Wendy’s Wanderings. Warm Sweaters.
After last week’s little episode I decide a trip to Worthing and a little retail therapy was in order. Thankfully I had a lift to the town and a promise of lift home, so I was going to enjoy my expedition, something I have not done for a while. I was in desperate need of some warmer sweaters, but being too eager to buy them, I walked into the nearest shop and ended up with four bright new sweaters. As I paid for them I began to question impulsive decision. My plan had been to have a good look around the town at leisure, but how was I going to manage now with stick in one hand and a bag full of the sweaters in the other?
I must have looked preoccupied as the shop assistant, who had been extremely helpful bringing sweaters from the top or bottom shelves to eye level so that I didn’t need to bend, must have read my mind. You look as though you could do with a coffee, she said ‘Why don’t to leave your package with me and have a little wander around and treat yourself to a coffee and cake? Their package will be safe with me.’
I could have flung my arms around her, but instead I thanked sweetly and said I would be back in about an hour or so. My mind had plans for me to rush around browsing from store to store, but my body was set on a different course. Two shops in that coffee, cake and a rest seemed like a very good idea. Again I was greeted with nothing but overwhelming kindness. Although this was a self-service cafe, the assistant told me to find a seat and she would bring my coffee and cake to me. Being fiercely independent and not one for accepting help easily I found my feeling quite emotional. Did I really look that decrepit and I wanted to shout I am not THAT old you know! Instead I graciously accepted the kindness from a total stranger.
Energised I decide I still had half a hour to spare so walked along to Liverpool Terrace in the centre of Worthing and sat in the little garden watching everyone else rushing by. It was cold but sunny and it made me feel spring was only just around the corner.
I love living in Worthing, it is a town full of superb Victorian, Georgian and Victorian architecture, with lots of little secrets, and every time I visit I find something of interest. For example, Liverpool Terrace and the gardens are named after Lord Liverpool, Britain’s longest serving Prime Minister (1812-1827). It was designed by Henry Cotton, and looked out onto a pleasure garden, where the residents could play bowls or archery and there was even an impressive gateway from Montague Street, but sadly by 1911 the gardens were overgrow, dogs were fouling the garden and it looked in a sad state. By the 1930’s most of the houses, once owned by the rich had been converted into flats and a fire in 1935 only added to the decline. Then in 1937 the Council stepped in and purchased the gardens in an attempt to improve the area, and by October 1949 the whole terrace was listed as being of historical interest and the ‘Liverpool Terrace Association’ restored it to its former glory. It was agreed that the terrace should be painted in ‘country cream,’ which has remained to this day
Just across from the garden overlooking the Terrace are the ‘Frink Heads’ as they are known locally.
The Desert Quartet, as they are official known are the creation of Dame Elizabeth Frink (1920-1993) who with Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth is considered to be one of the greatest British sculptors of the 20th century. They were completed in 1989 and so called because they were inspired by her feelings whilst
on a visit to the Tunisian desert. These were not the first designs put forward to the Council by the sculptor, which included a frieze depicting animals and a naked running man, but rejected by the Council and being in bad taste and possibly
offence. Some claim these rather dour heads were Dame Elizabeth’s response to the strong objects to her original design. They were unveiled on 13 June 1990, and each head measures 4ft high set on 7 ft pedestals, and their name derives from a visit Dame Elizabeth made to Tunisia. Love them or hate, they are interesting and
give my plenty of food for thought.