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Saturday, 31 May 2014

That Uniform Look

Couldn't help taking a photo or two of these lovely ladies that were waiting at Nottingham Railway Station.

The fact that they were dressed almost the same caught my attention, and the fact that they were standing with identical poses.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Act Of War

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One and those terible four years of battle with soldiers stuck fighting in trenches around France.

This horror of this time was brought to life tonight with the Nottingham Playhouse Youth Theatre's production of 'All Quiet on the Western Front' at the rather unusual, but very atmospheric old Barton's bus garage in Chilwell, and is part of the NEAT14 festival.

The play is based on the 1929 book of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque and has been adapted by Robin Kingsland. He was actually in the audience to see how the first night went and the audience's reaction to the unfolding tale.

He didn't have to worry at all, as the young cast did an excellent job of portraying people of the same age who had to face death, injury and destruction on a daily basis. To show that these soldiers were still  basically of school age, they carried large T squares and rulers instead of guns.

What makes the story really poignant, is it is told through the eyes of the German side. How they were just ordinary schoolboys like the English 'Tommys', and who had been encouraged to enlist and fight for their fatherland, but they didn't really know what they were fighting for.

The final scene is quite profound, and there was an almost stunned silence when the lights finally went out, and before the applause started.

The play runs until Sunday and is well worth seeing. But if you do, take your own cushion, as the old wooden seats available are very hard.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


I' paid a visit to The Exxopolis when it first came to Highfields two years ago. It came last year as well, but I couldn't go as they had closed it due to bad weather. It was really windy if I remember rightly.

It has not been brilliant today with raining all the time, but happily it was up and open, and even better, tonight was for adults only.

For those that have not seen it before, The Exxopolis is a massive inflatable structure which is made from a thin coloured rubberlike material which is naturally lit. New age music constantly plays as you walk through the different coloured sections. You can sit or lay down and relax. Some people may even drift off to sleep as they imagine to be inside their own coccoon.

The installation has been created by the Architects of Air and has travelled across the world. It has recently been to Sydney where it was sited by the Opera House.

It is only here until Sunday, as it's one of the shows that is part of the neat14 festival. So get down to Highfields before then to enjoy this unique experience.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Who's A Pretty Boy Then?

Such a horrible wet and cold day to have off work, but Gail and I made the most of it by visiting some botanic gardens.

Although we didn't spend much time outside, we did enjoy walking around the big greenhouses with all the various plants, bushes and trees. I do love that special smell that you only get in greenhouses. The mixture of heat and damp soil.

Instead of showing you one of the many coloured plants. I've used one for my new header, I thought I'd  post this carving of a parrot or macaw that was on display amongst the flora.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Scooby Doo, Where Are You

I caught the debut of new local folk/blues band the Wildwood Flowers at the Navigation on Sunday night.  And very good they were too.

As Scooby Doo has a smile on his face, I think he liked their kind of music too. Even Batman is singing along, But I don't think Robin knows the words!

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Guitar Gently Rides

How's this for a fancy guitar? I don't know what it sounds like when played, but it certainly is a showstopper.

It's probably the most colourful acoustic guitar that I have ever seen. I wonder why the designer decided on a cowboy theme. Maybe he's watched too many Clint Eastwood films.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


Nottingham hosted the Milk Race again this year, and so of course I just had to pop down for a photography session.

There was a bit of excitement this year as during the start of the men's race, there was a crash at one of the corners. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt, but the organisers stopped the race and wanted to restart it, once everything was made safe.

So all the cyclists, less those that had got hurt had to line up again. There was a fair amour of hanging around, and you can tell by the expressions on these cyclists how frustrated they must have felt after psyching themselves up for the original race.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Beware The Yellow Line

Well we have had rain on and off for most of the day today. So I wonder if summer is over for another year.

Fortunately it stopped in the afternoon long enough and a bit of sun came out for me to do a spot of photography.

I decided to have a walk along some of the route that the new tramline is taking. They've now taken a big chunk of land from the side and front of Beeston Parish Church. Safety fencing is everywhere.

There was a great big puddle, and after a few minutes of looking for the best angle, I managed to find one that shows a great reflection of the top of the church's bell tower, only marred by the fencing.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Best Of British

Two Iconic British vehicles were in the Old Market Square today; a Rolls Royce Phantom V and the good old London Routemaster Bus.

They were being used for a wedding that was taking place at the Council House. There were plenty of people stopping to admire the vehicles and to take pictures. Just like me!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Neat On The Street

The Neat14 arts festival starts on Friday, and to get everyone in the mood, one of the bands that's performing during the next ten days gave a taste of their music to shoppers outside the tourist office near the Old Market Square.

The Balkan Express are playing at Cast Bar next Monday, and quite a few pedestrians had stopped to listen to their tunes. Of course there is always someone out to spoil things, and so one of the many Community Protection officers that patrol the city centre appeared and asked them to stop.  Fortunately on of the Neat14 promotion guys was on hand to explain what was happening.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Uncovering The Past

Some workmen over the past few days have sadly been cutting down a number of mature trees along part of the Castle Boulevard stretch of the canal.

I have no idea why they have done this, as the tress weren't dead, just maybe a little overgrown.

So down they came, and once all the wood had been cleared away, this small brick built building appeared.

It would be interesting to know what it was used for. Maybe something to do with the waterway. Who knows?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

In The Red

Walking through the Broad Marsh shopping centre at lunchtime, I saw a load of people standing around in a sort of semi-circle. Hello I thought, what's going on here then.

So I headed towards the throng, and was surprised to see Ed Milliband, the leader of the Labour Party standing there, chatting to shoppers.

I think he was in town today because the country goes to the polls on Thursday to vote in the European elections and Ed was here to drum up some business for the Labour candidate.

Some political commentators have nicknamed him Ed Moribund, as he's not the mot dynamic of men. I'm not sure how many people he managed to convince, but it bought a bit of excitement to the city centre.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Centenary Bus

There's a specially decorated bus travelling around the city centre at the moment. It has been painted in the colours of the old West Bridgford Urban District Transport bus company to commemorate 100 years of service.

I rather like the colour scheme, as it looks welcomming and much better than the assortment we have at the moment. Green for one route, orange for another. This colour coding might be easier for people to get on the right bus, but it does make for a uncoordinated fleet.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Let Them Eat Cake

How's this for a wedding cake?  Well I don't think it was the official wedding cake, although they didn't have one. But it does look delicious.

Gail and I attended a friends wedding the other day, and this chocolate wonder was one of the cakes on offer. There was also the other one behind it and a whole load of cupcakes.

A great and very tasty selection of goodies, and definitely not one for those who are watching their weight!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Towards The Light

Some poppies in our front garden, enjoying the sunshine, on what has become the warmest day of the year so far.

Lets hope tomorrow turns out the same.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Up Town, Top Rankin

Gail and I have had a very busy day today, but not doing our usual jobs.

Firstly some friends of ours asked us to shoot their wedding. This took place at the Council House, in one of the rooms that the councillors use for meetings. It went well, then it was off to a local pub for some refreshments.

We then had to break off to drive to St Anns where we were hopefully going to meet the famous celebrity photographer Rankin. He was there to take photos of gardeners at this big allotment site that is the oldest in England, if not Europe, as part of the Museums at Night festival.

Some months ago people were asked to vote in a competition for which place Rankin should visit. Fortunately Nottingham won. And so him, a team of helpers and a TV crew all descended on this quiet oasis in the middle of a busy city and about twenty gardeners were photographed, and the shots were then printed and displayed in an awning for everyone to see.

All the visitors had timed slots, and ours was at 7.30. There was still lots of people milling around. I noticed that there was a queue, and there he was, signing autographs and having his photo taken. We joined the queue and took each others photos posing with him and had a little chat.  We then went to have a look around the vast green space, with all the different sized sheds and high hedging. As St Anns is on a hill, we got a good view of the surrounding area as well. We then went back to the wedding celebrations and I took some more photos, while Gail looked after our pop up photo booth.

Thursday, 15 May 2014


This is the statue called Hope, and is a memorial to all those that died in the Boer War.

It used to be sited at the other end of Beeston, before being relocated to Broadgate Park. It was resited in the park a few years ago when it was redesigned and the council wanted to open up the main entrance from the High Road.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Bluebell Bee

Found a small group of bluebells today whilst cycling through Highfields today. Really pleased to see a bee there as well, especially as they are on the decline due to pesticides.

I don't know if bluebells have nectar available, but if they do, I hope he found it a successful visit.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bed Of Roses

Bed of roses. Well not quite. Wild flowers more like. But certainly a bed of them in two senses of the word.

The secret area of Cobden Chambers is rapidly taking shape, with the opening of a couple more shops and some more decoration.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Ey Up!

In about two weeks time Nottingham will have its own television station.

NottsTV goes on air for the first time on the 27th May at 8pm. But the promotion for it started late last week with some posters going up around the city centre.

But today, something special happened. Loads of little blue toy ducks appeared in the most oddest of places. I found one sitting on the top of a tree stump!

On it's base it says 'if found, take a pic and share it'. Being a photographer, I just had to take up the challenge. So I picked up my new friend and we went for a walk around the city centre, stopping at various places and tweeting photos of him posing in the sunshine using the hashtag #BlueDuck.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Black Over Bill's Mothers

Today has literally been a bit of a washout. It's rained on and off all the time. The only time that I stepped out of the house is when I went to take some rubbish to the bin.

I had to take some more rubbish out this evening, as it had stopped raining. Looking up, I noticed that the sun was trying to peak from behind the black clouds. So grabbing my camera, I went upstairs to take some photos.

The clouds must have been moving quite quickly as they the shape and position of them had changed in the minute or so that it took me to take this photo.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Music Lesson

For the past few years Nottingham University has hosted a one day event called Mayfest. It's where various schools of education open their doors to let people know what they do. Geography, science, history etc. It's mainly aimed at children to give them some enthusiasm towards education and going to uni sometime in the future, but adults are welcome as well.

This year was no different. I wandered around the Trent and Portland buildings looking at the different things on offer, such as teaching people about Mobius strips, recycling and becoming a vet.  One of the lecturers told me about his work in obtaining some Victorian moulds of the geology of the Lake District, which he intends to put on display in Kendal, after making a few images from them.

A couple of things I came across and which had nothing to do with the event were seeing a plaque on the wall in the entrance of the Portland Building which stated that Paul MacCartney' new band Wings played their first gig there in 1972. It was the first concert in a number of dates at different universities. The ticket price was 40p, which is worth about £4 in today's money. Which is probably very cheap to see an ex Beatle.

Talking of which here's a poster of the supergroups' popular work Yellow Submarine. I was walking up some stairs and came across a small booth. It might have held a telephone before everyone had mobiles. The walls and ceiling were covered in posters of gigs, albums from different rock artists.

Friday, 9 May 2014

No Stopping

Walking into Hockley and the Lace Market, I heard the sound of a piano playing. I thought it was too loud to be a record, or something on the radio.

I was right, as I turned a corner, I saw this guy sitting at a very battered piano playing a classical tune I knew, but couldn't remember the name of.

I stood and watched for a while. He must have sensed my presence and turned round, just at the right moment, as I was pressing my camera's shutter button.

I wonder if after reading the sign from the council, he is still sitting there and tinkling the ivories!

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Despite the fact that they look like they are made of sugar, these are actually very small flowers in the garden which I took with my macro lens.

The proper name of these are Myosotis, coming from the Greek meaning mouse's ears. Very colourful, and can brighten up any garden.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Military Man

I saw this very distinguished looking man dressed as a WW2 army captain, smoking his pipe at the 1940s Knees-up, so I just had to take a photo of him as he looked like he belonged to the 1940s.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Off Down Pit

Another shot from yesterday's 1940s Knees-up at the Brewhouse Yard. Something a bit different too; a wartime miner.

He obviously is just starting his shift, as his jumper is still clean. Miners would have played a very important job in keeping the war effort up, with supplying coal; not only to heat people's homes, but to power the railways (no electric trains then) and keep the factories that made bombs, planes and all the other weapons of war going.

Monday, 5 May 2014


The Brewhouse Yard area below the castle is usually a calm and quiet area. But the sights and sounds of the 1940s were bought to life today with music, fashion, vehicles and dancing.

Obviously the war years played a big part, with guys dressing as both British and American soldiers, like this guy surveying the scene below.

Quite a few old cars had been bought alongs. A couple of Rileys. I even saw an old Citroen. There were a couple of Jeeps there and an old ambulance.

Some of the ladies had really gone to town with their outfits, like this young lady who happily posed for me whilst enjoying an ice cream.

I'm always amazed as to how much effort some people go in recreating the past, and what era they pick. I have a couple of friends who like wearing vintage gear. Amy, who I saw today, loves the 40s/50s and Tricia who loves the Mod fashion and sounds of the 1960s. I don't know what era I would choose, if I wanted to go revisit the past. Maybe the 1930s, as I love art deco, or I wonder if its too early to become a 1980s New Romantic?

Then there was Frank the chihuahua. He was happily sat on the bonnet of a Jeep. But when I tried to take his portrait, he just wouldn't sit still. It took ages and many shots to actually get one where he was in a good position and not moving. That's his slightly blurred owner in the background.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A Nice Day For A White Wedding

There was a wedding yesterday at Beeston's main church.

Due to the never-ending tramworks, the wedding convoy had to use the side entrance and walk all the way round to the front of the church.

The bride & bridesmaids arrived in some super old Rolls Royces. Phantom IIIs from the 1930s.

It was lovely and sunny for them. I just hope the noise of the workmen wasn't too distracting for when they said "I do".

Saturday, 3 May 2014


In spite of the disguise, I bet many of you will recognise our musical mate Dave, from the shots that I've taken of him at gigs that he has played at.

We saw him today and invited him round to our studio for a shoot, as he was after a photo or two for a poster that he needs for when he goes to France for the summer.

So he popped round in his genuine 1960's suit from Burton's and his favourite flowery shirt. The hat and goggles he got from our dressing up box.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Hiya Bud

I cycled through Highfields today on the way home as it was a really sunny. I do hope that the weather is going to be good from now on, although the weather forecasters keep saying that some bad weather is on its way, but thankfully doesn't materialise.

So what to photograph? Ducks? Done them. Swans? Yep. Sadly no bluebells growing in the park, but the rhododendrons are just starting to flower.  Summer is on its way!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

And The Band Played On

I did something tonight that I don't really do, and especially not in public. No, it's not what you my be thinking, but I sang. Not very well, as I have a voice like a rusty foghorn.

As many of you will know from my different postings, Beeston is presently in turmoil as a new tramline is being built through the town. But it is now about six months behind schedule, and the workmen, for various reasons don't appear to do much all day except dig holes or stand around in groups chatting.

Sometime ago, an anti tram ranting room was started up where people could talk about the chaos it is causing, long traffic jams, lack of progress, shops losing money as people stay away.. A few weeks ago, one of the members wrote some lyrics to the tune of the Muppet Show. It was then suggested that people get together to make a video of it. So tonight Beeston's brass band and some residents (including me) got together at the White Lion pub, which incidentally is on the route and performed the song.

Here's the YouTube link to the song. Enjoy -