Suburban Stroll

I have recently been strolling around the suburbs of part of Hereford. One of the things that I have noticed is that old school buildings have bell towers. Presumably this harks back to the days when people didn’t have watches, or possibly even clocks and were summoned to school by the unwelcome peeling of bells. This one is the bell tower of Scudamore School from two different angles.

This is Holmer School, as well as the ornate brickwork, the rather fine bell tower was said to be haunted.

Photo of Holmer School

This chapel doesn’t have a bell tower, but I rather liked the window. It used to be a Methodist chapel, but is now used by Christadelphians. This is a Christian group created by John Thomas in the nineteenth century. They have a reputation for helping refugees; from the WWII Kindertransport rescuing Jewish children from Nazis, to the present Syrian refugee crisis.

Photo of church window

This is Widemarsh Common, publicly owned land run by the local council. It is mainly used for football, cricket and dog walking. In 1679 John Kemble was hanged, drawn and quartered here. In 1678 there were rumours of a plot by Catholics to assasinate Charles II and install his Catholic brother James to the throne of England. John Kemble was a priest named in this dubious plot. After being arrested by Captain Scudamore (another illustrious Hereford family) the elderly priest was strapped to a horse and taken to London. He was cleared of involvement in the plot but it was decided that being a Catholic priest at the time was treasonous enough. He had to walk back to Hereford to meet his fate. He forgave his executioner beforehand which perhaps explains why he was allowed to die on the gallows rather than be cut down early to be drawn and quartered. Scudamore’s daughter was cured of throat cancer and his wife recovered her hearing after praying to Kemble and so John Kemble was beatified in 1929 and canonised in 1970.

Photo of Widemarsh Common

It is pretty thick with religious buildings in these parts. This is Saint Mary’s, an Anglican church. A rather dull building has been made more interesting with the addition of a fancy blue bell tower.

Photo of church bell

These are views across Hereford Racecourse. There has been a racecourse here since 1771, it was briefly closed but reopened again this year. There is also a Leisure Centre offering various sporty treats.

I believe I have found the local stocks! A medieval punishment of humilation whereby the transgressor would be held in place while rotten vegetables were thrown at them. Actually I have no idea what this is.

Photo of object looking like stocks

Nobody strike a match! Nestled amongst the housing estates, a petroleum storage facility. What could possibly go wrong?

Photo of Petroleum Storage

These pink flowers, which I later found out are Spiraea japonica, a member of the Rosaceae family, brightened up the verges. Presumably a garden escapee.

Photo of pink flowers

And of course, there is always a cat to be met on every walk. This one is trying to camouflage itself by pretending its eyes are unripe blackberries.

Photo of cat hiding in brambles

The babbling Yazor Brook, many many years ago I spotted a water vole in this brook. Maybe with a lot of effort they can be coaxed back.

Photo of Yazor Brook


4 thoughts on “Suburban Stroll

  1. Pingback: Suburban Stroll – Rattiesforeverworldpresscom

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