A Raft of Apples

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Black Cat

I imagine a good mouser is a millers best companion. This one was leaving the Heron Corn Mill and possibly going on its rounds of the grounds

although when it had had a little look around the corner

it felt that was enough exercise and it was time for a rest.  

There is a long history of mills on this site, the documentary evidence is that one has stood here from at least the 13th Century and it is probable that the line stretches much further back .  Like its predecessors the mill is powered by the River Bela and although at one time there were 70 mills along the river only 3 survive today and this is the oldest.  The 18th Century grinding machinery was overhauled in the recent past and in contrast the mill's electricity is provided by a 21st century hydro-powered turbine.  Despite being local to me I've never been inside so on an overcast day with nothing better to do dropped by and discovered that we had just missed the guided tour by ten minutes.  It must have been a lucky black cat because the miller chatted to us and then showed us around anyway as the machinery rattled away and the wheel turned.

Heron Corn Mill photos by the river can be seen here on the 'Visit Cumbria' site  
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at B here

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Autumn Display

I saw this artistic autumn display at the Beetham Garden Centre back in October and couldn't resist a photograph.  Now I'm wishing I'd taken some pictures of the mounds and varieties of the new season English apples on display nearby to complete this entry, it was an apple lovers delight.  This was our last stop on a round of garden centres looking for a particular plant. I'm easily diverted in a 'oh look pretty plant' type of buying but my companion was on a mission for a type of camellia. We called it a day here as the Beetham Garden Centre, their tea shop was calling. 
We'd had no success here earlier in the day, this is the giant Hayes Garden Centre in Ambleside which is Christmas decorations central in autumn so the crowds were inside, it was rather peaceful out here among the plants, just the splashing of the fountain.  It was interesting to see that the globe view is a version of McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map with Australia on the top, no longer down under.

While looking back to autumn in winter thoughts turn to spring 
Camellia japonica 'Sacco Vera' (CC Andrea Moro, Dept of Life Science, Trieste University)
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at A here

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


Seeing a camel surrounded by the fresh green foliage of Spring is an unlikely juxtaposition.  Just noticeable is that all the seats are fully occupied behind it along the path through Victoria Embankment Gardens, for this is a little oasis of fresh air and calm for London's office workers at lunchtime.  The camel and rider sit atop a monument to the Imperial Camel Corp which lists on the sides the Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand members who in the First World War died in action, of wounds or disease. The Camel Corp was formed in 1916 to fight the Senussi, an Islamist movement on the Libyan/Egyptian border but would go on to be involved in conflicts in the Sinai and Palestine, eventually being disbanded in 1919.

The first camels used by the Imperial Camel Corp were shipped in from Rajasthan in Northern India.
and here is a postcard of an Indian camel and rider in Jaipur.  Not the only thing on the camel, there is also a mounted swivel gun
An example of a Zamburak from South Asia.

a zamburak or zumbooruk.  The name may be derived from the Arabic for hornet (zambÅ«r) which refers back to the early Egyptian origin of a giant crossbow swivel mounted on a camel and the sound and effect made by this early method of war.  It would later develop into a small cannon or falconet and was adopted by Mughal India and the Arab countries but was especially used by the Persian army in the 19th Century, accompanied by huge camel mounted drums played to intimidate the enemy as they advanced. As can be seen below in the second half of the 19th Century sometimes a Gatling gun would be used. 
From Histoire Islamique
 In order to fire the gun or cannon the camel would be put on its knees, the operators of this weapon of war were called zumboorukee or zamburakchi.

The Imperial Camel Corp soon changed their riding camels to the lighter Egyptian camel  
Here is one about to move off although I am not sure of the nationality of this duo.  The tarboosh on his head may indicate the Egyptian Camel Corp and their uniforms were similar although khaki rather than white. No other information was given on the "Camel hub on the web" which is Camel Photos and the go to place for anything camel related, try not to be diverted by the fluffy white baby camels.

The full story and photographs of the camels and The Imperial Camel Corp can be found  in The Field.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at Z here


Sunday, 1 January 2017

No Giant Pylons

Image from:   Power without Pylons
To protest against the imposition of giant pylons along the coast of Cumbria from the proposed nuclear power plant at Sellafield (or Moorside as they are calling it now) a New Year's Day Walk protest took place through the beautiful scenery of the Duddon Valley
with walkers coming from Broughton in one direction and Askam in the other.  Here is the crowd coming from Broughton
on a beautiful sunny morning.
The long line stopping at various points to keep everyone together.
Eventually all protestors met up in Kirkby in Furness, at a guess there must have been about 200, not a bad for those who had been revelers the previous night.
and the local MP John Woodcock addressed the crowd (always useful to have a small child hold a banner). As he said the county is hosting nuclear power so the National Grid's social contract with the local inhabitants should involve not destroying the landscape of the place they live. He didn't mention the health aspect of high voltage lines running next to houses.

To join the protest and for more information see the Power Without Pylons site here

Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Good Ship Xmas

Christmas Card (1901) by Harry Napper for the Silver Studio (seen in the Europeana Collections portal)
I echo the words of the Christmas Card and wish Good Fortune and Best Wishes as you set sail on the good ship Xmas

About the Card
Harry Napper (1860-1930) was a British water colourist  and designer in multiple mediums who was one of the leading designers working for the fabric, wallpaper, carpet and metalwork design company Silver Studio (an important part of the development of the Art Nouveau movement).  The card is part of the thousands of objects which form the core of  Middlesex University's  Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture (MODA) collection covering the Silver Studio's design output from 1880-1960.  This collection can be browsed online here

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


St Bee's railway crossing and station provides an X this week with the yellow cross hatching of the road's 'no stopping' lines.  This is also probably the only angle one can get a full view of the signal box on the right.  Built in 1891 it is a rare example of one built in the Arts and Craft style although the windows are no longer original, a shame for the viewer but not for the signalman who I imagine appreciates the double glazing at this time of year. The station and most of the village is constructed of the dark red St Bees Sandstone, the same type as in the nearby sea cliffs
here seen with a thin strata of white sandstone.  Its full geological name is St Bees New Red Sandstone, yes 'new' - a mere 200 million years old.  

Time to shoehorn another X, this time an Christmas, or rather Xmas, cactus.  Half of mine has just flowered but it looks as though the other half might actually flower at Xmas-time, which will be the first time it has lived up to its name. As my cactus is red Mr Google has helpfully provided a xanthic one in full flower. 
Blessings to you all and have a very Merry Xmas

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at X here

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Windows on Life

A beautiful aspect of the of hills and woodland is glanced through the window's of St Bega's Church in Eskdale Green. Originally built as a chapel of ease in the 19th Century generations will have gazed on the seasons changing from the church seats.
At Colton Church (Holy Trinity) the words of the Psalm 150 greet one coming though the door, which urges the congregation to praise God with singing and dancing.
Windows of a more practical nature in a Signal Box when alert eyes are needed to keep the trains safe and I'm taking the picture through the train window as it slowed down.

Even more windows at the Bluecoat Art Centre, originally built as a school in 1717.

I've got a double here as there are not only window but also a yellow poster advert for WT Windowstore in one of them. I think they were doing some renovation at the this, the old British and Foreign Marine Insurance building in Liverpool. To be honest I was more interested in the building's mosaics which can be seen in more detail here 

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at W here