Tuesday, 20 January 2015
Been a busy day. Had to drive across to our furniture restorer with a long case clock , the case of which (largely because of modern central heating ) has been drying out so badly, that it has become a major job. I like to think I can do anything to the insides of an ancient clock, that needs doing, but a clock case needing major work is a job for a joiner. Melvin lives near Newmarket - we hadn't seen him for some years. He hasn't changed a lot though, apart from greying a good deal at the edges, and that of course can happen to the best of us. Chatted for a while then drove on to Cambridge. Took the above photo of a small church in a field at the edge of Cambridge. It looks sweet, but is, in fact, the old leper Chapel, and dates from late Norman days.
Went to the only shop I know of in East Anglia which sells brass and iron rod and sheet in different sizes and thicknesses. Just before I left I said to the efficient type who was serving me "It's a long shot but do you have any piercing saw blades ?" and to my utter surprise he said he thought they did through in the main shop. Went through and they did, in the sizes I needed ! I then found they also sold silver solder rods and flux, and buffing wheel mops and brushes. Most of these things, over the last few years, I've had to 'phone jewellery suppliers all over the country to obtain! Then found a vacant parking place (it's been that sort of day) near the Fitzwilliam museum, where we had a light lunch, and popped in to see an old friend, David, who keeps an antique shop right opposite the Fitzwilliam, and is always worth a visit.
Motored home, and took above snap of the cottage above, it's the last house coming out of Lavenham. The trees to the left of the photo stand on a small hill which is claimed by the locals as the highest point in Suffolk (as do two other places - all of them claim to be just over 300 feet above sea level).
The above building is, or was, Monks Eleigh Guild Hall. It's as well to remember that, in Suffolk, the place you are in may look like a small village now, but was probably (before the black death hit us in 1349/1350) quite an important market town. I have known elderly gentlemen to become markedly narked (I should perhaps have expressed that as 'highly indignant') at hearing their main shopping street described as 'the village street'. "This is not a village " they reply, "It is a market town"; and in the case of Highdale "It was once the capital of the kingdom of East Anglia". It doesn't matter a bit to said elderly gentlemen that this was a thousand years or so ago, it is still not a village street you are occupying! so tread warily when you describe the place.