070322.Claverton, “More Wright than Wrong”

March 22, 2007 at 3:10 AM | Posted in Architecture, Bath, Chisel Marks, Claverton, Claverton Down, countryside, doorways, Light and Shadow, somerset, towns, University of Bath | 3 Comments

“A doctor can always bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise where to plant a vine.”

–Frank Lloyd Wright

070226.128.Somset.Claverton.Basset Farm House
Basset Farm House, Claverton
070226.127.Somset.Claverton.Basset Farm House
070226.129.Somset.Claverton.Basset Farm House
vs. Bath University Campus, Claverton Down: This blank concrete panel wall faces the only scenic part of the campus, so grow little vine grow!

070321.Swainswick, “Cave Canum”

March 21, 2007 at 3:44 AM | Posted in Architecture, Conservation, countryside, Dogs, doorways, Overcast, somerset, Swainswick, towns | 4 Comments

Behold Prince and Beauty, who are not the seven bay buttressed 1629 Manor House barn with its tie beams and collar-beam roof that lies at the end of this inconveniently private drive. Yaaargh. 070205.43.Somset.Swainswick
A good conservationist, or downright tourist for that matter, should always carry some bacon in his/her pocket while (excuse me, “whilst”) traveling ’round the countryside — just in case one encounters a “fleabag.” (Dad’s term, not mine.)

070318.Chilton Trinity, Chilton Tile Works

March 18, 2007 at 1:30 AM | Posted in Architecture, bricks, Chilton Trinity, countryside, somerset | 13 Comments

Hope I’m not trespassing too far into Taunton DP’s area of SW Somerset here but this was interesting. The local stone around Bridgwater is somewhat insubstantial with a high clay content but this abundant clay is perfect for brick. (See below the two walls forming the shed corner, hung with pantiles made of the same clay (and probably at the same factory) as the bricks. Actually, the tiles were probably from Chilton Tile Works while the bricks were from one of the Bridgwater companies.)
The last tile manufacturer to open in the Bridgwater area was on Square Road in Chilton Trinity (See below…the old photo is from the Somerset Brick and Tile Museum in Bridgwater, Somerset). It was opened with modern machines and up to date technology to compete again cheap French imports using new techniques. [1]
“The Chilton Tile Factory Production of Holnestead and Somerset Interlocking Tiles:
This factory when finished cost ₤850 with an extension in 1933 costing a further 35,000 [I have no idea if that is a mistake or it was a big*** extension.] It employed one hundred men and there was a good and continuous employment until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
“The mechanical excavation of lay was regarded by other man-facturers (sic) as revolutionary. In a few years, it was accepted by all after they had said that the only way to win clay was by land and spade. Mechanical excavation proved necessary for survival as more and more different factories were coming to Bridgwater” [2]
Belief that the tile industry would boom at the end of the war due to the amount of bomb damage proved deceptive. The tile market in 1939, was divided between 93% clay, 3% concrete, and 4% other. In 1953, however, matters for the tile industry had turned on their heads with 89% of the tiles purchased being concrete, 4% clay, and 7% other. [3]
Why and how had this happened? Certain deficiencies in all local tiles, such as Bridgwater affected the loss of clay tile appeal. For instance, the local Bridgwater clay is of exceptional quality but the water content washed in with the clay contains chloride and calcium sulfate, which have a negative effect on the finished tiles, ultimately causing disfiguring holes or efflorescent discoloration (which is brick work is a sign of other water problems). Other nail in the coffin for the clay tile industry was a storm on the 16th of January 1959 that struck England and Wales with arctic wave of rain and frost. This one storm damaged over five million tiles.

1. Catherine Wells. The Bridgwater Brick and Tile Industry. Thesis, Croydon College of Art and Design, 1982-1984. P 15
2. Ibid, 12
3. Ibid, 15


It’s still here….but now divided into a carpet warehouse, etc.

070316.Upper Weston, Cotswald Public Path, Unconsecrated

March 16, 2007 at 4:11 AM | Posted in Bath, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Chisel Marks, countryside, cumulus clouds, somerset | 18 Comments

This is just a memorial on the Cotswald Trail overlooking Upper Weston, Weston, Newbridge, Lower Weston, Sion Hill, King’s Mead, and Bath City Centre, etc., and not an actual grave marker, but it claims to denote the spot–the spot where something happened, someone died. Unlike yesterday’s grave marker that reports a cruel murder in Hampton Down, here we know the spot where someone died but we don’t know why. So who was 17-year-old Sarah Louise Gray (1978(?)-17 Nov 1995) and why was she so far from the city. How did she die?Enough of these grave posts, the trail is beautiful (see info at Cheltenham DP)…but a bit muddy. There’s a great view of the city from there.
I’ll respond to everyone soon. I just got back from a trip to SW Somerset, I was on a bus for 9+ hours. Ahhhhh….

070314.Bath, No Tulips to Tiptoe Through Yet

March 14, 2007 at 2:26 AM | Posted in Bath, Bathampton, Bradford-on-Avon, cemeteries - churchyards - and tombstones, Claverton, Claverton Down, countryside, Flowers, Gardens & Parks, hippies, Light and Shadow, Overcast, somerset, towns, Trees, University of Bath, Wiltshire | 7 Comments

Considering it was the only reason people know “Tiny Tim,” statistically it’s no surprise that that was the last song he ever performed. Seriously, he suffered a heart attack while singing it at a Gala Benefit for the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. I have a lot of flower photos I want to unload to prove to everyone that it’s spring. This has taken a lot more work than I thought it would. Maybe I’ll have more but if you don’t hear from me again, you, you dear audience are my Woman’s Club of Minneapolis.
Someone knowledgeable about flowers told me the following: “The larger dark blue/purple are primroses. The smaller blue are scilla, the very small white are wild cyclamen.” Someone less knowledgable told me if I ever go back in time that I shouldn’t step on anything. Photos presented chronologically with most recent on top.

Below: Claverton Down, Bathwick Hill Road wall with “I think (not sure) it’s creeping phlox — a particularly strong color. Usually creeping phlox…is pastel — pastel white, pink or lavender. This is a really strong color so it might be something else.” The second photo is the view from my window.
Below: Claverton Down, University of Bath
Below: Bath (Twerton?), High Commons, Commune Garden:
Below: Bath (Twerton?), Royal Victoria Park’s Botanical Garden (5Mar07): (with the exception of the night shot in Claverton Down)
Below: Bath, Royal Victoria Park (5Mar07):
Below: Bathampton, St Nicholas’ Cementery back on the 26th of Feb.
070226.147.Somset.Claverton.St Mary the Virgin
Below: Claverton, St Mary the Virgin’s Cemetery back on the 26th of Feb.
070226.085.Somset.Bathhampton.St Nicholas
Below: My first flower shot of spring(?) in Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts. back on the 30th of January!

070312.Saltford, Near Kennet & Avon Kelston Lock Creative Title TK

March 12, 2007 at 4:43 AM | Posted in Canals, countryside, Light and Shadow, river, River Avon, Riverboats, roofs, Saltford, somerset, towns | 7 Comments

…and as it looked back, it was changed into a ford of salt!

070306.Monkton Combe, “Look Ma, No Hands!”

March 6, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Posted in Canals, countryside, Monkton Combe, people, Reflection, somerset | 6 Comments

070303.038.Somset.MonktonCombe.DundasAqueduct.basin.LookMa No Hands
Alright, as previewed in yesterday’s post, this shot series also takes place along the Dundas Aqueduct and the Dundas Wharf. The photos are in reverse order but the story on how they were taken is linear. There’s actually no story so everyone will figure it out.
I was photographing a dog sunning itself on board one of the canal boats with its tail dangling near the water when another canal boat sails past me. There was, as mentioned yesterday, no name on this black-red boat but the person driving it looked particularly stoic/annoyed (I’m not good at reading expressions). He had what the Americans call a fauxhawk, or what the Brits call “the fin,” and I think the best way to describe the expression on his face was that he looked like he had something up his…. Anyway, this guy was the only one on deck standing like Napoleon with one hand in his coat and the other somewhere else as he cruised over the aqueduct, which didn’t raise my curiosity despite the fact that this part of the canal especially requires steering.
The boat was moving slowly enough that I, and the six people I was with, got on a bridge nearby to take an “aerial shot” of the nice canal boat with its BBQ Grill figurehead, kayak lifeboat, bagged garbage, and potted Christmas Tree.
I took one of the bow and thought that would be good enough to post.
Then I thought, might as well stay another two seconds and get a shot of the bow with the kayak.
And since I had two-thirds of the boat, I thought might as well get the whole thing – and that’s when I, and the six others, found out how this boat is steered.
Can’t imagine you’d receive a driving permit with that technique.

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