Sunday, 21 September 2014

Shattered! Malvern Fleamarket and O.E. placenames

The early sun on the Malvern hills yesterday morning.  We were up at 3.45 a.m. and away an hour later for the long drive to the showground for the latest Fleamarket.  We got to Bronllys before there was a noticable lightening of the sky, behind Hay Bluff.  That was over an hour's drive from home.

We have a slightly changed route now, which avoids driving through the middle of Hereford, and involves joining what used to be the old Roman Road, from Stretton Sugwas  Eastwards.  Fascinatingly, "Stretton" means "farmstead or village on a Roman road", and Sugwas means "alluvial land frequented by sparrows"!!!  Love it.  We pass a turning to the village of Stoke Edith too, and it's believed that the Edith referred to was the wife of Edward the Confessor . . .  The name appears in records as early as 1180.  Stoke means "outlying farmstead or hamlet", a secondary settlement.

We turned to get into the back of Malvern near Cradley.  That was a "woodland clearing of a man called Creoda".  Driving through small fields and orchards, you could almost be transported back in time.

It was very busy there, and many of the traders who usually went inside in the sheds, chose to be outside on such a good day.  We spoke to a trader who had elected to go inside and she said it had been very quiet - people weren't even getting that far - having spent their money outside one suspects.

The textiles corner of one stall - which, when we looked up, we found was manned by a friend of ours!

Older furniture shabby chicced - or something . . .

Sleep in the front and cook in the back.  Great idea!

A Cecil Aldin coaching print I woulden't have minded.  The use of a coloured team is interesting, especially they are horses with a bit of blood about them.  I know that a coloured horse was "permissible" as long as it was the off-side wheeler (I think) in a team of otherwise solid-coloured horses.

What a lovely farmstead and animals - I would have loved this as a child.

I don't know who Mrs Cox of Badgeworth was but this Barge Teapot and set of three jugs was commissioned and made for her in 1890.  Apparently the end of the canal was in Derbyshire, where Mrs Cox would have left her order on one canal trip on her barge, and then picked it up/paid for it when she returned.  Badgeworth is on the outskirts of Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.  I can only assume that Mrs Cox was perhaps widowed, but carried on running her business - and successfully.  These pieces were unique.  Badgeworth was the "enclosure of a man called Baecga", first mentioned in 862. . .

This takes me back - it was dated 1981 and shows butterflies and insects in great detail.

I fell in love with this quilt, and loved the way the background had been hexagons of the same material (rather than the flower garden bits being appliqued to a wholecloth background.  This yellow material had a slight raised pattern on it too.  The price was £50.  I was down to my last £10!  I can't even hope that it is there next time because the next date is in 3 weeks' time and clashes with the Militaria Fair we are doing at Laugharne.  Ah well, perhaps it may be there in December . . . or perhaps I should just make myself one!

Another very pretty quilt, also out of my pocket though I didn't ask the price (stallholder not about).

I had looked at a bright and pretty squares quilt like this on one of the outside stalls, and was quite tempted to offer until I noticed that the maker had obviously just sewn strips of squares together, and hadn't been too accurate in her piecing and although there were slight overlaps in the quilt, right in the middle was a glaring one - about 3/8" out, and I couldn't face unpicking the damn thing to try and put it right.  A lot of work . . .

Two more offerings on an inside stall.

Anyway, after 6 hours on our feet, we decided we would head for home, via Ledbury ("fortified place on the river Leadon" - Leadon being derived from the Celtic meaning "broad stream") so we could get a bottle of wine . . . my monthly treat.

Finally, at Willersley ("woodland clearing of a man called Wiglaf"), the increasingly decrepit Cats' Cottage has recently been auctioned and sold (a breath away from collapse, and possibly as a result of pressure from the Council).  I do hope that it is rebuilt in the vernacular and not flattened and replaced by a bungalow . . .


  1. Nice to see familiar places :) Please do call in sometime :)

  2. I did think of you as we were going round by Stretton Sugwas yesterday, but believe me, we were just TOO TIRED to be neighbourly. We have decided to have a day out in Herefordshire when we DON'T have to be up at an ungodly hour, and have no deadlines to meet, so I will keep you posted.

  3. I love that house and, yes, I'm sure you're right about the council. I went all doey eyed at the farm toys. Heaven. I had to make my stables and horses out of cardboard. They were quite nice actually. My mum, being an art teacher, would bring me brown card from school for the outside of the buildings and I would even cut those lovely Victorian stall dividing thingies with their perforations. That's not what they're called but I'm sure you know what I mean! xx

  4. I am exhausted just reading of your day!

  5. Oh, to have been in Malvern...but won't be over to the UK for 6 weeks and I don't think I could cram much more in our house....!

  6. Em - I had the Britain plastic horses (a carrot sack full!) and shoe-box stables. I know what you mean about the Victorian stall dividers - we had them in a place I used to work. Wooden planked bottom, and cast iron tops. We've been watching that poor cottage gradually disintigrate for the past 10 or so years . . .

    Pat - I'm OK until I stop, then I'm good for nothing!

    lynda - enjoy your visit, and what a shame you won't be able to shoe-horn in a visit to a Malvern Fleamarket. The next one is 12th October anyway (clashes with a Militaria Fair we are doing) and then it will be the 7th December before the next one. Have a lovely holiday, and wave if you are heading our way!

  7. Goodness what a day.
    Like Weaver I am tired just reading.
    Lovely photos though and do I see sun ?

    cheers, parsnip

  8. parsnip - we are having - and thoroughly enjoying! - an Indian Summer, which makes up for a poor August. Overall though we have had a wonderful hot summer - long overdue I might add! It was 70 deg. yesterday, so no complaints.

    It IS a long day and takes a bit of getting over.

  9. What a treat to see Malvern where I was at school from 1959-67!
    I love the landscape of the heart of England.
    Yes, the child's farm was bliss - I, too would have loved it.
    Thank you for a super post. I'm an ex-pat in New York - so love seeing posts of England. I'm a friend of Pat Thistlethwaite (Weaver of Grass) and love my virtual visits to her.

  10. Hi Elizabeth, nice to meet you. You will have many memories of Malvern then, having been at school there for 8 years. I doubt it has changed that much! I'm glad to have stirred the memories for you anyway. New York must be quite a bit different to Malvern!!

  11. Six hours on your feet.....oh I would have been so weary and bad tempered by then, even in such great surroundings.

  12. Sadly, wasn't me who bought the House of Cats. Now we need to keep an eye onb planning applications for the area.