Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Older lamps for old..."

We have a pair of antique, brass lamps in our dinette. They're both from ships, oil lamps which have been adapted for electric light bulbs. But the glass of one of them was already broken when we bought Kantara, and it's been getting progressively worse over the years, almost as if the glass has become more fragile, cracking under its own weight or from the gentle squeeze of the fitting it sits in.
We've scoured the web, junk shops, all sorts, in search of a replacement, to no avail. Glass-blowers are few, and far between, and the one of those we could find who would be able and willing to make a new glass for us would charge £120 to £150. No way!

Then Grace found a pair of the lamps, identical to ours, and both with intact glasses, up for auction on Ebay. She joined the auction, eventually winning with the very reasonable price of £82. They've recently been removed from a pub that's being demolished, along with several other lamps of different types, and the man who was selling them lives just outside the city of Worcester. Rather than adding postage cost to the £82 - and risking breakage in the post! - we chose to visit him instead. And, to make the drive all the more worthwhile, we booked into the The Pear Tree Inn and Country Hotel for three nights.

It's a good hotel on the site of a very old inn, and built with some sympathy for the style of the original, most of which has been incorporated into a 1990s extension. Amusingly, the lights come on ahead of you as you walk along its corridors, and shut off after you've passed, so that you walk in a moving pool of light.

Yesterday, we spent three hours in Worcester. The weather was poor, cold, wet and windy, but the cathedral was a must for us, so most of our time was spent in the warm and dry. The cathedral is beautiful, its history fascinating. King John of Magna Carta fame is entombed there. So is Arthur, Prince of Wales, elder brother of Henry, the Duke of York. Arthur died within six months of marrying Catherine of Aragon (he, aged 15 at the time), thus paving the way for Henry's accession to the throne after the death of his father, Henry VII. Henry VIII, of course, married the unfortunate Catherine, his first wife, and the first to lose her head.

Worcester seems to be steeped in history, with many ancient buildings.

photo - www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Despite the rain, because of which we took few photos, we walked alongside the River Severn, too, and called to mind the time back in 2004 when we took NB Magnus, a Viking Afloat boat, along this stretch of the Severn at the start of a holiday Stourport Ring trip.

In the afternoon, we revisited Hanbury Hall, lunching there, and being very glad to have somewhere interesting and beautiful to be, away from the rain outside. The photos are from a previous visit.

Now we're back, happy owners of two old lamps that need a very good cleaning and polishing. Michelle comes tomorrow, to spend a few days with us. The weather's grim, so perhaps it's as well we're not out on the cut.

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