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February 2019

Cottage life at Quainton

Rethatching at Orchard Cottage  Quainton 01

I drove through Quainton on the way to see my dad last week, passing East to West through the village. When I got to Lower Street I saw the thatchers were at work on Orchard Cottage.

I had a few minutes so I stopped to take photos, and I talked to Dave, one of the thatchers. He was trimming the new thatch on the gable end of the house next to the road.

Rethatching at Orchard Cottage  Quainton 03

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Bridge to Nowhere

Claydon House bridgeThe bridge. Claydon House is amongst the trees in the distance.

You might just have wondered why there’s a bridge beside the road, between Calvert and Botolph (pronounced ‘Bottle’ by locals) Claydon.

You may have imagined that the road’s been diverted since the bridge was built, as at Thornborough bridge (Scroll down at the link)

I don’t think it ever has. Instead, it forms a nice focal point for the last of the three lakes in the landscaped grounds of Claydon House. I also suspect that it hid the road at a point where you wouldn’t expect to see trees if there really was a small river there, instead of a minor stream.

The grounds were created between 1763 and 1776 for the impressive West front of Claydon House. This house was built by Ralph, the 2nd Earl Verney between 1757 and 1771 to rival Stowe House, a few miles away on the other side of Buckingham.

Some rooms in the West front are big enough to take the whole of the large three bed house I grew up in; roof, chimneys, the TV aerial and all, with ease. Claydon House is a Grade 1 listed National Trust property, open to the public.

Claydon House and churchClaydon House and church.

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Looking After The Swan

The Swan  East Claydon

On my way through East Claydon last week, I noticed that the house that used to be The Swan, the last coaching stop on the old Aylesbury to Buckingham turnpike, was covered in scaffolding. It looks like there’s some serious roofing work to be done.

The well painted Victorian postbox I showed you a few weeks ago (scroll down at the link) is out of sight at the far end, but you can just see the yellow padding the scaffolders have put round their tubes to protect unwary letter posters.

There’s also another view of The Swan, at the link above.

Scaffolding on The Swan  East Claydon


Lunch Time in the Ouzel Valley

Ouzel Valley workers  lunchtime
Well, that was clever. I made a note of the names of these three workmen and what they were doing in the Ouzel Valley Park in Milton Keynes, but I’ve lost the piece of paper. 

Anyhow, the two in the first picture were on their lunch break, but the man with the keys to the pick up hadn’t returned, and their lunch was locked inside the cab.

I took their photo, then when their mate turned up they all piled into the pick up and I got his picture too. He’s nearest the camera in the second photo. If I remember right, they were trimming conifers.

Lunch break for working men