7 Jul 2008

Photos, cream teas, insects, rafts, old buses and Woodchester Mansion

Just had a couple of meetings in Stroud and on the way back caught the exhibition at The Space - '24 Photographers' - only open until Friday so don't miss - includes photos by Bread Street resident Mike Gallagher.

Photos incl: exhibition, cream tea, coach, Green Man in Masnion and view of Mansion from outside

Indeed it has been a busy last week - meetings every night except the weekend - but also managed to do some other fun things that I've not mentioned on this blog...like the Open gardens in Whiteshill last Sunday - seriously yummy cream teas with real clotted cream...and lots of money raised for charities....well done and thanks to all who made it possible...

.... plus there was that wonderful celebration of old buses in Stroud - see more on their website here for a brilliant report of the day with photos - indeed a very wonderful celebration of these old beasts that used to work the roads as long ago as the 1950s.

This weekend I'd wanted to get to Saul Festival but in the end plumped for the much quieter Woodchester Mansion - it must be 7 or 8 years since I last visited it - at the moment the District Council has an offer on for staff (not councillors!!) for getting one ticket free when you buy one ticket. It really is the most extraordinary building - and it was lovely to see the progress made in protecting it - well worth a visit.

Next open day is 13th July - for those who don't know this '19th Century Victorian Gothic masterpiece' was mysteriously abandoned mid-construction in 1873 and never completed. It will never be completed but is now a wonderful chance to gain unique insights into building techniques of that time.

One other great fun time was Woodcraft Folk - this week we made rafts and then tried to sail them on Chalford brook. I ended up thigh deep in icy cold water pushing these contraptions along the brook - but wonderful good old fashioned fun that the adults enjoyed as much as the children! Indeed it looks like there will be spaces for 7 to 9 year olds next term. Let me know if interested - we also need help running some of the sessions!! I also this last week came across an interesting website with the history of Woodcraft - see: http://heritage.woodcraft.org.uk/

Anyhow to finish this ramble I wanted to mention next Tuesday 15th Stroud Valleys Project are doing an insect survey of Hamwell Leaze 1pm to 3pm - you can learn to identify the wee beasties and hopefully get a better picture of the wildlife of this site along teh Ruscombe Brook. Call Ivi on 753358 for details of this free event.

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