Friday, 9 April 2010

To Balsham, Bottisham, Fulbourn - and a very pleasant surprise, but more of the latter later.

Sue went back to Bottisham today to visit elderly friends and even more of her cousins whilst I headed to Balsham, which was huge fun, extremely interesting and most rewarding, and where I had a very pleasant surprise - but more of the latter later.

Balsham is a fine village. It means a lot to both the missus and I. Sue's gggggg grandmother, Mary Wakefield (1724 - 1792), was born there and married John Chambers (1711 - 1765), of Woodditton. I have done business with Balsham Buildings and the old KNS agricultural engineering company. And Jim Golightly, who was the head teacher at the Meadow School, taught our daughter and son when he was head at Swaffham Bulbeck. So, not only do I know the place well, it is also somewhere that is extremely interesting. Today, it was also rewarding, for I had numerous meaningful and helpful conversations with local people and others (one from West Wratting who wanted a poster and a couple visiting their grandchildren all the way from Scotland. As I am one fourth part Scots, I was able to share pleasant chat with them).

Here is one charming scene showing Balsham at its Spring-time best.

And here is another taken from the same place and of the super village sign.

Just to wow my overseas readers, this must surely be the prettiest butcher's shop in the world. I went in and left my kindest regards for my old friend, Mr David Kiddy, of The Yole Farm. (I have no idea where the unusual farm name came from: I will have to ask).

Here is the website of 'The Yole Farm Butcher's Shoppe' -

- and I am pleased to note that the management states, "Our vegetables are from the Fens wherever possible."

Now for the pleasant surprise. I met - for the first time - Mr John Cowan, the Labour candidate for South East Cambridgeshire, pounding the same Balsham street as I was. John is clearly not as knowledgeable about the consituency as I am - I believe that he is a Norfolk man - but I think that he is a natural learner. We exchanged pleasantries and leaflets and he agreed that I might photograph him for my blog. Here you are, John, and thanks. See you again at the hustings - and at the count!

This evening, Sue and I visited the village of Fulbourn together and we had a great time. We met - amongst many others - Mr Ben Parker, a retired farmer who is also a great gardener. He does his own garden to perfection and also plants and cares for a large area of open space near his home, just for the love of it and for the enjoyment that he gives to others. Ben took one of my posters and Sue took a picture of Ben and I.

Bearing in mind my anti-fox hunting stance, I couldn't resist one last picture. Believe it or not, this is an actual street sign in Fulbourn and it signifies the way to a small but select estate of houses.

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