Cross country in Milton Keynes

Old Simpson Road  Beanhill(7) The gap in the hedge is where the old footpath ran, and I don't think this gap has ever stopped being used. There’s a ditch to cross and a length of the old hedge between fields is still in place; the footpath ran alongside the hedge. The cyclist is heading towards Simpson.

The Half Lost Footpaths
Part 2

Two footpaths converged on bridge 89 of the Grand Union canal before Milton Keynes came, and a surprising amount of their routes can still be found.

Since I published Part One, it’s now been explained to me that footpaths across the fields often follow drainage ditches. The ditches ensure the path is well drained and passable on nearly every day of the year.

That’s certainly true for the footpaths on this post’s map, on the wet ground Milton Keynes is built on; just look at all those ponds on the map.

Lost footpath map  Milton KeynesThe footpath routes in about 1900, with photo locations and some modern roads added. If you’ve ever wondered about a strange feature of your local area, or just wondered what was there in the past, online maps like this one (which I’ve modified) from the National Library of Scotland may well be able to tell you.
(Below) the map key.
Map key 2

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What is the Meaning of This?

Angel statues  Buckingham cemeteryThis group of angels are all on graves belonging to the same family. Angels represent the guardianship of the soul and protection on their journey to Heaven. Weeping angels (not seen here) convey the sorrow of an untimely death.

We are back at Buckingham’s Victorian cemetery, to take a closer look at some of the memorials and what the carvings on them mean, as the Victorians often had symbolic designs on grave memorials. We first looked at this cemetery last week; see the link above.

One of them, in memory of two women that seems to be distant relatives of mine has so much symbolism on it I can’t fathom out what it all means. But perhaps you can.

I arrived at the cemetery in Brackley Road to find council workmen inspecting gravestones and memorials; many of them have become unstable. I talked to one of them.

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Tuesday at the Races

Schoolgirls get ready for the pancake race

If there are lots of children with frying pans, it just has to be Olney pancake race day; Shrove Tuesday. This year it was on the 1st of March.

So what we have here are young boys and girls taking part in an event that dates back to 1445; this is a live tradition.

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Half a House is Better Than None

2 Horn St  Winslow2 Horn Street is in the centre of the picture. The path is very narrow on the corner, to gain as much road width as possible. On the right is the short and narrow alley that takes you up into the square.

In 1902 Winslow Rural District Council bought 2 Horn Street in Winslow, just so they could knock half of it down.

It was a road widening scheme. Although the first part of Horn Street was very wide and still is, the entrance to the street was no more than nine feet wide between the pavements. That’s about as wide as the little lane, almost an alley, that takes you in to the modern Market Square.

But this corner, right on a junction, had been two way. It had been “a very sharp and dangerous corner” said the Buckingham Advertiser and North Bucks Free Press, after the work had been completed in March 1903.

Market Square and Horn St. wideningMap of the junction. The fire station doesn’t seem to have a number, so I’ve marked it as being in Bell Walk. The Bell Hotel doesn’t seem to have a number either, but its address is Market Square, Winslow, so it might once have been 1 Market Square.

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A Stony Bank

Lloyds bank entranceThe main entrance to the bank is quite impressive with its different orders or concentric layers of arches, a little like a Norman doorway. The date plaques are either side of the arch.

Like Winslow’s TSB bank the Lloyds bank in Stony Stratford closed this year, just two of a large number lost across the country.

I hadn’t realised the Stony branch of Lloyds had gone until I tried to use their cashpoint last week, just round the corner from where I’d been working in Church Street.

Instead of the ATM I expected, I found myself looking at a stout piece of plywood bolted to the wall where the machine used to be. I glanced up and saw the estate agent's sign. This Grade 2 listed building is available for rent, not for sale.

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Banking on Bricks

Winslow’s bank in the Market Square is a fine example of a Victorian brick building, complete with terracotta detailing.

This is my second post about Winslow’s first bank. The first post, with the timeline of the bank (it closed for good in April after 180 years) was last Thursday.

I had so many interesting photos of the bank revealing details I’d never consciously noticed before that I decided to make a second post, with more photos.

I really should have seen these details before, as I spent the first 26 years of my life in Winslow. Oh well, on with the photos.

Old Lloyds bank  WinslowI happened to be in the Market Square one day and took this photo of the bank. When I began to research the story, I realised I had much more to write about than I thought; too much for a Monday photo. In the end I had enough photos for two complete posts.

Old photos of the bank show a low wall with railings above it, between the left hand brick column and the corner of the bank.

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