Friday, 22 May 2015

Judas Tree in Flower

In the garden the Judas tree was in flower and so named as it is supposed to be the tree Judas hung himself. It was a lovely sunny day and although I did not have time to lie in the sun, this Magpie certainly did!


Sunday, 17 May 2015

All Saint's Baschurch

Today, Mother and I ventured out to Baschurch, Shropshire, the home of Mother's Grandfather's parents.  She had not researched the paternal side of the family but it seemed a good idea to make the journey. Despite being not much wiser after the visit other than John Thomas' father (such an unfortuante name) was Charles Thomas, there was other interesting history. 

Earliest references from a poem entitled Canu Heledd written in the 10th century, provides information that Baschurch referred to by the Welsh name Eglwyssau Bassa (Churches of Bassa) where the King or Prince Cynddylan of Pengwern is said to have been buried in the early 7th century. There had been a battle between the Welsh and invading Saxons at an ancient fort "the Berth" outside the village. A local tradition holds that the Berth Pool and the ancient earthworks  is the resting place of the Legendary King Arthur. Baschurch appears in the Domesday book of 1086 as Bascherche. 
In 1900 Sir Robert Jones and Dame Agnes Hunt established the first Orthopaedic Hospital at Florence house in Baschurch as a convalescent home for crippled children and later a hospital to treat wounded from the First World War. In 1921 the hospital moved to Oswestry where today it remains a specialist hospital with a reputation for innovation.  
The church seemed to be the oldest building in the village and had been renovated by the builder and industrialist Thomas Telford. All Saints was built on the site of a wooden church that burnt down. 
So I may not have found out anything more about Charles Thomas but I did learn something!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Bicton and the Isle revisited


Mother and I have had a couple of days exploring the haunts of Mother's childhood and family memories.  It has been great fun and here is a little insight to where we have been.  I have taken photos of old photographs so that I know who lived where.
The Reynolds family and the Griffith's lived at the Isle.  (My Grandmother and Grandfather) Ray Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Griffiths were married in 1917 and had known each other since their childhood.  The first photo is Granny Griffiths (1851- 1936) and she had five children three boys David Richard, Frederik William and Henry Charles and two girls Mary Elizabeth (my grandmother and Mother's mother), and Sarah Jane.  Granny Griffiths my Mother's grandmother lived in the cottage next door to her sister Mary Blor.  The four cottages have been knocked into two houses as seen today.

 Sarah Jane (Sal) with her mother Jane Griffiths
Jane Griffiths (My Mother's favourite Grandmother)
Granny Griffith's house
At the top of the lane near the main road is the Big Tree as it was known!
Entrance to Isle Estate on way to the Grange and Sarah Reynolds' house

Granny Jane Reynolds (1817 - 1909] with Ray Thomas as a baby, and George Leveriche's daughters (Jane Reynolds had one son from her first marriage).  Her sister Mary married a French count and lived in Paris. Jane Reynolds nee Lewis  aged 17 went to join her sister leaving for Paris  by stage coach from the Lion Hotel Shrewsbury which took her to Dover where she caught a sailing ship.  She married a man Leveriche in France and had a son named George Leveriche. After her husband  died, she returned to Shrewsbury taking the train from the coast. (The railways were developed and ran to Shrewsbury in 1840. ) Jane was well dressed in the French style and as a result was mobbed on arrival in Shrewsbury. A Peeler came to her aid and took her to a Guest house near Castle Gates.  The next day she walked from Shrewsbury to her family at the Isle. Bicton.  She later married a widower, Reynolds and had one daughter, Sarah.

The Grange home of Jane Reynolds 

This was the cottage where Granny Morris lived. She was known as the lady in the village who laid out the dead.

The house where Sarah Reynolds lived and her son Ray Thomas was born. (next to the Grange where her mother lived)

John Thomas former Butler at the Isle Estate
Sarah Reynolds in her wedding dress
Sarah Reynolds married John Thomas who worked as a Butler at the Isle Estate. He had a passion and good taste for good wine and was sacked for drinking from the Estate wine cellar.  He continued to have a drinking problem and could not hold down a job for any length of time.  Granny Reynolds, John Thomas'  mother-in-law threw him out of the house putting his possessions at the wicket gate. She did not approve of his behaviour, he persisted with his drinking,  could not hold down any form of employment and frequently stayed away from home.  Every time he returned home he left Sarah pregnant before taking off again. Sarah and John had one daughter Winifred Jane and four boys John, George, Fred and Harry. 

Harry, Ray Thomas , Sarah Thomas their mother and Sheila Thomas, Ray's daughter and my mother and Betty. 

Isle Estate Top Lodge 

The river Severn circumnavigates the Isle, hence its name

The Old School House Bicton

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Orchid - Take 2

I tried aligning images, stacking, and merging! I am still not happy with the result so........ another try but not tonight!

Tuesday, 5 May 2015


I had some time to play and tried taking some orchid shots. It was not the easiest of subjects and these look very heavy. I think it will be back to the drawing board!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Boscobel House

Dating from the 16th century this house was built by John Giffard a local landowner from Chillington in Staffordshire. The house was built in a woodland and named Boscobel from bosco, bello or beautiful wood. As Giffard was a Catholic his house was designed and well suited to hiding catholics seeking refuge from religious persecution. There is a priest hole at the top of the stairs. The house was the hiding place for Charles II fleeing from the battle of Worcester. He hid in an Oak tree at Boscobel with his officer, William Careless and today there is a descent of the Royal Oak near the house. The tree is featured below.  I found the house a bit eerie and I was told by one of the staff that there is a ghost on the top floor of the house.  It is supposed to be the "look-out" man keeping watch for the soldiers, well no wonder I did not like being there on my own.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Marianne Ketting

Congratulations to my dear friend, Marianne who was decorated with Order of Orange-Nassau by the King of the Netherlands on 24th April 2015 for ‘life long achievements’.  It is a chivalric Order open to "everyone who has earned special merits for society". This is the military and civil Dutch order of chivalry founded on 4 April 1892 by the Queen Regent Emma of the Netherlands who was acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.  I am proud to know you Marianne.