The Ascension stone
READING through magazines that reach me, I was interested in a note in "Eleona". It recalls the tradition that at the time when St. Louis of France brought the Crown of Thorns to Paris for which he built the Sainte Chapelle, his brotherin-law, Henry III brought to London for Westminster Abbey the stone on which was marked the foot of Christ as He left the earth to ascend into heaven. 'The Librarian and Keeper of the Abbey's Muniment Room and Library, on being questioned about this, replied that "the Marble Stone with the imprint of Our Lord's feet was one of the most venerated of Westminster's Relics. and one of the very few which can be traced with certainty in lists of the Relics, Indulgencies etc., from the 13th to the 16th century as being preserved at Westminster. The 13th century hlores Historiarum refers to it as "Dominus Rex in lapide marmoreo vestigium pedis Christi ascendentis in caelunt quod receperat a fratribus Praedicatoribus de Terra Sancta venientibus, ecclesiae contulit Westntonasterii in hoc anno" (1249). The last Westminster reference was in 1520. twenty years before the dissolution after which it disappeared.
St. Mary's, Lulworth
APERENNIAL problem of week-end touring is Sunday Mass—where to find a church and at what time the Mass. One has to travel with the "Catholic Directory". But last flaming weekend I really hit the bull's eye. We were taking two Canadian visitorfriends to see something of the south coast and stopped at a little hotel where they could sleep as normal human beings while we stuck to our mobile motorised house on wheels. Within a few yards was a little Catholic chapel with Mass at the very convenient hour of eight. I should not, of course, have been so very surprised, since the village was West Lulworth, the 'lord and squire of which is Colonel Joseph Weld, descendant of Thomas Weld who gave Stonyhoist to the Jesuits in 1794. The little church has been there for 75 years, though the much larger and finer one in the Castle park dates from 1780. The unique Lulworth Cove turned out to be about the
most enchanting spot which our Canadian friends had visited in an all-round England tour. It is clear that the village and immense grassy car-park owe much to its Lord of the Manor.
Wild South Coast ON these seaside tours one is always amazed at the English delight in congregating and overcrowding with their fellows. Swanage and Weymouth seemed to be a solid mass of bathing humanity, but the infinitely more beautiful stretch of coast from St. Alban's Head to Kimmeridge and on westwards was practically deserted. True, it takes a bit of jolting and daring to reach near the sea in those parts, hut how well worth it. This time we even enjoyed the sight of a seal lying sunbathing on an inshore rock and apparends hoping to be fed. It is the same with Portland, a town that looks as though it had been transported from the north or even
Ireland. and Portland Bill—the latter practically deserted, though it has excellent rock bathing. not to mention the signpost to John O'Groats, 755 miles.
The Irrepressible Bass
I N music as in other arts you have the snob and what I would. call the humble or human. The snob will not prostitute. as he would say, his talents by reaching down to the people; the humble or human will delight to do so. Typical of the second type is Owen Brannigan, a popular entertainer whose natural level of accomplishment is the Opera and Oratorio. With Ernest Lush, as his equally humble or human accompanist, he sings with gusto. originality and entertaining skill those old favourites that never die, even if they signify nothing except every man's desire to use his lungs lustily if not always harmoniously. A new 331 E.M.I. record (CLP 1446) includes "On The Road To Mandalay", "Clementine". "Riding Down From Bangor", "My Bonny". "Father O'Flynn" and "Ten Green Bottles". And in the midst of these and others (especially local songs) we have Handel and Britten. When you are feeling down in the dumps or when there's a party on, 13rannigan's fine bass voice and irrepressible sense of fun will slip out handily from the symphonies and quartets in your pile of records.