Thursday, 22 August 2019

A five mile walk through my childhood.

I arrived in Burton on Trent around lunchtime on Monday, first visiting Uncle Stan's grave at Stretton Church. I decided to leave my car there while I went for a walk. Stretton is the village where I grew up, so it was a trip down Memory Lane for me. 
I remember being taught about Tutbury Jinnie, a train that ran between Burton and Tutbury. The train is long gone and the track is now a very pleasant country walk. It's a mainly sheltered walk through the trees and vegetation on both sides. The information boards tell the story.


More information about Rolleston Railway Station here
Coming off the track at Rolleston onto the road, I passed The Jinnie Inn. Jinny can be spelt with a 'y'. This was where Uncle Stan had his 80th birthday party. He had several of his paintings on the walls here, and often sold them.  

On into Rolleston village. This was the spot where me, my sister, and sister in law scattered our brother Stephen's ashes. His wife had brought them from India where he had lived for many years. Stephen played in this stream when he was a little boy.

I sat on a bench and ate my lunch, listening to the water cascading down the weir.

The Spread Eagle where all the family met on the day of the ashes. I remember visiting this pub many times when I was a teenager. 
I took the road past the church and walked to Tutbury. It has all changed since I was last here, now has a bypass. Re routing the main A50 from Derby to Uttoxeter means a lot of the villages no longer have heavy lorries driving through them. I remember this school, the first Forest of Needwood Secondary Modern school I went to. I think I was here for two years, then they built a new school at Rolleston, which is now a housing estate.

The Dog and Partridge is still here. A popular pub in a prominent position on the High Street.

I walked out of the village and just over the railway line into South Derbyshire is Hatton, the home of Nestle, the coffee factory. I was talking to two lads who were sitting opposite outside the Co op shop, eating their lunch. Apparently they still have a staff shop which sells cheap Nescafe and Cross and Blackwell tinned food to the workers there. This was where I got my first lorry driving job. The entrance has changed a lot and the factory is very much bigger than when I knew it. The access used to be down a narrow lane next to the pub on the corner. It is now opened up and is much wider and easier to turn in and out of.

One more landmark to look at before I head off back. Tutbury Castle. Sadly, at ten to five, it was not open. Strange that there was no sign on the big wooden doors giving the opening times. A couple of snaps from outside the boundary. The sun was not in the right place so they are not very clear. 

It was time to get back to the car, so I picked up the bus back to Stretton. I made a point of getting off near to where I used to live. Amazing transformation of what used to be a jungle with three kids running riot in it. It was so much fun having a garden where we could please ourselves what we did.

I checked into the hotel at 6pm, then went off to party. Five miles walked today, a longer one planned for tomorrow. 
Toodle pip.  Ilona

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

A lovely evening.

Did anyone notice I wasn't around. I went to the school re union, which was also Mr Brodies 90th birthday party. When I was there he taught Art, but he is a man of many talents and taught other subjects as well. I got in the queue to have a few words with him, he was in his element, enjoying all the attention. 
The event was organised by Ben Robinson, boss of Burton Albion Football Club, and was held in the function suite at the stadium. Ben was a year above me in school, and has done very well for himself in the sporting world. Such a nice down to earth guy as well. The funds raised went to their charity, Burton Albion Community Trust, and a short presentation was given about the work they do promoting health and well being to all ages. 
It was a two course meal, I had the veggie option which was a Quorn pasty with mashed potatoes and peas, and a very sweet posh pudding. I was stuffed.  
There was a lot of catching up to do. Luckily there were some people from my years, though they had to tell me who they were. It's very difficult to put names to faces you haven't seen for 50 years.

Following the meal there was a very entertaining magician who kept everybody in high spirits. After saying goodnight and goodbye to everyone, it was back to the hotel I had booked for two nights. I finally fell into bed at gone midnight. Don't know how I managed to stay awake, I had been up since 6am, and did a five mile walk in the afternoon around the area I was brought up in.

I have some photo's to post of the 28 miles I walked over the three days. See ya tomorrow. Toodle pip.  ilona

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Spotlight on Ian Kirkpatrick - artist

There is a very colourful exhibition on at the moment, at 20 21 Arts centre. I popped in to have a look. It's big and bold. Ian Kirkpatrick is the artist, here is a link to his web site. 










Here is a bit of blurb taken from this web site.

Ian is a Canadian contemporary artist currently based in Leeds, UK. His work is inspired by the history of art and design, from ancient cave paintings and Greek amphorae, to graffiti and computer graphics. The hieroglyphic surfaces of his 2D and sculptural pieces remix iconographies from past and present cultures, often in response to current political and social themes. He creates most of his work digitally, then manufactures it out of industrial materials including stainless steel, vinyl, corrugated cardboard, Perspex and Dibond.

It's rather a lot to take in on one visit. The exhibition is on until October, so I'll go again.
Toodle pip.  ilona

Sunday, 18 August 2019

It all seems such a long time ago

Does anyone remember autograph books? Some people collect autographs from famous people, I collected them from school friends and teachers. 
Yes Christine, I did go to the Methodist church, but I didn't get to kiss the boys on Mondays. 
Susan, at 13 years old, I didn't know what making love was. I was a late starter, it was another six years before I started that malarkey.

Oooh, you are cruel, Sandra. Funny you should mention cow muck, they have been spraying the fields around the village this afternoon, there's a heck of a pong outside.

Same here Jacky. Four of us used to play kiss chase, I always made sure I caught the boy next door.

Oh dear Lorraine, that wasn't very good business sense was it. A tin of milk is worth at least 2/6.


Blimey, we were so naïve. I didn't grow up until I left home at 18.
Anyone else collect autographs, got any little rhymes?
Toodle pip.  ilona

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Spinning a tale.

I was standing in the toilets at Marks and Sparks, idly reading the sign above the hand drying machine, as you do. How clever of M & S to choose turbo hand dryers for their customers convenience. There is nothing more annoying than standing around rubbing your hands together underneath a wisp of air which has no more pressure than a fart. And then giving up and finish off by  drying your hands on your clothes, or waft them about as you leave the room. Piles of grubby toilet paper surrounding the garbage bin usually means the hand dryers are rubbish and people have given up on them. 
In the bottom corner of this sign is a small message. Wow, M & S have really gone to town with their re cycling and re using policy. So how did they make this sign, that's what I want to know. Which waste materials did they use? It looks very professional, not hand made like something being scrawled on a broken piece of plastic packaging, or part of a pallet.

What equipment would have been used to cut out a perfect sign, what did they use to print the message on with? It wasn't knocked up in someone's shed. And what is the actual point of it? Why did they bother with a sign at all? To give themselves a pat on the back? Maybe it says, look we built you a brand new store, we closed the old store in the town centre, bought this piece of land on the outskirts, and built a new store. The least we could do is use some of the rubbish we created, on this sign. Well bully for them. And they pay people good money to think up these ideas. Spin the customers a tale, and they will keep coming back. Errrr., maybe they won't.
Toodle pip.  ilona