29 Nov 2012

A walk around Ughill

Do you remember when I went on a guided walk in the Summer?  Here are some more about that morning when we walked from our starting point by 'Edgefield' overlooking Bradfield Dale to Ughill Height where moorland meets farmland.

The hamlet of Ughill is in a sheltered, but isolated spot and was the ancient seat of the Worrall family. This family and its members lived in many of the properties in the area. Most of them are still working farms and it was a privilege to visit them.

                  A double water trough and a watering hole sourced by a natural spring.


The postal service is an important one for this little community.  The post box is set into one of the farmhouse walls at the junction to the hamlet where every property is some distance away from each other.

This is the entrance to one of the properties which we visited. 

This is a corner of the property where we had a warm welcome from the resident cat.

27 Nov 2012

City Centre Seasonal Sights (2)

The Winter Garden, Sheffield, UK.
Whenever I'm in the Winter Garden and the new Sheffield Museum Millennium Galleries there are usually school parties also looking around as part of their studies. As well as permanent exhibitions there are guided talks, discussions and other activities for all ages that change throughout the year and the Museum's Educational Service is a good resource for teachers and parents.

The scale of the models for the fairyland theme meant that I was almost on my knees trying to look at the details and take photos.  At such moments mini-me (I'm not very tall) wants to be the height and have the eyesight and mobility of a pre-schooler.  Anyway, here are a few photos that I managed to take.  It's a pity that there were electric wires in view, but I guess the scenes look pretty when illuminated in the evenings.

Even though I'm over sixty years older than that imaginary four-year-old visitor to the Winter Gardens children's trail I can still remember making little scenes such as these using leaves, shells, pine cones and conkers.  As you can see from the last photo there's always watering to be done to keep the plants in good condition and to ensure this glasshouse with its seating areas and its thoroughfare to the high street, library, theatre land and university city campus is looking immaculate.

26 Nov 2012

City Centre Seasonal Sights (1)

On a cold, grey morning I went into Sheffield city centre.

One area that's popular for office workers and shoppers taking a break is the Winter Garden adjoining the Millennium Gallery and Exhibition Centre.

Everywhere the city is decorated for the Christmas season and the Winter Garden has several themes - traditional, tropical and magical fairyland.

All the tropical plants are beautiful, but the one I find fascinating is the Captain James Cook Pine (araucaria columnaris) with branches that grow in a star formation. The paper sculpture of a deer looks good beside this group of pines.

Elsewhere large paper flowers and butterflies add a splash of colour and there are little surprises as fairy folk have made their home for a while in the garden.

The Winter Garden is open in the evenings when the plants are illuminated and I'm sure that with the new decorations the place is magical.  More photos of the miniature world of the little people in my next post.

24 Nov 2012

A weekend walk in Bradfield Dale

Last weekend may have been our last walk in Autumn sunshine as this week we have had several days of heavy rain and wind and it feels like Winter is just around the corner.

We made the most of the good weather with a drive to the Damflask Reservoir and Bradfield village going on the low road and then returning on the top road.

Of all the reservoirs in Bradfield Dale the largest is Damflask constructed in 1867.  It's main function is to supply river compensation water to the river Loxley.  There are footpaths along the dam and it's the only one in the dale where sailing and rowing is allowed.

This is the narrow end of the dam looking towards the northern shore.  After passing through wooded areas the landscape changes with a glimpse of the church at High Bradfield across open farmland.

We stopped for a while in Low Bradfield where Agden Dike unites with Dale Dike to form the River Loxley.  It's a popular picnic area. On the other side of the bridge is the village green, cottages and farms.

This working farm looks onto the village green and has a back entrance into the lane leading up to High Bradfield.  

The parish church of St. Nicholas dates back to the 15th century, but the history of the site as a place of worship goes back to the early 12th century when Benedictine monks constructed a chapel.  A 9th century Saxon cross was found in Low Bradfield and is displayed in the church.

With its hilltop location High Bradfield has widespread views towards Bradfield Moors and the reservoirs of the Dale.


21 Nov 2012

Floral Art

Many of the flower arrangers in our places of worship are members of floral societies and guilds. Yesterday I went to one of my fellowship groups where we were treated to a masterclass in the making of a floral arrangement for the home that would be suitable for a seasonal table decoration. We were shown how to arrange three types of arrangement with tips on how to construct the base and build up the foliage, flowers, and other accessories.

We also had a lunch of soup, bread and cheese and attendees were asked to make a donation to the flower arranger's favourite mountain rescue charity.  The arrangements were raffled and I won the candle decoration which now graces our dining table.