Thursday, 27th April, 2023

It was quite a crisp morning, but pleasant as we packed up ready to go to Oxford.

One often sees signs like this asking that you flush nothing but toilet paper down the toilet and I always want to ask "What should I do with the number 1s/2s?". Well, this place had everything covered!

"The Compasses" was a very nice place to stay.

Not long after we started our drive, we came across St Mary's, Great Leighs. This is one of six churches in Essex with a round tower. The tower was built in Saxon times but only the lower section remains today. Most of the rest of the church is 14th century. When we arrived, there were two people in the church. They said we were lucky because the church is usually locked.

The Lectern and the Pulpit

The Chancel

St Mary and the Angel Gabriel

The Organ is in a gallery at the west end.

The font is 14th century.

The crumbling lid of this chest is original. The churches valuables were kept in it. The rest of the chest is later.

This brass effigy on the floor commemorates Ralph Stelley, a priest, who died in 1414.

Our next stop was Tilbury Docks. My parents emigrated from England in 1951, departing from that port. There was not a lot to see and we couldn't access the actual port but we could see the building they would have gone through to get to the SS Straithard (SS stands for Steam Ship). There are some pictures of what it looked like here.

This is what is left of the Tilbury Riverside Station which was located next to the terminal building. The station closed in 1973.

Tilbury Fort is located only about a kilometre from the terminal (which is still used for Cruise Ships), so we decided to make a stop there.

We were a little taken aback to find these horses actually on the road so close to London's only deep-sea port!

Of course, there were pigs too!

The cerminial entry to the fort.

Details of the entry. The fort was begun in 1670, during the reign of Charles II.

In the foreground are the foundations of the soldiers' barracks, the open space is the parade ground and the building at the back is the Officers' Quarters.

The guards house was in the ground floor of this building and the chapel was on the floor above.

There was a system of moats and this drawbridge is a reconstruction of the original.

More horses!

The entry to the magazine passage.

The magazine passage

A doorway to one of the gunpowder magazines.

Inside a gunpowder magazine

A crane used to move barrels of gunpowder

Inside the Officer's Quarters

It is some time since anything was cooked here!

The Officers' Quarters

A dredge on the River Thames

The Chapel

So then it was on to Oxford, about a two-hour journey. The weather detriorated and it begn to rain quite heavily. There were plenty of complicated roundabouts to navigate and there was a lot of traffic. Satoshi managed all this very well and we arrived safely at our accommodation about 5:00pm. Once we settled in and helped an elderly couple work their TV and internet, we realised that we were running very late for Evensong at Worcester College. Our friend, Claire Oakley, now lives in Oxford and she sing in the choir there. Unfortunately, were were a few minutes late. There were 17 adult singers in the choir and the music was the responses by Rose, the canticles from the Short Service by Orlando Gibbons and the anthem "Beati Quorum Via" by Stanford. The chapel at Worcester College was built in the 18th century but was redecorated between 1864 and 1866. It is very ornate and the stained glass is excellent (designed by Henty Holiday). The part Satoshi and I enjoyed the most was the poppyheads at the ends of the pews.

The Baptism of Jesus

A cassowary!

The Ascension of Jesus

What a great elephant!

A Pangolin

The Annunciation

The Child Jesus in the Temple

The mosaics on the floor are wonderful.

The Ceiling

After Evensong, Claire, very generously, shouted us dinner at a local pub. Thank you, Claire! We then drove back to our accommodation called "Comfortable Rooms in the House". As i type this, I can hear the rain continuing outside. Satoshi is hoping it stops because we are visiting Thorpe Park tomorrow (an amusement park)!

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