Tuesday, 16 September 2014

North Meols

It's a long time now since I researched both mine and Mick's family trees. Whilst tracing back through his mother's line, we found out about John Hooton, Mick's five times Great Grandfather, who was born in North Meols in 1758.

John Hooton was credited with the introduction of handloom weaving in to North Meols during the 1790's. The looms were of his own design with safety standards ahead of their time. It's said that at the height of production, there were upwards of a thousand looms at work in the district.

North Meols originally covered a much larger area than it does today, including much of what is now Southport. As we'd already crossed the Pennines to visit Another Place, we decided we'd also have a trip to North Meols as we knew that St Cuthbert's Church, which is where John Hooton was christened on the 17th of September 1758, is still there. St Cuthbert's in the oldest church in Southport and the present church building dates from 1739.

Unfortunately, the church was locked so we couldn't look inside, but we had a good wander around the churchyard. I'd have liked to go inside to see the lovely stained glass windows.

John Hooton married Ellen Aughton on the 22nd of October 1780. We know that when John died in 1836 and Ellen in 1847, they were buried at North Meols Independent Chapel, however, the graveyard was cleared in 1965 and the majority of the bodies, including the Hootons, were cremated. We did find a grave belonging to Aughton's in St Cuthbert's churchyard, so I'd like to do a bit of research to see if these people were related to Ellen.

I didn't expect North Meols to be anything like it was, it's such a pretty place with lots of old buildings still standing. The North Meols Civic Society has produced a village trail guide. I didn't know about it until after our visit, but I'd now like to go back and see all the historic places with the information provided.

This cottage was built in 1749, nine years before John Hooton was born. It's amazing to think that buildings which stood in his lifetime are still here today.

Churchtown Conservative Club was built in 1729 and was originally the grammar school.

The stocks are adjacent to the church walls and were built by John Linaker in 1741. They were last used in 1861 when they held Thomas Rimmer for drunkenness.

We came across this headstone outside a cottage. It was erected in memory of Joey, a faithful dog.

There are so many pretty cottages which vary in age from the 16th to 18th century. The construction was originally of rough timber, mud and star grass which was gathered off the sandhills.

This pretty cottage was for sale.

We had a wonderful time looking around the area and it really brought John Hooton to life for us. I now want to do some more research in to this part of the family tree and see if I can uncover any more facts, especially in relation to the handloom weaving.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Another Place

I've read about Sir Antony Gormley's Another Place on various blogs. You can read what Snowbird wrote on her Men of Iron - Another Place and Summer Sizzlers posts on her Gardens & Wildlife blog, what Angel Jem wrote on her Another Time... Another Place... post on her Angel Jem's City Cottage blog and more recently, what Travel Knitter wrote on her After The Show post on her Travel Knitter blog.

As Mick had taken the last week in August off work, we decided that one of the places we'd like to visit would be Crosby Beach where one hundred life size iron men stand looking out to sea. Sir Antony Gormley used casts of his own body to create these figures and each one weighs 650 kilos. He says: "In this work, human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body, no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships, moving materials and manufactured things around the planet."

You wouldn't say that Crosby Beach was a beautiful place, it's very industrial with cargo ships sailing by and a wind farm off in the distance, but it's a fascinating place with all these figures in different stages rising out of the sand.

Some of the figures have been clothed by visitors to the beach, it was quite eerie watching the sea lap around this one as the clothing made this iron man seem more human.

Archie was very inquisitive. I've known him bark at statues before now, but he didn't in this case.

It was a blustery day and ripples were being made on the sand by the wind.

There were so many razor clam shells that you really couldn't avoid stepping on them.

This figure had been dressed in ladies clothing which Archie found most strange.

Unfortunately, the skirt got wet before the sea had come in. Naughty Archie.

I'm not sure that this iron man could swim. At least he's got something to keep him afloat when the tide comes in.

I really enjoyed my visit. I find this sculpture very thought provoking and it's one of those which will definitely have different meanings to different people.

Whilst we were in the area, we took advantage and headed off to a place we've wanted to visit for a long time. I'll tell you all about it in my next post.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Fourth Blog Anniversary Giveaway Winner

Thank you for the many entries I received for my Fourth Blog Anniversary Giveaway and also for the wonderful comments you left me, they were all very much appreciated. I've never had so many comments on one post before, I truly appreciated every one of them.

There were so many entries that I got Eleanor to write all the names out for me, fold up the pieces of paper and pop them in the hat. The name which was drawn at random was Sally A from Crafty Northerner blog. I don't think that Sally lives too far away from me so the parcel won't be travelling very far at all. Can you please let me have your name and address details so that I can get your prize sent out to you.

I'd love to be able to send something to everyone who left a comment, but that's impossible, so instead I hope you'll all accept my grateful thanks for popping by and reading my blog, I'm truly thankful that you do.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The White Horse Of Kilburn

On Bank Holiday Monday, after visiting Helmsley, which I wrote about in my last post, we headed off to Yorkshire Lavender which you can read about on my Garden Visiting In August post over on my other blog, The Good Life. We still wasn't ready to head home after there so we decided to go and see the White Horse of Kilburn.

Kilburn is a lovely village just on the edge of the North York Moors. Robert Thompson, the furniture maker who was known as The Mouseman because he carved a mouse in to the pieces of furniture he made, lived here and there's a visitor centre in the village.

The village is so pretty with lots of beautiful cottages.

I loved these cottages, where you have to cross a little bridge over a stream before you walk up the garden path.

There's a bit of an olde worlde feeling to the village, you don't often see red telephone boxes any more, or these type of post boxes.

Abour a mile outside the village is the White Horse which we'd come to see. Cut in to the hillside, the figure is 318 feet long by 220 feet high and covers about 1.6 acres.

It was created in 1857 by school master, John Hodgson and his pupils, with local volunteers after being designed and financed by a native of Kilburn, Thomas Taylor who was a Victorian businessman.

The horse is cut in to limestone which needs artificial whitening. Chalk chippings from the Yorkshire Wolds are now used for this purpose.

There's a car park right below the horse where you can park up and take a walk through woodland right the way up to the horse itself, but you need to be a little distance away to be able to get a good view of it. As the weather we'd left at home had caught up with us by this time, we didn't venture in to the woods, though I'm sure Archie would have loved it, so we'll definitely return another day to take that walk.

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, don't forget to do so. You have until twelve noon on Thursday the 11th of September 2014 to leave a comment on my Fourth Blog Anniversary Giveaway post

Monday, 8 September 2014


I'm quite behind at the moment telling you about the days out we've had just lately so I shall be trying to catch up.

Two weeks ago, it was Bank Holiday Monday. The weather forecast for West Yorkshire wasn't very good, but North Yorkshire looked better so we decided on a trip to Helmsley.

Helmsley is a market town and it's a lovely place to have a wander round. There's lots of little independent shops which are great for browsing.

I'd have liked to have had a look in these craft barns but they were all closed, what a shame.

There's a walled garden in Helmsley which I've been wanting to visit for a while, but Eleanor wasn't very keen so we decided to leave that for another day. We did go in to the nursery though.

Outside the walled garden are some gardens which have been planted up by children from local schools.

Don't the sweet peas look beautiful?

You can see Helmsley Castle from the town but I've never been in, that's somewhere else for my list of places to visit, it gets longer by the day.

We passed a happy couple of hours ambling around Helmsley, it's such a pretty little town.

I'll tell you more about our day next time.

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, don't forget to do so. You have until twelve noon on Thursday the 11th of September 2014 to leave a comment on my Fourth Blog Anniversary Giveaway post.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

College Girl

It was Eleanor's first day in the Sixth Form on Thursday. She was up bright and early to get ready, she doesn't have to wear a uniform any longer, which she's very pleased about.

The A level subjects she's taking are English Language, Biology, Sociology and Psychology and she's enjoying them all so far. Homework has been heaped up on her already so she's been working very hard.

A whole new chapter of her life has just begun but I'm sure she'll rise to the challenge it brings.

If you haven't already entered my giveaway, don't forget to do so. You have until twelve noon on Thursday the 11th of September 2014 to leave a comment on my Fourth Blog Anniversary Giveaway post.