Friday, 28 September 2012

Skywatch Friday - Coventry Trio

I waited for Superman to turn up, with no avail.  I did so want to be able to say - 'Is it a bird?  Is it a plane?  No, it's Superman'.  Guess I'll happily settle for this 'trio' instead.

Now you might not be excited about this photo but I am.  I took it through the windscreen of our car (I wasn't driving) and managed to get the moon, bird and plane with a point and shoot camera.

Join the fun on Skywatch Friday.

Have a good weekend all.  I am going to watch Ryder Cup golf on TV and eat Tootsie Rolls.  Back for City Daily Photo Theme Day (Silhouette) on Monday, 1st October.  (Oh my goodness me, it is nearly Christmas!!!)

Thursday, 27 September 2012


For the first time ever I have seen Tootsie Rolls at a regular grocery store.  Hooray!!!

Asda (owned by Walmart), Walsgrave, Coventry

You can sometimes find small speciality shops selling American candy (at a price that makes you wonder if  purchasing a return ticket to USA is better value).   Well, today at one of Coventry's largest supermarkets  I found something new amongst the Hershey's and Reese's....a favourite...Tootsie Rolls.  When you are an American living in England that calls for a photo for your blog (as well as small purchase).  What you see is about 1/10th of very long shelves dedicated to the sweet tooth.  Those candy bars are called 'sweets' over here.  Quaint :).

Tomorrow is the first day of the Ryder Cup golf tournament (USA vs Europe) taking place in Chicago, USA.  I plan to be glued to the TV for the duration (eating Tootsie Rolls) hoping that Europe retain the Cup.  (I know, I can hardly believe that I said that.)  Try and watch some of it, people.  A great tournament!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Restoration At Its Best

The Establishment Bar & Grill, formerly The Old County Hall
Here is a little peek inside one of Coventry's newest licensed premises.  Less than 20 years ago this was the main courtroom in Coventry Crown & County Court before the Courts moved to new premises across town.  The building stood derelict for years.  What  a change. Note the Crown Crest above the seat where the Crown Court judge used to sit.  Just outside is the Cathedral, St Mary's Hall, and Holy Trinity Church.

County Hall historical marker

I don't know what to make of  'the last public execution taking place in Cuckoo Lane'.  There has to be a story.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Look Up - There Are Messages To Be Found

This is one of two small windows inside the tower of  Blue Coat School.  On the opposite side is a similar window with the words, 'Refurbished 1999'.  I love the design.  Photos below give you an idea of the structure from inside and outside.  It really does pay to look up...there are messages to be found. 

Blue Coat School, designed by James Murray in Gothic Style  

The new Blue Coat School (above) was built in 1856/7 over part of the remains of the medieval cathedral that was demolished by Henry VIII and which also served as the priory  church of the Benedictine monastery.  This building replaced the first school building (c1714-1855) which was structurally unsound by the mid 19th century.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Coventry University's Latest Architecture

Faculty of Engineering and Computing
Thanks to some rather innovative architecture, Coventry University has another unusual building for the students to use and enjoy.  I showed this building under construction in March.   Here is how it looks now.

I am anxious to see what it looks like at night.  Next time we have some clear skies (not likely soon), I will hotfoot it over to have a look.

Needless to say, these photographs were NOT taken today, but last week.  Our old friend 'rain' has returned with his mate, 'high winds'.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Ever Wondered What 100 Tonnes Looks Like?

Here you go!  It looks like this.

Quantum Leap Sculpture, Shrewsbury
To Mark the 200th Anniversary of Darwin's Birth

This massive sculpture stands 12 metres high and 17.5 metres long with a weight of more than 100 tonnes.  What is it?  Well, that is open to interpretation. (I will go with 'vertebrae'.)  It was designed by Colin Pearce & Ranbir Lal and represents Charles Darwin's scientific ideas and his impact on the scientific world.

Quantum Leap on River Severn, Shrewsbury

And, here we have Charles Darwin Statute outside the museum and library which at one time was Shrewsbury School.  That's right, he was a student there. What is interesting to me is that this statute was unveiled in 1897.  Seems such a long time ago.

Darwin (1809 - 1882)

Have a super weekend everyone.  Cheers!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Fancy A Train Ride?

By train, Shrewsbury is only an hour from Birmingham and Birmingham is only 30 minutes from Coventry.  My idea of a nice day out.  

River Severn and Shrewsbury Train Station.
Above is a view from Shrewsbury's Norman Castle, founded in c1070. Little of that castle survives. The River Severn flows right under the train station platforms.

No, that isn't a castle (photo below).  That is Shrewsbury's mainline train station and tower built in 1848. It has a surprise..........
Shrewsbury Train Station

When you go through the door and up the stairs your are not inside a magnificent building but outside again.  What a surprise.  The view here is looking back to the station tower (on the right) and there is a hint of Shrewsbury Castle on the left.

When we visited the station it was neat to see a very long line of Pullman Coaches soon to take visitors on a steam train adventure around Wales and England.

One more stop tomorrow and then it is back to Coventry.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

River Avon, Warwick

River Avon,  Warwick

If you would like to know what is to my right, have a look here: Pasadena Daily Photo and you can also read all about Petrea Burchard's, soon to be published book, Camelot & Vine.  Because of Petrea, I was inspired to go and take pictures around Warwick Castle.  Gosh, what a fantastic place and only just down the road from Coventry.

Back to Shrewsbury tomorrow.  (I felt the need to interrupt my visit up north to link today's photo in with the Pasadena Daily Photo.  Can you blame me.)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Year 1702 - Let's Move House...The Whole House

That's right!  The building opposite is known as Castle Gates House in Shrewsbury.  It was moved to its present location in 1702 by the Earl of Bradford.  He wanted to make way to build another building, later to become the Guildhall.  Now that gets my vote for conservation.

Castle Gates House under watchful eye of Charles Darwin
I am standing in the entrance to Castle Gates Library, looking past a statute of Charles Darwin (born in Shrewsbury) towards Castle Gates House.

Well, I am going to have to come back tomorrow to show you a tad more.  But first, here is another view towards Castle Gates House.  (Can you guess that there is a Castle nearby.  It's behind me!)

Castle Gates House (with Church beyond)
Shrewsbury is about 66 miles away from Coventry.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Shrewsbury, England

This is typical of the architecture to be found in Shrewsbury located about 66 miles from Coventry.  The buildings are simply known as 'black-and-white buildings'.

High Street, Shrewsbury

The building (above) on the left has a plaque which reads:  'Erected by Richard Owen the Elder Gentleman. AD 1569'. No blue skies on this day, but the flowers make up for that.

Across the street from the Owen mansion is the Old Market Hall which has this well-maintained Coat of Arms on it.  Those 3 creatures are known as loggerheads, the heraldic term for leopards' faces.  Interesting.

Coat of Arms of the former Shrewsbury Borough Council
Old Market Hall
I visited Shrewsbury on the way back from watching golf at the Women's British Open near Liverpool.  Tomorrow a little more from that drive home.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

South Korea's Shin Jiyai Wins Women's British Open

Shin Jiya at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.

The 2012 event was won in spectacular fashion by Shin.  I didn't brave the rain and wind at Hoylake today.  Had to watch it on TV from home in Coventry. Since I took this photograph on Wednesday's practice day, thought it good to include it here.

The final results were as follows:

  • -9: J Shin (Kor) 
  • Par: I Park (Kor)
  • +1: P Creamer (US)
  • +2: M Miyazatyo (Jpn)
  • Selected others: +3: K Webb (Aus); +7: C Matthew (Sco); +8 C Kerr (US), M Wie (US).

  • Wednesday, 12 September 2012

    Two Coventry Kids At Hoylake

    Well, I don't know who the man is (don't believe that) with England's Professional Golfer, Laura Davies, on practice day for the Women's British Open 2012 at Royal Liverpool Hoylake Golf Club.

    John of Coventry & Laura Davies
    Both Coventry Kids
    Laura just qualifies to be a Coventry Kid.  She was born in Coventry but moved to London soon after.

    PS  I have suffered the perils of trying to do this post using unfamiliar equipment and wifi on the road.  Not a good idea.  I didn't even come close to following the Caltech practice of proofreading 10 times by 10 people. So it was posted, a couple of important errors found, then everything crashed.   Hopefully, all sorted now and finally posted a little later than planned.

    Monday, 10 September 2012

    Bet She Knows Where Camelot Is

    She seems to be looking at that Round Table through the door opposite.  A clue?  Possibly not.

    The Priory Undercrofts
    Coventry has been participating in the Heritage Weekend Open Days which involved many historical sites being opened to the public for free.  This young lady in Medieval attire was a greeter for those wishing to view (what is described as) the best preserved remains of Coventry's original Benedictine monastery - The Undercrofts.

    I am taking the rest of the week off to go and watch professional golf (British Women's Open).  There is a bit of commuting involved so there will be little time for blogging.  Back soon.

    Sunday, 9 September 2012

    Hurdy Gurdyist And His Apprentice

    St Mary's Guildhall Courtyard, Bayley Lane
    Here we have a demonstration of a Hurdy Gurdy, as part of the Heritage Open Days in Coventry this weekend.  Our historic music specialist has no trouble engaging some help from this young lady.

    Saturday, 8 September 2012

    Year 1714 Sharing Space With 2012

    View from Old Blue Coat School, Priory Row
    This weekend is Heritage Open Days in Coventry, a once a year opportunity to go inside historic Coventry buildings.   I have photographed Old Blue Coat School (c1714-1855) from the outside but have only been inside once.  Today was my chance to return.  The white timber-framed building is16th century Lychgate Cottages and the stone building is the part of Old Blue Coat School.

    I put my sunglasses down, and for some reason decided to leave them in the shot.

    Friday, 7 September 2012

    Olney, Buckinghamshire

    St Peter and St Paul 14th Century Parish Church, Olney

    This photo is here for me. It was taken a couple of weeks ago when we visited family here from USA, and I just love that sky and the memory of a lovely day.

    St.Peter and St.Paul's weather vane is inscribed: "I never crow but stand to show whence winds do blow. 1829". The top of the 185ft spire was restored in 1884 and is a different colour.

    Thursday, 6 September 2012

    My Favourite House In Easenhall

    Is just through there......

    The garden above is typical of this lovely village near Coventry.
    We drive through it all the time and I always look as closely
    as I can at the home below.  To me, it looks like a home that
    could sit comfortably in New England, USA.  Unusual roof and always
    beautifully maintained.  I searched and search on the Web to find
    out more about it with no luck.  Guess, I will have to knock on the door.
    (Hope they don't mind.)

    Brooklands, Easenhall
    PS.  To you who left a comment yesterday - I change the title (adding 'Lady Godiva') and messed up the link.  You can see my reply if you scroll down the old fashioned way.  Sorry!

    Wednesday, 5 September 2012

    Lady Godiva, St Mary's Guildhall, Coventry

    W C Marshall's mid 19th century statue of Lady Godiva

    On the west side of the Great Hall  is this oriel window thought to date between 1394 and 1414.  It was rebuilt in 1826 and later restored in 1893.  Such a beautiful setting for Mr Marshall's work.

    Tuesday, 4 September 2012

    A Modest Abode, Hill Wootton, Warwickshire

    Blackdown Mill
    Hill Wootton can be found just off the main road between Royal Leamington Spa and Kenilworth.  Every time I drive by I am tempted to explore.  Well, now I have.  This enormous Grade II Listed Building has history linking the mill with Coombe Abbey. A historian I am not so I will spare you the injustice of trying to summarise the titbits of information scattered on the web, except to say that this is an 18th Century mill house sitting nicely along side the River Avon and it is now a home.

    Too dark to photo thru port cullis to see mill driving cog wheels, etc.
    PS.  I may have learned something totally unrelated to
    this house but to do with the word 'titbits'.  Now I always thought
    that word was 'tidbits'.  Could it  be that 'tid' is a US variation of
    the word.  Apparently so....but after living in the UK for nearly 40 years...well, I am surprised.

    Monday, 3 September 2012

    Stoneleigh, Warwickshire

    Grade II Listed Black & White Cottage
    Today is 'Be A Tourist Day'.  It is sunny and warm out.  Off to a couple of nearby villages, starting with Stoneleigh.  This house is for sale (£750,000) and looks a tad larger than a cottage to me.  Wish I could afford it.

    It sits along side the River Sowe in the village of Stoneleigh.  It took us about 15 minutes to get here from Coventry.

    The photograph below is of the view to my left looking over the bridge into Stoneleigh Village itself.

    A note about 'Comments'.  I only realised today that people have to jump through some hoops to leave a comment.  (Thanks, Adele.)  So I am relaxing the security features to see what happens.  I have also changed the format.  A little 'trial and error' to follow to see how it goes.  Cheers!

    Saturday, 1 September 2012

    Theme Day - People Watching

    Ricoh Arena Shopping Centre
    I would say the little boy is definitely 'watching' the foot action of the young lady on the left.  See below - He is having a go himself.

    Agree?  Day off tomorrow to give some thought about 'lighting' on shots like these. Have a good weekend, folks! more thing:  City Daily Photo (CDP) is a website sharing daily photos and Theme Days from many cities around the world.  Unfortunately, the website is experiencing difficulties - hopefully to be repaired.  You can follow members and/or join the group via Eric Tenin's CDP FaceBook page.  You can also visit Julie's page to see other 'people watching' contributions from the CDP group.