Stories from England

Story in Glass

I thoroughly enjoyed your article on English churches. Every church contains some fascinating detail which reaches out over generations in a very personal way.

I particularly enjoy stained glass windows which tell a story without recourse to words, and a favourite can be found at the church of St Nicholas at Newington-next-Hythe in Kent.

This depicts what looks like three children being pickled alive in a tub. Indeed, it is true, for the window relates the story of St Nicholas, patron saint of children.

17. Autumn in England


The hapless youngsters had been sent to school in Athens and had been instructed to call on St Nicholas to ask for his blessing. On the way they stopped at the inn of a wicked innkeeper who, being short of bacon, attempted to pickle them in a bacon tub.

Fortunately, St Nicholas saw their plight in a vision and miraculously revived

the murdered schoolboys. So

much drama encapsulated in one stained glass window!

Church Museum

The problem of preserving our churches is a pressing one as your feature, Treasures on Earth, made very clear. It is therefore most encouraging to find that even if churches no longer function as places of worship, they

still thrive when put to another use.

A striking

example is Normanton Church which dates back to the early 19th century and is almost all that remains of the historic Normanton estate in the old county of Rutland follow-ing the creation of a reservoir.

Standing proudly at the head of a peninsula at the eastern end of the lake, it makes a prominent landmark and is now put to good use as a Water Museum for Anglia Water, see more here.


Hidden Treasure

I recently

stopped for refreshment at the Old New Inn at Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cots-wolds.

To my delight I found in the pub’s garden a fabulous one-

ninth scale exact model of the village.

If you are

visiting the area, I strongly recommend calling in to see this unlikely treasure.

Do readers know of other sweet surprises to be found in unexpected corners of our island?┬áDo you want to learn something about treasures in France? – check this┬ácompare lille hotels website.

Tracing Relatives

Our genealogical society is in the process of recording the tomb- stones of the Wynb erg Cemetery, one of the oldest in South Africa. Many of the graves are of the heroes of the 1899-1901 South African War. Readers who are trying to trace distant relatives who came to South Africa may like to get in touch and I will try to obtain information about their ancestors.