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Road Trip.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Gramaisc, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    I had to be in Oxford for a couple of hours, so it was organised to start at 8am, in case it was a nice day - which it was.

    I noticed that Oxford has the same sort of traffic mayhem that we have - monster potholes, semi-abandoned roadworks, crazy traffic management, signage that abandons you half-way through the journey at crucial points, all the usual stuff.

    It also has a far greater proportion of black cars than we do up here.

    Anyway, I met this nice lady who squeezed my arm, pinched my thigh and told me that my heart is in the right place. By 10am, I had made my excuses and left.

    I headed west towards the Cotswolds, where I lived for a few years in two batches in the 60s. Two of my residences have subsequently been opened to the public.

    I descended through Burford, into the Windrush valley, where a buzzard was quartering this wet meadow, but he wouldn't participate in a photo session.

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    The first target was what is now called Upper Rissington, but was RAF Little Rissington in my day - Central Flying School and home of the Red Arrows and their Folland Gnats.

    Due to the nature of the station's tasks, it had a particularly large Officers' Mess, where my father worked - it appears to be being converted into apartments now that the whole place has been sold off and civilianised.

    The nice Polish security man let me in through the barriers for a few pictures.

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    In the winter of '63, the snowfall was fairly dramatic and there is a well-known picture of the snow tunnel that was dug out to access the main entrance to the mess
     
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  3. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Two more views of the work on the mess.

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    And the view across the playing fields when approaching from our house.

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  4. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    The lefthand side of this was our house - now a Co-op store and so open to visitors. The porch and side addition were presumably added to cope with the additional visitors.

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    The area behind had a ring of similar houses at the time, but these seem to have been removed to allow tourists to photograph the back.

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  5. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    I then descended into Bourton on the Water, where we lived in a couple of houses - both available on postcards and one that was, and will again be, open to the public.

    By this point, I was getting hungry - take my advice and use the Mousetrap, if you ever go there - it has always been the best of the village's pubs - off out towards the Fosse Way and beyond the patience of many tourists.

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    Much bigger inside than I remember it.

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    The fish was the best that I have had in this country this century.

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  6. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    The most famous of the pubs is the Old New Inn - in front of the Model Village. It was in here that my uncle, an NYPD police officer, based in Harlem, was asked jokingly if the bulge in his jacket was a gun - he produced a .38 revolver and never really understood the surprise that ensued. Airport security was less all-encompassing back then.

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    The centre of the village gets quite congested. This is the top bridge, outside the gate of one of our houses - it was here that the above mentioned uncle upset the local police sergeant by laughing at him as he cycled past with his helmet and truncheon. Not quite the Ford Fairlane with a shotgun hanging from the ceiling that he was used to...

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    There are many semi-secret passages around the village, which take you away from the crowds, this picture was taken about fifty yards upstream from the one above.

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  7. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    A bit further upstream were some ducks...

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    ..and the old Mill House, that I remember doing a few jobs at, but I have no idea what was involved.

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  8. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Another of our houses was the second from the right here. The whole row was owned by Mrs King, who lived in the house at the right-hand end. There was a lovely old chap, Mr Lucas, who lived in the left hand end house - He was a diabetic WW1 veteran and Mrs King did his insulin injections for him. The houses all had interconnecting doors and, if it was raining, she would parade through the whole row holding her glass syringe at arm's length.

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    Ours was called Church Cottage in those days. It's not open to the public, but I wonder if people still take pictures in through the window, as they used to when I was having my tea?

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    The flat-roofed dormer window at the back was my bedroom - and the bathroom - the bed was an old door that was hinged to the wall under the window and came down over the bath - nice and warm when somebody had had a bath.

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  9. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Mrs King's 'temporary' porch is doing well - into its second half-century.

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    In the mornings, I would go up the back garden, climb the wall into the grounds of the library - now replaced with these rather-too-neat new houses.....

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    ..and cross the back lane into the school.

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  10. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    To the side of the cottages was the access to the church, with its partially detached graves.

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    The church itself has a very active clock, which may be why a houseful of clocks doesn't disturb me...

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  11. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    The inside of the church had a very welcome coolness on what had become quite a warm day.

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    I polished this a few times, the last would be in 1966 - it's lasted well.

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    This nice memorial is dedicated to the founder of the Birdland Zoo, which was in the centre of the village in my day - he was a good customer for my jars of minnows - which may have been fed to the penguins, or may have been returned to the river....

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  12. PeterD

    PeterD ST16 Represent.

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    An excellent read.
     
  13. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Another residence was here - this was until recently a café, and you could have a cup of tea in my bedroom at no extra charge - It's currently being converted to a restaurant, to cope with the higher class of clientele that the history has attracted, of course - open again next year.

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    Another place where I did jobs - here I cut the lawn over the wall - using a rechargeable mower, even back then.

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    The house above is just off Cemetery Lane, which was just a dirt track then, but leads to housing now.

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  14. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Cemetery Lane used to be like this, another of the 'secret' passageways.....

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    ...leading to the Weird Hedge.

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    This passageway is right in the centre, but very little-used - perhaps, they know that I had a near-death experience here. One day, running along, wearing the predecessor of the pack seen in the picture, I noticed that my shoe lace was undone. I stopped and bent down to tie it, but the pack slipped round and i couldn't stand up. Everything I did just made it worse and I eventually fell over as it constricted my breathing and I couldn't move my arms or legs to maintain balance or lift my head to speak - as I drifted into unconsciousness, I became aware that somebody was standing there. He eventually untied me and said that he thought I was having an epileptic fit.

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  15. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

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    Re the woman, stroking your thigh and pinching your bum - do us ladies need to buy a hat a piece? Or a fascinator? Does she want a bridesmaid? I've never ever been a bridesmaid....... :(:(
     
  16. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    Interestingly, twenty quid changed hands - in my favour.
     
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  17. Glam

    Glam Mad Cat Woman

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    :xd::D
     
  18. number9

    number9 Well-Known Forumite

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    Gramaisc likes this.
  19. Chillybean

    Chillybean Well-Known Forumite

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    Sadly not a part of the UK I've visited but looks lovely and worthy of a sunny day out. Thanks for sharing.
     
  20. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    There are plenty of other villages worth a look at - places like Bourton, Broadway, etc., have almost been sacrificed to the tourist industry.

    My favourite around Bourton would be Wyck Rissington - never visited accidentally, not even on a short-cut to anywhere. Take down a few TV aerials and park the odd car round the back and it could be 1914....

    Plenty of other places like that, too. Even Bourton is OK, if you find the "parallel world" that exists there, away from the village green.

    It's only a couple of hours away, too.

    It was very noticeable that the current tourists were about 50% Japanese & Chinese and 50% 'native'. I heard very few Americans or mainland Europeans. It was also noticeable how much better behaved the Easterners were, in general.

    Definitely worth aiming for a nice day - bugger all to do if it's wet.

    Another thing is that the footpaths in the area are much better than round here - well used and maintained, well signposted and very rarely obstructed. Definitely a better prospect for rambling.
     
  21. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    Absolutely top thread, a great read. Thank you @Gramaisc.
     
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