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.
I was at a college this afternoon singing with our choir. We were in a very modern new building and the curved glass windows looked out over old trees. As we practiced before the performance we saw a great heron circling around these trees and a buzzard or some other bird from the raptor family sitting on a branch and looking at the heron. I think that’s why it was circling and not landing. Herons are strange and gangly Their legs are long and dangle down as they fly. They have long wings that flap slowly and a small head with a pointed beak carried on a long neck which is bent in a flat S shape as it flies.
Grey and white the heron flapped round in lazy circles. I think it was wary of landing. The river dane is nearby and I guess it might have been fishing there.
As we went into the room we were performing in I took this quick photo, unfortunately the birds had flown off. But what a spectacular view we had.
When you visit somewhere it’s always interesting to look at odd little views, like the cupola seen through a broken window of a derelict green house, or mirrors placed under helibores so you can see their open flowers that usually hang down and hide their beauty. Smoke coming out if the little gift shop chimney (the shop had a warm wood fire burning in the hearth) a picture of a small pool. The fountain was not running. A sculpture of a jumping fish, a grey handle on a grey background. Light through the clouds and a curved turf covered roof to some sort of culvert.
Why not look at those odd sights and take a picture, they may not make a perdect composition but they may spark some thought.