Our national heritage

The Lord will watch over 
your coming and going 
both now and for evermore.  
                            Psalm 121:8 


This month friends from the US stayed for a week their first time in the UK.  As we live in Bristol they visited the SS Great Britain and wandered down the river to the city centre.  On Sunday they joined us at Bath City Church, after which we visited the Abbey, walked around the sights, had a late lunch in an old pub by the canal, and returned to visit the Roman Baths which became the highlight of their visit.

With all the rain this August I felt like saying “Woe to be in England now that summer is here,” but we found the Lord carefully orchestrated the days that if we were inside, be it in the car, or a building, it would pour with rain, but when walking around a village, castle, garden the sun came out its warmth and splendour making wonderful photo opportunities.

From the outset we joined the National Trust, and realized what an extraordinary history we have, and we were grateful they have preserved so many places.  David before leaving the US asked, as a fan of Agatha Christie’s stories, to visit her house in Brixham.  As we drove to Devon I realized just how much of a green and pleasant land we have, helped by hedges which have grown so thick and high you can’t see the houses behind them!

It was fascinating to hear Agatha’s very refined voice on a radio interview. And discover that on archaeological digs with her second husband she’d think up plots and when back in Devon she'd write them and we saw the very small typewriter she used.  Her typing speed couldn’t have been over 60 wpm, unlike today typing errors weren’t automatically adjusted, and cutting, pasting and editing would mean retyping a whole page.   It was no mean feat to write a book in those days, and she did one a year! 

A glassed door bookcase had several rows of her first edition books along with the film script of ‘Dead Man’s Folly’ signed by David Suchet who plays Poirot. When we returned home after the traditional fish and chips in Brixham Harbour we watched that film made at her house.  We saw again the extensive gardens and the boat house where the murder took place, and spotted that her house had been interchanged with another! 

Our friends also enjoyed Lacock where the ‘Cranford’ period drama was filmed, along with the Abbey which was used for Harry Potter.  I preferred Castle Combe as a preserved village, and they were thrilled to know “War Horse” was filmed there.   Cardiff Castle was preferred to Dunster as more how they imagined one to be.   They took hundreds of photos including my traditional offerings of  roast beef with Yorkshire pudding; sherry trifle; Cornish pasties; strawberry cream tea; 'Toad in the Hole' and apricot crumble. 

They went on to cruise the Norwegian Ffords, had two days in London and as you read this they are on the plane with many memories to take home.  
                                                                          Ruth Johnson