Saturday…… and another Grand Day Out

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Brixham, Devon

Brixham Devon it the destination for this weeks Virtual Grand Day Out….best we can do with the current restrictions, even though they are easing.

Brixham is a  traditional Fishing Harbour and once a Port for sailing ships of old.  Nestling under the protection of the high cliffs of Berry Head, on the wester edge of Torbay, with easy access to the English Channel.

Original Fisherman’s cottages cling to the hillside above the harbour . Fishing was the main stay industry for Brixham and still plays an important role today.  It is though Tourism that has overtaken it in importance for the town.  So be prepared for a busy harbour side and  crowded narrow streets, but that all adds to the atmosphere.

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A replica of  Drakes Golden Hind  is a prominent permanent feature of the harbour.  Elsewhere modern Marinas are home for todays Maritime play folk.  Then if you want to get away to a more peaceful space to take in the views over the town and bay, then head for Berry Head.

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So here is a quick tour of Brixham and Berry Head.  Boats cram the harbour, which seems crowded in by houses and dominated by the high tower of  All Saints Church. Don’t miss the lighthouse on the Head, no need for a tower on this high point above the channel. The Cliff Top Fortifications are vanishing into the surrounds, built between 1794 & 1804 as defences against a possible French Invasion.

Lots to see but also take the time to just sit and take in the view…

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We will be able to plan again….one day.

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

4th July

(C) David Oakes 2020

A GRAND DAY OUT…….

Yesterday, summer made a brief visit to England, so we headed off to enjoy the sun whilst we could.  The Yorkshire Sculpture Park  was the destination our first visit and well worth it.  The Sculpture Park  is pat of the 500 acre Bretton Estate Country Park located not many miles from Wakefield.  The park consist of meadows, lakes, river wild woods formal garden and arboretum so lots to explore.  The Sculpture Park is open all year and hosts an outdoor exhibition of sculptures, some exhibits permanent others just for a season, large individual pieces to fixed landscaped installations.  There are also several Galleries with dedicated seasonal exhibitions, a shop and restaurant….but it was too nice a day to be inside so we concentrated on walking and exploring the sculptures in the park.

YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK

YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK

The largest collection must be the Henry Moore Bronze Collection of Sculptures. They sit well in the landscape setting of the park as this Bronze named  “ Large Totem Head ” illustrates so well. Interpretation must be a personal decision and for me this particular piece  (no disrespect) is more attractive from the rear than the front view.  But that is the case with most of Moore’s sculptures, many can be defined at one glance others need study and others just leave some folk totally cold…..but there are plenty to view in this wonderfully sympathetic landscape setting…up close and personal or stand back to view, the choice is yours.

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As I said, imagination is great for visualisation.  This piece is known as  “Oval with Points”…….a true description but stand away from the sculpture and I can see two young Otters on their hind legs, playing!  Perhaps its just the light – what do you think?

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The Park does indeed provide a variety of backdrops for the sculptures, some to my mind work far better than others

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Magdalena Abakanowicz piece  “ Seated Figures ”

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Anthony Caro   “ Promenade ”

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Gormley’s “One and Other”  and one from the Barbara Hepworth Collection.

Exploring the outer extremities of the Park is a must and walking through Oxley Bank wood you stumble across several more installations more fitting to the landscape.  The first actually assists you to climb the bank through the woods…..it is by David Nash and is appropriately named “Seventy One Steps”, count them as you climb.

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As you leave the wood you find set into a traditional Yorkshire Dry Stone Wall, 3 pits and in each is suspended a tree….”The Hanging Trees” the concept of Andy Goldsworthy.

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It is hard to believe that this Country park is in the industrial and mining heart land of Yorkshire.  The park is indeed an oasis but is also helped by the fact that it is surrounded by arable far land on all sides providing a buffer between towns, industry and wildlife…the view from the top of Oxley Bank are stunning…..

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The next sculptural installation is a 21st  century take on the Victorian Foley. Here on the highest point in the park is the creation of Winter/Horbelt which is named “The Basket”. I have to own up to being cynical about this piece (as with one or two other we will soon see).  It is constructed from industrial gauge wire mesh, painted grey and has a spiral staircase within…..

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YORKSHIRE SCULPTURE PARK

 

….it has a commanding view so it is a little disappointing that once you climb the stairs to the top you see nothing but wire mesh….I imagine much like a prison!….The Basket is best viewed from afar

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Whilst I am in a cynical mood the let me share this piece of ‘sculpture’ with you.  It s called “Ash Blocks and Mortar”….well built certainly but is it art?

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The following images can only be described as humorous, yes some new trees have been planted in the Arboretum….

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Your eyes do not deceive……those really are toilets and urinals, dustbins and sinks.

I mentioned wildlife and indeed there are some Big Hares and Rabbits about the park…….

HARE TO-DAY ….WOMAN TOMORROW

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But this is Busters favourite

…..BUT not on a dark night!

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We spent the whole day there and only scratched the surface, apart from the Galleries there is much more in the grounds to enjoy  including a formal garden (no Buster or Carla allowed so we missed those off the tour).

You pay up to £7.50 (the full day rate)  to park your car and entrance is free.  But like us you do need good weather to make the most of all the park has to offer.

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12th JULY (posted 13th July)