Saturday, 15 September 2007

There and Back Again

Off to The Dukeries, place of my birth, to visit my mother, and where there will be no dragons to tame, only the Lion and the Unicorn mazes to walk.

Unicorn and Lion Pavement Mazes by Adrian Fisher at Worksop, Nottinghamshire

I was born in a small village that was a quiet farming community, close to the forests of Sherwood where Robin Hood resided. Shireoaks village, pronounced locally Shyerokes, and so written on earlier maps, was graced by Shireoaks Hall circa 1600, with a fine early water cascade feature, discernible on the old map below. The village lies on the boundary of three counties; Derbyshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire and an ancient large oak - the Shire Oak - is indicated on this map of around 1790.

Although a farming community, it was not a back-water, for the Chesterfield Canal ran alongside the railway, but the relatively peaceful countryside was rudely awakened by the sinking of the shaft to mine the rich coal seam around 1843 which remained working until the late 1960s.
During the 1960s my father played in the Whitwell Band, at that time sponsored by the Colliery owners, and as the Whitwell Miners Welfare Band, won the Championship competition held at the Albert Hall in London. My father was the trombone soloist and reputably his nervously knocking knees kept time with the beat of the conductor's baton. All the surrounding towns and villages in the adjoining counties of Derbyshire and Yorkshire had brass bands (composed solely of brass wind instruments) and at Whitsuntide the tradition was for many bands (up to 80 one year) to travel around the villages in the Peak District and play at each village - and down a pint or two.

Shireoaks Band circa 1912

I will be back in Dorset, my heart's home, in a week or so.



Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

Mazes are cool - I've tried to do all the hedge mazes in Britian, including the replica of Queen Victoria's Jubilee Maze at the maze museum - now I see two more to do - That's pretty cool about your father playing in Albert Hall - Always wanted to go the proms there - but never did.


Saturday, 15 September 2007 at 20:03:00 BST  
Blogger Sally said...

How come a Canadian knows more about my country than I do !!

I followed the family tradition by singing in a choir in the Albert Hall - Berlioz, amazing, and I was centre front on stage. Not that special tho' - it was a mass choir of over a thousand !

So, have you lived over here, or visited often ?

Saturday, 15 September 2007 at 20:31:00 BST  
Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

I visited a few times and then moved over there for a little over eight years. I only just moved back to Canada in 2006. So right now I am still missing Eurovision and Tesco's (and cheap charters to European capitals - and quick rail trips into London) - We might come back but not to live; we moved because we had hit a dead end career wise and most of our neices and nephews are here (and hadn't seen us).

Sunday, 16 September 2007 at 08:34:00 BST  
Blogger Sally said...

Yes I understand the pull of family can be stronger than Tesco's !

If you do visit - there will be a Welcome for you both here in Dorset.

Sunday, 16 September 2007 at 10:46:00 BST  
Blogger seahorse said...

So are you back yet? How did it go? Haven't heard from you in a while and hoping all's well x

Monday, 1 October 2007 at 23:55:00 BST  
Blogger FSJL said...

How was the trip?

Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 22:51:00 BST  
Blogger Sally said...

Thank you Seahorse and FSJL - your contact is appreciated.
Emotionally and physically a bit wrecked but getting back to normal.

Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 22:43:00 BST  
Blogger seahorse said...

Good to hear, post when you can. Thinking of you

Saturday, 6 October 2007 at 18:42:00 BST  
Blogger seahorse said...

Was especially thinking of you today! You are so very wise and prescient ;-)

Tuesday, 9 October 2007 at 22:04:00 BST  
Blogger spotted elephant said...

Hope you're close to normal. Thinking of you!

Thursday, 11 October 2007 at 02:25:00 BST  
Blogger Sally said...

Bless you all, Spotted Elephant, Seahorse, fsjl and Elizabeth. An anchoring presence to hold me to this blog.

Saturday, 13 October 2007 at 22:26:00 BST  
Blogger Sally said...

I have just been reading fsjl at stanmorehill dot blogspot, who has expanded my thoughts on dragons. Thank you, again.

Saturday, 13 October 2007 at 23:27:00 BST  

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