Tuesday 11 November 2014

Pause to Remember - Armistice 2014

 The eleventh hour of the eleventh day on the eleventh month, 2014

A hush fell over Saffron Walden market square for the 2 minutes silence on Armistice Day,
as the Royal British Legion flag fluttered on the town hall above.

Pause to Remember

Sunday 9 November 2014

Remembrance Sunday, Saffron Walden

The annual Remembrance Parade took place in dry sunny conditions. After the downpours of the previous night, it was a welcome relief for the huge crowd who had gathered for this notable centenary year for the beginning of the First World War and what had been the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Along with the Engineers from Carver Barracks, all armed forces were represented as well as the respects being paid by other organisations from the town. The salute was taken for the Last Post, before hearing the church clock strike eleven, the start of the two minute silence.

Following a short service and the wreath laying, the parade was led by the band of the Air Cadets, leading the way to the service at St Mary's Church, those lining the route, including the town dignitaries and The Rt. Hon. Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, applauding as the soldiers passed by.

I will now leave it to the images to tell the story.

Lest we forget

Sunday 2 November 2014

Saffron Walden Fireworks 2014

Once again, the Saffron Walden Round Table excelled with the annual fireworks display on The Common last night. Famously a free event, it was estimated that over 10,000 people gathered to watch on a comparatively mild evening, with just enough wind to disperse the excess smoke but not so much it blew the display off course - or worse, the bonfire flames onto the surrounding trees, as it did last year.

Set to thoughtful music, there were enough light bursts and bangs to wow the crowd, leading to many comments circulating that it was the best display in a number of years. Even the youngsters were able to create their own light displays with the light sabres and glow sticks which were on sale to help swell the money raised for local charities. As has become the tradition, the Round Tablers do a bucket collection, which is a successful way of raising the funds to finance the display as well as the charity collection. I'm sure there will have been a huge collection raised last night.

The evening rounded off with the traditional lighting of the bonfire, only this year it started with a real bang (planned), causing many around to jump when they felt the force of it, along with the heat of the explosion. Then it all calmed down again before the crowd began to disperse and no doubt planned to be back same time, same place next year.

Saturday 1 November 2014

Private Investigator

Firstly, apologies for my absence from blogging recently. I have been just a little occupied with my exciting new venture, of which I will blog later but for now, I have a story to tell.

When my late father-in-law passed away a number of years ago, we inherited quite a collection of his artwork, everything from his smooth ceramics to his technically detailed oils of aviation subjects and his lovely simple watercolours. Thankfully, I had already had the presence of mind to take on the task of documenting all of this work long before it finally became dispersed around friends and family. This dispersal time came at the same time as we took on our cottage in West Cork, Ireland, and so it seemed highly appropriate to pull out all of his work which had an Irish connection. One such picture was a small watercolour which had been painted 'in the field' during one of several Irish holidays, taken around 20 years ago by this regular group of four 'senior' members of the Bartlett family - two artists and their spouses. Although the location of this painting is Malin Head, right in the north of Ireland in County Donegal, it didn't seem at all wrong for it now to grace the wall of a cottage in County Cork.

Roll on six years from when we hung it on our wall, to just a few weeks back, when the final preparations for my West Cork Photography Weekends were taking place, I invited my 'second in command' Rónán to take a look at the painting, knowing he came from Malin Head himself.

"Well I never thought I would see a painting of a cottage in Malin Head on a wall in West Cork! And I'm pretty sure I know where it is too"

That got me interested and I encouraged him to seek out the cottage on his next visit home, which was during the recent mid-term break. True to his word, my private investigator tweeted the following...

"Not the same angle but I think this is it!"

Well I think that is it too - thank you Rónán!
(Forgive me for adjusting the colours a little to evoke the feel the original painting)
Now it just remains for me to pay Malin Head a visit. Something for my 2015 diary I think.

What a small world!