Monthly Archives: June 2013

Honington and Sapiston: In Search of Robert Bloomfield

If you mention the name of Honington in Suffolk I would imagine that it is the RAF base that springs to mind and not the birthplace of a sadly neglected Romantic poet.

Honington lies to the North East of Bury St Edmunds and the South East of Thetford the birth place of Thomas Paine the author of the Rights of Man.

Although it is Honington Raf base which is most famous, the village which it takes it name from lies about a mile to the west of The RAF Base.

Robert Bloomfield the author of A Farmers Boy which was a publishing sensation was born here on the 3rd December 1766 he was educated by his mother who run the village school until he was a eleven when he was sent to work on his Uncle William Austen’s farm across the river Blackbourn in Sapiston.

NEGLECTED now the early daisy lies:

Nor thou, pale primrose, bloom’st the only prize:

Advancing SPRING profusely spreads abroad

Flow’rs of all hues, with sweetest fragrance stor’d;

Where’er she treads, LOVE gladdens every plain,

Delight on tiptoe bears her lucid train;

Sweet Hope with conscious brow before her flies,

Anticipating wealth from Summer skies;

All Nature feels her renovating sway;

The sheep-fed pasture, and the meadow gay;

And trees, and shrubs, no longer budding seen,

Display the new-grown branch of lighter green;

On airy downs the shepherd idling lies,

And sees to-morrow in the marbled skies.

From A Farmers Boy, Spring by Robert Bloomfield

Spring

View from The Village Church of Sapiston


Offord Cluny and D’Arch Cambridgeshire

Offord D’Archy and Offord Cluny makeup what is locally called The Offords.

Offord D'Arcy-2 - Village Sign

Village Sign Offord D’Archy

Although the two villages are only two miles apart they both have their own church and manor houses, the villages are fairly low lying and can be prone to flooding from The Great River Ouse, both are mentioned in the doomsday book.

Offord Cluny-3 - Village Sign

Village Sign Offord Cluny

The Offords sit between the eastern bank of The Great River Ouse and The Old North Road, Ermine Street before they make their way into Godmachester and Huntingdon beyond.

Offord Cluny-1 - All Saints Church

All Saints Offord Cluny

St Peters church Offord D’Arcy has a 14th Century tower and spire it sits beside the manor house, to all appearance it is a peaceful situation until a fast train thunders past on it way to York and Edinburgh, in fact the main coast railway line runs very close to the west of the church tower.

Offord'D Arcy-1 - St Peters Church

St Peters Church Offord D’Arcy


A Guilt Complex, Espresso, Burns Suppers and A Little Help From Oscar

I am currently suffering with a severe bout of guilt, I blame it primarily  on all the experts, commentators and their advisers that are constantly  instructing or should that be coercing us into reducing;

  1. Our alcohol,
  2. Take less salt
  3. Consume less fat
  4. Drink less coffee
  5. Avoid growing old

to mention just a few.

Now I can put my hand on my heart and ease my guilt a little, by having  very little difficulty in satisfy their demands with items one, two and  three.

But in all conscience to drink less coffee seems a step to far, as a  freshly made espresso as the day dawns and before I throw a leg out of bed in  the morning is as essential as a single malt whisky and a haggis is to a Burn’s supper.

As far as halting the progress of age, remaining child like or even  youthful I fear it already is too late. I never was that fortunate to know a  painter named Basil Hallward anyway and my name is not Dorian, it would also be my  misfortune that someone would find the portrait and do the honourable  deed.

“The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young  know everything.”
Oscar Wilde

Tea pot