Tag Archives: Devon

More Postcodes – EX6, B14, W7.

I found the list of postcodes, so will start off with EX6, B14 and W7. Ex is Exeter and B is Birmingham. I expect W is London, but will have to check.

EX6 includes a number of wonderfully named villages, but for some reason I’m drawn to Cockwood. It seems unfair that schoolboy humour takes over, but that’s just the way I am.

As Wilde said, “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Apart from my sense of humour, that’s in the gutter and showing no signs of leaving.

I can’t actually find much to say about the place but after reading this I want to go there. In fact, I want to live there. There’s just one paragraph and a picture of Cockwood, but it’s enough.

And if you want a fact – one cubic metre of mud from the Exe estuary has the same calorific value as 14 Mars bars. As a metre of mud weighs 1.7 tonnes and tastes of mud, 14 Mars bars weigh 615 grams and are therefore a lot more convenient as a quick snack. They also taste of caramel and chocolate which is a lot better than mud. (Please note that if I’d done these calculations in 2008 the weight would have been 937 grams – another reason modern life is not as good as the old days). That’s 1.35 lbs and 2 lbs for those of you who don’t do metric. A ton of mud is near enough a tonne of mud for me not to bother converting.

B14 is Birmingham and includes Kings Heath, Yardley Wood, Druids Heath, Highter’s Heath,Warstock. I’ll be honest with you, my knowledge of Birmingham is sketchy and Wiki’s knowledge appears to be the same. Only King’s Heath gets much of a write up and that, to be honest, isn’t rivetting.

The report on the tornado of 2005 might amuse those of you who live in countries which are prone to tornadoes.

And then it’s W7. As I suspected, this is London. If Birmingham is an unknown land, London is even more unknown. I believe I’m right in saying I’ve only been to London nine times in my life.

Four  of them were for work and one was because I took a wrong turn. One saw me wake up on the floor clutching a sign that said “Danger – Guard Dogs – Keep Out“. Drink, I admit, had been taken the night before. I lost my wallet another time and British Rail officials let me travel home for nothing, though I did catch the newspaper train which took six hours instead of the normal one and a bit. However, I promised interesting facts…

Hanwell, which is what W7 is, the subject of an extensive and interesting write-up on Wiki. It was the scene of filming for several early Carry On films, the parish where Harry Secombe’s brother Fred served as a priest and it has a flight of locks. Plus a lot more – carnival, music festival, beer festival and a Saxon past.

The interesting fact I have selected is that when they added a second parish to the expanding suburb in the early 20th century the new church was the first in the Anglican Communion to be given the name St Mellitus,

So that’s it – just the three. I will do some more later.

Picture is a gratuitous cute bird. No connection with any of this.


Cream Teas

I mentioned cream teas a couple of days ago, and was asked to provide more details. It seems that the concept of the cream tea hasn’t travelled to America, which is surprising as it contains a lot of fat and sugar, which are what I consider to be two of the main ingredients in American food. Looking at the Wiki entry for clotted cream it seems it would be classed as butter in the USA, which would really confuse things.

The cream tea as we know it dates back to the 1850s, according to the Cream Tea Society. Other sources cite dates of 1931 and even 1964. The latter date is cited by the OED, and I can’t say they’ve exactly covered themselves in glory in this case. I’m sure I’ve seen references to them in the 1920s and 30s (whilst reading classic crime novels and I will make a note when I next see a reference – I haven’t made one before because I didn’t realise I would ever need the information.

There are even references going back to the 10th century.

My mother, who worked in a farm tea shop at weekends in the dim and distant past, remembered making cream teas well before 1964.

TESCO cream tea

The normal cream tea consists of scones, strawberry jam, clotted cream and tea. There is a traditional Cornish version which uses Cornish splits, but I’ve never actually seen one. In the south west I’ve often had it with plain scones, though in the rest of the country it’s usually a fruit scone.

I’ve also had other jam, and in fact I do like apricot jam with my cream tea.

There’s no such latitude with the cream. Cornish Clotted Cream  is a protected product and can only be made in Cornwall from milk produced in Cornwall.

As for the tea to accompany it, I noted that at TESCO you can pay extra and have it with coffee. I’m not sure why, but my view of coffee is not a positive one. Any beverage that is improved by passing through the digestive tract of a weasel is not really one for me.

That just leaves one area to cover – cream first with jam on top (Devon style) or jam first with cream on top (Cornish style). Debrett’s says jam first and cream on top.

It’s like the milk in first debate – there is no right answer.

Misleading picture

Note that they serve it with jam on top. In reality the jam provided with the cream tea has no chunks of fruit in it, so doesn’t look quite so attractive.