To see all photos of our visit please see here
In early 2012 I was contacted by the Nahkla dog himself – Rob Wesel, enquiring whether I was attending the Ensisheim meteorite show in June. Rob and his family were visiting the UK prior to the show and afterwards and he wanted to know if we could arrange to travel there together. Unfortunately attending Ensisheim was not possible for me so I put Rob in touch with Luther Jackson and Graham Ensor who were definitely going. Rob made arrangements with them and mentioned to me that he would be in York staying with family just after the show. As York is only a couple of hours drive away from me I offered to meet up with Rob whilst he was there and show him the famous historic Wold Cottage. Arrangements were made and the date booked in the diary 🙂
So on 28th June 2012 I picked Rob up from outside his guesthouse and set off on the hours drive to the Wold Cottage. The trip was a good opportunity to chat as although we had conversed online many times, this was the first time we had met in person. It was great to hear all the tales from the Ensisheim show too. The historic Wold Cottage is situated in the Village of Wold Newton in the beautiful Yorkshire Wolds and before long we had arrived at the picture postcard duck pond on the village green. From here we drove the half mile or so to the beginning of the Wold Cottage’s driveway and stopped for a quick photo. The Wold Cottage slowly came into view as we drove down the winding driveway and Derek was there to meet us as we pulled up outside the house. Derek and Katrina Gray are the owners of the Wold Cottage and as well as a working farm they run it as a traditional bed and breakfast and self catering cottage accommodation. I have stayed there numerous times now and as I introduced Derek and Rob, Derek said to Rob that they can’t get rid of me as I linger like a bad smell! Thanks Derek! 😉
I had another reason to visit again as I had a gift that I wanted to present to Derek and Katrina. I had recently commissioned a painting of the Wold Cottage and the monument from Jerry Armstrong (see link below for more info) and had made a giclee reproduction print that was destined to be hung in the Wold Cottage itself 🙂 I took the opportunity of mine and Rob’s visit to present this print to Derek and he seemed very pleased with it so it will hopefully now be on display on the wall somewhere.
After enjoying a pot of tea with Derek, Rob and I made the trek through the woods and across two fields to the Wold Cottage monument. This marks the exact spot where the meteorite fell on 13th December 1795 and was erected in 1799 by Major Edward Topham. Some of the original brick fragments are scattered around the base of the monument from when it it was renovated in 1999 and with Derek’s permission Rob and I rooted around for some souvenirs 🙂 Unfortunately in the years since then the inscribed plaque has deteriorated due to the weather and its exposed location and this is something I am hoping to address over the next year or so.
Rob had to be back in York by 2pm so we didn’t have long before we had to leave for our next appointment. I had arranged a quick tour of the Wold Top Brewery situated in nearby Humanby Grange. The brewery was initially setup by Derek and Katrina and neighbors Tom and Gill Mellor in 2003 but Derek and Katrina have since passed full ownership to Tom and Gill. The Wold Top brewery brews the infamous ‘Falling Stone’ best bitter and I am sure Tom and Gill would be surprised to find out just how many bottles of ‘Falling Stone’ adorn meteorite display cabinets all over the world 🙂 Unfortunately ‘Falling Stone’ is no longer being produced in bottles but only in kegs so whilst there Rob and I took the opportunity to buy their entire remaining stock of bottles. Some of these made their way back across the pond secreted in Rob’s luggage whilst the bulk is in my garage and is slowly getting depleted as time goes on, hic!
I then rushed Rob back to his waiting family in York where they had a few more days sightseeing before returning to London for their flight home. It was a brief tour but was great to meet Rob after chatting online for so many years. Just before I headed back home to Manchester I had a surprise parting gift from Rob as a thank you for the day. He presented me with a cube of Nordlingen suevite from the Ries crater. The Ries crater was created by a large meteorite impact 14.5 million years ago and the huge pressures and heat made a rock known as suevite. In the middle ages blocks of this suevite were used to build the St. Georges church nearby and these limited edition cubes were cut from some of these blocks. I was very chuffed indeed to receive one of these as a gift and it sits very nicely with the rest of my impactites in my display cabinet, thanks Rob 🙂
To see all photos of our visit please see here
Further reading and links