Watergate Forest Park ~ October 2022

Sophie and I had our last outing for a while at the end of October, and we went to visit a park in Gateshead to see some Autumn colour, hopefully at least.

The Watergate Colliery pictured at the top there, started out in the 1800’s, and was finally shutdown in 1917. Unlike Washington, which as we saw last week got it’s own museum, Watergate was left alone until reclamation work began in the 1990’s, and the site was transformed into a recreational park having a series of trails and paths that take you through woodland, around the lake and through wildflower meadows.

It was a bit chilly, but still a nice day with some sunshine now and again, and we did get some autumn colours. I had my Fuji and my contax with me but have yet to finish the roll on that, so here are the few I took with the Fuji.

Details of a memorial to the miners.
a deer on the edge of the forest
Sunshine and doomcloud!
“Dancing of the autumn leaves on a surface of a lake is a dream we see when we are awake.” Mehmet Murat Ildan
fluffybum
“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been.” Percy Bysshe Shelly
“Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” Terri Guillemets

Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath. Michael Caine

“Look with open eyes, and you will see the beauty of the waterfall.” Anthony Hincks
How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. – John Burroughs

So there we are. Not sure if Autumn has gone and Winter arrived yet, I can’t tell because of all the bliddy rain we’re having, and the forecast is for 2 weeks of it!

Stay tooned dear reader!

📷 😊

The Washington ‘F’pit museum ~ October 2022

So much of the North East is dedicated to its industrial past, none more so than the mining industry, and my regular reader will have seen various memorials along my photographic journies recorded here. The Washington ‘F’ mine pit has been restored so you can see it in action, and as Sophie was in Spain when it had an open day, I dragged Phil along with me and let him use my fuji XT2 whilst I did the iPhone shots and a couple of videos.

First though, as always,

The History Bit. ☕️ 🍪

In December 1775, a banking and mining tycoon from Sunderland called William Russell, leased all the coal underneath the village of Washington. There were two other leasers, those being the Lords of the Manor of Washington, one of whomst was Robert Shafto. Appropriate name thought I. Shafto ~ mine-shafts, you see? Robert Shafto was a member of parliament who used an old British (possibly Irish) folk song in his election campaign ~

Bobby Shafto’s gone to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He’ll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!

Anyhoo, I digress. A series of pits were sunk in the leased area, known as “the royalty”, and imaginatively labelled A to I, and they would comprise the New Washington Colliery.

They started hoying out the coal in March 1778 and transported it to Sunderland by waggonway; a horse-drawn railway. By 1786 another waggonway ran to the Tyne, meaning Washington coal could be exported by ships on both the Wear and the Tyne. The ‘F’ pit was sunk about 1777 but got flooded in 1786 after an explosion, and so was abandoned. Roll on 1820 and it reopened, presumably after the water had soaked in, and in 1856 it was deepened 660 feet, (200 meters) to reach the Hutton seam and it became the most productive of Washington Colliery’s nine pits. Seams were given names with a bit more pzazz than the pits. In 1954 it was deepened again this time to reach seam ‘Busty’ 🤷‍♀️. By the 1960’s new owners had taken over and modernised the colliery, and also by then a Labour government had nationalised the coal industry. The colliery was no longer owned privately, but by the National Coal Board (NCB).

By the mid-1960s it was annually producing 486,000 tons of saleable coal and had a workforce of over 1,500. But it was to be the pit’s last hurrah.

The NCB had a programme of modernisation which didn’t include Washington. All of its remaining pits including ‘F’ closed on Friday, June 21, 1968. Following closure the NCB presented the pit’s winding house (the building containing the huge coil of steel rope that raised and lowered the lift) and headgear to the people of Washington to honour their mining heritage. I’m sure they all appreciated that when they were queuing up at the dole. (The dole:- Unemployed and in receipt of state benefit.)

In the 1970s the Washington Development Corporation took up restoration of the steam engine. It’s recognised as a unique example of 19th century mining machinery: a twin-cylinder horizontal type Simplex for one of the earliest colliery shafts in England. In April 2013 Sunderland City Council took over the Grade II-listed building. Visitors can see the steam engine used to wind the lift up and down. It was once steam operated, but now works from an electric motor for demonstration purposes.

On with a few photo’s and a couple of short videos.

artwork in the entrance.
I have no idea what it does.
the huge coil of steel rope that raised and lowered the lift

the flux capacitor
Automatic Expansion Gear
shiny metal bits
more shiny things and the flux capacitor.

Two very short videos of what it looks and sounds like. The twin-cylinder horizontal type Simplex steam engine.

Mining was, is, such a hard and dangerous job even now, I wouldn’t want to spend all day 600 feet underground digging stuff!

All photos can be embiggened with a click.

Anyways that’s it, stay tooned for wherever next!

📷 😊

Guisborough Priory ~ part 2 ~ Oct 2022

As I mentioned in PART 1 the priory was home to the De Brus family cenotaph. That has since been removed and placed in St.Nicholas Church just by the priory. After we’d been around the priory Sophie and I toddled off to the church and were hugely disappointed to find that it was closed. I think that’s a first for us, so far all our church visits have had open doors. I suppose that’s because they’re mostly rural, so no-one around much whereas St. Nicholas is in a town. So we decided instead to go to lunch and I took a few pictures on our walk to the café.

This early 18th century building was a hotel called The Buck (hence the deer on top of it’s porch) before the Solicitors moved in.

The Buck

Formed in 1849 The Zetland Masonic Lodge is still going strong today. I was never sure what Freemasons are all about but learnt a fair bit from Fred and Barney 🤣

Zetland Masonic Lodge

Smokin’ Joe’s cocktail bar only opens at 4pm sadly, or I’d have been in like Flynn.

Smokin!

We had lunch outside by what I think was a rivulet coming out from under the road and going through a channel next to a footpath, I should have taken a picture but it was a bit grim, and after a nifty panini and cappuccino went back to the car to head for the Owl Center . As I drove down the road past the church I noticed the front door was open. Luckily there were a couple of parking spaces right by the church so I quickly parked up and Sophie and I hot footed it to the church. We met a chap inside and found out he was an electrician fixing something and the church wasn’t really open. I gave him the googly sad eyes thing and explained we’d come a long way to see the cenotaph and he said we could stay a little bit to photograph it. Which was cool, but we didn’t have time to explore the church.

The De Brus Cenotaph was possibly erected by Margaret Tudor, the Queen of Scotland, to mark the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Gisborough Priory. It was erected inside the priory church in memory of the De Brus family of Annandale and Skelton. Made of marble quarried at Egglestone, it takes the form of a Renaissance altar table, with exquisitely carved sides.

The north face of the cenotaph is carved with five figures of De Brus family members from Skelton, separated by the Four Doctors from the Bible; Jerome, Gregory, Ambrose, and Augustine. In spite of a childhood where Sundays were church~school days, I can’t remember ever hearing of the four doctors. I think maybe they were Catholics and we didn’t do them. So I’ve looked them up and in early Western christianity they were not Doctors of medicine or surgery, but rather great teachers of faith. (Edit:- the Doctors were not in the bible -thanks April- so that’s why I don’t remember them!)

North

The south face shows five de Brus family members of Annandale, separated by the Four evangelists; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I do remember them, just about.

South

The east end shows a prior with kneeling canons. The west end has been damaged, and I couldn’t get round to photogrpah it, but historians think it may have depicted a king, possibly King Robert Bruce of Scotland.

East

On the floor next to the cenotaph is a collection of medieval mosaic floor tiles found in the grounds of Guisborough Priory. 

And that is the end of our day out in Guisborough. Stay tooned for wherever we go next!

(photographs taken in Guisborough with my Contax Aria loaded with Portra 400, photographs in the church taken with my fuji XT2.)

Kirkleatham Owl Center (2) October 2022

We’ll finish looking at purdey burdies today , first part HERE if you missed it 😊.

I have no idea what this one is. He looks like a cross between a teradactyl and a porcupine.

Porcadactyl.

This one’s easy, Kookaburra. A chap was feeding them some fish through the wire cage but I’m not posting that as it looked quite disgusting, and smelled the same!

Chubbychops

This one was bobbing up and down on a branch like she was dancing

Lady Blue Eyes
The Yellow winged upside down tit.

Pelicans are so comical!

Burrowing Owls are found throughout open landscapes of North and South America. They can be found in grasslands, rangelands, agricultural areas, deserts, or any other open, dry area with low vegetation. And in North Yorkshire can be found in a drainpipe,

Leggy Larry

Focus was a bit off here sorry, but no matter, you can still see he’s a Spectacled Owl. They roost in the canopies of rainforests and gallery woods, where assailants are few. It eats almost anything; during one lurid encounter in Panama, one slaughtered a three-toed sloth, then feasted on its mangled body. The bird is aptly named for the bandit-like mask around its eyes—black spectacles on a fleecy white head for the young, white frames on a dark head for adults.

Mr.Magoo

No clue what this one is, definitely an owl though, and has a great name!

Fraggle 🙄

The beautiful Snowy Owl

Finally, blerk, I had the wrong lens on to get this Great Siberian Owl all in, so concentrated on doing a close-up. The bugger closed his eyes every time I took a shot. I still like this shot though.

Awkwafeather

So that’s it for Feathered Fauna with Fraggle. The rest of our trip into North Yorkshire was shot mostly on film, but will feature on this blog and the Fragglefilm blog. So stay tooned, have your notebooks and pens at the ready, we’ll be doing History again! Yay!

📷 😊

Kirkleatham Owl Center ~ October 2022

Sophie and I had a grand excursion Southwards to visit some places in North Yorkshire, and one of those places was the Kirkleatham Owl Center in the borough of Redcar. It’s a conservation place and they look after all sorts, guinea pigs, rabbits, snakes, reptiles, but mostly birds. I am not a fan of caged birds, even in big enclosures, but also love seeing the colourful birds we don’t have over here, owls and birds of prey, close up, so am always a bit torn about them. These people look after, and give a home to injured ones.

I stupidly forgot to write down what each bird is, though I can recognise a couple, so sorry for that, and if anyone recognises one, feel free to comment and I can add it.

Peacock
Bambino Peacock
Fluffy McFluff~Face
Fred and Ginger
Bunny
Mr.Blue
Black billed fancy pants
Lovebird
Tango

That’s it for this week, short and sweet 😊, I’ll be back next week with more purdy burdies. 🦆 🐓 o stay tooned.

North East Art Trail ~ 02

At last Sophie and I did an outing together yesterday, and we went on our 2nd Art Trail gleaned from the Art UK website, this time South of the rivers, and starting out in County Durham at a place called Ferryhill where we were to find 3 artworks. It’s a nice little town, built around the mining community in the early 1900’s. Of course the mining industry went tits-up ages ago, and the last mine at Ferryhill closed in 1968.

Our first ‘artwork’ on the list is Cleves Cross and I would beg to differ in it’s designation. It’s not an artwork in my lexicon, such as it is, as we’re looking at a lump of sandstone.

Cleves Cross

However, the lump of sandstone is a fragment of a 12thC medieval cross, set in the ground near the original site, and roughly shaped and with pecked marks. So there’s that.
Several theories exist as to how Ferryhill got its name and the most popular theory is that in the 13th Century, Sir Roger De Ferry (or Ferie), killed the last wild boar near Cleves Cross – certainly the seal of Sir Roger De Ferie still exists and shows a Boar passant. We parked up in De Ferie Court and saw these road signs ~ which do look more like artwork but are not listed on the Art UK site.

Sir Roger and the boar.

Our next artwork, has the lofty name of ‘Beacon of Europe’. Commissioned by the town council, designed by Robert Olley and Bill Kataky then built by the North Eastern Granite Company Ltd. Bearing in mind that County Durham voted overwhelmingly to Leave the EU, I found it rather sad.

No light left.
    The circular brick base has decorative paving, featuring the 12 yellow stars of Europe.
    On each side of the base is a rectangular, etched granite panel with images of a wild boar, a sunrise, a miner and pit pony and rail tracks.
    The centre of the arch contains a fibreglass relief of a miner inserted into the skeleton of the old town hall clock.

    We started working our way back up to Sunderland, (where Sophie lives when in England) with our first stop being at the little village of West Cornforth, known locally as “Doggie” though where that name came from is anyone’s guess. It may relate to the fact that dog irons were made there at one time, which seems good enough to me. We were looking for an artwork called Past and Future, by artist Philip Townsend, which turned out to be two large blocks of buff sandstone that are carved on their front faces with depictions of life in the mining community, set in what looked like a kids playground.
    The block entitled ‘Past’ is inscribed at the top with the words, ‘the past we inherit’.This sculpture, shows a ‘worm’s eye’ view of a scene from the past in which a miner, just returned from work, with his whippet at his feet, is about to release a racing pigeon into the air. In the foreground, sitting on the pigeon basket is his young daughter who is tempting another bird with bread, while to the left a factory chimney releases its swirling smoke, encircling the scene. The block entitled ‘Future’ is inscribed at the top with the words, ‘the future we build’. In this second sculpture, we have a ‘bird’s eye’ view: the years have passed and the young girl is now an elderly lady but still tempting the birds with her bread, while her skateboarding grandson has a pigeon feeding from his uplifted hand.~ Art UK “(He’ll be eating it next at the rate our country is going to the dogs).
    I’m glad they put that on the website as I wouldn’t have worked it all out for myself!

    The Past We Inherit.
    The Future we Build.

    Not listed on Art UK, but in the same park as the Past and Future, there was this..

    see you later…

    So off we went to our next place, Quarryington Hill, another mining village ( there’s a lot in County Durham!) for another mining related artwork, though this one was quite spectacular and informative. As with Past and Future, ‘Into The Depths’ is also by Philip Townsend, and the sculpture comprises two massive triangular blocks of Dunhouse Buff sandstone, base-heavy and tapering in thickness, which sandwich a central Iroko hardwood column.

    The column is surmounted by a depiction of a pit wheel with a tiny figure of a miner standing before it.
    running down the length of the timber, the coalmine’s shaft is shown to the same scale as the figure, with the eight coal seams worked during the mine’s long history crossing horizontally, their individual names and depths alongside, giving the viewer an inkling of just how far below ground these men worked.

    Back up to Sunderland, we went looking for ‘Delegation’, a sculpture by Tord Kjellstrom with glasswork by Creative Glass Ltd, of seven towering figures; the highest being 7.9 metres tall. Each is capped with a glass light box and shaped face. You would have thought 7.9 meters tall would be easy to spot, but it wasn’t. We went to the given postcode and ended up in the carpark of a business park. A little man in a yellow coat came out to see if we were lost, (um possibly) and when asked about the sculptures directed us to a wildlife park which had to cast iron obelisks at it’s entrance, which were not photographically pleasing. We did some more searching on the interweb, and headed back to the carpark to start again, but spotted them whilst we were on the way. Apparently “the sculpture really comes into its own at night, when the light boxes illuminate the eyes on the faces.” ~ Tony Campbell, managing director of Creative Glass. Might be easier to find as well!

    Delegation.

    We then went off to Doxford Business Park on the outskirts of Sunderland, to track down two artworks, Quintisection by Robert Erskine was the first. It’s a large, polished stainless steel sculpture based on the cross-section of a ship.

    A curved ‘hull’ is set on either side of three ‘boxed ribs’.
    This piece was awarded ‘Best Sculpture outside London’ by the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1995, needs a bit of TLC now though.

    We couldn’t find the other one in spite of driving and walking around the park, so that will have to be tracked down on another day.

    Our last art work isn’t on the Art UK site, but Sophie had spotted it whilst walking to work at the university. There isn’t any information about it, it’s just appeared without fanfare in the garden area of the art department there, so Sophie thinks maybe it’s a student thing. The plinth is permanent, but the statue is new. It is quite powerful, it would be good to know the thoughts behind it, but then again, you can have your own.

    Unknown artist.

    All pictures embiggenable with a click!

    And that, dear reader, is that. Stay tooned for whatever comes next!

    📷 😊

    The moon

    I keep catching bits on the news, about NASA’s artemis project, preparing the way for sending people back to the moon, with a view to colonising it, and as a set off point for then visiting Mars. It’s costing the American people $93 billion dollars.

    I am reminded of this song by Gil Scott-Heron :-

    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face and arms began to swell.
    (and Whitey’s on the moon)

    I can’t pay no doctor bill.
    (but Whitey’s on the moon)
    Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.
    (while Whitey’s on the moon)

    The man jus’ upped my rent las’ night.
    (’cause Whitey’s on the moon)
    No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
    (but Whitey’s on the moon)

    I wonder why he’s uppi’ me?
    (’cause Whitey’s on the moon?)
    I was already payin’ ‘im fifty a week.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
    Junkies makin’ me a nervous wreck,
    The price of food is goin’ up,
    An’ as if all that shit wasn’t enough

    A rat done bit my sister Nell.
    (with Whitey on the moon)
    Her face an’ arm began to swell.
    (but Whitey’s on the moon)

    Was all that money I made las’ year
    (for Whitey on the moon?)
    How come there ain’t no money here?
    (Hm! Whitey’s on the moon)
    Y’know I jus’ ’bout had my fill
    (of Whitey on the moon)
    I think I’ll sen’ these doctor bills,
    Airmail special
    (to Whitey on the moon)

    written in 1970 just after the Apollo 11 expedition.

    We are all like the bright Moon; we still have our darker side.
    Khalil Gibran
    The Moon is almost as obvious as the Sun. Clouds permitting, we can see it in the evening sky nearly half the time.
    David A. Rothery
    The Moon affects people in other ways, for a beautiful crescent suspended in a twilit sky can stir our hearts.
    Ken Croswell
    The full Moon – the mandala of the sky.
    Tom Robbins
    Aim for the Moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.
    W. Clement Stone


    The Moon puts on an elegant show, different every time in shape, color, and nuance.
    Arthur Smith
    There is something haunting in the light of the Moon. It has all the dispassionateness of a disembodied soul and something of its inconceivable mystery.
    Joseph Conrad
    If all fools could fly, the sun would be eclipsed forever.
    Dutch Proverb

    Raby Castle ~ revisted ~ August 2022

    Sophie came. back to England for a few days with her hubby Mentat, and we had decided to take Mentat to Raby Castle as it’s just about the most spectacular one. We also love the formal walled garden for the amount of butterflies and bees that grace the flowers, and the chance of seeing deer is pretty high too, so lots to see and admire. Phil came too.

    Well, what the website doesn’t tell you is that the grounds of Raby Castle are undergoing monumental upheaval and they’ve completely dug up the formal garden,

    This is a little of what is lost.

    Formally developed into a pleasure garden for the family, the existing ornamental garden will be redesigned to provide an outdoor space where visitors can move through planting or attend performances and events.” Performances and events, no doubt for which you pay extra.

    The café we usually go to which was in the old stables is also undergoing renovations.

    café no more


    The buildings, designed by architect John Carr in the 18th century are Grade 2 listed, will be restored and repurposed to provide retail and interpretation spaces.” Not sure what interpretation spaces are, but I sure know what ‘retail spaces’ means!

    There’s also going to be a Play Area :-
    A new feature, the play area will offer play for children aged 4-10 years old and will be built within the original Christmas Tree plantation to the north of the Castle, Park and Gardens”.

    Now Sophie and I do comprehend that people who own small people have to take them out and about at weekends and school holidays, especially in the nice weather. We just don’t like it when they take them out to places we visit. On the whole the small things are pushy, noisy, ill mannered and immune to any attempts at control by their owners (if indeed the owners bother) so this is not good news.

    There’s a lot more to it, the development is called ‘The Rising’ and will take 2 years to complete.

    The castle will remain as it is, and the deerpark, but according to Lord Barnard who owns Raby :-

    Raby Castle has welcomed visitors since the 18th Century, but felt it was “still very much under the radar, and it has a huge amount to share.”

    His motivation for the scheme, he said, “is to really open up the castle and the estate to a great many more people to enjoy.”

    “With a new generation it is time for a new beginning, and we want to make sure that Raby is preserved for future generations to enjoy as well as our own.”

    Which is all poshspeak for ‘not enough people visit to pay for the upkeep of it all’, so I don’t suppose I can blame him, it must cost a fortune to run. The total investment will be in the region of £14 million and paid for by proceeds from new housing developments in Gainford and Staindrop, consisting of 151 houses :-  including 3-bedroomed family, 2-bedroomed cottages, single storey dwellings and apartments. I don’t think they will be ‘affordable housing’ sites!

    Anyway, disappointed as we were about the garden, which was shut off, we went inside the castle and had a walk through the deer park, and had lunch in the new Yurt Café.

    Yurt Café

    I didn’t take any pictures inside the Castle, I’ve already done a 7 part post on Raby which starts HERE if you haven’t seen those and want to, which is quite comprehensive. Also when I’m out with non-photographers the dynamic for photography just isn’t the same, but I did take a shot of the Castle and we came across some deer.

    Boss
    He has a hairy willy, that must tickle.
    lady deer
    the White Queen

    Sophie and will go back in 2 or 3 years and see what’s become of it all so stay tooned for that! 🥴

    all pictures are clickable & embiggenable

    more information:-
    https://advisor.museumsandheritage.com/news/raby-castles-ambitious-development-plans-revealed/

    North East Art Trail ~ 01

    Sophie and I recently discovered a website showing all the works of art in the country, which is pretty amazing really, and we decided to use that as a basis for some of our days out. We filtered our search for North East England and refined it for outdoor artwork only, and found there are 844 items in the area, which in theory would last way beyond our needs. Some of the art works are war memorials and such like, market crosses etc and we are not too bothered about those, but there are some cool quirky things too and those are the ones we’ll be hunting down.

    Our first trail was around Killingworth and Cramlington area. I plotted the artwork positions on a map, and off we went to photograph them on a lovely warm, sunny day, not too hot but just right.

    Our first was ‘Sundial’ (which it is) by Graham Robinson, the artist, and  Anthony Walker & partners landscapers and set in the West Allotment Country Park at Shiremoor (which is not in The Hobbit or consequent books). The pictures of it shown on the website are not that nice, it’s all rusty, grass is growing between the paving slabs and it looks uncared for, but when we got there it was all spruced up. The blurb says “A sundial with face consisting of paving slabs in a variety of shades with iron numbers around a central disk with a sun motif. The gnomon is a large, slanting slab of rusted iron with relief designs of natural forms imprinted on either side. The sundial is sited at the summit of a modern, artificial hill, the highest point in North Tyneside.” A gnomon is not a character from Warhammer 4K, but is the part of the sundial that makes the shadow.

    We parked up and followed the signs and first came to a newly made area where you can sit and reflect about Covid 🙄

    the 3 R’s

    this gentleman and his dog were definitely relaxed and I could see signs of fishing equipment.

    gone fishin’

    You climb a circular path up a hill or use some wooden steps to get to the sundial, and I chose the circular path. A horse wearing a diamante tiara on it’s forehead passed us by, wish I’d got a frontal shot!

    Princess Horse

    Nice to see wildflowers and lots of insects along the way.

    thistle and Burnet Moth

    and then we got to the sundial

    Noon
    ? clay pressings of nature stuff by little people.

    Our next artwork is the Blue Ladies by an unknown artist. Set in a business park of all places.
    According to the blurb “A series of life-sized classical nude female dancing figures. Material is draped around their lower body, held close by their right hands and behind their heads in their left hands. The figures are painted bright blue with gold spots.” Although I don’t count 2 figures as a series.

    Blue Ladies

    Onwards then to Killingworth. There were supposedly 4 artworks here, but try as we might we could only find 2 of them. The first was the Blucher Automotive by Charles Sansbury (1916-1989) at Southgate, on the roundabout at the shopping centre there.
    The Blurb:- An abstract representation of the Blücher locomotive, the first locomotive built by George Stephenson in 1814. It could pull a train of 30 tonnes at a speed of four miles per hour up a gradient of one in 450. The artwork was originally erected in Killingworth town centre in 1971, next to the ‘Puffing Billy’ pub. However, when the pub was demolished the sculpture was dismantled and stored at the Stephenson Railway Museum. With the aid of Heritage Lottery funding, Killingworth Local History Society restored the sculpture to mark the 200th anniversary of the building of the locomotive, which first ran on the Killingworth wagonway on the 25th July, 1814. It was named after the Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, who, after a speedy march, arrived in time to help defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

    Choo-choo

    Hippos is an artwork by Stan Bonner, situated at Garth 22 in Killingworth. Garth is not a country & western singer but “an enclosed quadrangle or yard, especially one surrounded by a cloister (Middle English; Old Norse garþr, garðr; akin to Anglo-Saxon geard)”, however in Killingworth it means a cul-de-sac.
    The blurb on this one is short and sweet:- “A group of four concrete, pygmy-sized hippos stood on an open paved area”.

    Hippos

    After the hippos we stopped at the lake there to watch the synchronised swimming practice.

    bottoms up

    It was nice to see they’d made a wildflower place instead of the muddy bird poop area that was there the last time we visited.

    After this we toddled up to Burradon to shoot the Colliery Memorial ~ artist unknown.
    The Blurb ~ “A monument made from an old colliery wheel and truck to commemotate those who lost their lives in an explosion at Burradon Colliery on March 2, 1860, which tragically killed 76 men and boys, some as young as 10 years old.

    Colliery Memorial

    Our last stop before lunch was at Cramlington Hospital which has the Helping Hands sculpture by Cate Watkinson and Collin Rennie.
    The Blurb ~ “Three curve-shaped panels representing healing hands set at equal, 120 degree angles to each other, which can be viewed from all sides. The hands are raised in a supplicant manner as if protecting a central space where help can be found”. Hmmm.

    you need hands.

    So that’s our first Art trail done, and hopefully there’ll be more to come! Stay tooned for wherever we end up next time!

    All pictures embiggenable with a click.

    If you fancy seeing which artworks are in your area HERE is the website.