Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lower Strensham

It's that time of year when wild cyclamen put in their surprise appearance: we have a few at home, in the long grass by one of our entrance gateposts. And here's a photograph of many more, which I took on Friday outside St Peter and St Paul, Lower Strensham. Quite a job, it is, to track down this church, though it is hardly more than a stone's throw from the M5. You go along a single-track lane for about a mile, and when you eventually reach the redundant church, you rather wonder whether it's worth the effort.

To start with, it doesn't look much from the outside; and it's kept locked, so the question arises: how do you get in? I was lucky, in that someone happened to be there to show me where the key was kept.

Once inside, it's a different story: the wood- and stonework are magnificent. And there is a "Good Samaritan" window by an artist new to me, Florence Camm (1874-1960), a pupil of Henry Payne. She spent all her life in Smethwick, running a successful stained glass company with her two brothers - and this at a time when women artists and designers were struggling to be taken seriously.

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