Category Archives: England

RAF Museum

On our holiday we went to Monkey Forest and Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford. The museum is near an active field, so we saw soldiers and real fighters planes.

We both enjoyed it very much. I didn’t had high expectations, but I found the information very interesting and well presented. We spend around 3 hours without realizing how time passed. The museum is free and the parking is cheap (2.5 pounds for 3 hours).raf_01

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The history of the aviation. It was very nicely presented, the British history comparative to the rest of the world, by decades.
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Fun ‘n’ Flight was a very nice part of the museum. I must admit we played a lot.
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It was pretty hard to keep the helicopter steady.
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The simulator had two pedals too. It was very interesting, but I couldn’t stay too much to play with it because there were children waiting.
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The position of the pilot in the cockpit. It doesn’t look to comfy.
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Here is the cockpit.
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Good-luck charms.
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They had a dentist-van.
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A foldable motorcycle.
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In 2007 the £12.5 million National Cold War Exhibition was opened by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne. The architecture and design of the building are very impressive.
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I was completing a survey for the RAF Museum.
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A very interesting way to present the events of the conflicts with the domino effect. One of the few special rooms with movies.
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There was an Art Gallery with very nice paintings.
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Holiday

We had a small holiday this week. We went to Stafford, Telford and Stoke on Trent. I took some pictures on the motorway, but I put just one on the blog. We were on the 2nd lane (of 5) on M6, to Stafford.h_01

Our holiday started with a visit of Ancient High House. The lovely Tudor building from the center of Stafford, the largest remaining timber framed town house in England, is a free museum. The house was build in 1595.
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St Chad’s Church, viewed from the Ancient High House.
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Henry VIII and his 6 wives.
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The attic hosts Staffordshire Yeomanry Regiment Museum.
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As you can see from the pictures, the city center is very beautiful.
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Near the Ancient High House we saw St. Chad’s church. Unfortunately it was closed, so we weren’t able to visit it.
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Stafford Castle. On this location we took Festus with us.

The Castle was build in 1100 by Robert de Toeni, later known as Robert of Stafford. In the 14th century Ralph became the 1st Earl of Stafford. He ordered the building of a stone keep and was granted a license to crenelate and so constructed the battlements.

By the early 17th century the condition of the castle had deteriorated. During the English Civil War the Parliamentary Committee in Stafford ordered it to be demolished.

It was rebuilt in the Gothic Revival Style, but the castle fell into ruin through this century. Rebuilt by the Jerningham family in the early 19th Century using the same foundations the keep was again a magnificent four stores structure. However, given over to caretakers and then abandoned again in the 1950s it became derelict once more.
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Maybe it’s a pigeon nest. We saw a few near the castle.
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I loved the internal walls.
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David Austin’s Roses. A lovely rose farm. It wasn’t on our list to see, but we pass by it, so we stopped to see the farm. It was very big and impressive.
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The rose gardens. Between the tearoom and the plant centre there are a few themed rose gardens, very beautiful. There are over 700 species of roses there.
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The plant centre was huge. Here is only a small part of it.
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We went to the camping site, we set up the tent and we went to Telford to see the Ironbridge Gorge. There are many museums to visit in Telford and a few circular walks near the bridge. We didn’t have time to visit them, but there are on our “to visit” list.
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In the evening we walked thru Shifnal. I was surprised to see how many restaurants there were in such a small town.
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Near the farm we saw a field with poppies. It looked better in the sunny day.
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This was the landscape we saw from the tent. It looked better when it was sunny. It rained all night, but the tent was waterproof. We got up very early, so the picture is taken around 6.30. I always get up early when I’m in holiday.

It would have been better with some Wellington boots. It’s funny, last year I thought the rubber boots with nice colors (pink, blue) with a fashionable bow are useless and now I want a pair.
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There are many pictures of the last 2 attractions, so I made special posts for them.

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Feeding birds and squirrels

We went in Birkenhead park with Festus a few days ago and we saw squirrels near the lake. I’ve read on a board that it’s not allowed to feed white bread to the wild animals, so, I went shopping and I got a bag of peanuts specially made for wild birds.

Today we went in the park well prepared. bp_01

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The 1st bird that landed on my hand. I was so surprised.
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Near the lake there are a lot of squirrels.
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This one stayed near me almost all the time, sometimes on my hand.
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In this picture you can see 3 squirrels, but there were so many. The squirrels are afraid of the pigeons, so we left for the moment.
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The pigeons followed us to the lake. It was such a nice feeling to be surrounded by flying birds.

On the lake there were gooses, swans and ducks. All of them were very friendly.
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The birds on hubby’s hand.
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On my hand is room for only 3, but there were 4 trying to make place.
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I hid the rest of the food in my pocket, so the pigeons decided we weren’t so interesting any more and they left us alone. Back to the squirrels.
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They came pretty close, but they were too afraid to take the food from our hands. Maybe if we had some monkey nuts or walnuts. We’ll have to try next time, to see if we can convince them to get closer.
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Birkenhead Priory

I love the Priory and it’s history. We went twice and I want to go back, hopefully the tower will be finished and we’ll be able to climb the 101 stairs.

The Priory is the oldest standing building in Merseyside. It was build in 1150. The monks followed the Rule of St. Benedict. The Prior and the 16 monk had to be self-sufficient and they grew their own food, brewed beer, kept livestock.bp_01

King Edward I visited the Priory in 1275 and 1277. 40 years later, in 1317, the King granted them the right to build lodgings and sell food. In 1330 they received the sole rights to ferry passengers to Liverpool and charge tolls.

They lived like this for the next 200 years. In 1536 the Priory was closed down and all the property seized in the name of Henry VIII and let to became a ruin. In 1544 Ralph Worsley bought the estate for the sum of 568 pounds.

In 1710 the mayor John Cleveland bought the land. By 1801 the area was sparsely populated by 110 people in only 16 houses. But the population begin to grow in 1819 and Francis Price build St. Mary’s church, the first parish church of the town.

In 80 years Birkenhead experienced an extraordinary growth and reached a population of around 85,000. Between 1913 and 1919 the church authorities were responsible for the renovation of the Norman Chapter House and Scriptorium. It was reopened for use as a Chapel at a Dedication Service held on the 26th July 1919. A bomb destroyed the Scriptorium in 1941.

St. Mary’s church it survives now as only a tower and spire, having been demolished in 1975. There are 101 stairs in the tower, but right now it’s under renovation and it’s not open to the public. The tower is dedicated as a memorial to the 99 men lost in the 1939 disaster aboard the Laird’s built submarine HMS Thetis.
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The Chapter House is consecrated as an Anglican church and there is above a chapel dedicated to the training ship HMS Conway which formerly stood in the River Mersey off Rock Ferry. The door on the right is the entrance.
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The North wall contains a 15th century five-light window depicting the Adoration.
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A panorama of the Church. Click on it to see it bigger.
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The east wall, the one facing the door is a 15th century five-light window which contains a 20th century glass by Ninian Comper.
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I didn’t like history when I was in high school, but now I love to learn about things that happened in the past. I love the fact I can actually touch a piece of history, like this 860 years old wall.
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After the Chapel we visited the Museum.
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The monks daily program.
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The foundation sacrifice.

In 1896 the incomplete skeleton of a small wild adult sheep was found under the south-west buttress of the prior’s lodgings, in a carefully made tomb featuring plain roll moublding and enclosed by a slab.

Dating from the late 13th or early 14th century it has been suggested that the sheep, deliberately immured within the prepared recess, was a sacrificial offering made during the laying of foundations of this part of the priory.

If this was the case, it indicates a cross-over of beliefs with a pagan sacrifice made for a Christian building.
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It’s such a lovely place, nice views, you can learn a lot of history. There is a free parking and the curators are very helpful and very enthusiastic, so don’t miss it if you visit Wirral.

Manchester

Yesterday we went to Manchester. After the meetings we went for a stroll in the city center.

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Manchester’s China town, full of Chinese restaurants, guarded by a gate. In Liverpool there is a similar one.

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Albert square, in front of the city council.

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Brazennose Street

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Lincoln Square

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This is John Rylands Library.

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In the center there was a big screen and people were watching the football match between Germany and Italy.

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This will become the football museum.

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West Kirby Beach

Yesterday we had a great day at West Kirby Beach and Marine lake. We saw Hilbre Islands, they look beautiful.

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You can click on the panorama to see it bigger.

The Hilbre Islands are situated at the mouth of the Dee Estuary and they are important as a stopping-off point for the twice-yearly migration of birds along the west coast of Britain.

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West Kirby, from the path between the Marine lake and River Dee.

The Marine lake is one of the largest man-made lakes in the UK. It was build in 1899 and reconstructed in 1985. It is home to Wirral Sailing Centre.

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It was a strange feeling to walk between a lake and a river on a small path. But I can’t wait to do it again.

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Obviously I got an ice cream, with forest fruit topping and flake.

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I loved it! It was a great day out with a lovely sun and a great landscape. I hope we’ll have many beautiful days, so we can go there again. There are 200 place of free parking, but if it’s crowded you can go in the pay & display parking lot.

Wild geese

update! wild geese by night:
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Today we went in St. Helens. Hubby and a friend had a meeting with Paul Sculthorpe, former Saints captain, at Saints Stadium. A picture taken at the stadium.
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Meanwhile I went shopping in the town for a while. I got a nice compliment from a old gentleman: “you look like a flower, love”. It was very nice and this was the first time I actually enjoyed what I was told by a stranger on the street. It made my day much prettier.

After the meeting I managed to convince hubby to make a short trip to Knowsley, but when he turned back the car we saw a swarm of not-so-wild geese.
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A dad and his kid were feeding the birds, so I had to do the same. We dropped the plans to go to Knowsley and went to Tesco to buy some bread (whole wheat, of course). After a small discussion about the number of breads… we got 2 and went back to feed them. As soon as I got out of the car the geese approached us with no hesitation.
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I hopped the geese would came near me, but my expectations were too small.
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The geese came very close and they had no problems steeling the bread from my hands and getting into a lot of fights. This is the 2nd time I’m so surprised birds can be so aggressive. The first time I saw some very “upset” penguins and now the geese.
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As I said…they fought a lot. If one of them caught a piece of bread, another one or maybe two would pinch her.
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One tried to get the breed from the wrapping and a few tried and succeeded to get some bread from my hand.
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Another fight…
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I really enjoyed feeding them. It’s a shame they are so far from us.