Saturday, 3 December 2016

I only went out for a paper!...

But, as things do, the fact was, I had my camera and I was in a mood to run around a bit and give the car a few miles, so it naturally happened that I took a few pics of local places of interest.  Not the sort of interest that gets a place in the Batsford Guides, you understand, but my kind of interest. Vernacular architecture mainly.  Take this, for instance.  The Church Hall.  It's closest to the church, of Emneth's three halls, but could, I suppose be the Central Hall.  As to where the Jubilee Hall is, I have no idea!
There is rarely an occasion that I pass by here and the lights aren't on and cars are in the car park.  I used to take my sons to SlotStox racing here when old Cyril ran it all.  He sadly died recently so I don't know if Monday nights are still race nights.  Keeping an all wooden building like this in good order must be a pretty full time job for somebody.  And who'd want the job of painting all those windows?
Very nearby is the place where Emneth's famous son lived and wrote Thomas the Tank engine, Rev. W. Audry.
The Old Vicarage

Locally are a lot of wonderfully simple bungalows, built between the Wars.  A fifth of an acre, 4 rooms, grow your own, buy on an agricultural wage or in some cases rent from the council.
Of course, many have been extended forwards, backwards and sideways or had hideous plastic windows added, but these two at one end of a well known row are pretty much original and this old, old garage is almost a thing of the past now.  Big enough only for an Austin 7, Morris 8 or Ford Y, this one is a little longer than most, but no wider.  I asked the dear old lady in the bungalow if I might photograph her garage and she told me that she was 92 and had been at the place for 60 years and the garage was there when she arrived!  In which case it's done amazingly well, apart from the bow in one side.  I doubt that it's seen a car for a long time, if ever.
I sneaked a pic from inside the car of the bungalow next door so you can see what they're like if not messed about.
Probably an original pattern door, if not the actual door, tiny panes in the fanlights, still wooden frames, concrete (pseudo stone) lintel, zinc flats over the bays, original 
chimney stacks, one each end...lovely stuff.
Another whole row of them, but showing how some pitiless souls have transmogrified the poor little places.
A view soon to be lost as the land on the left has sold in no time for development, a euphemism for the crowded building of typically unimaginative new-builds squashed in at about 15 per hectare instead of the Essex Design Guide's more sensible 8-12.
Further down the village is an example of what was built centuries ago before bungalows were invented...VERY low rise 2 story cottages.  This really is a tiny house.  Very unfortunately extended to the side and rear behind that hideous flank wall, but its essential character is still there, just.  Following the local regional fashion for not using front doors, this one has actually been blocked from use.
The chimney stack has been removed, probably in preference for central heating or a wood burner with a flue at the rear.  This is at least 4 feet shorter than the already small cottage next door.
And so we purchase our paper at the local stores cum Post Office and return home.  I never use the big Spar shop as it is run by an unpleasant, shorts-wearing, wheezing South African.  Few things could put me off a person more than those dubious four qualifications.  He overcharges too.

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