maandag 29 juli 2013

29th July - This scene no longer exists

This photo, which looks as though it was taken in a park, was in fact the scene which met your eyes on entering the grounds of North Manchester General Hospital in spring during the 1980s. There were several beautiful blossom trees and various flowerbeds with spring bulbs. It was all bulldozed to make way for a new front entrance and wing of the hospital.
I worked there for a while and during lunch breaks I sometimes used to go round the back of the hospital where there were some derelict greenhouses and gardeners' sheds etc. I never saw any gardeners during these forays. An impromptu nature reserve had developed (which needless to say has now made way for acres of tarmac) and among the wildlife I spotted were Poplar Hawk Moths, which have a wingspan of 3 to 4 inches, a blackbird with a white head, and a kestrel.
One day, one of the Poplar Hawk Moths got into the patients' bathroom of the ward I worked on. A patient ran out in alarm. "There's a massive moth in there!" he shouted. "What do you mean - massive?" someone asked.
"It's just filled in a menu!" was his reply.

zondag 28 juli 2013

28th July - Orchids

Some of the photos in this blog are getting on in years. I took these photos of orchids in Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden in Didsbury, South Manchester, about 30 years ago. A friend to whom I showed the photos said they looked as though they had little budgies perching inside.

28th July - Heysham

I decided to write this blog so that I could show some of my old print photos, which I took before the advent of digital photography. This is me standing next to the old stone graves at Heysham, near Morecambe on the Lancashire coast. I may have been trying not to fall backwards off the rock at the time. The graves are thought to date from the 11th century. They are situated next to St. Patrick's Chapel, a small ruined structure not far from the church.

This is a view of the complete row of graves. (It might seem a macabre subject with which to begin a blog but looking through all my old prints I was spoilt for choice).



Although this chapel was said to have been established by St. Patrick when he crossed from Ireland, it was actually built 300 years after his death in the 5th century. A large amount of Saxon, Viking and other archaeological remains have been found in the area. Lancaster Museum contains many of these. Nowadays it is a very tranquil spot where, if you tread quietly, rabbits are often to be seen.
This is St. Peter's Church in the village. There is a Viking hogback stone inside, apparently (I have never thought to look for it but I will on my next visit).