Minton exhibition

Tonight we went to the opening of an exhibition based on Minton tiles.. This is being held at the Winkhill Mill at Swan Street in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent.

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Bret Shah and Hans Van Lemmen on have produced a book of patterns based on designs by Minton tiles. Also in the exhibition are examples of tiles. There are 3d printed tiles where the different patterns are built up as layers. You can wear glasses that obscure your vision so you see as if you are visually impaired  The 3d tiles give you an idea of the shapes used on the flat tiles. There is also a chance to see tile presses where dry clay dust is used to produce blank clay tiles. However the mill is also looking ar producing encaustic patterns on the tiles.DSC_1862.JPG

Later we visited St Thomas’s Church at Penkhull. The floor of the church is covered in minton tiles in the area by the altar.

Titchy play: Monster

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I wrote three little plays for the Titchy Theatre yesterday.  They were read out at the show. I will post them here one a day.

Monster (tourist to reporter – look south or some such channel)

Reporter : so where did you see it?

Tourist : down by the quay, you know, the harbour?

R: and was it big?

T: well… It was as big as a boat, no… A ship

R: what did it look like?

T: er…. It had glowing all over it

R: what sort of lights?

T: Well… Yellow-ish. Like Glowing yellow eyes, and I think it had huge teeth too!

R: why?

T: it seemed to have a grill or something over its mouth, but you could see light shining through… You know… Glowing like an alien?

R: did it make a noise?

T: yes, a very low humming, and a metallic, clanking noise.

R: so…. how do you feel?

T: very scared. I’ve never seen anything like it before

R: can I ask you where you’re from?

T: oh yes. Stoke-on-Trent

R: so … Have you ever been to the seaside before?

T: oh yeah. You know, magaluf, Malaga, Ibetha.

R: and there was nothing like this there?

T: No… Just always sunny, and at night we went off and partied… The other thing I remember is this long wailing noise! I mean, it was foggy, so I could only sense the looming figure  the Monster…. .!!

R: OK. Well…. We checked with the Coast Guard… .

T: Yeah??

R: the wailing noise was from the lighthouse foghorn.

T: Oh

R: And the big, dark, lit-up ship thing.

T: Yes?

R: Was a car ferry…….

Christine Mallaband-Brown

 

Remembering Mothers

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It’s mother’s day here on 31st of March but I won’t be celebrating it as both my mom and mother in law passed away a few years ago.

What I do have is these two paintings of them to remember them by.

They both had their troubles and difficulties but they were both strong women and I loved them both.

Instead of going to a mothers day lunch or tea I’m going to a theatrical event called Titchy theatre.

I’ve written a couple of small conversations for two or three voices and the people running the theatre event will be reading them out. The Titchy theatre started at Penkhull Mysteries but is expanding to two performances a year. People were asked to write something for the performance. If you are free on Sunday the 31st and want to come up to Penkhull Village Hall please do. Please get there for 2.30pm. The show starts at 3pm. Spaces are limited.

The boatband

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After the panto we went over to the local alehouse where the boatband were playing. They play a mix of sea shanties, cajun and creole music together with other 20th century music. Listening to them playing guitar, fiddle, trombone, accordion and washboard was great. One of their members is missing but I only took one photo before my phone went flat. There is always a request to sing during the interval so I sang “molly malone”, but because I had got really tired from the panto performance I could not remember all the words and had to be prompted… How Ironic…!

Anyway that was a long evening. Not sure when I will get up in the morning. The panto continues on Friday (today) and Saturday.

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Barn dance coming up..

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Imagine whirling around with a bunch of people… Then imagine some of them looking completely confused, going in the wrong directions and flinging each other about in mad abandon. That’s a barn dance. Add amazing live music. A caller explaining the dance moves to people trying to understand what on earth he’s saying. The fun that can be had getting dizzy, twisting and turning, jumping about….

And a pie and peas supper that has both meat and vegetarian options.

It’s all in aid of the Penkhull Mystery play this July.

If you are in the area perhaps you would like to come along to these February Frolics and then get involved in the mystery play itself where there are openings to act, make props and help paint scenery. You never know you might enjoy it.

Panto rehearsal

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Help! The pantomime is getting closer “oh no its not!” it’s on in a month “oh yes it is!” and we are supposed to be word perfect and know the songs and dances… “oh no we don’t!”

Well last Fridays rehearsal was cancelled due to snow and this week a couple of the main cast were away or had injured themselves so some parts had to be read in. There are lots of things to remember for the whole cast. Like when to come back on stage for a crucial part of a song which we all missed! I don’t know how long 16 bars is! It’s a case if standing around muttering rhubarb rhubarb (to pretend we are talking) while the main characters act out the story.

It is funny (honest) but it’s hard to describe. It’s good that one of the cast has actually written  and I’d directing it. She’s so clever to do it. Plus organising over 20 children.  I don’t know where she gets the energy.

I won’t tell you all the story, but Robin falls for Marion, some Goons cause mayhem on behalf of the Sheriff of Penkhull who is cleverer than Prince John. Marion is Scottish and the panto has her travelling to her home land. However all ends well.  …

Penkhull Wassail

 

There’s not many places in Britain where you can wander round with flaming torches (but no pitchforks). But today we did just that round Penkhull Village. From Penkhull village hall we walked down the road to a garden with an ancient apple tree. The Domesday Morris danced and poured cider over its roots, Wassailing (shouting Wassail) to bless it and get it to flourish in the coming year. Domesday Morris danced, the Clay choir, which I sing with, sang Wassailing songs such as ” The old Cornish Wassail” and “the Penkhull Wassail” ( written by Duncan Bourne). Penkhull village brass band and the Penkhull Ukelele band also played.

Once we had drunk warm cider down at the garden we walked back up the hill and on to the local pubs, the Marquis of Granby, the White Lion, which was closed for some reason. We then went to The Beehive pub on Honeywall which had laid on some sandwiches. Then back across the hill to the Terrace pub and up to the Greyhound pub and Manor Court ale House where we finished singing and dancing. The Morris group were brilliant with their decorated hats, bells and boots. When they start dancing their sticks fly and swirl and clash together in time with the music  So exciting to watch.

We went over to the village hall for hot soup. Some people stayed for a barndance, but as we were tired out we came home to get warm and have a hot coffee.

No monsters or zombies were affected by this Wassail.

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