Morville Hall

It’s open today, but there’s no-one at home… It’s one of those National Trust properties which are only open to visit on a few days each year. Today is one such – and, unusually, it’s empty, being between tenants (and undergoing a certain amount of conservation work and spring cleaning). Afterwards, there’s tea, coffee and homemade cakes in the church nearby – and the proceeds are for local funds, so everyone’s happy if we call in…

Morville Hall NT

An hour at Summerlee

Friday 12 April: I think it may have been longer. We’ve time to kill, and we could do with a drink – and those pineapple tarts look good… The “Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life” is well worth a longer visit than ours – the indoor exhibits are fascinating, the cottages beside the mine provide evocative snapshots of ordinary industrial-era lives – and did I mention the trams and the railway locomotives? More than 40 years ago, I saw No.9 and “Robin” when they were working for a living. Long and inactively retired (the locos, not the author), it would be great to see them restored to steam.
Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life

April sunshine

The sunshine is warm, but the air’s cold today. Fortunately, the outdoor tea area at Benthall Hall is sheltered from the breeze, so we’ll enjoy our al fresco refreshments without a shiver. The bluebell season is just beginning, the chestnut leaves are emerging (they remind me of pale green cormorants drying their wings) and the oilseed rape is brightening the fields – sunshine even when the sun’s gone in…


It’s in Wellington, Shropshire – a “rare suburban villa and mini-estate” according to the National Trust. We’re exploring this property on what began as a grey afternoon, though as we left the house, the cloud was clearing. An interesting place – a former owner seems to have been obsessed with clocks… The trees in the avenue are Wellingtonia – they’d have to be, wouldn’t they?

Sunnycroft NT