The Witch is Escaping from her Grave! Quick, get a Boulder!

“The Witch is Escaping from her Grave! Quick, get a Boulder!” Now, whilst these might not be the exact words spoken on that fateful day in 1705 when Meg Shelton, the Fylde Witch, escaped from her grave for the SECOND time, someone must have said something like it. Meg Shelton, aka the Fylde Hag, aka the Woodplumpton Witch died in 1705 when she was crushed between  barrel and a wall. She was buried in the churchyard of St Anne’s Church in the Lancashire village of Woodplumpton. As Meg was renowned for having the ability to change shape at will, escaping from a grave might not have been too taxing a problem for her. Perhaps she changed into a worm and wriggled out? She was duly reburied and…..yes…….our Meg escaped again. The solution for her THIRD burial was to dig a deep and very narrow shaft, put her in it headfirst and seal it off with a large boulder. The worthy villagers reckoned that if she started digging when she was headfirst in her grave, then she’d go deeper and deeper. Meg’s grave is Close to the church. (I didn’t know that witches were buried in churchyards, but hey! what do I […]

Springtime Came Yesterday and Left Again Today

Yesterday was Springtime. I know this because a butterfly told me. It was the first butterfly we’ve seen in the garden this year.  The battered condition of this Small Tortoiseshell is a testament to its having survived the winter.  I suspect that today it has gone back into whatever warm place it likes to call home.      We went into Preston for lunch and, as it was such a nice day, we parked down by the river and walked up through Miller and Avenham Parks into town.       Warm enough to sit in the sun:  But not warm enough for me to discard winter woollens just yet. (Current weather here right now is: wind, heavy rain, chilly, i.e. WINTER) I know that a lot of us bloggers in the northern hemisphere are awaiting springtime.  The one who instantly comes to mind is Liz at  Dot Knows!   Why not pay her a visit at Elleturner4.wordpress.com Her blog promises: Fab photos, witty asides and light hearted humour….  If you enjoy wildlife, blue skies and general joie de vivre, you won’t be disappointed.  

Eddie's Dog man's best friend , garden centre

One Man and his Dog: this week’s OddBall Surprise.

Man’s Best Friend (Eddie and his Dog) Spotted this gorgeous dog on the way into a local garden centre last week.   What an unexpected and surprising photographic opportunity. Thank goodness for camera phones.      Click on the icon below to see more OddBall pictures from bloggers around the world:

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C is for Churchyard and Church Spire

C is for Churchyards and Church Spires I went out this morning looking for a witch’s grave.  Meg Shelton, known as the “Fylde Hag” or the “Fylde Witch” was  buried in 1705 in the churchyard at St Anne’s Church in the nearby village of Woodplumpton.  And I found it! I found the boulder they put over her grave to stop her escaping (for a third time). But that’s for a future post.   I’ll need to do some research to try to find out how she managed to be buried in consecrated ground; so far I’ve not discovered much.  I did get some photos of the churchyard though.   I saw this notice just as I was about to lean on a headstone and took heed of the solemn warning:   There’s a Right of Way for walkers through the graveyard and into the fields behind the church. You might just spot the  Public Footpath sign:   Many of the graves in the old part of the churchyard date from the 1800’s:   This morning’s church, St Anne’s in Woodplumpton doesn’t have much of  a spire (though it does have a cupola topped with a weather-vane); but St Michael’s in […]

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Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines – at Blackpool Air Show

Blackpool Air Show Blackpool Air Show is held every year but not always in such good weather conditions. This August day was perfect: blue sky, warm, no wind. We’d never been to an air show before, so had no idea what lenses to take, if a tripod would be needed, what shutter speed to use…… ………but just trusted to luck.  After all, when these things are zooming towards you at considerable speed, there isn’t much time to ponder on what you read in a magazine some time ago about how to take photographs at an air show. We got there early enough to bag a good space on the steps on the seafront promenade, where we sat back to enjoy the show along with many thousands of others. These magnificent men( AND WOMEN) in their flying machines certainly wowed the crowd.         After a good couple of hours of entertainment The Red Arrows left us with the most beautiful vapour trails over the sea:   To find out what bloggers from around the world saw when they looked up, why not head over to: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Looking Up at Things  

Looking Down with some Degree of Nostalgia

The Kyles of Bute in Scotland’s Cowal Peninsula is one of my favourite places in the whole world.   In Glasgow when I was a child (in the olden days) it was a tradition  to take summer day trip on “The Waverley” paddle steamer. This annual treat was called “goin’ doon the watter“, though my English mother never allowed such Glaswegian dialect to be spoken in her presence!  The steamer left from the  Broomielaw dock in the centre of Glasgow, sailed down River Clyde out to the Firth and over to the Kyles of Bute.  A kyle (in Scottish Gaelic, a “Caol” or “Caoil”) is a narrow strip of water; this one separates the northern end of the Isle of Bute from the Cowal Peninsula.  When I was teaching, we used to bring  kids here for a week’s field studies trip every year for about 10 years.  We stayed in an education centre, formerly a Victorian millionaire’s house,  in the village of Colintraive. When I look at this photograph I can pinpoint exactly where it was;  it’s tucked in behind the trees on the shore of the bay on the left, by the wee white buildings you might just make out. […]

Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags

A Visit to Heysham I’m hoping that “Rock-Hewn Graves and Nettle Tea Bags” is the only post in the whole of cyberspace with this title.  If it is then that should make it especially OddBall for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge this week. Why am I thinking of an unused title? No particular reason other than how many combinations of words can there be?  And will we ever run out?  Probably not in my lifetime! The graves and the tea bags are closely connected as we saw both of them within half an hour of arriving in Heysham on a day-trip last year. It’s only 40 minutes up the road. Heysham is a large coastal village on the Lancashire coast. Whilst it is a ferry port for ships to Ireland and the Isle of Man, and has a nuclear power station nearby, the old part of the village is very quaint and set apart from the newer developments. It could be the setting for a 1950’s TV drama.  Rock-Hewn Graves Around St Patrick’s Chapel are the remains of eight rock-cut graves hewn from the headland, several of which are body shaped and have rock-cut sockets, possibly for wooden crosses. It is […]

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