Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Getting the Burd? [3]

Jumping to (Wrong) Conclusions!
Alexander Pope (18th century satirical poet) wrote these oft-quoted lines

A little learning is a dangerous thing ;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring :
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

The Muses "were said to have frolicked about the Pierian springs soon after their birth". The spring, near Mount Olympus,  was believed to be a fountain of knowledge that inspires whoever drinks from it.

Pope challenges us to explore and learn deeply.

But those attained, we tremble to survey
The growing labours of the lengthened way ;
The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes,
Hill peep o’er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!

Which is what fbb didn't. But drinking deeply from the fount of all knowledge can be troubling. See yesterday's blog (read again).

In the 1930s, Northampton Borough built some magnificant piles on the Upper Mounts.
From right to left these are:- Swimming pool (only ever sampled once by fbb in his tenure as a spotty juvenile Northamptonian), fire station and police station. This civic magnificence never really achieved the fame that it deserved as it was outside the main town centre.

But Stagecoach services 15, 16 and 17 (or their predecessors) left their original haunt in the gloom of Greyfriars bus station and travelled out via the Upper Mounts, stopping here ...
... opposite the police station.

So how could fbb have been so stupid?

Possibly by reading the rest of the passenger notice.
It does not inspire confidence. It begins with grammar from the I L Iterate school of English Language and continues with an oblique reference to kitchen utensils.
Grey friers

And yes, frier is an acceptable spelling alternative to the more usual fryer!

There is no such thoroughfare in Northampton as Greyfriers Road; indeed neither is there a Greyfriars Road. The name is simply "Greyfriars" ...
... although it is hard to find a road name plate to confirm that.

The only Board Street in the area is 13 miles away in Irthlingorough.
Mehinks the stagecoach lad (or ladess) might mean "Broad" Street.

All-in-all a poor notice; but, with our Northampton correspondents cartographical help we can unravel the truth.
Instead of following the "red" route via Lady's Lane, Upper Mounts and Campbell Square, the 15, 16 and 17 via Kingsthorpe now follow the "green route" via Greyfiars and Broad Street. fbb would like to have seen a map like the above on the notice to enhance a better textual explanation.

The first stop on leaving North Gate is station is now, according to Traveline, "Semlilong Royal Mail Sorting Office". Only it isn't.
Royal Mail moved out into the sticks on Crow Lane industrial estate near fbb's former family home at Billing ... 
... ironically, very close to the eastern end of cross-town Kingsthorpe routes 16 and 17!
Crow Lane; under the "Be" of Bellinge
fbb lived by the "H" of Orchard Hill

And talking of Traveline. Remember the service 4 which Stagecoach has just withdrawn? Here it is still headed up on Traveline ...
... complete with "currrent" timetable. Only the imetable doesn't go anywhere near Kingsthorpe or St Davids.
That's because the Stagecoach bods inconsiderately renumbered their route 24 as 4 on the same day that they withdrew the "old" 4. It will take the gnomes of Traveline months to work that out!

So fbb got it wrong yesterday. But the humble pie was actually delicious!

The expression derives from umble pie, which was a pie filled with the chopped or minced parts of a beast's 'pluck' - the heart, liver, lungs or 'lights' and kidneys, especially of deer but often other meats. Umble evolved from numble, (after the French nomble) meaning 'deer's innards'.

It was a misunderstanding of the etymology that led to the erroneous use of the phrase. Umble Pie was a rich dish of the wealthy, not at all 'umble! Herewith a 17th century recipe:-

Parboil the Umbles of a Deer
Take all the Fat off them
Add the Beef Suet and mince it very small together
Season it with Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg
and a little Cinammon and Salt
Put some Currants, Candies and Dates, stoned and sliced
Fill your Pie and lid it
When baked put in some Sack
(booze - fbb) and serve it


Tomorrow, a pleasant day's excursion!

 Next bus blog : Thursday 23rd April 

1 comment:

  1. Whoops! Slight correction, the Royal mail *sorting* office moved from Barrack Road to Swan Valley, not Crow lane.