Tuesday 29 July 2014

Hampshire Delights Part 1......

Long time I know, and I really should be telling you about our trip to Italy in May, but we had a little getaway to Hampshire a couple of weeks ago so I thought I'd tell you about that first.

It was a coach trip (again) and we travelled down to Basingstoke, Hampshire, where we were based, on the Thursday morning stopping off at Banbury for lunch, arriving at the hotel about 5pm.    It was a long journey so we unpacked and had a short rest before getting freshened up for dinner.

The following morning we set off after breakfast to Runnymede to board a river cruise boat for a two hour trip along the Thames.  The water-meadow at Runnymede is the most likely location at which, in 1215,King John sealed the Magna Carta.   Magna Carta was the first document imposed upon a King Of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights.  Unfortunately we didn't have time to explore Runnymede as our boat was waiting for us.

It was a beautiful day as we sat up top on the boat enjoying looking at the houses along the river.

the wildlife,
other boats

before arriving at Old Windsor Lock.
There were two boats ahead of us waiting to go through the lock so we had to wait a while, then it was our turn to go through. Here's a short video of our trip through the lock.

How would you like to live in this Lockkeeper's Cottage?
We navigated the lock then the drama began!    The engine on our our boat started overheating and the captain had to turn it off, which left us drifting down the Thames!   He quickly got onto his headquarters on his radio and before too long another cruise boat arrived and they lashed the two boats together, we travelled further downstream under the steam of the other boat until it could steer ours to the bank where we could moor.   Waving the rescue boat away we waited a short while for another boat to arrive for us to transfer to, then, because we had already been out for almost two hours and had somewhere else to be, we were taken back to where our coach was parked and were on our way to our next visit.   It was a shame the cruise was cut short because of what happened but we did enjoy the excitement.

Our next visit was to Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke, where you can step into the story of Hampshire's social, retail and industrial heritage and imagine what life would have been like during the Victorian era and the 1930's as you explore the life-size streets, buildings, shops and vehicles.  Adults and children can dress in Victorian costumes, buy a 2oz ration of sweets in the 1940's sweet shop, enjoy a drink in the working Edwardian pub, climb on board some of the vehicles and see the vast collection of appliances from bygone days.

It doesn't look much from the outside does it?

Inside it's magic!

See the Marcel Wave machine above and how it worked below?
 In this next photo the item I'm holding is a posser, I used to help my grandmother do the laundry in a dolly tub using one of these to mix the laundry.

It was almost time to go home but we just had to visit the reconstructed pier with it's penny slot machines, where we put a £1 in a machine to recieved 10 x 1 old pennies to play the machines.  We had great fun, MWM won a packet of sweets on the crane grab machine, he also had his Xray taken which turned out to be a small picture of a skeleton wearing a hat and smoking a pipe and I had my fortune told by Madam Zasha!
Here's what it said:

The money which comes your way you spend wisely, although some may not think so.  We cannot all have immense wealth and this does not always bring happiness. A kind person like yourself has true friends.  The smiles on the faces of loved ones is ample reward for a few pennies well spent.

How nice is that? 

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Milestones and can really recommend it for a day out if you are in that area.  Unfortunately it was time to head back to the hotel as Milestones closed at 4.45 p.m. but as the hotel was only 15 minutes away we were able to have a much needed rest before dinner.

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 and will join me for Part 2 when we take a train ride and visit Winchester.