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Coalville War Memorial (i)

On the way back up from Rye we stopped for a night at a hotel in Leicestershire near Ashby-de-la-Zouche as the name is so delightful we felt it was place we had to visit.

Between the hotel and Ashby, however, we passed through the town of Coalville, of which I confess before planning the trip I had never heard.

It’s well worth a visit though – not as far as shops are concerned but for some of the architecture and its War Memorial.

This takes the unusual form of a clock tower* which dominates the town centre. It was erected in 1925:-

War Memorial, Coalville, Leicestershire

War Memorial, Coalville

Clock tower with mining memorial in foreground. (As its name suggests Coalville has a mining heritage):-

War Memorial, Coalville

Coalville War Memorial

Close-up of tower from below:-

Coalville War Memorial From Below

*The only other clock tower I can remember seeing which also acted as a War Memorial is in the Dutch (or Friesian) town of Surhuisterveen. That commemorates the Second World War though and so will post-date Coalville’s.

The “It Ketting” Sports Field

Home of VV Surhuisterveen which plays in the “Fourth Sunday” of the KNVB district Noord after promotion from the fifth amateur level in 2015.

I couldn’t see an easy way to get close to the ground so had to photograph it from a distance. It looks a tidy wee ground.

Football Ground, Surhuisterveen

From the link it looks like VV Surhuisterveen play in Sons colours!

For previous posts about Surhuisterveen see here and the links within.

Surhuisterveen, Friesland, The Netherlands

I have posted about Surhuisterveen before, here and here.

This May we were there again and I saw some deco style buildings I’d missed in 2104.

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen 1

Detailing on roof corner:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen Detail

This former bank is a modern building but with decoish aspects:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen 33

Aspect round the corner:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen, Gable

Deco style stained glass window. Mondrian-like:-

Deco Style in Surhuisterveen 5

We had arrived just in time for Dutch Remebrance Day (May 5th I think.) I prefer their wreaths to the British poppy-heavy ones:-

Surhuisterveen Remembrance Wreaths

My Second Jay

While in Surhuisterveen we spotted a house with a viking ship for a weathervane. The house itself has a distinctive style. I like the railings on the balcony.

While manoeuvering to get a better shot of the weathervane than we had originally we saw a jay on the roof. My second jay! It’s perched on the thatch just above the window.

It moved to the edge of the roof and I got this shot.

Here’s a close-up of the weathervane.

What a great thing to have on your roof.

Dutch War Memorials

I didn’t expect to see War Memorials in out of the way places in The Netherlands. The country didn’t take part in the Great War but was of course invaded by Germany in 1940. The Dutch were unable to combat the Luftwaffe bombers – the centre of Rotterdam was destroyed – and surrendered to avoid destruction of their other cities. The fighting lasted seven days.

But then there were also the almost constant Allied bombing raids over Germany in the latter part of the war (the run-up to D-Day excepted) which flew over The Netherlands en route and on return.

It seems two such aeroplanes were shot down over or near Opende.

This view shows both memorials:-

The distinctive headstones of Commonwealth war graves can be seen. I assume these were erected after the war.

The inscription on the brick wall reads :-

In Memory of the seven heroes whose plane crashed in Opende, 15 Feb 1944.
The Residents of Opende

This is the other end of the memorial:

The aircraft was a Halifax bomber with seven crew, six of whom were Australian. It was shot down. The details are here.

Links to more information about the crew can be found on this webpage.

The other plaque on the site is for a US B 17, “Sky Queen” which came down on 28 Jul 1943.

More information about this crew is here.

In the nearby town (I would call it a town but by the Dutch definition it’s a village) of Surhuisterveen there is a War Memorial plaque on the other side of the clock tower from this view.

The inscription reads:-

In memory. To our local fallen in the war 1940-45.

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