England 1997

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

The United Kingdom has been our favourite travel destination during decades. By Stena Lines we crossed from Hook of Holland to Harwich for a visit to East Anglia and friends, living near Oxford.

Travel through England 1997
Framlingham Castle

Framlingham Castle is a castle in the market town of Framlingham in Suffolk in England.
An early motte and bailey or ringwork Norman castle was built on the Framlingham site by 1148, but this was destroyed by Henry II of England in the aftermath of the revolt of 1173-4.
Its replacement, constructed by Roger Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk, was unusual for the time in having no central keep, but instead using a curtain wall with thirteen mural towers to defend the centre of the castle. Despite this, the castle was successfully taken by King John in 1216 after a short siege.
Wikipedia, more..

Travel through England 1997


Travel through England 1997
A bit of plane spotting at RAF Mildenhal ('The Hall'). I have a bit of a history here: my first visit was in 1975, during a plane spotting trip with my friend Paul Tips... travelling in East Anglia on bicycles!

Henry Young wrote me in Feb.2012:
"Your page brought back many fond memories.
I was a USAF C-130 pilot flying out of RAF Mildenhall for various periods throughout the 70' and 80's. We often went down to the planespotters corner to chat with the folks who spent their whole weekend just sitting and taking photos. It was a strange hobby that few of us yanks understood.
We were cautioned that there were often 'spies' intermingled with the spotters and to watch what we said! When not on the flight roster, we traveled the local area in old cheap cars (Fords and Austins) or took the train from Shippea Hill to Cambridge and London.
A most beautiful part of the world."



Travel through England 1997
Oxburgh Hall.

The fine looking manor house is surrounded by a moat; it was built in 1482 (just after 'the War of the Roses') and still has many features to make the house defendable.
Inside we admired beautiful tapestries, e.g. one was made by Mary, Queen of Scots, during her 19 year imprisonment.
There was also a 'Priest hole', a hiding place for a priest if the house was searched.. Mary was always scheming and forever sending messages by confidents. Fascinating history of unsettling times.
Travel through England 1997


Travel through England 1997
Roydon Mill Leisure Park was our base for a few days to visit the museum at RAF Hendon and a visit to Hatfield House; but during the weekend (as it was explained to us) 'Essex people' come down here to party and they are loud and disagreeable. So we were relieved when we left.

Travel through England 1997

Hatfield House, famous for its history of Elizabeth I.
It is a country house set in a large park, the Great Park, on the eastern side of the town of Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The present Jacobean house was built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, First Earl of Salisbury and Chief Minister to King James I and has been the home of the Cecil family ever since.

An earlier building on the site was the Royal Palace of Hatfield, see photo below. Only part of this still exists, it is located a short distance from the present house.
This palace was the childhood home and favourite residence of Queen Elizabeth I.
Built in 1497 by the Bishop of Ely, Henry VII's minister John Cardinal Morton, it comprised four wings in a square surrounding a central courtyard.
The palace was seized by Henry VIII with other church properties.
Wikipedia, more...

Travel through England 1997
Mary I, daughter of Henry VIII and Catharine of Aragon, came to power before Elizabeth I. And it was in this house where Elizabeth I lived and was approached as successor to Mary. And here at Hatfield House Elizabeth I held her first meeting; her first Chief Minister became William Cecil and it was his son Robert who later held became owner of this property and changed it to its present status.

Travel through England 1997
Not quite sure what this represented, probably in memory of when Elizabeth I was approached to become ruler.


Travel through England 1997
A visit to nearby St.Alban's.

It was nice to come across a reference to an Eleanor Cross here (below).
The Eleanor crosses were twelve originally wooden,[citation needed] but later lavishly decorated stone, monuments of which three survive intact in a line down part of the east of England. King Edward I had the crosses erected between 1291 and 1294 in memory of his wife Eleanor of Castile, marking the nightly resting-places along the route taken when her body was transported to London.


Travel through England 1997

Travel through England 1997
And one cannot visit St.Alban's and ignore the famous Cathedral!
Travel through England 1997
We found pub food quite costly, so when the weather allowed it we made do with a nice picnic lunch.

Travel through England 1997
Chiltern Open Air Museum: 'buildings through the ages'.


Travel through England 1997
Friends of ours lived near Oxford and each time we paid them a visit, a visit to Oxford was in order too!
And when going to Oxford, one surely must visit the grand bookstore of Blackwell's!

Travel through England 1997
The men recover at the pub...


Visit to Coventry propliners 1997
Stuart had arranged a visit to Air Atlantique at Coventry.
Alexander was fast becoming a fervent plane spotter!
It was nice to move freely among the 'propliners', Air Atlantique certainly held a reputation for love of these classic transport and generous hospitality towards enthusiastic propliner fans. We even were allowed to sit in the cockpit of the Shackleton here.

There was no flying done, but engineers were working hard on DC-3 G-ANAF.
Visit to Coventry propliners 1997