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Adrian Fletcher & Dom Paradox D.O.C.G.

aka Paradox of Paradoxplace, Adriano of Ciao Adriano and author of family website Ciaofamiglia




Finding more new (for us) places, revisiting interesting old places and

tracking down lots of ancestor bones


Link to Bellatrovata 2009 road trip


More about Adrian Fletcher




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Finally, back to Long Melford in West Suffolk for a taste of (post) Christmas.  This alabaster bas-relief dates from c1350 - 150 years before the present church - and was discovered during later work on the nave in the 1700s.  The animals are kept almost out of sight, whilst the midwife plumps the pillows in this luxury manger and Josph has a special rest for his sleepy head!





Limpsfield - The Church Choir sings carols whilst the bookshop offers wine enhanced browsing - Saturday 26 November.

Now, sadly, it's time to start packing.




Back with our recent Durham photos, a Prince Bishop enjoys the winter sun and looks down on the Cathedral's crossing from on high.



Whilst this interesting combination of Asian goddess and innocent Luxuria lives just out of easy eyeshot range above the choir.




Next phase of recording the family photo albums - the Northern Irish side of the family (the Sproules from Fintona, Co Tyrone).

Reunion holiday at Ballymore, Donegal in August 1935.




What discipline - wearing sola topees inside a train - whilst my uncle has brought his own loco.  Bengal c1930.





After discovering a "new" pic in the family photo albums, the Instow (Devon) visit is rerun here ......









Below is possibly the only heritage listed signal box around (though there are no trains any more - they ended in the early 1980s).


After WWII my father was posted by the army to Instow (N Devon).  Back then Instow had a station served by a single track railway line.  The signalman used to come to the edge of the little podium, and hand a large hoop or "key" to the passing engine driver, which confirmed that he had the right of way, and that there were no trains travelling in the opposite direction. 


I can remember watching these exchanges, and even had my own "key" (called a "rat" by me - no idea why) made from used crown cork and seal beer  bottle tops with a hole punched in the middle, so they could be threaded onto a loop of fencing wire.


Note also the signal at the back left, which is in the down or go position.  In those days horizontal meant stop and down meant go.  Someone twigged after the first 100 years or so of this convention that down could also mean cable link broken.  So the convention was changed to up means go.








Trawling through an old photo album we identify and enlarge our first (little) photo of the whole Burton Family - on holiday in 1910  in Walton on the Naze (SE Essex).

Cyril (16), Ethel (20 and Adrian's grandmother), Surgeon Lt Col John Adolphus Burton (56 and just retired from the Indian Medical Service),

Gem Burton (Middlecoat) (39) and Charlie (21).  Jimmy Fletcher was there as well in the role of Charlie's medical school mate rather than Ethel's future hubbie.



Mary Middlecoat (Locke) (Gem's mother and Adrian's Grt Grt Grandmother) 1850 - 1928  (78),

appears in the same album visiting the Burton Family in their house in Upper Norwood (London) in 1912















St Peter's Church, Limpsfield





A fascinating set of 7 Norman couples in the Church of St John the Baptist, Armytage (Staffordshire)




A more athletic approach to sex - capital in St Michael with St Mary, Melbourne (Derbyshire)




San Michele fights a fiery multi-headed dragon in the Norman font in the Thorpe Arnold parish church of St Mary (Leicestershire), which also has capitals illustrating a toothy lion, a green man, a mouth pulling male exhibitionist (below) and an acrobat doing something unmentionable.



More groinworks from Anthony Weir




Old Brignall Church - at the end of a long and very muddy walk down into the Greta River valley near Barnard Castle. 

There were a mill and houses here when Robert Procter was Church Warden, Overseer and Constable in the second half of the 1740s



The Procter men from Barnard Castle, York and Scarborough


Adrian's 6x grt grandparents were Robert and Ann Procter, living at "Moorside", Staindrop (possibly a tenant farm belonging to Raby Castle) .  Ann was buried in June 1733 in Staindrop after giving birth to three or four children including the next Robert Procter.  Robert then married Mary Elizabeth Calvert  in Staindrop in February 1734 and started a new family.  It seems they moved to Old Brignall (above) in the early 1740s, and Robert was Overseer, Constable and Church Warden in the 1740s.  No burial records (yet) - possibly Old Brignall though we did not find the Procter name on any of the dozen or so grave-stones left there. 


5x grt grandfather - Robert Procter was ch July 1730 in St Mary Staindrop, married Elizabeth Hall in Old Brignall in May 1758, but later seems to have been working at Rokeby as three or four of their children were christened in the 1760s.  Robert and Elizabeth were buried in St Mary Barnard Castle in April 1799 (69) (him) and December 1805 (her).  His burial record states that he was a farmer.  No tombstone located yet.  


4x grt grandfather Joseph Procter 1764 - 1847 (83) was christened at Rokeby in January 1764.  He ran a Chemyst / Druggist / Grocer shop (now an optometrist) opposite the Barnard Castle Butter Market.  The shop is listed in the Pigot & Co 1828-29 Barnard Castle Directory.  The grave of Joseph's 3 wives and some infant children is in St Mary's churchyard, and part of the sunken bit of the gravestone has revealed a memorial to Robert - son of Joseph and first wife Mary Harrison (1763 - 1797 (34)) (m March 1792).   There is more writing to uncover - quite possibly Joseph himself is here!


3x grt grandfather Robert Procter 1794 - 1842 (48), was christened in St Mary, Barnard Castle, on 11 May 1794.   He was described later as a chemyst, though more back-street than shopfront we think.  He moved to York in the first half of the 1810s, and married Elizabeth Ashton (1801 - 1873 (72)) in All Saints (a posh church in North St, York) in January 1819.  She was the daughter of Coachman John Ashton of Bubwith / York, who was christened in the beautiful old York church of St Olave in September 1801.  She is buried with second husband George Kettlewell in St Mary, Haxby (just north of York).  Robert and Elizabeth lived in the Fishergate end of George St, Walmgate, one of the poorest slums in England - one can only speculate as to what a Chemyst did - sell herbal tobacco for the women's pipes and look after abortions?  He died suddenly from an apoplectic fit on 2 August 1842 aged only 48 (his dad had lived to 83 and his Procter grandad to 69) and was buried with 9 strangers in a public grave in York Cemetery (visited and photographed by us in 2011).


2x grt grandfather Joseph Procter - 1831 - 1902 (71), Robert's only son, was christened at the "Percy family church" of St Denys in Walmgate on 14 August 1831.  He is picked up in Walmgate in the 1841 census, but has not yet been found in 1851.   By the mid 1850s he had become a Master Draper and set up shop in Scarborough, marrying a local girl - Elizabeth Dobson - in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel on 8 March 1859.  Elizabeth was a Milliner and joined the business as well as having 6 sons and 2 daughters, one of whom (another Elizabeth) became Adrian's grt grandmother Fletcher.  The Procters left behind an attractive shop in the main drag Westborough (now a rare survivor in bland post WWII bebuilt redbrick central Scarborough), and a grave in Scarborough's Manor Road Cemetery.




Joseph Procter's Chemyst shop in Barnard Castle was where the opticians now is.  Charles Dickens once stayed briefly next door, but that can be said of lots of the houses in the area!!






In the St Mary Churchyard across the road, 2 hours (truly!) of trowelling and brushing revealed the Robert Procter (d1842) lines on the sunken base of Mary Procter et al's gravestone - there is probably more (including Joseph himself d1847) but the job needs a spade !




Footsore after our Durham day, back to a comfy chair and pint in front of  the fire (and 1946 J Y Gilroy painted room) in the Dickens Bar in the Morritt Hotel at Greta Bridge - Paradiso




Durham Castle



900 year old Norman faces bathed in winter sun high high up in an arcade spandrel



The ultimate English cathedral nave vista - the first nave in Europe to have a stone vaulted roof.  A day in Durham Cathedral with photographer permit - Paradiso




Seed sowing in ?May, foot warming in ?February, and a jack-in-the-box said to represent Acquaius - any ideas?

The font of St Peters, Thorpe Salvin (South Yorkshire).





Saturday 30 October - the Annual Lincoln Sausage Festival on the castle lawns in the bright Autumn sun, a squiz at Lincoln Magna Carta in the castle, the cathedral bells peal for two or three hours, lots of being time inside our favourite English Cathedral (including listening to an organ practice), footsore and happily ex-aw-sted   .....  then a couple of ice cold Singha Beers and an excellent green curry ..... a perfick day really.   





A sympathetic red traffic light facilitated this dusk photo of the Cathedral from the South on the drive up to Lincoln on Friday evening






The original wills of 7xGrt Grandfathers Robert Aldous (1709, with an amazing mark !) (below) and John Whiting (1729) (above)






Including a mermaid, an unspeakable act and (at last) the Burnham Deepdale monthly activities font



December Feast, November Pig Killing, October Wine Decanting, September Corn Threshing.  1/3 of the Font of St Mary, Burnham Deepdale (N Norfolk).



Punishment (for concupiscence) in the porch of St Margaret's Church, Cley next the Sea (Norfolk) - devils prepare to inflict infernal & eternal rape ...



Mermaid bench end - All Saints Church, Upper Sherrington (N Norfolk)






A stopover at The Magpie on the way hopefully to some 1700s will originals in Norwich - then  a Saturday at leisure staying next to Lincoln Cathedral. 

On the left the rainbow is pointing roughly at where James Aldous and his family lived in the mid 1800s.  And the Magi?



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Link to Bellatrovata 2009 road trip




Adrian Fletcher's main website



Paradoxplace, a place full of  the buildings (especially abbeys cathedrals and churches), art, books, history and stories of the movers and shakers of Medieval and Early Modern Europe / Renaissance Italy and Western Europe plus lots of foodie stuff. 



Paradoxplace photo pages about Britain






Bellatrovata is the original "on the road" site for Adrian (aka Adriano and Dom Paradox) Fletcher's European explorations.  Material relating to explorations in Italy (including Tuscany, Rome and Venice), Spain, France and Britain between 2004 and 2006 has now been transferred to Adrian's main web site - Paradoxplace - and Bellatrovata contains photos and stories from the Autumn 2009 & 2011 road trips in England.   The website Ciao Adriano has illustrated accounts of extensive travels in France, Italy and England over 6 months in 2007.



Most material in this site is Adrian Fletcher 2000-2015 unless otherwise stated - the contents may not be hotlinked or reproduced except as explained in the Paradoxplace copyright policy.

Feedback and comments to afletch at paradoxplace dot com