Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sample information plaque

This is a sample plaque for wall information. I have uploaded it at full size, so if you click on the picture, you should get a much larger version that you can read. If you right click on the large picture, and select 'save picture as', you can download it to your own PC, then open it in an image program and blow it up to read the detail. I hope this helps.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Nottingham trams & the castle

I decided a day out to Nottingham was due, as I really like that city. It was a nice day, this was what I saw when I started out in the morning. I just love clouds :-)

I parked on the outskirts of the town, and took the new NET tram to the city centre. The new square was supposed to be opened for the Xmas market (see earlier entry in this blog), but of course, whoever believes a builders promise? Here it is, still 'almost finished'. To be honest, I preferred the old square, and think that the millions they have spent on 'improving' it were wasted. However, I suppose you have to make the best of what you've got, and residents will eventually get used to it. This is the view at the moment, with my back to the council house (that's the next target to spend more of the taxpayers money - a re-vamp of the building).
Boring and flat, isn't it?

This isn the view towards the council house.
Boring and flat, isn't it?

Some things are sacrosanct though, they wouldn't DARE take the lions away.
Many a tryst has started with the words; "I'll meet you at the lions".

Now these I DO agree with! Sleek, comfortable, and affordable. The new trams are worth every penny, and the long inconvenience to traffic they caused during construction and track laying.
I think they SO fit in with the city, and I use them whenever I go.

This is looking up The Poultry. The old Flying Horse pub is on the right. I spent many a happy night there when I was young, now no longer a pub :-(

Looking down exchange walk, with the flower seller.

This is inside a shop. I was amazed at the great prices for really nice stuff. It's called 'stone the crows', and is on Hounds Gate.

No trip to Nottingham would be complete without a visit to the castle. I was really disappointed to find they are now charging £3:50 for a 'combined ticket' for the castle and the museum. As I lived in Nottinghamshire for twenty years, I have seen the museum and castle dozens of times. All I wanted to do was walk the grounds to take a few pictures of the windmill at Sneinton, but that's not now allowed. Pay or stay out, is the rule. Wrong, in my opinion.

The impressive gate of Nottingham castle.

The Man himself - Robin Hood (well - his statue, anyway).
You'll notice he is arrowless - they keep getting stolen!

He stands in the courtyard below the castle.

The Robin Hood way starts from the yard in front of the castle gates.

A lovely old lace market building, dismantled and rebuilt next to the castle.
It now sells the famous Nottinghma lace to tourists

The oldest pub in England since 1289 AD, don't believe the pretenders!
It's an amazing place, with nooks and crannies hewn out of the sandstone of castle rock.
The museum is just further on.

Nottingham has always attracted players, entertainers, minstrels etc over the years. It still does, and this guy gave a great show of fire eating and juggling.

I hope you have enjoyed the short tour. As I said, there is another entry when I was there just before Xmas, if you look back in the archive of this blog.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Drystone walls - a pictorial tutorial

At Wirksworth, Derbyshire, there's the National Stone centre. As a lot of quarrying is done in the area, it's there to educate people all about stone, why we need it, what it's used for etc etc.
I suppose it also helps to atone some of the guilt the big companies feel about decimating the landscape, as they often have their little 'supplied by' plaques on various seats/exhibits/walls etc. The quarries HAVE provided, and continue to, a lot of empolyment in the area, so it depends on how you look at things as to whether you agree or are against it.
All that aside, I have always been interested in stone walls. They are, to me, a quintessential part of the countryside, especially in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. They do tell me, the 'folk in the know', that Limestone is one of, if not the, most difficult mediums to wall with. This accounts for why we have so many champion wallers in the county. I watched one, Gordon Wilton, walling in the Manifold valley one day. It was like watching a painter. The wall he built is just SO perfect, I always think of him when I see it. Now it has some 'age' on it, and a bit of greenery here and there, it looks even better.
His tight and neat style means his walls will stand for a VERY long time!
Anyway, enough drivel, on to the centre. This is the 'guilty plate' I was talking about. It has all the info' on the walls (collectively called 'The Millenium wall'), and a; 'this plaque was supplied by' dedication at the bottom.

Each wall has a descriptive notice on the end of it, telling you about the style of wall, where you will find walls like it, etc. It also alludes to the method of construction. Some walls look as if they are just a pile of stones, not very strong at all, while others, like Gordon Wiltons, look as if they will stand forever!

Also dotted around the centre grounds are some pieces of stone 'art'
I leave you to draw your own conclusions on this.

So, on to the walls. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. If you click on the title of this entry, there's a link to the stone centre, where you can get all the info' you need about it.