Simon Whaley enjoys a journey around this delightful Devonshire City.
‘Climb the oak tree,’ says the tourist guide, ‘but think laterally.’ She winks as she hands over a map of Plymouth city to help me explore. I have to admit, it’s been a few years since I last climbed a tree. But this wasn’t quite what I was expecting to do in Plymouth.
This Devonian city is sandwiched between two rivers – the Plym in the east and the Tamar to the west. It overlooks Plymouth Sound, a natural bay with deep water channels, perfect for commercial shipping and the Royal Navy’s warships and submarines.
Donald drummed his fingers against the steering wheel of his Ford Focus, his eyes fixed on the school entrance.
Any minute now, those doors would fly open and hundreds of happy kids would stream out, overjoyed at their freedom. Then he would see his Suzie emerge, alone and despondent from the challenges she’d had to cope with today.
His stomach cramped as if someone had pushed their hand inside him, wrapped their fingers around his intestines and then squeezed.
Fingers. Everything was about fingers. Ever since that day three months ago.
On The Waterways appeared in The People’s Friend Special
“Every time someone opens these lock gates,” says Mike, the engineer, “we lose 40,000 gallons of water.”
We’re standing at the bottom of Lock 72 of the Trent & Mersey Canal in Middlewich, Cheshire, thanks to one of the Canal and River Trust’s Open Days.
“Is it true monkeys like bananas?” my nephew, Ashley, asks as we watch a gibbon swinging on a rope high above our heads. Thankfully, we have an expert to hand.
Along The Welsh Marches – The People’s Friend – 27th February 2016
“Uncle Simon, why is there a goat on top of that castle wall?” My nephew stares at the white adult goat fifteen feet above us. A series of frantic bleats fill the air and, suddenly, three sure-footed kids join their parent on the narrow, stony ridge. “And how did they get up there?”
Charming Church Stretton – published in The People’s Friend – 16th jan 2016 issue
It’s not difficult to see why Church Stretton is known as Shropshire’s Little Switzerland when there’s been a fresh dusting of snow overnight. If weather forecasters predict snow in Shropshire, you can guarantee Church Stretton will get some!
Lakeland’s Autumnal Colours – published in The People’s Friend Autumn Special 2015
“I know New England is famous for it’s autumnal colour,” drawls the American tourist standing next to me in the grounds of Rydal’s St Mary’s Church, “but your Old England display is pretty spectacular too.”
If you can get hold of a copy of The People’s Friend, dated 21st March 2015, then check out the feature exploring the life of an Age UK charity shop in Newport (for which I took the photos). In this month’s issue, shop manager Sharon reveals details of some of the more unusual requests they get from some of their customers. Oh, the joys of being located near to an agricultural college!
My latest batch of Age UK photos has been published in The People’s Friend magazine. They’re such a lovely team at the Newport, Shropshire shop, and they are all fantastically friendly, especially when they hate having their photos taken! Mind you, I can understand their reticence. When you give up your time to volunteer in a charity shop you don’t expect to find yourself as a magazine model strutting your stuff in front of over 400,000 readers.
Age UK feature in The People’s Friend magazine
I’ve just caught up with the issues of The People’s Friend that contain the new monthly series of articles from Age UK. Whilst Age UK could supply the text, The People’s Friend needed someone local to the Newport shop that Age UK have selectued to write about. I was delighted when The People’s Friend invited me to go along and take some photos, and they’re a great bunch of people at the Newport store. They certainly know how to have fun!
For more information about Age UK visit: http://www.ageuk.org.uk
For more information about The People’s Friend visit: http://www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk