Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

What’s in the Box


Before I leave the Number Five weekend a swift look at the Youth Hostel at Holmbury St Mary.

It was purpose built for the task and opened in 1936 and whilst its boxy style might not be to everyone’s taste, architecturally it  does date stamp a time and place

YHA 9-1

there are a collection of press clippings and photos from the time, on display in the lounge. Excuse the perspective on these next shots I was trying to avoid the flash bouncing back of the glass and I may have had a glass of wine at the time of taking them, which didn’t help my ability to balance steadily on a wobbly chair, but I think they give you a flavour of the place if not the wine.

YHA 6-1

YHA 1-1

As it was with its first guests,

YHA 2-1

What captivated me about the building was the frieze around the main room, which has miraculously, survived that dangerous phase of ‘looking tried and dated’ to being cherished an important original feature of the building: OK, so it has been pepped up a bit,  at some time,  by a coat of emulsion around the images but it survives with enough detail to have its future saved from a whitewash of the new era of rubbish Dulux paint. The figures are period pieces ( my arty creative friend Mrs Oggonmyblog would have adored them.)

In this section, from left to right, the apprentice, the bricklayer, the builder, the architect and the artist who painted the frieze

YHA 8-1 


YHA 4-1

YHA 5-1

In another part of the building, was a sign, in a style that  screamed to me1970’s and the  children’s TV programme ‘Magpie’ .


As an aside, some of my friends have told me that they weren’t allowed to watch Magpie by their parents, that the programme, being on ITV was considered somewhat vulgar and they were only allowed to watch Blue Peter.

I can assure you in my bit of working class, northern England, no such thing even crossed our minds! And now look what I’ve found on You Tube, White Horses, *sigh*  how I wanted a horse.


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

7 thoughts on “What’s in the Box

  1. Brad Pitts wifes head …just watched “Seven” yesterday …whats in the box, whats in the box…
    Sorry …couldn’t resist,

  2. So that’s where the “magpie mind” was formed . . . I had to go see about Blue Peter, too, in order to broaden my perspective. (My experience of ITV is limited to Coronation Street, you see. Very popular in reruns on Canadian television, and thus available to discriminating viewers in Detroit.) The frieze is wonderful. The ladies out walking remind me of characters from an Agatha Christie mystery. Really, you do go the most interesting places.

  3. Kinda Bauhaus, but interesting. Sometimes people with good sense prevail and such details as you picture are not done away with in the zeal to modernize, refurbish, and spiffy up.

  4. Coming from working class, northeast England I have to admit that I was only allowed to watch Blue Peter. If it wasn’t on BBC I didn’t get to watch it! My mother had middle class aspirations, she wanted me to be a lady……that went well then….

  5. Thanks for the clip of the White Horses. That brought back memories. And gave me the idea of looking up The Singing Ringing Tree on Youtube, a German series from about the same era. And there it was. Its menace had stood the test of time, and made me want to hide behind the sofa just as much as it did all those years ago.

  6. Whoever replaced those windows should be beaten soundly.

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