On a recent visit to St. Annes on Sea my mum and I spent an extraordinary amount of time staring at little metal triangles and diamonds. Why?!? Well, if you look closely you can see the mark of a Glasgow architectural metalwork firm on this seaside shelter. This makers mark confirms that a little bit of the West of Scotland has travelled to the North West of England. For a cultural planner and architectural tourist such as myself, a lovely treat to see a set of bandstand, pavilion, drinking fountain and shelter all in a row. I have also seen this ironwork as far away as Darjeeling in India, and as close as Dumfries where beautiful fountains can be seen, adorned with cherubs, animals and plants (and even full size walruses in the case of Paisley Grand Fountain!). Happy iron spotting!
Image taken from page 595 of ‘Le Monde pittoresque et monumental. L’Angleterre, l’Écosse et l’Irlande … Cartes en couleur et … gravures’, a photo by The British Library on Flickr.
I have been browsing the new Flickr resources from the British Library, some wonderful things on there, including this great image of Trongate in Glasgow’s Merchant City.
Today’s unconventional advent calendar is very unconventional indeed as it is long weekend of cumulative entries. I may well devise some bonus content later for those of you who might have missed the last two days of usually daily pics and musings.
I was taken by the art featured in the calendar as someone who endeavours to unite art and planning issues; often we find ourselves working with various people who have ideas for new uses for buildings where the previous use has for some reason ceased, and unfortunately there are a lot of examples of buildings which are at risk due to continual neglect and decay. From a cultural planning point of view these can also present themselves as opportunities as well as problems, there are many innovative examples of property re-use and reimagination. Our towns and cities are constantly changing, instability can mean an area reinvents itself in various ways. The Liverpool biennial is the largest contemporary arts festival in the UK (see website), and when I first visited in 2008 the city was the European capital of culture. Interestingly, Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores Universities devised a methodology for assessing the impact of cultural festivals (download here), covering cultural access, economy and tourism, cultural vibrance and sustainability, image and perceptions and governance and delivery.
Previous entries for the unconventional advent calendar can all be seen on the UWS Cultural Planning blog where a community of cultural planning practitioners doing the 2013 short course are recording and sharing their reflections and thoughts.
Today’s unconventional adventure calendar is a little bit more seasonal than yesterday, celebrates lovely local museums, and I also have a go at a little bit of Gaelic.
I have been thinking about language and tradition in a cultural planning sense, our traditions and languages affect the culture of the area as stories and songs passed down generations will reflect the history of that area. Local dialect and local words are something which fascinate me. The picture above was actually not taken by me, but one of my family, and it is of the Scotland- England border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, a lovely border town which has a curious juxtaposition of Geordie, Northumbrian and Scots accents.
For previous unconventional advent calendar entries see this post.
I recently had a fun time at Blackpool on the Heritage Tram, looking at the illuminations. I recorded this on my iPad and edited it in I-Movie.
The illuminations were quite stunning this year, so many types of installation, from the simple flashing and changing colour strips of light to Dr. Who and Basil Brush (not to mention the spaceship, which used to be an old tram).
With many towns and cities (and villages) currently full of festive lights, I thought it might be nice to share some other shiny lights too!
Today’s unconventional advent calendar includes a wonderful story from Blackpool. I loved seeing the little plaque (featured on the calendar), which is from the Winter Gardens, acknowledging the stories as part of the character and history of the building.
Earlier calendar entries are listed in a previous blog post.
So, this is what part of my studio looks like at the moment after two weeks of research away for my Are You Here Project. I thought I would share it for a bit of fun (I liked the way the printed out photographs all sat nicely together), and also ask how other people who do creative work get inspiration and plan out projects.
On getting the train to St Pancras from Brighton, I noticed this little welcome en route for my journey back home. How interesting, a variation on the “Let Glasgow Flourish” I am used to seeing, and an unexpected piece of the far North in the South East!
OK, so we’re all familiar with the normal architectural details which adorn our favourite buildings (if not in name then in form).. the classical capital orders of corinthian, ionic and doric.
What, then, is this?!?!
Lovely Brighton has an order of it’s very own, the ammonite capital. I absolutely LOVE these. My newly acquired Pevsner guide tells me these are a speciality of A H Wilds, who was involved in the architecture of much of Regency Brighton. Wow!
Yes, I discovered there are indeed two Brighton Pavilions.. only one is slightly less famous than the other.
This is the first one which many people know and love:
But wait, what is this, hiding behind Western Road?
It is the Western pavilion!
Home to A H Wilds, 1831!