Friday, 18 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 18th August 1947

"Still hot - still no rain.

Went to garden to water celery, leeks etc. at night."

Envelope and Jar

Partly inspired by by some of my Sketchbook Circle work, I decided to see what might happen if I collaged the inside of an envelope onto an old MDF panel. Where would it lead? 

I thought I'd draw an pharmacy jar I'd photographed in the Fitzwilliam Museum and turned the envelope into a table. I'm still playing with the image, but the addition of an olive branch, the suggestion of a window and a pair of table legs are indicating a way forward. 

Might work. Might not. Any thoughts?

Thursday, 17 August 2017

In the Boatyard

In the Boatyard
(acrylic on canvas, 30 x 30 cm)

Three days work, off and on, to get this done. There were boats on the water and another figure, but in the course of refining it they got painted out and not put back in. I guess the missing man got in the missing boat and sailed away.

My Dad's Diary : Sun 17th August 1947

"Heat wave continues.

Garden in morning - too hot to work.

Out with Ronnie at night."

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 16th August 1947

"Still hot.

Garden in afternoon, walk with Doris at night."

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Monday, 14 August 2017

Sketchbook Circle : Me

Running short of time with the Sketchbook Circle in July, I had to eschew any thoughts of adding to Gwen's pages in my sketchbook and concentrate on doing some of my own. Some pressed paint, some washi tapes, a sheet of brown paper and other bits and pieces ...

My Dad's Diary : Thur 14th August 1947

"Had test this morning.

Heat wave continues."

I assume the test is part of the Promotion Board.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 13th August 1947

"Hot day.

Went for walk at night round T. Estate."

The Team Valley Trading Estate was first begun in 1936  and opened by George VI in 1939. Laid out as a leafy park, even now it's quite a pleasant place to walk through, but in 1947 it was quiet and rural, there were a couple of woods and a river (much of it culverted, but not all) and it was a big change from the terraced streets of Bensham. I spent a lot of my childhood there.

Here's a photo of the layout in 1947:

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Crab Pots, Staithes

Crab Pots, Staithes
(acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in)

I put the final touches to this painting yesterday. There are still things I might do to it if I allowed myself, but that would be a mistake. As it is, it captures the essence of the day better than I could hope.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 12th August 1947

"Another sunny day.

Went to garden at night."

Friday, 11 August 2017

Knife Painting Workshop

Knife Workshop WIP
(acrylic on watercolour paper)

This is the result of an interesting workshop this afternoon, led by my old friend Tony Montague. Using one of Tony's own photographs of a garden whose name I've forgotten, this was done with heavy body acrylics and a couple of painting knives. No brush, other than to lay in some base colours on the 140 lb watercolour paper, and me very much out of my comfort zone.

It took me until the coffee break, when I stepped away, to recognise the better aspects of this painting, and I was very grateful for Tony's later offer of a pot of fluorescent orange that helped make it sing a bit.

This was my first use of heavy body acrylics and I was surprised to find that parts of the painting were still wet when it was time to take it home. All my recent experience of acrylic painting has been with standard, flow formula and fluid acrylic, all of which dry frighteningly fast.

I quite like this painting, but it needs cropping and I'm already thinking about how it might be improved with a brush and some other colours.

My Dad's Diary : Mon 11th August 1947

"Received notice of Board & Test.

Stayed in with Doris at night."

That's a Promotion Board, of course.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 10th August 1947

"Went to garden early.

To Park at night to hear band."

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Coloured Elephant

Elephant Tea Rooms
(Markers and digital colour)

In an idle moment, I added a bit of colour to my recent drawing of the Elephant Tea Rooms in Sunderland.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 9th August 1947

"Garden in afternoon.

Went on walk with Doris."

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Monday, 7 August 2017

Sunday, 6 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 6th August 1947

"Dull day.

Went to garden at night. Took up first drill of potatoes.

Heavy rain."

Saturday, 5 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 5th August 1947

"Bill stayed extra day - went to Durham.

Fine day for last day.

Took him to Westgate at night."

I assume this was the Westgate Cinema in Newcastle. It closed as a cinema in 1958 and reopened as the Majestic Ballroom ("the Maj") in 1959. The Beatles played there in 1963. Later it became bingo hall and  is now the O2 Academy.

Friday, 4 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 4th August 1947

[Bank Holiday]

"Went for walk with Bill.

Down to S. Shields at night."

South Shields was always a popular Bank Holiday destination, using the rail connection from Gateshead Station to Shields. Here's an old postcard, date not specified:

Thursday, 3 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 3rd August 1947

"Went walk in morning with Bill. 

Went to Park to hear band at night."

This is the Bandstand in Saltwell Park, though it wasn't in this part of the Park when Dad and Bill went there.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 2nd August 1947

"Had a walk over to town with Bill and Doris."

Today's Diary motto: Many a false step is made by standing still.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Monday, 31 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 31st July 1947


Sunny morning.

Joe Leddy, Bill and myself out at night."

Happy Birthday, Mam!

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Sketch Crawl : Sunniside, Sunderland.

West Sunniside, Sunderland
(Markers in A4 sketchbook)

This was the first outing for the newly renamed Urban Sketchers Tyne & Wear (Sketch Crawl North East, as was).

Drawing in Sunderland when there's a scheduled football match between Glasgow Celtic and the Black Cats makes for an interesting experience. Coming into Sunderland on the Metro from Gateshead, Richard, Pat and I watched as helpful fans and Metro personnel scooped up a legless Celtic supporter from the platform at the Stadium of Light. Getting drunk that early would certainly mean he'd miss the game altogether, but maybe he didn't have a ticket for the ground. Football is a mysterious game.

Mike led us from Sunderland Metro Station to the Sunniside area, where a bit of regeneration seems to be going on. There's a landscaped sitting area and a bit of public sculpture which didn't immediately attract me, so I started to explore the streets beyond. Straight away I ran into hordes of shambling Celtic fans, bottles and cans in their hands and incomprehensible chants on their lips. I felt a little as if I'd fallen into The Walking Dead tv series and there were bands of Walkers everywhere.

Retreating back to the Sunniside area, I eventually settled down on a wall and drew the first sketch, an interestingly elaborate building with a side turret. It turned out later that just about everyone else had drawn it too, but I couldn't see them beyond the bushes I was sitting next to.

You might notice the written sound effects I recorded on the drawing - seagulls calling, police sirens wailing not very far away and some women in a nearby building cursing, swearing and clashing pots and pans about. The sounds of the city!

I'm not too pleased with this drawing. I started to indicate the shadow on the top of the turret before realising that the same shadow extended down the whole face of the building, so I was just as happy to stop when the others decided to move on.

Elephant Tea Rooms
(0.8 marker in A4 sketchbook)

On the corner of Fawcett St and High St West is a fantastical building showing "a blend of high Victorian Hindu Gothic and Venetian Gothic styles." We all agreed it was an impossible draw, then settled down in the pavement cafe opposite and began to draw it. It soon becomes obvious, when drawing a building like this, that it's a matter of finding the patterns, then repeating them without worrying about there being the right number of elements. I was quite surprised at how much I was able to get done that way.

Next time : The Old Low Light, North Shields, 12 August.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 30th July 1947

"Fine day, but chilly.

Went up to Exhibition Park with Bill."

The Exhibition Park is in the north of Newcastle.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 29th July 1947

"Bill arrived. Got off at 3.30 but missed him.

Had few drinks at night."

Friday, 28 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 28th July 1947

"Posted Bank book.

Showery in morning.

Garden at night."

Thursday, 27 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 27th July 1947


Went to garden.

Out at night with Ronnie."

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 26th July 1947


Heavy rain.

Left at 11 am. Still raining.

Got taxi from Central."

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 25th July 1947


Sunny day. Lazed about."

Monday, 24 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 24th July 1947


Sunny day.

Went walk round by Cresswell in afternoon."

Sunday, 23 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 23rd July 1947


Wet this morning. 

The others left at 11.30. I stayed behind to clear up and look after Harry.

Fine afternoon."

Saturday, 22 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 22nd July 1947


Harry cut two teeth.

Lovely hot day. Lazed about.

Went down to Cresswell, then to Plough with Ken."

I think this is The Plough:

Friday, 21 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 21st July 1947


Dull today with light rain.

Lily & Ken arrived with baby."

That's Aunty Lily, Uncle Ken and Little Ken. Names in the family could be confusing, so we used to refer to Big Ken (Mam's brother-in-law), Young Ken (Mam's younger brother) and Little Ken (my cousin).

Thursday, 20 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 20th July 1947


Beautiful day for first day.

Lay about all afternoon.

Bill's people came at night."

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 19th July 1947

"Telegram from Bill. Coming 20th.

Left for Cresswell in taxi - 3 pm."

"Bill" was Bill Prior, an old family friend who, I think, had by this time moved to New Zealand.

Until I was at least 50, I was able to say that I'd had a holiday every year of my life, and this was the first. Cresswell is a little seaside village in Northumberland with a lovely beach|:

© Richard Dawson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Monday, 17 July 2017

Whitby Fudge Bar

Whitby Fudge Bar
(Acrylic on board, 20 x 20 cm)

This the second of the two small paintings finished today and to be sent to the Bondgate Gallery show. Like the previous one, it offered a lot of fiddly detail and took several attempts to get a sky colour that I liked. As the awning is a cold blue (and yes, it had to be blue - no other colour would do), I needed to get a warm sky behind to make the picture work. For a while I wrestled with a pale purple but gave up on it as being too difficult to get the tone right without being very chalky - a problem with acrylics, I think.  In the end I opted for what you see - cobalt blue.

The Seafood Shack

The Seafood Shack
(Acrylic on board, 20 x 20 cm)

The North of England Art Club has announced another of their exhibitions of 20 x 20 cm paintings at the Bondgate Gallery in Alnwick. The theme is "People, Figures and Faces", the paintings must all be 20 x 20 cm and offered for sale at a fixed price of £50 I showed two pictures last year and sold one of them, so I've decided to submit two more this year (although there's no limit on the number I could enter).

This is the first. I found working in acrylic on board a little different to working on canvas and the size made the detailed subject a bit tricky, but overall it's worked out OK, I think.

My Dad's Diary : Thur 17th July 1947

"Fine morning.

Kept sunny all day.

Using solo now."

Solo bike, I assume, rather than the tandem.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 16th July 1947

"Cooler today.

Heavy rain at night.

Looked after Lily's baby."

Saturday, 15 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 15th July 1947

"Went to Mother's at night. Too hot to do much.

Got bike put right - new brakes."

Friday, 14 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 14th July 1947

"Late this morning - 1 hr.

Grand morning."

So I am a chip off the old block.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 13th July 1947

"Helped Mother in new house.

Went out with Ronnie at night."

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 12th July 1947

"Mother moved today."

I know my Dad grew up in Deckham Terrace, but whether my Gran was still living there up to this point, I don't know. This move will have been to her house in Alston Street. Here's a photo of me and Grandma, outside that house three years later.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 11th July 1947

"Took Doris to Ritz."

Not the Ritz restaurant, of course, but the Ritz Cinema in Gateshead. The Ritz was the nicest and probably the most expensive cinema in Gateshead and going there was always a treat.

The Ritz Cinema was closed on 18th May 1968 with Dennis Waterman in “Up the Junction”. It had been purchased in a compulsory purchase order to build the A1 road viaduct, a scheme which also destroyed the nearby Essoldo Theatre. There are now plans to demolish the road viaduct, when money allows.

Related image

Monday, 10 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 10th July 1947

"Still showery.

Only two of us in 163M now."

163M would be a room in the Ministry at Longbenton.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

First Steps down Memory Lane

    Lane WIP
    (Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 in)

The title of this post probably derives from the fact that I can't for the life of me remember where I took the photograph on which this new painting is based. 

I know I took it quite recently and even printed off a version before going on holiday to Croatia, and I know it was inspired by the two recent Rakes Lane paintings, as well as recognising the theme of "Entrance to a Lane" as one favoured by the Neo-Romantics. 

But where this lane was escapes me for the moment. Perhaps it'll be revealed to me as the painting progresses.

Friday, 7 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 7th July


Helped Mother to clear up."

Thursday, 6 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 6th July 1947

"Fine but windy.

Usual sort of Sunday."

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Lopud Harbour

Lopud Harbour
(0.8 marker in A5 sketchbook)

Pat and I spent a lovely relaxing week on Lopud in Croatia last month. The island is part of the group of Elaphiti Islands, just off the coast of Dubrovnik and has no cars on it. If you don't feel like walking, there are golf buggies to get you around.

Before I went I had my usual fantasies of coming home with umpteen drawings, but the practicalities of doing so were soon evident. The town of Lopud lies in a long strip on the coast and the land rises steeply behind; a dip in the hills allows a road to a decent sized beach on the opposite side of the island. Apart from that, it's a matter of walking tracks, many of which we found quite demanding.

As a result, it's difficult to get far enough away from the buildings of the town to get a good view of them. And to draw anything other than buildings would mean standing in the middle of the street in what was a baking hot sun. This drawing was done from the shelter of the Elaphis Bar and Pizzeria while taking time over a 500 ml glass of draught lager. The only real problem I found with it was that boats had an annoying habit of sailing into harbour and then sail away again after I'd accepted that I'd have to include them in the drawing!

I generally set myself the task of coming home with at least one drawing from any holiday so given that we also had a thoroughly enjoyable time on the island, I'm not in the least disappointed.

My Dad's Diary : Sat 5th July 1947

"Fine but windy.

Went to garden for veg at night."

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Trinity Great Court

Trinity Great Court
(Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in)

I finished this painting just before going on holiday almost two weeks ago and posted it off to the person who commissioned it. Through the magic of the Interweb, I was then able to learn that it didn't arrive when it should but was unable to do anything about it because I'd left the Post Office receipt at home.

So I was delighted to learn that it finally got to its destination today.

An interesting project, given that I've never actually seen the subject and had to work from photographs provided by the client and from online sources. The only other time I've done this was six years ago and that wasn't without its problems too. 

My Dad's Diary : Fri 4th July 1947

"Fine day.

Had bad puncture on tandem."

Monday, 3 July 2017

Latest from the Circle

These are the latest pages I added to the A5 sketchbook of my Sketchbook Circle partner Norma.

My Dad's Diary : Thur 3rd July 1947

"Dull morning but fine.

Took Doris to pictures."

Sunday, 2 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 2nd July 1947

"Fine morning.

Took Lennie back to Town on Tandem.

Took Ken to garden at night.

Mother had arm attended to."

Two mysteries: I don't know who Lennie was, nor what had happened to Gran's arm.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 1st July 1947

"No bike!

Bought two inner tubes. 

Took young Ken out on tandem.

Hot day."

Friday, 30 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 30th June 1947

"Grand day.

Bus strike continues.

Tandem let me down - punctures."

Thursday, 29 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 29th June 1947

"Garden in morning.

Back wheel of tandem blew out.

Out with Doris and Baby. Mother's at night."

So: no public transport, no bike, no tandem.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 28th June 1947

"Grand day.

Went to Town with Doris and Baby."

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 27th June 1947

"Bus strike continues.

also Gateshead trams.

Submitted application for Est. Board."

The application was for him to be made an Established Civil Servant.

Monday, 26 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 26th June 1947

"Bus strike continues.

Still using tandem.

Out with Doris and Baby."

Sunday, 25 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 25th June 1947

"Grand day for Plate.

[Bubrain?] won.

Strike continues.

Gateshead trams on strike."

The Northumberland Plate was run on a Wednesday then. I can't make out the name of the winner.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 24th June 1947

"Bicycle laid up - using tandem.

Showery : rained all evening."

Friday, 23 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 23rd June 1947

"Dull morning.

Submitted Exam appln. to S/E."

Thursday, 22 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 22nd June 1947

"Fine but dull.

Park in afternoon.

Mother's at night."

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 21st June 1947

"Rained all afternoon.

Bus strike started."


UNOFFICIAL strikes broke out last Saturday among company bus operatives in 10 counties in the North and parts of the Midlands. Some men staged one-day stoppages, others withdrew labour for the week-end and some groups started indefinite strikes. In certain instances, routes were curtailed because operatives who remained at work refused to enter areas where strikes were in progress."

In addition to the municipal bus service, Gateshead was served by the Northern Bus Company, operating mainly across the Tyne and into Northumberland, and by the United Bus Company which ran into Co. Durham. For getting to Newcastle we relied mainly on Northern for bus travel.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Monday, 19 June 2017

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Repair Work

(Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in)

This is the painting I started a fortnight ago, before running into obvious problems with perspective due to some faulty reference material. After painting out the errors in perspective and some further repainting, this is where I am with this one now. 

Here's how it looked before:

My Dad's Diary : Wed 18th June 1947

"Dull day."

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Sketch Crawl : Mouth of the Ouseburn

Ouseburn Barrage
(Mixed media in A4 sketchbook)

Time to catch up on our most recent Sketch Crawl - Saturday, 10th June at the mouth of the Ouseburn.

The weather was unkind yet again, refusing to maintain the decent sunny spell of the days leading up to the Sketch Crawl and offering instead some light rain. As a consequence, last minute changes were made to the meeting point and when I got to The Cycle Hub, rather than the Tyne Bar, there was Allan sitting outside, but under cover, drawing a view of the bridges up the Tyne.

In the Hub cafe were Mike and Richard, half way through a breakfast coffee, so I joined them and did a bit of catching up.

After a while the rain moved away, so we set about getting down on paper what we could in the time before more arrived. There was a set of huge green floats in the Ouseburn that really took my fancy and would have made quite a simple subject, but without turning my sketchbook sideways I couldn't find a composition. And yes, some people would just turn their sketchbook sideways, but not me.

The Barrage presented a much more intriguing but potentially more demanding subject and it wasn't long after starting it that I began to think I'd bitten off more than I could chew. And yet ... it all started to come together when first I added some colour with brush pens, then seated in the shelter of the viaduct used coloured pencils to force it to work. The watercolour was added at home to finally make me happy with it.

Next time : 29th July is WorldWide SketchCrawl Day, so I think we'll be aiming to join in that. Stay tuned.

My Dad's Diary : Tues 17th June 1947

"Dull day.

Warm night.

Went to garden with Doris."

Friday, 16 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 16th June 1947

"Dull day.

Coal arrived.

Harry weighs 15 lbs."

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Eye Opener

archie dunbar mcintosh art | Lanark - Archie Dunbar McIntosh:

Archie Dunbar McIntosh RSW
(Acrylic on board, 58.5 x 56 cm)

Pat and I made a special trip to Edinburgh yesterday to see the Archie Dunbar McIntosh exhibition at the Open Eye. There's always a good welcome at the gallery and the paintings were terrific. I've always liked his work, but now that I'm experimenting with acrylics it was particularly rewarding to get up close to it. I was conscious of what a great range of greys he employs, as well as his little personal symbols. Well worth the trip.

And as an added bonus, I had a wonderful lime and ginger scone at another of our favourite Edinburgh stopping points, Bon Papillon, before coming home.

My Dad's Diary : Sun 15th June 1947

"Garden in morning.


Went to Mother's at night."

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 14th June 1947

"Raining today.

Varnished passage and front door."

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 13th June 1947

"Put in    1 doz cabbage.
             1 doz Greyhound cabbage.
             1 doz everlasting flowers."

Monday, 12 June 2017

Sunday, 11 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Wed 11th June 1947

"Fair day.

Doctor says Harry OK.

Finished off front passage."

Saturday, 10 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 10th June 1947

"Wet morning.

Most of night at garden."

Friday, 9 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 9th June 1947

"Fine sunny morning.

Stayed in at night painting.

Harry has German Measles."

At least I didn't have distemper.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Sketch Crawl Saturday

Ouseburn Reflections

Our next North East Sketch Crawl is not far away! We will be meeting on Saturday 10th June to draw around the Ouseburn valley, Newcastle, meeting at the Tyne Bar at 1.00pm. For anyone coming by public transport, the Q3 bus runs along the Quayside right to the Tyne Bar and can be caught near the Monument Metro station. 

Later, we'll probably have coffee at the Cycle Hub.

Hope to see you there!

My Dad's Diary : Sun 8th June 1947

"Windy and showery.

Suspect Harry has measles, but he seems fine.

Out with Ronnie at night."

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 7th June 1947

"Anniversary Father's death (1 yr).

Distempered front bedroom.

Harry develops spots."

Monday, 5 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Thur 5th June 1947

"Bright morning."

Which is more than can be said for the same (rainy) day in 2017.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Friday at the Club

WIP (Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in)

For reasons which will become apparent in the fullness of time, I can't say much about this painting that I started at Gateshead Art Society on Friday afternoon. 

What I can say is that due to the quality of the photographs I collaged together to make the subject and the fact that I was working at a forty-five degree angle rather than having the canvas upright on an easel, I've ended up with a perspective that is woefully awry.

I suspect the height of the main structure is as shown on the left of the painting and that I've exaggerated the right hand side. Mr Google has provided me with some additional photographic reference and after I've studied it, I'll start correcting the faults. It shouldn't be difficult, but I've always been my worst critic and so can't help being annoyed with myself.

I'll probably post some of the stages of the corrective work, if you think it might be of interest.

More Sketchbook Circle Pages

These are the latest pages in my Sketchbook Circle sketchbook 2017. The first three show additions I made to Gwen's pages, the rest are those I've started or completed alone. Materials used were Posca Pens, watercolour, acrylic ink, patterned parcel tape, washi tape, magazine cuttings, wrapping paper, paper bags, simple printmaking, postage stamps, sheet music, black brush pen, and various adhesive shapes.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 4th June 1947

"Dull day.

Garden at night - put sweet pea net up."

Saturday, 3 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Tues 3rd June 1947

"Dull today. 

Fitted new cotters to bike. Garden at night - put runner bean net up.


Friday, 2 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Mon 2nd June 1947

"Fine warm morning.

Went to Greenesfield House for Welcome Home Fund ... -15/= & certificate."

At the end of the War, Welcome Home Funds were set up round the country to give financial help to returning servicemen. I suspect my Dad wasn't terribly impressed with 15 shillings and a certificate.

My Dad's Diary : Wed 2nd Jul7 1947

"Fine morning.

Took Lennie back to Town on tandem.

Took Ken to garden at night.

Mother had arm attended to."

A couple of mysteries: I don't know who Lennie was, nor what had happened to Gran's arm.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sun 1st June 1947

"Very warm.

Terrific thunderstorm pm.

Mother's at night."

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

My Dad's Diary : Sat 31st May 1947

"Beautiful weather."

As it was today.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

My Dad's Diary : Fri 30th May 1947

"Fine sunny day but rain in evening.

Fell with Baby.

Harry vaccinated."

I think it's safe to assume that "Fell with Baby" doesn't indicate an accident, but an outing to Low Fell.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Sketch Crawl : Ryhope Pumping Station

Marker and brush pen in A5 sketchbook
(The brush pen tones were added later)

Saturday started very promisingly: the spell of hot weather appeared to be continuing and when Richard picked me up from Low Fell, he was sporting his shorts for what he assured me was the first time of the year. I assured him I had a cap in case of a sunburnt scalp, but also a small umbrella in case of ... English weather.

When we got to Ryhope Pumping Station the sun was still overhead and Michael was already drawing away on the lawn. The lure of powerful Victorian machinery was more than Richard and I could stand, so we went inside the main building just to check things out before settling down to sketch.

As soon as we were inside the heavens opened.

This was one of the days when the pumping engines were powered up and to all intents and purposes were operating just as when they were installed, except that no water was pumped up to enter the local water supply.

The machinery is beautiful and mesmerising, with huge cast iron Doric columns and delightful detailing on essentially minor parts. I found it genuinely difficult to drag myself away from watching the pistons, flywheels and beams, but eventually I stood and drew the second of the objects above. I've no idea what it might be and probably don't really care.

The rain eventually stopped and we ventured outside, where I admit I found the elaborate style of the building, coupled with the very tall chimney at one end too much to cope with in compositional terms. I should perhaps have decided on a small part of it and stuck to that. Instead, however, I drew the cast iron object with the door and the chains, again with no knowledge of what it might be. A 19th century iron maiden, perhaps? 

Cups of tea and slices of Victoria sponge in the cafe accompanied our sharing of sketchbooks before going home.

Next time: Mouth of the Ouseburn, 10th June 2017.