Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wednesday 18th January 12

A pretty good day although I missed a phone call in the morning... the Co-op 'Will-Making' people that I'd asked to ring for a quote rang off just before I got to the phone.  Shame they didn't wait until the answerphone kicked in!

Never mind, it wasn't that important. I don't have the feeling I'm going to pop my clogs just yet. I will ring them sometime.  I got on with the day, Gill had gone to a felting course at the Steiner School and I bumbled around, doing a bit of housework and plenty of Scrabble and other 'net-based stuff.

Gill came back and we had lunch and as she was going to get our eldest at 5.30, I cycled with our youngest's bike to the Steiner School to pick him up, going via Alligator to collect compostables which went on the Steiner School pile to rev it up a bit.

I then did a bit of stuff outside for an hour, and then came in to get ready to go to work, getting to David's at 6.15, made him his meal and then wheeled him to the Friends' Meeting House to the YAYAS (York Architectural and Yorkshire Archaeological Society) meeting, which was on the Backhouse family of York, presented by Penelope Dawson-Brown, President of the Ancient Society of York Florists.

She spoke about 3 generations of the Backhouse family, Quakers who had a nursery in the early 1800s at Toft Green, then moved to Fishergate, then to Holgate. One of them, a James Backhouse, travelled extensively to Australia and S. Africa, spreading Quaker teachings and botanising, collaborating with Hooker, the first curator of Kew. The West Bank nursery was sold in the 1930s to the Hamiltons, who then bequeathed the land to the City of York.   The big house the Backhouses had built overlooking a gigantic rockery, built to resemble the Alps, was knocked down, and the rockery bulldozed into the lakes.  The land was used to build loads of housing, and the open space left became West Bank Park.  There was a wonderful slide-show, of really old photographs, one showing Holgate Windmill in the distance.  This is a bit of York's history which isn't very well known, and I think it probably needs better documentation.

I took David home, we got our diaries up to date with some future work days, and I cycled home via a logpile.

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