The Piece Hall, Halifax

Had such a happy visit from Kate and her family, and Georgie and Bill came over on Saturday afternoon ~ when Barbara popped in to say Hello there were eight of us in the kitchen !   On Thursday night they had fish & chips at no.4 as I was finishing up the kedgeree, next night I went down there and Alan brought an Indian take-away which was a lovely treat, on Saturday night Kate made an excellent pasta ~ and having taken the pans down for the three of them, she and I ate in my kitchen and afterwards the lads joined us for friendly family chat.   They had several good walks over the weekend and thoroughly enjoyed David's cottage ~ they are going to tell Will & Agi about it ~ it certainly takes all the hassle out of it for me, having them here but not being overwhelmed by them.   Later David popped in and was pleased it had gone so well.   They didn't strip the beds or do more than leave the place tidy as cleaning is included in the price.

Long message from Georgie's Charlie ~ her brother (also adopted) and his wife have just had a baby , the first birth in that family for a generation so all delighted.   He was born on January 15th, my mother's birthday, and is called Louis, , my mother's name !    She was called after her father's great friend at Edinburgh University, Robert Louis Stevenson ~ RLS was studying Civil Engineering in preparation to join the famous Stevenson family firm but decided this was not for him as he wanted to be a writer so David Angus took his place, building light houses among other things before setting out for his career in South America ~ our Mother was the twelfth of his thirteen children !   I'm too tired to do more tonight but I'll add photos tomorrow.

Monday morning : Sue is coming tomorrow instead of this morning ~ I knew I'd be knackered after such a lively weekend ~ made a good start and once I've sorted the post and had a mug of coffee, I'll hope to catch up with myself . . .

The sad news in the yard is this : Eileen the owner of number 5 has suddenly decided to sell it ~ even if it drags on for months, this makes Beverley anxious and sad ~ she fits in so ha[ppily to the yard and her dear little cottage which like so many of the oldest this side of the river is simply three rooms one on top of another ~ really quaint with exposed beams and wide chimney breast and brick hearth ~ poor Bev is devastated but it seems Eileen herself was devastated at the prospect of losing her property ~ she lived here herself to begin with and a few years back she and Mary Robinson practically rebuilt it ~ roof, chimney stack, all of it from top to bottom.   Oh dear ~ if only someone would buy it with Bev as sitting tenant, but of course the idea will be to turn it into a holiday cottage ~ a money spinner in Whitby.

I've never been quite sure what Katie does ~ she's a qualified Town Planner and Conservationist wioth a BSc from Newcastle and a master's from London University ~ but what does she do ?   I'm so glad I asked her ~ her major project at the moment is the restoration of the PIECE HALL in Halifax ~ do look it up oin Google ~ the most astonishing place ~ a collection of 300 units built in a square around a paved courtyard with wonderful gates dating from 1700 or thereabouts ~ each unit provided a sales outlet for the local weavers ~ this was before the Industrial Revolution and the development of great woollen mills ~ Piece Hall was built for the cottage industry ~ the PIECE referring to the pieces of woollen cloth they had for sale ~ if I've got it right, the restoration will provide 300 units for present day sales outlets ~ Prince Charles is to open it later this year (Kate will certainly be in the reception party) ~ how fascinating ~ and to think the Piece Hall has survived so long and not been demolished to make way for office blocks ~ oh, do look it up on Google !   The restoration has cost some £17 million ~ how exciting for Kate to be involved in such a project ~ "the most extraordinary building in Britain" !

It's not only in the field of RESTORATION that she shines ~ my radio alarm went bananas over the weekend and she calmly fixed it for me to come on at 6.30 with Radio 3 playing classical music ~ such an enriching start to my day !