I started my walk at the Fuller Street footbridge, which affords excellent view of the cold store on Grimsby Docks and the work on the seawall heightening scheme. It also offers a view of the flood lights of Blundell Park football ground; home of Grimsby Town. Then it was up the embankment, over a concrete obstacle and onto the seawall, which runs from the perimeter fence of the cold store to the start of the North Promenade. It was a windy day and you could see the sand being blown up the coast towards the Fish Docks.
The only thing to report on the seawall in terms of points of interest was a washed up combination of a barnacle covered bicycle frame and a mattress spring. The mess offered no clues, to my mind, as to how the two objects had become entwined. The amount of sea life clinging to metal lump suggested it hadn’t entered the sea yesterday, but had been drifting around for sometime. The dog walkers were out, as always, and I was joined by two cyclists who had stopped for ice creams, which they must have brought with them, because we where at the wrong end of the Prom for ice cream.
Once at the North Promenade roundabout, where the seawall becomes gentrified and the seaside truly begins, I watched the metal detectorists systematically combing a section of the beach by one of the breakwaters. I was joined at the railing by an old gent, who had driven down from Doncaster to enjoy the sea air. He asked if I thought there was any money in metal detecting and we agreed there must be or they wouldn’t be doing it! There was quite a crowd of them by the time I continued my walk. I wonder if they found anything worth having? I might ask them next time.
Beyond the breakwater the wind seemed to increase and there was more sand in the air. The small funfair on the beach was closed, with it being a weekday and out of season, but one or two places were open on the Promenade for the benefit of the seaside visitor in desperate need of an ice cream, fudge or a plastic bucket and spade.
I walked along the Pier, which doesn’t take very long in Cleethorpes, to take a photograph of the view from the end of it for you (and to satisfy my own curiosity). I could see the donkeys were at work on the beach and the silhouettes of two people trying to build a sand castle on quite a large scale. There were also people taking tea on the Pier, but I had my heart set on a cup of tea somewhere else, so it was up Sea Road for me and onto Alexandra Road.
On my only visit to Bristol I had the luxury of being driven there by a friend of mine and it just so happened that the multi-story car park he decided to park the car in was beside a rich seam of street art. We were in a bit of a hurry, so the photographs aren’t great, but they give an idea of how an otherwise rather unexciting corner of a city can become somewhere culturally important.
Technically, I’ve never seen Ronnie Scott’s, but I’m assuming it was behind this scaffolding and impressive hoarding, feature a portrait of the man himself and a great quote.
To quote The Telegraph on the subject: “The iconic photograph of Scott, enjoying a cigarette outside the London club, was taken by renowned writer and photographer Valerie Wilmer and the giant tribute features one of Ronnie’s legendary bon mots: “I love this place, it’s just like home, filthy and full of strangers”.
Another postcard from “Grannies Parlour” in Hull. What a lovely garden or is it an allotment? It’s rather narrow, but it looks like this gardener and his young assistant are making the most of all the available space. The young lad appears to be in his Sunday best, but the flat caps suggest a family connection with the more sensibly dressed man in front of the greenhouse. The postmark is smudged (and upside down), but I think I can make out a 10 and the stamp is a Edward VII green half-penny, so its definitely Edwardian, all-be-it very late Edwardian. It is addressed to a Mr. Robinson of Scarborough. The address looks like “Saudside”, but its more likely “Sandside”, right by the harbour in Scarborough, assuming there is a 29 Sandside. The message is addressed to “F & M” (father and mother?) and describes a trip to Sheffield; “We had a good day in Sheffield. Went home on the 6.25. Tired & worn out”. The last line makes reference to “going in the chair next week”; a wheel chair do you think? If so that can’t be Cyril in the photograph, can it? He looks fighting fit to me.
On exiting The Gurkha Museum in Winchester I noticed this next to the more conventional health and safety notices and fire fighting equipment.
You can never be too careful, I guess. The Peninsula Barracks, where the Gurkha Museum and several other military museums are clustered, is a beautiful place and it is well worth a walk through its landscaped grounds even if you are not interested in military history.
Here is a link to The Gurkha Museums website: http://www.thegurkhamuseum.co.uk/
Here is a link to Winchesters other military museums: http://www.winchestermilitarymuseums.co.uk/
I bought this postcard from a chap setting up an antiques and collectables shop in the Fruit Market area of Hull (Humber Street to be exact). The internet informs me that Stalheim is in a very picturesque corner of Norway. I love the Modernist, Scandinavian, look of the interior. I wonder if anything in this photograph is still around; perhaps languishing in a dusty storeroom somewhere.
The SS. Great Britain, Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s great leviathan, is surprising difficult to photograph; it’s so big! Of course, you read about its vast size and you see quite a bit of it in photographs on-line, but nothing really prepares you for seeing it in the Great Western Dry Dock. One walks around the dockside, stopping occasionally, raising the camera, stepping back and then back again and then you still can’t fit even half of the ship in the frame. Here are some of the photographs I did manage to take.
1. The Rudder: I think this photograph sums up the scale of the Great Britain the best. The underside of the ship, or what ever the technical term is for the percentage of the ships hull which is usually under the waterline, is accessible to visitors and you can walk amongst the props holding the ship up in its dry dock. It’s here that you see the lasting damage caused by her years as a wreck in the Falkland Islands. Patches of rust were showing (at the time of my visit) around holes that were big enough to put your finger in (not that I did and I don’t recommend you do). Dehumidifiers beside the keel stop the ship corroding any further. The SS. Great Britain’s website informs me that the enclosed dock is “as arid as the Arizona Desert!” You can read more about it here: http://www.ssgreatbritain.org/story/conserving-ss-great-britain
2. The Engine Room: This reconstruction of the engine is colossal! It almost fills the space and again its size makes it almost impossible to photograph. If I remember rightly, you edge your way around the mighty engine whilst it whirls around as if under steam. In some ways the size of the engine is more alarming than the size of the ship, because at least when you are standing on the deck you can say to yourself, “Well, it’s as big as this or that landmark in Bristol”. In the engine room the only point of reference is the engine itself.
3. The Cabins: I visited Bristol in the company of my Cardiff based associate Mr. G. A and most of his photographs were of the interior of the ship, which is so cramped that you can’t really tell what it is he was photographing me looking at! We were there on a weekday with a handful of other visitors so you could not really get anything like an impression of what it would have been like with every cabin sold out on a long sea voyage to the other side of the world. This was one of the few photographs I took below decks, but G. A took much greater notice of the living conditions and took a special interest in all the hand bills pasted up for the passengers attention, regarding their conduct on board ship and services offered by various tradesmen to their fellow passengers. The best (and most amusing) handbill G photographed, in our opinion, advertised the services of a Mr. P. A. Jones who styled himself as a “Barber and Poet”; look out for it.
4. The Deck: The deck, thinking about it now, reminds me of the promenade at Cleethorpes, but with the obvious additions of numerous skylights, half-a-dozen masts and a great big funnel. The best way to get an idea of how high you are from the ground is to look down at the dockside. Great pains have obviously been taken to restore the dockside building and collect a prodigious amount of antique luggage to help set the scene.
5. The Livestock: It is not the most conventional method of trying to give someone an idea of the scale of a ship, but the deck of the SS. Great Britain can accommodate, without any difficulty, two cows in a purpose build stall. The dockside also has a pen containing two sheep and two pigs, so presumably they also had quarters aboard. If you would like to know more here is a link to the SS. Great Britains website: http://www.ssgreatbritain.org/story/conserving-ss-great-britain
I don’t know whose idea this was, but it is inspired and very well executed.
I wondered if sitting on it is permitted, but, as you can see, it was a rather wet day, so I didn’t hang around to find out! Perhaps a revisit on a sunnier day and a sit down are in order…
My favourite photograph, from the handful I purchased in Hull yesterday, is also the one that is in the worst condition, so I hope you can see it clearly. I love the wooden toy train; in fact I’m very jealous. The train, including the tender, is probably as long as the little girl is tall, so it must be on quite an impressive scale. It is also nice to see a young lady in charge of the steam engine rather than a doll in a pram or a dainty tea set. The back of the photograph is blank, so you can read as much into the photograph as you like.
You can see some other photographs from my collection here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121480122@N04/sets/72157643085991143/