Photo of an old painted sign on Hartshill Road, Stoke on Trent.

I noticed it as we were walking down Hartshill and heading for Stoke. The paint is peeling and will be gone in a few years, but it clings on.

Part of an old industrial heritage in the city of Stoke-on-Trent which is gradually decaying.

Some places rejoice in their heritage. Manchester turned old warehouses into loft apartments. The Black Country museum in Dudley in the West Midlands has rebuilt old Victorian houses and workshops to create a living museum.

Somehow Stoke-on-Trent has got left behind. Yes there are glimmers of growth, but old houses get knocked down and are either not rebuilt, or when they are, are too expensive for people to buy.

I’m not completely sad about the place, it is unique, but it needs looking after, the people caring for, and caring about this wonderful city.

Monochrome, Sue Vincent’s #writephoto prompt

DSC_1924I’ve been here

When I saw the prompt I knew the place, so we visited two days ago. I’m pretty sure it’s the same place. From the front you can’t see the size of the hall. You walk over the bridge over the moat. Through an archway into the courtyard.


Inside the house is dark and panelled in old oak. There are places where wall paintings are being restored and the old windows are fantastic. Up and down many stairs and spiral staircases you reach the long gallery. Beware the bees nesting at the bottom of the stairs though!

Then outside to the knot garden and main garden. These are hidden round the back.

All in all not Monochrome at all. And if you want to know where it is you will have to wait for Sue’s explanation. I won’t spoil the mystery (and I might not be right!)

Little Moreton hall

Tudor Little Moreton Hall. North of Stoke-on-Trent on the A34. It’s owned by the National Trust. Surrounded by a moat. It is beautiful and quirky. The long gallery was added slightly later than when the hall was built. It’s really worth a visit. There are also plant sales and a cafe.

St Peter ad Vincula

These are a few photos inside the Stoke Monster church called St Peter ad Vincula. I’ve been told it means St Peter in chains.

My visit today was to attend a craft fair being held inside the church and also in its grounds. We don’t visit there often so it was a chance, on a sunny day, to take a couple of quick photos of the stained glass windows and a picture of the angel which is near the altar. The windows are gorgeous. The colours zing. I’m afraid I don’t know who the architect or builders are. It is the main minster for the area, and although Stoke-on-Trent doesn’t have a cathedral it is the closest thing we have. The funeral of Stanley Matthews, the famous footballer, was held there.

Craft fair today

This is why I’ve been missing today. I enjoy doing craft fairs but not on a regular basis.

I’ve not done badly today. But it is a lot of messing around and carting stuff about to be able to display your art. There is also the time it takes to get everything out then packed back away at the end of the day. We had some heavy wooden trestle tables, my shoulders are aching now . Anyway that was my day.


Etruria Artists


Etruria Artists logo by Robert Cochrane.

Etruria Artists is on tonight. Starting an hour early at 6pm. If you want to come and have a go at painting, drawing or pottery come to the warehouse by lock 40 (summit lock ) of the trent and mersey canal.

Most art materials are provided or you can bring your own.

I’ve had some good times there creating art. It is an old building though and we do close over the winter as it’s only heated when we are in the building so the water has to be turned off in case it freezes and bursts the pipes. I’ve also helped people with advice for using different paints like Acrylics, Watercolours and Gouache…. I’m not trained as an art teacher but I do have some knowledge.

Oak man


I’m a bit disappointed with my phones camera. Although this image of an oak green man came out OK three other photos of similar green men didn’t register. I think it’s because I have too many photos saved and as most of them are MB not KB they are too large as files so they take up too much space.

This oak man was for sale at the Dorothy Clive garden near Woore, Staffordshire. It was rammed with people, there was a great plant sale on, but it was crowded with hundreds of people. We struggled to get a seat and had a quick lunch. I usually go there to see the rhododendrons in flower but it’s a couple of weeks before they will be out in the quarry garden. In the meantime they had a massive plant sale with stalls so we came home with about 15 varied and interesting plants. Glad to be home to get a rest.