I find it amazing how many of us take the same route many times without seeing what’s really around us. I took a guided walk around the post war buildings of Plymouth and by just looking up above my eye-line noticed so many coats of arms and carved facades that normally had gone unnoticed. I have been on walks that have opened my eyes to what, to many, would seem mundane and everyday but with a bit of extra knowledge opens your eyes to a different interpretation or past world. I walked along Plymouth Hoe from west to east and noted that the iron benches were made a few hundred miles up the west coast in Preston Lancashire, which also happens to be the city of my birth. So I got interested and investigated and on the side of each back rest is carved the rose of Lancashire, but the oxymoron here is that the benches have been painted white thus reducing the House of Lancaster red rose to that of it’s Wars of the Roses rival, the white rose of York. To many this isn’t that interesting but having appeared in Shakespeare’s Henry VI part 3 which chronicles the English Wars of the Roses, coupled with Preston being the city of my birth, plus my parentage coming from both Lancashire and Yorkshire, the story of these simple benches have degrees of separation that are absolutely personal to me.