October 14, 2018
This has been a busy month with hospital appointments, choir rehearsals and concerts as well as travelling to Saffron Walden to give a presentation about Sancton Wood.Here the audience was about 70 at a guesstimate and very receptive, especially after the nit-picking in the local press about the attribution of Audley End and Great Chesterford stations to Wood. In my book I am careful to post out that they could be by either Francis Thompson or Wood.He insists the similar visual style of Holywell Junction stations to the above stations makes them obviously Thompson’s. I would prefer written evidence, as so many contemporary stations look similar; indeed some of Andrew’s NER and Wood’s severer looking stations are also similar.
The day before in Spennymoor, I presented to their Probus branch my I-movie “Indian Pacific’, which went over well.
We spent the rest of the that week in Saffron Walden. I went to the Cambridge University library and discovered 239 letters and more of relevance to the “Ignatius Bonomi’ book I’m writing.The next day, we took a bus tour around Cambridge. It is surprising how much the city is expanding.
On Saturday, we went to Clare in Suffolk- a lovely place. On the walk along the railway line past the Motte-and-baily castle, we came across the remains of the mediaeval Augustinian friary church . surprisingly there are 5 members of the Order reestablished here. They run a retreat and study centre. A new circular church has been added on to the medieval chapel. It was so unexpected and wonderfully peaceful.
On the next day, we travelled a good way to Ramsey- another village gem more fenland than Clare, but so interesting and charming, it is amazing to think the Benedictine Abbey was built before the Conquest c 960 or so.and remained virtuous even in Cromwell’s Commissioner’s eyes. what dam Henry VIII did to our society by removing so completely – reform was undoubtedly necessary for som , but not for all especially Ramsey. There is a wonderful restored garden originally in the abbey grounds , well worth a visit.