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


Meditating On Eternity.

If you seek a little peace and quiet away from the hurly burley of Appleby’s annual Horse Fair, you may wish to visit the church of St. Lawrence which stands quietly behind a simple arcaded wall at the foot of the main street. One of the features you will find within the coolness of it’s walls is the tomb of Lady Anne Clifford, 1590 – 1676,  where she lies in her eternal pomp as the Countess Dowager of Dorset, Pembroke and Montgomery and also the 14th Baron Clifford in her own right.  Lady Anne was an individual of influence and character, though  she was the only surviving child of her father George, 3rd Earl of Cumberland  as a woman could not inherit her father’s earldom. Though it took her many years and two husbands, she successfully pursued a claim for the family estates and the right to the barony of Clifford.  She spent her later years travelling her northern estates and restoring her neglected castles, one of which sits at the top of Appleby’s steeply rising main street, to something of their former glory after the ravages of the English Civil War. 

Lady Anne Clifford

Church of St. Lawrence Appleby.

Appleby Information.

Market Day

I live in the North West of England and I am a great fan of local markets, the mix of goods for sale and the conversations that bounce to and fro between stallholders and customers are two of the experiences that make a visit to the market such an enjoyable experience for me. Also they are a constantly evolving business as tastes and customers change, reflecting the increasing diversity of their customers backgrounds and heritage. and of course they are the perfect hunting ground for the photographer out on the hunt for the candid image.

LANCASHIRE, Ormskirk. The Saturday Market.

LANCASHIRE, Ormskirk. the Saturday Market.

There are generally two types of market, the market hall, the header pic is the fine Victorian market hall in Darwen, Lancashire, built with civic pride and confidence and dating from the 1880’s. These are generally open for most of the week, sometimes with extra stalls opening up outside on particular days. The other is the open market, opening on one or two days a week and featuring stallholders who travel from venue to venue. The picture above of Ormskirk Market shows this second. The market is open two days a week, Thursday and Saturday and is held on the pedestrianised main street, adding a colourful hustle and bustle to the town’s atmosphere. Everything from fresh meat and vegetables to bedding and shoes can be found, plus plenty of opportunities for a candid image.

CUMBRIA, Keswick. The Market

CUMBRIA, Keswick. The Market.

The Cumbrian town of Keswick also has a fine example of the open market, again opening on Thursdays and Saturdays, the mix of goods available, rare breed meats, handcrafted cheeses, artisan breads etc as well as the more regular items reflects Keswicks place as a popular tourist destination.



Out in East Lancashire you will find the fine and imposing market hall at Accrington, its frontage an exercise in Victorian pomp, with clock, columns and statues representing the various bounties that nature provides. For all their almost otherworldly elegance the places are not museums but are a vital, vibrant, functioning part of the local community.

110212 ACCRINGTON Market Hall wrought iron roof

This interior shot of Accrington market shows the simple but elegant ironwork that supports the high, clerestory roof. It’s one of the things I admire about Victorian architecture, function wasn’t enough, there had to be style and elegance as well. Also as can be seen the largely uncluttered floor space allows alterations and modernisations to take place relatively easily.

01/05/15 BURY. The Market.

BURY. The open market, Brandwood Farm Meats.

North of Manchester you will find Bury and it’s market, spread over two halls, one dedicated to fresh meat and fish and the other to general items. Sprawling between the two is the network of alleyways and stalls of the open market, where you can shop until you drop. 


Bury Market, Cafe Plaza

Should you feel shopper’s fatigue coming on don’t worry every market has a cafe, or a selection of them. I find them perfect places to spend a while with coffee and cake or  bacon roll ( usually all three to be honest ) and just let the world pass by.

11/07/13 HUDDERSFIELD. The Market, fruit and veg.

HUDDERSFIELD. West Yorkshire. Huddersfield Market, fruit and veg

Bustling Huddersfield in West Yorkshire is another favourite destination, I watch in fascination as stallholders bounce from customer to customer without a break in the rhythm, a dance set to conversation and chatter instead of music. I had some of the apples by the way and one of the melons. They were good. 

23-10-12 BOLTON.  The market, Take Away

Last but not least, what is almost my local market, at Bolton, Lancashire. It’s on Ashburner Street, not too far from the excellent Octagon Theatre.  Not too long ago it had a bit of a refit which has worked really well, the strengths of the market were recognised and left untouched, with skilfull improvements, a food court with a real ale bar, adding to the atmosphere. There is a cheese stall that exerts an almost magnetic attraction for me, I must have been a mouse in a previous life. So that’s a brief tour around part of my northern and photographic heritage and influences. So next time you go to the market, take a camera as well.

Helter Skelter

Ulverston, an elegant market town  in Cumbria has an annual Dickensian weekend in November, a chance to have some fun before winter’s harsh teeth begin to really bite. It’s one of those local festivals that I like to try and get to, the Steam Fair at Heskin in Lancashire is another. Its a chance to see how another town enjoys itself and Ulverston really puts it’s heart and soul into the celebrations.  The weekend event consists of the whole town centre being given over to stalls and parades in period dress, though the interpretations of ‘Dickensian’ can vary widely. 

CUMBRIA. Ulverston. The Dickensian Festival 2014.  Music On The

CUMBRIA. Ulverston. The annual Dickesian Festival, people taking to the streets in a variety of period costumes. Music on the Market Square for the Dickensian Festival from an Accordian and a Hurdy Gurdy.

Food and music play a big part in the celebrations, the local school providing an excellent Big Band selection with singers of a real quality draw from the pupils.

CUMBRIA. Ulverston. The Dickensian Festival 2014. Steampunk.

CUMBRIA. Ulverston. The annual Dickesian Festival, people taking to the streets in a variety of period costumes. Steampunk pith helmet and goggles.

There is a real sense of fun as you make your way around the town, it can end up as quite an exhauting experience as you chase from event to event, like all fairs and galas , they are a candid photographers heaven.

CUMBRIA. Ulverston. The Dickensian Festival 2014. Top Hat & Bear

CUMBRIA. Ulverston. The annual Dickesian Festival, people taking to the streets in a variety of period costumes. A top hat makes an entrance.

So there’s a recommendation, try the Ulverston Dickensian Weekend but don’t forget your top hat.

Ulverston Dickensian Festival Info

Appleby Horse Fair

In an earlier post I mentioned in passing the Appleby Horse Fair and I thought I would revisit it and add a few more images. 

The fair takes place annually at the beginning of June and centres on the former county town of Appleby, once of Westmorland now of Cumbria. The fair has been in existence since the sixteenth century when horses were the mainstay of agricultural work plus horses transported the armies that waged the wars across the fells, Appleby is not too far south of the border city of Carlisle with the Scots just across the Solway Firth. Things quietened down a little in these debatable lands with the Union of the Crowns under James 1st& VIth ( he was James the first of England but was already the sixth of that name of Scotland ) So illegal sales of horses to the Scots gave way to other money making ventures. The Appleby Fair was once part of a chain of fairs which took place around the country, which one by one have fallen by the wayside or have changed their character so much to be unrecognisable. Buying and selling was the mainstay of these fairs, cattle, horses and other goods. Horses and their equipment are still a large part of the Horse Fair scene, plus other items you never knew you needed.


CUMBRIA. Appleby. The Market & camp on the hill. Harnesses and bridles and all other kinds of leather work.


CUMBRIA. Appleby. The Market & camp on the hill. What every home wants, a big shoe to keep things in.

The camp and the market area are together on top of a hill that overlooks the town centre and there is a regular traffic of people and horses between the two, one of the daily rituals is taking the horses down to the River Eden which flows through Appleby so the horses can be washed. It’s purely coincidental that the mile or so route is perfect for the young men to show off their horseriding skills and you do have to keep an eye open for the traps as they flash past.


CUMBRIA. Appleby. The Market & camp on the hill. Buggy coming through.

Down by the river is the popular spot for the tourists and photographers050610 APPLEBY  Say cheese

as they watch the horses and riders plunge into the water. Again it’s pure coincidence that it’s a chance for the young men to show off again. Horses in the water3678977601_f5e34c114d_b

All around are the incessant chatter of accents and deals being done as the horses are tethered up or paraded or paraded around in front of potential buyersAppleby horsefair 110606 horse group050610 APPLEBY  White horsesP04-06-11 APPLEBY Horses and carts

Up until recently the horses shared the road to the camp with other traffic, which could be interesting03060512

Apart from the smell, horse manure on the roadway doesn’t help a cars braking distance. While there is a lively atmosphere the Police  are always in discrete attendance along with the animal welfare charity the RSPCA. So while there’s fun to be had at the fair there’s also a steadying hand. The event generally runs from a Wednesday to the following Wednesday, though after the middle weekend things rapidly calm down and the travellers start to make their various ways out of Appleby, it is a feature of both the build up and the break down of the fair, the long line of traffic on the main A66 route being held behind a group of horse drawn caravans with impatient HGV drivers drumming their fingers on their truck’s steering wheels as they wait to get past. 

The details for the next fair.