Sunday, 24 February 2013

Mystery man

Isn't it amazing the things you stumble across? I took a short cut up a side street in Preston and noticed this head sticking out of the side of a disused building. Totally intrigued, I've been doing some detective work trying to find out more.

At first sight, I thought he looked a bit like a monk and discovered that the street, Marsh Lane, used to be called Friars Lane and had been the site of a monastery founded in 1220. In fact, it leads off a street called Friargate.

But what was the meaning of the symbols?

More detective work and a visit to the local history section in the library and I had my answer*. The head is thought to be William Caxton, the first English printer, born c.1422. The symbols are in fact the trademark he used on his printings. However, the building used to belong to William Kilner Ltd, glass and china merchants (I wonder if they were related to the Kilners of Kilner jar fame?).

So how did William Caxton end up on the building of a china merchant? You can tell from the way the symbols are cut off that the head wasn't there originally and photos of the building from the early 1900s confirm it. At the end of the street is a bookshop though the buildings are separate - could there be a link? Lots of questions still to be answered but my curiosity has been satisfied for the time being - a mystery for another time.

What's less of a mystery is how beautiful this crocus is. There are a few flowering in the garden at the moment but this is by far my favourite.

I'm on my own for the next few days as Chickpea has gone to stay with her boyfriend. It was his birthday yesterday and the three of us, my parents and his parents went to Frankie & Benny's last night to celebrate.

Today has flown by in a blur of housework, quilting and baking. I have a new member of staff starting tomorrow and have organised coffee and cakes in the morning to meet the team. These ginger muffins are my contribution and are from Delia Smith's recipe for a tray bake. I've only iced half of them (with lemon icing) in case some prefer their muffins plain.

Later, I'll be enjoying a spot of knitting and reading. Hope you enjoy what's left of the weekend. x

(*Thank you to Aidan Turner-Bishop's book 'A walk round the block'.)


  1. I enjoyed reading about the mystery man! I like a bit of intrigue! Your little cakes look amazing.
    M xxx

  2. I just love that building detail *and* your detective work. Not to mention your curiosity ~ it's a quality that seems to be fading ~ so I honor it when I recognize it in others.

    And those ginger muffins sound delicious!