Thursday, 2 October 2014


Monday and it was clear I wasn't getting away anywhere exciting so things were a bit gloomy for me. And the weather was miserable; sorry you get the truth on this Blog.
Sometimes fairy tales don't come true.
We went out in the afternoon to take a look at Bray which is next to Maidenhead on the River Thames.
It's probably the richest part of the country - a lot of T.V. and Radio personalities live there, down by the river (Terry Wogan, Michael Parkinson and Rolf Harris before he went to jail).
We went there because you can see a lot of historic old, oak-beamed buildings;

It's the oddest of places.
On the face of it it's an historic old-world village but there's no one there in the daytime. It's a ghost village.
There are Pubs but somewhere around is the 'Fat Duck' although you wouldn't know it from the road. It's Heston Blumenthal's ultra-expensive, Michelin-Starred Rich Kids restaurant and he owns some or all of the Pubs too.
But it really is historic too; this is the 'Lich gate' built in 1448 according to the plaque on the wall. It's a passageway and a gate under an oak-beamed gatehouse;

And if you don't believe me you'll find that the cobblestones are rough at the edges where people's feet didn't reach and smooth in the centre where people walked for over 500 years.

The Church is famous as the home of 'The Vicar of Bray', a phrase which came to mean 'treachery' because the Vicar kept changing sides in the civil war, depending on who looked most likely to win; 

The parish must have gone through periods of wealth and poverty during the years of construction - there are bands of cheap chalk as well as a lot of flint and even stone when times were better. The chalk is wearing badly now.

The flints came down from the Chiltern Hills nearby.

As we were leaving, we came across the Alms Houses;

Built in 1627 by William Goddard Esquire of The Right Worshipful Company of Fishmongers of The City of London, the Fishmongers (they are now businessmen or city bankers) still look after the bequest today;  "Wherein he hath left it for the poore people forever".

Here he is looking very prosperous and fairly pleased with himself too;

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)

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