Pandemic Pondering #114

Wembury Part II- The beach is closed to dogs, as is normal for the summer. Summer is a time for the cliff paths and always, at this location,some contemplation for a soldier unknown to us.

We walked to his memorial bench, positioned at a bend on the cliff path.

It is a beautiful spot overlooking the Mewstone. It commemorates a young life lost at war. These two links tell the story of his passing. Yesterday was his birthday.
https://www.gov.uk/government/fatalities/lieutenant-colonel-rupert-thorneloe-and-trooper-joshua-hammond-killed-in-afghanistan

https://youtu.be/s6ODJw014YY

Pandemic Pondering #30

Book bags and Woodland walks, featuring dog bums

We don’t forward plan much these days. A firming up of rules on driving to exercise during Coronovirus Restrictions freed us up to venture just a little further afield. The journey also gave us the chance to drop bags of books on the doorsteps of ‘Shielding Bookworms’ , actually members of a local book club,who need to self isolate for 12 weeks. Describing them as I did I made them sound like a covert infestation requiring pesticide.

Cadsonbury Woods, a Riverside walk near Callington has been a favourite walk for 30 years. It has an additional uphill walk to an ancient Hill Fort. We rarely do that because we always have the dogs and the fields are often being grazed by sheep. Without the dogs we would normally sprint up hills of such challenging gradients like mountain goats. Not today.
https://www.tamarvalleyvibe.uk/?p=1639

There were a few cars in the car park but we mostly had the woods to ourselves. Most visitors must have been of the mountain goat variety.

The birdsong was beautiful and recent work, felling trees to protect the river bank from erosion, had really opened up the walk to bright daylight. We even found a Memorial Bench.

There’s a lot of dog bums in the following pictures, some faces, some nature in springtime but I completely forgot to take a picture of the most significant part of the outing.

A cup of tea from a flask and a shortbread biscuit, which we had to share, after a couple of hours of walking in the woods. Bliss in these unusual times.

The River Effra, digressions and a memorial bench.

The River Effra plays a big part in my London life. Rising out of the ground near my home in Crystal Palace it has been constrained by engineers and now runs underground nearly all the way to Vauxhall Bridge where it emerges from a culvert to join the Thames.

Effra emerges and looks like a small lake in Belair Park, Dulwich, where Hugo and Lola love to walk. Then she sinks back underground.

I always think of Effra as a woman because Effra is a character name in Ben Arronovitchs series of books The Rivers of London.
Effra, the character, is the daughter of Mama Thames she has a BA in History of Art and is said to be very involved in UK Grime.

Just a little digression there.
Effra gives her name to.all kinds of things .

Effra Parade in Brixton

Effra Parade bus stop on the number 3 bus route.

More digression.

One of the most interesting bus routes in London. During a conversation this weekend someone said I loved riding buses because I’m a socialist. I’m not sure that’s entirely true. I love riding buses because the front seat at the top of a London bus is a joyous calabash of cultures, particularly suited to a nosey person. The front seat on a number 3 is sublime.

Effra Social.A bar and casual dining location with iconic status in Brixton. Previously the Conservative Club.

Effra Farm in the 1790’s roughly where Effra Road is.
The point, however of this blog is the lake in Belair Park where Effra takes in some daylight between underground journeys.
Belair Park has less memorial benches than many London parks but there is one in a very picturesque spot.As usual with memorial benches I’ve used what3words to locate it.Whoever Guy Robinson was his friends and family have chosen a lovely spot to position his bench.It is very close to a picture I took to manipulate into some lacy pictures.The last image is my favourite, it sums up the mystery of an underground river.

Advent#3

December Sunset at Churchtown Farm. This works in two ways , it is a brilliant December image for Advent and the location fits nicely into the Memorial Bench category. This bench is not the one that inspired my memorial bench writings but it is the one that I see the most often as it’s on my regular dog walk. It often gets a mention on the Churchtown Farm Facebook page, because people get such peace and solace from perching here. It is placed overlooking a beautifully peaceful stretch of the River Lynher. Jupiter Point, part of HMS Raleigh is the silver twinkles at the far left of this image. Beyond the Navy the water here is pretty quiet, troubled only by sailing boats and the occasional gig from Caradon Pilot Gig Club based in Saltash.A17EB3BB-A74D-4FD2-8A4D-713A9B76BE6C

This bench is unusual because it is so solid and the commemoration is carved into the wood, it’s solidity increases the sense of its permanence in the landscape. The location is so beautiful and the seat so comfy it’s hard to walk past . Not necessarily efficient dog walking but perfect for pondering. It’s what3words location is react.sometime.breeze

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Terry Conway

My first bench story comes to me from a new friend. We met at a writing course organised by The Gentle Author at The Town House, Spitalfields. Liz heard me talking about wanting to write about memorial Benches and emailed me the next day.Terry Conway was a friend of hers, and goodness me does he have a lovely bench. It is situated just outside Allendale and overlooks a spectacular view. The location for Terry’s bench using what3words is beyond.envy.beauty. “These words are somehow very appropriate for Terry who wrote lyrical songs about the beauty of Northumberland”mused Liz. Luckily for this blog Terry was the subject of a Guardian Other Lives Obituary. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/aug/01 You can also hear Terry on this YouTube clip. https://youtu.be/fcCLmqUIM9w


For anyone not interested in following links. Terry was a council roadman for 30 years and a hugely respected singer and songwriter in the Folk tradition. His day job inspiring his songwriting. Fittingly the
commemoration of Terry’s bench was a folk music moment.

I am so lucky to have met Liz. What a rewarding way to start writing about memorial benches.

Memorial Benches

I’ve been mulling over Memorial benches for some time. Where appropriate or acceptable I would love to tell the stories behind the plaques on so many benches around the world.
The what3words app makes things a little easier.
For continuity I would like
1. A picture of the plaque or inscription.
2. A picture of the bench
3. A picture of the view it overlooks
4. A bio of the people whose lives are being commemorated.
5 The exact location. Better still using what3words code.

https://what3words.com

Please send me your bench stories to include them on this page.

theoldmortuary.design@yahoo.com