Friday, June 28, 2013

Day out in Canterbury

Waiting for the parade to begin.
I went over to Canterbury this week to take some photographs of the 5th Batallion the Royal Regiment of Scotland. 5SCOTS., for the stock sites. They were parading through Canterbury for the last time in their 10 year stay.

The 5SCOTS are being reduced to a single company and will take up public duties in Scotland. I wonder how they feel about that after all their active duties. Hundreds of people lined their route to the cathedral showing their support for the men.

While I was in Canterbury I also spent some time in the lovely Westgate gardens and St Dunstan's gardens taking photos of the historic buildings that side of the city.

I also found the Masonic museum and was very interested in their regalia. I made some sketches and plan to go back to do more drawings. The symbolism is very interesting and includes the stone masons tools, some Christian imagery including the all seeing eye and stars, stones, gavels, swords and crosses.There is a good collection of Masonic items in the museum including china and glass.

A lovely old plate in the collection.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sketches of Margate harbour and beach, England

I have been back down to my local beach enjoying the bit of warmer weather we have been having lately.The colours in the sea were Mediterranean in places, gorgeous blues and greens.I took some photos and walked along the beach to the harbour.

I am always struck by how the colour of the sea changes constantly, it's one of my real pleasures and I can see why so many people love to be near the coast anywhere.

There are usually a few people around who are just looking at the sea like me, gazing at the waves and the ebb and flow of the water. We often just acknowledge to each other how much we enjoy our sea gazing, and sometimes I'm told about another beach. Apparently Broadstairs harbour is a great place for watching stormy seas and high waves.

I sat on the new steps by the harbour and focused on the patterns made by the sea and sand on the beach. I'd brought some water soluble coloured pencils and made some quick sketches of the beach.  I was just looking for the abstract qualities and the line of the forms left by the water and drying sand.

The paper cockled a bit with the water, but I was happy with the idea and will follow up with some more sketches and paintings.

A lone man came out with a shovel, I think he was digging for bait.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sci Fi by the sea

It feels like I've been time travelling recently, with the start of the Dickens Festival last Saturday and Sci Fi by the sea in Herne Bay on Sunday. Herne bay has a connection to Dr Who as the writer of the first few episodes, Anthony Coburn lived in Herne Bay.

It can be a bit scary when a dalek moves towards you.

An enthusiast Jason Onion discovered some of Coburn's lost scripts "They showed that the main themes of the show, commissioned by BBC head of drama Sydney Newman, were from Mr Coburn's imagination. He was known to have written the first episodes but the lost scripts showed in much more detail the background to the Doctor and his story." Read more

There were a number of Daleks and Tardis proving very popular with the visitors and some great Dr Who characters including some very tiny tots.  It was a great place for kids, though I had to smile overhearing one young boy saying " I won't be scared will I dad?" as we were waiting in the que to get in.

Cos play is proving more and more popular these days and maybe more acceptable in the main stream. I really enjoyed looking around and taking photos of some many visitors there. I even came away with a clockwork dalek.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Dickens Festival in Broadstairs

I went over to Broadstairs to see the start of the Dickens Festival on Saturday.
The parade started from the Pierremont war memorial and the costumed characters praded down the high street to the sea front and the Victoria Gardens.

Dickens was a regular visitor to Broadstairs from 1837 to 1851,which he called "Our English Watering Place"  While he stayed in Fort House, Dickens wrote his famous book, David Copperfield.

The festival was started in 1937 and has been held annualy except during the second world war.

I always appreciate the effort people take in making costumes and accessories and keeping local traditions alive. The weather stayed dry fortunately but the wind was strong and many a hand was clutched to a hat as they paraded through the town.

The restored Sefton Landau carriage had two beautiful black horses decorated with plumes and carried the Royal Characters.

At the Victoria Gardens there were stalls outside and inside a marquee. After the opening speeches there were readings from Dickens and musical entertainment.

The wind did play havoc with the sound system but people seemed to be enjoying performances sitting in traditional deckchairs.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Drapers Mill Margate

St Peter's Footpath, Margate, Kent CT9 2SP
I found I was only a short walk away from one of the last working windmills in Kent last week. Drapers Mill in Margate is a lovely restored mill, built by the Canterbury millwright John Holman in 1845.
Steam power was added to the wind power in the early twentieth century untill the sweeps and fantail deteriated and a gas engine brought in which powered the mill untill the mid 1930s.

 After the windmill stopped grinding corn it became used as a depot for storing materials and finally a tuck shop.
It was the headmaster of the local school, Mr Towes, who initiated the Drapers Mill Trust in 1965 working towards restoring the now delelict mill. Work was completed in 1975 and the mill was able once more to grind corn. Something it still does occasionally as a demonstration of the mills working.

The Drapers windmill is open on Sundays 2 till 4pm in June, July and August  (but check dates on 01843) 291696/220995 ) and staffed by very knowledgeable volunteers.  More volunteers are needed though so that the mill can open more regularily.

I was shown round by Robin who took me up two floors of the mill, up steep ladders, (not for the less mobile unfortunately.) We also went around the outside walkway and during the tour Robin was full of information about the history and workings of the mill, which I enjoyed hearing about.

There is a museum downstairs full of all sorts of equipment and treasures including tools, lamps and mumified rats. The gas engine is also still in situ with its large wheel, next to the museum.
A small shop provides postcards and souvenirs and outside is a lovely small garden space where you could sit on the grass and picnic.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Margate Meltdown, bikers come to town.

Bank Holiday Monday saw the annual bikers day trip to Margate. Organised by the Ace Cafe in London, Margate Meltdown attracts hundreds of bikers of all ages for a seaside day out.

Thousands of visitors come for the event too, which has stalls and music with the biker community in mind. Lots of jewellry stalls with skulls predominant,  I liked quite a few pieces myself, leathers, hats, bags and even a few bikes were for sale along the harbour arm and seafront.

It was quite exciting seeing all the bikes arrive and hearing the roar of the engines. I don't know anything about bikes, except for a brief period in my life when I rode in a bike and side car but there were some amazing custom bikes including 3 wheelers that were carrying 4 or 5 people and one decorated to the hilt with skulls, skeletons and flags.

Bikes were parked everywhere, in the town along the seafront and up past the Turner Contemporary gallery.

 There were also a few vintage bikes and of course the Harley -Davidsons they had a stand on the seafront too.

It was also great to see Margate so full of people and as it was a sunny day weather wise, the beach was pretty full too. I had a hint of how Margate was in it's heyday.