* Trust is rather thin on the ground of late as the bankers and politicians seem to self-justify ever growing bonuses and (in Cameron’s case) a relaxation of our planning laws. In our village a large, early Victorian house has been bulldozed to make way for three ‘executive’ homes with the justification that the building was in a dangerous condition. The Church of England has proudly announced a new leader who they feel will appeal to a growing disinterested public; their choice ? An Eton-educated former oil executive…..
* Thank God for institutions like the National Trust, established by Victorian philanthropists in an increasingly industrialised age with the aim of preserving both our wonderful landscape and stunning range of architecture; from John Lennon’s former family home Mendips to the stunning landscape of Fountains Abbey. Their motto:
for ever, for everyone
* CC and I visited Townend, a National Trust property bequeathed by a family who had farmer there for 400 years. It sits nested in the stunning Troutbeck valley, showing visitors a glimpse of the life of a Victorian farmer of some means. Intricate carving in a very early ‘fitted kitchen and a treasure trove of books greet the visitor to the house, as well as seeing the life of workers on the farm. A short walk also enabled us to take in the stunning scenery from land purchased by the Trust on the shores of Lake Windermere.
* Please forgive the blurriness of some of these images – flash photography isn’t permitted; with good reason.
* On another inspiring day CC and I visited Kirby Lonsdale, a small town on the fringes of the Lake District. St. Mary’s Church, some of which dates from the 12th Century, stands proudly at the head of the town and a pathway from the church leads the visitor to Ruskin’s view, a landscape also painted by Turner and now preserved by the people of the church and Kirby Lonsdale. The churchyard is managed for wildlife , the grass mown only once a year to provide habitat for insects, mammals and birds. And best of all, a short walk along the river leads the hungry visitor to Devil’s Bridge ( another old structure preserved by a trust) and the delights of a caravan selling hot mugs of tea from china cups and mouth-watering bacon, egg and sausage barm cakes – bliss !