Barton Under Needwood

On this fine morning I had a job interview close to a small village called Barton Under Needwood, and like many of these small villages it is an interesting place that really needs a lot of investigation to be able to appreciate it. Live there? maybe, although I expect it would take a bit of getting used to.  My route took me on the number 7 bus that heads out into the direction of Burton on Trent, although my destination was somewhere between Alrewas and Burton on Trent. The village of Alrewas I had encountered before when I visited the National Memorial Arboretum in April. It too is a small village and it had a very nice war memorial too. My route would end at Barton Lodge, and that seemed to be the closest stop to where I wanted to be, but the bus driver took me 2 stops further down which was even closer to my destination. The lodge is a really nice building, but I have no idea what the purpose of it actually was/is. It is also in an awkward place to photograph.

Because I am a perpetual panicker when it comes to being late, I am always early, and on this day I had an hour to kill, so I consulted my handy map and headed back the way I had just come to the first church that popped up.  That church happened to be a really stunning building that dates back to 1533, and it is known as The Parish Church of St James.

It is a very pretty church on the inside, with an atmosphere that is pleasant, but not heavy, and I was able to stroll around and look at the windows and memorials and all the other trappings of these small churches that are the centre of their communities.
I suspect the warm sunny weather may have contributed to the beauty of the church as it played on the stain glass windows. Outside the church there was a substantial old graveyard as well as a newer extension. There are 8 CWGC listed casualties in the graveyard and I was able to pick 5 of them without really looking too hard.

Outside the church, on a small fenced island is the village War Memorial, and the street in front of the church had a nice collection of old houses and of course the local pub (or one of the local pubs I should say). 

The churchyard of St James’ Church  has 8 casualties buried in it, and there are two wall memorials inside the church and a display relating to Private Francis George Keeling who lived in the village and who was killed on the 19th of May 1915. He is remembered on the grave of his brother who is buried in the churchyard. I have created a “community” on Lives of the First World War to commemorate the men on these two memorials.

My watch was reminding me that time was marching so I headed towards my destination which was about 1,5 km away. It was a pleasant walk, through a mostly residential area. I also passed the village pond,
and this small body of water led me to another thing that was curious about: canal and narrow boats. This area does have an extensive marina close by and a canal flows parallel with a portion of the road. I would have to cross this canal to get to the place where my interview was going to happen. Would I be lucky today?

For once I was, and this beaut glided past me just as I arrived at the towpath. One of these is my version of a dream home, whether it is stationary or gliding down the water is irrelevant; I want a narrow boat!!  Oddly enough this is the closest I have come to one so far, and the only one I have actually seen up close and personal sailing down a canal .

Excitement over I went for my interview which did not work out too well. Don’t call us, we won’t be calling you!

It was now just a case of retracing my steps back the way I came. I had 45 minutes to get to the bus stop, although I could also walk up to the church again and look around a bit more. I was tempted to pause for a pint while I was there, but needed my change for bus fare.

Unfortunately I had pretty much seen all there was to see in the village and so I had to hang around at the bus stop while time passed. I could not help but think of that narrow boat though, I really need to get to the marina and have a good look at those beauts.

I am generally not a fan of boats, but these are a whole different kettle of fish altogether, although I am sure that they too are really deep holes that you end up throwing money into.  While I was waiting I had a phone call, and I crossed the street to get away from the noise of a lawnmower, and spotted this guy in the courtyard of the lodge. He is a beaut.
Did I mention how nice the church was? yes I did, and will leave this post with some more images from the church. It is not often that you find one of this age, and very rare to be able to get into it too. Who knows, maybe one day I will be around here again, and the marina will be in my sights!

DRW © 2015-2021. Images migrated 30/04/2016, expanded war memorial section slightly 11/01/2021

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