Friday, 23 December 2011

Santa Specials - Our World Tuesday

We have been very busy for the past month, having started our Santa Season at the beginning of December.  We attended children's parties, a Christmas Dance in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the main highlight was the 23 Santa Special train trips we did on NYMR Pickering to Levisham over 7 days, spread over three weekends plus Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th.  The Santa Special is always a lot of fun, we've been doing it for 5 years now.  Unfortunately I kept forgetting to take my camera most days, but we did get a few shots.

The Sticky Fingers Mums and Tots Group Christmas party

Santa with two of the children who rode the Santa Special

Santa talking to parents and children on platform 1

Mistress Holly Claus, Santa and one of our Elves

Some of our Elf-help, after the last train of the season

More Elf-helpers!

About to have a meal at our local Cantonese Pub Restaurant

This is the first time I have posted since the War Weekend due to illness, it seems I now have Angina, I had a bad attack on the 6th and ended up as an emergency admission to hospital for two days.  I will be having further tests in January, a 24 hour ECG plus a Myocardial perfusion test over two days, the 24th and 26th.

Yesterday, December 22nd, we received devastating news from Hawaii, my stepdaughter Christine found her sister Glenda dead, she was just 49, we are now waiting for post mortem results.  2011 has been a very bad year for our family in many ways. 

Wishing all a Happy Christmas, and hopefully a Happy and Healthy 2012.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Our World Tuesday - A Step Back in Time - Pickering War Weekend Part 2

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Sunday morning I set off walking from our village to the next one, roughly a mile away, to catch the bus into Pickering.  It was promising to be another lovely day in spite of the not so promising weather forecast.  Pickering was already busy with tourists and re-enactors in their costumes and uniforms.  The first photo I took was of the group on the right, then I finally spotted a German uniform, the man wearing it posed for me , then told me he represented an
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                                                               SS Panzer Tank Commander, Heinz Joachim Meyer, who had commanded tanks on the Russian Front for three years before being sent back to France, where he was finally killed at the Battle of the Bulge.  He looked remarkably fit and well for a ghost.  Then I met three more German soldiers, in the photo below, all SS Panzer tank drivers.  It seems most of the German contingent were at LeVisham that day. (Levisham turned into an occupied French village for the weekend!)

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Then I spotted my favourite car, of all the lovely old vintage cars on show during the weekend I had fallen in love with this beautiful cream coloured open topped Bentley.  I was offered a glass of wine by one of the Officers standing around it, but had to decline, I have enough problems with camera shake as it is!

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 It is a gorgeous car, if I ever win the lottery...!

The next photo is of the wonderful old traction engine, The Iron Maiden.
We have a traction engine show in Pickering every year, usually in September.  I remember seeing old steam rollers as a child, but nothing as splendid as this vehicle. 
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 There were several old style 'coppers' - 'bobbies' - policemen about, this one was keeping an eye on things with his ARP colleague, and it seems an interested lady was keeping an eye on them!

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This Home Guard soldier is carrying a basket of Messenger (Carrier) pigeons.  During the war over 7000 pigeon fanciers handed over their birds to help with the war effort.  These heroic birds carried messages in special containers far and wide, they often flew in extreme weather, sometimes under fire, and they saved countless servicemen's lives.  Every military aircraft leaving Britain was recommended to carry two birds, in watertight baskets, in case they needed to ditch in the sea.  Pigeons were often dropped by parachute to help the war effort and large numbers died through starvation, exhaustion, exposure to harsh conditions, or killed by enemy fire.  So next time a pigeon does the dirty on your car, don't curse him, bless him instead for his ancestors invaluable service to our country.

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The beautiful old Chrysler in the next photo caught my husband's eye, I think he would like one just like it.  A Bentley AND a Chrysler, now that would be nice...!

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 The soldiers lounging on Platform 2 look rather tired, too exhausted to bother chatting up the WAAF standing beside them apparently. 
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The lady singing on Platform 2 was one of the many entertainers taking part in the weekend, a lot of the old and well known wartime songs were heard in the streets of Pickering, and on the station's re-enactment programme.

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The Combat Soldier below looks ready for action, I think he really means business and I'm glad he is on our side!  I just hope the pins in those grenades are not loose!

 The Airmen studying the map look like they just parachuted in and don't quite know where they are!  During the war most place name signs and road signs were removed, so that if the enemy succeeded in landing an invasion force, hopefully they would get lost!  I wonder how many of the indigenous population found it very hard to find their way around the country.

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This beautifully restored wooden carriage transported travellers to Levisham (excuse me, I mean LeVisham!), Grosmont, Goathland, and Whitby during the weekend, pulled by one of the steam engines.  A lot of restoration work on carriages and engines takes place at Pickering Rail yards, carried out by dedicated volunteers and NYMR workers.  Anyone interested in getting involved should contact the NYMR Office in Park Street, Pickering.

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I caught up with the young Home Guard soldier who had been playing his ukelele the day before when I took his photo, camera shake, or rather wobble, caused it to come out blurred, so I took this one, I think he was on his way home.

Many men and women who gave service during the war did not receive recognition for a great many years.  The Merchant Navy and the Land Army Girls are two branches that spring to mind.  Also the women ferry pilots who delivered aircraft but had no means of defending themselves if attacked by enemy planes.  There were many others doing diverse jobs, factory workers, munitions workers, farmers, firemen, nurses and doctors, and the ordinary people who carried on and pulled together in a time of great devastation.  We owe these people and our Armed Forces a great debt of thanks for their service and sacrifice. 

Memorial Garden - Pickering Station

Memorial Plaque dedicated to Railway staff
I have made up a slide show of a number of the photo's I took over the Saturday and Sunday, of people, station scenes, steam engines and vintage cars.

For more photo's from around Our World visit

Monday, 24 October 2011

Our World Tuesday - A Step Back in Time - Pickering's War Weekend

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Pickering’s War Weekend took place from Friday 14th through Sunday 16th October this year.  In the 20+ years I have lived in this area, this year was the first time I was able to visit for this special weekend, over the Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday.  The town was heaving, hundreds of people, from the local area and from far afield dressing up in 1940’s fashions or uniforms and taking part or attending as spectators.  The atmosphere was charged with jollity, bonhomie, and felt much as I would imagine it might have been on VE Day.  I was told by one visiting re-enactor that at least one pub ran out of Bitter by Saturday night.  

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There were uniforms from all branches of the military, British, American and Anzac as well as others.  Nurses, Waitresses and ladies and gents wearing 1940’s civilian clothing, and I must say that compared with some of today’s sloppy fashions, they looked very smart indeed, coupons and make-do and mend notwithstanding.  One gentleman I approached was dressed as a Spiv, dark suit, white tie etc., very flashy, and he flashed the black market goods lining his jacket at me!  Unfortunately I cannot show his photo as he is contracted to a theatrical agency.  Other individuals pictured here gave their permission for their photo’s to be shown on my blog. 
                                  Click on photo's to enlarge.
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I noticed quite a large number of the military personnel had been 'decorated' by the local ladies, with red kisses on their cheeks.
It's the uniform that does it every time.
All the photo's shown here were all taken on Saturday afternoon.  If you spot yourself here, and would like a copy of the photo, take a note of the code number beneath it and email me.  I will send you a .jpg copy via email.

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There were a large number of wonderful vintage cars on show along the main streets,
along with military vehicles of all types, jeeps, tanks, trucks, military motorcycles, and a beautiful old traction engine.
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 The next photo is of a beautiful cream coloured Bentley, occupied by two lovely, and well dressed ladies.  What a wonderful way to travel.  There seemed to be some doubt about whether the lady in the driving seat had legs, though she kept assuring teasing friends that she had actually left the car for a few minutes! 

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Now how about these two
impressive moustaches!  I couldn't resist them, I happen to like beards and moustaches, my husband has both, I threatened to divorce him if he ever tried to shave them off!  

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                                                                        Yup.... they're over here .. but I can't say too much
                                                                 cos I am married to one..!

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I loved the little produce van that was parked near the station, that's a friend standing in front of it.

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As I was about to take a photo of this US Army vehicle, this handsome young soldier strolled over, I gather it is his so he is in the picture too.  

The soldier on the right is on sentry duty I think.         
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     As the air raid siren sounded, the crowd on platform 2 at Pickering Railway Station calmly made their way to the air raid shelter, chivvied by the ARP's, whilst the Home Guard (lovingly known as 'Dad's Army') get ready to fire on any dive-bombing enemy aircraft.
                                                                              Members of our Senior Service
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This young man from Sidney, Australia is representing the ANZACS, where would we have been without all our brave allies.  He seemed to have an inkling of the future, knew all about computers...!

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Unfortunately, due to camera shake, the photo of this young boy soldier is blurred, but I got a better one next day.  He wasn't playing his ukelele though.  Here he was collecting for Platoon funds.

More photo's next week, from Sunday the 16th. including 'capture' of four SS Panzer Tank personnel, and if I can figure out how to do it, possibly a slide film of other pics I took on both days, featuring vintage cars, trains and other scenes.

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                   Our World Tuesday

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Pickering's Medieval Church - Part Two - Our World Tuesday

On the wall of the South Aisle, opposite St. Edmund and Thomas Becket, the first painting depicts the legend of St. Catherine of Alexandria.  Catherine lived during the reign of the Emperor Maxentius (300 – 312) and she was a Christian convert, a daughter of a high ranking family.  When Catherine protested to Maxentius about idol worship she was imprisoned.  She then proceeded to debate with the emperor’s philosophers and converts them to Christianity.  Maxentius was so angry he has the philosophers executed.  Catherine is stripped to the waist and flogged in public but she went back to prison defiant.  The Empress Faustina visited Catherine, and also became a convert, she is killed and Catherine is tortured on a spiked wheel which breaks apart.  (This apparently is where the firework ‘The Catherine Wheel’ got its name.)  Catherine remains unrepentant and is executed.  Note the start of  a banner strip on the right, the majority of it is on the second photo here, plus above the band  paintings between the windows, are three murals that deal with the Virgin Mary.  The first is of her death and she is surrounded by six of the apostles.

The next photo is the wall painting that runs as a banner strip beneath the clerestory windows, the first half is named The Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy, based on Jesus’ words in Matthew Chapter 25, verses 35-37.  as follows:
To feed the hungry.
To give drink to the thirsty.
To give shelter to strangers.
To clothe the naked.
To visit those in prison.
To tend the sick.
To bury the dead. In verse 40 he says “Verily, I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  The second painting between the windows is the burial of Mary and of the legend of Belzeray, the Jewish prince who supposedly jumped astride the coffin and became fixed there.  Only when he repented was he freed by the apostles.  A legend I had never heard of before.
The second half of the banner strip painting represents the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ as follows:
Jesus heals the ear of Malchus, which Peter struck off with his sword when the soldiers came to take Jesus away.
Jesus stands before Pilate, the Roman Governor.
The flogging of Jesus.
Jesus carrying his cross.
The crucifixion, with the Virgin Mary and the disciple John standing beneath the cross.
Jesus’ descent from the cross, lastly the burial of Jesus by his followers.
The last painting between the windows is damaged and its meaning is a bit of a mystery, but it is believed to show Mary’s assumption to heaven.  The possible conclusion to the series is on the north wall, The Coronation of Mary. (Last weeks second wall picture.)
Between the arch spandrels in this last photo is the depiction of the Jaws of Hell, or death, the dragons open mouth.  Before his resurrection Christ visited Hell to minister to lost souls who died without knowing him, Adam is shown holding an apple, the second figure is Eve, and there are two demons in the background. The rays of sunshine at Jesus’ back represent that even in the darkness of Hell, He is The Light of the World.  In the next arch spandrel is the resurrection of Jesus and a soldier looking on falls backwards in amazement and angels look on at Jesus Christ rising in triumph.

Hepplewhite Pulpit

The Roucliffe Effigies

The effigies of Sir David and Dame Margery Roucliffe are located in the chantry chapel built in 1407 in their memory, it is kept apart for private prayer, and is where the clergy say their daily morning and evening prayers.  It is sometimes referred to as the Bruce Chapel, due to the effigies having once been incorrectly identified as those of the Bruces.  The intricately carved door and screen of this chapel are by Alfred Wilson of Pickering (1923).

Chantry Chapel

American Connection
The American Connection: 
On the north wall of the sanctuary there is a memorial to the King family of Pickering, Mary, Robert and Nicholas.  Robert and Nicholas helped and succeeded L’Enfant in surveying Washington D.C.  Brass plaques beneath the tablet are to commemorate the Brotherhood in Arms of 1917, and the alliance during the Great War of England and America in the Red Cross.  These memorials place St. Peter & St. Paul Parish Church very firmly on the American Trail. 

Campanologists planning on visiting this area may be interested to know that St. Peter & St. Paul has a fine peal of eight bells, they were renovated and re-hung in 1986.

Next week:  A Step Back in Time - Pickering's War Weekend - Part one

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