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 ~ 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 ~ A little bit of the Grand Union Canal.

Back in the Jurassic era, when there were heydays and I was in mine, on good weather weekends, my friends and I would cycle to the Grand Union Canal in Hemel Hempstead, where we lived, and cycle 8 miles along the canal paths as far as Tring, then we’d cycle back home. There were, and still presumably are, several establishments along the way where you could rest and refresh yourself with beverages, usually half a pint of Bulmers, and have a nice lunch. Summers were fab down south back then and I got fit and tanned, and only rode my bike and myself into the canal once. Ah halcyon days indeed.

The Grand Union Canal came to be in 1929 when it amalgamated with a couple of other canals to try and mitigate against the competitive rail and newly-developing road transport system. It’s the main navigable waterway between London and the Midlands, starting in London, with an arm running to Leicester and a second arm going to Birmingham. The London-Birmingham route is 137 miles long and has 166 locks to pass through.

The Grand Union Canal

When I went and stayed in Leighton Buzzard to look after my grandson whilst his Dad took his lady to the Isle of Wight Festival, I took my Contax to the bit of the canal that you can access from the carpark at the Tesco Superstore, and spent a pleasant couple of hours having a wander.

I found this carved felled tree trunk at the beginning of the walk

Lemmy Out.

Plenty of narrow boats that people either live in or use as holiday homes are berthed on the canal. Lutra is named after the Eurasian Otter of the same name.

Lutra Lutra
homes from homes

Loved the washing line and TV ariel on this

All Mod Cons

There are houses who’s gardens abut the canal,

an idylic situation

The Wyvern Shipping Company hire out narrow boats for day trips, or longer. holidays, it’s on my bucket list of things to do.

Not every vessel was a narrow boat

Narrow boats are usually decorated with plants and colourful painted bits and pieces

I reached the first lock on this stretch and was hoping for a boat to come through

Linslade Lock

And got lucky.

That was were I turned round and went back to pick up Lewis from school, after a lovely afternoon which brought some fab memories back.

All shots clickable and embiggenable

All shots taken with my Contax Aria on a roll of Kodak Portra.

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

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

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

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.

Marseille & Dijon~ Sept 2000~ part 2

Part 1 HERE

We decided to hire a scooter and do a day trip across to St. Tropez, a hairy ride to say the least, but fun.

ST.Tropez was absolutely heaving with people, but we got down to the beach, and did our sunbathing thing. To be honest I’m not a fan of crowded beaches, or any crowds really!

The building at the top there is The Citadel, built in the 1600’s. Nowadays that’s where I’d be with my camera!

My favourite part of the holiday was when we stayed overnight in Dijon on the way back home. We had time to explore the town and came across lovely old buildings.

love the cat and bird on top of the roof in this next one

The people in Dijon were really friendly and restored my faith in the French people!

 

 

 

 

Marseille & Dijon ~ Sept 2000 ~ part 1~Marseille

Back in 2000 I went on a road trip with my pal Gaz. Neither of us could afford a ‘proper’ holiday so we decided to drive down to the South of France, find a B&B soak up some rays, and explore the area for a while. We ended up in Marseille. It has an interesting history, named Massilia, a Greek colony originally, being founded around 600BC and populated by settlers from Phocaea (modern Turkey). It became the preeminent Greek city in the Hellenized region of southern Gaul. The city-state sided with the Roman Republic against Carthage during the Second Punic War (218-201 BC), retaining its independence and commercial empire throughout the western Mediterranean even as Rome expanded into Western Europe and North Africa. However, the city lost its independence following the Roman Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, during Caesar’s Civil War, in which Massalia sided with the exiled faction at war with Julius Caesar.

Ships have docked for more than 26 centuries at the city’s birthplace, the colourful old port, and it remains a thriving harbour for fishing boats, pleasure yachts and tourists. Guarding either side of the harbour are Fort St-Nicolas and Fort St-Jean, founded in the 13th century by the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem and we took a boat trip out to see them.

Porte d’Aix (also known as the Porte Royale) is a triumphal arch in Marseille, in the south of France, marking the old entry point to the city on the road from Aix-en-Provence. The classical design by Michel-Robert Penchaud was inspired by the triumphal arches of the Roman Empire. The Porte d’Aix was initially conceived in 1784 to honour Louis XIV and to commemorate the Peace of Paris (1783) that ended the American war of independence. Following the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1814-15, the project was resumed in 1823, now to commemorate French victories in the Spanish Expedition, notably at the Battle of Trocadero, August 31, 1823. It was eventually completed in 1839, with a more general theme of victory. This is just the worst shot of it!

The port at night was gorgeous and we were treated to a lovely sunset

 

We sat in the square and had a glass of wine or two in the evenings, and watched the world go by

there was a chanteuse in the bar

and street musicians came round wanting money!

There was a beautiful old carousel in the town and I got a shot of it by day and night

It was a strange time, the Rough Guide, my travel bible at the time, warned that people in Marseille could come across as arrogant, and I certainly found that to be true.  I speak passable French but if I went to a shop and asked for things in French, I’d be cut off and given short shrift in English. One night we went to a restaurant that had outside seating. One half had a few people seated but also a few empty tables, but the waiter seated us away from everyone in the empty half. After our dinner we asked for coffee and when the waiter came with it he pretended to trip and tipped the cups into my lap. Of course it was a shock as I thought the cups were full, but they just had sugar cubes in them.  The waiter and everyone in the other half of the restaurant found it all very funny, we paid up and left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tynemouth,South Shields & Seaburn, 1995

Before living up here in Tyne & Wear was even a blip on my radar, I brought Ben up for a cheapo holiday. We stayed in a lovely little B&B in Seaburn, and played on the mostly deserted beaches.

Marsden Rocks

Tynemouth

Sandcastle!!

small person in a big world

Jumping the waves