Hi there.
Greetings from sunny Port Sunny!
Arrived here at the hotel late last night,
and can’t get in to Hulme Hall to set up until later,
so we are faced with several options:
put the finishing touches to the next TV proposal, 
go to the huge outlet centre up the road and grab a bargain,
go for a walk round Port Sunlight, 
hang around in the hotel room drinking coffee,
track the seating arrangements at Westminster,
watch this nation’s political platform change shape and colour,
write this blog.
The only one I have decided to pass on is the very one I would have  opted for in the past.
Cannot be bothered to chase round a factory outlet centre today.
There’s nothing I want or need to buy.
I would much rather tick a few business boxes, and then take a stroll around this wonderful village.
It really is beautiful.
Let me find some photos for you…..

What impresses me every time we come here,
apart from the beautiful architecture and manicured bowling green, lawns and flower beds,
is that way back in the late 1800’s,
the Lever Brothers built this village to accommodate workers from their soap factory! Now that is what I call getting it right!
Check out this plan:
They named it after their most popular soap cleaning agent, Sunlight,
and it provided housing for no less than 3,500 people.
Here’s what Lever said:
“We want to socialise and Christianise business relations and get back to that close family brotherhood that existed in the good old days of hand labour”
Quite poignant today. Particularly today.
An amazing social exercise in profit sharing.
He even created a gallery,
Lady Lever Art Gallery
so that the villagers had easy access to art from all over the world.
Brilliant really. 
Got to go.


  1. Brilliant idea Barbara, thats what I'd do to. Theres a gorgeous little cafe called The Tudor Rose opposite the Railway station round the corner. Perfect for a little coffee & cake to x

  2. Enjoy your walk and I agree with Pauline, The Tudor Rose is well worth a visit……looking forward to catching up tomorrow…hugs…xxx

  3. Glad you took the sensible option and thanks for the glimpse of this lovely village whose founders had their values and priorities spot on. Hope the show goes well. Carol x

  4. Sounds like a wonderful place. It was the venue for Flog it a few weeks ago and they did a feature on the place. Think I may have to put it on my "must go to" list. I hear so many positive things about the place from my crafty friends that it would be rude not to go. Enjoy your stroll and have a good day tomorrow xx

  5. Looks so beautiful – wish I was there but work calls, and as I am self employed there is no ignoring it if I want to stay on good terms with my bank manager and OH!!! I'm pretty sure you know the feeling – on a positive note, my Clarity parcel will be on it's way which is some consolation X

  6. Beautiful Barbara enjoy the show I've started my tea pot helped me a lot last night to loose myself in my colouring thank you for mindfulness happy crafting xxx

  7. Hello Barbara

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to include us in your world. Port Sunlight looks lovely and I hope you have a better time there than at the NEC.


  8. Looks lovely, another spot to add to my ever growing list. I have had a busy but very enjoyable few days and am sooo looking forward to spending a half hour on my teapot before I get thinking about all the stuff going on in my world. It's such a great way to clear out the cobwebs before cluttering up the head again 🙂 bit like my craftroom really. Must read the past few blogs first though. Have a fab weekend and thanks for choosing yourself over the shops.

  9. Hi Barbara love port sunlight and the museum and the bowling greens I have only been to the stamping show once I have s ticket for tomorrow but my husband is ill so dosnt look as though I will get there love June horrocks xxxxxxxxx

  10. It's a truly lovely place and even nicer when the sun shines, all the villagers take great pride in it and it is always immaculate. I have been coming to the Port Sunny show for many years now – always a great show – See you there xx

  11. Hi Barbara
    That looks like a lovely place and I have it on my places to visit list. What a pity that there are very few philanthropists around today who care about their work force. My lovely silk ribbons bouquet stamp has just arrived so I can get creative tomorrow. Enjoy the show.
    X Chris

  12. Very forward thinking of an employer in those days to build an entire village for his workers. The only other one I know of was Cadbury. Hope the show goes well, and you have plenty of visitors. My new Clarity stamps arrived today so I feel a crafty session may well be on the cards. Have a lovely weekend! Xx

  13. What a beautiful place that is.
    You should design stamps of the two houses, Barbara.
    Have a great time and a happy weekend
    Rolf xxx

  14. Hello Barb, what beautiful pictures, I need to tell hubs that I want to go there. Have a great weekend, hope the show goes well and the workshop. Take care. Bx

  15. Looks beautiful, I have never been there. Hope your show goes well, good turnout hopefully. I will be joining in the party with Sazz at Nottingham. What a lovely group of people. x

  16. Hi Barbara I had no idea about Port Sunlight. I have seen the Bournville village for workers by the Cadbury Factory that is a beautiful place too. I hope you have a fab time there and make lots of sales and meet lots of lovely people. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  17. Hi Barbara, good choice of what to do today while waiting to set up. Shopping is a waste of precious living time if you don't need anything :-). I used to enjoy exploring wee old places and museum houses and stuff, your village looks lovely and sounds friendly.

    Maybe we need to send Mr Cameron a congratulation card with Mr Lever's ethos in it, along with the definitions of both the UNITED Kingdom and compassion! And remind him of his compassionate plea for us Scots to remain in the union and help to lead it! Better still, why don't we send our Barb knocking on his door to sort him and his cronies out 🙂 Let's just say my bleak present and foreseeable future just got worse – Scottish, disabled, on my own, not in big business, not well off! Positive Brenda, positive Brenda – ok, we couldn't have done more on our part sending 56 SNP MPs to knock on his door and 'Scottish lion roars' as Alex Salmond put it. I hope I am wrong, but I can see Scottish people shouting very loudly for another independence referendum in the next couple of years if these Tories continue to be anti Scottish, ignore our voice, and continue on their severe ever increasing austerity cuts on the needy in our society, and that's scary! Ok I'll shut up now, sorry I just needed to get it out, I'm upset and very scared, and there was no use saying it to my English, rural bred, worker who appears to have voted Tory!

    I got some sun for about half my garden visit today and even when the clouds got thick it didn't get as cold as it has been :-). The worker wasn't really pulling her weight today, said she thought she was getting a cold! So I had to do stuff there's no way I should be, so needless to say being really not well just now has just got a whole lot worse! But I got a wee bit sun, a couple of jobs from the backlog of stuff done. I got my sweet peas out, although I was rushed and really struggling, so may lose some as couldn't be as careful with them as I should have been and didn't get any protection on them so the snails /slugs will be on the march for a tasty dinner tonight!!! Bonus, Daisy didn't growl or spit at me when I came in, she was totally fine and happy with me 🙂 More bonus, I picked the first of this years rhubarb, so I've had a wee treat 🙂 It's a young plant, this is only it's third season, so I still don't get much off it yet, but I got double off it today than I did this time last year , so I've got a wee drop in the fridge for tomorrow too 🙂 Trying to be positive, honest.

    Hi Donna 🙂 Hope you enjoy your weekend playing with your new stash. I was just thinking today, it will soon be time for the club stamp and stencil arriving 🙂

    Barbara, hope your show goes well tomorrow and you sell out of everything 🙂
    Love Brenda xx

    1. Oooooooo I love rhubarb! When we were small the lady next door to us grew it and would always send some round to us. Mum would then make a rhubarb crumble. Now if you say you have made a crumble I may have to pay you a visit……………….. I will have mine with some cream! Yummy 🙂

    2. I can make you crumble, but it's gluten free, but it's my own made up version with added oats and grated ginger, and is yummy 🙂 Cream's off the menu too for me, dairy allergies, but you can bring your own, and I might just 'borrow' a wee bit off you :-). It was my granny who grew rhubarb, and a family friend. My granny used to make me rhubarb and ginger jam, mmmm. Rhubarb is actually easy to grow, even in your flower border, just takes time to establish, sunny spot, a bit of feed (organic veg and fruit granules) and regular watering if it doesn't rain. Have a go in a big planter or two or three… if you don't have borders xx

    3. Sounds better and better, oats, ginger yum yum! I have never thought to grow it in a planter, I remember the lady's next door was huge but I guess it will only take up as much room as you give it. We used to grow raspberries and swap with her, many a sunny afternoon out the back picking them ready for puddings, and of course they all made it into the pot…………………..(she said with fingers crossed)

    4. Hi Brenda have you managed a little tea pot colouring I started mine last night helped me on the mindfulness track goodnight tomorrow is another day xxx

    5. Thank you Sheila. My eyes are too blurry just now for colouring in but when my cfs improves enough me and Donna will be back doing our teapots 🙂 Goodnight to you too xx

      Donna, I didn't know when you went rasp picking it was ok to eat some too. Me being totally naïve and my Asperger's black and white, right or wrong, I thought we were going to end up in the jail!!!! It was my first guide camp and we'd been sent to fill our wee bowls from the farm rasp picking field for our pudding later. The other girls started eating some as they were picking and I thought they were stealing! I never ate even one!!! Funny that, I was the only one to put my hand up for seconds!!!! Some plants don't do ok in planters, for the ones that do the amount of space the roots have to grow determines the size the plant grows to above ground. It would be worth a try, a rhubarb plant shouldn't cost that much from a nursery, but I'd put it in a big deep planter. But, you can't harvest any the first season and you need to not take much the second either, so the plant can get the goodness into it's roots for being a healthier stronger plant. Probably why mine is slower at spreading – I did leave it alone the first year but just had to have some the next!!! xx

    6. Eek jail!!! I wouldn't like to say how many years I'd get for my raspberry snaffling…………..and then of course there was strawberry picking!!!!!!!!! I think they would throw away the key! 😉 xx

    7. Hi Brenda I love rhubarb but it doesn't grow in our garden foe some strange reason but it does grow like a weed at our pick your own place. Rhubarb grumble and custard for me please. My uncle grows fruit and veg in his garden and you start at the top and munch your way down to the bottom he'll pin yourself to a raspberry here, black currant there strawberry halfway down then gooseberries and finally carrots straight from the ground and a few peas out of a pod. Heaven! Lovely to hear you have managed to get some sun today, I'm sure your sweet peas will be ok xxx

    8. That's funny Donna, at least you'd be going to jail very healthy!!! xx

      Hi Diane, your uncle's garden sounds a brilliant place for a rummage, a pick and mix. I grow wee bits of all sorts too, from now until late autumn there's often some tasty nibble for me to harvest on my garden visit, although this year everything is a lot slower because of the lack of spring weather, so there's nothing else I've got my eye on yet. I would love to have a big garden, a safe one where there is no one, that I could potter as much and as often as I wanted, with veg and fruit patches in amongst the flowers and bushes, but at least I get wee tastes 🙂 xx

      Sweet pea update – they look fine :-). Seems they've forgiven me for their manhandling, probably let me off the hook because I gave them some tasty bonemeal to munch on!!!! And the snails haven't found them yet 🙂 It's tomatoes next week, now it's not so cold at night. But they go in hanging baskets and I brought all the stuff up that I need so I can do them at the backdoor the day before. Now all I need is a volunteer to do some pruning for me, and fence painting, and sorting out the grass and a wee bit landscaping…… Well there's no harm dreaming!!!!

  18. Hi Barbara what a lovely place, it must make your job a lot easier when you
    can be in such nice surroundings. Hope your show goes well…Dot..xx

    P.S. loving all the new people coming to your blog from round the world
    they all seem so lovely so Hi everyone from across the seas ….x

  19. Sounds lovely and glad the sun was shining as it wasn't here today ! A quick round trip into town and then I,made a few cards. Had a cup of tea with my neighbour – she came round to us as I just had to buy a cake in town! Hope younhave a good weekend !

  20. Delighted to see that you'll be at Port Sunlight tomorrow – it's the only show Mum & I have managed to get to, and we're regulars now! I've heard that other shows are much bigger, but we always enjoy our leisurely day at Happy Stampers North West. We'll be sure to pop by and say hello!

  21. Hi Barbara
    This looks like a beautiful place, must have a further look at it and suggest it to hubby. Ooooh social and economic history, I remember it well, had to do it as part of my a level home economics exam! I always found it far more interesting than worlds history. I hope the show goes well for you tomorrow and you meet lots of lovely people and have good sales. My stamps arrived today, thank you, they were beautifully packaged as usual, just need a few hours to play. Take care
    Love Diane xxx

  22. Port Sunny looks lovely and I've heard before how stunning the whole place is. Maybe I might look to come next year and make a weekend of it 🙂
    Have fun all of you that are going – lucky Ladies & Gents x

  23. It looks lovely and The Buildings are lovely. ICI did it for us here, when I was a kid almost everyone you knew worked at ICI. They build and Ice Rink and Sports complex for us and took the kids on trips to see a Pantomine every year and gave us pocket money. Our Xmas Stockngs were ICI issued thick socks! Recently our Council tried to Tear down the Ice Rink but us locals wouldn't have it it didn't belong to the it was given to us! The people won and they refurbished it instead. I hope you have a good Show Barbara.xxxx

  24. Wouldn't it be brilliant if large conglomerates had the same ideas in this day and age. That Mr Lever was a fantastic man with his ethos. I doubt the like will ever be repeated. Still hoping for my stamps to arrive on Monday. I know you have all been frantic, and that they will come when you can get round to them.

  25. Looks wonderful. My crafty besty and I set off this morning at 7am, so excited for our first visit to Port Sunlight, 3 hrs each way in a day, a tall order but shatter heck, let's do it we said! Sadly due to an "incident" on the M62 we got stuck between Junction 25 -24, we eventually got off but due to the sheer volume of traffic every which way we tried it was shocker so we we had to admit defeat and headed back pop Norf! Gutted, oh well we have Catterick to look forward to and we will try again to get to Port Sunlight but perhaps set off the day before. Sorry to go on, feeling very disappointed but hey worse things happen onwards and upwards. Hope you had a good day x

  26. Hi Barbara. I hope you have a wonderful time at the show. What a fantastic place Port Sunlight looks like. It is one of the places that I am going to visit one day. Mr Lever could teach business people an awful lot couldn't he! Take care xx

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