A short post on patterns of paving used externally in the City streets. These images are a simple & straightforward record of paving and materials used in highway engineering and the public realm in Winchester. What I am interested in is the variation and the happenstance in pattern, materials and textures. The ordinary and mundane, boring ?…yet, some richness and patterns emerge, often as a result of repair & regeneration. Interesting to note changes at thresholds and edges. Old and new side by side. They are perhaps not the most exciting of images – but for those of you who look down at what you are walking on – you may also see something that inspires you, as I have been.
The image above is a detail of the beautifully carved ebony black polished stone 12th Century font, with its depiction of the miracles of St Nicholas, It is without doubt one of the Cathedral’s greatest treasures. It was brought from Tournai, in modern day Belgium. It has been in use ever since.
It isn’t too hard to find odd and quirky combinations of mundane & exotic materials and examples of spectacular & naive decorative arts and crafts side by side in Winchester, especially in the Cathedral. Almost one thousand years of continual occupation of the site bears witness to an unbroken architectural legacy, one that is brimful of odd juxtapositions, exotic materials, renewed or replaced fabric, scratched graffiti, vandalism and destruction. Like walking through a time-warp. Robust Norman Romanesque Architecture to Perpendicular Gothic in one step. Swedish Marble to Purbeck Stone. Extant 13th Century inlaid ceramic floor tiles to 1960’s replicas. Striking thresholds crossed mixing time and material, yet the experience is not jarring or disjointed. Time itself has softened these transitions and blurred the edges.
I am continually cherry picking from the world around me, plucking at things, tucking things away – like a squirrel for winter or in the manner of a herbivore, continually grazing. I am gathering visual information – an extraordinary cabinet of curiosity. Certain things catch my attention, whilst others pass me by, unseen. This eclectic meander is not a considered or deliberate creative manoeuvre. It is innate. It is my pattern of speech, it is my handwriting. It simply is.
SANDSTONE – FLINT – LIMESTONE – EBONY BLACK TOURNAI MARBLE – HAND MADE BRICK – OAK TIMBERS – INLAID CERAMIC TILES – MONOLITHIC GRANITE – CAST IRON – GUN METAL – CARVED OAK – STAINED GLASS – WINDOW TRACERY – LEAD
THESE ARE OUR STREETS Part Two…CHATHAM UP ! We have always planned to create a magazine or booklet…some form of printed publication or other, with which to celebrate and record our progress, our ideas, the stuff that got away…but mostly our collaboration with each other and with the people along our route. We may still be able to deliver this a a hard-copy paper publication at some point in the future, as a way or marking the project – or as an online event.
The following images will show you part of our journey to create the draft and concepts for the work you can now see embedded into the pavements of Railway Street and Military Square. The content has been generated in collaboration with other artists and creatives, commissioned to deliver specific aspects of our work, but who directly and indirectly contributed so brilliantly to the outcome. FrancisKnight Public Art Consultants, Rob Young– Writer, Xtina Lamb– Printmaker, Simon Williams– Filmmaker & Paul Baker – Graphic Designer.
The yellow cover was the first logo and layout we created…the inspiration for this as well as the overall style and approach to the magazine concept came from looking at archive print magazines and periodicals at the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre in Strood. We were drawn to copies of CHATS magazine – the Chatham Port Division Magazine from 1955.
The A5 size and very distinctive 1950’s advertising inside were just what we were looking for.
It can’t really be a surprise that such a massive military and naval presence in Chatham was serviced by local outfitters. What is interesting is that so many of these had businesses on Military Road and Railway Street. At the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre, there is a collection of print magazines and periodicals. An amazing selection of adverts for military and civilian outfitters are contained within – almost all of them along our route of Railway Street and Military Road. I managed to find a copy to buy – Vol.8 April 1955 No. 2
Amongst some that I listed were –
“Over a century of experience in expert tailoring of both naval and civilian outfits”.
W.Cooper – ‘Cooperstyle’Regimental Blazers! 56 Military Road –
Gieves Ltd – 13 Military Road –
Unifit – 40 Military Road –
Baker & Co – 22 Railway Street – “As long as the Spirit of England Remains, we are at your service”.
A. Fleming & Co. Outfitters Ltd Contractors to the Admiralty– 15 Railway Street –
F & H Newcombe – Military, Naval and General Outfitters – Railway Street –
C.H Bernard & Sons – Bernard Buildings, Military Road
Military Outfitters, Baker & Co. 22 Railway Street, Chatham. CHATS Magazine. Collection of Christopher Tipping
Coopers Windows are the Talk of the Town. CHATS Magazine Vol 8 April 1955 No 2. Collection of Christopher Tipping
C.H Bernard & Sons Naval & Civilian Tailors and Outfitters. CHATS Magazine. Collection of Christopher Tipping
The other clear inspiration for me was the archive of Newcomb’s the tailors. They opened for business in 1854. After the original shop was demolished when the Sir John Hawkins flyover was built, the business moved along the High Street to the corner of Medway Street. Mr Gerald Newcomb is still trading as Penguins Dress Hire. Gerald is the 7th generation to run the firm and has himself been in the industry for 45 years.
‘The family has served the great and the good for almost 180 years. Figures such as Charles Dickens, Lord Kitchener, Lord Byron and Lord Tennyson have enjoyed the service we offer – our workrooms were a hive of activity as we created shirts for King Edward VII!’
This historic business fits into our Chatham Placemaking Project primarily because of its strong association with our route and the long association with style, craft and a strong sense of local community – Newcomb’s also had a Ladies Clothes Shop on Railway Street – the advertising for the business and associated images from their archives was inspirational.
…and so, back to our Magazine Pages…
We love Thomas Waghorn…we also appointed a performance Poet, Justin Coe, to come up with a suitably witty and succinct take on our journey down Railway Street to the River, which he performed in the street in a lively film by Simon Williams. Click here for a link to the film. “The Overland Route c/o Thomas Waghorn’.
A review of current and recently completed works –
I am an experienced Artist working in Public Realm, Urban Regeneration and Healthcare environments for Local Authorities, NHS Trusts and the Private Sector.
My projects exhibit contrasting variations in scale, budgets and delivery programmes. They illustrate how I can creatively collaborate within and successfully contribute to a variety of multi-disciplinary teams working in diverse locations and communities.
What underpins my approach to every project however, is a passion for contextually driven creative research and site analysis with which to inform, influence or drive a project forward. What actually delivers the project thereafter is an ability and a desire to collaborate from the outset, respectful of and creatively responsive to the contribution of all members of a client group.
I want to be involved in projects which create spaces and places which resonate with the people who will ultimately use them and which enhances their personal enjoyment and experience of it.
Click on the project titles for links to more detailed information.
Southampton Station Quarter North was shortlisted for the 2016 Solent Design Awards, which were awarded in November 2016 – A much needed update on the project. Better late than never !
Although our project was not one of the winners… it was very encouraging that the collaborative approach which delivered the project and the role of our Champions Group, which endured throughout the build programme was recognised via the shortlist process.
‘The Solent Design Awards are all about the encouragement of quality place-making; schemes that create special places, lift communities, create richer experiences … not just iconic buildings, but also the places in-between’.
The following set of images from the site were produced by Wilson Massie of Balfour Beatty Living Places – thanks Wilson !
The artwork ‘Canal Shore’ runs for almost 200m along the South side of Blechynden Terrace. Bespoke extra wide Black Basalt kerbs are inset with white granite text referencing the site.
With thanks to Hardscapefor their excellent collaboration on the ‘Canal Shore’ artwork.
Monday 28th September 2015 – Station Quarter Visit –
The kerbside artwork ‘Canal Shore‘, which is a vital part of the Station Quarter programme, is very nearly completed. Only a short section remains to be finished, once the Station Forecourt area is completed. ‘Canal Shore’ is a 205m long black basalt kerb with inset granite text, which traces the route of the former Southampton to Salisbury Canal and also happens to be the line of the historic shoreline of the River Test Estuary.
The narrative refers to places, people and events which have marked the development of this landscape. Importantly, the work is also a strategic part of the wayfinding and placemaking ambitions for the Station Quarter project, as it makes an emphatic statement along the main east to west pedestrian route to the Station from the Above Bar area of the city and the Cultural Quarter.
It’s been a while since I posted an update on the Station Quarter Project –
I met up on site with Simon Taylor – Urban Design Manager, Balfour Beatty Living Placesand Pete Boustred – Transport Policy & Sustainable Travel Team Leader at Southampton City Council. I was first commissioned to work on the interpretive and site responsive elements of the project by Simon at BBLP in 2012. We have worked together several times previously in the City. BBLP are delivering the project for Southampton City Council.
Massive changes since my last visit if you look at earlier posts, but brilliant to see the project coming together so well. The amphitheatre steps, part of the Phase 2 works on Wyndham Place have arrived and have been lifted into place. There are a number of other structures still with the manufacturer and these are expected to arrive over the coming weeks. The installation of the large-scale bespoke cast concrete benches, amphitheatre steps and retaining structures manufactured by CCPwill continue over the coming weeks. Hopefully I will get down to Southampton again soon to record more progress.
What was a real pain was that although it was a brilliant blue day – this part of the site was in deep shadow, so the images are a bit too dark to do the work justice !
Other cast concrete works are also on site –
These benches are on the Station Forecourt, immediately as you enter or exit the Station building. This is one section of a large curving two tier bench and way-finding feature within the scheme.
I walked up to the site from Chatham Station, which is only 5mins walk away, passing by Dickens’ House on Ordnance Terrace on the way. I was allowed up onto the upper floors and the terrace, which offers spectacular views across Chatham and Rochester, the Medway and The Historic Dockyards beyond. This vantage point makes clear why Chatham developed as it did as a strategically important defensive site on the River.
Chatham Lines – comprising a number of impressive defensive structures, earthworks and Forts, developed since Napoleonic times to protect the Docks from a landward attack, are clearly visible in the landscape and although now long past any active role in the defence of the country, have served to shape the town and its inhabitants in both its topography, physical landscape and social history.
The copper green copula of the Brook Theatre, Chatham can be seen in the above image at the top right section of the image to the left of the red brick office clock Mountbatten House, the dominant landmark in the Town.
The Waterfront Pumping Station and Brook Theatre as seen from Sun Pier, Chatham. If ever something cried out for some form of intervention – then the Pumping Station takes poll position on the list. An eyesore on the waterfront, it could become an icon and focal point.
Although historically, the waterfront and area around Sun Pier would have been dominated by warehouses and river bases businesses. The industrial shed which houses Staples, does the site and its potential no favours here. Some softening landscape works and green screening may help.
Walking back from Sun Pier to the Waterfront and Bus Station, these historic granite kerbs and cobbles jump out for their simplicity, texture and purpose.
I wanted to see the town from the opposite vantage point of Fort Amherst adjacent to Great Lines Park, formerly known as the Field of Fire , so walked across to the Brook Theatre and beyond to the Town Hall Gardens, the former Town Burial Ground. Prior to 1828, the site was a former Rope Works.
Just a short walk further up the hill is the path and steps leading up to the Great Lines Park and Fort Amherst.
UCA at Fort Pitt is at top centre of this image. The copper green copula of the Brook Theatre is at the centre bottom.
They have a brilliant book on Chatham and it’s history – “The Story of a Dockyard Town”by James Presnail, published by the Corporation of Chatham in 1952 MCMLII. Ref:942.23 CHA. I was much taken by it’s last paragraph on social responsibility.
I had an appointment to meet the archivist at MALSC to review their photographic collection – particularly in regard to Railway Street and Military Street. I took a number of digital images from old photographs, but will require permission to post them on the blog. Hopefully, I can do this in due course.
Old OS Maps of the area were of particular interest as these obviously mapped out – some in great detail – large areas of the site where building had been lost during ‘development’ and / or razed to the ground by fire or neglect. Again – watch this space as i hope to post these images too.
Of particular interest were the OS 1848 Board of Health Map and the 1843 Tithe Map.