Sunday, 28 June 2020

Kneelers

We have all missed certain things during these lockdown days, some things more than others of course.   I have missed being able to hug my grandchildren and family but, in general, social distancing is fine by me.  Perhaps that is why I enjoy the world of blog - good friends to chat to, interesting articles to read, but no one physically  close enough to be shocked at my wrinkles, the lack of makeup, or the bristly moustache worthy of a walrus...



I have missed my little jaunts out into the folds of The Wolds,  exploring the many beautiful rural Lincolnshire churches.    Pre-plague days many of them were left open during daylight hours so I would often take myself off to enjoy the church architecture, the medieval artifacts, stained glass, the effigies and to soak up the atmosphere.   

Some churches are empty, no matter how well furnished, clean and polished they may be, and there are others which are filled with warmth and welcome, in spite of having been declared redundant.

Folk art, creativity and love is also on display in some churches.   Simply look at the kneelers/hassocks.  Some are stitched to a set design or are done in regulation colours.  They look neat, but they seem very dull  compared to those  which seem to tell the story of someone who was loved and missed.






Maybe the one above was stitched in memory of Farmer X who was, perhaps,  often to be seen ploughing the fields in his little blue tractor.


Was this to remember someone who went wild fowling, or simply loved his dogs and ducks - perhaps his local pub was 'The Dog and Duck'...


In memory of someone who loved to fish, perhaps.


More country scenes, I like the simplicity and the little details which personalise and anchor them to a place.











One of the 'Tennyson'churches has this kneeler - when I first saw it I found it amusing and thought there had to be a story behind it.    There is, I found this in one of my local history books...


On the green, where Bag Enderby Lane leaves the road from Harrington, is the shell of an old elm of enormous girth.   John Wesley is reputed to have preached under the boughs of the tree.    The trunk of the old tree is decayed to such an extent that children used to play in it.   The Tennyson children (Alfred Tennyson, the poet, born in 1809, and his siblings) built a swing on a branch which conveniently spread out horizontally.  

At one time the bough jutted out across the lane, so that traffic had to make a diversion round.   It was long enough for the whole of the population of the village (an extremely small village, by the way) to sit on it at the same time.


















I have plenty more images to show you, but I imagine that this must be almost as tedious as being obliged to watch someone's homemade holiday videos!



I will leave you with just one more.    A  tractor which could well have been the symbol I would have picked to put on a kneeler for a farming friend.   She was rarely seen anywhere without her little red tractor.


You should be able to 'click' and enlarge any you can't see very clearly.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!
x

p.s.  Sorry, I never could count accurately. 😉

35 comments:

  1. Those are lovely pieces of functional art.
    The two weeks I spent doing child care for my youngest granddaughter did icvolve lots of hugs and kisses from her. She couldn't help herself. When we were leaving to travel home I told my daughter and son in law that we deserved a hug from both of them since we had been living together all that time. It felt good to feel their arms around me.
    When we arrive in New Hampshire next month we will have to keep distant at first from the other granddaughters and family. But by early August we should be able to vacation together and truly enjoy each other's company.

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    1. Hello Marcia, How you must have enjoyed those two weeks of hugs and kisses! Sounds as though you have some busy times ahead. Hard work, but worth the effort. I hope all goes well with the move and that you soon have your new place turned into a home. Then you can relax a little before your upcoming vacation, after all, you will need plenty of energy for all the hugs and get togethers!

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  2. Wouldn't it be wonderful to discover the story behind every kneeler. They are delightful, especially the country scenes. X

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    1. Hello Jules, Small expressions of love with every stitch. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them.x

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  3. These are truly amazing works of art - and yes - it would be wonderful to know the story behind each of them.

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    1. Hello Margie, They are art from the heart. I think you would enjoy seeing some of the tiny churches around here.

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  4. These are just beautiful and all hand stitched with love. I didn't get at all bored.
    Briony
    x

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    1. Hello Briony, I am glad you enjoyed seeing them. It is the love that went into them that shines out to me, too. I hope they gave the stitcher some solace.

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  5. Amazing that they are all so different and all with their own tale to tell.
    There are still 50 Suffolk churches for me to visit sometime - if I can get up the enthusiasm to travel anywhere

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    1. Hello Sue, Even something as simple as visiting old churches will be quite an experience, when the time comes. I have a book on Suffolk churches and there are some beauties out there. Lots to explore and enjoy.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Hello Lettice, There was truly no need to delete your comment, I saw it and had a chuckle! Just be glad that I couldn't find the file which contained all my 'best' images, then I would really have bored you with them!xxx

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    2. I thought I should have listened to the gremlins telling me three times not to, but still I trogged on. Then with cold feet I stepped back and revisited and rethunk, well you know the rest!

      The thing is Elaine, I did try and yes it is a lovely way to involve people. However...

      That is what I love so much about blogging, you meet all sorts of folk with passions, interests so very much different from you. Added to the mix I do love a little light argy-bargy. Once a rebel always one I suppose?

      Simon used to say ‘A wise man changes his mind, a fool never does!’ I bore for Britain trotting that little pearl of wisdom out!

      LX

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  7. What beautiful work.Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Hello busybusybeejay, I love them. I wonder how many have been lost to the church mice over the years!

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  8. I have told my daughters that one of the greatest jokes that old age plays on you is your pubic hairs start growing on your chin. SO unfair!! (I keep my moustache plucked too!)

    What a lovely array of kneelers. Mine would have to have a horse on it. I love the Tawny Owl, and the Snowdrops, but I think my favourite is the two churches with the Pheasants.

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    1. Hello BB, Very true. What I want to know is why is my scalp hair white and yet those pesky chin hairs are dark brown!

      The kneeler with the two churches was in one of the churches in the illustration. It is set down a very rural lane, you have to park near a watermill, walk along the lane to the farm at the end and then open the gate into the farmyard. There are two churches almost within social distance of one another. They share the same enormous churchyard, which is filled with ancient yews!

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  9. Those kneelers are fabulous and obviously made with love. Lockdown has been a new way of life. I think, like you the thing I've missed most is not being able to see my family, but it won't be forever. I've learned all sorts of 'techy' new things like finding out how to use Zoom. Meet with my friends about three times a week on that. Last night I spoke and used video to talk to my grandaughter who lives in London. Couldn't get any seeds so used the old ones I'd got and some of my own I sowed. I can feel a blog post coming on .... to be continued

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    1. Hello Molly, You are an example to us all, I am genuinely impressed with your willingness to tackle things techy! I bet your family are delighted to be able to 'Zoom' with you.
      We have also resorted to sowing some old/ancient seeds, more in hope than expectation. It is surprising how many of them were still viable. At least we have managed to fill the vegetable beds and the polytunnel...and it kept us out of mischief! I shall look forward to your forthcoming blog post!

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  10. It as a joy to visit your blog and see the kneelers. It made me think about the personality of those and the way of life not forgetting the skill involved in making them.

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    1. Hello mamasmercantile, No doubt you also visited some of these lovely old churches during your Lincolnshire years. The churches festival weekends were always a great opportunity to explore some of those which are normally kept locked. The personal ones are little tokens of love, which makes them quite special.

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  11. These are beautiful! Not a kneeler, but I have a doorstop done by my mother in the same method, but around a brick, not knee padding.

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    1. Hello Joanne, That sounds so much nicer than the discarded kettlebell weights which I use! Many years ago I made a few bricks into padded cat-shaped doorstops, I should have hung onto a couple for myself!

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  12. Glad you can't count as I love the robin and the snowdrops.

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    1. Hello wherethejourneytakesme2, I felt I couldn't leave it out! Perhaps it alludes to 'Robins appear when a loved one is near'. I'd like to think so.

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  13. Not at all tedious. Most fascinating.

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    1. Hello Vic, I am so glad you enjoyed seeing them. I will photograph more when I gain my freedom and the churches are open again.

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  14. What a wonderful array of kneelers - thank you for sharing them with us.

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    1. Hello Susan, Some are kits but it is those personal ones which get me every time. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them.

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  15. Wow, I must admit I have never seen kneelers like these before; perhaps I ought to go inside churches a bit more. Being an outdoor photographer I usually admire churches from outside and take architectural photos of them. What a great idea to create meaningful art on church kneelers and also, your idea to blog about them! Lovely post, thank you!

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    1. Hello Vesna, I absolutely love old churches, inside and outside. I have files of amazingly beautiful old churches, architectural details, the carpentry, the funny things you find in the vestry, the memorials, the atmosphere. You would never guess, would you?

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  16. Oh how wonderful! i love finding little things like these. We don't have anything like this (that I know of. Most churches are kept under lock and key in the US...although that is a generalization). These pictures make me want to pull out my needle and thread and create a scene. I usually only stitch 'sampler' items but I'm realizing that maybe I want to create bigger pictures. I just love these kneelers and the unknown stories behind them.

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    1. Hello Kristin, Lots of the bigger churches here are kept locked, but plenty more are left open during daylight hours. I hope the same will be true once things are a little more normal; given the option of a day spent shopping, or a day spent church exploring, I would nearly always opt for the latter. I'm glad you enjoyed seeing them and I hope you do go on to create some bigger pictures.

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  17. Wow,so interesting and lovely.💖

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    1. Hello Susan, Lovely to see you. I hope all is well in your part of the world.x

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Lovely to hear from you!