After several weeks of rain, the forecast for a dry weekend inspired us to set out in search of Autumn colours in the Lake District. To our surprise it must be over fifteen years since our last visit, considering it is so near.
Although cloudy, it was a reasonable day for a walk and a chance to explore the town. The area was busy and the autumn colours around the lake weren't fully out yet but the views were worth the trip.
Walking into town, we looked for somewhere to eat and soon realised that food and drinks were quite expensive due to being a tourist area. Arriving at the lakeside, we realised that it was the half term holiday, as there were a lot of children feeding the ducks and enjoying the fresh air. Although the lake was quite calm, most of the boats were moored at the side possibly because of the changeable weather. Although we did see the sighseeing cruise later in the day.
Venturing further, we explored the shops and several of the art galleries and craft shops. I always feel it's a shame that many of these are selling high priced prints when there are so many talented artists around that would welcome galleries selling their original work.
Eventually, we did find a gallery that had a range of original art and spent time there before wandering back towards the car park.
An enjoyable visit and we did manage to partake of one of our hobbies, finding a geocache, although the one at the new bandstand evaded us.
Visit to Altrincham
Having talked about starting an A-Z blog on places in the Northwest we finally managed to start our journey. Our first port of call was Altrincham. It must be about sixteen years since we visited this town and it soon brought back memories. Our first visit was when our daughter was about two and going through her ‘paddy’ stage. She was thirsty and the first café we went into was full, so this set her off. It’s interesting other people’s reactions, older people say it’s good to leave them to go through this and not fuss and they will soon learn that it achieves nothing; others look at you as if you are punishing her. The second time we went she was about ten and was made up to go to a Halloween party; unfortunately, the makeup was so good no one knew who she was.
Our other memories were of the large market with several rows of stalls. As we wandered up to the market this now seemed a lot smaller and more upmarket, with craft stalls and a more expensive food court. Was it our memory playing tricks or had the area changed so much?
Our other reason for going was to visit the art galleries. Unfortunately, these didn’t open until Wednesday and we were there on the Tuesday. The other large Contemporary gallery had closed and only showed work now online.
We had a nice walk around the shops but otherwise not a good start to our quest, but we now have reason to go back to see the galleries and if the stalls on the market are different on another day.
Visit to Accrington
I had an exhibition at The Haworth Gallery in 1983 and we can’t remember going back for a long time. As Accrington also fitted our criteria this was another chance to cross ‘A’ off our list.
We set off on a nice warm, sunny day and were soon at the gallery. A wedding was taking place, so we had a walk around the grounds whilst they went into the ceremony in another room. There was a building containing Artists' studios but unfortunately none of them were open at the time so we went back to the main building to look around the galleries.
It’s strange how things turn out. After vising Frodsham and viewing the Textiles exhibition there, the main exhibition was another one by a textiles group, ‘Ribble Creative Stitchers’. The more I see of this type of work, the more I appreciate it. There was a wide range of impressive work on show from abstract work to themed pieces based on nature. Also, the portraits, in a range of styles upstairs, by the group were really interesting.
On the Bell Corridor downstairs were a series of portraits by Catherine Lansdale. These were very good and two in particular stood out to me because they were slightly different. As we wandered upstairs an art class was taking place with a group looking at painting reflections. We were invited in and by chance Catherine was teaching the class. We had a pleasant chat with her and the ladies taking part before moving on.
The other galleries contained some excellent examples of Tiffany glass and we spent a while looking at these and reading some of the fascinating history behind them.
After a drink, it was a drive down into the town. Walking around we were amazed at how quiet it was for a Saturday afternoon. Even the Arndale where we entered to shelter from the rain, as the weather had changed by now, was almost empty. We were surprised that the market stalls had already closed by 3pm and the display of vintage and local buses wasn’t busy. We finished up sitting in a coffee shop gathering our thoughts on the visit, before setting off for home