Tuesday 17 November 2009

A walk to the post office....

....and the things that you see if you take the trouble to look.

It was such a lovely morning today I decided to walk the long way around to post a letter.  I took my camera and was surprised by how much there was asking to be pictured.

A tree, one that had managed to hold on to its leaves through the last storms, glowing brightly in the sunlight.

Underneath it, a crop of I-don't-know-what-sort of fungi, encouraged no doubt by the recent downpours and mild weather, pushing through the cover of leaves and twigs.  I wouldn't dream of trying them, but they did look as though they were asking to be picked.   In France you can take them to the pharmacist to be identified.

Then, incongruously in the field opposite the church, I come across a different sort of memorial, to a hydraulic ram - a water pump that used only the power of the water itself.  It was invented in 1774 and manufactured nearby between 1883 and 1982.  Some of the pumps manufactured over 200 years ago are still functioning.  Although the foundry and engineering works closed down, the pump is still made in Somerset. I'm sure that memorial wasn't there last time I passed this way.  For further information, you can visit The Worthys website to read a pdf file about The Ram on the Green

Having seen the church in the background, I went in through the lychgate to the church, for a quick detour.

Until I looked around the churchyard and examined a few of the gravestones, I hadn't realised how old the church is.

memory of
the two infant sons
of Samuel and Sarah
Thomas aged 16 months
Samuel aged one year
and eight months
died 16th April 1787

What tragedy can have happened that the two died on the same day?  There are so many stories hidden in graveyards.  Someone has been researching their family around here, I think, because a series of graves had the names scratched clear of lichen.

And then, finally, to the object of my walk, the letter box, a Royal mail lamp box designed (in 1896) to be mounted on a lamp post or other similar pole. They are the smallest of the letter boxes and have hardly changed over the years.

I didn't take the photo crookedly, it really does lean to one side even though it's a relatively "young" box!

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  1. What a lovely and quaint place for a walk. Your pictures are stunning as usual!

  2. Good ones... Really has that charm of simplicity!

  3. Now that's a walk I'd be glad to take every day.

  4. Excellent. The leaves make you want to picture them. The sad stories in old graveyards fill many books. Many did not survive up to the age of five!

  5. How fantastic to live in such a spot where a simple walk to the letter box produces such beauty. Excellent photos.

  6. Thanks so much for taking us along on your stroll and for the musings! Very nice.

  7. All of your pictures were very nice, but I was particularly interested in the photo of the hydraulic ram. You made me learn something today.

  8. What a lovely walk you get to go on to post a letter, A.!

    Re the fungi: from a distance, they look like flattish bread rolls! :D

    Re the church photos: I especially like the one through the lynchgate -- great framing.

    Re the lynchgate: Why is it so named? Am having morbid thoughts as to how its name came about... ;S

  9. Well, thank you all for taking an interest in my walk. :) It's a village, not as pretty or as "remote" as the one I visited earlier, and one that's become busy as a dormitory for commuters. The whole walk was along a fairly busy road.

    @Max, the hydraulic ram interested me too. Just in case anyone else should be interested I've added a link to a leaflet published locally on the subject.

    @YTSL, it is a lovely walk, I'm lucky. :) The gate is a lychgate - no "n" - but it's nearly as morbid. It's the place where bodies were rested while the clergy came out and started part of the service. Sometimes there is a stone shelf to rest the body. In days gone by, there wouldn't have been a coffin - so, fairly morbid, yes, though not quite as bad as lynching. :)

  10. Thanks for the tour.What a fun post

  11. Your photos are beautiful. So, you don't have mail boxes on your homes?

  12. There are always a lot to discover if only we take the time to look around or to walk a different path. I found the gravestone shot particularly sad. It must be very sad for the parents to go through the death of their children on the same day.

  13. Such a juxtaposition of photos and stories on your walk. I'd love to come along next time!


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