Thursday, 26 June 2008

A Bury Happy Place to Live

Welcome to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, which is the home of my Almost Average Household. It's a gentrified town, full of history and vibrancy, where visitors from the North, South and East are welcomed by the beautiful sight of the cathedral tower, which was only added at the turn of this century.

The three buildings shown below are all located on the historic Angel Hill and include The Athenaeum, (which was designed by the famous architect Robert Adam), the Abbey Gate, (which was burnt down in 1327 and then rebuilt by the townspeople) and The Angel Hotel, (which was regularly frequented by Charles Dickens).

So what's with the tour?

Well I thought it would make a nice break from the usual talk of rubbish and thought it would be a great opportunity to put The Rubbish Diet into context. So far, the only thing I've revealed about our wonderful medieval town is how great the council is at recycling. But there's so much more to the place than St Edmundsbury Borough Council's wheelie bins and the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

As it was market day yesterday, I took some photos on my travels, to give a pictorial account of a fairly typical shopping day in the life of Almost Mrs Average.

I know I am such a lucky girl to have all this on my doorstep. Maybe this is the reason I am always happy. It would be hard not to smile when surrounded by such beautiful buildings on such a sunny summer's day.

Above is the gorgeous building which plays host to the stationers WH Smith, which I use for greetings cards. Of course, I always choose cards that don't come with plastic wrappers and this is one of the rare stores that have such a range.

The photo to the right is of the Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, another building designed by Adam, which I try and frequent as much as possible when time permits. It provides space and inspiration for bursts of creativity when needed and it's the place where I often bump into the fabulous artists of Rojo Art, who make some beautiful things from junk.

Here are some photos of our award winning market, which comes to Bury St Edmunds on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Some days there are around 10 fruit and vegetables stalls offering a really wide choice, from your bargain "£1 a basket" through to more expensive goods.

My favourite is John Webber's stall, where you are guaranteed very friendly service with a really warm welcome. Jenny who you see below is always a breath of fresh air even on a cold rainy day.

While wandering around the market, it is noticeable that many of the customers are of the older generation, partly because of the weekly coach trips that come in from far and wide. And as you can see amongst the older folk, there's a fairly good mix of those who bring their own shopping bags and those who don't.

"Say Cheese", to our local cheesemongers, which is always a popular stall. Even so, it only took about 5 minutes of waiting patiently to get served.

I love these two stalls below, picking up some fresh bread from one and local sausages and eggs from the other. To the right, you can see the new Abbeygate Gates, the latest "Marmite topic" to be featured in the Bury Free Press, our weekly paper. The local townsfolk are often split over stuff like this, either loving or hating them and never the twain shall meet.

So having bought a load of apples, bananas, tomatoes, carrots, satsumas, strawberries, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, grapes, grapefruit, spring-onions, cheese, bread, sausages and eggs, you might wonder how I could possibly get it all home.

In my beloved trolley of course, full to the brim as ever and it's what a girl needs to tackle a market shop. I used to push a metal trolley around the supermarket. I now regularly pull my gorgeous handbag-on-wheels around the open-air market. How things change eh!

And the best bit! The contents in my gorgeous trolley came to just £23. Much cheaper than the supermarket and with no excess packaging apart from the small plastic bag for the sausages.

So to celebrate, I couldn't resist the opportunity to drag it along to a regular haunt to treat myself to some cake!

Yes, it's a big piece of cake I know...

But's the bin that's on the diet and not me!


Further info:

  • More photos of Bury St Edmunds can be found at the Suffolk Cam website.
  • Visit the Tourist Information site for the full lowdown on Bury St Edmunds.
  • Stories about life in the town can be found in the local paper the Bury Free Press.
  • My favourite (and less serious) take on life around town can be witnessed at the Living in Bury St Edmunds blog, written by my wonderful friend Ruby.
  • Bury St Edmunds is also home to the Greene King brewery. A visit to this area just has to include a tour of the brewery.



Joyce said...

Thanks for the photo tour. It's fun to see the home environment of a fellow blogger! You have a lovely town, and a wonderful setting for your market. My community does not have a very long history of Farmer's Markets, and our are not held as regularly or such a nice place.

Christina S said...

Lovely idea to do the tour of Bury. I am very envious of your shopping trolley. I think my tartan one definitely needs renewing!!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Joyce - glad you liked the photos. I thought it would make a nice change from wheelie bins. Bury St Edmunds is a very nice town indeed and is always worth a visit if you're ever up near Suffolk. ;-D

Thanks Ruby - I see a makeover on its way...a birthday present from Mr Ruby perhaps? x

Anonymous said...

Oh how lovely - thanks for the tour. I can see why you love the place :)

Almost Mrs Average said...

Thanks Mrs G. Next time you're up this way, you'll just have to drop by :-D

Anonymous said...

I have just found your blog (from Sydney!) and I am so enjoying your photos. I lived in Bury from the age of 2-12 so they are bringing back lots of memories!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Wow SM - thanks for visiting all the way from Sydney. The photos show beautiful images of Bury don't they. We've only lived here fore 5 years and love it. For more Bury St Edmunds photos, you should try There are some great posts there. :-D

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