Uphilldowndale

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


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Let there be light, and transparency

It might have been cold the day we visited Haddon Hall, but at least it was bright. We’ve had some very wet, slag grey days this last week, I doubt we’d have managed to see some of the historic detail had we been there on those days.

The windows at Haddon are beautiful.

Haddon leaded light

We debated the windows, Mr Uphilldowndale said the undulating waves of glass was a feature designed to add strength, I said it was to make it look sparkly.

Haddon leaded light 3

During the 19th and early 20th century a great number of important medieval houses were restored and had their windows returned to an earlier style of glazing. The glazing of the western range of Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, is particularly effective as each pane is set at a different angle to those adjacent, creating jewel-like facets when seen from the exterior. 

Look at the graffiti,  you’d need to be posh to leave your mark, back in the day, not every one had a precious stone ring, with which to make a statement. Haddon leaded light writing_

this window tells you what a posh gaff it is.

Haddon leaded lights  panel.jpg

A very pretty addition to the Christmas decorations was the Wishing Tree, set by the window and bathed in sunlight, it was beautiful in its simplicity

Haddon wishing tree

You could add your own wishes if you  wanted too. I guess we all have many things to wish for in 2019,  I for one wish for a little more light and transparency from our world leaders and politicians, is it too much to ask?

Haddon wishing tree 2

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Rosemary for Remembrance; Part Two the Obituary.

We all knew Mr Johnson was a gentleman, who was charming and cultured; but we didn’t know that during World War Two, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, (DFC) for his courage leadership and bravery.

Back in August I wrote about the death of a special man, Mr Johnson, you can read about him here; at the time I said in a comment that,

‘He was a lovely gentleman, I wait to read his obituary, I don’t know what his professional life had been, but I bet there will be a string of accomplishments that include service to others.’

We didn’t know about his decoration, but any one who knew him will not be in the least surprised. His family only knew about the DFC in the months before his death and it only since his death that they have discovered he was a squadron leader; he was a very modest man. His obituary ran to two thirds of a page, a rare thing in our local paper where it is not unusual for an obituary to read that the deceased ‘enjoyed playing darts and socialising’, it’s ‘dressed up’ a bit, but put it another way, they ‘enjoyed going to the pub’, (not that I have an issue in any one going to the pub, I just wouldn’t want it to recorded as my life’s work.)

His accomplishments and interests were wide, a vast list of voluntary and community roles points to a life lived to the full.

I looked through the obituary last tonight, to pick out a few words that summed him up, I was spoilt for choice.

Modest, private, deeply spiritual, calm, gentlemanly, supportive, integrity, courteous, wisdom, courageous. Not a bad check list, by which to live a life.

The writer also said, ‘Many will remember him riding his bike,while at the same time calling out a greeting and waving his stick or raising his cap!’ That imagery captures him perfectly.I don’t for a moment think that any one who ever knew him, is likely to forget him . He was some one special.

If you have come to this post in search of information on holders of the DFC, I have, as Mr Johnson was a very private man, changed his name for the purpose of this post, however he was someone that valued the importance of history, and if you wish to email me at uphilldowndale@ofarm.co.uk I will be happy to disclose his real name, because we must never forget what his generation did for us.

‘There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray you, love, remember’.

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