the beach towards it. Or, if you use the nearest car park and sit on the bench, it looks like a scallop shell.

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Yes, it definitely looks like a scallop

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Martello Tower – unique shape and end of the line

The Martello Tower is the last building left in Slaughden, once a prosperous village which, after many years of losses to the sea, was finally washed away in the floods of 1953. I didn’t know this, I just thought they’d built a Martello Tower a couple of hundred yards down the beach from Aldeburgh.

 

These are some photos from Dunwich, probably the most famous of the lost villages of the East Coast. Once it was a notable town, with 3,000 inhabitants and 3 churches at the time of the Domesday survey. There were, at that time, just 18 towns of over 2,000 people.  Before we started visiting piers I had thought about visiting all the 18 towns, but the idea of fish and chips swung the balance towards the seaside.

Considering its history with the sea the sign warning of floods might be seen as too little, too late.

The block of concrete looks like a tank trap. They were cast on site by teams of Royal Engineers, which must have been a major effort, particularly if you were doing it on the East Coast in winter. I seem to remember that there were two sizes – this looks like one of the smaller ones. It seems to have worked as there is no record of Germans invading Dunwich.

Finally, a couple of shots of Southend. The doughnuts may have been expensive but there were still some good subjects for photos.

Idle Hands

During the week I discovered a new setting on the camera. It actually has a setting for taking selfies. I’ve been taking selfies for years without realising that. When I tried it I found it made no difference at all. However, it did help to pass the time.  Then I tried using some other settings. Most of them didn’t work.

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My Quizzical Look

There aren’t many settings that work well

 

I’m sure I have a use for these…

More Scones, More Chips

Really, the things I do for research.

First, I had scones at Minsmere Nature Reserve. They were big, reasonably priced and fruity. They were also much better than the ones we had on Wednesday, though that was not difficult.

The ones we had on Wednesday, during a visit to a craft centre, were “short” according to Julia. This is baker-talk for crumbly.

Actually they turned to dust as if they’d been tightly-wrapped in bandages 3,000 years ago and left in the pocket of an ancient pharaoh until recently rediscovered. They also tasted of baking powder, which is generally considered a bad thing.

The ones at Minsmere were far better. They wouldn’t be worth a special journey, but they are a safe choice if you find yourself on the Suffolk coast with an odd corner to fill.

While I was eating the scones I looked at some of the signs. They are really taking things seriously – possibly too seriously. I may come back to this subject later.

Later in the day we went back to Aldeburgh for fish and chips. We were there before five o’clock. There were two chip shops open this time and they already had small queues starting. I don’t think the people of Aldeburgh exist on fish and chips, by the way. Second homes make up about a third of the yown’s residential property and I suspect many of them are used by people who don’t cook.

They come in a specially made bag with greaseproof paper lining – very technical.

The chips were good – well-cooked and tasty. The fish was also good, with nice big fresh flakes. Again, we passed on the peas as they are tricky to eat in the car.

Were they worth the effort? Well, they were very good. They were probably as good as the ones from Saxmundham the night before. But they probably weren’t good enough to justify two trips to Aldeburgh.

Southend or Saxmundham?

After a breakfast of porridge and croissants in our room (the porridge was the sort where you pour boiling water into a plastic pot) we didn’t feel the need for food for most of the day.

We did indulge in a snack when we arrrived in Southend-on-Sea but the four miserly doughnuts and two cups of tea merely showed us how good we’d had it on Monday. They certainly didn’t fill much of a gap. The cost of today’s snack was £7.40, with the miserable skinny doughnuts being £1 each. The tea wasn’t even full!

According to Wikipedia Southend is the 11th most expensive place to live in Britain. With doughnuts at £1 each you can see why.

What a contrast to Saxmundham when we visited later that day.

Before that we had failed to get fish & chips in Aldeburgh (having been told several times how good they were). The queue was just too long and there were only two people serving. We tried several times but the queue never seemed to get shorter.

A disaster was averted when Saxmundham came to mind. It had seemed a decent place when we stayed near there at Christmas so why not try there, I reasoned. If there were no chips there were two supermarkets so we could at least buy something. (Julia was ravenous by this time and she’s not at her most cheery when unfed).

We had cod and sausage and chips and ate them in the car. That’s not some fiendish combination of flavours – Julia had the fish and I had the sausage (and some fish as there was a lot of it). We didn’t bother with peas as they can be tricky, even with the liitle wooden fork traditionally supplied by chip shops.

They came from “The Trawler’s Catch”, which we selected simply by driving past and finding it had car parking nearby.

The shop was chaotic as one man tried to cope with walk-in trade and telephone orders. Julia ordered a large haddock and a large battered sausage, both with chips. We ended up with two medium cod a small battered sausage, a small plain sausage and a discount.

You have to admire a man who can put together a deal like that.

So, the service was great, and distinctive.

The chips were very good.

The sausages were good.

And the fish was the best I’ve had in years with big, fresh, tasty flakes. I think I’ll polish up the word “superb” for this review – I don’t often use it but it seems appropriate today.

So remember – The Trawler’s Catch, Saxmundham for superb cod and chips.

 

 

 

A Detour…

We went to Jaywick (just down the coast from Clacton) on Tuesday looking for a Martello Tower. We didn’t find it and we came away feeling thoughtful after driving round what appeared to be a shanty town.

Jaywick was grew up as a holiday village in the 1920s and 30s when a property developer sold plots of farmland to Londoners to build holiday homes. The land he sold was not used for farming because it tended to flood – you would have thought this was a bad sign.

It became permanant by accident. After the war, with pressure on housing  in London, people moved out and started living in Jaywick on a full-time basis. Poor roads, lack of employment opportunities, lack of mains drainage and badly built houses all contributed to making it one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

{t’s a lesson in how things can go wrong from optimistic beginnings. You get the idea that it could all have been different, as other Plotlands schemes seem to have prospered, or been demoloished. Peacehaven is probably the best-known successful development, though it has been helped by being in a prosperous area and by being built on well=drained land.

Names can be interesting. I note that Peacehaven was originally named New Anzac-on-Sea in 1916.  Many Jaywick roads are named after car makers. You will, however, search in vain for many of our current car names – no Honda, no Seat, no BMW. Instead you have Crossley, Standard and Singer. The newest car name I saw was Lotus (founded 1952) but it looks like part of the 1970s rebuilding.

No photos for this, but an interesting bit of history (even if it wasn’t the history I was looking for). We never did find the Martello Tower…