Archive for Quarry Park

A Sunny Sunday Afternoon

Posted in everyday life, Flickr, Photography, shrewsbury with tags , , , , on September 30, 2013 by suetortoise

Yesterday was such a lovely day that I took my stitchery and a packed lunch and my camera and went to the sunken flower garden in Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park, the Dingle. This is the view from the bench where I ate my sandwiches:
Dingle 29-09-13 01

Here are a couple more shots of the garden:

Dingle 29-09-13 05

Dingle 29-09-13 08

Outside the Dingle, there was a fun fair starting up for the day. Even a small fun fair is a feast for my camera. You’ll find the whole set of yesterday’s pictures on Flickr, but here are a few to give you a taste:

Fun Fair 29-09-13 11
Fun Fair 29-09-13 09

Fun Fair 29-09-13 12



Posted in out and about, Photography, shrewsbury with tags , , , on July 25, 2010 by suetortoise

I’ve not taken many photographs of late – I’ve been busy working on drawings for a forthcoming art show in my spare time, and catching up on housework. But this morning, an intermittantly-sunny Sunday morning, I took the opportunity to wander along the riverbank to the Quarry Park with my camera. The Dingle Gardens were looking fine and full of colour, as they usually are, but I was far more interested in the shapes and textures of the marquees which are in the process of being erected for the Flower Show next month.


An Early Start

Posted in out and about, shrewsbury with tags , , , , on December 1, 2009 by suetortoise

Sunrise water
It was a cold and frosty morning this morning. Despite the temptation of my warm and comfortable bed (I’m not at work today), I got up and dressed and took my camera to the park before the frost melted. It was worth the effort to see the sun come up over the still-swollen River Severn. The comorants were fishing, there were two grebes swimmming about by Shrewsbury School’s boathouse, and the air felt clean and fresh. By the time I came home, just after nine, the sun was sulking in grey cloud and the frost had melted.
Frosty park
I am not often good at getting up and out when I don’t have to, so I promised myself a bacon and egg MacMuffin on the way home. An incentive that obviously worked. (Very good it was, too. The best thing MacDonalds does.)
Sunrise park negative
This picture is simply the negative of one of my sunrise shots. I looked at the original and wondered how to bring out the wonderful patterns in the tree-branches. Sudden inspiration: try the negative version. Worked even better than I hoped. I wish all my bright ideas were as effective.

A Free Show

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 15, 2009 by suetortoise

Shrewsbury Flower Show is a marvellous spectacle, but it’s an expensive day out. I’ve only been there when I’ve been lucky enough to be given a ticket. Fortunately, just living in Shrewsbury gives me a taste of the show for free.

Ironmongatorial splendour

Many shops have colourful window displays, but Birch’s at the bottom of Roushill really pulls out all the stops and covers all the walls. (And it’s a wonderful Aladdin’s cave of a shop – packed with things that you didn’t think you could still buy.)

Flower Show special

Victoria Quay in bloom



Loads of flowers everywhere in the town.

Here’s one of the approach roads to the Quarry Park, Victoria Quay.



Flower Show Fireworks 09
I’m lucky to have an attic flat which gives me a view of the grand firework display that ends the show on each of its two days. I can only see the higher rockets, but it’s free. (If the wind is in the right direction, I can hear the massed brass bands and male-voice choirs at the finale, too. I love the way the Welsh National Anthem is always twice as loud as God Save The Queen when the choirs sing.)

And being on the road from Shrewsbury Castle to the centre of town, the marching bands pass right  below my window. I could hear this band, but couldn’t see them. They were going at a quick march – I’d no time to raise the sash to set up a proper shot. So I waved the camera out of the top half of the window at arm’s length and hoped for the best.

There goes the band

Two years ago, I was given a ticket to the 120th Flower Show. Here is my set of pictures from that day on Flickr. 120 of them, of course.

In the Dingle-Dangle Morning…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 2, 2009 by suetortoise

Dingle Garden, fountain and fuchsias

I’m still uncertain if what ailed me last weekend was a mild dose of the Swine Flu or not. Two days of feeling feverish and sore-throated, two days of total lethargy with a headache but no temperature (mostly spent asleep) and two days of steady recovery. I was back at work on Thursday, back to normal, and yesterday evening I was having fun at the Shropshire Community Flickr Group‘s Summer Barbeque, at the home of Steve Green and Lorna Rutter, and blogged by Steve here. We shall draw a discreet veil over the late-night karaoke (pictured in its full horror by David Turner here). That was good!

After a late night, a lazy day today. I decided to take my stitchery to the Dingle Garden in Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park. A lovely sheltered spot to enjoy a rare dry, and mostly sunny morning.
Dingle Garden, formal beds
The Shrewsbury Flower Show is in two week’s time, so the garden is looking immaculate and full of colour.
Dingle Garden, fountain lion

The ornamental fountain in the centre of the formal beds has recently been repainted, and was running. I can’t remember when I last saw it in action, or looking so elegant. The new cream and gold colour scheme is a great improvement on the old white and blue.
Dingle Garden, subtle shades
With the garden at its best, I was pleased to see that Percy Thrower’s statue was back on its plinth again. Percy, Britain’s best known gardening expert in my youth, was the Head Gardener here in Shrewsbury for many years, living in the town for most of his life. He was responsible for the restoration of the neglected Dingle, making it the showpiece of the Quarry Park. And looking at it today, full of colour and sparkling water, I think the old boy would have been quietly proud of way his successors have kept the faith.
Dingle Garden, Percy Thrower

Dance and Debate

Posted in Shift Time Festival with tags , , on July 6, 2009 by suetortoise

A short report on the rest of my weekend at Shift Time in the Quarry Park.

The Tortoise Project exhibition was a disappointment. There were seven or eight wickerwork tortoises, some undecorated, others decorated by young children with various bits of scrap. A couple had been decorated with some care, but overall it looked like a project that hadn’t quite got off the ground.

Dance 2

Over at the other side of the site, with a neat metal rig, three members of Blue Eyed Soul Dance Company were getting off the ground in fine style. Using ropes and flying harnesses, the dancers gave us a most engaging performance. Part dance, part rope-work, part mountaineering (they were climbing up onto the scaffolding in long Victorian costumes). They succeeded in integrating the aerial work into the dance with suprising grace and naturalness. Clearly a lot of hard work and experiment has gone into discovering the possibilities offered by the ropes and the rig. The natural result was achieved by careful planning, and the smooth grace we saw was the result of strenous effort and intense practice. All credit to them. The gentle, descriptive narrative that ran alongside the music and action added an extra dimension to the piece. It was a very fine performance, and fortunately the rain held off until it was over.

Repairs in the rain

In the rain, a few minutes later, Theo Jansen and his team were busy making running-repairs to a very dejected-looking Umerus, which was suffering from a broken crankshaft. Perhaps it knows that it is soon to be declared extinct and replaced by an improved machine with new capabilities?

Inside a very small, domed tent, the University of Wolverhampton’s Shift-Life team were demonstrating an interactive computer ecology, designed as a teaching tool for small children. The bright, colourful creatures and plants were projected down onto a cloth-covered ‘sandpit’ with watering cans to add water or acidity, a lamp to add extra light — and an ‘earthquake button’.Shift-Life The project is still in development and had a few teething troubles: by the time I saw it, visitors had overdone the watering, so the sensors were not responding, and the earthquake had worn out completely. But the display was vey engaging. The ‘liquorish allsorts with legs’ that were the system’s carnivores were a bit hit with the children.

Sunday’s main event was a three-hour-long series of presentations called Darwin Blast-Off. Five speakers given twenty minutes each to present an argument, with questions from the audience between. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, as I find there is often a distressing tendency to dumb-down and/or dress-up the scientific content of things when ‘Arts’ get involved in the proceedings. Forbit it that the audience should need to think rather than ‘feel’ or ‘experience’ — sorry, a rant coming on there. A subject I am sure to get back to again later.

Back to the actual event. What saved this one was the audience, which was not fooled by weak science and asked the deep and awkward questions the speakers were gliding over with their Powerpoint presentations. The three most obvious book-pushers got the shortest shrift, particularly James LeFanu. The final speaker, Sam Roberts, doing a research project into social networks and how they affect the number and depths of friendships, was the one who got the audience asking interested questions rather than awkward ones. A positive way to end an interesting afternoon. Rather a shame that the event didn’t provide the setting that a science fiction convention usually provides: audience and speakers meeting informally in the bar afterwards, to continue the discussion and spark further conversations. (Some loos nearer the venue than the far side of the park would have been welcome, too, Shropshire Council.)

All in all, a good weekend. More next Saturday — Theo Jansen’s talk in St Mary’s Church and then the performance of The Weather Man. More of that nearer the time. Meanwhile back to real life and all the other jobs I’ve put on hold for Shift Time.

Anticipating Umerus

Posted in Shift Time Festival with tags , , , , , on July 2, 2009 by suetortoise

Inspecting the surfaceEngineer/artist Theo Jansen arrived from Holland with two of his Strandbeests today. Here he is inspecting the surface being laid down for the walking sculptures.

Unlocking the container

Watched by a tense Jon King, Festival Manager, Theo unlocks the big orange container.

A first glimps of the tightly-packed Strandbeests.

The door opens



Relieved Theo





They’ve arrived safely!


The small Beest was first out of the container, and proved quite happy to walk on the grass of the Quarry Park

The Small Beest

Umerus travelled in several sections. Here Theo guides the second of them out into the sunshine.
Umerus emerges

Working on Umerus
When I left the park, Umerus was being carefully put together. I’m really looking forward to seeing it in action on Saturday 4th July, and to Theo’s talk in St Mary’s Church on the afternoon of 11th July.