Category: Salisbury

Closing the door on Salisbury

In September 2013 I started full time work in Salisbury, and moved there in late November 2013. This afternoon I left it for good. It has been quite a year for me, but I guess I have to look at opportunities and developments and occasionally these may require change. Leaving Salisbury and my job was one such change. Initially I was not too keen on Salisbury, its only really redeeming feature seem to be that it had a cathedral in it, and that magnificent building was really an experience on its own. 
Initially I stayed very close to work, in an area called “The Friary”, which had somewhat of a chequered reputation. But I did have a nice spot but when an affordable place came available to rent I grabbed it like a shot, moving in in mid April this year.
My new walk took me from one end of Salisbury to the other, through town and the many shops and business that would become almost second nature to me. It was a 25 minute walk and by the time I got to work (or home) I was usually bushed.
This odd structure is the Poultry Cross, and it marks the site of the former markets. It was constructed in the 14th century, and is a popular hang out for pigeons, smokers, cellphone weenies and sitters arounders, The market is usually held on a Tuesday and Saturday, and while not my favourite place did net me a few interesting odds and ends. The market square is also home to the Guildhall and the War Memorial; where I commemorated Remembrance Day this year.  Naturally I would gravitate to the local cemeteries, there were two larger ones in Salisbury, namely Devizes Road and London Road cemeteries. Both are quite old and I did have lots of fun walking through them. London Road in particular was a very nice visit, and I did find all the war graves and got very muddy while doing so. (It’s an occupational hazard)
Salisbury was a very large training area during the war years, and still has a number of military bases and facilities on Salisbury Plain. Unfortunately the furthest I seemed to get there was Old Sarum and of course Boscombe Down Aviation Collection. I had visited Stonehenge with my landlord from Southampton during 2013, and while I was suitably impressed I did not get there a second time.
We also visited Woodhenge on the same day, and it was quite a strange place to see.
I even attempted a panoramic stitch of it, and while it is not perfect you get the general idea. (Image is 1500×426).  Salisbury is really a tourist attraction, and somewhat of a retirement home, with its narrow pavements and strange alleyways it can sometimes lead you to surprisingly pretty buildings. In general though the city is a mix of olde, old and recent, but there is not a lot of work available so it does tend to be a destination commuted to (and from). The station is not a pretty building at all, if anything it is somewhat of an ugly place, although occasionally steam powered specials would make an appearance. It was also the site if a very bad train accident in 1906 but at the time of posting there was nothing to see that commemorates the accident on the station. However, I believe a plaque was erected recently. 
blacks 038
 
There is a wall memorial in the cathedral, although I would have thought that the station would have been a much more relevant place for it.
The rest of the time South West Trains and First Great Western make the station their junction. There are 3 lines converging on Salisbury. One heads towards Southampton/Portsmouth, the other heads towards Andover, Basingstoke, Woking, Clapham Junction and London Waterloo, while the third heads west to Bath Spa, Bristol Temple Meads, and Cardiff Central. I did a lot of odd visits on these lines, and probably once winter had finished would have gone a bit further, although an ankle injury really messed up my travels towards the last few months. There were a number of interesting museums and churches worth occupying myself with, and I did the rounds of most of the accessible ones.  The prettiest must have been St Lawrence in Stratford Sub-Castle  as well as St Andrews in Laverstock.

Walking around town on my rounds was always interesting, especially since there are 5 rivers converging on Salisbury. In January we had a flood scare, and I must admit it was quite interesting watching the levels rise and the flood plain become a lake. The Avon used to flow past the back of the house where I was staying, and it was fun feeding the ducks when I had some spare bread.

 
Naturally there were also coots, swans and pigeons, but the water birds had the advantage when it came to food.  I think that one of the all abiding memories I will take with me from Salisbury are of the people I worked with for just over a year. They made Christmas fun and often inspired me to do things. A new workplace does mean making new friends and that is always difficult. But I will have to make a go of it irrespective. Tomorrow is week 2 of my new job and new home. So lets see what I can find in Basingstoke. 

And so I close the door on Salisbury. I will miss it, and I take fond memories with me. I never did get to the spire of the Cathedral, or revisit Bemerton, neither did I get back to Arnos Vale in Bristol. Oh, and that pub that forgot my breakfast? you probably lost a lot of money from me, much more than the lousy 3.19 that you nicked from me. I will miss my little home that I had, and will look for a new one. London is closer and I have cemeteries to visit. But first I must unpack all this stuff I brought with me; where did it all come from?

Random Photographs.
War Memorial

War Memorial

The Guildhall

The Guildhall

DRW © 2014-2020. Images recreated 21/04/2016

Updated: 24/03/2020 — 09:42

Remembrance Day, 09/11/2014

By the time I finish this, Remembrance Day will be fading. I am in a new city, starting a new job tomorrow, and it has been an overall hectic weekend. My plan was to attend the commemoration in Salisbury, and immediately afterwards to head for Basingstoke. The weather on Saturday had been wet and cold and I was really worried that the day would be rained out. However, like last year in Southampton, the sun graced us with its light. It was a glorious, if not slightly chilly day. 

The Wreath Laying would take place outside the Guildhall and at the War Memorial on the market square. Because of its placing I have always struggled to get decent images of the war memorial. Usually the sun rises behind it so any morning shots just don’t work, and then it gets really busy around here and there are gazillions of people around. I guess I have always been meaning to get better shots, but I never have.

Because of my moving I arrived just as the column of old soldiers and servicemen and women were moving off and there were crowds lining the streets to see them go. Poppies (and puppies) abounded. 

The crowd around the memorial was 5 deep in places, and security was everywhere. I have to admit that  I was glad to see so many parents bringing their children along, and how many were wearing their poppies with pride.

And once the columns had arrived, the dignitaries came out of the Guildhall and joined the ceremony. It was not a long drawn out one, but the poignant call of The Last Post made everybody aware that we were here at a special time, and that there were no old soldiers from the First World War to join in. 

After the 2 minute silence there was the Kohima Epitaph, which really sums it all up.
When you go home
Tell them of us and say
For your tomorrow
We gave our today.

After the official wreaths were laid, and the soldiers and scouts marched off, it was time to approach the memorial and if need be pay our own tribute. 

The memorial was bedecked with the familiar red and black wreaths that are used on these occasions. And there was a green poppy field to plant any poppy crosses on.

I laid a cross to represent my family members who had served, and for the friends that lost their lives in the border war. They are the ones I remember. Each of those small plywood crosses represents many things, but often it is tangible link between those today and those who never came back.

 

And then it was time to go, I had a train to catch and I would be leaving this city where I have lived for just under a year to start anew elsewhere. But I left a small part of me behind,  and when I pass this way next weekend I shall stop and check on the memorial, and hopefully it will still be bright and filled with the reminders of those who went before.

In memory of Robert Owen Turner,  Herbert Turner, David Walker, Mathys Slabbert, Lionel Van Rooyen, Johan Potgieter, Peter Hall and Hennie Van Der Colff.
 

DRW ©  2014-2020. Created 09/11/2014. Images recreated 20/04/2016

Updated: 24/03/2020 — 09:47

Ready to move on

At end of the first week of November I will be leaving my current job to start a new one in Basingstoke. It was not an easy decision to make given how I have settled down here in Salisbury, but there are a number of reasons behind my decision which I will not list here. 
There are a number of things that have to be done, and looking for new accommodation in Basingstoke will be high on my list of priorities. Until the end of December I will be commuting between there and here while I pack my goodies and settle my affairs. Unfortunately my goodie collection has become somewhat bloated and so I will have to make some hard decisions in that regard too. 
Until such time as I am settled things will be chaotic and as such I wont have time to do many regular posts to this blog, although I have already seen a cemetery close to the station that is going to be one of my first visits, although when that will be I cannot say.
I was hoping to make a last trip to Southampton to see Quantum of the Seas when she arrives on the 30th, but I do not have leave available to do that in. 
So, watch this space, hopefully I will be able to start filling it up once again once I am back in business.

Updated: 04/05/2016 — 06:43
DR Walker © 2014 -2020. Images are copyright to DR Walker unless otherwise stated. Frontier Theme