31 Jul 2012 Durham Cathedral

David and Joyce Southgate picked Rita and I up and went to Durham for the day. We parked in a shopping centre carpark and walked over the bridge. It was then I realised I didn’t have the battery in my camera! Oh no! Tried the GoPro but the battery was dead on that. I took lots of notes instead. Probably took more notice than if I’d had my camera.

Passed an old stone building with ‘Hospitale EPI Dunhelm MDCLXVI’ on the top. The cathedral is built around St Bede’s tomb. There are graves around the outside around the 1700-1800s. The older ones have worn off. Went into The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham and signed the visitors book. Past the marble font and the massive organ that had been moved from another place in the cathedral. Went into a smaller room and where The Venerable Bede’s Tomb and some smaller stained windows. The stained glass windows in the main hall are magnificent. There are also tombs with statues on top with no heads! It was interesting to note that the cathedral has a ‘listening service’ at 11am and 1pm daily. No obligation!

The large clock was ornately decorated near where the entrance to the tower is. I paid 5 pounds to walk up the 325 steps to the top and got a sticker for my trouble. It took me 10 minutes to get up exactly at 12 noon when the bells rang. The view was wonderful. I could see the river, jail and windmills on hills in the distance. I spent 5 minutes looking at it.

Watched a bellringer chiming the bells for a holy communion inside the main hall but we couldn’t actually hear the sound. Came through the bookshop and saw the courtyard that I’d seen from the top. There was a bookstall and Rita bought some DVDs for Tom. Looked through the souvenirs and got something for Peter. Should suit him. Lunch was a baked potato enjoyed in the cathedral restaurant.

Coming out of the cathedral we passed Dun Cow Lane. Wish I could have taken a photo of that! Crossed back over the bridge and watched the rowboats on the river for hire from The Boathouse. Into Market Square with a statue of Charles William Vane Stewart in the middle. Had a look through Durham Market. I was very strong as they had patchwork fabric and I didn’t buy any!

David then took us to his son Dexter and Kirsty’s house which he has done up really well. Kirsty was there with their two sons Archie and Joe. They’d had a few friends around that morning and there was toys everywhere. Had a cup of tea and a piece of cake. They reminded me of our two boys when they were younger. Hard work!

David dropped into Heaton Cemetery to water the grass where his son Steven and Dexter’s son Josh are buried.

Out for dinner at the Hungry Horse at Newton Park again. Hopefully Ivy, Laura, Tom, Audrey, Raymond, David and Joyce will all be there. I should have photos of them tonight!

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