Wednesday, January 31, 2007

County Stores

Well this is it, I had to go back this afternoon and get a photo!
While I was there I picked up everything I need to make Nigiri tomorrow, ok it was meant for tonight but something happened with an evil KFC so the less said the better!

While I was waiting outside to take the photo, a colleague from the constabulary was making an arrest a few hundred metres away, she obviously called for backup as a response car made its way to the scene with the 'Blues & Two's' flashing & blaring.
As soon as the siren was heard a dodgy looking bloke started muttering in an agitated fashion and then nipped into the shop. If you look in the near window you can see him observing the police make their arrest... How interesting... I wonder if he is wanted or just nervous around the plod???

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Bow

A little deeper into the gate itself so you can see down towards the shopping area and North Street.
There is a fantastic shop on this street called County Stores, it is full of everything you could possibly need to cook with! It kicks sand in the face of the supermarkets when you are looking for ingredients for Asian food or Italian ingredients etc. It really is good, and it is not a chain, it's the only one of its kind. Long may it fight off the standardisation of the high street!


Monday, January 29, 2007

Castle Bow

Back to the more scenic sights of Taunton...
This is looking towards the Castle Hotel with Castle Bow leading down to the main shopping area of the town.
It is a very impressive old gateway and portcullis, you can imagine being one of those Parliamentarians and trying to storm it!
Right on the left of shot is an approaching crusty/goth... Tauntons coffee shops and Vivary Park are full of goths with credit cards... take pity on them, adopt a goth...

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 28, 2007


This is a side door to St James' church.
It has been taken over by a rough sleeper or rough sleepers...
I suppose the church has always been a refuge for people who are out of luck but the idea is actually to go inside and try and get help, not to sleep outside drinking cheap strong cider and is that a Pringle container rolling around there at the back?

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 27, 2007

This is the universal British problem...The supermarkets are winning the battle for the high street, they are cheap and convenient. You can get everything you think you need there...
But one pound in every eight spent on the British high street goes to Tesco, that can't be right!!!

I buy my meat at a local butcher, I buy my vegetables at a local shop, despite all this I still contribute to the supermarkets. I can't help it, I don't earn enough to break the chain entirely.

As a world consumer force we need to inform the supermarkets that we don't want packaging, we don't want underpriced goods, we just want real food.

Somerset Space Walk

This is a one in 53,000,000 scale walk along the solar system starting in Taunton and heading off along the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal.

The walk is 13 miles long centred on the sun at Maunsel Lock.

In the middle of the stone you will see a steel needle, perched atop this is a scale model of Pluto!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Dragon Mosaic

This mosaic sits, rather randomly, just off the High Street in amongst a small collection of shops.

I have no idea where it came from or who laid it but it is a pretty splash of colour in a quiet side street!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Walking home from the town centre the other night along the river near Dellers Wharf I was struck by just how GREEN some of the conifers were alongside the path.

Even though the light was fading the trees had an almost luminous quality about them, the wind was blowing through the branches so I had to use the flash to try and freeze any movement but even without the flash this really was green green!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How many arms does Winchester have?

Well this is the Winchester Arms, obviously!
Yet another Taunton pub I have not stepped inside, I do really need to get out more...

It looks quite nice but Nelly says it used to be quite rough, she spent some time there apparently!
The sword in the stone has something to do with a little Am Dram production that goes on on the green once in a while, something else I've never seen.

For a pub in the centre of town it is pretty tucked away, I will make it my business to have a pint in there soon and report back.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 22, 2007


Not too much needs to be said about this one!

I went for a coffee the other day to a great little restaurant on the river called 'The Flying Aubergine', whilst there the colours of the juice bottles caught my eye so I took a snap.

Just what you need in the middle of a grey English winter!


Sunday, January 21, 2007

St James's

I took this tonight from the small window in my loft.

The large church is St James's, the small cross in front of it is on one end of the cricket museum, and the spire in the distance will be the subject of a later post.

Tonight a crescent moon and a star were almost touching the tower of St James's but I couldn't get them in shot as my TV antennae was in the way! Modern life is rubbish eh!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Taunton Castle

Taunton castle started as a Burh (where the word borough comes from) in the 9th century, a burh is a settlement surrounded with a ditch and rampart,
Construction of the castle proper began in 1138 by Henry de Blois, the Bishop of Winchester. At this point it was a Motte and Bailey.
In 1451 during the civil wars known as the wars of the roses a battle was fought at Taunton. In 1497 a man named Perkin Warbeck attempted to overthrow Henry VII and make himself king. His men occupied Taunton castle but they fled when a royal army approached.

Then in 1642 came civil war between king and parliament. The town sided with parliament but in June 1643 a royalist army approached Taunton and the town surrendered without a fight. It remained in royalist hands for a year. Then in July 1644 Taunton was captured by parliamentary troops. However, the royalists had not given up. In October 1644 they returned. They entered the town and the parliamentary soldiers retreated into the castle.
The royalists laid siege to the castle but they were unable to take it. They let when they heard a parliamentary army was coming. The royalists returned in April 1645. Again they captured most of the town but were unable to take the castle. This time much of the town was burned in the fighting. Once again in May 1645 parliament sent troops to Taunton. Once again the royalists fled when they heard the parliamentarians were coming. This time they did not return and soon after the king was losing the war and it ended in 1646.

In 1660, when Charles II became king he took away the towns charter (no doubt remembering how Taunton had supported parliament against his father). However it was restored in 1677. Charles II also ordered the destruction of Taunton castle to prevent it being used as a rebel base in the future.

In 1788 Sir Benjamin Hammet restored the castle.
The castle is now in daily use as Somerset County Museum.

Labels: , , , ,


Another photo from St Mary Magdalen, this time it is a detail from a monument to the fallen from the wars.
On each of the four faces of the monument is one of these square carved panels, three are relatively straight forward.
One shows the hands and feet of Jesus with the wounds caused by nailing him to the crucifix.
The second shows a representation of the trades that the dead men might have carried out in peacetime.
The third is a crossed spear and mace.

Then there is this, the fourth face, I really cannot imagine what it represents. Is it an article of clothing? What do the three die mean? One, three and six what?
I guess I am going to have to ask someone!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 18, 2007


This is one of a pair of stone carved heads, one either side of a relatively small side door to St Mary Magdalen Church in Taunton.

The church has been there for over 700 years, I wonder how original these carvings are, and what purpose they served.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Spring Sprung

After seeing a great post of an early flower yesterday I was prompted to show you the flowers on one of the trees in my back garden.

What sort of tree is it? I am embarrassed to say I have no idea! Except to say that it should be on the endangered list as it is living on borrowed time...

Quite apart from it doing itself no favours by flowering months too early, it has sealed its own fate by being way too productive. Last year it prevented a lot of light getting to my courgettes so in a few weeks the saw is coming out!

I don't know if we are in a natural cycle of global warming or if man has made that little nudge too many in the wrong direction but I know a lot of trees kept their leaves much longer, and have started to bud or flower much earlier than normal.
Don't annoy the trees, we rely on them!

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Classic Truck

This is a Bedford TJ Tipper from around 1967.

On New Years Day Taunton was invaded by literally hundreds of classic cars, some more classic than others (Sinclair C5 anyone?..... no, me neither!)
By the time I had got myself out of the house to go have a look they were all leaving! Inexcusable really as they were gathered no more than 500m away from my front door at the cattle market.

Never mind, I am sure they'll be back next year.

While I mention the cattle market; it was announced last week that it is to close in a years time and move to Bridgwater, about 20 miles north.
This will be more convenient for the farmers but a real shame for Taunton as there has been a market on that site for at least 1000 years.
I will definitely get some photos from the market before it closes.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 15, 2007

High Street

This is Taunton High Street looking towards Vivary Park in the distance.

We went for a short walk this morning just to get out of the house, I woke up with a man-cold so needed to clear my head.

The sun was really bright and so low in the sky that everyone was walking around with eyes screwed up. Suppose we should have worn sunglasses but this is Somerset not California you know! ;)

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Another animal tonight 'cos, lets face it - I haven't had chance to leave the house and get a shot of Taunton since I got the mac back!

This is one of the three lizards that live on my kitchen wall, in fact this one only took up residence tonight... He's the most subdued, the other two are more colourful, but I thought the new boy should get the publicity tonight.

Labels: ,

Friday, January 12, 2007

Return of the Mac!

Well I finally got the mac back from repair!

It might take me a day or two to get some photos organised but until then...

I took this on New Years Day, we have had a fair amount of rain lately and the swan was working really hard to swim up current.

It is good to be back!

Labels: ,

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from