Quarry Bank Mill

We are very lucky to have so many wonderful National Trust properties near us in Cheshire. Quarry Bank Mill is, in my opinion the most photogenic.

Situated in the village of Styall, a few miles to the south of Manchester and, like its National Trust brother, Tatton Park in the shadow of Manchester Airport. Quarry Bank Mill’s origins lie in the embryonic Industrial Revolution, built in 1784 by Samuel Greg.

The Mill through the trees

Greg’s vision was that the valley with its fast flowing river provided the power needed to drive the new technology looms and mules of a textile mill. When Greg retired in 1832 Quarry Bank Mill was the largest such business in the UK. The mill continued in the ownership of the Greg family until 1939 when it passed to the National Trust.

The Greg family were like the Levers, Rowntrees and Terrys enlightened employers and built a nearby village for the Mill workers. The cottages in Styall are still occupied and provide a wonderful glimpse into the world of the mill workers three centuries ago.

Mill Workers Cottage, Styall Village

But for me the joy of the site is the gardens between the Mill and Styall Village. Today was one of those wonderful early Spring days when the sun shone, the day grew warmer and the gardens were a mixture of daffodils, camelia, magnolia and tulips.

Early Spring Blossom
Camelia
Tulips
Magnolia in Full Blossom

The garden is full of wonderful views and the contrast between the Mill buildings and the spring flowers provides a metaphor for the respective lives of the Greg family and their workers. Although those workers were far better treated than the majority of their peers, the quality of their lives, working conditions and life expectancy they were diametrically opposed to their employers.

The Greg Family House
The Apprentices’ House

The Apprentice House is a stunning building, simple whitewashed brickwork but set apart from the village and Mill it housed the apprentices who were usually sent away by their families to work and “learn a trade”. They were unpaid but at least they had the compensation of living in this wonderful building.

More of today’s photos can be found on my photography website FullSlidePhotography

Liverpool's Dream

The Love of the Lilliputians

I’ve held off writing anything about last weekend’s Giant Spectacular because I am still trying to process my thoughts and emotions.

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Trying to Describe My Feelings

I was going to tweet how today feels walking through the streets of Liverpool but 240 characters is simply not enough. Why? Because today is the day the Giants return to roam the streets of Liverpool.

We’ve been teased all week but now it is happening. There is a different feel walking through the city this morning, a real sense of excitement and anticipation. What makes it even more special is that it is now very clear that Royal De Luxe hold Liverpool in their hearts as much as we hold them and their Giants.

Today feels like Somerset winning the Championship and Liverpool winning the League on my birthday, that’s how excited I am.

The Giant’s raft has appeared in Canning Dock this morning

Giants!

Liverpool can truly say it is the Land of the Giants. In 2012 and again in 2014 we were treated to were Royal De Luxe’s amazing street theatre.  And they are returning, one last time, to the streets of the city this weekend.

Photos cannot do this spectacle justice but, for a flavour of what we are anticipating this Friday, Saturday and Sunday I’ve pulled together some of my favourite images from 4 years ago on FullSlidePhotography.

Never Too Old to Learn!

I’ve always loved learning. some say I’m lucky to be like that but from my first day of school I’ve enjoyed finding out new things. Last year I did an Open Universtiy course in digital photography and loved every minute of that. Today was another of those days where I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning new tips and techniques for my photography.

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As It Happened – In Pictures

A bit of a change for today’s diary. Somerset’s 6th win of their continued Championship Challenge as documented by a few of my snaps!

That Winning Moment
Have You Ever Seen a More Intimidating Goalkeeper?
Jason Kerr Orchestrates Catching Practice Before Play
Tres Grabs a Coffee Before The Day’s Play
The First Session Was Hard Work For Somerset Despite Lewis’ Superb Opening spell
Plenty for Captain Tom to Think About Before Lunch
With Plenty of Runs to Play With Somerset Kept Attacking Throughout the First Session
Kane Williamson Showed His Class in an Innings of Patience and Application
Kane Williamson’s Bat Didn’t Enjoy A Jamie Overton Yorker
Jamie Overton Bowled A Hostile Spell Before Lunch With No Reward
Finally Just Before Lunch Lewis Gets The Breakthrough
The Relief For Tres and Hildy Was Palpable
Fresh Resolve After Lunch
Kane Williamson Ct Davies B C Overton 51 Yorks 99-4
Garry Ballance Couldn’t Cope With Jamie Overton’s Pace Out for 4 Yorkshire 103-6
Jack Leaning b Jamie Overton 2 Yorkshire 124-7
Meanwhile Peter Trego Was Doing His Own Spot The Difference Competition
Lewis Gets Hodd Yorkshire 143-8
Unbelievably Matt Fisher Survived This Jack Leach Beauty
Meanwhile, Over the Other Side of the New Stand Leeds Rhinos Were Losing to Hull KR
That Winning Moment
A Consoling Word For A New Teammate

Ullswater in Three Images

I have neglected my photography for too long. Since passing my OU course in Digital Photography last year counter-intuitively I’ve done less photography than at any time in the last three years. Well, all that is about to change!

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