Thursday, 8 August 2019

Interesting facts about Tewkesbury - My hand drawn maps

Here are the notes that I incorporated into my pictorial map of Tewkesbury. ....available to buy as prints and cards either from Tewkesbury Tourist Information or directly from myself.

Tewkesbury Mop Fair- Charter granted by Edward 11 in 1324
The ambulance station is on the site of Thomas Walker & Sons Fairground Makers, est 1868

Light Bulb - Treens Electrical Shop...sadly no longer there.
Hughes Alley- Named after Joe Hughes who sold milk there.
Comptons Alley - Historic home of cabinet makers and upholsterers.
Fish Alley- Once the home of fishermen and fishmongers.

Cotteswold Dairy- Founded in 1938 by Harry Workman.
The bridge across the Avon may have been built by King John. It dates back to the 12th Century.

The White Bear public house has a tardis in it's garden.

Tewkesbury Mustard= Mustard balls made with mustard seeds and horseradish.

In 1793 JMW Turner RA stayed in Tewkesbury. He and his father owned a burgage which is now called Turners Court.

Gravel Alley was once a medieval alley.

Bishops walk originally had eight alleys and courts.

Alley cats - Project Alley Cat- a community art project with murals and artworks in the alleys.

The alleys with blue brick paths were for public use.

Beadles Hat outside the Heritage Centre 19th century sign.

Golden Key-the site of an old ironmongers shop.

Old grain barges Chaceley and Tirley used to be tied up by the mill.

The myth tute also known as Royal Hill. George 111 and his queen.

The earth works are the remains of an 11th century motte and bailey castle.

Contact  :
A3 print, mounted and in cello bag £45 plus post and packing.
Greeting cards, blank inside £2.50 plus post.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

In like a lion and out like a lamb.

Window, Bourton on the Water
''In like a lion and out like a lamb ''
There are a few meanings, but usually people think of the weather.
In the zodiac, Leo is the rising sign in March, then it is Aries in April.
Religiously Jesus is the sacrificial lamb but returns as the Lion of Judah.

Weather wise March is still in Winter so the weather is often cold but by April we are in Spring...southern the weather warmer and softer....and there are lambs about.

Tuckers Grave Inn- Faulkland, SOMERSET, Radstock BA3 5XF

While travelling from Radstock to Bath, following my brilliant Sat Nav that takes me down amazing roads, I passed by an old pub called Tuckers Grave Inn. Being lunchtime I turned around and drove back into their car park at the back of the pub..
Tuckers Grave Inn
 When you open the back door you walk through a really narrow passage way where you are faced by the front door.
 On the left is the Tap Room and on the right is the door to the bar.
 Initially you think you are walking in behind the bar but there isn't one, the cider barrels are on your left in the alcove, which is in a room with one big table, filled with locals and a big plate full of cheese and onion rolls.. Ahead is another room with a roaring fire in a big Victorian fireplace.
View looking towards window with dark old tables and wooden shutters on the window.
The Tap Room
I wasn't sure which cider to choose, but the Landlady  happily let me have a taster before finding my favourite Cider, not too sweet and not too dry.. 
Of course I only had a half because I was driving but I did have a lovely pasty with a bowl of brown sauce!

Dogs are not allowed so Jet and myself sat outside looking over the field of sheep and the views beyond.
While outside I read their little book about the history of the Pub. I had't known that Tuckers Grave Inn is one of only six cider houses in the country...and is world famous! 
It may have always been a coaching stop but the name came from a story about farm worker called Edward Tucker. He hung himself in a barn a mile up the track on June 7th 1747.  It was then a custom to bury people who have commited suicide at crossroads on unhallowed ground.. I think this is so they can't go to heaven and being at crossroads their spirit doesn't  leave the spot because they don't know which direction to go. Some people think that it is a religious cross...who knows but it is an old English custom. I also found that  'The Stranglers' are honourary members of the pub and have visited many times.
They have quite a lot happening and a good wild campsite....a much better idea if you want to sample more cider!

Tuckers Grave by the Stranglers - click following link for the song.
The following words are the Lyrics of Tuckers Grave by The Stranglers
Committed a crime that no longer exists
Was left at the crossroads at a place that is jinxed
Committed a crime against god and his king
All that's left is a cider drinking inn

See my summer soon

Sit around telling stories by the fire
About the good old days and the things they had for hire
So my friend if you're feeling especially brave
Take a trip down to old Tuckers grave

See my summer soon

Enter this place and you'll not come out the same
Tucker makes sure that he'll enter your brain
And when the last drop's drunk and the gods have their way
There's every chance you'll think you're halfway insane
There's no turning back now there's no one can save
A poor soul who visits old Tuckers grave

See my summer soon

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Banbury Map and Twenty Five interesting facts about Banbury.

Banbury map- kbmorgan

The map I created for the February Issue of 'The Cotswold Life' magazine was 'Banbury' . It was a good excuse to have a day out and eat a Banbury Cake. I was lucky with the weather and found it a really friendly town, worth another visit. I'd like to explore the canal and go into Tooley's boatyard.
The following is a list of the interesting facts and features that I squeezed into my hand drawn map.

- Known as Banburyshire, good business community and communication routes.

Johnathan Swift is reputed to have taken the name 'Gulliver' from a tombstone in St Mary's Churchyard. ( Library book pinned to the ground )

Castle Quay Shopping Centre- the site of original castle built in 1135. ( castellation decoration in border).

Jacobs Douwe Egbert symbol - Worlds largest coffee- processing facility. (symbol)
Douwe Egbert symbol - I have milk in my coffee, hence the cow!
5 Banbury Cakes - Made using a secret recipe that dates back to at least 1586

- Trial electric Post Office delivery vans built by Arrival Ltd
Arrival Ltd
- Spinning Wheel - at the start of the 19th c banbury was weaving 'plush', fabric with around 1000 workers in and around Banbury.
Plush Fabric
- Compass- Stone sun sculpture on Banbury Town Hall.

- Border based on Banbury Coat of Arms, sun ,and wavy bar.
 castellation of castle and shields of battles.

10 Tom Rolt -Author of 'Narrowboat'and one of the instigators of keeping canals alive for work and leisure. Had his boat Cressy restored at Tooleys boat yard in 1939.
Tooley's Boatyard
11 Birds Custard used to be made in Banbury. (Birds logo near Bluebird Bridge.))

12 Reindeer Inn. Used by Oliver Cromwell.
Antlers on the Reindeer Inn
13 Thomas Hankinson donated the initial piece of land. His family were local High Street butchers, who sold  hand-made faggots called 'spice balls'.

14 - The hearts are based on the decoration of a building in Butchers Row.

15 - Novelist Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange while teaching at Banbury Grammar School.

16 -The racing car is my symbol for both Haas F1 racing team and Prodrive who design,construct and race cars.

17 -Chapbooks- Cheap printed books printed using 'Banbury blocks' (wood engraved blocks.)

18 - Banbury was once the home to Europe's largest cattle market.

19 -Tooley's Boatyard - The oldest working dry dock in Britain, repairing and building boats since 1790.
Tooley's Boatyard
20 - Alfred Beesley (1800-1847) topograper and poet.

21 - Dick Chipperfield, English Circus animal trainer and circus owner.(1904 – 1988) 

22 - Pioneer of X-Rays ,Richard Reynold's  (1829-1900)

23 - It is thought that Celia Fiennes was the fine lady on a white horse. Her family owned Broughton Castle. Bells symbolize wealth and rings authority.

24- Banbury Cheese, mentioned by Shakespeare in a few of his plays. It was produced in one inch rounds so became a byword for anything unreasonably thin.

25-Larry Grayson born in banbury in 1923  , known for his catch phrase 'Shut that door!'
A row of open doors.....Shut that door!
Greeting cards with my map of Banbury are available to buy from my page on ' Love from the Artist '
They are blank inside but you can add a message via the same site. I'm also just getting some A3 and A4 prints made. Please follow me on Instagram , to keep up to date and see 'What Katie did next ' !

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Interesting things about Stroud

I was commissioned to illustrate a map of Stroud for the Cotswold life magazine. As well as the drawing and visiting the towns I illustrate I also love looking into the history and interesting details that make the town what it is.
Once I find an interesting list, I include them into my map. If you know the town then you could probably discover and recognise them without me saying but for anyone who doesn't here is a list with the detail picture from my January map. If you follow the writing with your mouse then you will find more information via links.

Edwin beard Budding.Inventor of the lawn mower and adjustable spanner.

Hearts coming out of a library book - Romantic novelists, Jilly Cooper and Katie Fforde.

Needle in Threadneedle Street - The first sewing machine factory to have steam power.

Red Cloth - Stroudwater Scarlet, the cloth used for military uniforms.
'Perseverance' narrow boat on the canal.

Redler lorry - Redler was one of Stroud's longest established manufacturing firms.

Cider lorry going to Slad, Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee,
Rev. Audrey the author of Thomas the Tank Engine retired to Stroud.

Goose, a nod to nearby Slimbridge,
Cycling- Stroud is on the National Cycling network.
Jazzy gloves to show the Artistic Boho communities, and decorative border from carved stonework on the Art School building.

Hornbeam Tree-Stroud Save the Trees campaign.

Yellow duck - Road to Bath...corny !

Farmers Market, launched by Jasper Conran and Isabella Blow on July 3, 1999
John Street and Russell Street- Lord John Russell, Stroud MP who became Prime minister passing acts such as Public Health Act 1848 and Reform Act 1867.

Myself, looking like wheres Wally! and my lovely pet dog Jet.

If you know anymore and would like to add them, then please add them using the comments Tab. I'm just having the Stroud Map made into Tea Towels and Art Prints so please follow my FB , Instagram pages. 

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Wassail, wassail!

Last night I went with friends to a great Wassail evening at The Fleece in Bretforton in Worcestershire. The Fleece is a gorgeous old pub, built in the early 15th century. In 1977 it was bequeathed to the National Trust.....luckily it is still a good pub with good beer...without a National Trust Shop!

Wassails are a Pagan tradition that take place up and down the country. Arriving in the dark all you could see were characters with blacked faces, top hats, ribbons and the sounds of bells, music and shouts of 'Wassail' greeted by return with a 'Drinkhail' ! Wassail is an Anglo Saxon word for a toast of 'Be of good health'. The ceremony takes place around the oldest tree , with everyone hanging pieces of bread onto the branches, lots of singing, shouting and gunshots, all to bless the orchard and the noise to scare away evil spirits. The original meaning behind 'toasting someone '.
Toasting the Apple Tree
The wassail bowl was a part of medieval Christmas celebrations. A communal bowl filled with alcohol was passed from person to person with a  wassail and a kiss.
17th century wassail bowl
 The drink was called 'lamb's wool', hot ale, apple pulp , spices and sugar. 
the following is a recipe from Food in England by Dorothy squires 1722.

Take 1 lb. of brown sugar, 1 pint of hot beer, a grated nutmeg, and a large lump of preserved ginger root cut up. Add 4 glasses of sherry, and stir well. When cold, dilute with 5 pints of cold beer, spread suspicion of yeast on to hot slices of toasted bread, and let it stand covered for several hours. Bottle off and seal down, and in a few days it should be bursting the corks, when it should be poured out into the wassail bowl, and served with hot, roasted apples floating in it.
Wassailers carried the bowl around the streets, singing songs, a bit like the forerunner of carol singers. In the south around the apple orchards people took the wassail bowl and blessed the trees with cake and toast dipped in cider and hung onto the branches of the apple trees. Gunshots fired into the branches both scared off evil spirits and took off a few dead branches.

Fire at the back of the apple orchard.

Apple orchards are now wassailed on any of the twelve days of Christmas. In Carhampton they wassail on the 17th January which is the date of the old Twelfth night. (Julian Calender) The Christian Twelfth night date is usually the 5th January.
It is a great way of carrying the spirit of Christmas into the middle of January. 

Wassail, wassail all over the town,
Our toast is white and ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl,we'll drink to thee,

Small video of the tree -

Watch out for The Wolf Moon, a supermoon and lunar eclipse on the 21 January, peaking in the early hours.

Wassail bowl picture from


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