Thursday 14 October 2021

Staying in Stratford

 A day not doing a great deal! We had decided to take the maximum stay in the basin as, overall, we have more than sufficient time to return to base, although there is a trip back home for a dentist appointment for Mike at the end of net week.

In the morning Mike did very little - read, catch up on social media, pass the time! 

Christine visited the shops as she had one or two clothes items in mind, partly to replace worn out items! She came across a newly redeveloped and pedestrianised area (costing £1.2 million), all clean and  smart with a new statue of Shakespeare close to his birth place. He looks as if he is setting out on his adventure to London to find fame.

After lunch the first task was to book our COVID booster jabs for as soon as we return - we have had out text invitations in the last couple of days. In order to ensure that we could have appointments together this was done by phone. It is encouraging to see that at least the mass vaccination programmes have come on a long way in recent years and the system seems to work incredibly well.

In the afternoon we took a short walk along to Holy Trinity Church - Shakespeare's church. Along the way we passed a modern memorial to the fire and rescue service in the form of a sundial. Try as she could, Christine just could not tell the time as someone had forgotten to turn on the light.


We passed through part of the RSC Gardens to the avenue of trees that line one approach to the church.

The newly arrived sunshine created a classic autumnal image in the graveyard.

Inside, the church is substantial - helped long ago by the foundation of a college to train new clergy.

In the fourteenth century a one time Bishop of \Winchester (and former vicar at this church and later Archbishop of Canterbury) funded the creation of a chantry chapel in memory of Thomas Becket who, by then, had been made a saint (later to be un-sainted by Henry VIII!) As masses had to be said almost continuously in memory of the benefactor and his family, this provided experience for the nearby trainee priests! Only a small part of the original chapel now remains as the space was later considered more useful for a large organ!

The High Altar is impressive and here is the famous memorial to William Shakespeare. We were not allowed any close to get a better photo.

The choir stalls have a set of very ornate and quite special misericords.

The Sanctuary Knocker.

After leaving the church we walked back to the foot chain ferry, a traditional crossing that goes back a long time. A young student from New Zealand is a seasonal worker with Avon Boating. She woks a cross all their different options but today she was doing a shift on the ferry. Good exercise, except that she was quite good at letting passengers try their hand at turning the handle! £1 each - not quite "tuppence per person per trip" but has it kept up with inflation since Stanley Holloway immortalised the Runcorn crossing - but that had an oarsman.

The chap in the photo must have been photographing the lady all day as in the morning he had taken shots of her standing alongside the windows of nb Alchemy. Mike thinks they may find his face in some of the better shots!

We walked back to the basin along the opposite bank and back across the Tramway bridge. Just before ending our day outside we called at the information boat to sport out our licence for the Avon. (£50) Turned out that the ;lady inside could not issue the licence herself but simply passed us an internet connected device to fill in  the details online ourselves. The licence will come by email later!

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