17 December 2012

Howden

Dec 15.12 Howden etc 007
Howden Minster and the arch of the ruined abbey chancel.
It's nice to be able to share my England with overseas visitors to this blog. Our beautiful little country with its rich heritage and varied landscapes is much more than London or Stratford-upon-Avon or Oxford or York. Once I met a young American who thought that the words "England" and "London" were interchangeable. They meant the same thing. He's lucky I didn't biff him.

On Saturday I went over to Hull to see the mighty Tigers beat Huddersfield 2-0 in front of 17,000 supporters but before I reached that city of dreams, I made a little detour to the small East Yorkshire town of Howden which sits just north of the River Humber on a rich alluvial plain. Visually, the town is dominated by its medieval church's tower which rises from the ruins of a Norman Abbey and can easily trace its history back beyond a thousand two hundred years. 

The little town meant a lot to my parents because when they returned to England after World War II, my father gained his first primary school headship at the nearby village of Barmby-on-the-Marsh.  It was where my two older brothers were first raised and just three miles away, Howden was the closest place for shops and services. 

So I wandered around. There were children in the beautiful old Minster rehearsing a Christmas service and in  nearby Market Street, local people were doing their Saturday shopping. I saw several "accidental" meetings of friends and acquaintances  - for this is a town that very few outsiders would ever visit - especially in the wintertime. In one shop window I saw a fashion mannequin dressed as Mary with a plastic baby Jesus in her arms. It was a bit spooky.

Afterwards, I drove on to Hull via Eastrington and Gilberdyke, past the Humber Bridge and on to Clive Sullivan Way - parking half a mile away from the Kingston Communications Stadium - Hull City's home ground. Tony and Fiona had brought sandwiches and hot coffee for halftime. Returning home in the blackness of early evening, I noticed that the illuminated tower of Howden Minster was easily visible from the M62 motorway.
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Mary and  Jesus in a gift shop window
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Fruit, vegetable and flower shop on Market Street, Howden
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Tomb of Sir Peter Saltmarsh (1280 - 1338) in Howden Minster

2 comments:

  1. Been there! But a long time ago.

    ReplyDelete
  2. JENNYTA There was a blue plaque commemorating your royal visit... It was on the outer wall of the public conveniences!

    ReplyDelete

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