Band of sketchers challenge

Yes I know its not a building, it’s INSIDE the building. I’m our living room. It’s still bricks and mortar. Anyway it’s the corner with the DVDs and Videos, an old hi-fi system and a lot of books and stuff. Amazing how media and technology changes so much. But not everyone is able to afford replacements. So it’s a case of watching things till they wear out. Anyway that’s the corner of the building I drew. Black ink on cartridge paper.

They are building

They  (whoever they are) are building on the other side of the main road, beyond the shops that are near our garden. I knew the plans were for houses, but the thing across the road is taller by far than the ones surrounding it and is about four stories high. It wasn’t there last week. It appeared on Friday or Saturday. I looked out the window upstairs to see the dawn and there it was! Blocking the view. Once we have the hedge cut people who move in will be able to see into my kitchen and living room windows! I was thinking of having the trees thinned to let in more light, it feels like it won’t be worth it. Maybe I’m over reacting? I haven’t seen any plans of what it’s going to look like. I think our neighbours who live on the main road opposite it have moved out, perhaps because she felt overlooked? Oh well I guess it’s good to have new things happening.

Life belt


I’m not sure why these are inside a building and not outside by the side of the canal to be used? Perhaps they are old and not the correct standard anymore. Maybe they have been stored in case they are needed? Maybe they are for use by the boat club that meets in the warehouse sometimes. Yes that is damp at the bottom of the wall. The building is between the trent and Mersey canal and the Cauldon canal. It is actually lower down than the water on one side, and next to a deep lock on the other side. So water might be slowly seeping in and the building is over a hundred years old.

Back to the life belts, I guess you could grab them and use them if someone falls in the lock….. I might find out about them…

Brick built


Bricks are a wonderful building material. They are baked hard clay that lasts for centuries.

Bricks are ceramic, the clay becomes vitrified (turned to a hard substance though heating in a kiln).

Bricks change in size through the ages. From small and thin in Tudor times and getting larger closer to the present day.

My favourite sort are Staffordshire blue bricks. These are dark blue/grey and often covered in dimples on their upper and lower surfaces which are visible when the bricks are used for paving garden paths.

Red brick is also used in building and there are “red brick” universities in the middle and North of England. These are not as posh as places like Cambridge and Oxford but their courses are as good as the ancient ones. Examples of red brick universities are Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield.

The photo on this post is from my collection of photos manipulated in an app called Layout.

Berryhill fields

I’ve just visited Berryhill fields in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent. It’s one of the green lungs of our City, a country park between Fenton, Longton, Bentilee, Sandford Hill and Bucknall.

I took some lovely photos of the view, including the TV mast that dominates the skyline. The white blossom along the pathway up from Arbourfield drive is floating like a pure white cloud alongside the path.

I’m worried that this green lung of the city could disappear. The local Conservative and Independant council wants to build 1300 houses on the site, this despite there being a covenant on the land to prevent this. In fact there have been protests over its use in the past. I know we need new housing but why destroy the environment. Yes there are industrial patches around the site. Why not build on brownfield sites in the city instead?

In a world where pollution and environmental degradation are on the increase we should preserve what we have left of our green spaces.


I was up there with Labour councellors and candidates. We were filming and taking photos of the parkland to raise the issue with the voters in the upcoming local elections

Fenced out.


So many places are getting built on now. Here a tennis court or going to be covered with new houses. There an ancient field is being threatened with a building project. The reason? Local government is strapped for cash because of government cuts so they are trying to recoup some money by selling off city land. The problem?? The cities green lungs get clogged. Traffic increases. Yes we need new housing, but somewhere there should be better planning. Plus once a the land is sold how will they get more income and how will it affect the local environment  I guess I’m a Nimby (not in my back yard) but sometimes you have to say something.

I don’t know what I can do, many plans have already been approved but I will try and have a say in what happens .