Saturday, 15 March 2014


On Thursday morning we motored across to Hertfordshire to visit Ann's middle brother (David) and his wife Jo. We arrived at just after mid day, all climbed into David's car, and drove to thier favourite 'eating out' place, where they'd invited us to lunch.  This was the Stratton arms Hotel in Biggleswade. It had the look and feel of a late Georgian Coaching Inn. It's a lovely, clean, welcoming place, where we had a good lunch, served by the cheerful, young helpful staff, and was excellent.  After lunch the ladies decided that they needed a little restful shopping, so David and I set out to explore the town.

Nearly opposite the Stratton House Hotel, was another old Inn, the Red Lion. It's a lovely looking place, although fairly heavily restored over a good many years.

In the Market place we came across another old Inn, the White Hart, which claims to be the oldest building in Biggleswade, bar the Church.

 Talking of which, the Church was our next stop, and well worth exploring. Above is a snapshot of David in the Church porch. The oak door (above) is the same age as the lovely old arched doorway in which it still stands.  When we met up with the ladies, David told us that he now wanted to show us another early Church that he'd told us of some time ago. So back into the car, drove deep into the countryside nearly back to their home, and saw the below tiny church, which we had to walk across a meadow to get to, and well worth the stroll it was, too.

It is Saint Guthlac's Church, in Astwick, and is probably the remnants of a much larger Church, which was  altered to its present size sometime in the 15th century. It appears to be composed of bits from the Conquest onwards, and is absolutely charming.

 David had taken the precaution of borrowing a Church key from a friend, presumably one of the Church Wardens, so that we were able to explore. Above is a snapshot of Jo standing just inside the back door of the Church.

Inside the Church, too, the seating is composed of pews of different dates  from medieval benches onward. The above photo shows some of the Georgian box pews, with inside seats on three sides, which meant that when the Church was full, some of the congregation had to sit with their backs to the pulpit!

Then drove the mile or so to Dave and Jo's home, where Skip, Jo's dog begged very hard to be allowed to join us for tea, which his mistress eventually allowed. After the lunch we'd had, whilst we were ready to drink tea, we really didn't need to eat, but having seen the trifle Jo had made, decided that it would be churlish to refuse so we both 'toyed' with a small helping. It was a traditional trifle and delicious.

It had been a lovely day out, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

As you will probably have gathered, my computer played up quite badly yesterday evening. It generally had a fit of the vapours, dug its heels in, laid its ears back and refused to comply. In the end, after tinkering with it  I cancelled Thursday's blog entry an hour ago, and tried again. Hope things work this time.

Here goes !


Rog said...

All working well! And how could anyone refuse such a cute little chap like Skip?

Crowbard said...

That Skip will make a fine wolf-hound when he grows up. He already looks to have the heart and spirit of one!

Z said...

What a lovely day out! And Skip is irresistible. I'd better not show Ben. Or the Tots.

Mike and Ann said...

Thank you Rog (breathes sigh of relief). And just when I was beginning to think I'd finally got the hang of computers!

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. I'm afraid Skip has no intention of growing up. He is about seven. A year ago Dave and Jo's old dog died, and since then a friend who was going abroad asked Joe to take Skip, which she was, by that time, glad to do. He is a delight. Dave says his only drawback is that, although he loves all humanity, he thinks other dogs have been placed on earth by an all seeing Deity, for him to fight.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Z. The thought of Ben and Skip meeting up reminds me of the old story about the miniature Yorkie who killed a Great Dane - The Dane choked on him!

Crowbard said...

Oh Mike! That Mini-Yorkie tall-tail almost choked me too... still giggling like a school-boy!

Mike and Ann said...

Hi Crowbard. If you keep a joke like that long enough, you can always find someone who's forgotten it!