Dorothy Clive garden

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Just had an email from the Dorothy Clive Garden, explaining that they are closing due to government advice.

It’s a lovely place on the border with Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. It is a magical garden on a steep slope. If you get a chance when things have calmed down do go.

This is what I wrote back to them…

We visit to come and see the wonderful rhododendrons in the quarry garden every year, and have been enjoying watching the ecology section being created. Then the rest of it is just wonderful when it’s in full bloom. I love sitting outside the cafe and drawing the view, or walking down the steep slope towards the pond. Watching goldfish as they quietly go about their lives under the surface. 

Ive been visiting over several years. When I was fit I used to cycle over with my husband.

I have a very overgrown small garden with lots of trees, but we have some amazing geraniums that have spread everywhere. We got them from you a few years ago.

Hoping for a speedy resolution to the current situation.
Sincerely

 

Stoke Sings choir festival.

Sixteen Choirs, including the Deaf links Choir and the Intertheatre choir got together in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent today at the Victoria Hall. The reason? It was a splendid Choir festival for choirs around Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Workshops on sea shanties, music from the shows. Gospel singing and African music were some of the wonderful things we learnt. The teachers were so enthusiastic and so we’re we as pupils. Then later we learnt a new song to sing at the Finale.

There was a concert in the evening when all the choirs performed. An eclectic mix of Bond themes, a song from sister act, old songs by Robbie Burns because it is Burns night tonight. Lots of beautiful melodies and friendly people. Finally we sang  auld land syne and said farewells to new friends. A grand day out.

Anderton Boat Lift

_20200115_003550The Anderton Boat lift is somewhere I would like to visit. Its near the village of Anderton, in Cheshire, England. It is fifty foot high and joins the Trent and Mersey canal to the river Weaver. Boats go from the  canal or river into a lift filled with water and the boat and water is either lowered or raised to the other one. It’s called a two caisson lift lock, although I’m not sure why it’s called that.

The lift is a scheduled monument, and was built in 1875. It was closed in 1983 because of corrosion, but luckily it was restored in 2001and reopened in 2002. We intend to visit later in the year, there is a visitor centre run by the Canal and River Trust. I’ve checked and it is open at the weekend.

Drawing again

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Two sketches. One yesterday at Astle Park traction engine rally, I drew this at the end of the day when all the vehicles has left the show ring except for this miniature traction engine. I could have just taken a photo but as it stayed still for quite a while I drew instead.

The second picture was drawn outside but then we went into the restaurant as we were being bothered by wasps. I took a photo of the drawing while we were inside. I didn’t realise it was so dark in there with a blue tone to the lighting. I adjusted it with a photo editor. It shows how long it took to get served, the place was really busy. The food was very nice though.

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Astle Park traction engine rally

We visited Astle Park Traction Engine rally today. There were a vast number of stalls with everything from crafts, car spray paint, antiques, archery and many more things. There was a show ring and tractors, Land rovers, steam traction engines and other vehicles trundled round it to the delight of the crowd. We enjoyed a drink from a bar in a marquee and some food. There was an old fashioned fairground with a galloper roundabout and steam organs, there were also old lorries and military vehicles. We had a go at archery and firing cork guns and paint ball guns.

It was overcast and threatened rain but it kept off. The ground was churned up in places but because it was dry it was starting to dry out so there was only a bit of mud.

Astle Park is just outside Chelford in Cheshire, its near Jodrell Bank Observatory. The event happens in August every year.

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Enamel kiln

DSC_0026Enamel kiln at Gladstone pottery museum, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. These burn hotter than a normal pottery kiln. This is to create enamel from powdered glass, fired about 1400°C. There is a working enamel kiln at Stevensons in Middlewich on the banks of the Trent and Mersey canal. Enamels are used from jewellery to bathroom ware. This is because it has to be stronger and not chip or crack.

The industrial heritage of this country is hanging on. Places like the Black Country museum in Dudley in the West Midlands give us a place to see how the past was. Manufacturing changes and evolves. Soon robots and AI might be the only way things are made. But despite the old dirty polluting past may have been bad, it still stirs memories and romantic ideas of the way things were.

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Singing at Audlem

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Today I went singing with a choir I am in called Loud Mouth Women. We were at a place called Audlem which is in Shropshire or Cheshire I think. We managed to avoid a couple of heavy showers and stayed dry. We sang twice. Once on the canal towpath and then outside a pub called the shroppie fly.

We sang a mixture of songs, from Polynesian to Zulu with a smattering of Latin and Hindi. We learn songs by repetition and also sang a Spanish song called ‘DeColores’. I do like our groups multinational ethos. We also sang ‘Nana was a Suffragette’ and ‘Do it now’ which is a green song about doing something about the Climate Emergency.

A very enjoyable day out at Audlem annual music festival.