Film Friday ~ South Shields Funfare ~ Oct 2022

We’re going back to the funfair this week, not with the Ektar diptych maker, but my beloved Contax Aria.

A tiny History Bit

The Funfair is officially known as Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, which sounds very Victorian, which is no surprise as she was Queenie in 1899 when the fair became a permanent fixture. Mostly it’s known as The Fair, as there isn’t another one in our county unless you call Diggerland in Durham a fair, which I don’t.

Prior to 1899, travelling fairs would come along in summer, park up by the market and only be allowed legally to start up once the ordinary market stalls had finished for the day. Eventually they had their own space and could run rides any time. One of the first permanent rides was the Aerial Flight, built in the 1910’s-20’s and cost 1d (old pence) (which would be 0.23 cents in $) for a ride, and advertised that it is suitable and “approved” for all ages. (But not any of my ages, ever.)

STH0000818 Copyright South Tyneside Images 1920’s Ariel Flight Ride.

All gone now, and things are a bit more modern. Well a little bit at least.

Bird poop on his face but surrounded by laydeez, a happy chap.

There were a few Marvellous rides (this is the little bit of modern)

Black Widow being chased by an X-person I think
A bucket of Avengers

This chap is doing well for a 94 year old.

Mickey

Would have had a go on this next one if it had been an option!

Aqua Blasta (should be blaster, sigh).

These next ones are to do with Peter Pan. Firstly a galleon which swings up high at the front, then wangs itself backwards and swings high at the back. You have a bar to hold onto, which you need when it goes back as your bum leaves it’s seat. I know as I’ve been on one prior to being in my dotage, had to hold my lad from falling out. Very scary biscuits.

Shivering timbers

This a faceless Captain Hook I believe, he was at the bottom of the steps up to the galleon.

“I see no ships” (Nelson, 1801)
“Death is the only adventure I have left, Smee.” (Hook 1991)

you can have

Fun fun fun!!

and have lots of

Dentist fodder.

and for your little bambinos

Fragile fish

Finally, some surprised elephants. I did wonder if it was a Disney Dumbo thing, but the ears are not long enough and there isn’t a feather in their trunks, so they’re just your average surprised elephants.

Surprise!!

My favourite is the Zombie enclosure at the top of the post, might have to go in there when it all opens up again. That’s it for this week, but stay tooned, there’s a few more to come from outside the fair.

📷 🎞️ 😊

Film Friday ~ Kodak Ektar h35 ~ part 3

Camera info ~ This camera is a half frame camera, which means what it says, it only shoots half of a frame of film, so when you put a roll of 36 in it, you get 72 pictures. Neat eh? The camera itself is cute looking but a bit hokey, plastic with no settings other than a flash on/off on the dial around the lens, and the dial is as stiff as a stiff thing on a stiff day. I loaded it with a roll of Kodak Gold 400 and took it everywhere with me but it still took a fair few weeks to finish the frame. I shot the film with the making of dyptichs (2 pictures taken together to complement each other) in mind. I’ll be posting some of them on Fridays.

This set of diptychs will be my last for some while as I’ve a new roll now in the Ektar which will probably take a couple of months to shoot. These are from a little project I’m doing on South Shields sea front.

My first visit was to Little Haven Beach to see the Weebles

Weebles.

and Herd Groyne Lighthouse

Herd Groyne Lighthouse

the beach was empty of people though evidence of them was apparent.

Kevin Woz ‘Ere

I went up to Sandhaven and Ocean beaches and had a walk along to the amusement park.

Some pirate or other.

There’s a mini race track for mini people outside one of the arcades.

A bit further on I got to the fairground, which is usually locked up over winter, but I wandered in unchallenged and so started taking photographs. I think one of the arcades was either open or having work done, but they didn’t bother about me.

Spinning round thingys.
Verticle spinning bucket thingy and a crazy house.
Rides for little kids
Twisty twirly thingys.
No rock and a zombie apocalypse.

A good place to end. It was strange to be alone in an amusement park usually shrieking with kids and things spinning and moving all the time. I took some more photos with the Contax so we’ll have a look at those next time.

Stay tooned 😊
📷 🎞️

Film Friday ~ Kodak Ektar h35 ~ part 2

Camera info ~ This camera is a half frame camera, which means what it says, it only shoots half of a frame of film, so when you put a roll of 36 in it, you get 72 pictures. Neat eh? The camera itself is cute looking but a bit hokey, plastic with no settings other than a flash on/off on the dial around the lens, and the dial is as stiff as a stiff thing on a stiff day. I loaded it with a roll of Kodak Gold 400 and took it everywhere with me but it still took a fair few weeks to finish the frame. I shot the film with the making of dyptichs (2 pictures taken together to complement each other) in mind. I’ll be posting some of them on Fridays.

This weeks diptych series starts with a few I took when on my visit to Guisborough Priory which you can read about HERE if you want the history.

Guisborough Priory
flowers in the grounds of the priory

This phonebox is outside the Kirkleatham Museum next door to the Owl Sanctuary.

A rare beast.

The next ones are from walking around Wardley.

Bomba Nonce??? I have no idea what that means.
Rowan Tree
The Oak Tree

and I’ll finish off with a couple of pictures from home.

Lord Vincent
Game Night ~ old school.

So that’s it for this week, but fear not dear reader, there’s more to come so stay tooned!

📷 🎞️

Film Friday ~ August Miscellany 2

Summer seems a long time ago now, sitting here with the rain coming down all day. More pictures from my August roll of film, this time. Back at the zoo with Cal and Liddy, the digital shots some of you saw on the Otherverse Blog.

Cal & Liddy, & Snowy Owl
with the Poitou Donkeys.

I’d never heard of these giant donkey’s before, so here is the informtion you are gagging to know too now..

The Baudet du Poitou, also called the Poitevin or Poitou donkey, are (no surprise) bred by the Pesky French. They were (?)created by breeding male donkeys with lady Poitevin horses to produce Poitevin mules which were formerly in worldwide demand for agricultural and other work. The Baudet has a distinctive coat, which hangs in long, ungroomed locks or cadenettes. They were possibly bred from donkeys introduced to the area by the good ol’ Romans. According to wiki they were also possibly a status symbol in the middle ages at least in France, (will rely on April for corroboration on that point) I suppose like having a top specs Range Rover is today, or was, maybe not so much now with climate change and the cost of fuel. Anyhoo, I digress. By the 1800’s France had established a studbook for the breed, and the 19th and early 20th centuries saw them being used for the production of mules throughout Europe. (Is anyone else thinking ‘genetic engineering to the max?) During this same time, Poitou bloodlines were also used to develop other donkey breeds, including the American Mammoth Jack in the United States. Then came mechanisation and by 1977 there were only 44 giant donkeys left in the world. There are more now because of private and public breeding and by 2005 there were 450 purebred Poitou donkeys. They are still an endangered species, their population is below 800 animals worldwide, with 60 of them in the UK.

ring tailed lemur

A Ring Tailed Lemur surprisingly in focus! Interesting factoid:-
Ring-tailed lemurs have scent glands on their wrists, which they then rub all the way along their tails to then waft their tails at other lemurs in ‘stink fights’! As of early 2017, the population in the wild is believed to have crashed as low as 2,000 individuals due to habitat loss, poaching and hunting, making them far more critically endangered, despite reproducing readily in captivity and being the most populous lemur in zoos worldwide.

Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer have been around for over 8000 years, and are now found roaming free on every continent except Antarctica.

Liddy

Liddy ~ a unique member of homo sapiens, the most abundant and widespread species of primate. And she is a little monkey!

That’s it for this week! Phil and I are off to Edinburgh today, to the Murrayfield Stadium where Scale Scotland are having their model show, if the Pesky Scots have internet connection up there, I’ll catch up with y’all later.

📷 🎞 😊

Film Friday ~ Morpeth & Herterton Gardens

I’ve recently been posting about Morpeth and Herterton Country Garden over on the Universe Blog with images from my FujiXT2, but of course I took along my Contax Aria loaded with a roll of Kodak Portra 200 and took some more pictures with it which I’m sharing today.

The Toll House
Toll houses were built on toll roads, tolls being fees that travellers on the road had to pay. A toll collecter lived in the house and there was often a gate across the road to stop people travelling without paying. This one is an early 19th century building, a Grade II listed building and is now a pub called The Office.

Morpeth sits in a loop of the River Wansbeck.
Morpeth Old Bridge ~ footbridge part.
a medieval multi-span bridge of 13th century date, which spanned the River Wansbeck in Morpeth. The bridge was in use until 1835 when it was partially demolished and replaced by a new bridge downstream. The abutments and central pier remain standing to about 4m high and are surmounted by a 19th century footbridge. 
Free dip and tomato ketchup!!

On to Herterton now.

Top topiary!
A saxon pot
The three faced scottish sundial on the arched byre, and Marjorie at work.

the exit from the flower garden into the wildflower garden
in the wild flower gaden
pink poppies
gooseberries
Macedonian scabious (Knautia macedonica), an extremely hardy ornamental plant.

accompanying posts from the Universe blog :-

Morpeth Part 1
Morpeth Part 2
Herterton Country Garden Part 1
Herterton Part 2

Birkheads Secret Gardens ~ May 22, analogue edition.

Over on the Universe Blog on the last and next sundays are my close-up digital shots of the flowers Sophie and I found at Birkheads Secret Gardens. I also had my Contax Aria loaded with Kodak Gold 200 film, and used it to do wider shots of the gardens, and to photograph the quirky decorations that you come across when walking through the gardens. So to accompany the Universe posts, I’m doing a Film Friday post with the results from the Contax.

In one of the corners there’s a nod to pirates

Pirates Corner
Jolly Roger

There’s also an oriental kind of place

buddha

and you can sit by a pond and look for the fish and the newts.

Sophie sitting

Walking around you come across mini statues

fake cat
fairy town
gnomes & fairies
Big Gnome

the owners have a sense of humour

dead & buried, nearly.

They’ve left an area to become a wildflower place, with it’s own not-a-scarecrow and fake geese 😃

wilderness

More to come next week, so stay tooned!

all pictures are clickable to embiggen.

📷 🎞 🙂

Film Friday ~ Craster May 2022

Sophie has been home from Spain for a couple of weeks and we’ve been out and about with our cameras. We spent a Sunday up in Edlingham and Craster ~ the Edlingham shots are mostly with the FujiXT2 so will be appearing on Sundays over on the Universe blog, but we also went over to Craster and had a windy walk up the coast to Dunstanburgh Castle, and I employed the Contax Aria for the visit, loaded with Kodak Gold 200 film.

Craster is a small fishing village on the Northumberland coast. It has a small harbour and a grassy path leading up to the castle which is the only way to get to it. For many years, the village has had a herring-curing business: Craster kippers are well known around the world.

Dunstanburgh Castle was built on an epic scale atop a remote headland along the coast. It was built at a time when relations between King Edward II and his most powerful baron, Earl Thomas of Lancaster, had become openly hostile. Lancaster began the fortress in 1313, and the latest archaeological research indicates that he built it on a far grander scale than was originally recognised, perhaps more as a symbol of his opposition to the king than as a military stronghold.

Unfortunately the earl failed to reach Dunstanburgh when his rebellion was defeated, and he was taken and executed in 1322. Thereafter the castle passed eventually to John of Gaunt, who strengthened it against the Pesky Scots by converting the great twin towered gatehouse into a keep.

The focus of fierce fighting during the Wars of the Roses, it was twice besieged and captured by Yorkist forces, but subsequently fell into decay.

Before we arrived at Craster we had lunch at our favourite café in Rock, which readers of the Universe blog will have heard me bang on about.

The Rocky

It was a really blowy~blustery day so walking up the coast was a bit like being beaten up, we didn’t get right up to the castle before we’d had enough and turned round, wimps that we are, but far enough for a long shot of it.

flower pots line the roads coming out of Craster car park
Mermaid with a big fishy thing.
Flowery things and harbour

There are quite a few holiday cottages to rent, or maybe they are second homes for posh people, along the sea front, and the have their own little gardens to sit in with views of the harbour, castle, and sea.

enjoying an ice cream and wrapped up warm.
bluebells
Gorse bushes along the coastal walk.
Dunstanburgh Castle

Film Friday ~ Contax Aria

Finishing up with the last pictures from a roll of Kodak Ultramax 400, as I’ve just sent off 2 rolls of Kodak Gold for developing.

Firstly three from a trip to Newcastle

Premium Parking
Smiley Texter
Pigeon Puddle

Phil wanted to go to a vinyl fair which was being held in Byker, and I took a few shots on our walk from the metro station.

Byker
Byker Wall Estate
House of Holland…and Istanbul.. and New York…and….

Finally, my old man 🙂

Phil Rolling

all pictures embiggenable with a click 🙂

Film Friday ~ Contax Aria

Over on the Universe blog, I’ve been posting my outings to Northumberland churches, but I also took a few shots along the journey.

Sophie spotted this tree whilst I was doing my Ben Hur around the country roads, think it could be an oak.

Sophie’s Tree

We had late lunches and afterwards travelled home via the scenic route. Going through and out the other side of Warkworth there are parking spaces on the A1068 which runs along side the River Coquet. Looking back towards Warkworth you can see the medieval castle on the hill that dominates the landscape.

Warkworth

Looking forwards and ahead is Amble marina, you can just see the boat masts next to appartment blocks called ‘Coquet Cottages’. Pfft. Like no cottage I ever saw.

Coquet Cottages 🙄

Further along towards the coast we came across a stone gateway which seemed incongruous all alone on a country lane.

Craster Tower Gateway

It was built in the late 1700’s and made of whinstone rubble, and belonged to Craster Tower. The tower was a 14th century pele tower and is referred to in a survey of 1415 as in the ownership of Edmund Crasestir. When Edmund died the tower remained in the Craster family and a two storey Manor house was added to it in 1666 by another Edmund Craster. In 1769, George Craster erected an impressive five-bayed, three-storey Georgian mansion adjoining the south side of the Tower, which was reduced to three storeys and recastellated at this time.

 In 1785 the estate was in the hands of Shafto Craster who changed the appearance of the pele tower, to give it a gothic style. It was at this time he also built the coach house and the gateway. Shafto was also responsible for starting the kippering industry in Craster which still thrives to this day. 

And now onto cats and sunsets!

Winnie doing Winnie things.
Lord Vincent
Shepherd’s delight
Tango sky

And that’s it this time.

Laters Gaters 🐊 😊

📷 🎞

Film Friday ~ Contax Aria (4)

Not much point in numbering the posts really as the Aria is now my go-to camera for shooting film with, and all my others stand forlornley on the shelf gathering dust.

I’ve recently been shooting some more Kodak Ultramax 400 and got the results back. A fair few I’ve taken when on outings with Sophie, so they’ll get incorporated in to the Sunday Fraggle reports over on the Universe Blog. I made good use of spring and summer which came the week before last, and took the Aria on walks around the neighbourhood. Sadly we’re back in winter now and it’s a bit miserable out there. Anyhoo here are a few from my walks:

The path that leads to the Hebburn Quarry Nature Reserve (or Wardley Lake as it’s known chez Fraggle) is lined with hawthorn trees, and is lovely to walk down in spring.

Hawthorn arches

The arch isn’t natural, Storm Arwen made it, and though some of the trees got broken and uprooted, somehow they’re still flowering.

Sidelined

This young one is quite exposed but managed to survive.

survivor

Their branches gently reach out for the light and their buds open one by one.

It was so nice to walk in sunshine, and hear the miriad birds warning each other of dogs and humans in their territory. A flash of red here and there across the sky as the bullfinches go about their nest building and the ubiquitous pigeons crash landing in the tree branches.

I turn back towards home at the end of the path and walk back through the houses. Cherry blossom trees are a favourite with the inhabitants of our estate

the pink blooms glow in the sunshine and you can’t help feel uplifted at their promise of warmer times ahead.

I have to say our resident graffiti artist(s) are a bit lacklustre, could do better I think.

pfft!

The oak tree I once spent a whole month photographing is still standing, though it doesn’t look any bigger considering that was 6 years ago now. Wow, where did those years go??

old friend

Last bit before home, and it made me smile to see this couple holding hands, still love’s young dreams in their hearts.

♥️

And home, where my favourite blossom tree lives.

The Happy Eater Tree

Friday Film ~ Contax Aria (1)

I’ve now completed 2 rolls of film on my Aria, had them developed by the wonderful Analogue Wonderland people and sorted them out ready for posting. Not all have turned out well and mistakes were made, but I’ll be leaving those ones in the dustbin of posterity and just posting the ones I like. I am on a steep learning curve with the Aria and though I’ve worked in manual mode before with the Rollei’s it’s been a while so that’s an ongoing refresher too.

The first roll I put through was a Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400 135/36 Color film, and I started that at the back end of December. These shots are test shots mostly around the house and a few from South Shields. I haven’t faffed with any of them other than to crop or straighten where necessary, I save all that malarky for my digital work. It’s nice just to have them as they are.

King Street, South Shields

like a lot of small coastal towns in the North things have gone downhill, with shops closing down, the shoppers going to Newcastle or Sunderland instead of local. In (a vain~ sorry- cynic) an attempt to regenerate the town centre, the council are demolishing buildings in King Street, which housed Mothercare, and Thorntons (chocolate shop) amongst others. This is in order to ‘clear the way for further development’ and according to Councillor Dixon, “We know that for our town centre to thrive we need to move beyond retail and create a more vibrant environment”. More details HERE.

Demolishing
Demolished

Back at home we had a snow day. I say snow day but I really mean a snow 2 hours. The picture isn’t so good, I was hanging out the bedroom window and camera shake was a thing, but I had to document the only snow we’ve had this winter so far. 2 hours I ask you? What’s the point in that?

Snow. A bit.

We had Livvy and Matty to stay over one Saturday night, another dodgy shot as I didn’t get the exposure right so the shutter speed was too slow for a crisp shot, but I like it anyway, makes me smile.

Livvy, Matty.

Of course I had to turn the Aria on the cats..

Winnie on Phils window sill soaking up some rays.
Winnie being snug
Lord Vincent being snug

I have always taken images of the sunsets I see from the bedroom windows, I have an ongoing series of Wardley Sunsets, so I had to see if the Aria would be able to contribute.

Wardley Sunset
Wardley Sunset

So that’s enough for this week. Out of 36 frames I got 19 I was happy enough with, so thats 50%, considering how expensive film is that percentage needs to be improved, but that’s fine, I’m at the beginning of this journey and I’ll get better with practice. Stay tooned for next time when I shot a few frames in Newcastle. 🙂

all pictures clickable and embiggenable, but don’t, they look better smaller 🤣

Film Friday ~ Minolta Riva Mini

Back at the end of 2019 I’d decided that 2020 was going to be a year of shooting film, from instant to 35mm and 120mm and using many of my funky film cameras. Ah well, I managed a few posts before the plague lockdown and a post in July when we were allowed out to walk when I tested out the Canon Sureshot. 2020 was a bit of a washout for me photographically speaking, but I did a digital 365 throughout 2021 on the Universe Blog and that has at least fired me up for shooting film again. I put a roll of Fuji Experia 35mm I had knocking about in the film drawer into my Minolta and stuck it in my bag when Sophie and I started going out again at the end of 21, and did some shots with it when I remembered it was in the camera bag. I’ve since had it developed and will do some posts with the pictures. The Minolta Riva has been my favourite point and shoot and I rarely use the other ones I have as the quality of pictures from the Riva always surpass the results. I’m currently getting to know the Contax Aria and will be posting those in the next series, if any come out!

In October Sophie and I revisited one of our favourite places, Belsay Hall & Castle. We first visited back in 2019 and it is such a great place for photography. I did a history post regarding it HERE if you want to know about it.

Belsay Hall was commissioned by 6th Baronet Sir Charles Miles Lambert Monck in the early 1800s, he was inspired by Greek architecture.

Belsay Hall
down the side of the hall
looking back at the hall on the way to the castle
onwards..
Belsay Castle ~ built 1390
in the grounds of the castle
monkey puzzle tree
returning back towards the hall.
manicured lawn.

I did take many pictures with the fuji as it was full of autumn colour in the walled garden, so look out for a post on the Universe blog at some point.