Category Archives: Xtras

Ordered by date descending

London and the House of Commons

20th November 2017

A long weekend in London, visiting son, Tom. Including a walk from Westferry to Tate Modern along the Thames Path, via Limehouse and St. Katherine Dock; and attending a reception at the House of Commons. An excellent weekend! Jo.  …


Brighton 2017

29th September 2017

Brendan was down in Brighton for the Labour Party Conference, so I went along too. I never saw him until 11pm at night, but I am always able to amuse myself! Brighton is never short of things to do! An excellent five days, mostly avoiding politics, a…


Dalton Safari Zoo

15th September 2017

Dalton Safari Zoo is free this month so my sister, Ness and I paid a visit. I’ve not been for about eight years. I have never liked animals in cages, but this zoo has made a good effort in disguising this by using perspex and creating more natu…


Brass & Bells: Ulverston to Urswick

9th September 2017

A busy Saturday! Playing for the Ulverston Charter Day late morning, then ringing bells at Kirkby in Furness and Great Urswick in the afternoon. Just time to mow the lawn when I got home, before the rain. Then feet up for Strictly! 🙂 Jo.  …


Barrow Town Hall Tower Tour

26th July 2017

On Wednesday afternoon the St. James’ bell ringers went on a tour of the bell tower of Barrow Town Hall, organised by ringer, Sue. I have done Town Hall Tours before when I accompanied my students from school, but I have never visited the tower…


Rydal Roam and Ring

9th July 2017

On Saturday Andy, Cameron, Sue and myself drove to Ambleside to walk around Rydal Water, visit Rydal Cave and Grasmere and to ring the bells at St. Mary’s Church in the afternoon with ringers from the Furness and South Lakes Branch. For once we…


Harris and Lewis

21st June 2017

The final part of our trip was to Harris and Lewis. Thankfully the weather bucked up on Harris and Lewis. We will have to return in another 27 years….or so. 😉 Jo.   …


The Uists

18th June 2017

The next leg of our journey was from Barra to the Island of Eriskay then onto South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist and Berneray. Religion is divided on the Western Isles. Barra and South Uist are Catholic, North Uist and Harris and Lewis are Protestant….


‘Barra’ to Barra

16th June 2017

‘Barra’ in Furness to Barra in the Outer Hebrides! We plan to work our way up from Barra to Eriskay, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Berneray, Harris and Lewis. We did a similar trip twenty seven years ago and camped out under the star…


Hawkshead, Chapel Stile rings and walk

10th June 2017

On Saturday the Barrow, St. James’ ringers rang at Hawkshead church. We had planned to do a walk around Blea Tarn and up onto Side Pike, but the weather was dreadful so we visited the Ruskin Museum instead. Then we rang at Langdale Church in Ch…


Furness Ringers Tour North Cumbria

29th May 2017

On Bank Holiday Monday bell ringers from Furness and South Lakes attended their annual Branch Outing. This year we visited north Cumbria taking in towers at Shap, Penrith, Great Salkeld, Keswick and Cockermouth. I drove to Alan’s house in Bards…


Bellringers’ Walk Pendragon Castle

13th May 2017

On Saturday the St. James’ bellringers joined fellow ringers of the Furness and South Lakeland branch, at Kirkby Stephen in the afternoon. On our way we rang at Orton Church at 10am and visited the Farmers’ Market and Chocolate Shop. In b…


Walney Walks With Buster

24th March 2017

My neighbours Bill and Sandra have recently had to contend with an ankle replacement and a leg fracture between them, so I have become a dog walker to Buster, albeit a fair weather one! The photos are from a few dog walks on Walney Island. Thankfully…


Dundee by the Forth Rail Bridge

23rd January 2017

We went to Dundee by rail over the Forth Rail Bridge and the Tay Bridge. My late Grandfather, Alexander Green, was born here, but I had never been to visit. We would have a walk around for four hours and see the sights. Dundee proved to be an interes…


Edinburgh Walks

22nd January 2017

One of the best things about the City of Edinburgh is that everything is in walking distance, so walk we did! I used ‘Great Breaks: Edinburgh’ (Insight Guides) to plan where to go. Next up is Dundee. Brendan wanted to go over the Forth Ra…


Arthur’s Seat Walk, Edinburgh

21st January 2017

We arrived on our four day trip to Edinburgh in blue skies and sunshine. We had come to view the Turner paintings in the Scottish National Gallery, which are only on view in January due to the low light levels. As it was such a nice day, after droppi…


Bellringers’ Walk up Hampsfell

14th January 2017

On Saturday the Barrow St. James’ bell ringers met up at the top of the Grange to Cartmel Road at 11.30am, to walk up Hampsfell. It was blue skies and sunshine, but still quite cold, and there was snow on the mountains. It was a short walk, jus…


Christmas Bells and Walks

2nd January 2017

A few bits and pieces from over the Christmas period. Happy New Year! Jo.   …


Dalton Christmas Tree Festival 2016

11th December 2016

This year the theme of the Dalton, St. Mary’s Tree Festival was ‘A Name Remembered’. This is a yearly festival that raises money for local charities. There were far too many trees to photograph them all, below is just a selection of…


A walk up The Rock of Gibraltar

6th November 2016

Today we would have a leisurely walk up The Rock of Gibraltar for the glorious views, we would visit St. Michael’s Caves again on the way down, then relax in the Rock Hotel. Our route up starts at the back of our hotel just past the Garrison Li…


Circumnavigation of Gibraltar

5th November 2016

We went to Gibraltar for Brendan’s birthday. We decided to stay at The O’Callaghan Eliott Hotel, because it was situated just off Main St. next to the Cathedral, and handy for everywhere. We have been to Gibraltar before so we would mainl…


Dalton, St. Mary’s Tower Outing 2016

30th October 2016

On Saturday the Dalton, St. Mary’s ringers held their annual ringing tour. This year we were visiting bell towers in and around Clitheroe, Lancashire. Calling at Samlesbury, Ribchester, Clitheroe and Waddington. I left home at 7.40am to pick up…


Sedbergh Sheepfest & Rheged Herdwicks

22nd September 2016

On Thursday Tom and I went to Sedbergh to see the Sheepfest. Now in its third year, Sheepfest is organised by textile arts venue, Farfield Mill, to celebrate the town’s rich wool industry heritage. This year’s theme was book titles and ch…


Heritage Open Days at St. James

11th September 2016

On Thursday evening and Saturday and Sunday, St. James Church, Barrow, opened its doors for everyone to come in and have a look around at the various displays, listen to talks, watch videos about bell ringing as well as live demonstrations of rope sp…


Bell Ringers’ Walk up The Hoad

13th August 2016

On Saturday Barrow St. James’ ringers did a mini walk up the Hoad in Ulverston. We were originally going to walk around Hodbarrow Nature Reserve from Haverigg, but due to the discovery of asbestos in the heating system of St. George’s Chu…


Piel Island Walk

17th July 2016

On Sunday Brendan and I did a guided walk across the sands from Walney Island to Piel Island as part of the Morecambe Bay Partnership’s ‘Bay Archaeology Festival’. The walk was lead by archaeologist, Rachel Newman with assistance fr…


Exploring Walney’s Military Heritage: Interpretation Day

10th July 2016

On Sunday morning I went along to Furness Golf Club for ‘Exploring Walney’s Military Heritage Interpretation Day’, where we would get together to look at what had been discovered so far. Morecambe Bay Partnership are working in coll…


Investigating and Recording Walney’s Military Heritage

29th June 2016

On Wednesday I was working with Morecambe Bay Partnership in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University on a project to investigate and record the military heritage of South Walney Island. The team consisted of Dr. Ben Edwards, Senior Lect…


Bell Ringers’ Walk from Sedbergh to Dent

11th June 2016

On Saturday the St. James’ ringers had planned another walk. This time we would ring at St. Andrew’s Church, Sedbergh at 9am for an hour, then walk the six mile section of the Dales Way to St. Andrew’s Church, Dent, and after a pub…


Bell Ringers’ Walk from Brathay to Hawkshead

14th May 2016

On Saturday morning the Barrow St. James’ bell ringers rang the bells at Brathay Church, then we walked to Hawkshead via a Roman Fort, took the ferry to Wray Castle, and made brief ‘detours’ to The Outgate Inn and the Red Lion in Ha…


Gleaston Castle Geophysics Survey 2016

29th April 2016

Gleaston Castle is a Scheduled Monument in the village of Gleaston, South Cumbria. A twenty minute drive from my home on Walney Island. Last week I joined the volunteers, students and professional archaeologists from the University of Central Lancash…


St. Bees, St. George and Joss Naylor

24th April 2016

This post documents the events of a busy weekend. A visit to St. Bees to see friends that Brendan was at Leeds University with many moons ago, and for me a ring at the Priory and a walk to the beach. Ringing for St. George’s Day, and a talk giv…


Portmeirion 2015

15th December 2015

For our 30th wedding anniversary we went to stay in Portmeirion, North Wales. I have been visiting Portmeirion since my student days when I used to go to ‘The Prisoner’ Conventions back in the early eighties. ‘The Prisoner’ wa…


Cartmel Priory

12th December 2015

On Saturday the 12th of December the St. James’ ringers were due to ring the bells of Cartmel Priory then walk over Hampsfell to Grange-Over-Sands, catch the train to Cark and ring the bells at Flookburgh. Unfortunately we had to cancel the wal…


Dalton Christmas Tree Festival, Ringers’ Dinner and Radio Cumbria Report.

29th November 2015

This year’s theme for the Dalton Christmas Tree Festival is ‘Let’s go to the Cinema’. There are 48 decorated trees sponsored by community groups in order to raise money for various charities. The Festival in St. Mary’s Church, Dalton-in-Furness…


Walney Island Beach and Tarn Walk

14th October 2015

It was another warm and blue sky day so I took a walk from my house down to the sea. Then I visited the tarns, walking through the North Walney Nature Reserve and over the dunes to the sea again, then back home. The walk takes less than two hours. It…


Dalton St. Mary’s bell ringers tour Lytham and Garstang.

26th September 2015

On Saturday, ringers and friends from St. Mary’s Church in Dalton in Furness headed for Lytham St. Annes, for our annual ringing tour, organised by Tower Captain, Stan. We had originally planned to remain in Lytham and ring at the two Roman Cat…


Glendalough and Dublin.

27th August 2015

The steep wooded slopes of Glendalough in County Wicklow, harbours one of Ireland’s most atmospheric monastic sites. Established by St. Kevin in the 5th century it grew to be quite powerful by the 9th century, but started falling into ruin by 1…


Clonmacnoise Monastery, County Offaly.

26th August 2015

Clonmacnoise is a medieval monastery in a remote spot by the River Shannon. It was founded by St. Ciaran in 544 AD, and lays at a crossroads of medieval routes linking all parts of Ireland. Known for its scholarship and piety, it thrived from the 7th…


Holy Island, Lough Derg, County Clare.

26th August 2015

We decided to take a few days driving back to Dublin. One of our stops was Holy Island on Lough Derg. On a previous Ireland trip we had been to see Station Island on the other Lough Derg in Donegal, known as St. Patrick’s Purgatory. So we thoug…


A walk up Carran from the cottage.

24th August 2015

We have not climbed up Carran (2000ft) for a couple of years, so we decide to climb it via a different route and take in the summit of Knockantooreen too. It is a walk we can do from the cottage, as Carran is the mountain that looms over us. The walk…


Mizen Head

23rd August 2015

A drive via Bantry to Mizen Head, County Cork, to visit the Signal Station on a beautiful day. Mizen Head has some great views out on a good weather day. The Visitor Centre is well worth a visit. Some of the later photos were taken on my mobile, havi…


Gleninchaquin Walk

21st August 2015

Fellow bell ringers Anne and Keith had recommended a walk up to the waterfall at Gleninchaquin Park, County Kerry, which they did last September. I thought I had not been here before, but I recognised the waterfall from when we took Brendan’s M…


Ireland Cottage, Family And Other Animals

16th August 2015

Our cottage in County Kerry is at Knockanhua, five miles down a single track lane from Kilgarvan and at an altitude of 850ft. It is at the end of the valley and very isolated. Brendan’s father grew up here. A few walks to follow. Jo.  …


Garden 2015

1st August 2015

A few photos from our Walney Island garden, most of which used to be part of a field. It is about 300ft long…..Plus a few cat photos too…..and squirrels…. and I certainly can’t leave out the sheep! 🙂 Jo.  …


Striking Competition and a St. James’ Day Peal

25th July 2015

On Friday night the Furness and South Lakes Branch of the Lancashire Association of Change Ringers held their annual Six Bell Striking Competition at St George’s Church in Millom this year, and an excellent venue it turned out to be! Then on Sa…


Tom’s Graduation

17th July 2015

Friday was Tom’s graduation ceremony at Lancaster University. Lancaster is a collegiate university. There are eight colleges. Tom was in Grizedale College and the students graduate by college not by faculty. Tom gained a BA (hons) 2:1 in Philos…


Bell Ringers’ Walk From Hawkshead To Bowness

11th July 2015

On Saturday we had a St. James’ bell ringers’ walk from Hawkshead to Bowness. We would ring the bells of St. Michael’s, Hawkshead for an hour, then walk via Latterbarrow, Claife Heights, Near Sawrey (for lunch) and Far Sawrey. Then…


Buckingham Palace Garden Party

28th May 2015

On Thursday morning Brendan and I caught the train to London as we had been invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. There is a strict dress code, and for women, unfortunately, it includes a hat. Bugger! I borrowed a ‘fascinator’ f…


Paper Bridge in Grisedale and Hard Tarn

15th May 2015

On Friday Ged and I went to Patterdale to walk into the Grisedale Valley to see the Paper Bridge, an Art Installation by artist Steven Messam, it was due to be dismantled on Monday. We would then continue on up the valley to Ruthwaite Lodge. From the…


My First Quarter Peal for ‘Believe in Barrow’

13th May 2015

On Wednesday, as part of the ‘Believe in Barrow’ celebrations, we rang the St.James’ bells to welcome the Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu and the Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome to Barrow. St. James’ Vicar, John Hodgkin…


Furness Bell Ringers Tour West Cumbria 2015

4th May 2015

On Bank Holiday Monday members of the Furness Branch of the LACR toured six church bell towers in the west of Cumbria. We visited towers in Arlecdon, Cleator Moor, Egremont, St Bees, Hensingham and Whitehaven, ending with a meal at a local hostelry. …


Bell-ringers’ Walk: Brathay to Chapel Stile

11th April 2015

On Saturday Andy, the Tower Captain of St. James’, Barrow, had organised a bell-ringers’ walk from Holy Trinity Church at Brathay, near Ambleside, to Holy Trinity Church, Great Langdale which is in Chapel Stile, and where the Furness Bran…


Cartmel Priory Bell Ringing Training Day

28th March 2015

On Saturday morning I drove Andy, Barrow Tower Captain, and myself to Cartmel Priory for a Branch Training Day. I have never been up the bell tower of Cartmel Priory even though I spent three years teaching at Cartmel Priory CofE Secondary School, an…


St. James’ Bell Tower Open Day

7th March 2015

On Saturday 7th March we marked the first anniversary of the re-dedication of the bells by holding a Bell Tower Open Day and having a celebratory meal in the evening at a local Italian. There were displays in the church, including archive material an…


St. James’ Bellringers’ Meal

5th March 2015

On Saturday March 5th the St. James’ Church bell ringers marked the second anniversary since the re-dedication of the bells by having a meal at The Crown at North Scale, Walney Island. Great for me as I only live a few minutes walk away! In the…


Fairport Convention, Ulverston 2015

1st February 2015

On Sunday night we went to The Coronation Hall in Ulverston to see Fairport Convention once again, and to catch up with my old friend, Martin. Fairport have a new album out called ‘Myths and Heroes’, so they played a lot of their new mate…


Christmas 2014

25th December 2014

A few photos from over the Christmas period including a walk up Gummers How, cats , Coast Road and Family. A very quiet Christmas! Happy New Year, Jo. …


Dalton St. Mary’s Christmas Tree Festival 2014

30th November 2014

This year’s theme for the Christmas Tree Festival is ‘Television Programmes’. There are 52 decorated trees sponsored by community groups in order to raise money for various charities. The Festival in St Mary’s Church, Dalton-i…


Dalton St. Mary’s Bell Ringers on Tour

25th October 2014

On Saturday the 25th of October Dalton St Mary’s bell ringers and friends held their annual Tower Outing. This year we would venture to Lancashire and North Yorkshire visiting bell towers in Whittington, Gargrave, Kirkby Malham and Giggleswick….


A Walk From Knockanuha to Deesert and Cummeen, County Kerry.

4th September 2014

Today we were walking down into the valley to Deesert, to the house that belonged to Brendan’s Great Grandmother, and the house where his father was born. Sadly the house is now abandoned and going to ruin, mainly because of its isolation and l…


Bere Island, County Cork.

3rd September 2014

Bere Island lies at the entrance to the magnificent Bantry Bay and guards the deep water harbour of Berehaven, in West Cork, in the South West of Ireland. The island is just 2kms offshore from the town of Castletownbere, the largest white fishing por…


Ireland: Cottages, Castles, Churches and Gaelic Football

3rd September 2014

A few excursions here and there. Jo. …


A Walk Around Gougane Barra

2nd September 2014

One sunny afternoon we decided to take a trip to Gougane Barra in County Cork. We were last there a couple of years ago when we did the Pilgrimage Walk on Gougane Sunday, the Feast Day of St. Finbarr, which starts just below our cottage in Knockanuha…


Furness Branch Striking Competition 2014

15th August 2014

On Friday night the Dalton St. Mary’s bell ringers headed for Holy Trinity Church at Brathay, near Ambleside, to take part in the annual Furness Branch Six Bell Striking Competition. We had an excellent evening, in a wonderful setting for a sum…


Black Fell and a St. James’ Day Peal at St. James’ Church, Barrow

26th July 2014

I left home at 6.30am on Friday so I could be back home by lunch in time to be at St. James’ church, Barrow, before the start of the Anniversary Peal, 137 years after the first peal, and the first peal to be rang this century. My plan was a wal…


Alice and Gavin’s Wedding

28th June 2014

Saturday the 28th of June was Alice and Gavin’s Wedding. It was held at St. Mary’s R.C. Church in Yealand Conyers, Lancashire. The reception was at The Low Wood Hotel on the shores of Windermere, which has excellent views out to the Lakel…


Furness Bell Ringers On Tour

26th May 2014

On Bank Holiday Monday the Furness Branch of the Lancashire Association of Change Ringers held their annual church tower outing to six churches with six or more bells. This year it was an ‘expedition’ to the Preston Branch organised by Ke…


Ringing The Bells of St. James the Great

19th March 2014

The bells of St. James’ Church had not been rung since 1999. The fittings were corroded and the timber frame was in a dire state. In 2007 ringer, Geoff Pullin, from Daventry was visiting his son who worked at the shipyard, and was made aware of…


Fairport Convention at the Coronation Hall, Ulverston 2014

5th March 2014

This year Fairport Convention actually made it to Ulverston for the first time in their 47 year history! One of the things I love about Fairport gigs is that often I am one of the youngest there! A spring chicken in a sea of grey. Not so this year, a…


London Weekend Trip

2nd March 2014

I was down in London this weekend, Brendan had a Labour Conference at the Excel Centre, so we stayed out at Beckton (via Dockland Light Railway), and I was let loose for a couple of days by myself. I used to live in London, so I know my way around. F…


Kerry and Cork

4th August 2013

A few of the highlights from our week in Kerry. I fly back to Manchester and Brendan will return in another week. Jo   …


Galway City, The Burren, Kerry and a Dog or Two!

30th July 2013

Galway City…. Patsy next door has holes in his roof, and still has no bathroom or toilet in his house, so he will be moving into our cottage for the next few months. Should keep it well aired for the winter! Jo. …


Connemara

29th July 2013

From Bundoran we drove through Sligo and Mayo and passed Croagh Patrick in mist. It is another site of pilgrimage. A walk that is still on my list of things to do.The previous day had been Reek Sunday. 12,000 people had attempted the summit (2507ft)…


Londonderry and Donegal

28th July 2013

Today we headed for Londonderry/Derry…… Next stop Connemara and Galway…. Jo. …


Antrim Coast

27th July 2013

We usually go to Kerry via Holyhead and Dublin, but this year we decided to have a few days travelling down via the north and west coast. We took the car ferry from Cairnryan in Scotland to Larne in Northern Ireland arriving about 4pm, then on to the…


A Sail Past and a Walk Around Venice

24th June 2013

View from the Costa Magica as we cruised past Venice. We would return for an overnight stop and do the sights! Venice was excellent! Need more time to do it justice…..at least five days! Plus a lottery win to pay for it. It is a very expensive…


A Walk Around Dubrovnik Old Town

23rd June 2013

We got an early start in order to walk around Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It was an even bigger task to embark 3000 people all wanting to leave Dubrovnik at the same time! But even then I think we only queued up for about 30 minutes. The Old Town of…


A Walk Around Corfu Town

22nd June 2013

Today we were to visit Corfu Town. We had been to Corfu before when Tom was small and had stayed in the village of Kalami, directly opposite The White House where Lawrence Durrell wrote ‘Prospero’s Cell’. Quite possibly the dullest…


A Walk Around Fira, Santorini

21st June 2013

We have visited Santorini before, on a day trip from Crete. We had seen all the archaeological sites on that visit, so today we would just walk around Fira and relax. An excellent day. Jo. …


A Walk Around Piraeus, Greece.

19th June 2013

The next stop was the port of Piraeus. Which is the gateway to Athens. Piraeus turned out to be much better than we expected. It would have been far too hot to revisit The Acropolis. Jo.   …


A Walk Around Bari in Puglia, Italy

18th June 2013

Bari is the capital of Puglia. As usual we did our own thing, shunning the organised and expensive excursions. We walked from the ship. I just used the map from ‘Rough Guide to Italy’ which was more than sufficient to find your own way ar…


Portmeirion Walks 2013

31st May 2013

There were quite a few walks you could do from the hotel. An excellent three days! Jo. …


Portmeirion 2013

31st May 2013

At the end of May we had a few days in Portmeirion. I have been visiting Portmeirion since 1984, when I was 22. It provided the set for the 1968 TV series ‘The Prisoner’.   …


Mount Snowdon The Easy Way 2013

30th May 2013

We had planned to walk up Mt. Snowdon, but this time using a different route. Unfortunately my recent ascent of Scafell Pike had caused my knee to swell. I think another arthroscopy is imminent! The ascent of the Miners’ Track via the lakes and…


Christmas, New Year And The Storms 2013/14

13th January 2013

A few photos taken over the Christmas period 2013/14. Let us hope for a peaceful, non stormy new year! Jo.   …


Walney Island Sunsets

27th November 2012

Some sunsets from West Shore and North Walney Beach. …


A Walk Around Valencia

17th September 2012

Next stop was Valencia. Time constraints meant that we were unable to spend time inside any of these buildings. You would need at least a day for each of them anyway! But at least we know where to come the next time we are here! We headed back to the…


A Walk Around Cartagena

16th September 2012

After looking at Google Earth I realised that the journey into Cartagena would be an interesting one, as the bay is surrounded by mountains.   Cartegena got less than two sides in The Rough Guide to Spain. I thought it an excellent place to visi…


A Walk Around Malaga

15th September 2012

Next stop is Malaga in Andalucia. Another interesting day! Jo….


A Walk Around Gibraltar

14th September 2012

Gibraltar has its very own micro-climate, and unfortunately its British! Whilst nearby Spain was in sunshine The Rock was shrouded in cloud. A bit of a home from home! I have always wanted to visit Gibraltar, my grandfather worked here for the MOD in…


A Walk Around Tangier

13th September 2012

This particular cruise included a few places we had never been before, plus we could explore every destination on foot. Next stop Gibraltar! …


Tim’s 50th Birthday

4th September 2010

Brendan’s brother, Tim had his 50th birthday party last weekend at the L ‘Arche Community in Preston where he lives. Everyone was there! I think Tim enjoyed himself!…


Diving in Cuba

5th August 2002

In 2001 I met John and Lesley Reid in Varadero Cuba. We got on very well. John was a scuba diver so we arranged to meet up again the following year in Cuba to do some diving together. John had been diving there for a few years and knew many of the be…