Northleach

Northleach is a little market town in the Cotswolds. Now it’s time here for a dreadful admission. The Cotswolds are OK, but they are not my favourite place. The towns and villages are very twee and pretty – too manicured for my taste. Northleach does something to address the balance. It feels like a place where real people live and work. It is pretty, of course. In fact, a charming place.

We visited with a specific destination in mind and we’ll come to that but let’s see a bit of Northleach first.

The town sign stands in the Market Place.

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The houses are in the local stone which always looks mellow.

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And yes, there is a market. Presumably Wednesday, when we were there, is market day.

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The local butcher – what a delightful building.

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It really is a case of every prospect pleases.

Local house owners clearly accept that their windows are clearly visible to passers-by. They add interest to them.

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I loved these jelly moulds.

We took a picnic in the churchyard.

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But the purpose of our visit had been to visit the mechanical music museum and what a fantastic place that is. Our tour included music boxes, polyphons, piano players and gramophones. There were a number of barrel organs – and I had the pleasure of winding a handle to play one. I was taken back to childhood when we found a hymn tune barrel organ in Tarring Neville Church near Newhaven. There were also small reed organs with music on card discs or paper rolls.

And here’s a player harmonium being explained by our wonderful tour guide who brought things to life. Clearly a real enthusiast.

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A fantastic visit.

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