Jan appeared to become quite animated yesterday evening whilst browsing on her tablet. Apparently Aldi had some interesting weekly ‘specials’. I’m not usually sensitive to these ‘vibs’ but for some reason they made an impression. I knew it would mean an early start as the Aldi is on the opposite side of Tamworth. However daylight saving ended today which gave me an additional hour. I examined the map and selected the shortest route before leaving just after 9am and with plenty of spare time I wandered around the centre of Tamworth before arriving outside Aldi at 9.50.
No wonder the centre of Tamworth was empty; the entire population had formed a mass gathering outside the supermarket. All the blue and pink rinse little old ladies had grabbed a trolley and formed a protective wall in front of the door. It was like joining a herd of sheep outside the shearing shed. Everyone was evaluating everyone else as a potential competitor. At 9.58 we were under starters orders poised to make a dash for the door. At 10am the doors automatically opened immediately resulting in 15 trolleys forming a jam. Much jostling followed as I joined the herd. Like sheep, the majority of them followed each other down the first aisle whereas cunning me diverted around the first checkout counter and got a clear run to the specials. I’d managed to grab the first two items on the list before the blue and pink horde descended upon me. Some of those little old ladies play rough. In particular those height challenged would try and sneak under my outstretched arm to grab something in my trolley. I know how to play dirty and either stood on a few feet or jabbed with the elbows (whilst apologising most profusely). However it didn’t take long for me to realise that if I stayed much longer the herd was likely to tear me down and trample me underfoot.
I was back at Waiouru by 10.45 showing Jan her Christmas presents.
I knew she would love the 800 Watt reciprocating saw so I bought her a pack of spare wood and steel cutting blades. She is going to have endless hours of fun with it (practicing vasectomies). I know she has been looking for a step drill set and the countersunk drill bits.
Apparently I could have done better and there was some significant disappointment about failing to obtain the last item. I felt guilty about this and, after lunch, walked back for a second visit. Fortunately whilst scavenging through a basket of left handed screwdrivers I found the item I was looking for. Somehow the blue and pink horde had missed it.
So that was my 10km walk and calisthenics for the day.
Oh….There was no Sunday roast lunch for Jan because I spent all the money on her in Aldi.
A couple of interesting observations during the walk.
Tamworth Castle is Grade 1 listed Norman motte and bailey castle built on the banks of the River Tame.There has been a fort on this site since Saxon times.
The oldest part of the castle appeared to be the gatehouse and that dates back to the 15th century. The outer wall is made of brick (not Roman) and you can see in the above photo that there are glass windows.
The market hall in Market Street didn’t appear to be very old, however researching the history of it provided a few interesting facts.
The hall appears to have been built in 1912. But the interesting part comes from the Visit Tamworth website.
“Thomas Guy’s Almshouses stand on Lower Gungate, The Almshouses were built in 1678 at a cost of £200 by Thomas Guy. They provided housing for 7 poor women. Each resident had their own entrance and living room and the large central garden was used to cultivate vegetables. The original Almshouses stood for 234 years before being demolished in 1912. The were rebuilt on the same site in the ‘Free Georgian’ architectural style of the original. They were later amended and extended in 1928 and 1936 and have remained unchanged since.
In 1708, Thomas Guy banned residents of Tamworth from the Almshouses. Those able to benefit from the Almshouses were restricted to his own relatives and people living in the outlying villages of Amington, Bolehall, Glascote, Hopwas, Wigginton and Wilnecote. This restriction is still in place today, with the stone plaque above the main entrance reading ‘Guy’s Almshouses for relations and Hamleteer”
Apparently Guy banned residents of Tamworth because in 1708 the population refused to re-elect him as their member of Parliament.
“Rejecting Tamworth, he turned his attention back to London where he personally financed the building of Guy’s Hospital, Southwark in 1722.”