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Oswestry War Memorial

I hadn’t looked this up reasoning that Oswestry is a big enough town to have a prominent War Memorial and I’d find it quite easily.

Still we’d been wandering the town for an hour or so on the Saturday morning (having travelled down on the Friday and staying overnight so as not to risk missing the kick-off) and still hadn’t seen it. So I asked the young woman serving me at WH Smith’s till, “Where is Oswestry’s War Memorial?” Despite seeming to be a local she didn’t know.

Anyway I strolled on down the main street for about a hundred or so yards – and there it was.

A set of gates flanked by pillars, inscribed respectively “1914. There is a life in death,” and “1919. Ye have not died in vain.”:-

Oswestry War Memorial

1914 Pillar. Top plaque inscribed, “Erected in grateful memory of the men of Oswestry who laid down their lives in the Great War.”:-

Oswestry War Memorial Names

1919 pillar. Top plaque inscribed, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”:-

Oswestry War Memorial, Great War Names

The reverse of the pillars was later pressed into service as the Second World War Memorial with 1939 and 1945 on the pillars:-

Oswestry World War 2 Memorial

1939 pillar. Inscribed, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things: and I will be his God and he shall be my son.”:-

Oswestry War Memorial, World War 2 Names

1945 pillar. Inscribed, “In grateful memory of the men and women of Oswestry who laid down their lives in the war of 1939-1945.”:-

More Second World War Names, Oswestry War Memorial

Ely, Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral

We hadn’t intended visiting Ely but when we discovered it was only twelve miles from Cambridge we thought we might as well.

Its most striking feature is of course the Cathedral (see left.)

Almost the first house we encountered was in a highly traditional style. We had been forewarned by signs in the car park – and the streets up from it – to “Oliver Cromwell’s House.” This surprised me as I’d always thought Cromwell was a farmer from Huntingdon till the Civil Wars dragged him from hearth and home to military fame – not to mention notoriety – regicide and the Lord Protectorship. Anyway the tacky figures outside put us off entering.

Cromwell's House, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

I had expected the town would contain mostly traditional architecture. There was nothing extremely modern but I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, nor two, nor even three, but four buildings showing deco styling.

The first had “Coronation Building” and a crown inscribed on it. I suspect this would have been the 1937 Coronation (George VI) rather than that of 1953.

Coronation Building, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The second now hosts WH Smith’s – I had to stitch two photos as the street wasn’t wide enough to allow me to frame the whole thing in one shot.

Smith's, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The third looked as if it had once been a Woolworths.

Old Woolies? Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The fourth was on another street (Lynn Road?) just off the main one.

Art Deco style building, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The War Memorial was unostentatious, restrained and dignified, set into a niche in the wall that backs onto the cathedral.

War Memorial, Ely, Cambridgeshire.

There was also a street market which looked pretty thriving. Whether it’s there everyday or merely Wednesdays I don’t know.

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