We have three tea rooms and a smoothie bar in Much Wenlock. Also two old pubs and three hotels, a Chinese Take-Away and an Indian restaurant. We’re well served all round.
Here’s more of the Square – on the right is the sixteenth century timbered Guild Hall where Town Council meetings are still held upstairs once a month and Rod and Viv’s vegetable market features downstairs several days a week. The parish church behind dates from the early Middle Ages. The Museum on the left used to be a market, and then it was the town cinema. Now it tells of Wenlock’s glorious past as the origin and the source of the modern Olympic Games.
The Wenlock Olympian Games began in 1852, founded by the town’s physician Doctor William Penny Brookes. He inspired Pierre de Courbetin who visited him here to pick his brains on who to run the games, and then went on to found the International Olympic Committee. One of the events in Penny Brookes Olympics included races on penny farthing bicycles. This chap (below) turned up at one of our Christmas Fairs a few years ago, and was attempting to mount his vehicle in a high wind. He never quite managed it, at least not while I was watching. But I did appreciate his fine bicycling costume.
All this squares in squares and circles in squares shenanigans is down to Becky. Here’s the place to find out more: March Square
This was a heartening find outside our High Street florists on Wednesday. I love the blue of hyacinths, though their scent can be overpowering indoors. Anyway, it made me think how lucky we are in our very small and ancient town to have so many independent shops. As I may well have mentioned before, our traders’ roll call even includes two book stores. Also extraordinarily, we have a vicars’ outfitters where men of the cloth can have their cloth, well, customized. Who’d’ve thought…
I’m thinking I may feature more of Wenlock in squares over the next few days. I shall have to schedule same as we’re about to go to the dark side. That is to say, changing our internet provider. The last time we did that we were worldwidewebless for nearly a fortnight. So if you don’t hear from me over the next few days, do not be surprised.
March Square Pop over to Becky’s to get square with this squares and circles lark.
March first and the Snow Dragons of Winter were unleashed over Shropshire – huffing and puffing great gusts of iciness over the land. Oddly, there wasn’t a heavy fall, and the flakes were very dry, but they did a lot of travelling. In the night the dragons racketed and roared over the roof and blew all the field snow into heaps behind the house.
This movie of blowing snow was shot from the bedroom window yesterday afternoon. Today we have slushy roads and biting winds. Who let Siberia in?
copyright 2018 Tish Farrell
Sheep posing in Much Wenlock’s former Priory parkland
Thursday’s Special: Pick A Word in March Ovine is only one of Paula’s word prompts this month. Pop over to her place to see the rest and be inspired. You have a week to post your own interpretations.
We’ve had gales, sleet, snow, frost, downpours and sunshine, lowering skies, gloom, dankness, glowing sunsets, and starlit nights, and throughout all variations it has been bitterly cold with far too many Arctic blasts and draughty peripheries. Yet despite the chill factor, some things seem to have been growing since December, many of them out of season.
For instance, up at the allotment this afternoon, I came upon a very confused globe artichoke. In the last few days it has grown some very chunky buds. Too soon, I tell it. It was also surrounded by a vigorous bouquet of spanking new foliage. In the garden at home a butter coloured geum has been flowering, one stem at a time, all winter. Likewise a blue penstemon. I have also been cropping the wild garlic leaves for several weeks. They are shooting up along the old railway line beside the Linden Walk.
All of which apparently tells me that it can’t have been as cold as I think it has.
Certainly the spring flowers have not been deterred – celandines, snowdrops, primroses, crocus, flowering currant and hellebores all quick off the mark – with daffodils just on the cusp of opening.
Here then are February scenes around and about the Farrell domain in Much Wenlock:
To join in the Changing Seasons challenge please visit Su at the link:
The Changing Seasons: February
This view of the town is the one I see as I head to the allotment. I have captured it in many seasons. Today I’m posting it because it features one of the town’s oldest and most notable landmarks at the heart of our town – Holy Trinity Church which dates from the early Middle Ages and was once part of an impressive priory complex. And the reason for doing that is because its current vicar, Matthew Stafford, also known as ‘the mad vicar’ is featured in a 4-part BBC series A Vicar’s Life. The programmes follow the parish duties of three vicars in the rural Hereford diocese (of which Much Wenlock is a part although in Shropshire) over a one year period.
I adhere to no church or dogma, but I do have a lot of time for Matthew Stafford and the work he does in the community. If you watch only the first four minutes of this first episode you will perhaps see why. You will also be treated to bird’s eye views of Wenlock and see Matthew out and about in the town, as well as arranging a marriage at my local hairdressers.
Daily Post: Tour-guide
It’s snowing again today, but hopefully without conviction: just enough to dust the field behind the house, and coat the roofs of the garden sheds. Otherwise, despite the winteryness, there are more signs of spring everywhere – winter pansies in full fettle in Wenlock gardens, allium leaves pushing up through the soil, buds on the flowering currant, more hellebores emerging, snowdrops and catkins in the hedgerows.
The December snow days were very beautiful, but best remembered now in photos. Some of the following shots were taken in monochrome, and some I’ve converted. The header is a conversion, and it’s only in this format that you can see that the sun is melting the snow from the branches in a mini snowstorm. It isn’t dust on the lens. The photos were taken in and around the Linden Field and I’m posting them in response to Cee’s Thursday black and white challenge: out doors – walks and roads. Follow the link below to join in.
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – walks and roads
Yesterday the wind was whistling into Shropshire through the Cheshire Gap, and despite the apparent stillness and bright sunshine in this photograph, it was one big icy blast up on Windmill Hill. I did not stay long. But in the shelter of the woods, lower down the hill, I did stop to catch these mossy tree roots:
And then among the fallen leaves I found this very strange fungus:
This week at Thursday’s Special Paula has given us five word prompts to choose from. My choice for these photos is protuberant. Pop over to Paula’s to join in.
Thursday’s Special: Pick A Word
I don’t remember ever seeing lesser celandines flowering in January. They are at least a month too soon, and this one has clearly been around a while, and much rained on. Snowdrops, though, are timely, and they are cropping up everywhere in gardens and wooded margins around the town.
All the footpaths are very waterlogged and slithery. On our walk yesterday it was necessary to stop at intervals to de-mud the boots and stop growing giants’ feet. This also gave me the chance to photograph the highland cattle in the Cutlins meadow, the sheep in the Priory park, and puddles on the track to Bradley Farm. Welcome to Much Wenlock in January.
Six Word Saturday Please pop over to Debbie’s to see her very astonishing photo