Bedworth, Warwickshire: a swanky estate for the poor, receiving a free banana and being interrogated for walking without a dog

I had never considered going to Bedworth, that is until I visited nearby Nuneaton recently. In the museum I grabbed what I thought was a postcard of Nuneaton to add to my collection only to find when I got home that it was a picture of Bedworth’s quaint Almshouses.

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Bedworth is a small town situated between Nuneaton and Coventry and in the past was responsible for coal mining, hat making and ribbon weaving. The only personal knowledge I had of it was that back in the 1980s two of my former colleagues starting married their life there. It was the cheapest place to buy a home if you had meagre cash. I don’t think the town has faired economically better since, judging by this closed down pub and another not closed, but requiring adequate barring on all windows.

My first sighting on leaving the rail station was a pair of terraced houses named “Roast Ox Terrace”. Along with a downpour, this was not a good start and as I started to walk about I noticed those around me appeared to be either mentally or physically unwell. 

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The Civic Hall, for the town’s entertainment and bistro wares:

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There is a small indoor market which looked a little sorry for itself. I don’t usually wander around indoor markets as I dislike the smell of meat but thought I would give this one a tour.

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Fortunately there was no flesh on sale here, just nylon knickers and nighties and a retro stall selling fake Nazi armbands. I headed for the grocer at the back and asked him for the biggest banana he had. I felt guilt that I was not gathering up a shedload of weekly food haul especially as the stall was deathly quiet. You can imagine the depth of that guilt when he handed me a large banana “on the house” and wished me a “Happy Christmas!“.

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As I walked around a graveyard an old man made a special effort to approach me and ask where my dog was. He told me he had been looking all over for it. The chap seemed most taken aback to find someone walking alone in fresh air purely for the fun of it.

I saw the same man a very short while after in the Miner’s Welfare Park and again he singled me out for further questioning. “What ARE you looking for, duck?” (I thought it was just Stoke residents that call people “duck” but I heard it several times during my hours in Bedworth). I admit my head swivels a lot when I travel, so keen am I to take in all my fresh surroundings. Again, he found it difficult to comprehend that I was merely touring for pleasure. He actually appeared rather put out about it.

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The Miner’s Welfare Park land was bought by the Parish Council and laid out with funds from the Miner’s Committee. It opened in 1923 but it took until the year 2000 to be awarded The Best Public Park in Britain. It is well equipped with tennis courts, a bowling green, a swimming pool and one massive pit head miner’s wheel. I headed to the Mayor’s Cafe in the park grounds, relieved to shake off my cross-examiner.

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The Mayor’s Cafe is a vegetarian cafe situated in the park, run by friendly people who give discounts (on already cheap meals) for the unemployed. There is only one main option per day and as I went on a Friday it was tacos (minus the sour cream for me). The meal was varied and filling and the most spicy part of the dish had kindly been placed in a miniature paper bowl with advanced warning of its potency. They don’t serve vegan puddings but I had my free banana which fortunately I managed to neck down guilt free.

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The best bit of Bedworth are their almshouses; quaint dwellings were built in 1840 using an endowment left to the town by former long standing wealthy Rector, Rev Nicholas Chamberlaine.

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Historically, almshouses were charity run homes for the poor. Today they are warden secured homes for old aged pensioners but only if they have been residents of Bedworth. There are a total of 28 homes and a communal lounge plus the Governor’s Hall (the separate small square building) is unlocked for extra special events.

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Every May out front of the almshouses, the annual Founder’s Day party kicks off, celebrating the life of the generous Rev Chamberlain. For reasons I am not privy to, each child is given a fruit bun by the mayor and so the event has become known as Bun Day.

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Every autumn at All Saints church a thanksgiving service is held in honour of the Rev too.

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I have no idea what story this monument near the Rye Piece Ringway tells. Not even the Bedworth Society website could enlighten me.

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West London: sexy musical statues, falafel as weaponry and creepiness in the Crypt

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Last Saturday I met my southern friend Debi in Trafalgar Square for a few hours of eating and sightseeing. The latter was laced with an element of fear (mine) since Debi leaps across busy London roads, narrowly dodging cabs and buses. To add to her bravery, she is usually in flip-flops.

Occasionally I am enticed to cross with her for the “thrill” but mostly I take the cowardly option: finding a pedestrian crossing and waiting for the green man to give the go ahead, whilst our conversation is suspended over 3 to 4 lanes of manic traffic.

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Our meeting point was the 169 foot high Nelson’s Column, completed in 1843 to commemorate Vice-admiral Horatio Nelson. Nelson was was shot and killed aboard the HMS Victory whilst defeating the French during the Battle of Trafalgar. His heroism was undertaken with only one working eye, one working arm and a chronic ongoing case of sea-sickness.

On a far smaller scale, I insisted we went to visit the Arthur Sullivan statue in the Victoria Embankment Gardens. Sullivan as in half of the famous Gilbert & Sullivan duo responsible for the composition of comedic operas. This statue pilgrimage was all thanks to one of my many synchronicities.

One evening I was watching “Apple Tree Yard” a drama about a middle aged married lady who begins an affair with a slick fraudster she meets in the Houses of Parliament. During one of their secret liaisons they appraise the statue of Sullivan and contemplate its inscription “Is life a boon? If so it must befal that death whene’er he call must call too soon”.

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The very next day I was reading Agatha Christie’s biography when she refers to the very Gilbert & Sullivan performance from where the above quote comes from, “The Yeomen of the Guard” (it opened in 1888). Agatha had sang in a stage show production since she had ambitions of becoming an opera singer at one time. The story is set in the Tower of London in the 16th century and is a complicated, badly-ending tale of love, sorcery and riches.

The full boon song goes like this:

Is life a boon? 

If so, it must befal
That Death, whene’er he call,
Must call too soon.
Though fourscore years he give,
Yet one would pray to live
Another moon!
What kind of plaint have I,
Who perish in July?
I might have had to die,
Perchance, in June!

Is life a thorn?

Then count it not a whit!
Man is well done with it;
Soon as he’s born
He should all means essay
To put the plague away;
And I, war-worn,
Poor captured fugitive,
My life most gladly give
I might have had to live
Another morn!

And here it is set to music and sung by a bearded man in a pleated beige frock:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIQDPJIUvhY

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Nobody knows why the uncredited barely dressed lady attempts to steal Sullivan’s thunder but she got the work known for being the sexiest statue in London. Some say she represents a muse weeping for the loss of music.

Sullivan had recently copped a load of bird-shit over his hair, moustache and lapels which detracted somewhat from our viewing experience.

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Gilbert & Sullivan’s shows were always hosted at the Savoy Theatre (opposite Sullivan’s statue) which was the first public building in the world to be lit by electricity. Unfortunately Gilbert & Sullivan fell out over the high cost of new carpets for the theatre’s front of house coming out of personal expenses and so their monuments were never erected together. We did intend on paying our respects to Gilbert too positioned around the corner but we plain forgot about him.

Debi wanted me to experience the ambience of the luxurious Savoy Hotel. I was embarrassment in my dirty old Converse but I was promised a cup of tea should we be challenged. Luckily she didn’t have to take out a second mortgage as we wondered undisturbed along bedroom corridors and through the dining area packed with the suitably attired rich.

The Savoy Hotel was built with the profits of Gilbert & Sullivan’s talents. There was no word on any carpet disputes in this building.

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Going down-market, we ate at The Diner on the Strand. I had the vegan brunch which looked fresh and colourful however the falafel (those pieces placed on top of the mushrooms meant to look like their stalks) were akin to bullets. Even with my horse strong teeth I couldn’t take them on. Not even a sharp knife could pierce them. I asked for softer versions and though a fresh pair arrived, they were still inedible. I got a pound knocked off the bill and an apology but it begged the question: just how many times had these chickpea balls being nuked?

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We visited St Martins-in-the-Field, a well known Georgian church completed in 1726. It is impressive on the outside yet I found the main body of it dull and after watching the band practice for all of 30 seconds, we headed down into the best bit – the crypt. This underbelly houses a large cafe, gallery and gift shop. We had a nice cup of tea and sneakily ate the fabulous Hardihood raw vegan cakes I had purchased from Planet Organic.

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The crypt is home to the The Pearly King, Henry Croft (1861 – 1930), who was born in a workhouse and who spent his childhood in the St Pancreas orphanage where he learnt his famous skill for sewing pearl buttons onto his costumes.

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Henry spent his life as a street sweeper yet off duty wore his pearly outfits as an attraction and raised thousands of pounds to assist the poor, deaf, dumb or blind. He got his friends to dress up in pearls to help his good deeds grow, hence starting a tradition of charitable Pearly Kings and Queens which continues to this day.

After the warm fuzzy feeling of spying such a generous soul, we were then surprised to see a whipping post on display in a house of God.

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The Whipping Act was passed in England in 1530 whereby criminals were stripped and severely thrashed in front of street crowds. No-one was supposed to lashed to death but it transpired this punishment did in fact see off many. Public flogging for women was abolished in 1820 but continued for men until the 1830s.

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A low energetic vibe emanated from this piece of wood as is to be expected. There was also a distinct lowering of energy in a quieter part of the crypt away from the main crowd. I felt uneasy and all my bodily hairs stood to attention so we quickly moved to the gallery to gaze upon some biblical sculptures like super-strong Samson bringing down a temple.

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To finish on a high note – here are a cuddly Beethoven and Mozart available in the church shop.

Nuneaton, Warwickshire: George Eliot’s doctored nose, a philanthropic coal miner and the smallest dog in the country

On Thursday I visited Nuneaton, the largest town in Warwickshire. It has a poor reputation compared to the rest of its esteemed county; indeed its alarming regional accent hints at possible follow up violence. 

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Nuneaton is most famous for producing the biggest British female author of her day – George Eliot, real name Mary Ann Evans (1819 – 1880). She lived on the impressive 100 acre Arbury Estate until the age of 22 when her mother died and she moved with her father to Coventry to become his housekeeper.

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Mary was intelligent, strong minded and scandalous. She refused to attend church after questioning Anglian principles then later eloped to Germany with a married man, George Henry Lewes who she spent the next 24 years with.

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Mary and George settled in London where Mary worked as an assistant editor on the Westminster Review until George encouraged her to write books. He suggested she drop her girl’s name in order to shift more merchandise.

George Eliot wrote 8 novels, the most well-known being The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861) and Middlemarch (1872) which have been dramatised in film. I have not read or seen any of them but I will hire the movies since I am a slow reader and Victorian books are usually full of tiny print.

Nuneaton’s hospital is named after George Eliot as is a central pub:

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The town’s library features her own literary corner:

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And the museum features a plaster cast of her real arm, the impression taken whilst she laid dead, a common Victorian mourning practice:

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George Eliot was known for her wisdom rather than her beauty and she often made reference to her lack of looks in letters to friends. Her statue designer and portrait artist have taken aesthetic licence with regard to her nose when compared to its photographic actuality.

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Riversley Park near the town centre is stunningly beautiful and I was happy to be there on such a bright day.

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The park grounds were left as a legacy by a generous businessman, Edward Melly (1857 – 1941) who named them after his former Liverpool family home. A coal miner from a well to do family, he came to Nuneaton in 1882 to turn around the poor fate of Griff Colliery which he successfully accomplished. 

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Edward was committed to creating and improving hospitals, was president of the local NSPCC (National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children), established pensions for dirt poor ex colliers and chipped in handsomely for this museum building:

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The bandstand where Edward made the park’s opening speech in July 1907:

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Sadly, Edward and his wife, Hattie died when a bomb landed on their house during the second world war. They had taken the decision not to head down to the air raid shelter. 

I knew it was going to be a challenge to find cruelty-free sustenance in Nuneaton and so when I got hungry I prayed for divine intervention. I was then guided to Muffin Break, a chain I had never patronised before and was relieved to find they served a tasty hummus and vegetable wrap and soya milk. It was a very friendly service and there was even the bonus of an additional smile at the end of supping:  

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Whilst in the park I met the smallest dog I had ever seen, a cross between a dachshund and a chihuahua. The owner was very patient since he must be stopped at least a dozen times a day walking such a tiny oddity. I touched his wet nose in  admiration. The dog that is, not the owner.

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Newton Abbot, Devon: Brunel’s cock up, a highly grateful king and trespassing in the designated teenage area

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I recently travelled with my husband and mother-in-law to Brixham. They were there for the week however I had to get back to work so I just enjoyed a particularly rainy weekend:

https://travellingveganmystic.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/brixham-devon-drunken-sodden-pirates-a-song-of-praise-and-peering-down-agatha-christies-toilet

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After my stay in Brixham, Franc drove me to Newton Abbot as it housed the nearest rail link for home and so I explored this pleasant market town for a few hours. The days of torrential rain had totally cleared and the sun shone strongly as I hiked about in my layers, polo neck and thick scarf.

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Newton Abbot is a town generous in public conveniences and bridal wear and is also home to the South Devon locomotive works, thereby signals and levers take up most of the room in its small museum. 

Famous engineer Brunel took on the Great Western Railway (GWR) project in 1833 and indeed it is great; connecting the Midlands, Wales and the South West whilst presenting stunning views, however the Newton Abbot stone archway was built way too low. It traps and damages many high trucks and the only way to get traffic moving again is to deflate the tires of the lofty vehicle and reduce its height. I am sure many lorry drivers have been brought to anger on sustaining a concave roof, damage to paintwork, let alone being late home for dinner.

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For lunch I went to the Country Table Cafe since it was listed on my Happy Cow app as being vegan friendly.  Whilst it has a commendable separate vegan menu, I was baffled to learn one of the daily specials (and my preferred choice), butternut squash and black bean casserole, had been flavoured with meat stock.  That is just damn lazy.  So instead I had the perfectly acceptable Mediterranean platter:

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There are no vegan sweet treats available at The Country Table but there is a nearby friendly health shop, Nature’s Bounty.

The focal point of the town is the limestone creation of St Leonard’s Tower, built around 1220. Its accompanying chapel was demolished in 1836 due to disrepair and to allow more traffic through and was so named courtesy of King Richard I (aka Richard the Lionheart).

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On returning from his 3rd crusade in 1192 Richard’s ship was wrecked. Whilst completing his journey on land, his enemy Prince Leopold of Austria nabbed him and handed him over to Emperor Henry VI of Germany. There he remained hostage for 15 months until England scraped up enough money to pay the ransom, bankrupting itself in the process.

Finally freed to continue his journey home, Richard called in at St Leonard’s shrine hankering after a miracle. He prayed that if he could just hoist his arse back up on the throne despite the country’s financial difficulties, he would dedicate churches throughout England to Len, now known as the Patron of Prisoners of War. Well Richard did regain his royal perch and as a man of honour, kindly fulfilled his promise.

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What surprised me most about Newton Abbot is that it offers up a designated teenager area, something I have yet to see elsewhere. It was in Courtenay Park and no it wasn’t the bandstand as is commonly wont to happen in parks. I have a soft spot for bandstands and prefer not to find them draped with the youth of today ruining any chance of a decent photograph. I also prefer bandstands minus live their brass bands.

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Anyway, I stomped around the teenagers’ part of the lawn, slouching and muttering an angst-coated “That’s SO unfair!” because the closer my departure time came, the harder the sun worked.

Brixham, Devon: drunken sodden pirates, a song of praise and peering down Agatha Christie’s toilet

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I have just spent a very rainy weekend in the UK’s second largest county, Devon.  The accommodation was a very comfortable, if dated, apartment with a sea view in the holiday town of Brixham. Unfortunately the weather was just atrocious, the worst in the whole of England at that time. It was an even greater shame since Brixham’s annual pirate festival was on, allegedly the biggest of its kind in the world.

The heavy rain didn’t stop stout middle-aged gentlemen (and ladies) tipsily parading around the streets in the uniform of striped trousers, baggy shirts, thick belts, felt hats, smudged black eyeliner and carrying swords under the influence of rum. Unfortunately there were no Jean-Benoit Aubrey lookalikes (Frenchman’s Creek) to share so here is a plastic donkey getting into the spirit of the festivities instead:

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Brixham’s claim to fame is that it’s vicar of All Saints church, Henry Francis Lyte, knocked out the well-known hymn “Abide with Me”. Here is Susan Boyle’s version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uP-iQv_XXxA

A short drive from the apartment was the nature reserve Berry Head, a 400 million year old landscape which started life as a lump of coral south of the equator.

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In 1803 forts were erected to keep the French out of Tor Bay during the Napoleonic Wars.

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On the food front kudos to The Curious Kitchen for being so vegan accommodating and providing me with a 6 course gourmet feast (it also included soda bread and oil not pictured). Top marks for having the idea to deep fry capers and sprinkle them onto the potato salad. They were gorgeous.

http://www.thecuriouskitchen.co.uk/

I am currently reading Agatha Christie’s autobiography and so I was thrilled to visit “Greenway” her former holiday residence. What a treat! The energy there is wonderful, even if the place is full of clutter otherwise known as “collections”. The queen of crime did not actually write her mysteries here, it was more a home for relaxation although she did do some manuscript editing. Agatha grew up in nearby Torquay but spent her later life in Oxfordshire, hence needing a nostalgic pad.

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Oddly her Dame medal was displayed in front of piles crockery. Apparently the family discovered it lobbed to the back of a cupboard after her death.

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Despite being a humble and rather shy lady rather than a diva, Agatha did insist on this particular mahogany bog seat travelling all around the world for comfort when she accompanied her husband Max on his archaeological digs. Now it remains back in her former en-suite with a cheeky plastic frog floating in it to entertain children (and easily pleased adults).

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The views from the house are just incredible, encompassing the River Dart and acres and acres of stunning greenery to become lost in.

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The property’s boathouse was used as a murder scene in “Dead Man’s Folly” her 1956 novel featuring Poirot.

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Interestingly on the last day in Devon, David Suchet appeared on TV on his birthday talking about his new role in Doctor Who but sharing how he enjoyed making 70 Poirot films over 25 years and how happy he was to get to keep the Belgian’s walking cane. Here he is outside the front entrance of “Greenway” whilst his “little grey cells” feed off each other and whir into success.

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Stockport: mad hatters, grumpy old ladies and reconsidering my least favourite band

On Saturday I toured Stockport in the county of Cheshire, an interesting town 7 miles south-east of Manchester. Stockport is most famous for its historic hat making industry and offers up the country’s only hat museum.

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The town started hat production in the 17th century and mad hatters abounded since the mercuric nitrate used for felting animal furs was continually inhaled. This toxin affected the central nervous system and caused violent mood swings and would not have existed as an occupational hazard if the planet was vegan.

Alice in Wonderland’s friend the Mad Hatter was not actually based on a hatter, rather a crazy top hat wearing cabinet maker Lewis Caroll knew called Theophilus Carter. Theo invented items of eccentricity such as the Alarm Clock Bed, a bed which tipped up and delivered its occupant into an early vat of cold water.

Here is the personalised hat block of Kylie Minogue for her bespoke service. Hopefully Stockport was not responsible for that dreadful topless head design she wore for her first album cover.

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A clown’s hat with a surprise pop up mean-faced skeleton. Hardly suitable for a tots party.

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Opened in 1840 the Stockport viaduct is the largest brickwork structure in the UK and carries the West Coast Main Line choo choo over the River Mersey. 

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I walked into St Mary’s in the Marketplace, the town’s parish church established in 1190, where a café immediately greets you in the knave (thankfully only on non service days I learnt). Within the church there is a small Heritage Centre. “CAN I ‘ELP YA?!” barked the old lady seated behind the desk before my second foot had met the threshold. Surely a friendly “Hello” would have been far less alarming?

As I uneasily wandered about the area I saw a photo of said customer service lady pinned to a wall with a handwritten note likening her to Hitler with a bubble to her mouth bellowing “GET OUT” to tourists. At least Agnes the Mannequin was a more serene lady in the vicinity, somewhat diminishing the formidable energy. Constructed in the late 1940s she spent her life displaying frocks in the town’s market place until her owner passed away.

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I was pleased to see “All or Nothing” was currently showing at 1930s Plaza. This is a fabulous musical telling the story of the Small Faces which I saw last month in Birmingham. According to The Plaza’s website its frontage is neon lit in the evenings, a geographic blessing for those short sighted theatre goers.

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The Town Hall opened in 1908. It is a grade II listed building and houses one of only the 16 American created Wurlitzers called the “Publix 1” used to accompany silent movies. The building, nick-named The Wedding Cake, is way too wide to capture in a regular photograph so here is its centre point.

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St Petersgate bridge opened in 1868 at a cost of £6,000. It is unusual to have such a structure in a town centre and was my favourite landmark of the day. It was nice to have sunny weather to appreciate standing in the middle and perusing all angles of the town.

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From the bridge one can view The Frederic Robinson Brewery established in 1838 and one of Britain’s oldest brewers. It is proud to own the largest hopnik in the world, a straining device which extracts flavour from whole hops. With the help of this machinery an extra strong bitter was developed with the input of Iron Maiden and christened “Trooper” after one of their tracks.

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The market is still perched on its same high spot as in its medieval days, however there is now a lift in the shopping centre for the infirm or lazy who want to easily ascend to bargain hunt.

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Tutor fronted Underbank Hall was originally a 15th century town house but was sold by a baron who needed to pay off his debts. It became a bank and still is. Today Natwest reside here.

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The White Lion pub was established 1904 and is a blend of late medieval and baroque features.

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One of the best highlights of my visit was the Strawberry Studio exhibition currently held in the town’s regular museum. The recording studio was founded in 1967 and was one the first studios outside of London until its closure in 1993. It was best known for creating 10cc’s albums but name any northern band and it is likely they recorded here. Overseas musicians caught wind of such British coolness and came over to hire it too including my favourites, The Ramones.

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The early studio mixing desks were created by Eric Stewart and Peter Tattershall. Peter recounts “People didn’t believe that sound was coming out of a studio in Stockport. People thought we were American. We’re Stockport. STOCKPORT!”.

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Now I have never enjoyed Godley & Crème’s music and have always had them pinned as the worst band I have ever had the misfortune to hear. Their track “Wedding Bells” actually makes me feel queasy. However this musical exhibition had me gazing upon the two 10cc renegades in a brand new light of admiration. It transpired they invented “The Gizmo” which Manchester University put into technical motion.

“The Gizmo” was a small box that clamped onto the bridge of a guitar. It contained small plastic wheels which would vibrate the guitar strings with a violin type bowing effect to create bizarre sounds. An American company took it on and marketed it as “The Gizmotron”. Sadly the device failed a lot and so despite attracting high end fans such as Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page and Roxy Music, mass production was forced to cease. Lol and Kevin never changed the future of music but at least they gave it an awesomely good go.

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I ate lunch at Tiamo, a Greek establishment listed by Happy Cow as the town’s vegan friendliest café . I had a perfectly adequate meal of salad, bread, hummus, aubergine dip and spring rolls but this was really every one of their available vegan options on one plate.

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As I finished my meal a old lady who had been sat side on to me rose up and wordlessly arm gesticulated in a very agitated manner towards her four wheeled walking aid. An inch of my bag was blocking it. When I apologised she snapped “I do need this to walk you know!” before shuffling off to engage in unrelated grumbles to a member of staff. They were obviously well acquainted with her cantankerousness and managed to swifty wrap up the social interaction as they assisted her out of the door.

How to stop judging others by activating your merkaba

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One afternoon as I travelled on the train the word “merkaba” was spiritually dropped into my mind. All I knew about the merkaba at that time was that it is sacred geometric shape and so I prayed for how best to utilise it’s energy. In my dream that night I was shown that we can stop making harsh judgements about others and instead bring about widespread compassion and peace with the help of the merkaba. I saw millions of tiny bronze coloured bright lights and the images of Jesus and Buddha, both ardent purveyors of taking a non-judgemental stance.

The merkaba is an electro-magnetic field which surrounds the physical body and can be activated for spiritual expansion purely by thought and intention. Its 20 point shape is formed by the combination of two rotating star tetrahedrons. One points upwards to heaven and rotates clockwise and the other points downwards to the earth and rotates counter clockwise. This vortex creates positive personal transformation and in advanced mystical practice, a vehicle of ascension for the physical body to enter other dimensions of reality.

In the Egyptian language the word merkaba can be translated as “Mer” (rotating field of light), “Ka” (spirit) and “Ba” (body). In Hebrew the word merkaba means “God’s chariot”, most notably described in the bible when God reveals himself to Ezekiel within a bronze light and commands that he becomes a prophet.

Should you wish to work with your merkaba in order to release any long held judgements and to reframe future reactions to the behaviour of others in a more sympathetic way, I invite you undertake this powerful exercise for spiritual expansion:

Sit comfortably in a quiet space where you will not be interrupted.

Using the diagram below, visualise your own body standing within the shape of the merkaba. Then visualise the remaining space filled with brilliant bronze light. 

Merkabeh

Breathe slowly and evenly in and out through the nose for a few minutes as you undertake these visualisation to calm the mind and body.

When you are ready pray aloud or silently:

Dear God

I am ready to experience loving and positive change regarding interactions with others who are very dissimilar to me.

I ask you to dissolve any unkind judgements I am holding about (insert name) and ask that you raise them up in mind, body and spirit.

I ask that you soften my heart and assist me in forming future thoughts guided by compassion rather than condemnation.

If am judging and resenting others as a deflection tactic from my own emotional challenges I ask for your intervention and grace in order to learn and grow in spirit.

Amen

On completion of the prayer, take the time to sit for a while in a meditative state. Be prepared to receive spiritual insights for your understanding of the wider picture of any matters you have concentrated on here. Please note emotions may be fragile for a few days as low feelings such as shame come to the surface to be released.