10 months ago

This England

This England is the quarterly magazine for all who love our green and pleasant land and are unashamedly proud of their English roots. Published since 1968 the magazine has now become one of England’s best loved magazines and has a readership of over 115,000 people from around the world. As well as being popular in England it outsells all other British heritage magazines in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and is sent to readers in every country of the world. Published in Cheltenham, in the heart of picturesque Gloucestershire, the magazine is edited, printed and despatched direct from England. Subscribe today and celebrate all that is best about England and the English way of life.

A collection of customs,

A collection of customs, curiosities and coming events Manchester’s Victoria Baths Make a Splash! Twenty-four years since its closure, Manchester’s historic Victoria Baths held the first public swim in its Gala Pool this summer. Following an extensive, on-going restoration project the Grade-II* listed building, which opened in 1906 and was described as “a water palace”, is being brought back to life. The baths, in Chorlton-on- Medlock, won the 2003 BBC television series Restoration and the efforts of a dedicated charity trust and a team of willing volunteers have seen the gradual revival of this magnificent municipal treasure. Featuring exquisite mosaics, stained glass, terracotta and decorated tiles, Victoria Baths are a stunning example of artistry, architecture and social history. Commenting on the historic swim, Gill Wright, Project Development Manager for Victoria Baths, said: “This was the most wonderful day. We knew it would be a special event, but seeing the pool filled with people joyfully experiencing the opportunity to swim in this stunning setting, even though it was just for one day, surpassed our expectations.” She continued: “What’s been clear is the love there is for this building and the shared passion there is for securing its future.” It was an occasion that enabled people to relive memories and make new ones. Whilst some had swum in the Gala Pool before, others had waited 24 years for this moment, and it didn’t disappoint. Martin Peagan, who travelled from the North East said: “It’s not every day that you can swim in a pool that was used 100 years ago. So many of our wonderful old baths have disappeared, we really have to treasure those that remain. The swim event was fantastic, but I now want to see a time when Victoria Baths is available to everyone to use all the time.” Helen Antrobus who swam with her mum Alice Antrobus, said: “Our heritage helps to tell the story of who we are and gives an incredibly important focus for communities. For me this was a wonderful opportunity to share memories with my mum, who learnt to swim here whilst at school. Victoria Baths shows what an ambitious place Manchester was in the early 1900s and I hope that the city’s passion today can drive forward the support for this wonderful building, the like of which there is nothing comparable.” Following works to the roof, exteriors and some interiors, the restoration of the Turkish Baths is the next step in the Trust’s plan, with the long-term aim being to restore the whole building, including having a The historic swim at Manchester’s Victoria Baths. STEVE ALLEN swimming pool for permanent public use. To find out more about the history, restoration and fundraising plans visit: . Literary Great Returns to The Potteries Abronze sculpture of Stokeon-Trent’s most famous literary son has been unveiled to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth. Born at 90 Hope Street, Hanley, on 27th May 1867, (Enoch) Arnold Bennett went on to pen many best-selling novels including The Card, Anna of the Five Towns and Riceyman Steps, drawing on his experiences of life in the Potteries. He also became highly influential in politics and culture. Talented sculptors Michael Talbot and Carl Payne were commissioned by the Arnold Bennett Society to create the statue which sits on a granite plinth outside the famous Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Bethesda Street, Hanley. The project was funded by the Denise Coates Foundation. As Vice President of the A statue of Arnold Bennett has been unveiled in his hometown of Stoke-on-Trent. LYNNE BEBBINGTON Society, Professor Ray Johnson MBE welcomed guests and dignitaries, including the county’s Lord Lieutenant, Ian Dudson CBE, and the city’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Ros Irving, to witness Bennett’s grandson Denis Eldin unveil the statue. He had travelled specially from his home in Paris for the event. It is appropriate that Bennett’s statue is positioned outside the museum, alongside those of R.J. Mitchell, the aircraft designer best known for the Spitfire, and The Steel Man. All are reminders of the city’s proud heritage. For details of the Bennett 150th anniversary events, go to: uk . GRAHAM BEBBINGTON Don’t Miss the New Postal Museum! London’s new heritage attraction, The Postal Museum, is now open in Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell. Visitors will be sent on a 68 THIS ENGLAND, Winter, 2017

journey through five centuries gaining a previously unseen view on some of the world’s significant historical events, and an insight into the earliest social network. Among the array of exhibits are two- and four-wheeled GPO vehicles from across the ages; documentary films (including the famous Night Mail); post boxes; priceless sheets of Penny Blacks; and the sculpture of Queen Elizabeth used to produce the iconic stamps. Visitors can also decipher Morse code, write a message and watch it disappear through pneumatic tubes, to be received by a stranger at the other side of the museum. Tickets include access to a subterranean world that — until now — remained hidden from public view. Visitors descend into the old engineering depot of Mail Rail — the 100-yearold Post Office railway — and board a miniature train designed to transport them through its narrow tunnels. The interactive ride passes beneath the Mount Pleasant sorting office, stopping at the original station platforms where an audio-visual display shows how the railway kept post coursing through London for 22 hours a day. Clever technology transports people back in time to show the impact of the railway on our ability to communicate with friends, family and colleagues across the world. Powerful events from history, including the Blitz, will also be revealed and a theatrical experience brings the station back to its 1930s heyday. For full visitor information go to: Contrasts on the Cornish Coast The old and the new are co-existing in harmony along the North Cornwall coast at Bude. Standing proud above the Atlantic is Compass Point, a former coastguard lookout station, while further along the spectacular cliffs are the iconic satellite dishes of GCHQ Bude. Compass Point — known locally as the Pepper Pot — is an octagonal tower based on the Tower of the Winds in Athens. It was built around 1835 and has the points of the compass carved on its eight sides. More than 130 years later GCHQ Bude became The old coastguard lookout Compass Point, with GCHQ Bude seen in the distance, on the north Cornish coast. MIKE HAYWARD operational and is now one of the largest employers locally. The site forms a critical function in GCHQ’s wider intelligence and security mission. It is a far cry from the days when Cornwall’s rugged coastline was a haven for wreckers and smugglers. At one time Bude was said to be notorious for wreckers who plundered the ships that came to grief off the coast — reportedly more than 80 of them between 1824 and 1874. Today, this popular seaside resort is a haven for holidaymakers who take advantage of its wide sandy beaches and family friendly attractions. LYNNE HAYWARD The longest serving Household Cavalry horse, Viscount, starts his retirement at The Horse Trust, Buckinghamshire. Happy Retirement for Equine Soldier After almost 22 years’ military service, Household Cavalry horse Viscount has been welcomed at the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest in Buckinghamshire. Viscount, a 17hh Black Gelding Irish Sports horse, served with distinction in all aspects of service, from ceremonial parades to training new recruits. He completed his military training aged just five, passing out in 1997 and went on to spend time with the Queen’s Life Guard at all the major State parades. In his last four ceremonial seasons he carried musicians from The Band of the Household Cavalry; a duty requiring calm and consistent horses that can be ridden with limited instruction as the musicians largely give direction using only their legs while carrying their instruments. After the last of his duties, Viscount went to the Defence Animal Centre before retiring to his new home where he has taken the mantle of “longest serving military horse” from Remus who also retired to the Horse Trust in 2012. At their Home of Rest, the Trust has specialised in providing retirement and respite for working horses and ponies for 130 years. During the First World War, patrons of the Trust provided the first ever motorised horse ambulance to help transport wounded animals from the front line in France. That ambulance travelled 13,000 miles in just two years and carried more than 1,000 horses to veterinary hospitals. The War Office commissioned more vehicles and, by the end of the conflict, 14 of them were in operation in France, saving thousands of horses’ lives. Founded in 1886, The Horse Trust, based at Speen, Buckinghamshire, is the oldest equine charity in the world. Motor Museum on the Road to Success The British Motor Museum has secured significant funding for its future. The transport heritage attraction at Gaydon, in Warwickshire, has become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. As a result it will receive a total of £880,000 over four years to fund activities and development work. The investment will support two new exhibitions in 2019 and 2021, as well as the creation of a digital platform that will see more of the THIS ENGLAND, Winter 2017 69

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