Wednesday, 30 April 2014

120/365: Euonymus


Flowers on the euonymus.

100 Happy Days: Day 8


Coffee and a catch up with friends today.

Weigh In Wednesday [19]

I've lost another 1lb this week making a total of 26lbs so far.  I'm pleased to have lost again but was hoping for more after the effort I put in this week.  Never mind, just keep doing more of the same!

Linking with Weigh In Wednesday.

Z is for Zeals

For the last time, here are the local dialect words.  Do you know what a zammy is?  What does zam-zodden mean? Who would be described as zaad-paul?  The answers are at the end of this post.
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I'm finishing the A to Z Challenge with a trip to Zeals, chosen because it is the only place in Wiltshire starting with the letter Z.  Luckily it has some (tenuous!) connections with major historical events otherwise it would be a bit of a damp squib to finish with!

Zeals is a small village about 21 miles south of Trowbridge. It is on the edge of Salisbury Plain, about 23 miles from Stonehenge and there is evidence of human activity in Zeals as far back as the Neolithic Period. 

We're not going back that far ... only to 1651 and the escape of King Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester. The escape route he followed is now a signposted 615 mile footpath from Worcester to Brighton.  'The Monarch's Way', as the route is called, passes by Zeals House.  I told you it was a tenuous link!
Zeals House
© Copyright Shazz and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
  
But that's not all!  Let's move on to 1688 and the arrival at Brixham in Devon of William of Orange, soon to be King William III.  The 350 mile route which he followed to St James' Palace in London, known as 'The Orange Way', also passed through the village of Zeals.   The route led past the site of these almshouses, although they weren't there at that time as they weren't built until the 1860s!
These almshouses are called Chafyn Grove Cottages after the founder.
© Copyright Shazz and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
That's it for Zeals, although it is quite a pretty village so here are a couple more photographs for you to enjoy.
The village green, Zeals
© Copyright Miss Steel and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

St Martin's Church, Zeals
© Copyright Miss Steel and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
All the images in this post were taken from www.geograph.org.uk.

*********************
Here are the answers to the dialect words:
  • zammy - a simpleton
  • zam-zodden - half spoilt, heated for too long over a slow fire
  • zaad-paul - to describe someone who is 'good for nothing'
Well that's the end of the A to Z Challenge for this year.  I hope you've enjoyed my local history posts - I've definitely enjoyed writing them, so much so, that I may carry on with more of the same, although not as daily posts!  Thanks for your support during this challenge.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 7


Tidying up the corner planter and found yet another pieris.  Very happy about this!

119/365: Broom


Not one of my better photos, here's the broom in flower.

Y is for Yatton Keynell

 
Here are the local dialect words starting with Y.  Do you know why someone would be described as yea-nay?  What is a yees?  What are yellow-cups?  the answers will be at the end of this post.
 
********************
 
Today we are travelling 19 miles north of Trowbridge to the village of Yatton Keynell.
 
The church of St Margaret of Antioch was built in 1250 by Sir William Keynell as a token of thanks for his safe return from The Crusades, hence the unusual dedication.  The tower is a 15th century addition and contains a rare panelled belfry with a peel of 4 bells; two of the bells can be dated to 1658 and a third to 1675.  The church plate dates back to 1576.  Very little of the original 13th century building remains as the church was extensively restored in 1868 by George Edmund Street.

There is a strange tale about the eldest son of a Rector of Yatton Keynell, William Stump, which I read on this site.  Aged only 16 the son, Thomas Stump, described as having 'too much spirit to be a scholar' left with his uncle on a sea voyage to Guyana in 1632 or 1633.  When the ship put in to land four or five men, including Thomas, strayed too far and were left behind when the wind picked up and the ship set sail.  Their ordeal is described in the book (The Natural History of Wiltshire by John Aubrey, c.1868):
 
"It was not long before the wild people seized on them and strip's
them, and those that had beards they knocked their braines out,
and (as I remember) did eat them; but the queen saved T. Stump,
and the other boy. Stump threw himself into the river Pronoun
to have drowned himself, but could not sinke; he is very full
chested. The other youth shortly died. He lived with them till
1636 or 1637. His narrations are very strange and pleasant; but
so many yeares since have made me almost forget all. He sayes there
is incomparable fruite there, and that it may be termed the paradise
of the world. He says that the spondyles of the backbones of the huge
serpents there are used to sit on, as our women sitt upon butts. He
taught them to build hovels, and to thatch and wattle. I wish I had a
good account of his abode there; he is "fide dignus". I never heard of
any man that lived so long among those salvages."
 
Thomas Stump escaped when he swam out to a passing Portuguese ship and he worked his passage home.  When the ship was near Cornwall he climbed out of a porthole and swam ashore and found his way back to his father's home in Yatton Keynell.  When he arrived in the village the only person to recognise him was the local carpenter and, once he had managed to prove who he was, described as 'he recounted so many circumstances' (presumably of the people he'd known and the things he'd witnessed in the village as a child),  he was accepted back into the community.  In 1642 he gained a commission as Captain of Foot in the army of King Charles I.
 
*********************
 
Yatton Keynell (pronounced 'Kennel') was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086; at that time the village was known as 'Getone' and since then there have been many variation on the name.  At the centre of the village is a market cross; built in 2010 it has the distinction of being the first traditional market cross to be built in Wiltshire since the 1800s. 
To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, a set of granite stones were set around the market cross, each stone recording the various transformations of the village name from 1086 to the present day.  The names and dates recorded on the stones are:
 
Getone 1086 DB :  Jettun 1245  :  Yeton 1247  :  Iatton 1258  : 
Yatton Kaynel 1289  :  Yatton Kaignel 1306  :  Yetton Caynel 1334  : 
Yatton Kynel 1346  :  Yetton 1348  :  Yeatton Kaynell 1522  : 
Churcheyatton 1530  :  Yettonkenell 1553  :  Yatton Keynell  1618  :
Yatton Keynell Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee 2012
 
 
The village has a couple of unusual milestones.  This one led to the 'Wrong Way Round' sponsored bike ride organised for villagers, where they started at Hyde Park Corner and cycled the 97 miles back to the village.  This year the event is called the 'Wrong Way Round & Round' and the plan is to complete circuits of the village, cycling 6 circuits to complete the 97 miles.

The other milestone is just outside the village.  It is called The Long Stone.
 
And I can't leave without mentioning the hamlet of Tiddlywink which is part of the Parish of Yatton Keynell.  Isn't that a delightful name to have as part of your address?  There are only 8 houses in the hamlet and they had to campaign to get the signs returned and the name of Tiddlywink officially recognised on maps.   
 
The name is thought to be rhyming slang for 'a quick drink' as one of the cottages was known to sell beer to the passing cattle drovers.   
  
**********************
 
I'll finish with the answers to the dialect words:
 
yea-nay - someone who doesn't know his own mind
yees - an earthworm
yellow-cups - buttercups
 
 
I'll be back tomorrow with the letter Z.

Monday, 28 April 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 6


I arrived home to find a small parcel posted through the door - I entered a giveaway on Goodreads and I've won a book. 

118/365: Dwarf Pinks


The pinks are flowering now - I love the colour and the delicate shading on the petals.

X is for Xanadu



There are no local dialect words starting with the letter X, which I'm sure comes as no surprise.  Instead, I will try to eXplain a little about the local accent. 
 
The local accent is usually stereotyped by the media as 'the country bumpkin' accent:
  • the letter 'a' in a word is often sounded as an 'e', so 'pillar' becomes 'piller', 'briar' becomes 'brier'
  • the letter 'e in a word is usually a broad sound like 'aay', so 'they' becomes 'thaay'
  • the letter 'i' in a word is often sounded as an 'e', so 'drink' becomes 'drenk, 'think' becomes 'thenk'
  • the letter 'f' in a word is often sounded as a 'v', so 'fox' becomes 'vox', 'full' becomes 'vull'
  • the letter 's' in a word is often sounded as a 'z', so 'summer' becomes 'zummer', 'self' becomes 'zelf'
This is really just scratching the surface of the local dialect.  With more outside influences it is constantly changing and it is now much rarer to hear the strong broad accents I heard in my childhood and with the passing of the older generations the use of a lot of the local dialect words is being lost - most of the dialect words I have included in my alphabet posts are no longer in regular use.
 
********************
So on to Xanadu .....sorry, I've cheated a bit here because the full title is 'The Legend of Xanadu'.  "What's it got to do with local history?" I hear you ask ... well this was a number one UK hit in 1968 for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, a pop group from Wiltshire.  They all came from either Salisbury or Enford, a small village about 15 miles from Salisbury, although Dave Dee completed his education at Adcroft School in Trowbridge.
 
Here's the song for you to enjoy!
 

 
See you tomorrow for the letter Y.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Focus on Life 2014 17/52: An Evening Moment

The prompt for this week Focus on Life 2014 was:
 
"There is a moment when the day begins to quietly slip away from
 the earth and the calm of evening floods over the land.  Colors deepen,
 stars peek through pin holes in a twilight sky.  We begin to exhale and 
slowly let the world of the day slide from our shoulders." - Sally Russick

'An Evening Moment'


Evening meal finished, washing up done and put away, sitting at the table relaxing with a mug of coffee after a long day at work, watching the changing sky and enjoying the moment.

100 Days of Happy: Day 5


Relaxing after the read-a-thon - half an hour playing the piano, well trying to anyway!

117/365: White Flower

 
This is a close up of the white flower on the shrub in the front garden.  Can anyone help me identify it please?

Saturday, 26 April 2014

100 Days of Happy: Day 4


I'm spoilt for choice today.  I was going to take a picture at band this morning as it was the first practice after the Easter break and I was happy to be back and see everyone.  I'm also joining the Dewey 24 hour Read-a-Thon and, am totally happy with my decision to ignore all the housework and my to-do-list and just read. 
 
The photo is of some of the books I have to choose from over the next 24 hrs, and if I can't be tempted with any of these, there are loads more upstairs!

Dewey 24 hr Read-a-Thon

It's that time again, the Dewey 24 hour read-a-thon and a chance to forget the chores and indulge my love of reading.  For the next 24 hours, or as long as I can manage, I will spend my time reading and eating.
 
I'm starting with 'Never Saw It Coming' by Linwood Barclay, picking up from page 146. 

1pm - Introductory post
 
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  Trowbridge, Wiltshire UK
 
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I haven't decided on my books for the read-a-thon.  I'll just choose as I go along!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Chicken curry.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  I live alone, so have plenty of time to indulge in all my various hobbies.  I like reading all sorts but particularly crime and detective novels.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  I'm going to listen to an audio book this time and may also read a short story on the Kindle.  Previously, I've only read actual books.
 
6:00pm - Update
 
It's now a quarter of the way through the read-a-thon and this is my first progress update:
  • I've finished my first book - 'Never Saw It Coming' by Linwood Barclay (148 pages read today),
  • started my second book - The Chess Men' by Peter May (163/383 pages read so far)
  • I started at 1:00pm and in the six hours since I have been reading for about 5 hours and 10 minutes, the remainder of the time spent on comfort breaks, getting drinks and eats.

Sunday 27th April, 1:00am - Update

Half way through the read-a-thon and still going strong.  Since my last update:
  • I've finished 'The Chess Men' by Peter May (220/383 pages)
  • currently listening to an audiobook - 'Doctor Who, The Feast of the Drowned' (70 minutes running time so far)
  • in the 6 hours since my last update I have been reading/listening for about 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Sunday 27th April, (9:00am - Update

Just got up and am eating my breakfast.  I slept for 2 hours longer than I intended but never mind!  Since my last update:
  • finished listening to the audiobook - 'Doctor Who, The Feast of the Drowned' (approx. 65 minutes running time).  I don't know how many pages the full audiobook equates to.
  • did a short blog hop around some other bloggers who are doing the read-a-thon
  • went to bed at 2:30am
  • in the 8 hours since my last update I have been reading/listening for 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Starting on 'West End Girls' by Jenny Colgan

Sunday 27th April, 1:00pm - End of Event Meme

Which hour was most daunting for you? Surprisingly it was 2:00pm on Saturday, right at the start of the read-a-thon.  I was really tired after a poor night's sleep the night before and I thought I wasn't going to be able to continue.
 
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I don't think any of the books I read count as 'high-interest'!
 
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  From my point of view, it all worked really well so I haven't any suggestions for improvement.
 
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?  I liked the variety of mini challenges, the support of the cheerleaders was amazing, but the best thing was the information and advice provided in the lead up to the event.
 
How many books did you read?
  • What were the names of the books you read?  'Never Saw It Coming' by Linwood Barclay (148/296 pages), 'The Chess Men' by Peter May (383 pages), 'Doctor Who, The Feast of the Drowned' (135 minutes, complete audiobook), 'West End Girls by Jenny Colgan (125/306 pages), 'Doctor Who, The Stone Rose' (40 minutes, part of an audiobook)
  • Which book did you enjoy most? 'The Chess Men'.  It is set in the Isle of Lewis, has believable characters, a good plot, a mystery and a twist at the end.  I also enjoyed the audiobooks more than I thought I would so will be looking for some more in the future.
  • Which did you enjoy least? 'Never Saw It Coming'. I didn't particularly like any of the characters so didn't really care too much what happened to them. 
If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
 
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Yes, I will definitely do this again, as a reader.

W is for White Horse Trail

Here are today's local dialect words.  Do you know what a want is? What is a wasset-man?  Do you know what a weigh-jolt is?  The answers are at the end of this post.
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The White Horse Trail is about 90 mile long and the route provides views of the eight remaining white horse hill figures that are cut into Wiltshire's chalk hillsides.  I have listed them below in chronological order showing the newest one first, rather than the route you would take if you wanted to visit all of them.

The Devizes White Horse is the newest one and was cut in 1999 to celebrate the millennium.  There was an earlier horse in Devizes which grew over and can no longer be seen.  This one is an exact copy, but a mirror image, of the original, making it the only white horse to face to the right.  
Devizes White Horse
© Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Pewsey White Horse was cut in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.  It replaces an earlier horse which had completely grown over.
Pewsey White Horse
© Copyright Andrew Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Broad Town White Horse was cut in 1864 by William Simmonds who owned the land it is on.
Broad Town White Horse
© Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
 
The Hackpen White Horse was cut in 1838, possibly to commemorate the coronation of Queen Victoria.
Hackpen White Horse
© Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Alton Barnes White Horse, cut in 1812, is the third largest of the white horses. It is on Milk Hill, which at 968 feet above sea level is the highest point in the county.
Alton Barnes White Horse

The Marlborough White Horse was designed and cut by the boys from a local school, Mr Greasley's Academy, in 1804.  It is the smallest of the Wiltshire White Horses.

Marlborough White Horse
© Copyright Brian Robert Marshall and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Cherhill White Horse was cut in 1780 and is the second largest of the white horses.
Cherhill White Horse

Westbury White Horse is the oldest and largest of the white horses.  It was cut in 1778 and covers an earlier example. It  is thought that the first horse was cut on this site in 878 to celebrate the victory of King Alfred the Great at the Battle of Edington .
Westbury White Horse

 

The images in this post which are identified as licenced for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence were found on www.geograph.org.uk.

 
********************

Finishing up with the answers to the dialect words:
  • want - a mole
  • wasset-man - a scarecrow
  • weigh-jolt - a seesaw
I'll be back on Monday with the letter X.

116/365: Front Garden


The shrub in the front garden is covered in white flowers.  Does anyone know what this is called please?  I'll post a close up of a flower tomorrow.

Friday, 25 April 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 3


It's been raining all day and I got soaked three times, so I was really happy to get home and have a long soak in the bath.  I spared you the sight of me actually in the bath - didn't think the world was quite ready for that! 

V is for Vale of Pewsey

 
Let's start with the local dialect words.  Who could be described as vuddled? What does vinney mean? What sort of weather could be described as veer?  The answers are at the end of this post. 

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Populated by over 30 villages, the Vale of Pewsey is area of land about 19 miles long and 3 mile wide which lies between the Marlborough Downs to the north and Salisbury Plain to the south. Although not part of the Downs, it is included as part of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It includes the Pewsey Downs National Nature Reserve which has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation.
 
It is a truly beautiful place and one which I need to explore properly. I'll let the photographs speak for themselves!
View across Combe and fields to Woodborough Hill
© Copyright Doug Lee and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
 
The Kennet and Avon Canal, Woodborough
© Copyright Andrew Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Cattle grazing near Alton Priors
© Copyright Maurice Pullin and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
 
 
Picked Hill
© Copyright Andrew Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
View across the Vale of Pewsey from col between Knap Hill and Golden Ball Hill
© Copyright Doug Lee and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Bridleway near Marden
© Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Downland to the west of Milk Hill
 © Copyright Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The images in this post which are identified as licenced for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence were found on www.geograph.org.uk.

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Here are the answers to the dialect words:
  • vuddled - a spoilt child 
  • vinney - mouldy 
  • veer weather - changeable weather
 
 
Hope to see you again tomorrow for the letter W. 
 

115/365: Dwarf Pink (Whatfield Joy)


These aren't flowering yet so I've gone for an 'arty' shot!

Thursday, 24 April 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 2


Breaking the seal on a new jar of coffee!

U is for Upper Chute

 
I'll start with the local dialect words.  Do you know what upsides means?  What does up-along mean?  And what does it mean if a child is described as unbelieving?  The answers are at the end of this post.

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Today's tale takes us to the village of Upper Chute which is 36 miles east of Trowbridge on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border. 
 
We need to go back to July 1593 and the terrible times of the Black Death.  The story is that when some of the villagers from Upper Chute and the surrounding villages unluckily contracted the plague they were persuaded by Reverend John Atkins, the vicar of Vernham Dean (about 4 miles away), to isolate themselves and so protect the other unaffected villagers.  They agreed to this and made a camp (referred to as a 'pest house') at Conholt Hill on Chute Causeway.  Atkins promised to support them and bring them supplies, but sadly he failed to keep his promise and they all died.  Whether he abandoned them through fear, laziness or neglect is not explained in the story.  He eventually contracted the plague himself and died, as did his wife and children. 
Looking north down Conholt Hill
© Copyright Hugh Chevallier and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Whether there is any truth to this story I don't know.  There is no doubt that there was a Reverend John Atkins incumbent at Hurstbourne Tarrant (which included the parish of Vernham Dean) from 1575 to 1593, and the date of his death tallies with the story.  He was apparently an inefficient vicar who neglected his work and his parishioners; there were hardly any baptisms recorded during the time he was there and for the most part the church records were blank.
 
John Atkins' ghost is said to be seen on the route up to the pest house on Chute Causeway although it never gets to the top, just as he failed to in life.  It is dressed in the costume of a clergyman of the late 16th century, but has only ever been seen in July - the time of year that the plague victims died!

All the images in this post were taken from www.geograph.org.uk.
 
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These are the answers to the dialect words:
  • upsides - to get even with someone
  • up-along - a short way up the road
  • unbelieving - disobedient (referring to the behaviour of a child)
 
I'll be back tomorrow with the letter V.

114/365: Leucojum Gravetye Giant (Summer Snowflake)

 
I've already posted a black and white shot of these, so here's what they look like in colour!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

100 Happy Days: Day 1

I've signed up for another challenge!
 
I blame Karen - she posted a link to 100 Happy Days on Facebook this morning and, before I'd even finished my first mug of coffee, I'd signed up for it!  I'd been looking for another daily challenge to take over when the A to Z Challenge finishes at the end of this month and this seemed like a good one.
 
To quote the 100 Happy Days website:
 
"We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something
to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less
time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate
 the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for
the bridge towards long  term happiness of any human being."
 
To complete the challenge, all I have to do is post one picture a day of something that made me happy that day ... for 100 days.  The idea is to post on Facebook or Twitter but I've decided to post on this blog instead.
 
So here is photo no 1 ...
 .... home!  I was so happy to see this place this afternoon.  It was my first full day back teaching after the Easter break and it has been a tiring day full of overexcited kids who haven't settled down to the school routines yet - probably all still overdosing on chocolate! 


T is for Teasels


Here are the local dialect words.  What does tazzle mean? What mood does tear describe? And what does twire mean? The answers are at the end of this post.
 ********************
We are staying in Trowbridge today so that I can explain a little bit about the woollen cloth industry and about this plant, the humble teasel.   
Teasels were an important tool in the cloth industry.  Prior to the Industrial Revolution, teasels were fitted into small hand held frames and following the introduction of mechanisation in the form of the teasel gig, teasels were required in even larger quantities.  At one time they were grown as a cultivated plant in Somerset, Essex and the East Riding of Yorkshire and later on they were imported.

To be used as a tool, a number of teasels were fitted into a wooden hand held frame which had a long handle; the combined teasels and frame were referred to as a 'teasel handle'.  The teasel handle was brushed over the surface of the woollen cloth to raise the nap - a finishing process which raised the fibre ends to the surface of the cloth, where they were clipped, brushed or left upright. 

For the first stage of the napping process the cloth was stretched over a frame; the fuller or the tenterer pulled the teasel handle over the wet cloth to do the preliminary napping, followed by a wet shearing.  For the second stage of the napping process the cloth was  dry and the napping was carried out by the shearsman using dry teasel handles which were pushed up from the bottom of the cloth to the top, followed by the specialist dry shearing.  A consequence of the first stage was that the water softened the teasels and they lost their effectiveness so, being too expensive to throw away after one use, the teasels needed to be dried out and used again.  To do that they were placed in a building like the one in the following image.
This is the Studley Mill Handle House which straddles the River Biss in Trowbridge.   It was built in about 1844, and was designed for the sole purpose of drying and storing the teasel handles. 
Close up showing the open brickwork
© Copyright Oast House Archive and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
The open brickwork on three sides allowed the air to flow through. Although common at one time, this building is one of only a few remaining in the UK.  It is the only one known to still exist in Wiltshire.
**********************

Here are the answers to the dialect words:

  • tazzle - tangled, knotted, touseled
  • tear - a rage
  • twire - to look wistfully at something


Hope to see you tomorrow for the letter U.