Tuesday 21 May 2024

Bakewell and Eyam

May 20th  Cloudy and much cooler with a hint of rain in the air.

A slow start to the morning.  Bagshaw Hall is indeed old and the floors slope so all night I listed to the right and was wakeful in fear of rolling out of bed!   Don’t think I like this idea of duvet without a top sheet either.  I’m either too hot or not hot enough - there’s no happy medium. At home with sheets and woollen blankets I can regulate temperature much easier.

We walked down the steep slope again to a half awake town and found people setting up for a market.  

We had been told that Monday was market day in Bakewell but it was certainly different to farmers markets at home.  Across the little bridge was a large covered cattle yard building similar to our outdoor agricultural sales yards.  At least the smell was.  

On the town side it was a busy conglomeration of stalls.

We went to The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for breakfast of delicious granola, yogurt and fruit.  Fortified with a pot of tea we strolled and found …. the necessary Wool Shop.

Little Sister actually purchased some Blue Faced Leicester wool and we chatted to the owner until the next customer and her dog came in to buy needles.

Little Sister likes clothing shops and we went in and out of a few happily filling our small shopping bag.

 A stroll across the Weir Bridge was interesting.  It was loaded with engraved locks hanging from the railings and I wondered at what point the weight would break the bridge.   At this point in the River Wye there were three bridges, one of which had been erected by the family of the man who owned The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.   I was interested that while we were in the Information Centre, the lady on the counter was explaining to two other customers the difference between Bakewell Pudding and Bakewell Tart.  They asked her to recommend the best place to sample in town.  Her reply?  “We are not allowed to name a specific business but if you go out the door and head on out straight down the street, I wouldn’t go past the first one you see”.  Subtle but effective.

Later in the morning we went back to that same shop and ate Bakewell Tart in Bakewell.  After all that was the reason this town was on my list.   We decided on one iced top and one flake top and the waitress recommended cream with the iced one and custard with the flaked one.  They duly arrived

And we used neither the cream nor the custard.  They Are Sweet and nothing like the mass produced one we bought from Sainsbury’s in Hereford. 

Then we climbed back up the steep hill to our accommodation to rest for a few moments and regain our puff before setting off in the car for Eyam.  Getting out the street was a test of Little Sister’s nerve and spatial awareness as a car was stopped right on a blind bend of a one car wide but two way street going down at a steep angle.  Too many variables in that equation.  I closed my eyes and prayed.

Safely on our way we drove  through beautiful farmland.  Little Sister is now an old hand at the UK parking process and swerved into a spot on the right for a photo opportunity.  

At Stoney Middleton, the dark granite (edit. Google says they are limestone!) cliffs were foreboding and once again I was reminded that this is a country of no earthquakes.   

Eyam was a quiet town and even more sleepy today as almost everything was shut.  Signs told us that opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday!  

In 1665 the village knew that far off London had the Black Plague and should be avoided.  However a tailor ordered fabric from there and when it was received found it slightly damp.  So opening it to dry in front of his fire he released the fleas that brought the disease to Eyam.  The disease quickly spread through the village and they introduced isolation measures, some of which seem eerily familiar to us now.  

A sobering visit this, to see the plaques marking deaths of whole families.  A beautifully illuminated script record of the deceased is in the church, as is an excellent series of wooden panels telling the story.   I was so interested that the church minister at the time of the plague instigated preventative measures so similar to those of our NZ government: lockdown - the village was closed with boundaries put in place, the Earl supplied food and medication, disinfectant vinegar was used in transactions, no gatherings for funerals, open air church services with social distancing.

We walked up to the Museum, unfortunately closed, but were intrigued with its Rat logo and Rat weathervane.

After all this introspection and history we needed a cuppa but Little Sister opted for coffee this time.

Although we didn’t need the Defibrillator after, it has intrigued us that so many red phone boxes are now defibrillator boxes so we had to take a photo.

And then home to Bagshaw Hall during which to my delight I saw a hare sitting in a green meadow.  A big tick in a box. Now, where is my squirrel!


Maggie said...

What a lovely post, Bakewell looks interesting, I've never been, but I do love bakewell tart :-)
I've read about the village that went into isolation with the Plague before, I'm sure there was a programme on tv about it too.
I have to disagree about the earthquakes, we definitely do have them, I think there was one felt in Belper Derbyshire in April this year, only a small one but it could be felt 26 miles from the centre. I remember one late at night once, I was in bed and it shook everything in the room for a minute or two, so yes we have them but they don't usually do too much damage.

Is it usual in NZ to have sheets and blankets then? I remember having a sheet and blankets when I was young but then duvets became popular and everyone seemed to do away any other form of bedding. We do have seasonal duvets and most people change to a lighter one in the summer.

Frugally challenged said...

Have you found any phone boxes which are now community libraries? Maybe book exchange would be a better term but there are many phone boxes around here which are filled with books.

Clare-Aimetu said...

Another great day. Did you also try the Bakewell pudding? It is different to the iced tart. You are certainly discovering all our beauty spots and Englands best bits.

Leonore Winterer said...

Ignorant me didn't even know that Bakewell was the name of a town, I thought it was just the name of the cake - as in, it was 'baked well'!
Also, the name Eyam seemed familiar, so some diggin revealed that it's the setting of the book Year of Wonders that has been on my to read list for ages. How interesting you actually visited the place!