Saints and Corbels

The Nave  Wingrave  BucksViewed from the chancel, Wingrave's nave roof.

Wingrave’s church of St Peter and St Paul has 15th Century corbels and carved wooden figures under the main beams of the nave roof. Hard to make out from ground level, these close up photos reveal a wealth of detail.

There are twelve carved corbels and figures, so at first I thought they were the twelve apostles. But when got home and looked at my photos on the big screen, I saw that each one is holding some object that’s a clue to their identity.

Carving of St. Peter  Wingrave churchIn the front left corner of the nave, I think this is St Peter. He holds the key of heaven in his right hand, and a book, almost certainly the bible, in his left. I’m not sure what or who the corbel represents.

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What Do You Call a Dinosaur?

The Bill Billings triceratops

The Monday Photo

The triceratops lived between 66 and 68 million years ago, ate shrubs and weighed up to seven tons, more than an African bull elephant.

This statue of a triceratops is 43 years old and is made of concrete. It’s in Milton Keynes and was built without permission; its creator, local artist Bill Billings, lived inside it for three weeks to prevent Milton Keynes Development Corporation demolishing it.

I’ve seen a photo of it under construction at Peartree Bridge in 1978. The photo’s not very sharp, but there’s a steel frame (part of it looks like scaffolding tube) that seems to be covered in chicken wire. This all supports the concrete outer surface; this dinosaur is hollow inside.

The photo shows trees between the concrete triceratops and the road , but they haven’t been planted long and are maybe only six feet high. Back then, the dinosaur could look at the traffic over the top of them. There’s also a post and rail fence just in front of the statue; there’s no sign of that now.

There’s a mystery, though. The photo caption says the triceratops was being rebuilt, so had MKDC already knocked one statue down, and the one we see today is not the original? If you know, please leave a comment, then perhaps I can amend this post and tell the whole story.

In 1980 the dinosaur was given a name after a competition in the local schools; Desdemona. She is life sized; it looks like Bill Billings, who passed away on Boxing day 2007, had done his homework.

The blue colour scheme is just the latest I’ve seen over the years. I have photos of it all in gold, in green, and in a spiderman design.

I meant to go and check in case it’s been painted since I took this photo late last year, but didn’t. Perhaps I’ll take a trip out on the bicycle today and see; it’s only about ten minutes away.

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Two Years of Wandering

The North Bucks Wanderer is two years old today! Instead of looking back at the previous twelve months, I’m just going to take another look at what was going on from late March ‘till mid June in 2019, the days that in this year we have been in lockdown.

Clicking on the title of each of these posts takes you to the whole article.

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Aylesbury
Published 27th March 2019
Detail  Earthly Messenger statue 01Earthly Messenger.

Twelve months to the day before lockdown began, I took my camera to Aylesbury to see the first anniversary of the David Bowie statue, erected at the corner of the Market Square.

It’s called Earthly Messenger. The Friars music venue promoter David Stopps presided, and sculptor David Sinclair spoke about the making of the bronze statue.

Andrew Sinclair  Earthly Messenger sculptureDavid Sinclair, sculptor.

As I remember that day, it seems strange now how we all stood so close together. It was Sunday, 24th March.

If you want to see all the posts I made in order, during the dates of the lockdown but last year, this is the one to start on; you can scroll up from here.

The Flower of Saint George
Published 25th April 2019. Shenley wood bluebells by pathBy a path in Shenley Wood.

On Saint George’s Day, 23rd April, I travelled to three different woods in Milton Keynes, just to see the bluebells. Twelve months later this would not have been a necessary journey, and I would have not been be allowed to do it.

I also listed three other woods in the NBW’s area, and to suggest anyone visited any of these woods in April this year would have got me into some trouble. The flower of Saint George is of course, the bluebell.

Stony Goes Live
Published 13th June 2019 _IMG5309Simply Floyd, at the Cock Hotel, Stony Stratford.

This week last year, we would have been in the middle of Stony Stratford’s annual live music and entertainment event, Stony Live.

Last year, we had over a hundred different acts to choose from, spread over nine days from Saturday. I spent most of the week in the Fox and Hounds pub, but like all the other pubs there it’s closed now.

DSC05121Band Substance, in the Fox and Hounds.

I stopped to take photos in Stony High Street on Tuesday night this week. A few locals walked dogs. Only resident’s cars could be seen in the High Street; usually there’s hardly anywhere to place to park during Stony Live, and live music fans walk from pub to pub.

In the Fox, I could dimly see the empty bars through the front windows, lit by glowing beer taps. At the other end of the High Street, the Old George is undergoing building work, when usually it would be open, with plenty of live music.

On Saturday this week I’m going to post some photos from last year’s Stony Live that you haven’t seen before, to help tide you over until next year. I’m going to try to post a video too; this will be an experiment; the first video ever on the North Bucks Wanderer.

Next year will be different.

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Standing Square in Aylesbury

If you’ve read last week’s post Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Aylesbury you’ll know I visited Aylesbury a couple of weekends ago.

I was there on my motorcycle to see the first anniversary of the unveiling of the statue of David Bowie. It’s in the arch of the Corn Exchange at the bottom of Aylesbury Market Square, and while I was there I took a look round that end of the square. There are other things to see.

Lion statue  Aylesbury

First I looked at the pair of big cast iron lions that loosely flank the statue of the 3rd Baron Chesham. The lions came from the grounds of the Rothschild’s Waddesdon Manor in 1888. Then I looked at the statue between them.

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Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Aylesbury

Detail  Earthly Messenger statue 03

Why is there a sculpture of David Bowie, in Aylesbury under the archway of the old Corn Exchange at the bottom corner of the Market Square?

Not everyone knows that David Bowie had a strong connection with the Friars music club in the Market Square; the world debuts of two albums, Hunky Dory (in September 1971) and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (in January 1972) were both at Friars.

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