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.

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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.

 

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Chester. Coffee And A Cheese Toastie.

The weather’s been frightful and far from delightful.

Here in my stretch of North West England there’s been a run of far too many grim, grey, rain spattered days. The sort where you spend far too much time looking out of the window in the hope of finding that elusive sliver of blue in the clouds, a faint sign that better weather is on the way.

After a week or so of playing hide and seek with freezing rain showers, getting the camera gear together only having to sit and wait for another rain squall to take the hint and disappear, I decided to get out of the house no matter what. I decided to play it safe – ish with a train trip to Chester. If the weather was good there would be walks to be had down by the river or around the city’s impressive walls. Or if bad then it would be the city’s Rows to walk through, the market, the Cathedral etc. You get my drift.

On the day it wasn’t warm and it wasn’t really dry but I got out and took a few shots. I also had a coffee and a cheese Toastie at the Barrista Coffee Co place on the bus station while I did a bit of people watching.

CHESTER. The Bus station.

CHESTER. The bus station forecourt seen from the Barrista Coffee Co cafe.

CHESTER. Northgate Street & Clock.

CHESTER. Northgate Street busy with the Saturday shoppers and tourists hustle and bustle underneath the famous clock on the walls which still encircle the city.

CHESTER. Chester. Bridge Street Rows.

CHESTER. Chester is famous for The Rows, a clutch of streets in the city centre that are a Victorian recreation of the origonal medieval two tier shopping streets. This is a view from the upper level of the Rows on Bridge Street. Great places to stop, look down and watch the tooing and froing down below.

CHESTER. Chester. The Cross.

CHESTER. Chester is famous for The Rows, a clutch of streets in the city centre that are a Victorian recreation of the origonal medieval two tier shopping streets. This is a view from the upper level of the Rows on Bridge Street. Great places to stop, look down and watch the tooing and froing down below. This is Chester Cross, across the way can be seen the steps leading to the upper level of the Rows.

CHESTER. Chester. Bridge Street.

CHESTER. it would take some effort to go hungry or thirsty in Chester, it doesn’t lack places to eat and drink.

 

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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.

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On The Move. Six Random Shots

I imagine every photographer will be familiar with this scenario. You are working through your photo files and an image catches your eye. You may have seen it countless times before, you will remember taking it but this time around it hits you with that other ‘something’ that makes you sit back in your chair while you try and analyse what it is that caught your attention.

Here’s a small selection culled from a recent house keeping session on the photo files.

The featured shot was a grab shot with my mobile ‘phone. I was hurrying to catch a train at Earlestown, one of my local stations, the route had been electrified a couple of years ago and the parapet of the footbridge had been raised with heavy duty glass panels as a safety measure. The pattern of raindrops caught my eye as I crossed, damn I’d seen it and I couldn’t walk past it as I knew I’d regret it for the rest of the day. The camera was out of harms way in my rucksack so out came the mobile. Shot taken I went and caught my train (just), I tried a couple of filters on the image but I kept coming back to black and white, so here it is.

That’s the back story for one of these shots, you can put your own to the rest.

13-09-18 MANCHESTER. Castlefileds Canal Basin.

MANCHESTER. Castlefields Canal Basin, a pre railway age transport hub where the canals that kick started the city’s industrial pre-eminence came in to connect with the manufacturies and warehouses in the area. Tellingly here the canals are overshadowed by the viaducts of the railways that lead to the canal’s demise.

19-08-18.  LYTHAM. On Parade.

LYTHAM. On parade for the jiving in the Square during Lytham’s 1940’s weekend.

19/10/18 LIVERPOOL. Exchange Square.

LIVERPOOL. Shadows moving across Exchange Flags in Liverpool, the heart of the city’s business district.

06/10/18  LLANDUDNO. In Memoriam Of Ginger.

LLANDUDNO. Across from the Great Orme Tramway station a life passed is remembered.

22/09/18  MORECAMBE. Heysham Head. The Rock Cut Graves.

MORECAMBE. The rock cut graves on Heysham Head overlooking Morecambe Bay.

 

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Warrington. A Neglected Corner.

The River Mersey is rightly associated with Liverpool, the port city that stands at it’s mouth. This though is only the triumphant end for the river which starts it’s journey high in the Pennines as the Rivers Goyt and Tame.

As it loops through north Cheshire, heading for the sea, it passes through the town of Warrington, a place with a fine industrial heritage and on the southern bank, just by the bridge over the river, is a quiet, rather forlorn space. This is Marshall Gardens.

The Gardens were opened in 1958 and named after a former Mayor and town Alderman. In there pomp the gardens boasted elegant flower beds and well tended lawns, representing a time when people sat and watched the world go by. A time when birdsong and flowers were real and not viewed via a tablet screen. All now sadly gone. The birdsong drowned out by the increasing traffic noise from the nearby expanding road junctions, the flowerbeds and herbaceous borders grubbed out or overrun by weeds.

Plans occasionally surface to relocate the towns War Memorial to the gardens, it to is currently surrounded by traffic on the opposite side of the bridge from the Gardens. It would be good to hope that at some point fresh life would be breathed into this unhappy little corner.

WARRINGTON. Marshall Gardens. A Bench.

WARRINGTON. A bench in the sadly neglected Marshall Gardens on the banks of the River Mersey.

 

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Preston. A Visit To The Moon.

I’ve recently paid a visit to the moon, I know that sounds a bit extreme so let me explain.

PRESTON. Herris Museum.

Museum of The Moon.

 

My lunar trip took place thanks to excellent Harris Museum in Preston, Lancashire. Until the 24th of February the museum is hosting the stunning art instillation ‘The Museum Of The Moon’ created by the artist Luke Jerram, it’s also accompanied by a soundtrack from the composer Dan Jones.

03-02-19 HARRIS MUSEUM . Museum Of The Moon D

The artwork is a 23 feet high model of the Moon created from NASA survey photographs and is on tour to various locations around the world, both indoors and out. At the Harris it’s suspended in the atrium which runs through the centre of the building which stands on the town’s Market Square and dates form the 1890’s. As well as containing an absorbing collection of items and artworks, as well as the city’s library, the building also hosts touring exhibitions.

03-02-19 HARRIS MUSEUM . Museum Of The Moon C

PRESTON. Herris Museum.

Harris Museum. Museum of the Moon.

If you are in the area and want to meet the Moon close up you have until the 24th February, or you can track it as it travels around.

 

03-02-19 HARRIS MUSEUM

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