Category Archives: architecture

Back to school

Tuesday 23rd November 2021, 11.30am (day 3,743)

I am an educator, yes — a teacher if you like — but that doesn’t mean I hang around schools very often, if at all. This morning was an exception, however, and here’s where I spent it; St Helena’s only secondary school, opened in 1988. This is, of course, a model, which resides in the reception area, but it’s as good a way as any to get a feel for the place. The eponymous Prince visited in 1984 and obviously made a big impression on the islanders. Whether, in light of more recent events, they are thinking of changing the name, is not yet recorded.

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Verandah, Hillside Villa

Thursday 11th November 2021, 5.55pm (day 3,731)

Verandah, 11/11/21

I reckon there are five or six decent shots available that between them will encompass the view from my place of quarantine. This is the left-hand-most of them all, if you see what I mean. We are here looking west; while not very apparent on this shot, on the top of the hill is an old fort, dating from the 18th century. To the right (north), a spectacular view over Jamestown to the ocean, but you can see that another day.

While I do resent having to spend time in quarantine, particularly as I was tested not only before I flew, but at the airport, and came up (inevitably) negative both times — I accept there are worse places to do time.

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Chimney, red ivy

Sunday 26th September 2021, 10.55am (day 3,685)

Chimney ivy, 26/9/21

A boring Sunday spent mostly working. I did spot this on the way up the road to the garden; the ivy looks as if it is seeking to pull down the chimney and consume it. But perhaps ivy feels that about all human made constructions — it will probably get everything, in the end. And, as you can see, autumn is here.

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Windsor Road, Hebden Bridge

Friday 6th August 2021, 6.20pm (day 3,634)

Windsor Road, 9/8/21

Most of Hebden Bridge, as it stands today, was built between about 1850 and 1900. This gives it a uniformity of appearance that is part of its appeal. But add to that the creative solutions that the architects and builders adopted in order to cope with the place’s steep topography, and sometimes, there is real beauty to it. I love Windsor Road, seen here — it’s just so regular in its steps up the hill. How precisely are these houses placed in relation to one another. Could you do this? I couldn’t even think about how to start on such a project.

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St. Mary’s Church, Banbury

Friday 16th July 2021, 11.40am (day 3,613)

St Mary's Church, Banbury, 16/7/21

The ‘Strategy Forum’ came and went — nice to meet people again, not so nice to be presented with visions of the future ruled by metrics and process management, with scholarship now an apparent inconvenience, allowed for grudgingly if at all. I couldn’t make it even to the end of the last half-day so escaped about 11am and shortly afterwards was in Banbury, which can become the 349th different location to feature on the blog. St. Mary’s Church is one of those buildings that it’s very difficult to get a full impression of on a single photo, but here’s my best attempt.

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Education Strategy Forum, Heythrop Park

Thursday 15th July 2021, 4.40pm (day 3,612)

Heythrop Park, 15/7/21

The house of Heythrop Park is 300 years old, and built for the first Duke of Shrewsbury (not that we are very near Shrewsbury here). 300 years ago, they clearly believed in symmetry. And I’m quite fond of the principle myself, if truth be told; enough to get annoyed at not only those people who left the spare picnic table out, but who couldn’t co-ordinate the curtains on each side of the facade. The guy taking a break from the conference? Well, he’s just unplanned humanity. Him, I excuse.

I’ve been here before by the way: first visting (for the same conference, or rather ‘strategy forum’) in February 2018.

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Back of/at the Railway

Thursday 24th June 2021, 2.25pm (day 3,591)

Back of Railway, 24/6/21

The Railway pub has featured very regularly on here down the years, but it’s had its long bouts of closure in the last decade; two flood-related and last year’s thanks to the Great Fear, with it not even reopening during the relatively Fear-free summer of 2020. And because of that, I drifted away…. until this afternoon, anyway. There was still not much happening on the picnic tables now set up round the back, but it’s an excuse to present a study of shapes and colours, at least.

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In Dundee

Saturday 5th June 2021, 3.15pm (day 3,572)

V & A and Tay, 5/6/21

Welcome back to Dundee. The last time it was pictured, on day 1,401 (26/6/15), I was crossing the Tay via the rail bridge, but this is the road bridge that heads for Fife. Plus the impressive V & A Design Museum Dundee, and a seagull enjoying the very fine weather. It looks like we wil be seeing more of this place, at least if all works out — Joe has applied to come to university here, which is why we are checking it out.

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Rabbit in repose

Sunday 14th March 2021, 10.25am (day 3,489)

It really is a rabbit; at least, from the front. So, in some ways, this is the first rabbit to appear on the blog. She reclines in one corner of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, which has been displaying bits and pieces of art in its gardens at Bretton Hall for the last fifty years.

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Wasted effort

Friday 19th February 2021, 2.40pm (day 3,466)

Business school, 19/2/21

This is the exterior of the Alliance Manchester Business School, built for a vast amount of money and now going completely to waste, along with the rest of the campus; monuments to a time past, now standing in a city of the dead. If you think I’m being over-dramatic, have you been to Manchester lately? Nothing has happened there since October. A sense of rot is setting in, and if you (like the publicly cheery city council) think that ‘recovery’ is all just a matter of a wave of the legislative wand, I say that’s optimistic, at best.

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