Friday December 19, 2014
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Thursday's highlight was the morning spent at the Ely's Weekly Outdoor Marketplace in the shadow of the Ely Cathedral. Booths selling everything from food to clothing to toys to houselhold items were there. Of course, we couldn't help but spend some our British pounds there.
On Friday, we pilgimaged to sites of one of Britain's most famous authors and two of it's most famous composers. First we traveled to Elstow in Bedfordshire, which is the the birthplace of John Bunyan - author of "The Pilgrim's Progress," "Grace Abounding," "Holy Wars" and about 40 other Christian books. Besides being a prolific writer, he was a preacher known throughout 17th Century England. At the Elstow Abbey, we saw where Bunyan was baptized and where he grew up. Then we traveled a couple of miles north to Beford where Bunyan preached at the Free Meeting Church and was eventually jailed for preaching at a congregational church that didn't conform to the Church of England. In Bedford, there was a really neat Bunyan Museaum that we all enjoyed.
After lunch, we drove about 12 miles from Bedford to Olney in Buckingham-shire, which is the home of the William Copwer/John Newton Museum. Cowper (pronounced Cooper) is a hymn writer, poet and author who also translated Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" into English. Newton is most famous for writing the hymn "Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound," but was also instrumental in the abolition of slavery in Great Britain. Cowper and Newton became great friends while they lived in this small town of Olney for 12 years, while Newton was pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church. After visiting the Museum and the wonderful garden there, we walked down to the church and saw where Newton preached and was buried.
When we got home to the Old Porch House in Haddenham, we went to the Fish and Chips "take away" place in town. Friday night is becoming our "fish and chips" night.
The next few days should be exciting. Saturday we are planning to go to "Eel Day" in Ely, Sunday we are going to go "punting" on the Cam in Cambridge and Monday we are going to Lavendar Farm in Norfolk. Till then...cheerio!
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