Return to Thorpe Abbotts

My Father served in the 100th Bomb Group during the Second World War and was stationed at an airfield in Thorpe Abbotts, England.   After he completed 35 missions, the Army shipped him to a hospital where he learned how to talk again.   Then he started his life over.

He never wanted to return to Thorpe Abbotts and I can’t say I blame him. But I had always wanted to visit the place that must have changed him so much.  I finally got to visit Thorpe Abbotts on my last trip to England.  And I felt closer to him than I have ever been.  Strange that it took a visit to such a far away place to feel this way.  I made the  journey for me, but I had returned for him.

 I caught a train from London at Liverpool Street Station on the Norfolk line and traveled to Diss, the station closest to Thorpe Abbotts.  A few years ago, I found a stub a train ticket stub for a London to Diss journey in my Father’s old wallet among some family papers.  He had taken the same route from Liverpool Street Station when he returned to Thorpe Abbotts after a leave in London in March of 1944.  

Thorpe Abbotts is a country village surrounded by millions of acres of farmland near the east coast of England.  A perfect place for an airbase and there were many  of them up and down the English coast.  Before World War Two, Thorpe Abbots had a population of about 40.  When the airbase opened,  the Americans station there increased the population  to 3,500.

Now it is a quiet village again and the rich and valuable farmland  has been given back to the farmers to grow crops.  

Here are some pictures:

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09.UniformsandJackets10.ViewfromControlTower1944

07.TakeOffProcedure

06.OldRunway05.ModelofBase203.InsideControlTower02.FlakJacket

01.FieldsAroungTA

08.ThorpeAbbottsRoad

The tall structure on the left side of the road is All Saint’s Church.  Some members of the 100th Bomb Group were married there.  Many more had funeral services there.

If you are in the area, try to visit Thorpe Abbotts and the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum,  started in 1977 by the locals.

 

What I’m Doing this Summer

Last month I went to a Fleisher Art Memorial Sanctuary Series lecture called Jewelry Design with Hratch Babikian.    And that’s how ended up registering for a Pendant making class at Fleisher Art Memorial.  After seeing examples of  Babikian’s work

HBP

including his deftly-formed chains and exquisite clasps, I think this class is one I should not miss.

The class will  cover making jump rings and connections, design, forming and forging. For a full description of the class and registration information, press here.  To see more examples of Babikan’s work, press here and here.

That’s not all that’s happening.   Fleisher has a new jewelry studio  with a custom-made table with eight jewelry stations.

 

1.FleisherJewelryStudio1

 

2.FleisherJewelryStudio2

 

 

Fleisher is also offering a cold connections jewelry class this Summer.  For a description and registration  information, press here.   And they will be adding more equipment to the jewelry studio in the future and offering more  metal and jewelry classes.  

But wait, there’s more.  If you’ve always wanted to learn Shibori dying, the Japanese technique where you fold, twist, stitch and dye fabric with indigo,  Fleisher is offering a class this summer with fiber artist Marie Elcin.   

 

 

And be sure to check out Fleisher’s web page for information on classes like kiln-fired glass,  Art Quilting and many others.

Dubliners for a Few Days

Here are some of the sights we took in on our wanderings around Dublin recently.

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The Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square near the Dublin Writers Museum

4.GardenofRememberanceParnellSqDublin7.OConnellStatueDublin

O’Connell Monument

2.GPODublinGeneral Post Office known as the headquarters for the Easter uprising in 1916

5.InsideRestoredGPODublinThe Interior of the GPO as it appears today.  It was virtually destroyed during the Easter uprising and restored in the 1920s.  The GPO now houses the GPO Witness History Museum, a chronicle of the 1916 uprising.   You should not visit Dublin without seeing this remarkable exhibit.

1.ChristChurchDublin

Christ Church Cathedral

6.Leprechaun MuseumSignDublinLooks like the Leprechauns have gone and started their own museum.   (We skipped this one.)

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The Old Library at Trinity College

Another View of Edinburgh

This has been a good week for spinning my wheels, losing things and taking forever to get things done.  I will not bore you with the sordid details.

I had the good fortune to visit Edinburgh, Scotland recently and took hundreds and hundreds of pictures.  I decided to skip the scenic travel pictures and share the more unconventional ones  ones with you.

1.BrainandLady

My husband, apparently encountering a clown on his way to  a circus dress rehearsal.

4.Sign

It’s no stranger than an English sign in China, but the juxtaposition of “Tartan Weaving Mill”  caught my eye.

6.TheWorld

What us this world welcoming us into?

1.NewWorld

A new world disorder?

 

5.TheEnd

We can meet at the pub at The World’s End

 

7.Zombiewalk

And if the Zombies find us.

 

2.Castle

We can escape to Edinburgh Castle