Discover Bonsall’s wildlife: Talk by Natural England at the Village Hall, Sat 16th February – all welcome

Bonsall Moor

Bonsall Moor

Natural England’s Dan Abrahams, Lead Adviser (SSSIs), is coming to the village hall to talk about why Bonsall is so special when it comes to landscape, flora and fauna. Dan will be telling us about the unique flora that has evolved on Bonsall Moor and other sites. “There are a number of SSSIs around Bonsall (Via Gellia Woodlands, Bonsall Leys, Masson Hill, Rose End Meadows). Via Gellia and Bonsall Leys are within the Parish itself,” Dan said.

Sat. 16th February. Bonsall Village Hall 7.30pm

Mountain pansies on Bonsall Moor

Mountain pansies on Bonsall Moor

From coral seas, through Ice Ages, tundra and wildwood to the Bonsall Moor of today we travel through a three hundred and fifty million years to trace the origins of the Bonsall landscape and the wildlife that it supports.

Leadwort on the spoil heaps on Bonsall Moor

Leadwort on the spoil heaps on Bonsall Moor

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) means the site is one of the country’s very best wildlife and/or geological sites. SSSIs include some of the most spectacular and beautiful habitats: in Bonsall this comprises of the species-rich limestone grassland on Bonsall Moor which supports unusual and interesting plants, parts of the Via Gellia woodlands and Masson Hill. Nearby in Cromford is Rose End Meadows and the Cromford Canal.

Wild Orchids

Wild Orchids

 

Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge Monday nights BBC2 9pm

Dancing on the Edge filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

Dancing on the Edge filmed at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley

The Black Country Living Museum steps into the spotlight in Stephen Poliakoff’s Dancing on the Edge (BBC2, 9pm).  During January 2012 the Museum was transformed into a film set as Hollywood stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, John Goodman and Jacqueline Bisset joined British TV legends Mel Smith, Anthony Head, Caroline Quentin and Jane Asher in Dudley to film scenes in the Museum’s 1930s bedroom, the Darby Hand chapel and the 1900s village.

Monday 4 & Tuesday 5 February, 9pm, BBC2 and every Monday thereafter

Visit to the Black Country Museum : A trip down memory lane….

Karen and Slack's Coach driver welcome us on board

Karen and Slack’s Coach driver welcome us on board

As part of the Bonsall History Trails Project a busload of Bonsallites got the Slack’s charabang to The Black Country Museum of Living last Saturday. It was a cold but fascinating experience. Some went down the mine, some straight to the charming ‘sawdust on the floor boozer’, and some flitted from coal fire to coal fire. It seemed that every little corner of the many brick built houses had a lovely range or fire to warm yourself by.

Fish and Chips fried in beef dripping..ummmm

Fish and Chips fried in beef dripping..ummmm in the 80 year old fryer

And you got the chat – Dudley style. It was great to meet the various characters who inhabit the 26 acre site and listen to their descriptions of how tough life was between the 30’s and 50’s but also see how characterful and interesting the various the shops were. We’ve lost so much over the last 50 years – the shops here justify the phrase ‘shopping experience’.  The perfect antidote to the nippy weather was either Mushy Peas and Faggots or Fish and Chips (fried in beef dripping!).

 A welcome coal fire awaits in the wartime house

A welcome coal fire awaits in the wartime house – rationing was in force

Many of the shops and workshops (including the chippy) could have been on Yeoman Street or High Street anytime between the 40’s and 60’s. For anyone over 50 it was pure nostalgia. Many of the small forges, shoemakers and leather working shops again could have been around in Bonsall within living memory.

The charming 1930s kitchen

The charming 1930s kitchen

We left at 3.15pm but could have seen more. A great day out, highly recommended both for young and old – and a interesting look at what Bonsall shops, pubs and workplaces had to offer in days gone by. Thanks to Slacks Coaches for the excellent driving enquiries@slackscoaches.co.uk

Saturday 2nd February visit to the Black Country Museum

Help us explore and understand Bonsall’s history by joining us on this outing to the famous Black Country Open-Air Museum, Dudley, Birmingham. You’ll not only learn more about the trades and businesses that once thrived in Bonsall but also discover the history of the Midlands area. http://www.bclm.co.uk/ The coach will be leaving from Bonsall for a whole day out there.

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Museum of Living

Black Country Living Museum is a remarkable place to explore .Set in a landscape of 26 acres, it is one of the most extraordinary open-air museums in the UK; offering a glimpse into 200 years of history.

Over fifty authentic shops, houses and workshops have been carefully reconstructed to preserve the character of the region when its manufacturers bought worldwide fame to Black Country Towns.

Take a trip on the tram to explore the canalside village, where you can meet and chat to the costumed characters. Explore the underground mine and experience the authentic sights, sounds, smells and tastes from the past.

There is a changing programme of demonstrations and events from metal working and glass cutting to sweetmaking ensures something to suit all tastes. Watch the silver screen flicker to life in the Limelight Cinema with silent films from the 1920s. Marvel over vehicles from the golden age of motoring and experience a real spit and sawdust Inn.

 

 

Landscape Photography in Bonsall

“Histograms, f stops, white balance, exposure compensation, coffee and hobnobs….”

Choosing the right 'f' stop

Choosing the right ‘f’ stop

It was bitterly cold last Sunday but the Bonsall Heritage Trails ‘Landscape Photography Workshop’ – lead by professional photographers Ian Daisley and Alex Hyde was a resounding success.

Stepping Lane, Bonsall

Stepping Lane, Bonsall

We met in Ian’s studio at the Via Gellia Mills and after coffee we were straight into a brief slide presentation on picture composition, followed by the professionals helping everyone get to know their digital SLRs. Nobody’s camera was left on ‘automatic’! For many of us it was a revelation – discovering the meanings of Exposure Compensation or Live View.

Reviewing photos

Reviewing photos

With a view to getting images suitable for use in the 6 Bonsall Heritage Trail Leaflets we set off for the most photogenic quarter of Bonsall – around the Cross, St. James Church and Stepping Lane.  Here we were able to put into practice the theory we’d been given in the morning. The weather had other ideas. But horizontal hail and a very icy Stepping Lane didn’t deter the dedicated photographers from getting some excellent architectural shots.

Checking composition

Checking composition

The group were then taken up the lane beyond Brumlea Farm to take pictures of stone barn typical of the Bonsall area. The light got better and everyone had oceans of space to combine the technical aspects of the course with the creative elements which the sunlit snow, fields and barn gave us.

Ian and Alex - photographers extraordiaire

Ian and Alex – our professional photographer leaders

Then back down to Ian’s studio for very welcome tea and a fascinating review of everyone’s captures from the day’s shoot and a very interesting introduction to image manipulation.  We all came away buzzing with new information and a lot more knowledgable about our respective cameras.

Thank you Ian and Alex for making the workshop so enjoyable and for sharing your skills.  To view all the best photos taken on the workshop visit our Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonsallhistory/

Thanks for reading this post – please send the link on to anyone else who may be interested…..