A column in The Times today has an interesting look at the weather possibilities on St Swithun’s Day this weekend.
In The Weather Eye feature, Paul Simons writes: “One thing for sure is that, after weeks of blazing sunshine, we are now entering a much more uncertain phase. Perhaps this should not come as a big surprise because Sunday is St Swithin’s Day, with its famous folklore prediction of 40 more days of sun or rain, depending on the weather on July 15.
“Even though St Swithin’s forecast isn’t supposed to be taken literally, it is fascinating because around this time in midsummer the weather tends to fix into a pattern for some time to come.”
12.30pm Festal Anglican Communion in Trinity Chapel
3.15pm Choral Evensong & procession to shrine 3.15pm
8pm Roman Catholic Mass; celebrant Bishop Nicholas Hudson; enter by south door.
SUNDAY 8 JULY
The next day is a Sunday and it is interesting to recall that the Sunday after the Translation was also considered to be a pilgrimage day. It was called Relics Sunday. Sung Eucharist is at 11am; Choral Evensong 3.15pm.
The Thomas A Becket pub in London’s Old Kent Road is closed.
Bailiffs have repossessed the ground floor space.
The pub reopened with a fanfare on St Valentine’s Day last year calling itself Rock Island Grill at the Thomas A Becket.
The ribbon was cut by Frank Bruno in recognition of the pub’s boxing heritage. A blue plaque records Henry Cooper training in an upstairs room.
The pub, listed as an ‘asset of community value’, was built in 1898 on the site of an earlier inn which was the first stop on the pilgrimage to St Thomas Becket’s shrine at Canterbury.
A handy stream running across the road was used for watering the horses. Geoffrey Chaucer, in The Canterbury Tales, describes his characters pausing here to hear the first tale.
Passports: Pilgrim passports were stamped at the pub until its closure in April. Now walkers should obtain a last ‘London’ stamp at The Royal Oak in Tabard Street. The next stamps are available at Blackheath Church and The Red Lion on Shooters Hill.
A total of eight innocent people died in the one night along with the three attackers.
Australian nurse Kirsty Boden from Guy’s Hospital died outside the cathedral.
Cathedral artist in residence Alison Clark has started work on a piece of art for the anniversary.
The theme is Broken Beauty taken from the Japanese art of Kintsugi where ceramics that have been damaged are repaired with gold.
The specially commissioned work, supported by Southwark Council, incorporates prints on taken from the sacristy door damaged in the attack aftermath together with prints from other parts of the Cathedral that show traces of the past.
Gold will be added to the piece as an echo of Kintsugi.
This installation of heavy cloth is to be hung in the retrochoir by Saturday 2 June and will remain until Thursday 14 June.
Pilgrims setting out from Southwark may see Alison at work this week.
Pilgrims from Winchester approaching Box Hill may find that there is diversion due to travellers having occupied and blocked the National Trust owned Steer’s Field.
Here, where the PW and North Downs Way coincide, the advice is to use the Pilgrims Way as shown on OS map and enter Denbies vineyard via Dorking:
“Take the Pilgrims Way track at the bottom of the scarp passing Landbarn Farm, keeping right when the track forks. When the track meets the road keep right on the footpath by the school to pick up the Mole Gap Trail which takes you back to the North Downs Way by the Denbies Vineyard Visitor Centre.”