Monday, 27 May 2013


The steam engine rattles along Blackden Lane
What's that in the tree, Grandad ?
What difference a day can make! Friday I was huddled against a whip-lashing wind, booted. hatted and scarved in temperatures reminiscent of winter, waiting for the village circular bus to arrive. Then Saturday and Sunday it was summer with  tee-shirts and shorts and burnt knees, as the temperature rose, if agonisingly slowly, towards the mid-sixties. And I know why I am really glad to live in Goostrey. Today it will be a different tale though – a typical rained-off Bank Holiday Monday is promised by the weathermen and I am dreaming of lands far away where sunshine is wall-to-wall, but just now the sun still shines!  In the spirit of grab-it-while you can I set off Saturday to take a few snaps of the village in this rare (this year) glow. Wondered why Blackden Lane was so quiet and it soon became clear. Birdsong in the great lime trees was replaced by a deep-throated tum, tum, tum as a steamer rattled in view, belching smoke, and followed in procession by a gaggle of vehicles in the narrow lane. A shriek of a greetings toot on the whistle and he was gone – labouring up Church Bank on a journey to who know where. Apart from a brief a pit stop and another steam-powered toot at the Crown where the monthly farmer’s market was in full swing! I’d planned to stroll through the village but the temptation on offer of a beer from Simon Kalton, joint owner of the inn, and the sight of Chris, the manager, with a painted tiger face was too good to resist!  Simon tells me the Dog at Over Peover  -formerly the Gay Dog in days when it meant something of a jolly good time – which he and his partner, Edward Barlow, took over and refurbished is, like the Crown, doing great things in the village. So much so he hopes to get together with the gooseberry shows held at the pubs to put on some kind of bash after this season’s battle of the berries. I’d spotted a picture in Margaret Kettle’s window showing the bongs carpeted in  a mass of bluebells, but it must have been taken either last year or several weeks ago. As you will note from my picture they were a bit of a limp disappointment when I ventured into the ancient woodland. But then again perhaps I shouldn’t have loitered over a beer on such a wonderful day!
Chris "tiger Face" Jennings 
+Click the pictures to enlarge 

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