Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Lichfield and Remembrance

Yesterday, I seized the opportunity of another lovely June day to follow up a very good recommended trip to a couple of destinations in Staffordshire. And it worked out really splendidly, as well as being rather thought-provoking.

First stop was Lichfield. I've never been there in my life before, partly because my heart always sinks at driving down the M6 (not that anyone who lives in Lymm and likes to travel can really avoid the motorway, mind you). I've heard great things about the cathedral and the town itself is lively and attractive.

I had not, though heard of Erasmus Darwin until I stumbled across his house, now turned into a museum with a lovely garden. It turns out that Erasmus was not only Charles Darwin's grandad, but also a poet, doctor, scientist and inventor. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shelley all admired him. The museum is definitely worth a visit. Erasmus was clearly a remarkable man.

I did know that Dr Johnson hailed from Lichfield (as did David Garrick) and there are statues of both Johnson and Boswell in the market square. The cathedral is ancient and appealing, while the chapter house does an excellent ploughman's lunch. But I didn't have time for the Johnson birthplace museum, alas, because I also wanted to take in the National Memorial Arboretum, which is only a short drive away. This is a really impressive project, in the developing National Forest. Extensive tribute is paid to those who have given their lives in serving Britain, and I find the whole place poignant, not least a wonderful area given over to poppies and other wild flowers. It was a memorable trip.

1 comment:

Fiona said...

Lichfield is my favourite city: a wonderful cathedral, beautiful stretches of water and good paths for walking and cycling away from traffic. Until a few years ago we visited annually for the folk festival (held in June, you missed it by two days)where dozens of morris and other dancers perform in the streets. The statue of Johnson in the market square is admirable, but I love that of Boswell - he always makes me think of Mozart's Cherubino :)