Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Colourful houses

This terrace of houses in Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, probably dates from the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. It would have been built as "worker housing". Over the years they will have needed maintenance, renovation and updating. And, somewhere along the line, probably in the second half of the twentieth century, one of the occupiers decided they needed an injection of strong colour. Other neighbours seem to have followed suit, each determined to chooses a different shade. I wouldn't choose any of these bright colours for my house, but I enjoyed seeing them together en masse, hence my photograph.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Tomb of King Edward II

There is a general expectation that royal tombs, particularly those of kings and queens, will be found in London. Certainly they can be found in the capital's major churches. However, the cathedrals of the provinces have their share too. King Edward II (1284-1327) was buried in Gloucester Cathedral after a period of turmoil in which his queen turned against him and his place as king was taken by his fourteen year old son. The cause of his demise at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, has long been thought to be murder.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Friday, 23 March 2018

Cloisters, Gloucester Cathedral

Cinematic representations of the Middle Ages have begun to correct one of the most glaring errors that were perpetrated when representing those relatively primitive times. I mean, of course, the amount of light that was to be found inside buildings. It is hard for us to imagine how gloomy it was with only feeble flames to illuminate interiors, and the license of film-makers was understandable. Would cinema audiences be prepared to peer at the the dimly recognisable faces of actors in the darkness? Possibly not. But more light-sensitive cameras combined with realistic levels of lighting now frequently, and satisfactorily, portray those dingy days. I pondered this as I photographed my wife walking through the pools of shadow and light in the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Malvern Hills with snow remnants

Our relocation from Lincolnshire to Herefordshire coincided with the snowiest winter of recent years. There have been three substantial falls, all of which have left remnants, usually drifts, that have lingered. A recent sunny morning in late March found us walking along the crest of the Malvern Hills enjoying the views and braving the icy wind. From the Iron Age hill fort known as British Camp I took this shot along the Hills. The light gave the view an appearance of spring but the temperature, the patches of snow and the muted colours told only of late winter.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100

Monday, 19 March 2018

Lone trees

It is not unusual to see an unflawed field of winter wheat with one or two large trees marring its perfection. When I do it sets me wondering. Has the field recently been pasture where the animals benefited from the shade? Was there once a hedge containing the trees that was, with the exception of the trees, easily removed? Or does the farmer have a liking for the trees as objects in the landscape or contributors to biodiversity? This pair have had their lower branches removed to allow the close passage of farm vehicles so it looks like they will be around for a while.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Reredos and vaulting, Worcester Cathedral

In the 1870s George Gilbert Scott undertook a major restoration of Worcester Cathedral. This included the reredos and vaulting seen in today's photograph. It is customary in larger English churches for the amount of decoration in the choir to increase until it reaches a climax at the high altar. Scott's work reflects this tradition with the massed angels of the vaulting above the altar replacing the delicate foliage scrolls and roundels with saints elsewhere.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Eagle Vaults pub ornament

Britain's Victorian public houses come in many shapes and sizes. As far as decorative embellishments go they range from the sparse to the exuberant. The Eagle Vaults pub in Worcester falls into the latter category. The ground floor is faced with reddish-brown high gloss tiles with areas displaying iridescent highlights. The inspiration is classical architecture but overlaid with hints of Art Nouveau and music hall fancifulness - what in the 1890s-1900s was described as Mannerist. Tile lettering proclaims its name and the range of drinks on offer. Too often such facades have been modernised, but sufficiently frequently they have been valued for the brightness they bring to the streetscape and remain undisturbed.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Boathouse, Worcester

Over the years I've seen quite a few buildings that have drawn their inspiration from boats and ships. For example, the Boathouse Business Centre in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, draws its form, and that of its setting from its location next to a river marina. The architects of The King's School boat house by the River Severn in Worcester seem to have had the sleek sculling boats that it houses in mind when they designed its shape, with the "prow" or "bridge" projecting out over the main doors.

photos © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Boathouse shadows

Not so much shadows of the boathouse as a shadow on the boathouse. This building by the River Severn in Worcester is a modern structure faced in brick, timber and glass, the shape of which is clearly intended to reflect the forms of the rowing boats that it houses. None of its sharply pointed "prow" can be seen in this photograph: for that you'll need to look at the next post.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Olympus OMD E-M10

Friday, 9 March 2018

Organ, Worcester Cathedral

The thunderous sound of a large organ in a cathedral stirs the body and, perhaps, the soul. Sometimes it exhibits a quality that almost seems it could bring the building down. I've never heard this new organ in Worcester Cathedral. However, the building is sufficiently interesting that I envisage making several visits and so I am hopeful of one day experiencing it. The design of the pipes and case in its setting of columns, arches and painted vault in quite sumptuous.

photo © T. Boughen     Camera: Sony DSC-RX100