Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A New Twig on the Tree

It's been a long time since I last posted but I'm back again now. A lot of this summer has been spent in Suffolk helping my lovely daughter-in-law Francesca before and after the birth of her third baby - and here he is:) Jude Samuel was born on July 30th and weighed in at 6lb 9oz.

Here he is with big brother Gabriel and Granny. George was too busy with his drawing to join us:)

He's on this one though playing with Daddy and Gabriel in a nearby field. The lane they live on is surrounded by farmland.

A couple of days before Jude was born we spent the afternoon at Bressingham Steam Museum which we all enjoyed.

There was an interesting little museum as well as the train rides, this is one of the network of travelling mail coaches which collected mail,sorted it as the train travelled and delivered it to local stations along the line for the postman to deliver the next morning - I really love this piece of nostalgia. The Travelling Post Offices ceased in 2004.

This commemorative print was given to all TPO staff when the service ceased and shows them at work as the train speeds through the night. There is a wonderful poem by W H Auden called Night Mail and of course it's referring to the days of the wonderful old steam trains of my childhood. These are the first few lines:

This is the Night Mail crossing the border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,
Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner and the girl next door.

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.
Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,
Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.
 Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from the bushes at her blank-faced coaches.
Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.
 In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in the bedroom gently shakes.

 There is also a great film called 'Night Mail' produced in 1936 by the GPO film unit which includes the whole of  poem. Needless to say I have  it on DVD:)  It's also available on Youtube and shows exactly how the TPOs worked. The little portion showing men working on the line shows the job my dad did, he was a platelayer on the railways for most of his working life. Do watch it - it's a fascinating glimpse of a world now long gone.

This shows the interior of the mail coach.

Another part of the museum also holds an exhibit full of nostalgia for all devotees of Dad's Army. Here is Frazer's Funeral Parlour....

........and Corporal Jones' butcher's shop.

Jonesy's iconic blue delivery van is there too.

Last but not least Swallow Bank where Captain Mainwaring was manager and Sergeant Wilson and Pte Pike also worked. I'm afraid all the museum photos are poor because of all the artificial lighting. We really enjoyed our outing and would have gone in the museum sooner if we'd realised how interesting it was, we had to rush round a bit as it was near to closing time when we went in. I plan another Suffolk post later this week and shall also be catching up on reading and commenting on other blogs - something I haven't had time to do over the last couple of months.


Lynda (Granny K) said...

Congratulations all round and welcome to the world, little one.

Good to see you back in blogland Rowan.

bright star said...

Nice to read you lovely post Rowan,I have not been blogging much since June. Summer is for doing this outside and travelling. All the best Angela x

Jan said...

So glad to see you back-congratulations on your beautiful new grandson!

Mac n' Janet said...

Welcome back and congratulations on your new granddaughter.
Loved the steam trains, absolutely fascinated by them and long to take a journey on one.

Patricia said...

Hello Rowan and welcome back - you've been missed. Congratulations on the birth of your newest grandson. Enjoyed your post and look forward to reading more.
Patricia x

Simone said...

What a lovely little boy!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh another wonderful grandson. We have three and just adore them.

Great photos of the trains - that looks like the perfect place for little boys (and girls).

Roy Norris said...

Congratulations Granny D.

jill said...

Congratulations to you all how lovely to have another little grandson they are so special to us, happy times to come. Love Jill xx

Bovey Belle said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your latest grandson. (I am envious!) He looks an absolute sweetie, and you haven't changed a bit! Looking forward to reading more posts and I hope you have enjoyed your summer.

P.S. (T is on the mend again . . .)

Jane said...

Hi Rowan, great to see you back! You and I have been doing the same thing ~ congratulations! I also have a little grandson born 10 days ago, very special time isn't it?

Hilaire said...

Congratulations, Rowan! How lovely to read about the new addition to your family.

My family has just been to stay and we all went on the little stream train from Aberystwyth to Devil's Bridge and had a lovely afternoon.

Stella Jones said...

What a beautiful baby and congratulations and blessings from me. You must be overjoyed with your family right now.
I'm so glad I popped by because I really enjoyed your post. Love the poem and the film. I remember it well, being the right age to do so, if there is such a thing! Thank you for all the lovely photos. The love shines through.

WOL said...

Congratulations on the new little one. Blessings on him and his family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for the last addition to the family, he's such a cute little thing!

Unknown said...

He has grown sooooo much since then! You were an amazing help, support and mum. I don't think the post mentions what a busy bee you were!

we are going back to bressingham next week with our home education group! x

Rosie said...

Welcome back and congratulations on the arrival of your new grandson - he looks so tiny. I remember visiting Bressingham quite a few years ago, it looks as if there is far more to see now than when we visited:)

Dog Trot Farm said...

Rowan, welcome back! I have missed reading your always interesting blogging posts...Congratulations on your new little twig, Jude Samuel, how wonderful to be on hand to welcome the wee little one into the world.