The Solstice!

christmas2014Yes it’s the solstice at last so the nights (after this one) will be growing shorter and the dog-walking and photography days will be getting longer. Beers all round. Finally, a merry Christmas and a happily industrial and industrious new year to all! The, er, card is of course adapted from one of Dorothy Annan’s 1960s tile murals, originally at the Fleet Building near Farringdon Station, now rescued, restored, and mounted on the High Walk just beyond the Barbican Centre. Well worth a Christmas diversion.

To Sheffield via London, Hook Norton and Oxford

Shaddon MillOK  so it’s not the obvious route but on the way from the ‘Beer Writing – Past, present and future’ seminar at Hook Norton Brewery this Thursday (where I’m doing a book signing) I’m hoping to take some more industrial photos, including the famous marmalade factory in Oxford and the ‘White Building’ in Sheffield, with its white faience façade showing men engaged in various local trades. Unlike most of these monuments to industry, the men are wearing contemporary clothing; it is far more usual to see industrial scenes played out by dancing cherubs (see, for instance, Nottingham’s former Home Brewery offices) or by workers clad in medieval or even Roman/Greek style (see high up inside the quadrangle at the V&A). The photo is from last weekend, when I saw the old Shaddon Mill (Dixon’s Mill) in Carlisle, with its huge chimney, at one time the tallest in the country; I think the chimney at the Camperdown works in Dundee (which I shall be seeing in a few weeks) now beats it. Let’s hope the good photography weather continues!

Mill hunting in Stockport

Broadstone 352Latest industrial architecture trip was to Stockport, where saw mill after mill including this one (Broadstone), which was originally a double mill, half of which has now gone. The scale of these buildings is enormous. Just across the road is Houldsworth Mill, centre of the Houldsworth model village complex complete with church, and a few hundred yards further the pair of Elizabeth and Victoria Mills. A bus ride from Stockport centre is the wonderful Pear Mill (see the flickr pics) with a massive pear on its water tower, four pear finials (one on each corner of the main building), four smaller finials around the chimney base, a pear above a couple of entrances, and in case the onlooker still didn’t get the message, the word ‘Pear’ in a cartouche above the engine room (now a huge climbing centre). So that’s at least a dozen pears….. There’s a great deal of decorative terracotta detailing on these buildings too.

Ahoy there Heritage Calling

Sportsman1My post ’10 great places where beer meets the church’ has just gone online at Heritage Calling, the Historic England blog. As to ahoy there, this photo is one of half a dozen sports-themed ceramic tile panels at the Sportsman public house in Huddersfield (in the gents, of course!) The pub is east of the railway station, beyond the viaduct.