The Domesday Book, Gallery Oldham, Dot-to-Dot, Snake Pass – the Best of England?

Happy Spring Bank Holiday everybody.

So we’re home after our whirlwind summer holiday / tour of England. After the LUPC / SUPC conference on Wednesday and my keynote, it was up to Lincoln for my (non-exec) Board meeting, where a unique exhibition opened at the weekend, with the Lincoln Magna Carta, the Charter of the Forest and the Domesday Book (on loan from the National Archives) being displayed together for the first time ever.  This marks the 800th anniversary of the battle of Lincoln, which few of us have heard of but changed the course of English history.  There are also lots of painted knights on display around the City, great fun for the kids (and adults really) to find and admire – well worth a trip this summer.

Then on to Oldham on Thursday afternoon, previously the second largest city / town in England that I have never visited, for a quick stop at the impressive GalleryOldham. Took in an exhibition of art works there that use 3D print processes (technology meets creativity) and an excellent dinner at the White Hart, Lydgate – thoroughly recommended if you are in the area.

Overnight in the Premier Inn then Manchester on Friday for the Dot-to-Dot music festival. 150 bands playing across 20 venues, an exhausting but great day, with highlights being Slow Readers Club (see picture above), young indie kids RedFaces, Amber Run and Ten Tonnes.  After the tragic events of last Monday, only a handful of acts pulled out, and there was definitely a mood of “let’s show the ba****ds" in the city, and the minute’s silence at 10pm was movingly observed.

Then, a stunning drive over Snake Pass on a beautiful Saturday morning, where we came across a rally of vintage TVR sports cars enjoying the twisting roads and stunning vistas, and on to Sheffield to see sister and family and my Mother to celebrate her 89th birthday; then home yesterday via M25 gridlock.

It has felt a little like a sprint through the best that England has to offer - from scenery to music, food to art, scenery to sports cars - it also feels like I’ve been away from procurement for weeks rather than 4 days, but we’ll be back in full swing tomorrow. No doubt we will be asking the big questions, such as what on earth is going on with two great British institutions – the Conservative Party and British Airways?

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