Wednesday, January 09, 2008

National Trust - WoW at Wollaton

Last night's National Trust lecture was excellent. Pauline Marples and her husband kept us rapt for over an hour. The pit at Forest Town was sunk early in the 1900's and she has meticulously catalogued the development of the village through to the present day.

She was assisted by her husband Malcolm, on digital projector, and the pictures were marvellous on a very large screen. We started with a picture of the map in 1900 when the site was green fields and it progressed from there. The building of the shops, the churches, the Miners' Welfare and the quality of the photographs was amazing. So sharp and well balanced. In one picture of the 'sinkers' sitting round the edge of the open shaft, you could identify a chap smoking a small clay pipe about 40 yards away. As I have commented before. photography hasn't changed all that much, except for colour, and not everyone feels that that is an improvement. The pictures were so atmospheric.

It fell to me to say 'thanks', a task I was delighted to do, with gusto. In view of my professional history I know about 'pit bobbies' and the amazing heart and cultural span of a colliery village. The colliery has gone now, so Pauline had a ready-made starting and finishing point for her hundred year history.

Too tired when we got home to consider re-opening yesterday's blog so I've had to tell you all about it today.

This mornng was, surprisingly fine, so we WoW-ed over to Wollaton. I stayed at the top, near the hall, and did the interior mostly, while the chaps went down, through some of the deer park, to the lake. Cold, but lovely light. The interior has recently been renovated tastefully, and attractively.

Then we chip-cobbed at the Nelson & Railway, a great pub in Kimberley with a proper pubby feel to it. Not that I took advantage today, but it is a free Wi-Fi hotspot. More importantly the chip-cobs are excellent.

Comments..... I fear Bungus that my bungled attempt at heavy irony, over the matter of yesterday's 'apologies' seems to have failed. Was I attempting 'litotes' ? If so I almost, but not quite, missed the target.

Re the consultant and the dosage, I guess he was using 'scientific' in its meaning of 'exact' or 'precise'. Awful experience for Simon, and of course, for you and Sandra. It is fervently hoped that he does not have the 'back injury' they are concerned about. Did the cars stop? Whatever, give him our very best wishes.

Jill..... I think the 'pearly barley' saga still has legs and we all are keen to know how it finishes. Best of luck with the fish & chip shop. When Y and I were courting we soon established a mutual love of fish & chips.

AnonymousRob..... You have succeeded in making the Nempf Exhibition unmissable.... If only to see if we all agree with your modest and understated opinions ! There we go - litotes again. P.G. Wodehouse was the master though!

Quotation...... As the George Burns quote went down so well, here is another.....

"If you live to be a hundred, you've got it made. Very few people die past that age"

......Y at BJ tomorrow, grannying, and I hope to make it it to my Camera Club. Sleep tight everybody and I aim to catch you in the evening.........................



bungus said...

Lovely Wollaton pics.

I did not miss your irony about the dreaded disruptive NT mamber, simply wanted to let you know that I appreciated it and, rather pretentiously, to point it out to anyone who might have not understood it.
Litotes is a lovely thing as well as being a lovely word.

Were you attempting revenge for the above by using rationality to spoil my ‘consultant and dosage’ story?
He was a very gloomy looking fellow (but with an obvious sense of rather macabre humour) whom I was sure I heard a nurse call Mr Doom which led me to christen him Dr Death.

I was familiar with today’s Geroge Burns quote but it is none the worse for that.

I feel like a taut strand of cotton (or was it wool?) as I wait for further news from Jill on the Great Pearl Barley Mystery. How would we manage without trivia?

Thanks Anon Rob but, much as I love George and Gracie, I do not feel inclined to spend £50 plus on DVDs when I have a two foot pile of tapes up to 3 years old that I have not yet got round to viewing!

Today’s visit to City Hospital was uneventful. I was picked up at 12 and we collected another patient at Pinxton and still arrived at my appointment time of 1.00. I was taken in to the treatment room after about 45 minutes (most of which was spent in delightful conversation with a woman of West Indian origin) and promptly given my tablets (which I had to wait 2 hours for last time). The treatment only took a half hour this time and my transport home arrived before I had half drunk a cup of tea.
While I was involved with that, Sandra was attending the High Hedge court case in Worksop which I shall write about tomorrow.

Unnfortunately, it looks as though Simon will need several months rest to recover from the damage to his spine. But at least he has the Fire Brigade Union to support him, giving access to physiotherapists etc.
Sandra visited him in hospital today as did one of his ‘mates’ (who fell off his bike on the way there) and, later, the whole of his watch (presumably in the fire engine – if they want a loaf of bread they have to all go in the fire engine in case they get a ‘shout’).

Jill said...

Another e-mail from Waitrose - their experts have passed it on to yet more experts....I can see this is going to run and run.

Was it a hit and run driver that injured Simon? I do hope there are no long-term effects. Love the idea of the whole team going off on the engine to buy a pint of milk....

bungus said...

Yes Jill, the whole watch going shopping on the fire engine is a bit Cuthbert, Dibble Grubb. But it makes sense because, if a ‘shout’ comes, they are already on board.
It seems Simon is in a side ward on his own and visitors, many from the station which is just down the road, are in and out all day. He finds it tiring but says it will help him sleep at night. He is now allowed to sleep on his side, which helps; is still in pain but refusing morphine; will be sent home Friday if he can manage stairs but recovery forecast to be at least 2 months.

Apparently a Yorkshire chewing gum manufacturer is aiming to sell his products online.
The site is ‘E-Bay Gum’
(it's a joke)

Sorry folks, but the blogmeister thinks the following should be submitted and I cannot get my head around reducing it! If you get fed up, stop reading; I won’t be offended!


1982 to 2000 Previous owners of adjoining house and shop removed tops of trees at irregular intervals to keep height below about 4 / 5m maximum. No reason for complaint.

2000 New neighbour

2001 to 03 Several verbal requests were made to new neighbour by my wife and myself for height of trees to be reduced by unspecified amount. No positive response. No negotiation.

25 Jul 03 Letter to neighbour. No reply.

26 Feb 04 Letter to neighbour. No reply.

15 Nov 04 Letter to neighbour. No reply.

9 May 05 Letter to neighbour offering mediation. No reply.

4 Jun 05 Letter to neighbour advising of intention to submit formal complaint to council. No reply.

7 Jun 05 Letter to neighbour. No reply.

13 Jun 05. Complaint Newark & Sherwood DC with fee of £320.

26 Jul 05 Extract from letter from neighbour to N&SDC.
“… the trees and shrubs have created a valuable wildlife habitat for nesting and roosting birds and bats. In the spring and summer blackbirds, wrens and robins often nest in the trees, hanging baskets and even the display racks, a fairly unique feature in any retail sales area. The wildlife considerations appear to have been ignored by Newark & Sherwood District Council. “…
(This did not stop later complete removal of all but the remaining 3 trees rather than leaving them at the required 4 metres height.)

5 Jan 06. My Complaint upheld by N&SDC .
Remedial Notice issued with certain anomalous clauses.

24 Jan 06 Revised Remedial Notice issued
Appeal lodged by neighbour

8 Aug 06 Planning Inspector (from Pins) visits site to evaluate appeal.

21 Sep 06 Appeal upheld in part Revised Remedial Notice issued stating
whole hedge to be reduced to 4 metres. (instead of 3)
The Planning Inspectorate’s accompanying letter says:
“The Appeal decision is final unless it is quashed following a successful judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. …. An appeal may only proceed with the permission of the Court. An application for leave to appeal must be made … within 3 months of the decision …”

21 Dec 06 Deadline date for completion of work not met.
Extension (31 Jan) granted.

1 Feb 06 Work not completed

17 Feb 07 Hand delivered letter from neighbour to say he would not accept reduction to hollies and threatening total removal of other trees unless I agree to this.

19 Feb 07 My letter of non-agreement to his proposals
(having been advised that agreement could invalidate
the Remedial Notice)

13 Mar 07 Council contractors arrive (accompanied by Police Constable to prevent breach of peace) to reduce height of remaining trees.
Neighbour climbs holly to prevent action.
Contractors and police withdraw.

20 Mar 07 Notified by N&SDC
“We intend to prosecute (neighbour) for both failure to comply with the remedial notice and obstructing (our officer) last Tuesday.”

21 May 07 Notified of date for Court hearing (21 Jun)

14 Jun 07 Neighbour posts copies of (libellous>) public notice outside shop.

18 Jun 07 Neighbour requests adjournment in order to seek legal advice. Council solicitor agrees
Revised date for hearing (12 Jul).
Neighbour revises public notice and posts copy of petition.
Both the notice and petition published by neighbour are scurrilous, factually inaccurate and misleading.

12 July 07 Neighbour enters ‘Not Guilty’ plea.
Obstruction charge dropped ???
Whole day hearing fixed for 12 Oct. (Council to call 3 witnesses; defendant 1).

12 Oct 07 not suitable for 1 of 3 prosecution witnesses.
New date to be fixed

17 Sep 07 Revised date for hearing 1 Nov.

30 Oct 07 Notified by NSDC that neighbour requested further adjournment.
New date for hearing 9th January 2008.

I was having chemotherapy on 9 Jan so was unable to attend court. Sandra went and reported back as follows:
After an hour and a half of private discussion and wrangling with the clerk of the court Mr T pleaded Guilty (having previously pleaded Not Guilty).
The magistrates then allowed him to make a statement of mitigation which he did at great length (some of it out-and-out lies) saying among other things, that he had created an oasis of calm with a woodland walk where the bereaved could sit and write out the cards for their floral tributes; that I am a wicked and vindictive person (unwilling to discuss matters !!!) and everyone knows it and is horrified by what has happened; that a sanctuary for birds, bats and other wildlife had been destroyed (it has, by him, unnecessarily); that he had collected over a hundred signatures against removal of the hollies ; that everyone in the area is incensed by what he has had to do (!!); that he didn't know the hollies (which had been there since the 18C ?) were included in the hedge (in spite of them being specifically mentioned in the Remedial Notice and clearly shown on the accompanying plan); that Mr Hutchinson at the council had assured him that if he took the rest of the hedge down to ground the hollies could stay; that reducing the hollies to 4m would kill them (it wouldn't); that the that the council had only continued the prosecution at my insistence.
He also read out a letter from our (named) next-door-but-one neighbour (to whom we relate well) saying how terrible it was that all the trees had had to be reduced to GL. He then asked to be allowed to read out all the comments on the petition but was refused.
The council solicitor then spoke and denied the above italicised points.
Mr T then asked to hear what the council witnesses would have said but was told that as he had pleaded Guilty this was not possible.

The magistrates retired and on their return fined him (because of his financial circumstances) a mere £50 but with £500+ costs. He asked to pay by instalments, which was accepted, and suggested £20 a month, to be told that it must be paid within 6 months (with some sort of penalty in the event of failure to pay).
He was also told to reduce the remaining trees (2 hollies and a leylandii) to 4m, in accordance with the Remedial Notice, before November 2008. (Why not before March?)

I think that sums it up! And goodnight.