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Published: September 12th 2019
Fridays Janet volunteers at Chatsworth House
, which is about 3 miles away. It is a very impressive house that is well worth a look both the house and the gardens.
Each year they hold a country fair which I have been hearing about for years but this year I'm here for it. Rob, Jim and I went on Friday and Janet, Jim and Jim's mum Ann went on Saturday. It was a bit like the Perth Show without all the judging of things. There was a main arena with displays all day and some rides and then rows and rows of tents selling everything from country clothing, petware, gifts, food and samples, lots of gin stalls to cars and BBQ huts. We had pretty good weather with a few small showers but nothing to put a dampner on things. It was lovely to spend the Saturday with Ann and get to know her a bit better. I got to see Mary Berry do a cooking demo.
Sunday Jim and I went to Mass in the church Janet's parents were married in. As Jim is not a Catholic it was so lovely of him to come with me. Lovely church with
a really nice priest who made a point of talking to us afterwards as we were new to his congregation of about 60 people.
We then headed to Eyam
to see Well Dressings which were being advertised and I had never seen before and even had trouble understanding to process when Jim and Janet tried to explain it to me. I had been to Eyam when I was here last time as I had read about it in a novel not long before. Eyam became famous after the Black Death of 1665 and 1666.An outbreak of the plague was contained when the villagers decided to isolate themselves from the surrounding communities. Many people in the village died. It is also known that some of the village population were genetically unique and naturally immune to this very deadly disease. They isolated the village so that it wouldn't spread around the district and had various strategies to try and contain the plague from spreading. Fascinating story an if you are interested Geraldine Brooks - "Year of Wonders" is a great novel to read.
Sadly they had taken down all of the well dressings, but we had a great time in
the museum and having a look around. On the way home we had to detour through an unplanned way due to roadworks, and vola!, 2 well dressings!, so I saw some after all.
Well dressings has been speculated that it began as a pagan custom of offering thanks to gods for a reliable water supply; other suggested explanations include villagers celebrating the purity of their water supply after surviving the Black Death in 1348, or alternatively celebrating their water's constancy during a prolonged drought in 1615. Well dressing, also known as well flowering, is a tradition practised in some parts of rural England in which wells, springs and other water sources are decorated with designs created from flower petals. The custom is most closely associated with the Peak District of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. This website
explains the process - and wow what a process it is.
Monday was a rest day and catching up on some work.
Tomorrow off to the Black Country Living Museum.
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