Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Tea vicar? In the graveyard

Colwich Churchyard, 'Cannock Chase View'

People are strange.  At Colwich Church-yard, they have set up a picnic table and chairs, from which they can see southwards over to Cannock Chase.  As you can observe, they have even installed a post - naming the spot 'Cannock Chase View'.

Would I create a picnic-spot in a graveyard, from where I could sip tea and admire a distant view? 
It wouldn't have been my first inclination.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

A trio of ovens

Bottle ovens

While we're profiling bottle ovens (see previous post), here are some more.  These three at the southern tip of Burslem stand very much alone and abandoned these days, so they look rather forlorn, but... it was a misty day ... and at least they remain complete.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Relics of the pottery towns

Bottle ovens at the Gladstone Pottery Works

Bottle ovens - the specifically shaped kilns in which large amounts of pottery ware used to be fired in the good old bad old days - are still the symbol of the Potteries towns... even though there is not one left that is still in use.   Bottle ovens are now relics - and listed buildings.

The most famous bottle ovens are the ones left at the Gladstone Pottery Works in Longton. The works is now a much-praised museum.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Home across the water

'The Island' at Oakamoor

When it comes to being quaint - and being in the middle of lovely countryside as well - the village of Oakamoor in the Moorlands is hard to beat.

On the outskirts of the village is a small group of homes, whose address is 'The Island'.  You have to walk the bridge to get to them; like a permanently open drawbridge...   Quaint!

Monday, 19 January 2015

Tommy turned round

Borough War Memorial in Stafford

This 'Tommy' soldier from World War One is facing in completely the opposite direction to when he was first put up on this structure, the Borough War Memorial in Stafford.  He used to face the railway station - but when the law courts were built in the way, he was turned around, and now faces St Mary's, the town's large parish church.
One wonders why he was built facing the station, and not the church, originally.  It could be that the huge County War Memorial is by the station; was he meant to be saluting that?

The story comes from the fascinating booklet Researching Memorials by Staffordshire Archives.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

On the trail of Saint Rufin

St Rufin Chapel in Burston

It's difficult to get back far enough to get an interesting photo of St Rufin Chapel in Burston, and they tiny interior is almost bare... so this is the best I could do.

The chapel, which dates to the 1850s, is built near the (supposed) site of the martyrdom of St Rufin 1400 years ago.  The legend is a pretty one, but completely without foundation (see Legend of Wulfad & Rufin), despite the fact that the area makes a good deal of it, and that The Trail Of The Mercian Saints still takes in Burston.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Impressive, but not impressed

Lady Chetwynd Memorial in Colwich Church

You'll find the Lady Chetwynd Memorial in Colwich Church.  It's impressive enough, being almost life-size, but this mid-Victorian style of relief sculpture does leave me cold I'm afraid.

I think the boy is supposed to be one of the Roman guards at Jesus's tomb, in the act of being surprised by Jesus coming back to life.  His plainly eroticised figure rather distracts from the message, I'd think...

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Boring building

Offices of  South Staffs Council in Codsall

Part of the job of a photo-blog is recording interesting, outstanding or even ugly sights.

However, I had never considered recording boring sights.  Until I saw the offices of  South Staffs Council in Codsall.  Do buildings get more boring than this?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Beware the scooter

Pedestrianised Cannock

Does Cannock have the most pedestrianised town-centre in the country?  I wonder.  It has an expanse of unbroken re-brick paving (such as above) for what seems could be half-a-mile square...

You'd think that this means that people can wander safely. In fact, the unintended consequence is that riders of disabled scooters can freely whizz all over the place; and one has to be almost as careful of being hit by them as one might be by a car!
Outside cafes, the scooters are lined up by their owners, like horses tied up outside a Wild West saloon.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Stables fit for a vice-chancellor

The University of Keele Clock House

The University of Keele took over the old Sneyd Hall and its estate in the 1950s - and the institution has never looked back since.

This courtyard complex in the picture is a little distance off from the main hall, built as the estate stables in the nineteenth century.  It is named The Clock House.
For some odd reason, it was made the Vice-Chancellor's official residence.