Jane B (knally) wrote,
Jane B
knally

A Weekend in Tewkesbury

It's that time of year when the Malvern Autumn Show takes place so I went up to Worcestershire to visit it. The last couple of years I've been with Other Sister, but since she wasn't able to make it this year, I decided to combine the show with a stay in a Landmark. I stayed in Tewkesbury which is only a few miles from Malvern, at St Mary's Lane, which has this lovely view of the Abbey tower from the top window.
Tewkesbury Abbey



Kitchen, St Mary's Lane From the outside, the Landmark is an ordinary looking brick house with some wide windows on the first floor. The wide windows are because it used to be a home for frameknitters who would knit stockings on an early forerunner of the knitting machine, and so needed light for working. You enter straight from the street into the kitchen, which is well laid out and supplied as usual. I suspect this could be a little chilly, since there's a gas fire fitted as well as a radiator. The floods in July 2007 didn't get this far, but the tile floor would have been a bit more practical than wood or carpets if they did.
Each floor has one room (except the second which has a bathroom as well as a bedroom) and you go up a spiral staircase from the kitchen and step straight into the sitting room. This is a very cosy room, where you can recline on the chaise longue or snuggle into one of the chairs. The thermostat for the central heating is on this floor. The heating runs off a timer so it's on in the morning and evening, but you can turn down the thermostat in the morning when you leave so you can save energy. Then just turn it up in the evening when you arrive and it soon heats up. I only needed the heating on one evening, since the weather was very mild, and the house itself retained heat well, but it was handy first thing in the morning. Lounge, St Mary's Lane
Stairs, St Mary's Lane Here is an example of the spiral stairs which run continuously from top to bottom of the house. I've considered inviting penhali and Other Sister to stay with me in a Landmark sometime, but this won't be the one. If penhali didn't knock himself out on the low lintels everywhere, Other Sister would be risking life and limb on the very precipitous stairs. They're not quite so slippery as they may look in this photo, but they are very awkward, especially if you're carrying something. They're one of those features that are described as adding character to Landmarks :-) Also in this photo you can just see the two old samplers from 1824 and 1825, they are quite worn and simple designs, but I enjoyed having a bit of embroidery to look at.
This is the top bedroom where I slept. It was larger than the second floor bedroom, and, of course, had the view of the Abbey when you looked out the window. Note the slanting ceilings, not a good idea for tall people! This is one of the cheapest Landmarks that they maintain, and I can't really fathom why. There's no open fire, and I suppose apart from the staircase there aren't that many architectural features, but it has a lovely and interesting character. It's in the middle of Tewkesbury, just off the main street, but very quiet since it's on a side street. I'd like to go back again and do some more viewing of the town, using it as a base. Top Bedroom, St Mary's Lane



Heavy Horses

On Saturday I went off to Malvern Autumn Show. I've been to Malvern flower shows so often now, that I can find my way round very well, although some things were not in their usual places. But with the aid of a programme, I found all the stalls I was looking for. I bought another piece of ornamental wood turning - and I must do a post on these sometime, since they're very attractive and the technique is interesting. The Autumn Show is more like a county show than the Spring one, so there were various displays going on. As I was walking by the main arena, I saw the heavy horses in the corner. They were just being harnessed up, and were easy to spot since they stood head and shoulders over everyone watching. I went and watched the harnessing, a long procedure (when six horses are involved) which the driver does himself. The team is actually from Hampshire, although I've never been to see them around here. Once they set off, they're a magnificent picture, particularly against the backdrop of the hills.

Kangaroo Gymnasts
Another display that I caught because I happened to walk by when they were just starting were the Kangaroos, a boys gymnast team. They were all ages, shapes and skills with some of the young ones just starting out. It wasn't a polished performance since sometimes the boys had to stop when they couldn't manage something, or thing would go slightly wrong. But that added to the buzz when things went right, and the long sequences of somersaults over equipment were very exciting. This picture only captures a brief glimpse of what it was like.

British Camp
On the Sunday I walked along the ridge of the Malvern Hills. This is looking back to the British Camp which I did get to later in the day. Lots of people were out walking, taking advantage of the last weekend of summer. There are several car parks up in the hills and it's quite easy to get onto the main path. Some uphill climbs are obviously involved, but you don't have to be very fit to manage them. (It's not like scrambling up Snowdon!)
It was lovely weather, with only a slight breeze. The last time I did this walk and arrived at the Beacon (the third hill along), it was so windy I had to hang on to the toposcope (Ha! had to look that up - it's the monument on top of hills which shows you what's in each direction). But on Sunday the breeze was just refreshing.
The Beacon, Malvern Hill
Tags: landmark trust
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