Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Cuppa And A Hobnob

That was what I enjoyed on Tuesday when we visited Salisbury. But you would be completely wrong if you imagined it was something like this picture...

No, we were in Salisbury Museum. Bob visited last year for the Terry Pratchett Exhibition and said I ought to go too, as they had a great costume section. There wasn't time that day- but we joined up for the year. That gives unlimited visits, and Bob got his TP entrance refunded.
On a wet windy Tuesday we set off and used the Park and Ride into the City. We dropped off lots of stuff at a CS en route to Cathedral Close and arrived soon after the Museum opened.
It is well worth a visit. We began on the ground floor, where there were lots of exhibits about old Salisbury. Here I found out about the Giant - a huge model, which has been paraded around at major city events for centuries. 

You can see how big he is here, around 12 feet high. The structure is extremely old., it is believed that the Giant [aka St Christopher] dates back to the 15th century. His frame was rebuilt around 1850, and his complexion was recently restored, having been obscured by layers of brown paint.
In the Museum are photographs of the Giant in processions for the Coronation of Edward VII and George V.
There is also a woodcut of the Giant's Procession entering Cathedral Close in 1808.
He is always preceded by a strange creature known as [you guessed it] "Hobnob"
He is constructed on a light wooden frame, and like the Giant, is carried by just one man.
A leather cap, and netting, protected the carrier as he was taunted by the crowds as he sought to clear the way for the giant's arrival.
Like the Giant, his leather coat is decorated with the coat of arms of the Tailor's Guild.
This current coat was made in 1935.
The Giant and the Hobnob were purchased by Salisbury Museum in 1873 for thirty shillings [£1.50!]
We went upstairs in the Museum and looked at the costume gallery. That was fabulous. Smocking, stumpwork, lacework, quilting, patchwork, embroidery. I was in seventh heaven, ooh-ing and aah-ing at the fabulous stitchery.
BUT this gallery is kept in extremely dim lighting to preserve the artefacts, and I couldn't take flash photos. I should like to go back sometime armed with a sketch book.
On the other side of the top floor was the room which had originally been the Dining Room of the house. Built in 1599, this room was frequently used to entertain King James I in the first decade of the 17th century. It has a magnificent ceiling - and fabulous views across the Close towards the Cathedral with its magnificent spire. A harpsichord is in the window- with a lovely picture of Salisbury on the inside of its lid.
Here is Bob at one window - the Cathedral view at the other.
In this room there is the collection of pottery from Salisbury and district.
Here there were dozens of cups. The ones that interested me were the tygs. I had not come across this word before. A tyg is a drinking vessel with handles, large ones with many handles were intended as 'loving cups' for festive occasions [like the Scottish Quaich, perhaps?]
I took photos of a pair of three handled tygs.
Downstairs again, to the archaeology section. This is Stonehenge country, and there was a lot of stuff dating back thousands of years. I was amused to see an information board explaining that hoarding has been a problem for centuries!
I'm sure I shall write another post about this excellent place. We walked back to the market Square and enjoyed Carrot and Lentil Soup. with sourdough bread, in Henderson's Bakery.

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