Lytham. Lunch And A Brisk Walk.

Rain, rain go away and come again another day. Up here in this part of North West England we have had an unwelcome visitor in the shape of storm Gareth. While its effects around where I live have not been too bad I know that it has caused quite a large amount of flooding, damage to buildings and travel disruption for others. Set against that a few weeks of deathly grey skies and incessant rain is getting off lightly. Now I’ve nothing against Gareths, I know that there are some very pleasant and interesting ones out there. Storm Gareth however is another matter.

Because of this I had been putting off trips in the hope that at some point the weather would improve and the skies would turn blue once more. This Sunday past held out that promise so I grabbed a camera and headed out to the coast. A favourite location for me is Lytham, on the Lancashire coast a little to the south of Blackpool and St. Annes. It has an old world charm with tree lined streets and a selection of small, family owned businesses, including some very fine eating establishments. I took in one of my favourites this time around, The Lytham Kitchen, my lunch is the featured image. I opted for the soup and sandwich combo, the home made mushroom & tarragon soup was magnificent, just the thing for a day that had turned cool and very breezy. I coupled them with excellent egg mayo & bacon sandwiches, Ahh, I’ll start the diet tomorrow…….

17-03-19 LYTHAM. Clifton Square In The Sunshine.

LYTHAM. Clifton Square in the sunshine. The Square is a popular meeting place and features in many of the events held in Lytham through the year.

17-03-19 LYTHAM. Henry Street - Late Duck Lane.

LYTHAM. Henry Street, late Duck Lane, personally I would have kept Duck Lane.

17-03-19 LYTHAM. Lowther Gardens. The Cockler Statue.

LYTHAM. The Cockler statue in the popular Lowther Gardens, it celebrates the towns fishing history.

17-03-19 LYTHAM. Lowther Gardens.  The Lowther Pavilion Theatre.

LYTHAM. The Lowther Pavilion in Lowther Gardens. The only purpose built performance venue in the area, opened in the early 1920’s

17-03-19 LYTHAM. The Windmill On The Green.

LYTHAM. The Windmill on the Green. The Green overlooks the shore and is the setting for events held through the year, such as the Vintage Car show and the 1940’s weekend. Open air concerts are also a feature of the Green. The Windmill dates from the early 18 hundreds and was presented to the town by the local Squire in the 1930’s. The building houses a museum which is open through the summer months.

17-03-19 LYTHAM.The Promenade.

LYTHAM. The Promenade, a popular stretch for a walk or to take in the sun.

17-03-19 LYTHAM. Promnade Seats.

LYTHAM. Lions heads guard the benches on the promenade.

LYTHAM INFORMATION

LYTHAM WINDMILL

THE LYTHAM KITCHEN

LYTHAM PAVILION THEATRE

OTHER INFORMATION.

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Scotland. Nine Memories.

My late father was Scots so naturally I have an attachment great affection for the country and have been visiting since forever.

It would be impossible/stupid to try and describe all the place has to offer in one post so I’ll just use a selection of nine images chosen from a hard drive that’s bursting at the seams with Scottish imagery. There’s no theme to the choice, apart from all being taken in Scotland (obvs), they just brought back memories or there was something about the shot that either appealed at the time or struck me later, you know that thing that you didn’t notice because you were so engrossed in getting the shot it only catches your eye later when you sit back and look at them again in a more relaxed frame of mind.

The headline image is of a rainbow spanning the waters of Loch Rannoch, it was taken on the first day of that year’s holiday, a nice good omen for the fortnight’s break ahead.

Enough words, to the photos.

19/08/14 EDINBURGH.  Publicity Can Be Dangerous.

EDINBURGH. Walking around Edinburgh when the Festival and the Fringe are in progress you can somethimes come across the most unusual and startling sights. The Fringe production ‘Riptide’ earns some dead good publicity amongst the tourists on the Royal Mile.

CROMARTY. The Harbour.

CROMARTY. Sitting at the head of the Black Isle is the small port of Cromarty, facing across the Cromarty Firth. The Firth is a maintenance base for the North Sea oile rigs and it’s not unusual to sea one of these engineering monsters towering over the gentle folds of the surrounding landscape.

28/08/14 SCOTLAND. The Black Isle. Munlochy Clooty Well.

THE BLACK ISLE. A tree at the Munlochy Clootie Well. The tradition is to dip a cloth, a cloot, in the nearby well and then tie it to a nearby tree while making a wish. Some people get carried away by the odd atmosphere around the well.

190810 DUNKELD View from the bridge 3

DUNKELD. A favourite place which I’ve used as a base for touring around Scotland, it sits on the A9, the main north south road and well as A roads that give easy acess to the east and west. The nearby railway station means you can be into Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness with ease. In the semi ruined cathedral, part of the nave still serves as the parish church, is the grave of the Count Roehenstart, grandson of Bonnie Prince Charlie who died in a carriage accident while touring through the area in the 1850’s.

200811 CORGARFF CASTLE

CORGARFF CASTLE. This fascinating castle, dating from the 16th century sits on the lonely Lecht Road which leads from Strathdon to the town of Tomintoul. After a checkered history, it was burnt down in a dispute in the 1570’s, it was rebuilt as a military instillation after the Jacobite uprisings, it was at this time that the castle gainedn it’s impressive star shaped defensive wall. open to the public and worth a visit.

200811 LOGIERAIT Farmers Market Ceilegh Band

LOGIERAIT. A little to south of Pitlochry on the A9 is the village of Logierait where they hold a monthly Farmers Market. A ceilidh band busks for local charities among the stalls of local produce and local gossip.

270510 GLASGOW The Botanic Gardens The Kibble Palace, the glass corridor2

GLASGOW. The Botanic Gardens. This is the interior of the Kibble Palace, a magical sequence of glasshouses origonally built by the Victorian entrepreneur John Kibble at his house on Loch Long. In the 1870’s it was sold to the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. It was comprehensively restored in the early 2000’s and hold a collection of tropical and subtropical plants.

SONY DSC

DUNKELD. A personal favourite is The Hermitage; once the pleasure grounds of the Dukes of Atholl. This is Ossians Hall a folly built to overlook the falls of Linn on the River Braan. A sequence of walks leads through the Hermitage to give breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

 

SCOTTISH TOURISM

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Manchester. 2019 The Year of The Pig.

The year of the Pig is upon us so to celebrate I took myself off to Manchester to watch the annual Dragon Parade. It starts in front of the town hall on Albert Square and then snakes it’s way to the city’s Chinatown area, a network of streets and alleyways sandwiched between. Portland Street and Mosley Street. Holding a parade in Manchester in February can be seen as pushing your luck but after a couple of years that were damp to say the least, while cold the sun shone and the crowds came.

If you have never been I really recommend the event. The crowds, the vibrancy and the atmosphere all combine to make it and unforgettable day. The evening always ends with a firework display launched from the surrounding rooftops, a spectacular and noisy finale, which most people ignore and the fun continues into the night, the stalls lining the streets only closing when completely sold out.

Enough of me, the photo can do the talking now.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. Faulkner Street Dragon.

MANCHESTER. Faulkner Street and the Dragon chases the sun.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. Nicholas Street. Selfie Time.

MANCHESTER. Nicholas Street. Street selfie during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. Princess Street. Animals on Parade.

MANCHESTER. Princess Street. Cartoon characters parade past for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. Nicholas Street. Crowds.

MANCHESTER. Chinese New Year. Crowds on Nicholas Street.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER Nicholas Street The Chinese Arch.

MANCHESTER. Chinese New Year, the Chinese Arch on Nicholas Street.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER Nicholas Street Souvenirs.

MANCHESTER. Chinese New Year. Souvenire stalls line Nicholas Street as part of the New Year celebrations.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. Nicholas Street Chips.

MANCHESTER. Chips to go on Nicholas Street for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. George Street. Thai Restaurant.

MANCHESTER. Chinese New Year. Thai restaurant on George Street.

10/02/19  MANCHESTER. Faulkner Street Firewooks.

MANCHESTER. Faulkner Street and as always the Dragon Parade climaxes with the traditional firework display.

MANCHESTER TOURISM

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Todmorden. A Market & A Folk Festival.

The weather had at last taken a turn for the better, the sun was high in the sky and the breeze was warm. There had been a run of grey, wet days and I needed to get out of the house and into the world outside. I’m lucky in where I live in North West England that there are really good transport links, railways in particular. It was a Saturday so that markets would be open, I really like the atmosphere that come with a market in a northern town. I picked the town of Todmorden as my destination, it sits up on the Pennines on the Lancashire – Yorkshire border and is a decent train ride away.

I made my way to my local station, Newton le Willows on Stephenson’s historic Liverpool to Manchester route bought my ticket and caught the train into Manchester where I would pick up the onward service to Todmorden. The train change at Manchester was a relaxed one, time enough for a coffee and some people watching on the station concourse, then it was onwards and out through the suburbs of Manchester and into the Pennines. For all the urban sprawl around Manchester, its soon left behind as the hills make their presence felt.

The steady climb up through the rolling moors is suddenly interrupted by the sudden blackness as the train plunges into Summit Tunnel, at over a mile in length it is an example of the challenges that face the Victorian railway builders. With modern trains the tunnel is a brief-ish blip on a journey but for the early passengers travelling behind a smoke and spark belching steam locomotive it must have been a very much more thrilling experience.

Coming out of the tunnel the journey was only a few more minutes before the train pulled into Todmorden station, which sits a little above the town centre. The town was busy, a combination of good weather. Market day and it being the weekend of the town’s Folk Festival.

First order of business after any journey is a coffee and I knew just the place in the market hall, the Exchange Coffee stall.

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. Market Hall, Exchan

TODMORDEN. On the Saturday market hall, Exchange Coffee stall.

You will never go hungry or thirsty in Todmorden, there are so many places to choose from but this is a favourite of mine, as is the market hall itself. So it was a mug of really good coffee and some cake ( some things just go together ) while I gathered my thoughts and took in the surroundings. There’s the market hall, with is collection of businesses, butchers, bakers and a ‘proper’ hardware stall.

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. Market Hall. Hardwa

TODMORDEN. On the Saturday market hall, the hardware stall.

 

While outside there are more stalls, the whole place having that atmosphere of busy coming and going, conversations being had, shopping being dome and friend and acquaintances being greeted.

A local church had set up a fund gathering cake stall, the cakes were good too. It would have been rude to walk past and not make a donation, well that was my excuse.

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. The Open Market. St

TODMORDEN. On the Saturday open market, St. Peter’s Church Wallsden, Charity cake stall.

 

The fishmonger was in town as well, busy in the hot sunshine.

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. The Open Market. Pa

TODMORDEN. On the Saturday open market, Paul’s Fresh Fish.

 

Your sweet tooth would be well catered for on Mrs B’s stall, where jams, honey and marmalades were the order of the day.

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. The Saturday Open M

TODMORDEN. On the Saturday open market, Mrs. B’s jams and cakes.

 

Dragging myself away from the market I went in search of the Folk festival. There was a busy program of events and the various troupes of dancers and musicians were performing at various points around the town. The image at the head of this post is off the 400 Roses Belly Dancers, who bewitched the crowds with their graceful, rhythmic movements.

For contrast the Oakenhoof Clog Dancers also entertained with the steady click clack of the clogs backed by the breathy notes of the accordion and the twangs of the guitars.

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. Oakenhoof Clog Danc

TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. The Oakenhoof Clog Dancers accordion player.

 

05/05/18  TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. Oakenhoof Clog Danc

TODMORDEN. The Folk Festival 2018. The Oakenhoof Clog Dancers. Man in a hat full of blossom.

FOLK FESTIVAL INFO

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A Busy Month

Just a quick post to get back into the swing of things. I’ve had a busy month getting a couple of projects off the ground, on in particular has been adding to and organising the ebooks I produce. With a little bit of head scratching and midnight oil burning I’ve managed to produce twelve titles, not in one month obviously but reaching number twelve feels like a bit of a personal milestone.

I’m now starting to feel comfortable with the format and more importantly confident in the style and content of the books.though as always, at the back of my mind is the thought that I don’t want to get over confident and just bang out books in a production line with no thought as to the idea behind them. if I expect people to look at them they have to have a decent theme and a degree of style and continuity.

I don’t intend to step back from book production, I really enjoy the challenge of putting them together, print on demand will be the next step, which means more head scratching and midnight oil burning over a different set of production techniques.

All of the above though has meant that the blogging has become a whole lot more sporadic than it was before so a bit more personal organizing will have to be brought into play.

Fleetwood, Marine Hall

FLEETWOOD. The Marine Hall

 

Right, blog entry over for now, the next one is beginning to come together out of a pile of scribbled notes.

Lachlan’s e-book bookshelf

The Munlochy Clootie Well

The Clootie well at Munlochy is a favourite location of mine, all the lore so because I discovered it by accident. It is located in Scotland on the Black Isle. I was on holiday in Scotland and had driven up to Dingwall and had returned via Cromarty on the tip of the Black Isle. My route back took me through the village of Munlochy and on a back road I spotted what looked to be a collection of rags fluttering through the trees.  Intrigued by this I stopped and found the Clootie Well. A cloot is Scots dialect for a cloth, the idea is that a strip of cloth is dipped into the waters of a well and tied to a tree and as the cloth decays and vanishes whatever your ailment or problem is vanishes with it. The healing well at munlochy is thought to be dedicated to St. Boniface. 

28/08/14 SCOTLAND. The Black Isle. Munlochy Clooty Well.

SCOTLAND. The Black Isle. A clooted tree at the Munlochy Clootie Well. The tradition is to dip a cloth, a cloot, in the nearby well and then tie it to a nearby tree while making a wish. Some people get carried away.

The well has proved to be very popular over time as you can see, with whole garments and shoes being added to the collection in the trees. The atmosphere is quite spooky at times, as the wind rises and falls the items of clothing take on a life of their own and movements in the corner of your eye can be a little bit alarming.  I always try to fit in a visit whenever I am in Scotland, the ebb and flow of garments, dolls teddy bears etc add that extra dimension of feeling you are being watched as you walk around the paths that snake their way through the trees. If you are planning a visit to Scotland try and fit in a visit. A word of warning though. Should you remove anything from the well it is said that you will be cursed with the original donors ailment or problem. 

28/08/14 The Black Isle. Munlochy Clooty Well.  Shiny Shoes.

THE BLACK ISLE. The Munlochy Clootie Well. The tradition is to dip a cloth, a cloot, in the nearby wel and tie it to the branches of the trees while making a wish. Some people take this a bit further as this pair of shoes proves. I wonder if they walked home barefoot?

Clootie Well Information