Bishops Lydeard Friendly Club

A very (very) wet day in May saw us either on a trip to the Wetlands Centre at Slimbridge or Gloucester. Initially, about a dozen had opted for Slimbridge, but all bar one pulled out in view of the wet weather! It really did rain all day until we were nearly home when it stopped!! The one person dropped at Slimbridge reported that she had a lovely day and, being suitably dressed, the rain never penetrated both layers of waterproof, although it came close during the otter feeding! Perhaps we'll have to put Slimbridge on the visit list again and hope for better weather. 

The rest of us went onto Gloucester and were dropped at Gloucester Quays - a very large shopping mall with everything a shopper could want. Many stayed there! Some ventured out to the cathedral taking a lovely, albeit wet, walk through the docklands area; the warehouses have been sympathetically converted to offices and accommodation and retain their character and original names, making it an interesting walk through the canal and river basins. The Waterways Museum is a fascinating visit covering the history of the river port of Gloucester, the Sharpness Canal, and the eventual demise of the docks of Gloucester largely due to that very canal and the emergence of Sharpness as the major port. 

The Cathedral is definitely worth a visit.  A medieval building with artwork and decoration through the centuries and including some modern stained-glass windows. A story has it that the huge medieval east stained-glass window was taken out and stored during World War 2 and when they came to restore it afterwards the labels and plans were missing. Apocryphally, they used a picture postcard from a local shop as the only plan and it took two years to put back! Maybe true? 

I was particularly taken by the cloister and the intricate stone carved decoration on the roof of the cloister walkway. They certainly missed no attention to detail in this building! It is amazing to consider that such a massive building was built in 1089 with none of the modern technology of today. It suffers from all the expected problems of sinking from inadequate foundation, and additional buttressing can be seen, crossing windows for example, where it was realised that it would not stand. Even more amazing to realise is that modern building work can have the same problems, though, hopefully, it wouldn't take as long to build these days? 

Our monthly 'First Wednesday' in the month social lunches in the Lethbridge Arms are continuing.  Contact me for details: Tel: 01823 433266

Anne Stockley

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Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard