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Archive for August, 2011

A tribute to a pond

With the whole Pastorm site, I’ve pretty much left Tamworth timehikes abandoned, the idea is to use Pastorm on Timehikes and vica versa. That’s easier said than done though.

Anyway I’m all heritaged out at the moment,so this post is taking a break from the past, sort of anyway. In fact I dislike the word heritage, it conjures up images of cream teas, country houses, and general stuffiness, there’s a place for that but can be limiting. I’m not talking about rebranding but just don’t like it. There’s a good attack and take on the word heritage in article here.

As I’m getting HISTerical with all this past business, and if I’m not careful I’m going to PAST out, I’m going to share images of a favourite place to relax of mine : the garden pond.

Despite being a tiny pond no more than 150 cm long, it’s a place to lose yourself. It’s full of life, amphibian(17 frogs, 2 toads, 20 newts and counting) insects(1 pond skater) and receives visits from wasps busily collecting water to build their paper mache nests(can actually hear the rasping noise, when they’re collecting wood) birds, and all sorts of winged life.  Exploring ponds is associated with childhood, it doesn’t have to be though, resist the social pressure to stock it with koi with a fountain and surrounded by wood chippings. Listen to the child inside you!

I highly recommend a natural pond, they are a celebration of life, isn’t it in ponds where it all begun! I know people usually stock them with fish but why not leave it as it is and watch life gradually flock to it. It’s a lot more interesting seeing what  arrives and you’re also helping out the local wildlife. Ponds in the countryside as I’ve noticed are becoming more and more scarce.

Below are some photos of the ponds I’d like to share. No it’s not the Mississippi swamp, it’s Tamworth!

their favourite corner

frog and snail

Looking for the swamp thing

view from a camera attached to a newt

the three amigos

You ain’t seen me, right

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This post is an  experiment and example of how to  integrate and using the new collaborative pastorm site with your posts/ and sites

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Back to a good old fashioned micro explore on Timehikes, and it doesn’t get more micro than the local housing estate; Leyfield’s and more precisely Wigginton parks whose  regal history was talked about in the post series before suburbia. For a fantastic blog on Housing estates in London there’s Love London council housing.  There’s nothing as architecturally interesting around here in the housing estates, but who knows if you look hard enough and ask the right questions…

For now back to Wiggington park. After a quick wander around the local park.( Couldn’t really go further in the sweltering heat) came upon a line of bricks poking through the leaf litter on the floor. With the frustrated archaeologist within me in full force, I proceeded to clear with a stick the surrounding foliage in a couple of minutes. The results are in the following photo.

Hmm, what is it? The bricks have mortar between them and looks the part so probably some type of structure and not just bricks thrown in. The bricks look ‘pretty old’ Quick note anyone who wants to know more about  reading the history of buildings in England, needs to know a lot about bricks, more bricks and more bricks! My first thought or hope was that it was the remains of the gate lodge at the entrance to the old Wigginton hall estate. Time to check out the maps:

1899-1904 ordnance map from Staffordshire past track(click to go to site)

Wrong location so after discarding  the lodge option started thinking that it could be some sort of culvert. The bricks are set into a ridge could it follow on from the stream that curves round the western edge of Wigginton park?

A look at the 1887 map gives another possibility. Is that a structure leading off from  the lodge? Anyone out there who can read what that curved dash along the square  means?

1884-1885 ordnance map from oldmaps.co.uk, click on image to go to site.

As so often when looking for something on historic maps you notice other features of interest. Note the well marked with a ‘w’ next to the lodge. Also the long sliver of a pond  little further up. Explains why that spot becomes a muddy mire after a little rainfall. A pond trying to resurrect itself, it will win in the end! Could the pond have something to do with the brick structure? I’m still leaning towards the idea of a culvert, but as usual more questions than answers.

Ending the post with a photo taken on same walk  of a  stately Beech tree in Wigginton park, notice the likely ridge and furrow surrounding it.

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