The Smallest Museum in Britain


* Scientists in Norfolk need more volunteers to test whether eating chocolate can help women with diabetes;
* An earthquake has moved New Zealand a foot closer to Australia;
* Birds in towns get up later than birds in the countryside;
* Every week, 52 pubs close in Britain;
* The verb ‘go’ has no past tense of its own - it has to borrow the past tense of ‘wend’;
* In a recent pile-up involving 259 vehicles near Hanover in Germany, no-one was killed.

...has finally achieved national recognition. It’s the Ferryman’s Hut Museum in Alnmouth, Northumberland. Unaware of its significance, I co-presented the Blue Bus programme from there in 2005 (on the anniversary of the Great Alnmouth Inundation). I stood outside it and mithered on about the Great Storm which changed the map of the town in 1805 - and didn’t mention the hut I was sitting outside even once.

Up to the 1960s it was used by the ferryman who would conduct people back and forth across the Aln’s mouth. It now contains framed photographs of its own history, as well as trinkets and memorabilia of the town.

If you’re in Alnmouth - and there aren’t many nicer places to spend some time - you’ll know the Ferryman’s Hut Museum is open because its curator will be sitting on a deckchair outside.

Sounds like a good place for an AGM.

Those are the words of renowned cookery writer Elizabeth David. She was talking about a concoction called Italian Salad. Here is the recipe, should you wish to chance your arm - or your tastebuds/stomach. Or not, as the case may be.

Please note that I do not accept responsibility for any consequences - gastric, marital or otherwise.

1 pint of cold cooked macaroni
0.5 pint of cooked or tinned pears
0.5 pint of grated raw carrot
French dressing to moisten
2 heaped tablespoons of minced onion
0.5 pint of cooked or minced string beans

Mix the chopped macaroni and vegetables. Moisten with French dressing, flavouring with garlic, if liked. Serve on a dish lined with lettuce leaves. Decorate with mayonnaise and minced pimento or chives.

Just a reminder that the next AGM will take place on Sunday 6 September at Tynemouth Station Market at about 1100. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

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Sid said...

As a child I had a bowl of Sheeps head broth placed in front of me on several occasions. I can tell you lovely people, that recipe of Ian's could have its good points.

Hildie said...

You found some well juicy bits of trivia there, Ian, I enjoyed soaking them up. I was particularly interested in what you said about the past tense of the verb "to go". No-one has ever pointed that out to me before. Nor had I ever even wondered about it.
Are you sure you're not kidding us about that museum at Alnmouth?!
Surely it's too titchy. Surely!

Hildie said...

More things you didn't know ....
*Just like your fingerprints, your tongue print is unique - it's just a bit sloppier!
*If you eat ice cream too quickly, the blood vessels in your head swell up and give you a 'brain freeze' headache. the blood vessels swell to warm you up because the brain has had messages from the nerves to say you're in a cold environment.
*The world's most pierced woman, Elaine Davidson, can put her little finger through the hole in her tongue.
*tendons attach your muscles to your bones and look like rubber bands. Like rubber bands, they can also snap.
*The black dot in the middle of a verruca is its blood supply.
*Butter and yogurt made from camel's milk are light green.
*the Burnt Food museum in Arlington, massachusetts, showcases black, charred food.
*If you refrigerate bananas, you'll give them chill injury ....
they'll go black and squishy.
*In 1951, the townspeople of French town Pont-Saint-Esprit were made ill by 'pain maudit' (CURSED BREAD) that made many of them psychotic. The grain used to make the flour was affected by ergot,
a hallucinogenic fungus.

Maureen said...

Well fancy that!
You got me thinking about a tiny church which is actually on the bridge at St Ives, Cambridgeshire.(Home of Oliver Cromwell and part of Geoff Capes beat when he was local bobby)
I'm sure when I visited I was told that it was the smallest church In England but apparently not ...
The smallest Inn in Britain is The Nutshell, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk at 15ft x 7ft 6in. I understand that they don't provide food as there's no room to eat it.

The smallest church in Britain is Bremilham Church, on a farm at Foxley-cum-Bremilham near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, and measures just 11 feet by 10 feet. The smallest church still holding regular services is Culbone Church near Porlock Weir, Somerset.

The smallest City in Britain is St. David's, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Although it is only the size of a village it does have a cathedral.

The smallest City in England is Wells, Somerset.
Don't we love our trivia?

Ian Robinson said...

Interesting Maureen, very interesting...
St Davids is indeed a cathedral city out there in west Pembrokeshire - the cathedral is lovely and looks totally out of place in such a small 'village' city.
England's smallest city is a little more up for grabs. When I spoke about my visit to Wells in blog 154 (it's been on tv recently because of the funeral of Harry Patch, our last link to the Great War) I avoided calling it England's smallest city because of the rival claim of Southwell in Nottinghmashire. The town is much smaller than Wells and is dominated by the AWESOME Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire's cathedral and the seat of its bishop. Strangely, the city status of Southwell seems to remain undetermined. Hmmmmm....
Yes Hildie, it's weird, isn't it? 'Went' is the past tense of 'wend' in the same way that 'sent' is the past tense of 'send'. I wonder what the past tense of 'go' was originally and why it disappeared?

Vivienne said...

Hi Folks!

Isn't the past tense of 'go' gone?

There was a lovely little chapel attached to the Rectory in Borough Road, Jarrow. My Mother often went (used to 'go') to the 8am service on Sundays, when we lived around the corner in Croft Terrace. On one occasion she was the only person in the congregation, and had to say all the responses on her own. There were times when our cat, Fluffy, followed her down to the chapel, and waited outside until she emerged to return home. Fluffy also helped my Mum to make a clippy mat. He caught the strips of material at the back of the canvas as she prodded them through the front!

Ellie said...

Oh Fluffy sounds like a wonderful cat and my head is spinning with all the trivia....
Please may I join you on September 6th at Tynemouth Station Market? I will wait with baited breath for the answer....

Ian Robinson said...

NO Vivienne, the PERFECT tense of 'go' is 'gone', thus 'I go, I went, I have gone'.
Ellie...Er....let me see

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

That's a new one to me! I haven't heard of 'perfect' tense.

Ellie, it will be lovely if you can come along on 6th Sept. I hope we have a good turn out this time.

Ian Robinson said...

Sorry for getting all schoolmasterish, Vivienne. The tenses are 'present' (I do), 'past' - sometimes called 'imperfect' - (I did) and 'perfect' (I have done). Now it's YOUR turn to lecture ME about something :-))

Vivienne said...

Hi Ian,

I already did so at The Sage, when you were littering with your cigarette dumpers! I guess that makes us even.