Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Tuesday.


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.

9 comments:

Z said...

How splendid to be able to stock up. Aren't old fashioned shops marvellous?

Lori Skoog said...

Love that sweet little church!

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Zoe. It's good to be able to find that sort of place, and I'm a great believer in bagging a thing when it's by.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Lori; yes, it's a lovely little Norman church. I believe there's a service still held there annually; but, other than that, it's not much used - I think the 'leper' connexion puts people off a bit, even now.

Liz said...

That sounds like a busy and productive day with the added bonus of driving through some of Suffolk's many nice bits.

Crowbard said...

Possibly the oldest surviving building in Cambridge, the Leper Chapel was known as the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene and was at the centre of the Stourbridge Fair, the largest medieval fair in Europe. In its recent history, the chapel was owned and maintained by the organisation called 'Cambridge Past, Present and Future'.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Crowbard. It is generally accepted that St. Bene't's Church in Cambridge is the oldest building in Cambridge and probably the oldest Church in Cambridgeshire. St. Bene't's is an abbreviation of Saint Benedict's (hence the unusual double apostrophe). The tower was built circa 1000 to 1050 A.D.

Mike and Ann said...

Dear Crowbard. It is generally accepted that Saint Bene't's Anglo Saxon Church is the oldest Church/building in Cambridge (and probably the oldest Church in Cambridgeshire). St. Bene't is an abbreviation of St. Benedicts's, hence the double comma in St. Bene't's. The tower was built between 1000 and 1050 A.D.

Crowbard said...

I believe the Normans had already abbreviated St. Benedict to St. Beneit, it was but a short contraction for the English voice to elide the word to Benet and for the honest English hand to remark this elision with an apostrophe. Apostrophe comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], "[the 'turning away', or elision mark]".