Friday 30th October - Odds and Ends
Couldn't resist photographing the sun shining through the last of the boston ivy leaves on the front of our house. Beautiful.
I've had two history emails recently. One from IG in this country concerning the Naish/Nash family of Chitterne. In this instance he told me more than I could tell him; I hadn't heard of William Naish born 1772 in Chitterne, his 3xgreat grandfather. But I sent him my notes on the family anyway and offered to put him in touch with two other Naish researchers. It turns out he is related to one of them: DN, who emailed me last year and lives in the US. In his reply DN stated that Albert Nash, the Imber blacksmith who is famed for having died of a broken heart when he had to leave Imber in 1943, was born in Chitterne and is part of the same family. So that looks fruitful for the two of them, and perhaps me as well.
The second email arrived this morning from Australia. Very brief but very satisfying and I'm going to quote it here as it proves a point I was making earlier. It came from MM, who is researching her Chitterne Foyle family line, she says: "I saw your delightful and helpful web site and there are a few useful paragraphs on the foyle family that I would love to put onto my site(with source listed ) and wondered if I may have your permission. your work is a wonderful help to many that are researching chitterne." Now that's the way to ask to use my words etc. Unlike the Crux Easton webmaster (see 28th September blog) who contacted me by email saying she couldn't deal with the matter by email (!) and asking me to phone her at a specific time and on a specific day. I refused as I don't like the telephone and have a hearing problem, so I emailed her back saying so, adding that I just wanted to be credited with having written the words she lifted from my web site, and the picture of John Wallis Titt to be credited to Dewey Museum, Warminster. I've heard nothing from her since. However, the Hampshire Mills Group web site I notice has been amended and now doesn't have my words and picture on it. So thank you AV, I appreciate that.
My ears perked up yesterday morning when Bosworth battlefield was mentioned on the Radio 4 news. They have announced that the battlefield site has been proved to be 2 miles from Ambion Hill. So I guess they'll be moving King Richard's standard and memorial stone that still sits on the old site. (See 10th September blog).
Saturday 24th October - Game of Hide and Seek
No we haven't acquired a string of 4x4's. The shooting party are out on the farm beyond the top of our garden. But we knew this already because the pheasants and partridges were hiding inside the garden. Who said pheasants were stupid? Well, I did actually, but I'm re-evaluating that opinion. If you meet one on the road around here they'll run in any direction, even in front of your car, rather than take to their wings. Stupid I thought, but what if they have learnt that flying gets them killed? Not so stupid. Nor is hiding in the garden. But why haven't they learned that running in front of cars gets them squashed? Hmm, tricky.
Tuesday 20th October - All Change
The weather has changed. The dry spell has ended. It's raining. Spent the day huddled over the keyboard and made some changes. Yesterday I decided to have a break from writing something every month for Chit-Chat and told the editor I was quitting. Today my first job was to alter the "Current" and "Past" pages on this site to take account of this change. Looking back through old issues I discovered that I've been writing for Chit-Chat for 3 years!
Second job was to re-vamp the "Graveyard Search" page on the history pages of the Chitterne site. Re-wrote the blurb and added pdfs of the graveyard maps and lists of burials for both graveyards, and a map to show where they are. Wondered idly if this is lawful under the Data Protection Act, but decided that it probably didn't apply to dead people. Amalgamated the two drop-down lists for the search facility into one. I hope the whole page is more understandable now. This blog probably isn't, unless you are familiar with my pages.
Friday 16th October - Chitterne Protests
Last night D and I attended a protest meeting at the village hall called by two village Mums who are fed up with manoeuvering their children and horses through speeding traffic in the village. It's a perennial problem. Groups have been formed before; surveys have been made; traffic has been monitored; the parish council have called in the police who occasionally bring their speed cameras to the village; the MP has looked into it; what else can be done?
The Mums are so incensed that they want to organise a protest, to disrupt the traffic with parked cars and villagers walking in the streets with bicycles and horses and children. To reclaim the streets in effect. There was a large number of villagers at the meeting and this idea was supported and agreed to by a majority. It would have been hard not to support the Mums pleas for something to be done.
Permanent solutions were also discussed. There were lots of ideas, but favourites were the erecting of flashing 30 signs at all the entrances to the village; providing pavements where there are none; siting round-a-bouts at road junctions and sticking 30 signs on our wheelie bins so that at least on Thursdays the motorists would be reminded of the speed limit every few yards. If you drive through Chitterne fast, be warned!
Comment:I hope the road calming group succeeeds, they have lots of constructions around here, humps, slaloms, - in the village it is mostly so many parked cars everyone has to drive at a crawl, which works well. However they also park all over the corner at the shop, so exiting into the main road can often be hairy.gg
Wednesday 14th October - Day Out
Yesterday I paid my first visit to the new Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. I was dead against it being moved from Trowbridge two years ago as it's now further away from where I live and from the centre of the county. But I must admit the new building does have a wow factor, inside and out. It's fairly easy to find, given that I don't know Chippenham very well and that I was driven there by a friend who has been before. Also there is plenty of free parking - always a hit and miss affair when visiting the old Record Office at Trowbridge.
Inside my immediate reaction was how spacious and light. At the reception desk my old Reader's Card didn't work so after form-filling for a new one, depositing our bags in the lockers and inspecting the swish new loos we were buzzed in. The high ceilings added to the sense of quiet space and so did the lack of people. Where were they all? While deciding which documents to order for inspection we were joined by SH who had promised us a tour behind the scenes. Before this I had only glimpsed the old storage area at Trowbridge through a glass panelled door as documents were wheeled into the search room. Back then I had the impression of wartime storage; rows upon rows of basic metal shelving filled with brown cardboard boxes. Big change in Chippenham, first we went through an "air-lock" type double entry, because the archive storage is temperture controlled. Once through the two sets of doors we were in a large white clinical-feeling space filled with rows of rolling shelving and hanging space for maps, very modern, but the same old brown cardboard boxes added their own down-to-earth feel.
Upstairs are the offices, staff areas and the labs for preserving and investigating artfacts; lots of glass. Back downstairs we toured the local studies, buildings record, bookshop and education areas. We asked what the workers thought of the building. Mostly positive was the response with a few drawbacks: the extra distance from south Wiltshire was one; the small size of the education room was another, only 35 could fit in comfortably.
By this time our ordered documents had arrived at our chosen desks in the research room so we entered that hallowed area and prepared to whisper or keep quiet. Still not many people about, we could have spread over three or four sets of desks. On the other hand at lunchtime we found only two low tables and about 8 seats in the food area with two machines dispensing drinks and snacks. There were plenty of picnic type tables outside, but not in October thank you.
As we wound up our researches and prepared to go home more people arrived. Perhaps it's busier in the afternoon.
Saturday 3rd October - Autumn Arrives
Boston ivy on the Round House in autumnal shades ranging from palest gold to deep, deep red.
Where have these sparrows been hiding? We hadn't seen any since last year. All spring and summmer tits have been eating the nuts and seeds, sneaking out from the beech hedge between boisterous visits from jackdaws, pigeons, a greater spotted woodpecker and the occasional squirrel, but here are the sparrows back. Where have they been?
Indoors a four-legged comma butterfly has chosen a curtain for hibernation. Not a very wise choice considering its camouflage of old oak leaf. It seems to be unbothered by curtain opening and closing twice a day.
Remembering our daughter Mandy's birthday today. She would have been 30.
Friday 2nd October - Welcome Back Aga
The Aga is going again, burning plain kerosene, after yet another visit from AH the service engineer. Fantastic, no more burnt or underdone offerings for dinner from the standby, my mother's old gas stove. Although I was just starting to get to grips with its little idiosycrasies. Sometimes I even remembered to light it before shoving our meal into the oven, but mostly I forgot and dinner was delayed, or misjudged the numbers on the oven dial and served up exploded baked potatoes. D will be pleased.