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

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Southport Pier In The Sun

A small follow on from a previous post on Southport and it’s pier. I took this image on a bright, crisp day which really made the colours of the original sing out but there was something about the shapes and shadows that lead me in the direction of trying it out as a black & white image and I’m quite happy with the result, though any feedback or comments are always welcome, if I’m not in just leave a note under the rock by the front door.

The ‘train’ in this shot is the latest one to run along the pier, sadly the purpose built battery tram was found to be too heavy for the pier structure, the vibration caused by it passing up and down was beginning to weaken the Victorian girders holding the pier together. Such is progress.

Speaking of progress I should be making some with an ebook I have working it’s way through to a publishing date. Time to leave the seaside behind for today.

SOUTHPORT TOURISM INFORMATION

A Walk Down Southport Pier

Taking It Easy In Todmorden

Todmorden in Yorkshire, though once half of it was in Lancashire with the boundary going through the Town Hall. I was on the station and waiting for the train into Leeds while across the way and waiting for nothing in particular was what I took to be the station cat, he certainly had that cat way of owning wherever he laid his head.

Todmorden Information

Monochrome Manchester

I live in the North West of England approximately halfway between Liverpool and Manchester so both are easy for me to reach,usually by train. Yes it’s the big kid in me. I like travelling on the railway. The header image above was taken in one of the staircases that leads down from the carpark that sits over the roof of Manchester Victoria station. For a long time this was the poorer relation to Manchester’s Piccadilly station, about a quarter of a mile away on the other side of the city centre. Piccadilly has the glamour of handling the London train services but at last after many years of being the city’s Cinderella station, the sleeping beauty is being awoken, I like my metaphors mixed not shaken, by a massive rebuilding program which is mercifully preserving some of the Victorian/Edwardian features that have survived to the present. 

230610 MANCHESTER Victoria Station LYR War Memorial girl on a mobile 2

Manchester Victoria Station. The Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway War Memorial.

10/07/15 MANCHESTER. Hotspur Press Building.

MANCHESTER.The old Hotspur Press building behind Whitworth Street as seen from the new HOME building.

Building survival is a useful topic to keep in mind, whenever I visit Manchester I am never far from the shadow of cranes and other building works. The city seems to be in an almost constant state of metamorphosis and development. New springing up amidst the old, the old changing into the new or just disappearing altogether. I’m not for preserving cities in aspic so they they never change  but can we slow it down a little sometimes? The above shot was taken from the courtyard outside of the HOME building. This is the replacement for the long established Cornerhouse, a centre for the arts and film. Home is a new building, the old Cornerhouse building is still there but yes, it’s changing into something else. In Manchester the caterpillars that change are made of concrete and bricks.

30-09-12 MANCHESTER. Withy Grove Stores Dantzic Street.

Withy Grove Stores

One building that hasn’t changed is the Withy Grove Stores, tucked away on Withy Grove, which leads down from Shude Hill behind the ever expanding Arndale Centre.

29/06/14  MANCHESTER. New Cathedral Street.

 MANCHESTER. New Cathedral Street.

Across Corporation Street from Withy Grove you will find the newest street in Manchester, New Cathedral Street, which was born out of the redevelopment of the city centre in the aftermath of the bombing in June of 1996. A pedestrian thoroughfare it links the Triangle shopping area with St. Ann’s Square and is the haunt of some of Manchester’s tres chic shopping.

29/06/14  MANCHESTER. Mosley Street.

 MANCHESTER. Metrolink tram 3069 passing with an Eccles via Media City service. St. Peter’s Square in the background is currently being redeveloped as part of the second city crossing scheme for the Metrolink system. The work involves the relocation of the war memorial and the enlarging of the tram stop.

A very useful feature of Manchester is it’s ever busy tram network with the bright yellow trams buzzing regularly through the city centre and onto the suburbs. The network covers about 48 miles at present, with a couple more extensions on the way. The Metrolink as it is called is one of the better ways to get yourself around and about Manchester. 

05/12/13 MANCHESTER.  St.Peter's Square.

 MANCHESTER. Metrolink Tram 3052 at St. Peter’s Square.

Also threading through the city but in a less obvious way are canals, perhaps not as romantic or extensive as Venice’s they have nevertheless contributed greatly to the prosperity of the city, especially in Manchester’s heyday as ‘Cottonopolis’ when it was the centre of the Lancashire cotton industry.  One of the city’s major theatres, the Royal exchange sits in it’s futuristic pod on the trading floor of the former Royal Exchange where raw cotton and it’s products were traded.

30-09-12 MANCHESTER. Royal Exchange Theatre

Royal Exchange Theatre on Cross Street

A late Victorian building the Exchange dates from the 1870’s with extensions in the 1900’s and rebuilding after wartime damage. Closed to for trading in the late 1960’s it face the prospect of demolition but survived and prospers and from personal experience is an excellent theatre to experience.

01/02/15 ROCHDALE CANAL. Deansgate Locks.

MANCHESTER. Deansgate Locks on the Rochdale Canal.

One of Manchester’s canals is the Rochdale Canal which slides gently past the Deansgate Locks, now home to the Comedy Club and fashionable places to eat and drink. 

Royal exchange Theatre

Visiting Manchester Information

Travelling On Manchesters Trams

 

 

Around Liverpool – Over Coffee

It’s a coolish, uncomfortable day outside so I’ve been busy chopping firewood and then come inside started editing images and generally tidying my little office space.  While I was taking a break  with a cup of coffee  I thought would put together a post and I chose Liverpool, merchant city on the Mersey, named for its Liver Birds which sit proudly on top of the Liver Building, one of the Three Graces which ornament the Pier Head on the river, the others being the Mersey Docks Building and the Cunard Building.

I live about forty minutes train ride away from the city which makes it the easiest way to travel, no hassles with the traffic etc plus being a big kid I do like travelling on the trains and Liverpool’s Lime Street station, with it’s fantastic overall roof, is one of the more impressive stations to arrive at.

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LIVERPOOL. Lime Street Station from St. George’s Plateau.

Its also right on the city centre and everything you would want to see is within an easy walk.  Facing you as you leave the station onto Lime Street is the impressive bulk of St. Georges Hall with it’s majestic pillared frontage.  The hall opened in 1851 as a combined concert hall and Law Courts, I did my jury service there some years back, the courts have moved to a purpose built location nearer the River Mersey, leaving the old courtrooms open as a museum, together with the former cells in the labyrinth of passageways under the hall. 

03/08/13 Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL. St.Georges Hall from St. John’s Gardens.

At the back of St. George’s Hall are St.John’s gardens. Once the site of an infirmary and cemetery which had become full, the area was cleared with the deceased being reburied elsewhere and the gardens were opened in 1904 and now are home to several monuments and statues to local and national notables. It is a quiet oasis in a very busy part of the city, bounded on one side by the Walker art Gallery, Central Library and the World Museum. 

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LIVERPOOL. The Cavern Club.

You can’t mention Liverpool and not mention the Beatles. I won’t try to compete with the real experts but just say that in the Cavern Quarter on Mathew Street is the recreation of the famous club which helped the group make their name.

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LIVERPOOL. The Town Hall

As well as caverns, Liverpool has no shortage of beautiful buildings one of which is the Town Hall, dating from the 1750’s and sitting elegantly in charge on Castle Street. 

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LIVERPOOL. St. James Gardens. The Huskisson Memorial.

Tucked away behind the  bulk of the Anglican Cathedral is St. James Gardens, an area with an intriguing history. Located well below the level of the surrounding streets the gardens were formerly a quarry dating from the 16th century which were in turn laid out as a cemetery by private subscription in the 1820’s. The circular tomb above marks the last resting place of William Huskisson who met his untimely end being hit by Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive at Parkside on the day of the official opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. A small spring bubbles quietly from the base of the massive sandstone walls of the gardens, which lying so low are not disturbed by the sounds of passing traffic, which disappear as you walk down the entrance tunnelled through the sandstone near the cathedral’s main door.  

22-04-12 LIVERPOOL Titanic celebrations

LIVERPOOL. Sea Odyssey Celebrations.

Proud of it’s history, in 2012 Liverpool was the setting for the Sea Odyssey performance by the Royal de Luxe troupe with their signature puppets in honour of the 100 anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic, whose owners, The White Star Line where based in the city.  The young girl puppet made her progress through the city from Stanley Park to the Pier Head, meeting her Uncle the Diver along the way.

So that’s a dip of the toe into Liverpool, not a definitive history but an impression over a cup of coffee. If you haven’t visited do, if you have visit again, you will alway find something new.

LIVERPOOL MUSEUMS INFORMATION

St. GEORGES HALL INFORMATION

THE CAVERN INFORMATION

ST. JAMES GARDENS INFORMATION

 

 

A Day in Sheffield

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, is another of my favourite destinations, I travel; there by train from Manchester, the route goes through the Hope Valley in the beautiful Peak District passing through the villages of Edale, a stopping off point for the Pennine Way and Castleton a village dominated by Peveril Castle.  Grindleford, also popular with hillwalkers, the station sitting at the mouth of the 3.5 mile Totley Rail Tunnel through which you leave the stark beauty of the Peaks behind and enter the bustling outskirts of Sheffield, it’s centre sat on a cluster of hills.  The railway station nestles at the foot of the city Centre and was built by the Midland Railway and still keeps its Victorian elegance.

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The Exterior Of Sheffield Station.

There were once two railway stations, the other, Sheffield Victoria, now long gone apart from a few scraps, was owned and built by the Great central Railway, a company that was the last hurrah of the Victorian idea of railways. You leave the station onto the bustling Sheaf Square, a pedestrianised precinct formed by the diverting of a busy road to give the station a easier to use setting. A black & white image of the water features and the stainless steel wall fountain that forms part of it head this post.

One of the places I like to visit when I am in the city is the Botanical Gardens off Eccleshall Road, you can use the bus but I prefer to walk, it provides me with more camera time as I make my way through the busy streets. There as been much modernisation over the years but much  remains. 

10/11/13 SHEFFIELD.

YORKSHIRE, Sheffeild. The Moor shopping area.

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YORKSHIRE. Sheffield The Old Waterworks.

The waterworks offices now have a new life selling something a little stronger than before, it’s now a Lloyds Bar. 

The Botanical Gardens sit on a hilltop, away from what would have been the smoke and fumes of the steel industry which made Sheffield it’s fortune and opened in 1836.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. The Botanical Gardens, The Main Gatehouse.

The Main gatehouse to the gardens is situated on Clarkehouse Road.

As well as the Garden’s own restaurant the area around is well provided with places for the hungry photographer to refresh his or herself either before or after whiling away a couple of very enjoyable hours in Sheffield’s little paradise.

There are a couple of routes I can take back to the city centre, depending on time. weather and my mood. I always fit in a walk through the streets for candid images, something the city rarely fails to provide. One spot I visit is the old General Cemetery , opened as a private burial ground but now used as a public park. It contains memorials of the high Victorian style  along with chapels, all now at rest beneath a spreading carpet of trees and wildflowers.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. Sheffield General Cemetary, Tomb of Harriet

The Tomb of Harriet Nicholson.

Once back into the city it’s time for a look around the streets before the train home, Fargate in the city centre is always a hive of activity.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. Buskers on Fargate.

Two buskers entertaining the passersby on Sheffield’s Fargate.

Generally I make time for a quick visit to the very civilised ‘Sheffield Tap’ a bar on the railway station that has been opened in what was a former waiting room, it also has it’s own micro brewery which you can watch in action as you enjoy a drink. It’s a very pleasant way to wait for a train. Try it if you are ever in the area.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. The Sheffield Tap

The Sheffield Tap also has it’s own micro brewery on site.

Botanical Gardens Information

Sheffield Tourism Information

General Cemetery Information 

 

 

 

A Walk Down Southport Pier

I’m lucky to live not to far from the Lancashire coast and it’s resorts. One of the nearest and a particular favourite is Southport and one of its many attractions is the pier.  

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SOUTHPORT. Looking down towards the Irish Sea. 

The pier dates from the 1860’s and its original length of 3,600 feet was increase with an extension which boosted it to around 4380 feet, it also had a steamer service operating from the end of it for a time.  Over time fires and storm damage have brought the piers length down to today’s approximately 3600 feet, making it the UK’s second longest pier after Southends. The pier appears to start well inland, from its forecourt on the promenade, before crossing the Marine Lake and Marine  Road before reaching the actual beach and heading off seawards. This is due to the Marine Lake once being the shore line before land reclamation took place, The Marine Lake and it’s gardens date from the 1880’s. It can be a bracing experience walking to the end of the pier, especially in the winter months but fear not, Southport is well provided with very good cafes and there is one at the end of the pier. That is another reason I like going over to Southport, watching the progression of the seasons through the years and I’ve always had a liking for that slightly sleepy feeling you get in an out of season resort.

30/03/14 SOUTHPORT. The Pier. Red & Green.

LANCASHIRE, Southport. The Pier, red and green in conversation.

When you see how popular the pier is, especially at the weekends when the landward end of the pier is a favourite rendezvous point for the biker community. The fish & chip shop might have a lot to do with that. 

 

191110 SOUTHPORT end of the pier B&W

This sculpture stands at the seaward end of the pier and from here you can see across the Irish Sea and watch the drama of the sea and skyscapes unfold.  If you look to the right from here the famous resort town of Blackpool is easily visible, especially the Tower and the Pepsi Max Roller Coaster at the Pleasure Beach. Occasionally I  like to fancy a favourable breeze carries the sound of the screams from the Pepsi Max’s riders across the water. So if you’ve never been give Southport a try, if you walk down the pier you might see someone stood watching the sea and the skies go by, it might be me.

Visiting Southport