Sunday, 19 September 2010

52 Walks in 2010 - Walk 33 - Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire (19th September 2010)

Todays walk was our third visit this year to Wrest Park, Silsoe, Bedfordshire so apologies to regular readers of my blog if the photos are a little repetitive although on this visit I decided to focus on the many statues that are around the park.

Many of the statues date from the 1830s.

Its a shame that many of the statues are covered in bird poop - an occupational hazard of being a statue I guess. LOL.

There were already signs of autumn showing in the park, like this mushroom/toadstool.

But there were still insects around busily trying to collect pollen from the last few remaining flowers.

On our way back to the car we noticed the farmer harvesting his crop. Last year when I did the 365 project I desperately wanted to photograph a harvest scene - combine and fields of golden corn but never managed it. So this year although the scene wasn't quite what I had expected, I did get a couple of harvest photos.

Whilst not part of the walk I've popped these last two photos on my blog of conkers that we collected on our way home. A lot of the horse chestnut trees we saw were still suffering from disease so were pleased to find one that actually had quite a few conkers which we could collect.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

52 Walks in 2010 - Walk 32 - Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire (5th September 2010)

Today's walk was around Letchworth Garden City. Letchworth was the world's first Garden City and also the town where my husband grew up. Letchworth is also recorded as having the first roundabout, the first 'intersection for gyratory movement' in Britain

This first photo is of the magnificent Spirella Building which was created between 1912 and 1920 as the UK manufacturing base of the famous Spirella Corset Company. It was once known as Castle Corset! From 1939-45 war interfered with production and Spirella manufactured parachutes and decoding machinery instead. In 1994 Letchworth Garden City Corporation purchased the Spirella Building and a few years later work on the £11m restoration of the building started. Today the Grade II Listed Building is a multi-tenanted business complex with fitness club, ballroom and cafe. This photo is of only a small section of the building which occupies a prominent place near the town centre.

The former Town Hall with it's clock tower for some reason reminds me of the town hall in 'Back to the Future'.

When the garden city was created in the early 1900's there was, most unusual for a British town, a ban on selling alcohol in public premises. This ban was lifted after a referendum in 1958, but to this day the town centre has less than half-a-dozen pubs including The Hogs Head photographed below which was previously the old Eastern Electric showrooms. The metal sculpture things in front of the pub have been installed recently as part of a controversial town centre improvement initiative

The 1930s Broadway Cinema is now a multi screen cinema.

The Nexus Building is a 1960s office development, formerly used by ICL, who left during the 80's. After several years being loaned to various branches of the council, or left empty a large bulldozer turned up and ripped a lot of it down, all the windows were taken out and the whole thing gutted. The refurbished building is now occupied by various companies.

This final sign displaying the name of a small second hand shop made me chuckle.