We returned from "Strictly Come Dancing" via The Great North Road - otherwise known as the A1. Until the M1 motorway was constructed in the late nineteen fifties, the A1 was England's premier north-south arterial road. The journey home was swift and untroubled - so different from Friday afternoon's tortuous trip.
We decided to make a short detour to a Lincolnshire town we had never visited before - Stamford, And what a lovely place it seemed to us with its many limestone buildings, its riverside setting and its various churches.
After parking "Clint", we wandered around and noticed how many independent shops there were in the town centre. It seemed affluent and confident - not dog-eared or sadly reflective of better times. A soprano carol singer stood in front of a gift shop, gathering change for her chosen charity.
Outside W.H.Smiths, a cheerful Romanian "Big Issue" seller maintained her happy refrain of "Merry Christmas Everybody! Have a nice day everybody!" I tried to snap her with my camera from across the street but she spotted me and raised her Christmas edition of the homeless magazine to hide her face. I suspect that Stamford is a rather nice town to be homeless in. In 2013 it was adjudged, in all of England, to be the best place to live by "The Sunday Times".
There's a lot of history in Stamford and it is a shame we had so little time there. In the old Sheep Market there was a tall spire made of limestone and bronze. Researching it later, I discovered that it had been erected in 2008 to commemorate the fact that Stamford was once home to one of the twelve Queen Eleanor crosses.
They were erected under the instructions of King Edward I after his late wife's embalmed body was, in 1290, moved from Lincoln to London in twelve stages. The twelve crosses signified the nightly stopping places of the funeral procession with the last one being Charing Cross in London.
Noticing a parking enforcement officer snooping around Stamford's riverside car park, we unlocked "Clint" and sped off back towards The Great North Road, pausing only at the gate to Burghley House to take off our coats.
It sounds like the A1 was a much more civilised way to go and it probably didnt take much longer than the M1?ReplyDelete
Given the usual hold-ups on the M1, the journey time was very similar even though we have to cut westwards on normal country roads after Worksop.Delete
Another interesting post, Yorkie, with great pics. Thanks for sharing both the information and the pictures. :)ReplyDelete
As the bishop said to the actress "'Tis my pleasure milady."Delete
I love the pic of the roof tops and eaves, but I had to look twice to believe that Domino's sign was allowed to be erected by the local planning authorities. Perhaps that's why the King's men stopped there for the night ~ because they could get pizza. Wishing you and Shirley and the 'mini puds' a very happy Christmas YP. I trust it will be everything you enjoy about this time of year.ReplyDelete
I could have cropped the Dominos sign from the photograph but decided to leave it there as a quirky jarring note. Thanks for your kind Xmas wishes Carol and I wish the same for you and your son. Have a good rest. You deserve it.Delete
Good shot of the classic roof tops and chimneys.ReplyDelete
I had to really zoom in to get that one Red. It was way down the street.Delete
I really like the Big Issue photo and the roof tops. I think the Domino's sign adds something to the image, incongruous as it is.ReplyDelete
Well I am delighted that you noticed that quirky detail Sue.Delete
It looks a nice place to live. The picture of the rooftops is inspired YP - it would make an interesting painting. The Domino's sign does look somewhat out of place, but maybe because it's to the forefront of the photo.ReplyDelete
You are the third person to comment on that sign CG. I included it because it does look out of place - like a jarring note.Delete
You had good weather, too. Beautiful pictures and certainly a place well worth exploring more thoroughly at some other time. I wonder why they chose to erect such a dangerous-looking spike instead of a cross to represent the Eleanor crosses.ReplyDelete
Good point. I don't know. When I first saw that thing I thought it must once have been a church spire - perhaps removed because it became dangerous but it was actually a modern artefact.Delete
(PS...Sending love to Berlin and Germany after last night's pre-Christmas horror)
It's my husband's home town, where he grew up and went to school. I know it like the back of my hand. His ashes are scattered on the Meadows beyond the riverside car park. If you stand in The Meadows you get a lovely view of the rooftops and spires or the many churches. I was there in July to visit my sister-in-law. It has changed a lot over the last 40 years or so. In particular housing used to be ridiculously cheap compared with London, but prices have risen considerably now it is commutable to London via Peterborough. So glad you enjoyed it... it's a lesser-known jewel.ReplyDelete
Well I am so glad that this post rang plenty of Christmas bells for you ADDY. I just checked out "Right Move" and I can see that the cost of housing in Stamford is pretty much on a par with south west Sheffield. Still far cheaper than anything Greater London has to offer.Delete
Another place I've never been, but any town that has an "Old Books Bought & Sold" shop is a great place, as far as I'm concerned. I never knew the origins of Charing Cross -- interesting!ReplyDelete
I'm for the rooftops and chimneys and I didn't even notice the Domino's sign!! I think the raised Big Issue adds an element of mystery to that photo.ReplyDelete
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