Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Vigorous dragon-slaying

Pub-sign at The George at Alstonefield

The George at Alstonefield is a fabulous pub, right in the middle of an unspoilt village in the Peak District - so it attracts lots of walkers.

Unsurprisingly, its pub-sign features the most famous George of them all, Saint George, slaying the dragon. It's a vigorous, stylish piece of painting, especially for a pub-sign, but, sadly, I couldn't get information about the artist.

It's Saint George's Day tomorrow (April 23rd).

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Unexpected 400 year old sight

Johnson Hall, Eccleshall

This amazing, and largely unremarked, house near Eccleshall dates back to the sixteenth century - though it was extensively restored in the late nineteenth century.   It now houses luxury apartments.

Strangely enough, coming across this manor house just reminded me of one of the joys of just strolling about on country footpaths: the unexpected sight.   
I had never heard of this place, Johnson Hall - but, suddenly, there it was!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Great preserver

Shelves at Gladstone Pottery Museum

... jar upon jar of 'colours' used in the pottery industry from a hundred years ago.

Lots of people will descend upon Gladstone Pottery Museum this Easter weekend - because it's a fun place (believe it or not) with its maze of courtyards & outbuildings and quirky displays.

However, it does have a serious purpose too, as preserver of the history of this once-pervasive industry.  As this display shows.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Just missed it at the Floral Hall

Cafe at the Floral Hall,Tunstall

With photography, you often wonder what 'might have been'.  This could have been a great photo, but the people are out of symmetry to the window-frame; and I didn't realise at the time that a poster is coming out of the girl's head.  Ah well.

The shot was taken in the cafe at the Floral Hall, the slightly old-fashioned pavilion & dance-hall sited deep in Tunstall Park.  I like going there; it's quiet, and the atmosphere makes one feel one is being transported back to the 1950s.
But the volunteers who run the cafe are cheerfully casual and friendly.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Beer long time gone

The old Joules Brewery Warehouse

The old Joules Brewery Warehouse building still stands by the canal in Stone as it has done for over a hundred years.  Only now, the actual Joules Brewery has long upped sticks and left the town.  The business (well, the name anyway) re-located to Shropshire a few years ago.

The red-cross that you can see in the gable-ends is the long-time symbol of the brewery.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Sunset tree

Sunset tree

April is the best month to find leafless trees and strong sunsets occurring together.  The fine delineation of the twigs and branches against the strong golden light always gives a thrill.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Death by the road

Roadside memorial at Rudyard

This roadside memorial to a motor-accident victim, Carl Matthews, is unusual, in being screwed into a tree.  The family must come back over the years to re-fix it, I suppose, as the tree expands.

The memorial is by the A523, the twisty and narrow road that runs parallel to Rudyard Lake - not a road I enjoy driving along.
Such memorials do bring home to the observer just how wasteful and pointless road-deaths are.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

George & Dragon looks back

It's the month of St George, whose feast-day is on the 23rd.  As far as saints go, it's a safe bet that he has more pubs named after him than any other.
However, as more and more pubs close, so, inevitably, there will be some bearing his name.

The George & Dragon in Uttoxeter does not open for trade any more, and is now a private home.  However, rather sportingly I think, the owner has chosen to retain the old inn's leaded-lights windows.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Brassy Hawys

Memorial brass, in Norbury Church

This memorial brass, in Norbury Church, is reputed to be the oldest in Staffordshire, though it gets no special treatment (as you can see).
The lady underneath it lived in the fourteenth century and her name was Hawys Botiller.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Castle - going down!

Tamworth Castle

Heights are not my strong point, so even taking this photo, looking down into a courtyard in Tamworth Castle, was slightly brave. 
Well I think so.