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Archive for the tag “travels”

Wolverhampton Heritage Open Days

Busy busy busy! I thought it would be a great idea to check out some of the Wolverhampton events, tours and exhibitions happening in the city today. I had a fantastic time, although driving to the city was the scariest experience I’ve had in my car so far- roads of death! I managed to park in the multi-storey right in the centre, then I fumbled my way from the darkness of the underground into the light, emerging right outside the first place on my list to visit. So it all worked out well in the end.

Saint Peter’s Collegiate Church

So, the first place I visited was St. Peter’s Church, a Grade I listed building, which is right in the centre of the city. It is a mix of Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular styles in red sandstone.

St. Peter's Church

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Tamworth’s Heritage Weekend

I don’t even know where to start with this one! It has been an epic weekend! I decided to go visit Tamworth, a little town in Staffordshire as there was a Heritage Weekend happening. Basically, it was a weekend of celebrating the unique history of Tamworth going back 1400 years.  The activities were centred around Tamworth Castle and the Castle grounds with a living history Saxon encampment, exhibitions, workshops and community stalls. I need to say a big thank you to Æd for telling me about the event! Without him this post wouldn’t even exist!

Tamworth Castle itself is the site of the ancient captial of Mercia and was once home to the King of Mercia’s palace…so, lots of Anglo-Saxon history to celebrate! I bought a book from the gift shop entitled ‘Tamworth: The Ancient Capital of Mercia’ written by Stephen Pollington and I also managed to meet the author that day too!! He was a great guy, very knowledgeable and was attending the Heritage event with his group the Wulfheodenas (a living history society). They had authentic Saxon clothes, and weaponry and were also making foils. Foils were used by the Saxons to decorate their helmets. I took a photograph of one of their helmets (see below).

Helmet from the Wulfheodenas group

And here are my favourite people again…The Thegns of Mercia!

The Thegns of Mercia

I managed to see even more of their items than last time (such as musical instruments, weaponry and runes), and I chatted to other members of the group too. It was so busy, and their stall was attracting crowds of people. I noticed that as soon as they started to talk to people about their role and what they have on show, more people began to cluster and listen in. It was great seeing the public take such a great interest in history.

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Looking for that rustic charm…

Today, as I browsed through the photographs on my camera (which are still not printed or uploaded arrrgh!) I was reminded of a project I was forced to do at art school. I say forced, as the completion of the project was one of the conditions for securing a place at the school ready for the September induction. So anyhoo, this project was entitled ‘1000 ways of seeing’ and involved being a bit of a tramp, scouring the streets for bits of dropped rubbish that ‘sparkled’ and ‘looked pretty’. We were even encouraged to find scraps of takeaway paper from McDonald’s big macs…I despair just thinking about it!!

I think this was the beginning of the end for me and my relationship with contemporary art, but anyway, I digress. So, as well as finding all these ‘pretty’ materials and placing them in a box ready for safe keeping, we had to take photographs of doors. Yes, doors. By the end of the summer I hated them. I was sick of seeing open doors, closed doors, old doors, new doors, flipping doors!!

And yet, as I browsed through my recent photographs, I seemed to have slipped into this forgotten habit of photographing them. Shock horror! I give you… Exhibit A:

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The evening sun at Clent

Last night I took a stroll to the top of the Clent Hills to view the sunset. Because it had been such a hot day, the evening was warm and there was a sense of tranquility over the city. I decided to head for the hills to have a look across the landscape.

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Walking through the woods.

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Hadrian’s Wall

MORE ARCHAEOLOGY- yes, I know you’re excited. Well, I decided to create a photobook from all the photographs I took on my trip to Hadrian’s Wall. It includes some Anglo-Saxon as well as Roman archaeology and information, as well as some interesting artefacts from museum collections.

I’m getting it printed in a fab hardback edition so I can gloat over my photographic skills. It is also to remind me of the sweaty humid hike I took up to Housesteads Roman Fort- I thought at the time that it would be amazing to just power walk to the top. However, when I got to the top, my legs decided to shake uncontrollably and I was reminded of how unfit I am.

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