Potteries

The ‘Potteries’ is the name people call the city of Stoke-on-Trent in the North Midlands of England.

Built on the coalfields of the area, with an abundance of water and clay, it was an ideal place to start making pottery in factories during the industrial revolution. Bottle kilns, or ovens (so called because of their shape) were built across the six towns of Stoke-upon-Trent, Hanley, Burslem, Tunstall, Fenton and Longton. The six towns were bought together as a Federation in the early twentieth century and this created the city of Stoke-on-Trent.

The Potteries Museum and art gallery is crammed with beautiful ceramics and is situated in the Cultural Quarter of the city centre which is in Hanley. Also worth a visit are the Gladstone Pottery museum in Longton and Middleport pottery in Middleport (near Burslem). There are many places to visit here. Hopefully they will all be open again soon.

Old equipment

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My bush radio, and behind it a CD player and cassette player.

The radio takes a large square battery. It tunes in to Long wave so I can get Radio Four (including test match special). Its a real Bush radio from the 1960’s? I found it at a car boot sale years ago covered in splashes of emulsion paint. I gently cleaned that off (with a knife!) and when we put the battery in it worked!

I used the cassette player to listen to my fortieth birthday present, a boxed set of the Radio 4 series of the Lord of the Rings. We listened to it one weekend. Thirteen episodes, six episodes one day and seven the next. The epic series starred Micheal Horden as Gandalf and Ian Holm as Frodo. It includes parts of he books that don’t appear in the films. It’s not as complex as the original books, but very good.

Finally my CD player. I’ve got cds but I don’t listen to them very often. The whole lot of equipment is getting very old. But they have worked well for me. It would be sad to get rid of any of them. That’s the trouble with built in obsolescence.

Train set

It might look a bit of a jumble but this is hubbies train set. There is an oval of track with a spur onto a siding. We worked together to add a canal on one side, a very steep curved bridge ove the railway, some colliery buildings and lots of other bits and bobs. The buildings are either made from card or plastic, or little ornaments of buildings. I guess it’s like a little village. I think I built a tiny greenhouse.

Hubby has some bits of train that have been in their boxes for many years! I hope he liberates more of them.

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Mask

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What mask do you hide behind? Are you a wise owl or something more peculiar. I’ve seen photos of Italian masks, all black, with a massive beak shape. I think they wore them during the plague? Apparently people have recreated them and are wearing them during the pandemic. It’s because we are more interconnected than in the past, so people can reference historical times and be recognised as doing something that would not have been understood in the past…..

Life, the world, history, fascinating,

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Student memories

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Forty years ago, here are two of my friends who I shared a student house with. Unlike the accommodation today things were different then. It’s like something out of ‘the young ones’ TV series. There was no hot water, just a broken water heater. I hate to say this but there was no bathroom and we used the showers at the college. The washing machine was an old twin tub. Our cooker was gas, but there was no gas fire. Instead we just had a coal fire to warm the whole house. And the toilet was down the yard in an outhouse.

We moved on into a slightly less tumble down house, finished college, and ended up in our own house. But I actually enjoyed life in that house. X

History?

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What will history make of 2020 and the Covid 19 virus? It is clearly momentous, but what will be the outcome.

Will we return to our profligate ways as if nothing had happened, and slip back into old routines after a hiatus of several months, or is this a game changer where we will all be poorer and have to be more self sufficient.

Maybe the survivalists that have been prepping over the last several years have it right. Or the environmentalists who have urged us to stop global warming will see a glimmer of light from this current situation.

However you look at it there will have to be questions asked about the leadership of the world. That doesn’t mean that people have necessarily done wrong. Just that the chaos of the virus has too many ramifications to take in. It’s too great a problem to allow us to get all the right answers. That said there are some strange leadership decisions out there. Maybe some leaders should engage their brains before they open their mouths….

St David’s Day

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“Saint David’s Day is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on 1 March, the date of Saint David’s death in 589 AD. The feast has been regularly celebrated since the canonisation of David in the 12th century, by Pope Callixtus II, though it is not a national holiday in the UK.” Wikipedia

Sorry to use a quote from Wikipedia but it was easier than writing it all out!

St Davids is also the smallest city in Britain. It is in South West Wales. Its somewhere I’ve always meant to visit, but never got there.

Old glass lampshade

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Saw this in the pub a few days ago. I’m not sure if it’s antique or a reproduction but it has a feeling of something from the start of the last century. I liked the main shade surrounded by three smaller shades all held together by solid but delicately shaped metal. I wonder if it’s converted from a gas mantle?

I imaging its a considerable weight, so I guess it’s screwed into a ceiling joist. I didn’t think to look at the lights in the rest of the pub so I don’t know if it’s the only one there. Perhaps it’s from a reclamation yard? There are a few round here. Anyway it’s good to see old things about.

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What is a blog for?

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Blogging seems to be all sorts of things. I follow poetry, science, history, art and all sorts of other subjects. I post pretty much anything I’m interested in. I try and write things that are interesting, sometimes short stories or poems, other times about my art.

I started out thinking it would purely be about painting and drawing. But I suddenly realised that I wanted to include more than that. My writing and grammar skills are not honed. I used to write essays in English or History classes, but that was on the subjects on the syllabus. When I got to Art school I had to write essays and a thesis, so blogging came slowly. I hope what I write is enjoyable or interesting.

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