Another mural, Wedgwood and Brindley

Another of my murals, four gentlemen meet to discuss the building of the Trent and Mersey canal. They included Josiah Wedgwood and James Brindley. They were said to have met in the back room of the Leopard Hotel in Burslem.

This image was found on a ghost hunter website. I didn’t give my permission for him to use it, but I guess I can’t complain because it means I now have a record of it. I will keep looking for more.

Almost midnight

She stands in front of her cottage. Molly Leigh, the Burslem witch. Notorious and buried in the local churchyard at 90° to the other burials. The painting is based on a peasant woman painting by Theodore Gericault.

This was one of my murals in the Leopard Hotel in Burslem. The pub burnt down at the weekend. I am bereft. I am trying to pass on my memories to keep a feeling of what it was. I painted these on the walls. Emulsion on lining paper directly onto the wall. I’ve had a few comments that they could have been taken down. I don’t think people understand what a mural is.

Callous Culture Cuts for Stoke Museums Undermines Future Chances of Tourism In The City

Permanent Five Month Closure for Gladstone and 13 Jobs Lost In Museum Shakeup

Callous Culture Cuts for Stoke Museums Undermines Future Chances of Tourism In The City

I saw this on WordPress Reader and had to share. The council claim its only a minimal cut (of around £600,00!). Its important that our industrial heritage is saved, otherwise Stoke on Trent would lose its raison d’etre.

Etruria Flint Mill

I added my easle yesterday. Today I’m showing you my easle two years ago, I did a painting of Etruria Flint Mill. It’s also called Jessie Shirley’s Bone and Flint mill I think? It’s the only working Steam driven Flint mill in the country and the flints and bone  were crushed and ground using the power of the steam driven beam engine there.

The buildings are part of Etruria Industrial Museum, a complex of cafe, the museum displays, and the Flint mill on the Trent and Mersey and Cauldon Canals at Etruria, Stoke on Trent. I’m not sure of its opening times. But once a month it used to be fired up and you could watch the fly wheel rotating round and the pans where the flints were ground rumbling as the engine turns them. Its amazing to see the industrial archeology of the potteries in action.

Penkhull Wassail!

Morris dancers in their tatters

Memory of Doomesday Morris at Penkhull Wassail a couple of years ago. They danced and beat sticks to encourage the ancient Penkhull Apple tree to bud, flower and bear fruit later in the year. They were surrounded by a crowd of people, maybe two or three hundred. Some if us carried flaming torches to light our way. A walk around the boundaries of Penkhull and into local hostelries. I was part of the Mystery Singers choir who sang Wassail songs as we stopped off at the pubs…

Crowds and laughter, mad jolly japes, humans being gregarious. That’s what I miss. Thank goodness for Mysterious madness and eccentricity. Let’s pray to the gods of Wassail for this to come again one day, drink cider, jingle your bells, stamp your clogs, crash your sticks together! WASSAIL!

A different sort of mask

Mystery Play mask. From 2018 or 2019. An outside play we did in the summer. One day only. About the history of the potteries. Set in a pottery museum that comes to life.

Why this? Because our local council want to cut jobs for curators and close the Gladstone Museum in Longton, Stoke-on- Trent, for five months a year and reduce the opening times for the Potteries Museum and Art gallery in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Why aren’t we promoting tourism, getting people to visit? The council say their £600,000 will only have a minimal effect!

Comfort food…

Oatcakes are comfort food for me. Warm and sustaining. My hubby went out to the oatcake shop and got us some cheese and bacon oatcakes for breakfast because I’m not feeling well (I’ve done a lateral flow test today and it’s negative so I think I’ve got a cold, sore throat, sniffles and aches). I added the dots of brown sauce to make a smiley face. A Stoke on Trent /Staffordshire delicacy, oatcakes are our pancake / tortilla /crepes. You can eat them savory or with things like jam and butter. Our oatcakes are big and floppy, not like Scottish oatcakes which are far smaller and drier.

Fairy in a tree

If you visit Trentham Gardens in Stoke on Trent you can find various wire woven fairies dotted around the grounds. Some are easier to spot than others. One flies down to a fountain to fill a watering can, another holds onto a huge dandelion seed head as it is caught in the wind. A warrior queen fairy stands on a plinth by the lake. I liked this one, hanging down from a branch in the trees on a swing. She’s hard to spot as the tree is an evergreen pine. She’s a welcome addition after walking around the lake.

Potteries

Burslem, Tunstall, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Fenton, Longton.

Six towns United as one city. Stoke-on-Trent.

I remember seeing this print and taking a photo of it, but I cannot remember where it’s from. So apologies for using the image and if I’m infringing copyright let me know and I will remove it. I like the style of the illustration. It’s almost grecian in style. The Potter is throwing a pot on a foot treadled wheel. The background looks a bit like a Minton tile. I did Google it and found some very similar images.

Pottery is such a wonderful craft. The things you can make out of clay. From tableware to ceramic insulators. Sanitaryware (bathrooms) to delicate ornaments. The Potteries has a great history. It’s fame is world wide. I’m proud to live here.

Tea at the Rabbit Hole Tearoom.

A good memory from a few years ago. Having tea with friends at the Rabbit Hole Tearoom in Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent.

We had been looking for somewhere different to visit and we had a friend coming down from Yorkshire. I had to book in advance but it was worth it. My memory is of a themed Tearoom around the Alice in Wonderland stories, with the white rabbit, mad hatter, dormouse and Queen of Hearts. The tea was lovely, cakes, scones, sandwiches, fruit. A pot of tea each.

It was a family themed Tearoom and it was very full. No social distancing in those pre covid days. I wish I could go back in time. Remembering those days is getting harder. But seeing old photos like this help to reassure me that things might one day be better. One day. When we can I hope this Tearoom will still be open.