Cotswold Memories…. From ‘Emergence’ Magazine….

by Bernie Bell - 08:36 on 12 June 2024


Cotswold Memories….

I saw on Facebook that an old pal from Uni. days is visiting The Cotswolds, which brought back many good memories as Mike & I used to live near Stroud, Gloucestershire. 

I suggested that, if he’s in that part of the Cotswolds and is interested in such things, he might like to visit the ancient sites I mentioned in a piece which I wrote for The Orkney News a few years ago, and I quote….

“We used to live in Gloucestershire, just outside Stroud, and nearby on the escarpments are a range of ancient sites including  Hetty Peglar’s Tump.  Or, as someone from Yorkshire that I know called it  ‘Ecky Thump’s Dump.  Does anyone remember The Goodies and the Lancashire Martial Art of ‘Ecky Thump?  https://www.facebook.com/networkdistributing/videos/ecky-thump/466257020537158/

Hetty Peglar’s Tump is a Neolithic Cairn.  We were told that the land on which it stands was owned in the 17th Century by a Mr. Pegler, who named it after his wife.  On entering the cairn, he found heaps of human bones.  He had them taken out, ground up and used as fertilizer on his land. 

A strange thought that possibly the bones of the ancestors of some of the folk living around there at the time were ground up and used to fertilize the land which then produced their food.”

Here’s a link to a general guide to the ancient sites in the area….


The map includes Westonbirt Arboretum and Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust – two more grand days out Gromit.

And there’s Woodchester Mansion, which we visited before it was ’tidied up’….


We knew someone who was part of the team involved in conserving the building and managing the landscape around it, and he took us there on a summer evening when the Glow-worms were lighting up in the hedges. 

One of the many intriguing aspects of Woodchester Mansion is that the workmen downed tools and left – and the building stood there for decades, empty.  Of solid stone construction, it didn’t rot or deteriorate too much, and restoration wasn’t a very difficult job. 

It has many interesting carvings….


And a stone shower room, with more unusual carvings…..

When we were there it had a strange air about it – of abandonment but not quite – there was still a feel of the workmen being there, which might be lost by now, since it’s been ‘tidied up’.

It was a wonderful place to spend a summer evening with friends.


From ‘Emergence’ Magazine….

Remembering Bill Anders

“We were all awestruck by the difference—the beauty of the Earth and its colors against the blackness of space.”
— Bill Anders

On Friday, NASA astronaut William A. Anders passed away at the age of ninety. A crew member on the 1968 Apollo 8 space mission that orbited the moon, he was one of the first human beings, alongside Frank Borman and James A. Lovell, to see the whole Earth from space. Bill captured this view in a now-iconic photograph known as “Earthrise”—an image of the blue Earth emerging over the stark lunar surface. This color photo showed our planet as it truly is: fragile and singularly beautiful against the vast blackness of space. Speaking of the mission in an interview, Bill said: “Here we came all the way to the moon to discover Earth.”

The unplanned photograph—one of the most reproduced in history—had a profound impact, becoming an icon of the environmental movement and inspiring the first Earth Day. But perhaps its most poignant effect was the reminder it offered the world that the Earth is, and always has been, needing of our care and love. In homage to Bill and the gift he gave with this photo, we are sharing our 2018 film Earthrise, directed by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, in which Bill and his fellow Apollo 8 astronauts share the story behind the photograph and recall their experience of witnessing the beauty and grandeur of our home, the Earth.”




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