Sunday, 29 November 2015

Loving Lydiard

When I went to the 'engagement' event at Lydiard last Sunday, I took some photos which I thought I'd include here, along with carefully thought out comments on the proposed leasing out of Lydiard Park and house from the Friends' website and the Swindon History blog
I'm going to start with a photo of the house, it wasn't a sunny day, but there were dramatic skies:
 I also love this shot with the trees in front of the house:
Those trees are so beautiful aren't they?

The engagement event was in the cafe where there were a variety of people from SBC to talk to those attending, including Mark Pritchard who came over and talked about the reasons the council feels it can no longer manage the house and park:
There were lots of people there trying to find out more, and it was good to meet Mike Bowden from the Friends of Lydiard Park
 I took some photos of trees
 before heading off to have a look round the walled garden where the sun briefly emerged:

Please sign the petition: 
And here's the link to the Swindon History bog again:

Friday, 27 November 2015

Barbara Hepworth Museum, St.Ives

Having missed out on visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden previously, it was a must on a recent visit, and will be so in future; it's a delight.
 Barbara Hepworth said that 'finding Trewyn Studio was a sort of magic', and when you visit you can see why. The house is delightful, very close to the centre of St.Ives and the sea, and the garden is bounded by a high stone wall, making it an enclosed and hidden away gem of a place. The pieces of sculpture in the garden, laid out by Barbara herself with the help of composer Priaulx Rainier are perfectly suited to the positions they are placed in the garden.
Despite walking round the garden in light drizzle, I was stunned by the beauty of the sculptures and plants together, I'm hoping the photos convey the atmosphere and delight of the garden:
 To find out more about the pieces, click on here

It's also possible to see where Barbara Hepworth worked, and there's a lovely lean-to greenhouse furnished with old chairs where you can sit and contemplate in peace, at this time of year anyway, seen below

There's also lots of information on Barbara Hepworth as you enter the house, and upstairs there's a lot more work on display. Well worth a visit.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

More Coastal Path Walking from St.Ives

The coastal path from St.Ives to Zennor is rugged, exciting and wild; the path in the other direction, towards Carbis Bay and beyond is tamer and almost suburban, although undulating and fascinating in its way. I loved the isolation of the Zennor trip; the estuary at Lelant is frustrating, it's a long way round Hayle to get onto the coastal path again, so I came back by the side road at Lelant Church,  I don't really know why I'm downplaying it though, I loved the walk, and like any walk, there's always so much to see.
We had a lovely clear view of St.Ives from Porthminster Point after just a few minutes walking
 And then further along the small coastal road came across great garden enthusiasts who had planted masses of Agapanthus at the front of their garden: the seed heads look fabulous in profile don't they?

 They'd also planted lots of these tall flowering plants which grow so well in Cornwall
 and had an amazingly lush covered tropical area. I wonder if they open their garden to visitors in the summer?
 Further along the path we arrived at Carbis Bay where there's quite a lot of work going on to either remove or renovate the beach huts. You can just see at the front of the photo all that's left of them are the breeze block pillars between each one.
 Below looking back on Carbis Bay which is a gorgeous beach.
 From Carbis Bay, we walked to Lelant and came across this wayside cross on the way back to St.Ives by road
There's a better photo of it and more information here :
Isn't it amazing what you see when wandering about?

Friday, 20 November 2015

Charming Spots in St.Ives

It's good to stay in a cottage in St.Ives if you're there for a week, so a recommendation of a cottage in Virgin Street sounded like a perfect solution, especially when I looked on a map and discovered it's between the two beaches and a stone's throw from the Mariner's Chapel and everything else in St.Ives.
It's a tiny passageway of a street where fishermen lived at one time, so lovely with no passing traffic at all like lots of other places in St.Ives:
 Isn't it an amazingly narrow street?
This doorway is at the entrance to the street:
and this charming arrangement of plants, glass balls and mermaids was diagonally opposite:
 A few more photos taken around the harbour on Friday 13th, a really sunny day
 The sky is so blue
 Looking inwards from the harbour, you can see the Mariner's Chapel to the right of the building painted pale blue.
And this is Talland House where Virginia Woolf lived for the first 12 years of her life. It's under threat at the moment from a developer who wants to build on land in front of it, blocking the view.
The link is here:
It's a beautiful house and it's hard to imagine how building blocking the sea view would be allowed in St.Ives, if you click on the link, there's a great strength of feeling against the development.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Walking the Coastal Path between Zennor and St.Ives

Ideally one walks along the coastal path from St.Ives to Zennor, has lunch in the Tinners Arms and takes the bus back to St.Ives, or along the inland route, the 'Coffin path'. The last bus leaves Zennor at 2.30pm, so we took the bus to Zennor and walked back.
St Senara's, the church at Zennor is well worth a visit, inside there's a mermaid chair 
 here's the carving of a mermaid on the side of the chair
 and here's the view of the chair from the front, it's amazing to think it has been in constant use for at least five hundred years, and well worth taking a look at it
 From the church, there are signs to the coast path, and the inland route, below here's the coastal route where it reaches the sea
 and to the left, a view of Gurnard's head, it's the second head, and does look remarkably like a gurnard
 and in the next bay, we saw a pair of seals! They were showing great interest in someone who was down by the sea photographing them

there was lots of foaming sea
 quite a lot of signs of National Trust
 rocks in the sea
 exciting bridges
 and a stone circle; this one appeared to be constructed around an older standing stone, and was quite small
 and below, our first view of St.Ives, by this time, the mist had come down a bit and so it doesn't look that impressive.
We did however see a short eared owl very close to St.Ives, and so many wild flowers in bloom. If the days weren't so short, or if we had got ready more quickly, it would have been ideal to walk by the coastal path, have lunch in the pub and walk back by the inland path.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Setting up in the Crypt Gallery in St.Ives

Peter Davies invited three other artists to take part in a week long exhibition in the Crypt Gallery below the Mariners Chapel to coincide with the first week of celebrating 40 years of Camberwell Painting, students and teachers exhibition.
Here's the poster John Watson, Chairman, St.Ives Society of Artists, kindly produced for us:
And here's the space before the work was hung:
Most of Saturday was spent hanging the exhibition ready for the opening in the evening, the weather was glorious with bright sunshine and the bluest skies. I used the excuse of letting the artists sort themselves out, and not wanting to interfere to wander around at midday, venturing in now and again to check on progress
 The first wall was done fairly quickly, although Peter kept worrying that Tim's work was dominating the others.
 Tim's lovely ceramic men with hoops looked fab on the plinths, especially in silhouette

Below here's a lovely photo of Tim fixing a ceramic man to a plinth and Peter standing around, maybe even with his hands in his pockets!
 Here's the first wall completed
 after the first wall, I went in to help with fitting screws into the boards, and I'm pleased with what it looked like:
 and the back wall looks gorgeous
 The trio below are from the left, Peter Davies, Bob Osborne and Tim Carroll being photographed at the private view for the local newspaper
The efforts made to set up the exhibition effectively paid off when we had lots of people looking round the private view
I'll include a couple of photos of the sunny day below, one at Smeaton's Pier:
 and a view of the harbour from the pier.
It was glorious, there were people in shorts and sleeveless T shirts lolling about the sea front.