It was Rhythm Dude’s birthday last week end and as part of the celebrations we packed ourselves, picnic lunches, rucksacks and a cooker into the van and headed north to meet up with one of his best friends. HWH and the three boys set out walking for the day, and the girls and I found our way into Gloucester to do some exploring.
With all that is happening in our world which necessitates more than ever that we pray, make wise decisions and pray some more, it was good to have a day simply for fun!
One of the unforeseen benefits of home ed is that it has developed curious minds in all of us. I love going to a new place (mainly UK for us) and simply exploring and learning some new history as we go along.
We discovered that Gloucester’s history dates back to Roman times when a fort was established around AD48. It was then given “Colonia” status (a place for retired soldiers) by Emperor Nerva in AD97. An archeological dig discovered a bit of a statue of the Emperor riding on his horse.
There was originally a Benedictine Abbey on the site which is now the Cathedral. King Henry III was crowned here in 1216 when he was only 9 years old. Later it was a place of pilgrimage to the shrine of of Edward II who was killed at nearby Berkeley Castle in 1327.
The dock area has been recently regenerated. It was once a bustling Victorian port playing its part in international trade. The first “railway” pulled wagons like the one below and was powered by horses!
The town, along with many other ports (Bristol, Southampton, London) was heavily bombed during the second world war. Thus most buildings are post war, but amongst these are a few older gems.
We particularly liked this old coaching inn.
Our main purpose of the day was to pay a visit to the shop of the Tailor of Gloucester. (Picture at top). This proved to be quite as delightful as we’d anticipated.
Beatrix Potter visited Gloucester when staying with her cousin nearby, and whilst there heard the strange tale about Mr Pritchard, the tailor. He had been commissioned to make a suit for the mayor. He cut out the fabric and left it in the shop to be made up the following week. However, when he arrived on Monday morning it was finished, all but one button hole. Beside it lay a note saying “no more twist”.
It later emerged that a couple of the tailor’s employees had let themselves in after a night of revelry, and waking up the next morning didn’t want anyone to discover they had a key and had let themselves in. So, to pass the time they made up the suit.
From this, Beatrix Potter created the charming story we know today.
The back room of the tiny museum is decorated to resemble the kitchen in the book,
complete with hiding mice (knitted ones thankfully!)
as in the story….
We had such fun exploring. We laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. For a few hours my mind was taken from our world’s current turmoils. Seeing these snippets of history reminded me of the very many times of hardship our nation has been through;wars, political turmoil, unstable economy, disease.
Our one constancy is our God, our rock, our redeemer, the Maker of heaven and earth. I am so thankful he is sovereign. And knowing this allows me, in the midst of global turmoil, to be able to pause for a while and find beauty and delight in small things. To restore my soul.