Thursday, 15 November 2018

In Suffolk We Have No Motorways and No Cities but................

...........................we do have a Cathedral.The Cathedral Church of St James and St Edmund (The dedication to St Edmund was added only in 2009)

The Cathedral is in Bury St Edmunds and of course gets a mention in the 100 Treasures in 100 Churches book.
A couple of weeks ago I drove west to look round the town where I worked  way back in the 1970's .
Many years since I'd been in the Cathedral but I happened to pick a day when it was full of primary school choirs practicing to sing at a concert, which meant it wasn't possible to get right around the inside.
But here's what I saw.
The Treasure mentioned in the book is this sculpture of King Edmund by Elizabeth Frink and commissioned in 1974.
The Cathedral complete with proper tower taken from the Abbey gardens, the top section of the tower was only added to mark the millenium in 2000. It took several years work to finish something started many years earlier.
The font with tall font cover

Couldn't get down the front of the cathedral due to the school children.
Note the perspex figures - put in place for Remembrance Day -  The figures were put in several churches to remember those people lost from the villages and towns

The figure in close up.

The kneelers in the Cathedral were created in the 1960's. each have the name of one of the villages in the Diocese.  I would have looked round to find my local villages if the place hadn't been full of schoolchildren!

A Model of the cathedral and at the back is the beginnings of a larger lego model being built brick by brick as the bricks are sponsored to pay for more refurbishment.

Poppies in the cloister to mark the centenary of the ending of the Great War

Another view of the Cathedral from the side

On the left of the photo the buildings are newer, but matching the old and housing offices, a cafe etc

The Norman Tower stands beside the Cathedral - the original way into the abbey ( more about this another day)

This is a drawing of how the abbey would have looked back in the C14, all gone apart from the few ruins and the Norman Tower which is easy to spot with what was then just the  parish church of St James to the left of it and the Abbey Gate on the left edge of the picture and St Marys church - bottom right corner. So many houses in the town must have been built using materials from the abbey after Henry VIII and the dissolution

The Suffolk Churches website explains how we come to have a Cathedral without a city

         In the early years of the 20th Century, the Church of England was at the apogee of its influence and self-confidence. The time was right to carve up the dioceses of England into smaller patches which could be more easily in touch with their parishes. Parts of the Diocese of Norwich and the Diocese of Ely were brought together to form a new diocese which would eventually take the name of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

And yet it might not have been called that at all. The first task for any of the new Dioceses was to choose a church to become its cathedral. For some this was easy and obvious - Essex's new Diocese would inevitably be seated at St Mary, Chelmsford, and that of south Hampshire at St Thomas, Portsmouth. But the new Suffolk diocese, which would cover all of the county except for the Lowestoft area, had a problem. There was no obvious church that stood out as a potential for a new Cathedral. The chosen building had to be big, but it also had to be suitable for expansion; historically important buildings would not lend themselves to being knocked about. Ipswich had nothing to offer except St Margaret, which was not big enough and too architecturally important for ruthless expansion, and St Mary le Tower which was big enough for a starter, and not historically important; but on too confined a site for expansion, and in any case without the gravitas a cathedral requires. Southwold, which is near to what was at the time believed to be the original Suffolk see at Dunwich, was big enough; but it was too valuable to be extended, and in any case too remote. The other great Suffolk churches, Lavenham, Blythburgh, Long Melford, Stoke by Nayland, and so on, were obviously too remote, as well as being too important to touch. The choice came down to the two Bury St Edmunds churches, and the final choice seems to have been made because St Mary had too many medieval survivals to make extension acceptable. No, only St James would do.

Many thanks for comments on the favourite music posts

Back Tomorrow

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

More Tracks of My Years

More of my favourite bits of music, these 5 are a bit quirky which is what I like

I was too old to be devastated when Take That split up but heard some of the tracks from this album on the radio and picked it up at a car boot sale
  Robbie Williams - Road to Mandalay From his Album Swing When You're Winning 2001

Chris Difford -  Cowboys are My Weakness from the album I Didn't Get Where I am from 2003, Back in the early 2000s we didn't watch much TV but in the evenings we would listen to Three Counties Radio where the presenter - whose name I can't remember was really good and played all sorts of interesting music - not just things from their playlist. He was forced to leave in the end which was sad. Anyway, one of the people I was introduced to by his programme was Chris Difford. He'd been a member of Squeeze and I liked their Up The Junction track but nothing else of their music. After Squeeze broke up Chris Difford wrote for other people but finally produced the album of his own music in 2003. Its full of good tracks.

The Divine Comedy -Absent Friends From 2004 From their album of the same name. Another piece of music I first heard on the radio back then. I don't think I'd ever heard of them before this although they were formed in 1989. But I loved the voice of Neil Hannon straightaway. Now Ken Bruce occasionally plays their track " The National Express. Quirky

 I wrote a post about Josh Groban back in September when he was on TV promoting a new CD.
So She Dances is a track from an early album Awake which came out in 2007. It's one of the lesser played bits of his music.

 To bring things right up to date. I would have to add this............... one of Colin's favourites and played at his funeral back in June. Disturbed  and "The Sound of Silence" from 2015. I don't know where Col first came across this - he used to listen to stuff on the laptop with earphones and would sometimes say" listen to this" and unplug the earphone so I could hear it. Some of what he listened to I didn't like (Heavy Metal and Rock) but this was so different.

Back To Normal Tomorrow

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

A Repeated Post...............With Music!

There's not a lot happening here at the cottage so I found this post from November 2016 and completely updated it , I've crossed off all the older bits of music I had listed 2 years ago so I could include more favourites.

It's the Tracks Of My Years...........................  
If you have ever listened to The Ken Bruce programme on Radio 2 weekday mornings you will have heard a celebrity choose 10 music tracks that have featured in, have a special meaning or are favourites in their lives.

Here are my tracks of my years and the reasons for choosing. 5 today and more tomorrow

 Matt Monroe - Born Free 1966

 Don't know why I like this but I just do

 The Kinks- Waterloo Sunset from 1967

For some reason this reminds me of summer holidays at the Beach Station Caravan Site in Felixstowe. Mum owned a caravan there which was let out but we would go down quite a lot in the summer holidays. We roamed the site making friends with other children whose parents owned caravans there and with people who were just there for a weeks holiday. A girl whose name I can't remember ( but her Dad owned a butchers shop in Mendlesham) and I would sit by the check-in place on Saturdays to see if any nice looking boys were arriving...........We were about 12 or 13 years old!

 David Essex - Myfanwy 1987

This is a song from what was to have been a musical about John Betjeman . The musical never got made but I have a CD of  his poems that were set to music and performed by all different artists. David Essex is more gorgeous now than he was back in the late 70's

The theme from Dances With Wolves by John Barry  1990

  Just a couple of minutes of this  and  I'm in floods of tears......... weird. I didn't know much about Kevin Costner before this but managed to acquire lots of his DVDs afterwards

Take That - Back For Good 1995

Yes I was a 40 year old Take That fan!

More Tomorrow