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.
The 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.
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.
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.
Enamel 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.
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.
I must go back and visit Jodrell bank again. Maybe its somewhere to get Stoke urban sketchers to go to. I know it’s in the Cheshire countryside but it’s not too far away at Holmes Chapel. It’s certainly a challenging draw. I know I had a go ages ago. If my hubby was here he would be explaining how parts of it are off a battleship or something, I don’t remember…. So anyway yes it’s a fascinating place to visit, although I think it’s half term next week so it might be very busy.