Turn Yer Eye:Gold Cup Winners: A Wolf At The House

This watercolour is entitled " Avon Gorge And Bristol Hotwell. "  It was painted by J.M.W Turner, in 1791/2. Incredibly he was only seventeen years of age. This painting comes from " An Intimate Touring Show Of Eight Works .....; " entitled  'Turner Watercolours from the West. "
It is being staged at The Wilson, Cheltenham ( 13/3 - 10/5/ '15 ).

The Wilson

Last Monday D. and I went to have a look. It is  wonderful that great art can tour the provinces and clearly this exhibition had been tailored for the South West region, with pictures of Bristol and Bath amongst others.
 Last November, you may remember,  we visited The  Tate for the 'Late Turner Exhibition'. Here is the Blog entry:
Turner and Co.
Having seen the wonderful " Mr. Turner " film;( video clip on the above Blog, ) one could imagine the young Turner sitting by the River Avon, sketching the scene with his chalks and pastels and of course repeating the process at the other seven locations. The paintings, on show, were small in size, but extremely detailed. Well worth a visit and free.


"A cool dawn greeted our woodland venture.
I strode forward with my best mate Bob,
who was a bit of a thinker but a decent fellow
He was certainly worth having around
when it looked like there might be trouble ahead.
For that's when his problem solving strategies
came to the full.
He was small in stature with an owlish
look about him.
He did, it is true have some annoying habits,
which included taking his time when answering
questions and also correcting ones
grammatical errors.
These, I felt were simply character flaws and
even when it became tiresome this
was not something that one couldn't
forgive and forget.

The cool, hard ground cracked twigs under
our feet as we sped on our long run to
our destination Fort Leney, which was
situated by the side of the River Dikler,
over ten miles away."

Following last week's Cheltenham National Hunt Festival,  the above was my Gold Cup puzzle .
Here are your answers:
                                                              Jockey                                Trainer 

Cool Dawn                1998               Andrew Thornton                 Robert Alner

Woodland Venture     1967               Terry Biddlecombe               T. 'Fred ' Rimell.

Best Mate                  2002/3/4           Jim Culloty                          Henrietta Knight

Bob's Worth              2013                 Barry Geraghty                    Nicky Henderson

The Thinker            1987                  Ridley Lamb                        W. 'Arthur ' Stephenson.

The Fellow             1994                  Adam   Kondrat                     M. Francois   Douman

Looks Like Trouble  2000                Richard Johnson                   Noel   Chance.

Little Owl               1981                  Jim Wilson                          M.H. 'Peter '  Easterby

Forgive' n ' Forget  1985                  Mark Dwyer                        Jim Fitzgerald

Cool Ground         1992                   Adrian Maguire                    Toby  Balding

Long Run              2011                Sam Waley-Cohen                Nicky  Henderson

Fort Leney           1968                  Pat Taafe                               Tom Dreaper

The Dikler          1973                   Ron  Barry                            Fulke  Walwyn

Ten Up                1975                Tommy Carberry                     Jim   Dreaper.

And there's your fourteen winners, with riders and trainers.


Last Wednesday D. and I re-revisited  Chastleton House, a Jacobean residence built between 1607 to 1612. It is situated six miles from Stow on the Wold in Oxfordshire. In increasingly difficult financial straits the same family owned the property until 1991, at which time the National Trust took it over.
The last owners in austere conditions did allow the public access, but the guided tours were accompanied in wet weather by the sounds of buckets filling up with water, as it dripped from the roof in numerous places.

Walking from the car park, my shot shows a distant outbuilding.

We were particularly keen to visit Chastleton House once more, because it was one of the locations used in the making of the recent BBC series " Wolf Hall",  which told the story of Thomas Cromwell, in his dealings with King Henry V111 and Anne Boleyn.

The locations included the front courtyard.

 The Barn,  where one buys entrance tickets was used in the childhood days of Cromwell, where his father was a blacksmith.

The top picture shows the passageway  into the ' barn ' area which was used as a walkway to the blacksmith's shop shown in the bottom picture.

The Long Gallery was used for royal scenes.

Finally the main entrance hall was used as the Seymour's residence; which was actually known as Wolf Hall.

Clearly, in making this scene, objects not of that period  were removed or hidden. That included radiators  and interestingly,  some portrait paintings. The main furniture, wooden table and chairs, were deemed to be of that time.

I was told from an un-quotable source that Chastleton made about fifty thousand pounds from the BBCs visit. The operation lasted about a month. I was also  told, that in a change of policy,  all further filming by  television/ film  companies using National Trust properties that  money received , would be shared out to all, including land sites. To which I replied,  that seemed a trifle  unfair, as the White Horse Hill, for example needed much  less attention than most of the buildings.

Because the house was so long in one families' hands, it was left in a largely,   unaltered state. This has allowed many rooms to be explored and viewed, making for a very satisfying visit. It should be noted, however that admission is only in afternoons and entrance to the house is by timed ticket only.

Chastleton House


Enjoy the week ahead, as we usher in the Easter season. Next Sunday ( 29 / 3 ) is Palm Sunday and the date of the clocks ' springing' forward one hour.

To conclude here is a rare picture, from a timetable point of view of my, 'bus driving up the normally pedestrian part of the Cheltenham Promenade.

Cheerio for now,


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