Scavenger photo hunt – May

Well here we are at the end of May and the scavenger photo hunt has come round once again, with this month’s topics being – seat, view (from the seat), lunch, starts with ‘P’, transport, and my own choice. It’s been a difficult one for me this month – not because of the topics but because I suffered a major computer failure earlier in the month and was without a decent pc for over two weeks. Working on a borrowed laptop was okay up to a point but downloading and editing photos was a no-no so I thought I may have to give this month’s photo hunt a miss. However I finally got a new-to-me pc last week though I’ve had to find my way round Windows 10 which hasn’t been easy (and still isn’t!) but through trial and error I’ve managed to sort out some photos for the challenge so here goes.
I’m cheating a bit with the first and second topics as the photo I’ve chosen covers both. Back in the early to mid 90s, while on regular holidays in Norfolk, some friends of ours would often take us out on the Broads in their boat and one of the places we sometimes passed was the ruins of St. Benets Abbey on the River Bure. Somehow I never got the chance to actually go there but fast forward to just three years ago and while on my solo travels with the dogs I finally got that chance, although it wasn’t the easiest of places to find and get to by road. The ruins are quite fascinating and behind them a path leads to the riverside staithe and the seat which has a good view over the staithe itself, the river and the nearby fields – it’s very peaceful and makes a lovely spot to sit and watch the boats go by.
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Seat/view from – the staithe near St. Benet’s Abbey on the River Bure
The next topic was supposed to be a Sunday lunch but due to Michael working his day off it turned into Sunday tea, or dinner for those who want to be ‘posh’. We often go out for a meal on Sundays and our usual ‘go to’ eaterie is a pub just three miles up the road from home, however a couple of weekends back we decided to ring the changes and go to our local Toby Carvery which is also near home. Although I just had a normal meal Michael ‘went large’ and came back to the table with an absolute plateful – he’d said he was hungry after having just worked a 12-hour shift but I didn’t expect him to get that lot!
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Lunch – Michael’s man-size meal
The next category had me thinking for a while ; the obvious one was a photo of Poppie but I’ve used one of her before, however inspiration struck as I was driving to work the other morning – pigs! As soon as I got to work I wrote it on the back of my hand as a reminder – of course I got more than one person asking why I had PIGS!! written on my hand – then once I was back home again I searched my photo archives for an appropriate photo. I had the choice of several but finally went with this one – a little piglet at the North Wales camp site I stayed at a couple of years ago. He was adorable and I so much wanted to bring him home.
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Starts with ‘P’ – piglet
The next subject is so unusual I feel it deserves three photos rather than one, and though it couldn’t be used as transport in the general sense of the word it was  used for transporting things. My last partner was very clever when it came to dealing with anything mechanical – he was brought up on a farm in Suffolk and had been tinkering with farm machinery and cars from being quite young – and though we owned and ran full-sized vintage tractors he wanted something smaller which he could use at work and which could pull a heavy weight. A normal ride-on mower/garden tractor wouldn’t do so he designed and built his own out of any spare bits and pieces he had or could find in various places – he called it the A S P (All Spare Parts) and though it wasn’t the prettiest looking machine it did exactly what he wanted it to do.
The various parts he used to build this machine are far too many to list but here’s a few – the seat came from a café, the steering wheel off a go-cart, the bonnet was made from the side of an old washing machine, engine from a Honda C90 motorbike, steering mechanism an old Transit window winding device, hydraulics were a 2-ton trolley jack and the bull-bars at the front were from an Asda shopping trolley fished out of a local canal. Oh, and he also pinched some of my weights to use as counterbalance for heavy loads. We actually exhibited the tractor at several agricultural and tractor shows and it became quite a talking point more than once.
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Transport – a home-designed and built garden tractor
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And finally, from the ridiculously practical to the ridiculously cute. Back in early 2009 I took in a female cat which wasn’t being cared for properly ; the cat was pregnant and eventually gave birth to three kittens. Sadly two of them died soon after birth and though she looked after the third one he became quite ill after a few weeks. Several trips to the vet’s followed and Weeble, as I called him, had to be kept separate from my other cats so he was housed in a large pen. That was okay to start with but once he had recovered sufficiently he would climb up the sides in an effort to get out, and more by sheer good luck than anything else I managed to snap a photo of him on one of those occasions. He eventually grew from a tiny little scrap into a big beautiful cat but sadly I lost him four years later when he became the road victim of a boy racer.
Weeble’s one claim to fame though when he was tiny is that he was once held and cuddled by Helen Flanagan who played Rosie Webster in Coronation Street. I had just come out of the vet’s with him wrapped in a soft towel when I saw Helen just about to get in her car which was parked round the corner – her face lit up when she saw Weeble and she asked if she could hold him. I spent about ten minutes sitting in her car chatting to her while she cuddled him and she thanked me afterwards for letting her hold him.
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My own choice – Weeble on a great escape
Well that just about wraps up my choices for this month, and as usual I’m linking up with Kate’s blog to see what others have chosen for the different topics. My apologies to anyone whose post I didn’t get round to reading last time but I’m sure you all know how it is – life sometimes has a habit of getting in the way of everything else. Note to self – must try to do better this time!
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Sunderland Point – a revisit and some interesting history

My Monday walk this week features a second visit to Sunderland Point, undertaken one day last week only nine days after my first visit there. It had been low tide on the first occasion and with glorious weather I got some lovely photos but I wanted to get some shots at high tide, also since my first visit I’d found some information on a few of the buildings in the village which I wanted to check out. High tide on May 21st worked out just right, it was soon after mid-day and with more lovely sunny weather it was an opportunity not to be missed. Of course the high tide also meant that the causeway to Sunderland Point was cut off, so instead of going through Overton village I had to drive round the country lanes to Middleton sands and park in a designated spot above the high water line at a place known as Potts Corner, then walk the mile or so to Sunderland village.
The car park at Potts Corner was certainly in a fairly remote spot with nothing but wet sands stretching northwards, and to the south a vast expanse of salt marsh where a large herd of cattle grazed, although there was a static caravan site close by. A wide roughly-gravelled and pot-holed track led some distance from the car park to a farm up on my left then a rough path took me along the edge of the salt marsh. Not only was this place very remote it was also very windy and annoyingly my hair kept blowing across my face ; I needed something to tie it back, and just as the thought crossed my mind I found the very thing – a length of bright pink bailer twine tied round a chunk of tree trunk lying on the ground. The twine was clean so I untied it, doubled it up and used it to fasten my hair into a pony tail – sorted!
The path along the edge of the marsh eventually led to a gate and the recently constructed path to Sambo’s grave, and though it was supposedly over a mile from the car park to there it seemed no time at all before the hideous stone-built camera obscura dome had come into view. Completely unimpressed with it on my previous visit I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and went inside but all I could see was an extremely pale circle of light on one wall, so pale it was hardly there, so yet again I left with the feeling that the time and money spent on this monstrosity could have been better used elsewhere. Having only recently been to Sambo’s grave I didn’t feel the need to go again so soon so I left the dome behind and continued on to the village.
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The car park at Potts Corner
Sunderland village was developed by Robert Lawson, a Quaker, in the early 18th century as an out port for Lancaster a few miles inland, and it’s believed that stonework from the ruined Cockersand Abbey across the river was used in the construction of the quay and various buildings. Following the narrow path between the hawthorn hedges to the top end of The Lane I came to the first house I was looking for. Summer House at one time had, on its steep apex roof, a weather vane which was fixed to a compass rose on the ceiling underneath although neither of these now exist, but back in the 18th century it was where merchants and boat pilots met and looked out for shipping.
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Summer House, the merchants and pilots look-out
At the bottom end of The Lane was Upsteps Cottage, named because its front door is set high up in the wall with stone steps leading up to it. In the past it had been a bath house but perhaps more significantly it had also been the brew house of the nearby Ship Inn and was the lodging where Sambo died. Round the corner from The Lane, and on First Terrace, was No. 11 which had originally been the Ship Inn itself – in fairly recent times it was used as a pub in the 2006 filming of Ruby In The Smoke by the BBC. Further along First Terrace and set on its own was No. 2 which had been the Anchor Smithy and Ropewalk, and set quite a way back from the quayside was No. 3a which had been the Customs House.
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Upsteps Cottage
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No. 11 First Terrace, originally the Ship Inn
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No. 3a, the Customs House
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No. 2, originally the Anchor Smithy
On this side of the peninsula and away from the open expanse of salt marsh the wind had dropped to just a light breeze, making it very pleasant to wander along in the warm sunshine. Just beyond No. 2 was the shingle parking area where I’d left the van on my first visit, except this time there was hardly any parking area left as most of it was covered by water. Obviously I’d been aware that the causeway to Sunderland was impassable at high tide but I was still surprised by just how far in the tide had come. The causeway had completely disappeared, the warning sign at the beginning of it, which was several feet above the ground, had its bottom edge in water and the boats which I’d seen beached on grass nine days before were completely surrounded – compared to my previous visit it was certainly a different sight to see.
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The parking area on the left
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The causeway is under there somewhere

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Houses on First Terrace
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View from the end of The Lane
The next thing I wanted to find was the Cotton Tree which information had told me was on Second Terrace, and when I did find it I was surprised that I hadn’t seen it on my previous visit as I must have walked close by it. According to popular belief the Cotton Tree grew from a seed imported from America in a bale of cotton and though it may very well have come from the USA, probably brought here by a returning sea captain, it was actually a female black poplar which is very uncommon in England.
Appearing to grow from the foot of a building the Cotton Tree was a well-known and much-loved feature of Sunderland Point, familiar to generations of villagers and visitors. The victim of old age and the fierce gales which had hit the area  on Christmas Eve 1997 it finally toppled over a week later at 8.15pm on New Year’s Day 1998 ; it was estimated to have been between 200 and 250 years old when it fell. The stump of the tree is now decayed but is still part of the wall which surrounds it, and the tree itself lives on in the form of two young trees which have sprung from its roots a few yards either side of the stump.
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The stump of the Cotton Tree
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Cotton Tree Barn, once part of a farm but now a private house, with the young trees growing at each side of the stump
A greater part of Second Terrace would originally have been warehouses, though some of the buildings have also been used as an inn and a farm, all of which are now private residences. One rather quirky feature is the narrow cottage named Multum in Parvo (meaning Much in Little) which is thought to have been built at some time to fill a gap between two rows of properties. In a nod to more modern times there’s a Royal Mail post box set in a wall and outside the Reading Room is a card-operated BT phone box (which also contains items of fresh produce for sale) and an emergency defibrillator, other than that the Terrace looks much the same as it did all those years ago.
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Multum in Parvo, the cottage built to fill a gap
Set back off the path and in its own pretty garden was Sunderland Hall, built by Robert and Elizabeth Pearson and with the inscription REP 1683 on one of its walls. The Hall and its two adjoining houses are now the last properties on Second Terrace, although it’s thought that in the past there may have been two or three small cottages in the adjacent field which reaches to the end of the peninsula.
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Sunderland Hall
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Although I could probably have walked all the way round the peninsula I didn’t know how far the tide would be in round the end so I decided not to try it and instead walked back along the sea wall path and up The Lane. Stopping to photograph a carved wooden owl on top of a gatepost I saw something which made me smile ; on the side wall of the house was a hand painted board and though I couldn’t get close enough to see properly I assumed there was a bowl of water on the ground just down below it.
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Walking back past the salt marshes a movement in the grass some distance away caught my attention ; it was a bird scurrying along and though I couldn’t immediately tell what it was I zoomed in with the camera, and with its long bright orange beak I assumed it was a young oyster catcher. Further along I saw that the herd of cows which had been peacefully grazing some distance away earlier on had made their way inland and were congregating close to the path.
Now in spite of having read various stories of people being trampled by marauding cattle I’m not scared of cows and under normal circumstances I would have walked right past them, but there were some youngsters in among this lot so as I had the dogs with me I decided not to risk it and made a short detour over the grass instead. Back at the van the three of us had a welcome cool drink then with one last shot I set off for home.
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Watched from above by some of these guys
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They looked innocent enough but I wasn’t taking any chances
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The final shot from the car park
Driving back down the M6 I thought about my time spent at Sunderland Point. It was a very attractive place with a lot of history behind it, and though I hadn’t yet managed to paint my stone to put on Sambo’s grave the uniqueness of the village and the photo opportunities it offers almost certainly guarantees a third visit before too long.

 

A spring walk round Sunnyhurst

This post was supposed to feature as a Monday walk but being without a computer of my own for almost two weeks, and having to rely on a borrowed laptop, has meant that I’ve been unable to deal with the many photos I’ve taken during that time. However things have finally been sorted out and I’m back in the blogging world although this pc operating system is vastly different to what I’ve been used to for the last x number of years. Though I’m still using the same photo editing programme things now look (to me at least) different to before – so I’m just hoping the shots in this post look okay although the spacing may be slightly different.
The recent gloriously sunny warm weather has been too good to miss so one day last week I took the reasonably short drive from home to Sunnyhurst Woods, a place I’ve been to several times before. My previous walk round there had been before Easter on a rather dull day with very few leaves on the trees, which didn’t make for particularly good photos, however since then everything has burst into life and completely changed the whole place.
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Approaching what’s known as the paddling pool I could hear a lot of barking and when I got there I could see a Labrador dog in the water having fun with a large stick. A young woman with three other dogs was walking along the path continually calling him but he was having too much fun to take any notice – I watched for a while as she walked right round the pool and went out of sight a couple of times in the hope that he would get out of the water and follow her but he stayed put. I’d gone past the pool and reached the bandstand and though the pool was out of sight by then I could still hear the dog barking and it crossed my mind that the only way he would come out of the water was if the young woman went in there to get him.
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A distance past the bandstand I came to where two paths met and at the junction was a stone pillar with a simple figure of an owl carved on one side. I took the right hand path which followed the river for a short distance before taking me uphill in the direction of Earnsdale Reservoir. Away from civilisation it was so peaceful walking along with nothing to hear but birdsong ; at one point a robin flew across in front of me and landed on a tree branch above, staying there long enough for me to snatch a couple of photos of him.
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At the top of the hill the path opened out and a gate took me onto the road across the reservoir dam. On the right was a field with two lovely chestnut horses grazing from hay nets hung on the field gate ; I’ve seen these horses before, in the distance way up on top of the hill but this was the first time I’ve seen them close up. They were a beautiful colour and if the dogs hadn’t been with me I would have gone to say hello to them.
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Across the dam a gate led to a narrow path through the trees at the far side of the reservoir and as I’d never been along there before I decided to check it out, though not knowing just where it would take me I only went so far before retracing my steps. It certainly gave me a different view of the reservoir, which I thought was a much nicer view than looking at it from the other side, and it was worth taking a few shots.
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The road across the dam turned into a country lane leading past fields with views over the reservoir and the countryside beyond and with the peace and quiet it was hard to believe that I wasn’t really all that far from civilisation. Approaching one field I saw what I thought at first was a sheep lying in the grass but then looking at its face it definitely wasn’t a sheep. It was very woolly though, and when I saw its companion grazing nearby I came to the conclusion they were alpacas. Not far from the field was a house set in its own garden so presumably they belonged there.
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Just past the alpacas’ house the lane turned a corner and a distance along brought me to the Sunnyhurst pub. There was a path directly opposite which I knew would take me up to Darwen Tower but that was a walk I would do another time. Past the pub was an entrance back into Sunnyhurst Wood but I decided to stay on the road and follow it round to where I’d left the van, and my last shot of the day was part of the very pretty garden belonging to a big detached house.
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That was the first time I’d walked across the reservoir dam and discovered what was over the other side and I’d found it to be a very pleasant walk, certainly one I’ll do another time. And now I know that the Sunnyhurst pub has a car park next to it I’ll be able to leave the van there when I eventually decide to do the walk up to Darwen tower.

Sunderland Point and Sambo’s grave

My Monday walk this week has been beset by ongoing computer problems meaning I was initially unable to download or edit any of the photos I took on my afternoon out last weekend, however with a borrowed laptop I’ve finally been able to write the post although as it’s a couple of days late it’s now a Wednesday walk. It features somewhere I’ve been meaning to go to for a couple of years after discovering it by accident on the internet but haven’t managed to get there until now. I can’t even remember what I was originally searching for but one link led to another and another etc, eventually ending up at some information about a place called Sunderland Point, and when I read about Sambo’s grave it all sounded intriguing enough for me to want to go there.
The hamlet of Sunderland is in a unique and isolated location on a peninsula at the northern side of the River Lune estuary in Lancashire. It consists of 30 or so houses, a couple of farms and a small mission chapel, and though Sunderland Point itself reaches out into the Irish sea about half a mile away from the village the hamlet is also commonly known by the same name. The only road access to the village is from Overton via a winding one-and-a-half-mile long single-track tidal causeway, and that and most of the parking area are covered by the sea twice a day – anyone thinking of visiting needs to check the tide times first or being stranded for several hours is a distinct possibility.
Sunderland village was a thriving port in the early 18th century, the main one for Lancashire and second only to London and Bristol. Trade was undertaken with the West Indies involving sugar, rum, cotton, and to a lesser degree, slaves, and it’s reputed to be the landing place of the very first bale of cotton to arrive in Britain. Unfortunately trade gradually declined over the years and the 1787 opening of Glasson Dock across the estuary took ocean-going ships further inland, completely bypassing Sunderland village. With the death of the village as a shipping port it became a popular seaside resort during the 19th century and was known as Little Brighton on the Lune ; now in more modern times it’s become a peaceful and unique home to those who still work from the village in farming and fishing and others who commute to Lancaster, Preston and other places in Lancashire.
Driving through Overton village the road took me over a cattle grid to the beginning of the causeway, and not far along I came to my first warning sign. Fortunately I’d checked the tide times before leaving home and knew it was low tide so I was able to drive across the causeway without any risk, although the road was so narrow I was rather hoping that I wouldn’t meet something coming the other way. At the far end of the causeway was a sloping shingle parking area so I left the van there while I went to explore, and right from the start I was really taken with this little place.
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The River Lune with the Forest of Bowland fells in the distance
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The main part of the village consisted of two rows of houses facing the estuary and simply called ‘First Terrace’ and ‘Second Terrace’. Some properties were detached and set in their own gardens while others were terraced cottages fronting the narrow access road along the old quay ; many of these cottages dated back to the early 18th century, and though there was what I assumed to be a village hall of sorts there was no shop or pub. The two rows of houses were separated by the extensive gardens of a large house and a narrow lane, appropriately called The Lane, and my quest to find Sambo’s grave took me along this lane.
The story of Sambo, otherwise known as Samboo (no-one knew his real name) is a mixture of fact and hearsay, but what is  known is that he was a young Negro servant to the captain of an unnamed ship. On arrival at Sunderland port in 1736, and after the ship had finished unloading its cargo, Sambo’s master arranged for him to have a room at the local inn and he was left there on ship’s wages while his master went to conduct some business in Lancaster over a period of a few days. One version of the story says that Sambo, unable to speak or understand a strange language and thinking his master had abandoned him, became so upset that he stopped eating and after a few days died of a broken heart.
The other version of the story, and the more likely one, says that Sambo contracted a sickness to which he had no immunity and died of that sickness, but whatever the cause of his death he was buried by the locals in a corner of a field overlooking the sea, with a simple small wooden cross marking the spot. Sixty years later James Watson, a retired schoolmaster from Lancaster, heard about Sambo and was so touched by the story that he raised enough money from donations to pay for a bronze memorial plaque, engraved with an epitaph, to be placed on the unmarked grave. Over the years many people have visited the spot and these days the grave is well tended, decorated with flowers and colourful painted stones left there by children and other visitors.
Walking along The Lane I passed a handful of detached houses and the mission chapel before the lane itself narrowed into a footpath with high hawthorn hedges on each side giving off the most divine scent. A distance along the path a sign pointed the way through a gate, but any notion I may have had that Sambo’s grave was in a remote spot and still accessed by a rough path along the edge of a field (as shown on Google maps satellite view) was instantly refuted. Just inside the gate and on the right was a new wooden building which looked like it could have been public loos but which I found out later was actually a bird hide, and a wide recently-constructed gravel path and new concrete sea wall ran along what would have been the seaward edge of the field.
Set back off the path, and in an area which had been stripped of all grass, was one of the most hideous things I’ve ever seen – a small newly-built dome-shaped stone building which, to me at least, looked totally out of keeping with the surroundings. There was a door set in one wall with a small window in another, and when I looked through I came face to face with the protruding lens of a large square camera. An engraved stone slab set in front of the door told me that this was the Horizon Line Chamber with the camera relaying an image onto the opposite wall, but when I went inside and closed the door I could see nothing but near-darkness.
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The Lane
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The Horizon Line Chamber
A few yards beyond the dome was a small grassy area surrounded by three new stone walls with a couple of seats set into one of them, and in this square was Sambo’s grave, now protected from the elements on all four sides. With flowers and many coloured painted stones surrounding the cross it was a very pretty grave but I was saddened to read the words on a small brass plaque fastened above the main one – “Thoughtless and irreverent people having damaged and defaced the plate, this replica was affixed. RESPECT THIS LONELY GRAVE” – it seems that even an out-of-the-way place such as this isn’t free from vandalism.
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Sambo’s grave
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After spending a few quiet moments by the grave I headed back to the village for some more exploration, turning right at the end of The Lane and going to check out Second Terrace first, though I was rather puzzled to see some cars parked along the access road in front of the houses up ahead. I knew there was no road connecting First Terrace and Second Terrace so how had they got there? All was revealed however when one of the cars drove down a short slipway from Second Terrace, across the top end of the beach and up a second slipway leading to First Terrace – an unusual thing for me to see but probably an everyday occurrence for those who live there.
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The view from the end of The Lane
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At the far end of Second Terrace was Sunderland Hall, a large and very attractive looking house with West Indies style ground and upper floor balconies, though with people sitting out in the garden I couldn’t really take a full photo of it. Some of the houses along Second Terrace had their own small gardens and there was a long grassy area in front of those which didn’t have gardens. At the end of the terrace, instead of walking back along the sea wall path I went down the slipway and walked along the beach for the short distance back to the end of The Lane and First Terrace.
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Sunderland Hall at the end of Second Terrace
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Cottages on Second Terrace – the one on the left dates from 1751
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Back at First Terrace, and close to the end of The Lane, was an attractive bronze sculpture with entwined fish at the bottom and sea birds at the top, and a bronze plaque set in the quayside said that this had been created by local artist Ray Schofield. Ray had created many sculptures which were dotted around various North West locations, including the giant sundial in Lancaster’s Williamson Park, and had lived in the house at Sunderland Point just across from where his sculpture was sited.
At the end of First Terrace and back at the parking area I had a quick wander round for a few more photos before returning to the van. I could happily have stayed at Sunderland Point for longer but it was 4pm by then and I’d arranged to meet Michael from work at 6 o’clock, also I didn’t want to get caught out by the next incoming tide.
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Bronze sculpture by Ray Schofield, 1948 – 2004

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The beach looking towards the causeway
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Driving through Overton village at the far end of the causeway I decided to make a quick stop as it looked to be quite an attractive little place, so I pulled up in the car park of the Ship Inn and went for a short walk along the main road through the village. There was a small attractive village green on one corner, a painted wall in the Ship car park and several cottages with pretty gardens, and after taking my last shot I headed for home without any further stops.
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Overton village green
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Altogether I’d had a lovely afternoon out with the dogs and I’d been very impressed with Sunderland Point, it was a very unique and special little village. While walking along the short stretch of beach I’d picked up a nicely shaped stone which I’d brought home with me, and my next task is to paint it – I fully intend to return to Sunderland Point before long and when I do I’d like to take my own stone to add to those on Sambo’s grave.

No, I haven’t died a death….

Nor have I run away with a multi-millionaire to his private island in the Caribbean {chance would be a fine thing), I’ve been concentrating on my other blog.
While I was away at Easter I took a total of 365 photos over the course of the four-day weekend – of course those all needed sorting out and editing where necessary and it took me two days on and off to wade through them all. Writing the actual posts wasn’t as straightforward as it could have been either, as three of the days had to be split into two or even three separate posts to accommodate all the photos I was including. Add to that the fact that for some strange reason some photos included while writing a post often don’t look the same on my screen as they do when actually published so in many cases I’ve had to edit, re-edit, and sometimes completely scrap various ones in an effort to get things right.
Of course all this faffing about has taken time and also given me a couple of headaches but I’m finally almost there – only one more post to write now and that will be it until the next time I go camping. Hopefully I can write that post tonight then (hopefully again) I can resume my twice-weekly posts on here – and who knows, weather permitting I may even manage to do a Monday walk next week.
If anyone wants to read about my Easter camping trip and the places I visited then that section of the other blog can be found starting here – 

Priory Church, St. Bees – the beauty of stained glass

While I was on my recent Easter weekend break in north west Cumbria I visited the coastal village of St. Bees, and during my wanderings I was delighted to find that the Priory Church was open to visitors so I was able to go in for a look round. Built from red sandstone The Priory Church of St. Mary and St. Bega, to give it its full title, was founded around 1120 and was built on an existing religious site ; its name comes from its links to St. Mary’s of York and the legendary Irish princess St. Bega. The most interesting feature of the church’s exterior is probably the west doorway, beautifully crafted in seven moulded layers which are decorated with various different carvings.
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St. Bees Priory Church
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The west doorway
There is so much history and legend within the church and its grounds, including a special display telling the story of St. Bees Man, that I couldn’t possibly study and photograph everything in the time I had so I concentrated mainly on getting shots of the many stained glass windows set around the building – and they were certainly worth photographing.
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Looking down the nave
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Since getting back home from that weekend I’ve found out that there’s far more to this lovely church than I could ever have imagined, and many things of interest which I missed, so there’s more than one good reason for me to make a return visit in the not-too-distant future.