365 Day Photograph Challenge: September Part I

Moving onto September 2017 photographs. Writing in January 2018, I am reminded that September was a mild month and that the foliage throughout this month mostly remained green. The onset of autumn was particularly late owing to the mild temperatures in September and October. In the NE, there was not a particularly spectacular autumnal display.

1st September 2017 – St Robert of Newminster, Roman Catholic Church, Morpeth

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Opened on 1st August 1850, this building was 167 years old in 2017. Its style of architecture is Early English (Gothic) and was designed by T. Gibson of Newcastle. Its spire rises an impressive 119 ft and is a prominent landmark in the Morpeth skyline. Its patron, St Robert of Newminster, was a 12th century priest who founded Newminster Abbey near Morpeth in 1138. Every year the church has a pilgrimage to the abbey ruins.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/13 21 mm
  • ISO 200

7th September 2017 – Jesmond Dene

2017-09-07 Jesmond Dene

An oasis in the middle of Newcastle. This deep and narrow valley runs to the east of the city centre and is a popular recreational spot. It was a particularly wet evening when I had a walk up the dene (I got soaked) and there were not many folk about. Not that it is obvious in the photo, but the rain was lashing down! The rocks on which I was standing were very slippery and I did question the lengths I was going to get a good photo that day!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/10 sec exposure
  • f/4.5 40 mm
  • ISO 800

8th September 2017 – Newcastle/Gateshead Quays

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The vantage point for this photograph was the Sage, Gateshead. The Tyne Bridge was decorated for the annual Great North Run (held on 11th September 2017). Therefore, this photo was seasonal!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/200 sec exposure
  • f/11 21 mm
  • ISO 800

9th September 2017 – Jesse Window, Church of St Mary the Virgin, Morpeth

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The crowning glory of the local parish church is the east window, depicting Jesse’s dream. The stained glass is thought to date from 1377 and is a rare example of a Medieval Jesse Window in the United Kingdom.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/15 sec exposure
  • f/4 24 mm
  • ISO 400

12th September 2017 – St Mary’s Lighthouse

2017-09-12 St Marys Lighthouse

One of the most photographed locations in the NE, St Mary’s Island lies off the coast near Whitley Bay. It is accessed by a causeway at low tide. It is a very photogenic spot and every time one visits, the conditions are always different and the number of different angles are infinite. This, my second visit to the island during 2017, was photographed on a gloomy afternoon and the light was fading rapidly.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/50 sec exposure
  • f/8 35 mm
  • ISO 200

14th September 2017 – Simonside Hills

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Another beauty spot in rural Northumberland, the ‘stepped’ mountainside of Simonside is an instantly recognisable sight for locals. As I was driving up to Rothbury this particular evening, I pulled over to take this photo on top of the moors road between Rothbury and Alnwick. A lovely view.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/20 sec exposure
  • f/6.7 24 mm
  • ISO 400

365 Day Photograph Challenge: June Part II

Summer is here. Sometimes the weather is a bit too British!

A summary of the second half of June 2017.

  • 16th June – Rose ‘Thinking of You’ (first ever bloom)
  • 17th June – Seaton Sluice Harbour
  • 18th June – Alnmouth Village
  • 19th June – Church of St Nicholas, Cramlington
  • 20th June – Northumberlandia
  • 21st June – Armstrong Building, Newcastle University Campus
  • 22nd June – Back Garden
  • 23rd June – Chimney Mill, Claremont Road, Newcastle
  • 24th June – The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor
  • 25th June – Matfen Village
  • 26th June – Sand Shopping with Liz
  • 27th June – Interesting Reading
  • 28th June – Rain, rain, rain, just a typical British Summer
  • 29th June – A Farewell to a much-loved and respected colleague
  • 30th June – New Interpretation Board for Geotechnical Experiment

17th June – Seaton Sluice Harbour

17 June

Located in the far SE corner of the county, Seaton Sluice harbour is a picturesque little spot. It is a surprising find considering it is within a densely populated area that is full to the brim of former mining collieries and associated miners’ rows.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/16 38 mm
  • ISO 200

18th June – Alnmouth Village

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Another picturesque spot on the Northumberland coast. Alnmouth village is located  within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In August it hosts an event known as ‘Volcano Night’ where teams build castles on the beach within a set time limit. The sandcastles are then set on fire and the winner is the last one on fire when the tide comes in!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/13 80 mm
  • ISO 200

21st June – Armstrong Building, Newcastle University Campus

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The Armstrong Building is easily the most impressive building on campus. A Grade II listed building, the foundation stone was laid by Sir W. G. Armstrong in 1887. It was opened by King Edward VII in 1906. It was built in three phases over the 19-year-period and was designed by, you guessed it, R. J. Johnson. Sadly neither Armstrong or Johnson lived to see its completion, having died in 1900 and 1892 respectively. The architect’s remit was subsequently taken up by F. W. Rich and W. H. Knowles.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/3,200 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

23rd June – Chimney Mill, Claremont Road, Newcastle

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Chimney Mill and Mill House (built 1782), Claremont Road, not too far from Newcastle city centre. Built as a 5-sail windmill, the golf club front was added in 1892. It is a Grade II Listed Building.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/1,250 sec exposure
  • f/1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

24th June – The Hoppings, Newcastle Town Moor

24 June

According to Wikipedia, The Hoppings is an annual travelling funfair held on the Town Moor in Newcastle upon Tyne, during the last week in June. It is one of Europe’s largest travelling funfairs. I was perched upon Cow Hill on the Town Moor to get this vantage point. From here, one can see all the way down to the coast (some 10+ miles away). Newcastle must be the only city in the UK where cattle are grazed in the city centre!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/1,600 sec exposure
  • f/11 138 mm
  • ISO 800

25th June – Matfen Village

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Matfen village is an estate village (for Matfen Hall) located in rural western Northumberland. It is quite an attractive little place and I enjoyed exploring around here for an hour or so. The parish church was built in 1842 by Sir Edward Blackett of Matfen Hall.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/100 sec exposure
  • f/16 26 mm
  • ISO 200

365 Day Photograph Challenge: June Part I

Long, long days.

Some of my favourite photos from the first half of June 2017. Enjoy!

1st June – Seaton Delaval Hall

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Completed in 1728, Seaton Delaval Hall was designed by the famous architect, Sir John Vanburgh. Amongst his works are Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, perhaps best known as the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Many comparisons in design may be made with Blenheim. Barely 100 years after its construction, the central hall burnt down in 1822 and has never been lived in since. The Delaval family lived in the west wing until 2009 when the Hall and its grounds were sold to the National Trust. It opened to the public for the first time on 1st May 2010.

  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • 1/2,000 sec exposure
  • f1.7 4.2 mm
  • ISO 50

4th June – Corby’s Crags

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Located on the road between Rothbury and Alnwick, this is a tremendous view point from the top of Corby’s Crags. It is quite a popular spot with climbers.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/60 sec exposure
  • f/19 28 mm
  • ISO 200

9th June – The Grave of Emily Davison

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Emily Davison was famously fatally injured at the 1913 Epsom Derby when she attempted to pin the suffragette colours to the King’s horse, Amner. She died from her injuries four days after the event, having never regained consciousness. She was buried in the graveyard of St Mary the Virgin, Morpeth on 15th June 1913. Her epitaph is the WSPU slogan, ‘Deeds not Words.’

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/50 sec expsoure
  • f/4.5 125 mm
  • ISO 200

10th June – Bust of the Seventh Earl of Carlisle, Morpeth Town Hall

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I quite liked the effect of the perspective and foreshortening that the balustrades of the grand staircase produced in this shot.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/60 sec exposure
  • f/8 50 mm
  • ISO 400

12th June – Woodlea, Morpeth Riverside

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An interesting early 20th century dwelling on the bank of the River Wansbeck in Morpeth town centre. Fun piece of trivia, one can see the position I was stood at to take the photograph on 26th February. It is the corner of the road as it turns up the bank. This photograph was taken at 10:25 p.m.

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 2 sec exposure
  • f/8 23 mm
  • ISO 400

13th June – Morpeth Riverside (Civil Twilight)

13 June

Perhaps the most photographed view of Morpeth, and quite rightly so! It is very picturesque. This view has appeared many times throughout my photograph challenge as I particularly love this view. I have tried to vary my position and the times of day. This shot was taken during civil twilight at 9:35 p.m. in the evening. Not quite as late as the previous day’s effort!

  • Samsung GX-1S
  • 1/6 sec exposure
  • f/8 68 mm
  • ISO 200

A Trip to Cleveland, North Yorkshire

A Grand Day Out.

I went for a day trip to the Cleveland Coast (North Yorkshire) on 25th March. It was glorious weather all day. By far the highlights of the trip were Guisborough Priory and Stockton Infinity Bridge. Naturally, I had the camera with me, and here are some of my favourites.

Guisborough Priory and Gardens, and Church

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The impossibly photogenic east end is all that remains of Guisborough Priory.

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The present day Guisborough Parish Church pales into insignificance next to its older relative. Undoubtedly some of the masonry from the former priory would have been used in its construction. The Priory Garden was springing into life and looked beautiful in the sunshine.

Stockton-On-Tees Infinity Bridge

Stockton Infinity Bridge.jpg

Opened in 2009, the Infinity Bridge is a part of the regeneration along the River Tees in the University of Teesside area. It is an impressive and clever design.

Northumbrian Concert 2017

A grand night out!

Every year, the weekend after Easter, an annual celebration is held in the sleepy market town of Morpeth to appreciate Northumbrian culture, dialect, music and tradition. The Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the social calendar. In the depths of winter, a concert is held in Morpeth Town Hall to help raise funds for the Gathering weekend. It is an opportunity for people to escape the cold, chase away those winter blues and generally lift spirits. It is always a fantastic evening of entertainment. This year I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to photograph the occasion. It was a challenge I really enjoyed. Here are some of the highlights from the evening.

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Colin Bradford and his as yet untitled band (this may have been their debut performance together)

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Anita James and Ernie Gordon (harmonica, guitar, and vocals – not all at the same time!)

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M.C. Alex Swailes M.B.E. introduces Bob Bolam (ukulele and vocals)

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Border Directors – Our own Morpeth lot! (John Bibby, bass; Kim Bibby-Wilson; accordion and mandolin; Matt Seattle, border smallpipes and fiddle; Derek Poxton, guitar)

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The Mayor of Morpeth, Cllr Andrew Tebbutt, enjoying the concert

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Robin Dunn and Fiddler’s Elbow

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Ann Wilkinson (guitar and vocals), Alistair Anderson (concertina and Northumberland smallpipes)

What are the Northumbrian Smallpipes do I hear you ask? Well, they are similar to the Scottish Highland Bagpipes. However, they are substantially smaller and are bellows-blown rather than mouth-blown (far more hygienic!). They also produce a much softer and sweeter tone than their Scottish cousins.

Here is the great man in action.