Tuesday 15 December

No decorating today but a trip to Derbyshire. We left early, and it was sunny and bright the whole way. We stopped in Alfreton to look at the church, and were able to look around because we had made a prior arrangement with the vicar. He was only too delighted to have visitors. His congregation is 27 at the best of times. Alfreton was a former mining town and is nowadays quite a deprived area. The fine church shows that the town was a great agricultural centre in its heyday, and Alfreton Hall, now a conference centre in “normal” times, would have sent a good few people to the local church no doubt.

It does make you wonder how these places are going to survive: such an important part of our history.

A rather scary character on the outside of the church porch.

We went on to Ogston Hall, where a friend is currently living and renovating a flat in the roof of this stately home. A beautiful place, still in private ownership, overlooking the Ogston reservoir which was built in 1958. It gives a kind of Capability Brown aspect to the house.

There are still relics of its former days. The flat was clearly the servants’ quarters and the bells are still there, with the room names above. I found this notice inside one of the cupboards. I hope you can read some of the entries.

And finally…………………I mentioned weather vanes recently so here is one for starters, from Ogston Hall.

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