Acorn Bank again

After the Lego exhibition at Rheged hubby and I went to Acorn Bank.  It was a fine day.  After lunch we had a walk around the track to the watermill and through the woodland.  Swallows nesting in one of the watermill buildings were too far away for my camera phone.  (I need to explore its zoom capability.)  We watched an interesting beetle swimming in the pond. This was impossible to snap. However the beautiful flower beds made colourful photos.  We went to the bird hide and saw some blue tits and great tits.  The hollow tree, which formerly housed a clock mechanism, was empty.

Our previous visit to Acorn Bank was in spring 2015 and inspired me to start this blog.  It was interesting to compare photos I took that day with ones from similar viewpoints in summer.  I replaced my phone with one, which has a larger memory between visits.  The colours from the two cameras are not the same, but the biggest differences were due to the foliage on the trees.  My next post will compare some photos from these two visits.

We saw the speckled wood butterfly, which appeared in an earlier post.  I enlarged that photo by cropping it on my phone before uploading it.

Since our previous visit the drawing room had been renovated.  That was the only room in the house we visited.  It was a busy day and the guided tours were fully booked.  We enjoyed the fresh air (although there were some very smelly sheep!) and exercise.  There was more car parking space than on our previous visit and it was being put to good use.

When I arrived home I was puzzled that I could not find the sticker I had been given to wear at Acorn Bank.  Nearly four weeks later (on the day I was preparing this post) as I fastened my seat belt the missing sticker attached itself to my hand.  Mystery solved.

Visiting English Heritage sites – Stott Park Bobbin Mill

Our third visit was to a site of industrial importance.  Stott Park Bobbin Mill used to be a hive of industry, being one of many such places in Cumbria (or Cumberland and Westmorland and part of Lancashire as it was then) to produce bobbins for use in the textile mills of Lancashire, Yorkshire and farther afield.

Stott Park Bobbin Mill
Stott Park Bobbin Mill

The day we chose to visit was one of the regular steam days.  The horizontal engine, which drove the lathes and other machinery, was working.  The guided tour was extremely well done and lasted about 45 minutes.  Admission to the mill building is only permitted with a guide;  tours are repeated at hourly intervals through the day.  The life of the workers in the mill was portrayed with words and actions.  The dangers of the working conditions and the production of coppice poles, which were grown locally were explained.  From these poles items other than bobbins were also manufactured at the mill.

The Exhibition in the wood-drying barn
The Exhibition in the wood-drying barn

We ate a picnic lunch in the grounds and took a scenic route home.  It would have been possible to go on to visit Furness Abbey again and see the Medieval Fair, which was taking place that day.  However we enjoyed the outing we had and returned home with time to catch up with other members of the family using modern means of communication.

In the days of the mills there was not the kind of technology we have today.  I was impressed by the design and engineering of the engine, though.  The Victorians were very good at what they did.  At one time there was a water-wheel at the mill.

The mill stream
The mill stream

It was interesting that the people on the tour included some with an interest in steam engines and others, whose ancestors had worked in the textile industry.   Workers in wood and social historians would also find much of interest.  There were no young people in this party, but  there is plenty to learn here about how young people lived in former times.  Stott Park Bobbin Mill was the first industrial site to be saved for the nation.  It was a forerunner of Quarry Bank Mill, National Trust – a place we have enjoyed visiting several times.

An outing to Acorn Bank

The day I decided to create this blog was coincidentally the 2nd anniversary of starting Sue’s Trifles.  Hubby and I went to Acorn Bank, a National Trust property we had only visited on one occasion several years previously.

On the way we stopped at another visitor attraction, Rheged.  We were aware that there was a photographic exhibition, which we were interested in.  It was our first visit to Rheged, although we know many people, who have enjoyed visiting it.  The exhibition was Herdwick: A Portrait of Lakeland, which continues until 19 April 2015.

The building, which houses many small shops and function rooms, is innovative and the exhibition was fascinating.  There were also good views from the exhibition room.

Acorn Bank
Acorn Bank

We pressed on to Acorn Bank, arriving in time to enjoy lunch in the tea room.  After lunch we looked around the sheltered gardens, before putting on our boots and topcoats for a longer walk.  My header photo is of the daffodils in the garden.

The house is now open to the public, but it is mainly unfurnished.  It was interesting to learn that a previous resident had a number of published books to her name.  Dorothy Una Ratcliffe was an author and poet.  Guided tours were on offer, but we wanted to enjoy the sunshine, so looked around quickly without joining one.

DSC_0019It was a beautiful spring day. We explored the watermill and its associated waterways.  The paths were good, but we did make a detour across farm land, enjoying distant views and seeing some coltsfoot in flower.  It was only a detour; we knew how to get found again!

Bird feeder
Bird feeder

We also spent some time sitting in a wildlife hide.  Hubby took some pleasing snaps of blue tits on a feeder.  I only snapped a feeder – but I do claim the credit for alerting him to the birds.

Outside the hide we had already seen some garden birds, as well as a mallard duck and drake, a nuthatch and perhaps two individual tree-creepers.

I experimented with my phone, taking about seventeen photos, two of which I deleted later.  There are only a few I wish to share here.

It was on the way home, admiring the spectacular scenery in changing late afternoon light, that I realised I could not wait until after April to share my words and pictures with the world.  I needed a new blog!

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