At long last, I have caught up with blog entries – hopefully from here on in the blog will be more or less contemporaneous!
The forecast for today was rainy and miserable, and we decided to visit the Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield, a city I have never been to. When we got there it turned out that the museum was hosting a 1940s themed day, and there were lots of people in 1940s costume and stalls, as well as vintage cars and motorbikes and a stage with 1940s music. The museum itself was also very interesting (if truth be told I would rather have had fewer stalls and been able to see some of the exhibits about steel), and there were interactive displays including one about how a hydraulic press works. Halfway round, a woman dressed as Rosie the Riveter taught a group of visitors a Gracie Fields song (“I’m the girl who makes the thing”), and then came what we all agreed was the highlight of the visit: the huge River Don steam engine in motion. The engine itself is massive – about two stories high, with huge pistons driving an enormous wheel – and the sheer scale of the thing makes it hard to believe it can move. At full speed it was awe-inspiring.
After lunch we returned home for a quiet afternoon, and after dinner we went to see the well blessing in Bamford, just up the road from the campsite. The Tour de France came through here and nearby Hathersage a couple of weeks ago, and the well dressing was amazing – a cyclist heading through a vale with local scenes either side of him. The well blessing itself was rather Christian – having never been to one of these things I had somehow expected it to be a bit more pagan – and I surprised myself by remembering most of the words to ‘Praise My Soul The King of Heaven’ which used to be my school song. Rowan and I then went along to the rest of the ceremony, which took place in the church but was not religious, and watched the new Carnival Queen, Princess and Rosebud get crowned before the school choir sang some songs. Rowan was extremely impressed with the whole thing (especially the sparkly dresses and tiaras) and for once went to bed without demur when we got back.