October 16 – A trip down to Southampton

An Unusual Atmospheric Happening

Hello from Medieval Mosaic

Today we traveled from Battle to Southampton where we were going to spend four days at an Airbnb. There is no motorway in this direction or even dual carriageway for much of the way and so it is often clogged with traffic. At the time of the day when we were traveling, it wasn’t too bad. We came across country passed Herstmonceux Castle, which is somewhere we have not visited yet. However, it is now run as an International Study Centre for Queens’ University in Canada so the castle is not freely open to the public and tours are scheduled. So we had to leave it for another time.

As we were passing Berwick my cell phone beeped to tell me we were passing a geocache which we have not yet found as last time we were there the cache had gone missing. So we called in briefly and grabbed the cache which is now safely in place right where I had been looking before. It was about the Bloomsbury Murals which are in the church. See 28 April 2017 for photos.

Then we headed off again to Goring-on-Sea where there are several church micros. The first was at the United Reformed Church and was quickly found in the hedge. The only difficulty here is avoiding the muggles. Then we went to Mayfield Community Church where my GPS started acting up again. In the end, I had to resort to using the cell phone which I am never very confident about using and it runs out of power very quickly. The English Martyrs Catholic Church is famous for its ceilings, which are covered with a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel. It is the work of parishioner Gary Bevans, a signwriter, who had no formal art training. Gary started the painting in 1987 and it took five years to complete in two-thirds scale. Sadly the church was not open so we will have to return sometime. At St Mary’s church, we went to visit the church before finding the cache as there was an occupied car right in front of the cache’s hiding place. This was the only old church of the four we visited in Goring-on-Sea. Here we saw the beautiful Hans Feisbusch mural. Hans Feibusch (15 August 1898 – 18 July 1998) was a German painter and sculptor of Jewish heritage who lived and worked in Britain from 1933 until his death. He is best known for his murals, particularly in Anglican churches. In all, he worked in thirty Anglican churches (28 as a muralist, and two—including Ely Cathedral—as sculptor only) and produced what is probably the largest body of work in his particular métier by any artist in the history of the Church of England.

When we left the church the temperature had gone up noticeably and the sky was turning more steadily dark and red. The cars had all turned their lights on and the street lights had also come on despite only being 2.30 in the afternoon. It was a very eery experience and we thought of several possible explanations. In the end, we had to Google it and it turned out to be the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia coming across the Sahara and picking up sand, The particles in the air cause blue light to scatter leaving the longer wavelength red light to shine through. We were pleased that there was a sensible explanation as it was quite an unnerving experience, so much so that we forgot to take any photographs of it.

We continued on to Southampton where we arrived just as the lady of the house arrived home. The room was up on the third floor and was very comfortable with its own private bathroom. We were very happy there and hope to return sometime. In the evening we walked up the road to The Cowherd’s Bistro for dinner.