Friday, March 13, 2009

Austin to Austen - 8 March 2009

Gathering before the Run
The Winchester MG Owners' Club invited neighbouring clubs to a 'season opener' Cobweb Spin Run so a few of the F/TF drivers met just out of London for a run down to join the Winchester group.A fine group of old Austins It was a beautiful day for a run in a convertible but the weather forecast was for wintry showers and a possibility of snow blowing through so we kept our hard-top firmly fitted. As it turned out it was only a few brief heavy showers so while all the soft-top owners rushed out to put their tops up we smugly stayed warm and dry.

Samuel Wilberforce's fine memorial (he is buried in Lavington)Leaving the club outing, held at IBM's country estate headquarters in Hursley, we went in to Winchester for another look at the city sights. We never imagined that in the late 60's when we were singing "Winchester Cathedral, you're bringing me down stood and you watched while my baby left town." that one day we would be walking along its nave, the longest Gothic cathedral nave in Europe.

Winchester High StThe cathedral is home to the (supposed) bones of King Canute as well as other early Wessex Kings from as far back as 600's. More modern bones in the Cathedral are those of Jane Austen whose grave makes absolutely no mention of her stature as one of the most beloved writers of English literature. Since she published anonymously during her lifetime, this is probably not surprising.

'Arthur's' TableWinchester Cathedral
The Great Hall, built in the 1220s is all that remains of Winchester Castle. It contains the 'original' Round Table of the Knights of the Round Table with their names inscribed at their positions around the edge. Unfortunately it is a 700 year old fake but impressively big, nevertheless.
Winchester Cathedral
And then, I sat and I drove while my baby left town.

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