Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Kahlo and the 'knot'

It's #StaffordshireDay today (May 1st), the day in the year when one celebrates all things Staffordshire.
So I thought I'd put up another image of a 'Stafford Knot', the symbol of the county.

I found this painting, by the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, among a number of other pictures, on the walls in a bar in Newcastle. It's called 'Self-Portrait with A Braid' - and the braid resembles a Stafford Knot.
Well, maybe...!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

New life for pilgrimage route

The Two Saints Way, a 'pilgrimage' footpath through Staffordshire and Cheshire, has a new website.
Created only a few years ago, the route links Lichfield Cathedral to Chester Cathedral - by way of the historic Primitive Methodist Chapel at Englesea Brook.

In the background, you can see some rape fields - their custard-yellow crop is especially bright and prominent throughout the county this year

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Water for the monks

Staffordshire has its own Buddhist monastery - the Wat Mahathat just outside King's Bromley - and monks come from Thailand to study here.
The institution priides itself on its openness and there are public gatherings and meditation sessions here.

Today, hundreds gathered on the site for the festival of Songkran, when water is poured over the hands of the monks by those attending.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Mine in the hill

One of the entrances to the old Dale Mine - a 200 year old lead-& zinc-ore mine.  It lies in the wild Peak District; and faces the better known Ecton copper mines, which are on the hill on the other side of the river.
It is astonishing that it still survives so well.

Friday, 12 April 2019

Book-knot in roof

As readers of this blog will know, I 'collect' sightings of the Stafford Knot, the symbol of the county.
This one is depicted inside (or on?) a book, and is among a number of symbols - which can all be found up in the roof-ceiling at Cheddleton Church.
But why is it depicted on/in a book?

Friday, 5 April 2019

Remembrance for Christina

One of the most brutal murders remembered in this county is the rape & killing of Christina Collins by two men in 1839.
Her body was discovered in the canal at Rugeley; and so she is buried in the town, not far from where she was found, even though she was not from this area at all.

As her family was not rich, this, her gravestone, was paid for by strangers: local people disturbed and horrified by the "end of the unhappy woman".
Even to this day, people leave flowers so that crimes against women may not be forgot.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Full moon for crows

The full moon in March is known by some Native Americans as the Full Crow Moon, because the cawing of crows at this time signals the end of winter.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Lots of Bishton

The rooms of Bishton Hall have been turned this week into the repository for an enormous bric a brac sale.

The family have moved out earlier in the summer and the place has been sold, to make a hotel, probably - so all the contents have been put up for auction. Lock stock & barrel. There are so many pieces that it will take a week to finish the auction process.
Viewing the lots has proved a sombre activity.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Elegant dovecote

Dovecote in the Staffordshire Peak District

This dovecote sits in a field east of the Swainsley Tunnel in the Staffordshire Peak District.
Doves and pigeons are drawn to nest in dovecotes; meaning the owners could have another source of meat & eggs.
Apparently dovecotes were often built away from the lord’s main house and near a public highway, because they could act as status symbols: as only a rich man could afford them.
But this one is a nineteenth century construction, so it was probably designed as a decorative and elegant pastiche. It is certainly lovely in its simple way.