Sunday, 24 September 2017

Pottery in Sarreguemines


In 1860 the pottery firm of Utzschneider in Sarreguemines adopted the English type of 'hovel' or 'bottle' kiln. By 1900 they had about thirty of these kilns working.



This is the last one remaining. It sits next to the modern town hall in the city centre. It has been opened up and one can visit the interior. 









The inner cone has only been partially rebuilt just to show what it would have looked like. Underneath the floor the coal furnaces were stoked, the smoke being led away to a separate chimney.



At eye level around the inner cone were spy holes so that the potter could see what was occurring in the kiln and judge when best to withdraw the pots.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Giant woman seen in Beaconsfield.

Well... not exactly. As we were in Beaconsfield I could not resist a visit to Bekonscot which claims to be the world's first model village.

Started in the 1920s in the back garden of a residential house, it has survived through the years by charging an entrance fee and using the money for charitable purposes.


I first visited when I was about five years old and it has undergone several changes since then. I am pleased that the policy now seems to be to return to its original time era of the 1920s/30s.

To the right: the village crossroads. The road is being repaired by a steam roller which runs up and down the street.





The canal basin with a pair of coal barges locking down. The edge of the working fairground can be seen.






The nursing home with a resident at the front door walking to the car and in the background, two men discussing the sports car at the old stables.

The detail is engaging. It is very rewarding to look carefully at the models.  If you peer through the church window not only do you hear the choir singing but you can see them all in their stalls.

The Oxford Blue coach on the left contains passengers and each one is a character.


The airfield, having spent a period as a more modern establishment, has now returned to its original 1930s era.

Throughout the village pervades a lovely sense of fun and mischief. It was never meant to be taken seriously; a claim which belies the effort applied for its realisation.








Here we have the race course with the punters and the bookies watching as the horses reach the post.

But in the foreground we can see a policeman in hot pursuit of a bag snatching thief.








Wordplay is never far away.







And in this village green scene the painter's mate standing at the bottom of the ladder from time to time leans forward to kiss the woman in blue whilst his hapless mate at the top hangs on for dear life.

Bekonscot. If you are near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire you must visit.

Not only is Beaconsfield famous for this model village but also for a long time resident: Enid Blyton and thus the birthplace of Noddy (1949) closely followed by the birth of another famous author, Martin Lloyd.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Painting pylons on a Sunday.








Well I suppose somebody has to do it. 

Why did they start at the bottom?















I hope the yellow is only an undercoat. 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Hollyhocks, Sandwich report 2017

For the history of these blooms, click here

My hollyhocks sown wild by the river Stour at Sandwich.
This is the state of the blooms in 2017 – several successes on the road side and the river side of the wall. Unfortunately the seeds which I sowed last autumn in the regular gaps which had been left in the hedge growing in front of the wall have all been sprayed with weedkiller by the Highways Authority. It seems that they wish to retain these short views of brick wall so that the graffiti vandals have something to deface. After all, graffiti is much prettier, isn't it?

Friday, 18 August 2017

Broadstairs on a sunny day.

The beach at Broadstairs.
One day when you have the time to spare, take the no. 11 double deck bus from Canterbury to Broadstairs. It is the indirect route through the villages, skimming beside the roofs of thatched cottages and obliging oncoming cars to reverse to allow it to pass.



As you are driven through the cultivated tracts of this corner of Thanet you realise why it is referred to as 'Cabbage Corner.'

Sunday, 13 August 2017

On Romney Marsh with a bicycle.

Church of St. Augustine, Brooklands.
I am not really into churches, despite what appears on this blog, it's just that apart from churches, Romney Marsh only has sheep and they all look the same to me.
This is the church at Brooklands. Because of the soft nature of the marshy soil, it was thought, probably correctly, that the foundations would not support the weight of a bell tower, so the tower was constructed alongside in the churchyard. 
The nave with leaning arches.


It is clad with cedar shingles.
Difficult to depict with a camera which will always distort perspective is the alignment of the nave arches. They do, in real life, splay outwards, possibly due to the soft foundations. Perhaps the weight of a bell tower above them might have held them vertical....?


Eleventh century leaden fount.
The eleventh century fount is made of lead and depicts at the top, signs of the zodiac and below, agricultural workers with their various tools.


Derek Jarman's grave, Old Romney.









Just along the road in the churchyard of St.Clement's Church, Old Romney is the grave of the film director, Derek Jarman. It bears simply his signature chiselled into the headstone and some pebbles, (possibly from his garden at Dungeness?) aligned along the top edge.


Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 28

Continuing the series of passport portraits from my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Joseph Beaurepaire, a French engineer working for the Société Hydro Electrique de l'Eau d'Olle in 1918 was living at 9, rue Paul Bert in Grenoble at the time.

This is his photograph on his sauf-conduit issued to him by the Prefecture of the Isère which permitted him to use a motor car, registration number: 753 H2, for his business in and around Grenoble. It could only be used in conjunction with his petrol ration book and was valid for two weeks.

The use of the vehicle was reserved strictly for his business and he was entitled to this allowance because he was employed by a company which was, 'working for the national defence'.