Most recent visits

23 Sep

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Last Sunday, the weather was just delightful. We made the relatively short hop to Biddulph Grange Gardens on the edge of the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands. The National Trust obviously take pride in their cafes and restaurants and the light Sunday lunch hit the spot. We went for a walk around the stunning gardens , making our way all the way to the eastern boundary. In the vegetable garden, Autumn was evidenced by ripening pumpkins but the flowers were still in full display in the warm sunshine. I had an interesting chat with a Lady in the James Bateman “Creational Hall” where in the mid 1800s he tried to display how the bible’s creationalist passages equated to geological findings, such as fossils. The Lady had good geological knowledge and she pointed out the small coalfield around the Roaches, a ridge of rocks, high above Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands. She was surprised that I knew of the coal outcrops and shallow seams. I explained that as a young engineer, I had been seconded to help fill in several “bell pits” near to Axe Edge, which posed a threat to ramblers. We also talked about the “Black Bull” pit at Biddulph, AKA Victoria Colliery, where I had worked whilst training with the then National Coal Board.

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Today, to escape from a long list of domestic chores, we visited Attingham Park, at Atcham near Shrewsbury in Shropshire. As we approached the kitchen, we could feel escaping warm air, scented with baking. Inside, a Chef and Cook in period costume brought the place alive. They were baking typical foods ,which would have been eaten over the last  three centuries or so, at the banquets in the massive dining Hall. The lovely Lady, posing as Cook, took some scone like cakes from over the fire. They were buttered and we took up the offer to taste them. They tasted as good as they smelt. Simple with a few currants baked in. There was a definite mild flavour of wood smoke which made them very special indeed !

A quick stopover at the Antiques emporium in Church Lawton finished off the day. Another superb day out in the campervan!

The Avon tyres are now well run in and I am convinced that they give a “smoother” , more comfortable ride that the previous Michelins. Pressures are identical, so maybe it is something to do with differences in sidewalls??? There is no increase in noise levels from the Avons, despite the ticket claiming a 1 dB  higher rating. In theory that’s a doubling in noise level, all things being equal. It does not appear to be the case. I would put them about equal for noise reduction. That’s good !

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