Posts Tagged ‘Derbyshire’

Visit to Nottingham University Park and Bakewell area

September 28, 2012

Nottingham University
Set in beautiful grounds — worth visiting

VISITING DERBYSHIRE AND NOTTINGHAMSHIRE — BIRTHDAY TREAT!
Recently, we had a short break away to celebrate my hubby’s birthday and visit family. We stayed in a Sleeplodge in Derbyshire. We booked into a ‘superior room’, which had facilities for meal preparation (sink, kettle, toaster, fridge, and a microwave). Certainly it had a posh new bathroom, plenty of hot water and heating. The view from the window was also good. However, certain things did not come up to scratch. But never mind that, we had a lovely time visiting my sister near Nottingham (taking her to the Nottingham University Highfields Park, and the Attenborough Nature Reserve. We had a great lunch with my hubby’s sisters and their husbands, plus visits to their homes. We also visited Chatsworth Farm Shop and the Garden Centre on the Chatsworth Estate. A pleasant walk round Bakewell too. A lot to pack in and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Visiting the University Park always brings back memories of my youth (we used to live about a mile away) and, of course, Derbyshire is where my hubby was born (85 years ago) and lived until work and then marriage meant leaving home.

We sisters in University Park, Nottingham


View from sleeplodge window


The apartment’s posh bathroom

New Growth From Old

July 25, 2010

New life linking to the past where a new life began


Rambling Rose linking love and life — the past into the present


We may be living some distance from where we were born but we have managed to achieve a living link to my husband’s birth town in our very own garden here in Cumbria.
We visited the village where my husband was born (10 pounds plus!) over eighty years ago and I saw the cottage where he arrived in the world. It has a view of the river below. The garden is below lane level and not only were vegetables grown there but pigs were kept too. Hubby says he had his photo taken on the back of one. The river supplied water for running the local mills.
Just along the lane hubby’s uncle lived. But the houses were knocked down years ago. I noticed the wall had been filled in where gates had once been. About the place where the uncle had lived a pink rambling rose grew over the wall. I took a cutting. From the piece I managed to grow several plants. Now a couple of years later they are doing very nicely in our South Cumbria home.
I planted one of the roses under a tree hoping it would grow upwards into the branches. It has. I look at it and think about how it links us to my hubby’s birthplace. So too those cuttings I planted by a trellis.
Little pink lanterns of joy! New growth from old. Life moves onward but always we are rooted in our past.

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Always Look for the Rainbow

November 5, 2009

SDC11567 Chatsworth - path to the woods

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We have been away for a short autumn break. It is a long time since we have been out in so much rain. But, at least, it gave me the opportunity to chase a few rainbows!
As usual when we go to Derbyshire, we visited the Chatsworth House estate. This beautiful place, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is set in magnificent grounds and there are many miles of footpaths to explore. There is a charge for the house, wonderful gardens and Farmyard (with children’s play area), but well worth a visit. The rest of the estate, with its sheep, deer and wildlife are open to all. Christmas at Chatsworth is a particularly magical time, but, being early November, we were a bit early for that, although things were under way.
So wet weather maybe but plenty of rainbows to be found! (Even if we had to drive to Cromford Hill to catch one!)

Clearing the attic — goodbye to the past

September 21, 2009

Wolfscotedale, Derbyshire

Wolfscotedale, Derbyshire

When I entered the exam for entrance to the Nottingham Secondary Art School at the age of thirteen, I was asked what job I wanted to do. I wrote down DRESS DESIGNER. I was told by several people that it was almost impossible to get into designing. So I crossed it out and wrote BOOK ILLUSTRATOR. I was told that I would never be able to get into that sort of business. Better to opt for dress designing. So I crossed out my illustrator option and wrote designer again. Whoever read the form likely decided I was good at dithering. How true! I dislike having to make choices — too bad, life is full of them.
I have written elsewhere how I got into designing and eventually, to suit family life and cut down travelling, decided to go freelance. I could never have done this at the start as I was unknown and untried. But I was able to carry on at the same firm, plus design and pattern cut for a lingerie firm, then take on the design and pattern cutting of nightwear and housecoats. Now I could see my designs on display in a large range of stores.
Three years after my third child was born I saw a notice asking for married women with experience of children to train as teachers. By this time I was quite interested in education and thought this would be an ideal occupation as it would fit in better with my family. We lived at a distance from the manufacturing cities and so I still had to travel when designing. But was I cut out to be a teacher? Did I have the qualifications to enter the local training college?
The story of how I accomplished this, plus the training and enormous problems when my husband became redundant and we had no choice but to move 220 miles to a totally different environment, will be the subject of another post. Enough to say here that I still continued to do a few designs and cut patterns for one firm for quite a few years. Such was my value to that firm — reliability is essential — that the manager would travel many miles from his factory in Nottingham to ensure he would get his perfect patterns. I recall on a few occasions, working in my workshop (a purpose-built shed in our garden) at five in the morning so as to get the patterns completed. It also enabled me to work while the children were still in bed. On another occasion, the manager relaxed in a deck chair in the sunshine, with cigarettes and cool drink, while I was sweating away in my workshop — I was heavily pregnant at the time. Such was my reliability.
Changes in garment manufacture, especially with the growth of imports, and a severe credit squeeze, forced many manufactures to give up and buildings to be sold. Nottingham’s mills, indeed mills all over the country, seem to have been turned into apartments. Britain has largely lost its manufacturing base. I can buy clothes cheaper today than the cost of material. Once I made most of my own clothes, all of my mother’s clothes, the children’s clothes until they went to school and needed a uniform, and clothes for relatives and friends. I made wedding dresses and bridesmaids outfits, I even made the carry cot for our first child. With industrial machines (lockstitch and overlock) and a Viking to do embroidery, there was little I could not attempt. Pram covers to fancy patches on our sons’ jeans!
Now with my diseased eyes, I only do essential mending. But I still had all my basic patterns in our attic. Pattern blocks are the tools of a designer-cutter. They were shaped and perfected over years of use. There was no pattern I could not cut using those blocks. A pile of them, all cut in Swedish Craft paper: basic blocks for all garments — knicker, cami-knickers, nightdress, slips, housecoat, coat, dress blocks of different sizes – my personal block and those of family members etc etc. A stack of them hanging up and in a large flat box. Once worth a lot but now completely redundant.
Yesterday, I took them all out, made a huge parcel of them, and took them with other rubbish to the recycling bins. I am still left with collections of designs I did years ago. Those were the days when dresses had to fit the figure. Soft drapes or neat collar, shapely bustline and waist, pencil skirt or mid-calf flowing skirts — all so feminine. I smile at some of today’s clothing — I had patterns for baby-doll nightware that would do nicely for what women buy today!
So my pattern blocks are gone — the end of an identity I once had.
Lots more to clear out of the attic yet — materials for teaching, especially art and reading. Amazing what I have hung on to. I have cleared out boxes of fabric — useful for many purposes. And old Nativity costumes etc. etc.
Still to go — and this brings tears to my eyes— my cassocks, surplices and cloaks, used when I was conducting funerals, services and when preaching or assisting with baptisms or with Communion.
Then what? I have already sold off books I used for studying with the OU and other courses. I once thought of writing novels associated with my fields of study, especially the Victorian age and maybe a Roman romance. Or a school yarn? It will not happen. So I have thrown out many essays and so on, although I have kept two long dissertations — well, I did get a distinction for one and just a few marks off a distinction for the other. Pride!
Now, about my writing…. Time to be realistic?

I looked through the photo album to find a photograph that seemed the most relevant at this stage of my life. I decided on this one. Looking forward. I am standing alone, and that is the way it has been in most of what I have done and achieved — academically and in the workplace. But I am not alone in my life. Does our work define who we are? To me that is a side issue. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, a homemaker, friend and neighbour. If we cling to what was, what might have been, to faded hopes and dreams, the ‘stuff in the attic of our lives’ then we miss the scene around us and the joys that may well lie ahead.

Walking in Derbyshire

May 14, 2009

 

Cowslips by the path leading to a tunnel

Cowslips by the path leading to a tunnel

 

 

Gorse on the hillsides

Gorse on the hillsides

 

Cold afternoon in the Goyt Valley!

Cold afternoon in the Goyt Valley!

It is a wonderful thing to be able to enjoy the blessings of the countryside in spite of old age. Of course, it is not essential to be able to walk but you can get to far more places if a few miles can be managed in reasonable comfort.

 

 

We have just returned from a break-away in the Derbyshire Peal District. In places there is little to be seen other than wild moorland, only broken by limestone walling. Other areas, sheep and cows graze on

Mum calls from the top but babies can't make it!

Mum calls from the top but babies can't make it!

rich grass watered by many streams flowing down from rocky peaks. And, out of sight of both traffic on roads and roaming walkers are the magnificent deep dales flowing with sparkling water. Out of sight that is until the spot is reached where these glorious glimpses of heaven suddenly come into view. To add to the blessings of nature are the old railway tracks, now devoid of rails, that once carried passengers and goods to the remote areas where mills stood by rushing streams, country houses and villages nestled in valleys, mines and quarries worked by strong men with muscles earned by toil. These railways were cut through rock and hillsides and sometimes built on raised ground. Other footpaths follow the edge of rivers and mount hillsides, but wherever the walker wanders there are views to make the heart sing, wild flowers to enhance the senses and wild life to gladden the eye.

Monseldale

Monseldale

 

 

 

Here I am putting a few photographs of Goyt Valley, Monseldale, Milldale and Wolfscotedale. All taken in May 2009 when an abundance of wild flowers lifted colourful petals to golden sunlight filtering through trees with young leafy growth – sweetly green as only seen in spring. Here we saw ducks with their young swimming on rivers, and laughed at the mother duck calling to her little ones to follow her up the steep weir — they couldn’t fly up so swam around looking for a way to follow. No use mum quacking, she had to turn back and take them in the opposite direction. And what magnificent engineering we saw — railway tunnels and bridges spanning the deep valleys.

The old mills are now lovely apartments!

The old mills are now lovely apartments!

 

Typical Derbyshire houses and bridge

Typical Derbyshire houses and bridge

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