Filed under photography

Me in Tin Type

I hate having my photo taken but the chance of being immortalised in a mid 19th century technology was irresistible. Magical watching the image slowly appear, hair first. The photo is by Gareth Jarvis Advertisements

Curiosities at Gloucester Folk Museum

Curiosities at Gloucester Folk Museum

Sometimes I find references to items which I really need to see to understand. Fortunately some museums have handling exhibitions which help. This was a Tudor exhibit at the recent doors open day. This is a trencher, a precursor of plates. It’s only a few inches across as they did not have all the food … Continue reading

Kittiwakes

Kittiwakes

When I saw these birds nesting in Newcastle my reaction was my usual anoyance at the ubiquitous urban gulls. But these are pretty little creatures who spend most of their time at sea. Also they are in decline, so great to see them breeding in the summer at the Gateshead Gallery on Tyneside

Art for Peace

Art for Peace

This follows on from the previous piece, how to deal with the many unemployed servicemen after wars end. Traditionally, they became vagabonds, criminals and generally troublesome, so Duke Carl of Brunswick created a scheme to employ men after the end of the Seven Years’ War. The skills of beadwork were new – at least in … Continue reading

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

This is one of the most important, but least known historical and archaeological sites in Britain. Gunpowder has played a huge role in modernisation; without it we would not have city states, mining, wars, hunting, and spectacular fireworks. This is from historian Brenda Buchannan: Gunpowder and the explosives and propellants which followed it provided a … Continue reading

Iron Lung for Polio Victims

Iron Lung for Polio Victims

I am just old enough to remember the horrors of polio. A friend of mine had an older brother who was one of the last to be affected by it – he walked with a stick and his leg was in a brace so he was an object of pity for most of us. When … Continue reading

Shipley Art Gallery

Shipley Art Gallery

This is a brilliant venue, all the more so as it is owned and run by Gateshead Council and is said to have the finest collection of ceramics outside London’s V&A. I visited it when it opened and for an hour I was the only visitor though the staff warned some children were coming later. … Continue reading

Barnard Castle Market House

Barnard Castle Market House

This the first round market house I’ve found with a second storey, which makes it rather special. It has been used as a prison, court house and of course for markets. It is at a busy intersection so you risk limb though probably not life in visiting it. I am told it sometimes causes accidents … Continue reading

The Heroism of A Stranger

The Heroism of A Stranger

In the park adjoining the Museum of Childhood is a drinking fountain with an unusual and tragic history. Most marble fountains were erected by local worthies to provide refreshment for visitors, a few are memorials, but I doubt if any has such sadness associated with it. Water is essential to life. It is central to … Continue reading

Inside St Peter’s Bristol

Inside St Peter’s Bristol

When we were campaigning to save Bristol’s Castle Park, we were repeatedly told this mediaeval church was at risk of falling inwards, weakened by the fire that destroyed it in The Blitz. But it’s still standing and now volunteers have access to it to help maintain the adjoining garden. It’s misnamed the Physic Garden, but … Continue reading