Tuesday 18 November 2014

Suthwatre Wanderings.

The lure of two new-to-me charity shops literally just up the road in a village which has now grown so much that it's virtually now joined to my town proved just too tempting last weekend. Dear chum E is another one who enjoys her surroundings and a good old snout. With the promise of a bun and a cuppa thrown in for measure we were off!

Suthwatre, as it was first referred to in documents from 1346, started out life as a village based around agriculture. These days it's called Southwater and has seen a massive increase in its housing over the last thirty years. Its population has grown to reflect this and now numbers ten thousand. The infrastructure of the village has been improved over the last few years to accommodate it so that now it has its own library and small arcade of shops and restaurants. The decline since the closure of the railway in 1966 and the closure of the brickworks in 1982 has been halted and reversed.

Meet Iggy. He's a bronze sculpture made by Hannah Stewart to commemorate the opening of the newly built shopping centre in December 2006. He is based upon the fossil of an iguanadon that was found in the clay pits when they were dug in the 1920s for the brick making. The brick plinth he stands on is made of Southwater bricks. Nowadays the former brickworks has been transformed into a lovely country park with a play park for the littlies, a lake for boating and other water based activities and a cafe. Next time I go I shall try to remember to take some pictures. It's a haven for wildlife and I saw my first ever watervole there a few years ago.

While we were there the lure of books called to me....our county runs an excellent service and you can borrow and return books to different libraries from whence they came. I might erm have come out with a couple of local history ones and one with wild food recipes. Books are my absolute Achilles heel every time....the library is my idea of heaven on earth really it is! This is a tree of remembrance on display in the library foyer....it's reminded how pretty and effective wool wound round branches is.

My friend E introduced me to this gigantic set of bellows outside the Wheelwright's House. Sadly they seem to have seen better days.

Perhaps you are wondering whether we accomplished our mission....tracking down charity shop goodies. I am most thrilled to report that both shops yielded bargains for us and that their prices are far more reasonable than some in our town centre. Perhaps the rents are cheaper who knows. I'm even thrifty in the charity shops these days....needs must. E bought some gladrags and I added the Per Una scarf to my burgeoning collection [I have lots but as the Queen of colour and accessory coordination they are an excellent addition to giving me a whole heap more outfit combos]. Not bad for 100 pennies methinks......


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