Guernsey shop owner hopes to build Old Quarter arch
Carnaby Street arch Ms Langford said she had been inspired by the famous London landmark
She said she hoped it would define the Old Quarter in St Peter Port by giving it a formal entrance.
Ms Langford said the aim was to have something made from wrought iron to be in keeping with the area.
She said the idea had the support of other shop owners in the area and the Town Centre Partnership.
Thousands dress up, celebrate the start of the holiday season in downtown Fayetteville
By Chick Jacobs
Ebenezer Scrooge handled his role as Victorian celebrity with the proper curmudgeonly disdain. But even that snarling sourpuss could find little to complain about Friday as more than 10,000 people gathered to officially welcome the Christmas season downtown.
“It’s been a gorgeous day, and people have responded wonderfully,” said Deborah Martin-Mintz, the executive director of the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “People want to get out and enjoy the weather, and get into the spirit of the season.”
The 12th annual Dickens Holiday drew people looking for a brief break from leftover turkey sandwiches and the mind-numbing mobs of Black Friday. For one evening in downtown Fayetteville, they could share the street with characters straight out of a Victorian setting.
That included Queen Victoria herself, who officially opened the holiday season from the balcony of the Market House.
OK, so it wasn’t really the queen, any more than the real Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley grudgingly posed with passersby. And that wasn’t really Elvis Presley performing for fans in The Shops at 214 Hay Street. But for one evening, it was fun to pretend.
“It’s been a busy day, a lot busier than usual,” said Aneta Brewer, who owns The Burlap and Poppy Shoppe on Hay Street. “We’ve had a lot of people who’ve come in browsing.
“It may not be as hectic as Black Friday, but I think it’s a lot more enjoyable,” Brewer said.
The sounds and sights of a long-ago Christmas echoed down the side streets, from the clip-clop of horse hooves carrying passengers to the Coventry Carolers and the rhythmic rumbling of a Tuba Christmas inside Hay Street United Methodist Church.
On every corner, street vendors offered spiced cider and gingerbread cookies along with handmade arts and crafts.
Wrought iron artist Jason Thomas of Gray’s Creek hammered on a century-old anvil, delighting spectators as he created art from iron.
“I couldn’t do some of the more intricate stuff here,” he said, nodding to ornate ironwork he was offering for sale. “But a lot of the kids, they’ve never seen someone work on an anvil before.”
The stars of the event were characters plucked from Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Bob Crachit and Tiny Tim blessed everyone within earshot, but like a bad-guy wrestler, everyone wanted to be seen with Scrooge.
“Bah! Humbug!” was the usual response from Scrooge, known in the real world as George Quigley. But inevitably he’d stop long enough for a photo, his shock of white hair and red-and-white nightshirt making a daring fashion statement.
Shortly after sunset, a lone bagpiper played “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” and thousands of people lit their candles and strolled down Hay Street. The crowd stood three streets deep as local dignitaries, then Queen Victoria herself, welcomed the holiday season.
Following a crowd countdown, the street was flooded with Christmas lights and a cascade of fireworks.
The one-day event was originally intended to draw people downtown in 2000 to see how redevelopment had changed the city’s center. About 1,000 people attended that first year.
Now, the number has swelled more than 10-fold.
“It’s built every year, Martin-Mintz said. “Now it’s an event people look forward to. They want to bring their children and share the experience.”
Rotary launches Sanders Park sensory garden appeal
The plans for the plot, which is being supported by Bromsgrove District Council, include a central wrought-iron wishing well with safe shallow canal spokes running from it, so it takes on the shape of the Rotary Club’s wheel logo. Those channels and the well will be surrounded by a variety of sensory plants and shrubs, as well as memorial benches.
The Rotary Club has contributed £40,000 so far to the project, but it is looking to raise another £30,000 to complete it.
Consultations on the design have been held with local youngsters, including disabled people, so the garden can support their recreational and educational needs, as well as being easily accessible to those with reduced mobility.
Labour is being provided by park volunteers, the district council and the probation services and it is hoped work on the site will begin in the new year.
Among the fund-raising opportunities are sponsorship of the supply of plants, entry on a Rotary scroll of honour and there is also the chance for donors to be key sponsors of the scheme.
Bromsgrove’s Rotary Club president Ken Pheysey has contacted The Standard to appeal for help with the project.
“We want to build this garden to benefit everyone using Sanders Park – it could last for generations and we need your help to make it happen,” he added.
Those wanting to donate can send their contributions to: ‘The Rotary Club of Bromsgrove’, C/O Beaumont Lawns, Marlbrook, Bromsgrove. B60 1HZ.
Restored trolley line car will have new home in Burleson
By Gordon Dickson
“I believe it’s going to a good home,” said Lee Lavell, who worked for years as both a volunteer and employee of the Fort Worth Transportation Authority to restore the car to its original luster, logging hundreds of hours in a back lot of the T’s headquarters on East Lancaster Avenue. “I’m a little disappointed it’s leaving Fort Worth. But believe me, they tried to find a place for it. It’s going to sit at the last remaining Interurban station that still exists, and it’s not far from Fort Worth.”
The T board approved a proposal last week to move Car 411 to the Burleson Visitors Center, where it will be put on permanent display alongside another rail car. The T, using a $220,000 federal grant, spent several years restoring the rail car and enlisted the help of dozens of volunteers, who collectively logged 9,200 hours on the project, Lavell said.
But once the work was complete, the T struggled to find a permanent place to display it. A similar Interurban vehicle, Car 25, has been on display at the Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Fort Worth since 2003 and will remain there.
In their heyday, cars 411 and 25 ran on the Interurban, an electrified long-distance trolley line operated by North Texas Traction Co. that connected Fort Worth to Arlington, Dallas and many other North Texas cities. The Interurban ferried riders at speeds of up to 70 mph, offering an ornate setting and a blue-collar form of pre-World War II luxury.
But after the Interurban ceased operation in late 1934, much of its fleet was lost to history. A banker moved cars 25 and 411 to a farm near present-day Eagle Mountain Lake. There, they, along with another Interurban vehicle, Car 407, served for many years as lakeside housing, with the rail cars laid out in a horseshoe shape facing the lake. In 1995, the owner donated cars 25 and 411 to the T.
Burleson and Cleburne submitted proposals to take ownership of Car 411, and Burleson was chosen because that city’s heritage foundation had an immediate plan to place the car on permanent display, said Nancy Amos, T senior executive vice president. Burleson, a growing city about 13 miles south of Fort Worth, also had a stop on the Interurban line.
“They have an established museum with another rail car already on display,” Amos said, adding that Burleson officials said they can have the rail car moved by crane within two weeks, as soon as they’re given notice to proceed. “The Burleson Heritage Foundation is a support agency. They’re committed to a security system with an alarm and wrought-iron-type fencing, and they’ll put a historical marker on it.”
The cars were built by the St. Louis Car Co. after the North Texas Traction Co. placed an order in 1913, according to Interurban history on file with the T.
The cars featured inlaid mahogany paneling, stained-glass windows, a “ladies compartment” with wool seats and a “smoking compartment” with leather seats in the rear. The cars were originally dark green with gold trim and were repainted red, white and gold in 1924 when the Crimson Limited service was unveiled.
But the rail cars were stripped of some of their original treatments while used as housing near Eagle Mountain Lake.
“The people at the lake had cut a door in the side of a car. They had removed a stained-glass window and had cut through the framework of the car,” Lavell said. But he said an employee has replaced the wood panels and rewelded the framework, and volunteers re-created the stained-glass windows to their original shape.
“Fifty percent of the glass on the car going to Burleson is original glass,” he said, adding that volunteers reordered the missing glass from the original manufacturer. “It turned out the stained-glass company that originally made them was still in business.”
In Burleson, the freight car that is already on display, No. 330, is popular with school groups, said Leon Sapp, a coordinator with the Burleson Heritage Foundation.
“When it started running in 1912, the only thing between Fort Worth and Cleburne was dirt, and it took a day to get there,” he said, adding that the freight car often carried items ranging from dry goods ordered at Leonards Department Store to ice cream from Pangburn’s.
At Home: In all seasons
With the help of his partner, Pekin man spent three years building the perfect addition behind his childhood home
By LESLIE RENKEN
When it was all said and done, the space became an all-season room with heated floors and a thermostatically-controlled fireplace. It is filled with about 20 flourishing tropical plants.
“It took a good three years to build,” said David DeKeyser, an architect for Roeckers Inc. who lives in the home with his long-time partner Tim Williams, an interior designer and owner of Timothie’s Interiors in Pekin, and William’s parents Jackie and Roy.
“I was basically the only person building it,” said DeKeyser. “Tim was my helper – he’s the painter and he did all the finishing work.”
The 12-foot by 25-foot room is mostly windows. It juts off the back of the Williams’ 150-year-old home, extending into the long, narrow backyard. It has eight seven-foot-tall sets of French doors which can be opened on warm days, making the room an extension of the surrounding garden.
“It’s kind of neat to sit out here in the summer and watch TV,” said DeKeyser. “The fireflies come into the room and you get the occasional bird fly through.”
The doors in the sun room are all built of cedar and pickled white. DeKeyser built them himself to save the cost of expensive custom-made doors. Two corners of the room are actually formed by doors – when closed each pair of doors come together to create a 90 degree angle.
Like all the decorating choices in the addition, the door hardware was chosen to harmonize with the old part of the house. Diminutive black doorknobs and oversized vertical latches at the tops and bottoms of the doors look like they belong on an antique house.
Harmonizing with the home’s architecture is important to Williams, who lived there through a good portion of his childhood. He is the sixth generation of his family to occupy the house, which was built in the mid-1800s by his great-great-great-grandfather, Tim Soldwedel, a German immigrant who started Soldwedel Dairy in Pekin and Canton.
Williams and his parents moved into the house in 1958. Except for about 20 years in her early adulthood, his mother has lived there her entire life.
In 2004 Williams and DeKeyser sold their house near Bradley University and moved into the family home in Pekin to assist Williams’ elderly parents so they could continue living in their home.
“They weren’t going to be able to stay here much longer,” said Williams. “I’m the only child. My mother is 89 and my dad is 92. We just felt it was right that she live out her life here. Her mother died here, her grandmother died here, and her great-grandmother died here, in this house.”
About a year ago Williams’ parents deeded the property to both their son and his partner.
Even before they lived there, Williams and DeKeyser were making improvements and doing repairs to the old home. A leaky flat roof above an exterior entrance was rebuilt to form a peak by DeKeyser. The alteration, which was finished with the same type of cedar shake siding used above the front porch, fits perfectly with the style of the house.
The pair are also in the process of remodeling a porch on the side of the house to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
Making slight alterations to the house does not interfere with its historical integrity since all the home’s previous owners have made changes to suit their own taste. In the 1950s, William’s grandfather hired a local architect to add a New Orleans-style flair to the house. The wrought iron railings and posts added at that time still decorate the exterior.
The home’s interior, which is filled with objects owned by all the generations that have lived there, is pretty much the same as when Jackie Williams redecorated after moving home in the late ’50s. But Tim Williams and his partner are starting to add their own personalities to the mix.
“I think eventually I would like to have it be a little more contemporary,” said Williams.
“Any changes would just be in keeping with the house and maybe updating it a little bit,” said DeKeyser.
The new sun room reflects their style. It is contemporary with a nod to the elegant past. Groupings of chairs and tables invite sitting. A small bank of lightly whitewashed walnut cupboards create a bar at one end of the room. The striking soapstone countertop holds a quirky wooden sink the couple found during a trip to Key West.
“We don’t know what the wood is,” said Williams. “We think it’s teak. Occasionally we seal it with tung oil.”
Every evening the couple eat dinner in the room. On 90 degree days they open up all the doors and are cooled by breezes coming in from any of three directions. In the winter, the windows afford a view of the snow-covered garden while the fireplace and heated floors keep the room toasty warm.
“It was pretty when we had that blizzard last winter,” said Williams.
During the holidays the house is still a favorite spot for members of the extended family, some of whom travel across several states to celebrate in the town where they grew up.
“I have a cousin who lives in Manhattan,” said Williams. “She has a great life, but during the holidays she still feels like this is home. She says ‘I can come back here and I feel like nothing has changed.”
Living deeply rooted in the community with daily reminders of a long and proud family history is an everyday thing in the Williams-DeKeyser family.
“We just think that’s how it should be,” said Williams.