Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Short Film about Kirkham Church

The famous travel writer and admirer of church architecture, Pevsner, called the tower and spire of St. Michael’s church in Kirkham: "Perhaps the finest work of Edmund Sharpe", which just about sums up this article because, unless you live in Kirkham, you’ve probably never heard of either of them.
We haven’t had a Sunday video for a while. Not that it matters, because virtually nobody watches these things anyhow. If they did, we wouldn’t have had the debate about the pronunciation of Fylde and Wyre recently, seeing as the Stalmine salt mines film must have mentioned both locations quite audibly several times. Regardless of that, I thought I’d bung another video up anyhow, just to make it look as though I’ve been busy, even though all I did was type in the words ‘Kirkham’ and ‘Church’ over at Google Video.
So, how about a bit of history to go with tonight’s main feature then (also obtained by typing in the words ‘Kirkham’, ‘Church’ and ‘History’ at Google)?
St. Michael’s in Kirkham (according to the website I’ve just half inched this lot from) dates all the way back to 684AD. Not that there’s anything left of the original building to see nowadays, of course, the present edifice being rebuilt in 1822. The nave, apparently, was put together by the Preston architect, Robert Roper (presumably he had some help) on the foundations of the older building, in 1844 the west tower and spire were added by the Lancaster architect, Edmund Sharpe...again, obviously either an incredibly well-built bloke or one whose friends don’t warrant a mention, and the chancel was chucked into the whole ensemble in 1853.
Inside the church, or so my sources tell me, the roof is supported by ‘industrial’ looking beams, pierced by quatrefoil and dagger openings that wouldn’t look out of place under a railway bridge. (Whoever wrote that was obviously impressed.) The font is Victorian, the stained glass likewise albeit mimicking a medieval renaissance style and a ‘cased reredos’ behind the altar (whatever one of them is) originates from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.
But enough of this informative preamble. We know that you’re dying to click that play button and put your expensively obtained broadband to good use. Filmed on what is obviously a typical British summer afternoon, we proudly present ‘Kirkham Parish Church Spire Undergoing Repair’. Stephen Spielberg is trembling in his mansion tonight:


JahTeh said...

Why you Bart Fasted, you know I haven't got enough years left to load that video on dial-up.

I'm still trying to remember how to pronounce Fylde and Wyre because I got teached proper engrish.

Brian Hughes said...


It's 'Fye' as in the mispronunciation of 'Fly' - 'Eld' as in the past tense of a Cockney holding onto something, 'Wye' as in Charles Lawton's parting statement to the world in 'The Hunchback of Notredamn' - 'Er' as in the sound emmitted by a teenager when asked to explain the meaning of his/her own continued existence.

And it's 'Broadband' as in 'Time to join the rest of the 21st Century' by selling off your old computer to a museum and upgrading to one that isn't powered by coal.

JahTeh said...

My Lord, you're rich enough to afford a coal powered computer, I'm so impressed. I've only got a kick-in-the-bum house elf in a hamster cage.

Brian Hughes said...

You have to watch those house elves, Witchy. Some of 'em are defective when it comes to numerical literacy and can only count up to nought in binary.

Feral Beast said...

I'd hate to be all the way up there!

Brian Hughes said... Britain, you mean?

Jayne said...

Um...I think he was referring to the height of the roof, not your country of origin Mister Hughes :P
He's trying to learn Gaelic at the moment, so he'll have to throw in a few more grunts and rolling rrrr's for you :P

Brian Hughes said...

Trying to learn Gaelic? Strewth. Good luck to him. Personally I've been trying to learn Olde English/Saxon for the last few centuries. "Mislimpan ic i béo ne egesfullic éad." That means 'Unfortunately I'm not terribly good at it'...or at least it's suppossed to.

Ann O'Dyne said...

ooh er - 'reredos' - thanks for that, it looks useful for Scrabble playing.

and no I am not muckin abaht wiv the TubeYou thingy, will just take your word for it.

Brian Hughes said...

Reredos: A carved or painted screen behind the altar.

Thought I'd look it up 'cos I had no idea what it was myself.

Ozfemme said...

I watched it. When are we being tested on it?

Brian Hughes said...


You mean you didn't find it testing enough already?

Jayne said...

Bugger, I thought we were being tested on the strength and names of the local brews...

Brian Hughes said...


I could set you a test on the strength and names of the local 'brewees' if you like. I'd have to round up all the local drunks, (in Fleetwood's case that'd consist of the three bearded old blokes who permanently occupy the bench at the base of the lighthouse) lock 'em in a broom cupboard for four hours, and see which one's standing at the end.

Place your bets now folks:

Castlemaine O'Riley - 3/1 favourite
Boddington Bert - 20 to 1 against not choking on his own vomit
Argumentative Angus and his bottle of meths - evens for suffering from the DTs by the time he gets out.

Honest Hughes Bookmakers. I'll pocket your money and run - honestly.

Matthew Steeples said...

If you are fans of Edmund Sharpe, you should oppose this inappropriate development at Wyreside Hall: