TRAFALGAR SQUARE

TRAFALGAR SQUARE is owned by the Queen in Right of the Crown and managed by Greater London, while Westminster City Council owns the roads around the square, including the pedestrianised area of the North Terrace. It forms part of the North bank of the Thames business improvement district. My wife and I visited on the 17 June 2015 the first time since the 70s, what a great experiance and much the same as I remembered it, with the exception of the lack of the famous pigeons. None or very few of these ubiquitous birds were to be seen anywhere around and this was something hard for us to understand, pigeons don’t just up sticks and leave they are part of life, it goes without saying they are just there.

What looks like an

What looks like an “Alien” levitating on Trafalgar Square

Whilst contemplating this bewildering fact and watching what appeared to be levitating aliens on the terrace in front of the National Gallery the crowds of people on the square seemed to have been made aware of something strange happening, and then we saw it, a Large FALCON and its’ handler, the very reason for the lack of pigeons, this company of falcon handlers were there flying their birds to keep the pigeons away naturally and without causing unnecessary suffering, again proving the general love of animals and nature by the British people.

A bird of prey used has a deterrent to control our ubiquitous pigeons.

A bird of prey used has a deterrent to control our ubiquitous pigeons.

EAST FROM HEXHAM

We decided to make our journey home from Hexham, Northumberland more interesting by taking a direction which would detour from the boring A1 (Great North Road) and take us via the east coast calling in at Redcar, Marsk, Saltburn and Whitby on the beautiful east coast of northern Britain extending our driving distance by only 10 or so miles but well worth it on what was a mix bag of weather all the way home, until Tadcaster area when the heavens opened and we had torrential rain the rest of the way home 40 miles or so.

SEASCAPE Redcar is a seaside resort and town with a large wind farm

SEASCAPE
Redcar is a seaside resort and town with a large wind farm

SEASCAPE Redcar seaside resort and promenade

SEASCAPE
Redcar seaside resort and promenade

REDCAR,

Redcar means either place by the red marsh from the Old English “read” meaning red and Old Scandinavian “kjarr” or “reedy marshland”, referring to the low lying site by the sea that Redcar occupies. Redcar originated as a fishing town in the 14th century, trading with the larger adjacent towns Until the mid-19th century when it was a sub-parish of the of Marske-by-the-Sea mentioned in the Domesday Book. In 1846 work was completed on the Middlesbrough and Redcar Railway, created to attract tourism and trade. After the construction of Redcar Racecourse in 1875, Redcar prospered as a seaside town drawing tourists attracted by its racecourse, and it’s eight miles of sands.

SEASCAPE Redcar looking South to Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE
Redcar looking South to Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE
Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE
Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE
Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE Marske-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE
Marske-by-the-Sea

MARSKE-BY-THE-SEA.

Marske-by-the-Sea, a village in the authority of Redcar and Cleveland in the county of North Yorkshire, England. It is located on the coast, between the seaside resorts of Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea, and, although not a seaside resort itself, Marske is in the Civil Parish of Saltburn, Marske and New Marske comprising Longbeck and St Germains.

SEASCAPE Looking South from Marske-by-the-Sea to Saltburn-by-the-Sea

SEASCAPE
Looking South from Marske-by-the-Sea to Saltburn-by-the-Sea

SALTBURN-BY-THE-SEA.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea, built on and around the cliffs of the Cleveland Hills coast, it’s development and that of Middlesbrough was driven by the discovery of iron stone and potash in the Cleveland Hills, The area is not unlike Whitby which lies further down the coast, with it’s steep cliffs and roads, The Saltburn tramway, as it is known, was developed by Sir Richard Tangye’s company chief engineer. The cliff tramway opened a year later and provided transport between the pier and the town. The railway is water-balanced and since 1924 the water pump has been electrically operated. The first major maintenance was carried out in 1998, when the main winding wheel was replaced and a new braking system installed.

SEASCAPE Saltburn-by-the-Sea Cliff Tram to the town centre.

SEASCAPE
Saltburn-by-the-Sea Cliff Tram to the town centre.

SEASCAPE Saltburn-by-the-Sea beach with a sea fret building on the left of the image

SEASCAPE
Saltburn-by-the-Sea beach with a sea fret building on the left of the image

WHITBY.

Whitby built on each side of the river Esk, it’s pier follows the flow of the river heading directly north and giving exceptional light quality, ideal for artists and photographers. A place renown for it’s history of whaling, boat building and fishing for herring (Kippers when smoked) and of course the world famous explorer “Cpt James Cook”, the boats for local use were built with flat bottoms to enable landing on the beach so has to enable loading of “alum a natural element used in dying” and coal  on dry land via horse and cart. Whitby also boasts the visit from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”  and it’s famous Abbey where the Synod of Whitby in 664 was held to establish the the Roman date for Easter. I cannot leave Whitby without a mention of the famous 19 century photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe who recorded the people of Whitby and surrounding area and their way of life in beautiful monochromatic photography.

SEASCAPE Whitby is a fishing town known for it's whaling activities and the third largest boat building community in the UK. The river Esk running out to sea.

SEASCAPE
Whitby is a fishing town known for it’s whaling activities and the third largest boat building community in the UK. The river Esk running out to sea.

SEASCAPE Whitby harbour from the west side of the River Esk town,

SEASCAPE
Whitby harbour from the west side of the River Esk town,

Captain Cook Monument Whitby

Captain Cook Monument Whitby

Views from the west bank of the River Esk Whitby.

Views from the west bank of the River Esk Whitby.

West bay Whitby 9-00pm

West bay Whitby 9-00pm

A WEEK IN NORTHUMBERLAND.

HEXHAM, NORTHUMBERLAND.
Bank holiday Monday sees us on our way north to beautiful Northumberland, Staying at the “George Hotel” Chollerford on the North Tyne River, situated approximately four miles (seven km) to the north of Hexham.

Beaumont Street in the heart of Hexam.

Beaumont Street in the heart of Hexam.

Hexham’s architectural landscape is dominated by Hexham Abbey. The current church largely dates from c.1170–1250, in the Early English Gothic a style of architecture. The choir, north and south transepts and the cloisters, where canons studied and meditated, date from this period. The east end was rebuilt in 1860.
The Abbey stands at the west end of the market place, which is home to the Shambles a Grade II* covered market built in 1766 by Sir Walter Blackett

Hexham Abbey in Northumberland

Hexham Abbey in Northumberland
“Photo by Bob Castle”

At the East end of the market place stands the Moot Hall, a c15 gatehouse that was part of the defences of the town. The Moot Hall is a Grade I listed building, and was used as a courthouse until 1838. The Moot Hall now houses the Council offices of the Museums Department, though not open to the public any relevant enquiries can be made on the first floor. The ground floor is an art gallery open to hire.

The Old Gaol, behind the Moot Hall on Hallgates, was one of the first purpose built jails in England. It was built between 1330-3 and is a Grade I listed Scheduled Monument. It was ordered to be built by the Archbishop of York. The building is now home to the Old Gaol museum which informs the visitor about the how the prisoners were kept at this time and how they were punished. There is also information concerning the local families of time, such as the Charlton and Fenwick families who still have descendants living in the area. There are many different displays in the museum of interest to the whole family. The museum also contains the Border History Library, where people are free to visit to research their family history.

Hexham Library can be found in the Queen’s Hall. It contains the Brough Local Studies Collection which is the second largest local history collection in the county.

Scratching wire

Sheep's Scratching wire, the one and only in the area.

Sheep’s Scratching wire, the one and only in the area.

Whilst out walking at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, upper lake area “a photographers delight” I came across this scratching wire, the only one in the whole area which I found strange. A little further on in our visit 10min or so, we encountered a number of Highland Cattle including a large Bull. A little daunting to say the least.

Highland cattle grazing the upper lake area of Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Highland cattle grazing the upper lake area of Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

A SERIALISED PHOTOLOG of ITALY

Day 4 Pisa

City of Pisa and it's leaning tower from the main street of Pisa "not normally seen from this angle"

City of Pisa and it’s leaning tower from the main street of Pisa “not normally seen from this angle”

We left Lucca bathed in sunshine, enough sunshine that by now had dried us all out, leaving us destined to spend the rest of the day feeling like we’d been hung out to dry, our journey to Pisa took until 3-30pm and gave us 2 hours free time in which to explore, The coach park was not far from the entrance to the famous “FIELDS OF MIRACLES” and as we disembarked we were totally amazed by the amount of market stalls on both sides of the street all selling almost identical souvenirs and all run by what appeared to be people from Senegal West Africa, like the so-called “Lucky Men” of the Costa Blanca on the South coast of Spain, we’ve never seen so many Black people in one place in all our lives, and this we only saw in Pisa and no Where else on our journeys through Italy and found it very strange indeed. The Pisa experience was not a particularly exciting one, maybe because it’s a well documented tourist location which we’ve seen so many times on advertisements, TV etc, it didn’t have that WOW affect, nevertheless it’s a sight worth seeing and we would have been disappointed had we missed it. We thought the leaning tower a strange and bizarre sight but generally there was for me, only the historic and aesthetic interest of any value but we did get the ubiquitous photographs. We left Pisa for the journey to our hotel at 5-30pm arriving there by 6-30 and dinner arranged for 7-15pm, this was our first visit to this hotel and first impressions were not good, the rooms were small and difficult to negotiate, particularly the bath room, the food was OK and the whole place was clean but not somewhere to be in raptures about.

City of Pisa and a more recognisable shot of the famous leaning tower.

City of Pisa and a more recognisable shot of the famous leaning tower.

“ITALIA and it’s Seven Classical Cities”

My first Photographic/travel book   “ITALIA and it’s Seven Classical Cities”  contains 182 pages and 218 images in an 8 x 10″ landscape format, A photo travel log tour of the seven classical cities of Italy, Venice, Lucca/Pisa, Florence and Chianciano, Assisi, and Vatican City, Rome, and Siena, Florence and Rome two amazingly lively mirrors of the past. An amazing travel and photographic experience. not to be missed by artists or art lovers, a truly inspirational journey.  Those people interested in seeing it, it can be pre-viewed here at this link  :- http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3240593

 PORTRAIT
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