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Friday, 25 October 2013

Tea for 5 pence? 'Fraid not!!

First of all thank you all so much for your kind and encouraging blog comments on my previous post about my patchwork quilt.  I have almost finished hand stitching the border now.

I had a day out with a friend yesterday.  This was the friend who lives in Bristol and who I visited here.  I picked her up at the station yesterday morning and we went to Sherborne as she said she hadn't been there for ages.  Now we go back more than 50 years having met when we were both working in our first jobs in Yeovil Hospital.  We have followed our different paths over the years but the friendship has stood the test of time and distance - she was my bridesmaid, I am godmother to her son, we have much in common and whenever we meet up it is always as if it were only yesterday we saw each other and the conversation picks up where we left off last time.  I think if we saw each other every day we'd still never run out of things to say and our few hours yesterday flew by.

 We parked the car and wandered into town for a bite of lunch - sadly the prices are now many times more expensive than this notice would have you believe.  This was but one of the left-overs from this weekend's filming of Far from the Madding Crowd which were in the process of being dismantled.  The shop which advertised the lovely plum cake tea for just one shilling is in fact a dress shop in real life.

We wandered round to the Abbey where the usual grass area was covered with tarpaulins and topped with earth and gravel - hope the grass will recover though with the current wet weather I am sure it will soon pick up again.  The building with the bell tower you can see above the stumpy pruned trees is the old almshouse.

This board was obviously waiting to be picked up as it had gone by the time I came out of the health shop with my purchase.  I was glad the shop didn't still have the display of pigs heads and such like it had had earlier when it was being filmed as a butcher's shop!

 From this one which is in the process of reverting to its normal facade you will see that the information centre had been a chemist shop for a few days. 

We went in here although not to purchase bread as it is in actual fact a gift and craft shop where we had a nice poke round..

 I was rather pleased with this photo of one of the windows we came across done out as a haberdashers and with a reflection of  the abbey behind.  What stories those Abbey stones could tell if only they could talk!  I remember having all our carol services and such like in the Abbey when I was at school.

This man was busy taking down reams of brown sticky paper which had been used to cover the white paintwork - of course they wouldn't have had brilliant white back in the late 1800s I don't suppose.  As you can see he'd obviously already done the lower window frames - I wonder what they did with the telephone box during the filming?.  It was fascinating to realise just how much preparation had obviously gone into making the sets for the few days filming and how much effort was also entailed in taking it all down and putting everything back to normal.  Sherborne is a lovely town and filled with old golden stone buildings and the area round the Abbey is beautiful as it has no modern buildings to spoil it at all.  It was also used for the filming of Goodbye Mr Chips starring Peter O'Toole and Petula Clark back in 1969 and I remember the station having a different name for the duration.  I dare say they must have removed the signs when a train was due and as it isn't Clapham Junction and the trains are hourly it wouldn't have been too great a problem.  In fact this was about the time when I first met my husband and used to visit him in Surrey where he lived.  I remember being invited to spend Christmas with him and his family and my gift was tickets to see the film I'd seen being made in Sherborne,in Leicester Square!  For more photos and info on the recent filming you might like to visit Leanne's blog Tales of Simple Days .

My friend and I felt we'd enjoyed 3 different periods of time - the 1880s of the film sets, the 1960s of our memories and finally we returned to the present when we paid about 70 times the 1/- mentioned on the poster for our cup of tea and a toasted teacake (they didn't have any bread and butter and plum cake although there were various cakes on the menu).  It was very nice tea though and we enjoyed continuing exercising our tongues as we sat over our slightly more expensive teas - of course we are so much more affluent than we would have been in the 1880s or even in the 1960s so maybe the tea was in fact good value!!


  1. Such a lovely day out with your friend. Isn't it a shame that we don't have those lovely old shop signs anymore? Your post has brought to mind a lovely bakery that I used to go to as a child and they had a most magnificent shiny silver till covered in a fancy patterns and frosted and etched glass panels in the doors. Things were quality back then! x

  2. I know that I sigh for the past but am equally aware that I am so much better off in these times - and not only financially.

    That was a lovely post, thank you.

  3. Oh, doesn't that look wonderful? When you think of how some people (including me) sit and gripe at shows when they get period detail wrong (Downton Abbey accents, argh!), seeing all that work makes me realise just how careful they are. Thanks so much for sharing those three different periods - I enjoyed every one of them! Thanks for your comment on my pretty Spanish tins too - I feel really lucky to have found three of them.

  4. I was just reading about a little town being transformed early this week over on Hettie Brown's blog. How exciting to see actual photos and to find out it was your town too! Now I am excited to see this movie, I do hope it comes to our side of the pond.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Take care,

  5. Sounds like a great day... always is when we meet up with old friends isn't it? Brought back memories of our day there too. We took shelter in the Half Moon pub - a really nice place and warm and inviting on the cold windy day when we were there. Good spot for lunch later in the day too as I remember.

  6. I'd love to have seen Sherbourne dressed up for filming!
    It's a special thing to have a friend who goes back so many years isn't it? My friend Sandi was here for the day last week and we've been friends for 57 years now since she was 11 and I was10. Like you we just pick up where we left off though we don't see each other very often.

  7. So many exciting things to comment on; friends, memories, past times and one of my favourite stories in the making ooh!

  8. I work in Sherborne and it made my lunchtime walk so much more interesting last week!

  9. How lovely to share tea with a good friend.


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