Preperation before the Art in County Hall exhibition

Hello! Hello!

The preparations for “Art in Country Hall” exhibitions are now completed! The glass cabinets have been properly cleaned and polished, the artworks are now  perfectly displayed and everything is ready for the big day! The opening will take place on Friday, the 20th of May at 17:00 pm and the exhibition will be open every working day for the next 8-10 weeks.

Art in County Hall is a joint exhibition bringing several talented artists from Worcestershire together. Rita’s artwork will be displayed in two gabinets in front of the Council Chamber, while the artworks made by The Garage Art Group from Evesham will be proudly displayed on the walls.  Garage Art Group has just celebrated 20 years of promoting health and well being through the mediums of painting, drawing, textile and other visual arts. If you’d like to learn more about this fantastic charity organization, please visit their official websites:

Garage Art Group - biography

Garage Art Group – biography

Homepage: http://www.garageartgroup.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garageartgroup/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/garageartgroup

Address:  Vale Art Studio, 4/4a Crown Court Yard, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 4RY.
Contact: Pam White (CEO) on 01386 423245 or 07933512210
Email: garageartgroup@live.co.uk

Garage Art Group - exhibit #1

Garage Art Group – exhibit #1

Garage Art Group - exhibit #2

Garage Art Group – exhibit #2

Garage Art Group - exhibit #3

Garage Art Group – exhibit #3

Garage Art Group - exhibit #4

Garage Art Group – exhibit #4

Garage Art Group - exhibit #5

Garage Art Group – exhibit #5

Garage Art Group - exhibit #6

Garage Art Group – exhibit #6

Garage Art Group - full installation

Garage Art Group – full installation

Another artist showcasing his excellent works alongside Rita and the Garage Art Group is Mark Hilsden. Mark has been painting for many years and is very well known in Worcester art circles. He specializes in painting landscapes (especially forest and the sea) but architecture and portraits are also his strong points. Marks artworks are in many private collections including Europe and Australia. He encourages everybody to follow their passion and dare to dream.

Mark Hilsden - picture #1

Mark Hilsden – picture #1

Mark Hilsden - picture #2

Mark Hilsden – picture #2

Mark Hilsden - picture #3

Mark Hilsden – picture #3

Mark Hilsden - picture #4

Mark Hilsden – picture #4

Mark Hilsden - picture #5

Mark Hilsden – picture #5

Mark Hilsden - picture #6

Mark Hilsden – picture #6

Mark is open to commissions, so if you’d like to have your special picture painted, please contact him directly at:

Official website: http://markhilsden.com/
Marks bio: http://artymark.faso.com/page/8606/media-pack-artists-bio-and-cv
Commission guidelines: http://artymark.faso.com/page/7692/commissions
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artistmarkhilsden/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/markhilsden

We are very excited to work with so many talented individuals and grateful for having an opportunity to showcase our work to a huge number of visitors. Did you know that County Hall is visited by hundreds of people each week? It is a very busy place and hopefully it will help Worcestershire based artists reach a wider audience.

At the opening, you will have a chance to learn more about Rita and her work. Malicia was very kind to pen a truly professional bio for her and she is very  happy to share it with you all:

Rita’s bio:

Rita Dabrowicz (born October 1979) is a Polish artist currently living and working in Worcester. Although showing interests in art from an early age, she began to exhibit her works publicly during university years after being inspired by abstract artists such as Jackson Pollack and John Squire. Today, Rita works with several different mediums, ranging from paints (oils, acrylics, watercolours, inks), pencils, clay, pottery and ceramics. She is also an apt craft person using upcycling technique to create paper artworks, cards and decorated items like notebooks or book marks for her own “Cat Shop Décor”. She exhibited in her native Poland and in Malta (taking part in Earth Garden Festival five years in a row, twice at Notte Bianca in Valletta and being featured at Malta Artisan Markets).

Outside of her own artistic endeavours, Rita organizes cultural events and promotes other artists though her blog and social media. Teaming up with her sister under the moniker “Vanadian Avenue”, she organized a series of six exhibitions of local artists in Poland and drawing workshops (between 2000 and 2004) and was responsible for bringing prestigious World Press Photo exhibition to Malta in 2007. She was also a member of Silesian Fantasy Club in Poland for which she co-organized a series of conventions dedicated to Japanese comics, art and culture. She worked as cultural journalists for four years and specialized in female comics and presentation of women in pop culture. Three times she took part in Work Camp initiative to help organize Roskilde Festival in Denmark (2003, 2004, 2007).

Rita enjoys music, travels, photography and Japanese culture.
She can be reached via her blog: www.cocamidemea.wordpress.com or her Facebook shop page www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

Rita biography

Rita biography

To please the art loving people of Worcester, we prepared three installations. Below, you can find  pictures and short descriptions:

01. The Celestial Theatre installation

Inspired by Japanese traditional Noh dance theatre, this project links human emotions, superstitions with legends and beliefs that are written among the stars and planets. Each masks represent different omote, mask used during the performances. There are 450 different masks in Noh based on sixty types of characters. Rita’s masks are named after six legendary (yet non-existent) planets that influence us and the planet Earth.

Content of glass cabinet #1

Content of glass cabinet #1

Masks and Orbs

Masks and Orbs

Set of masks

Set of masks

Antichthon (Ἀντίχθων) known as The Counter- Earth. Mysterious twin-planet to Earth hidden from our view. It represents mystery, deceitfulness but also protection and bravery. Appeared for the first time in the writings or Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus. Price: £30

Antichthon Mask

Antichthon Mask

Hercolubus also known as the Red Planet. Mythical future destructor of Earth symbolizes power and vitality. Became wildly popular in Latin America thanks to the writings of Colombian author V.M. Rabolu (Joaquin Enrique Amortegui Valbuena, 1926-2000). Price: £30

Herocolubus Mask

Herocolubus Mask

Kolob also known as The Governing One. A star or a planet mentioned in the Mormon’s “Book of Abraham”, it symbolizes greatness, patience and superiority. According to the text, Kolob is the heavenly body nearest to the throne of God. Price: £30

Kolob Mask

Kolob Mask

Nibiru also known as The Crossing Star or The Point of Transition is an ancient Babylonian term of the equinox and its associated astronomical objects. It is also the name of wildly popular “Planet X” that will bring destruction to Earth. The original concept symbolizes tranquillity, serenity and peace. Price: £30

Nibiru Mask

Nibiru Mask

Vulcan also known as the Tenth Planet, is the hypothetical planet in the Milky Way, located somewhere between Mercury and the Sun. The hypothesis for its existence has been formulated by Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier (1811 –1877) French mathematician specializing in celestial mechanics. It represents strong mind and mathematical skills but also the physical power. Sadly such planet still hasn’t been found but the concept became popular in 1950’s in America and the planet gave its name to the famous alien race in Star Trek TV series franchise. Price: £40

Vulcan Mask

Vulcan Mask

Serpo also known as Serponia or Seinu is a hypothetical alien planet very popular among American conspiracy theories, UFOs, and faster-than-light travel enthusiasts. According to the urban legends, American government signed a top-secret scientific exchange programs with the planet that still goes on since early 1940’s. Serpo has been mentioned in the original X-Files TV series and represents wit, science but also secrecy. Price: £30

Serpo Mask

Serpo Mask

02. Planet Caravan installation

The Planet Caravan installation has been prepared for Earth Garden in 2011. You can read detailed description about each of the 6 orbs here: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/planet-caravan/

The Orb set

The Orb set

The orbs were priced as follows:

Starlight – The Blue Or
Price: £15

The Orb: Starlight

The Orb: Starlight

Twilight – The Violet ORB
Price: £15

The Orb: Twilight

The Orb: Twilight

Broadlight – The Yellow ORB
Price: £15

The Orb: Broadlight

The Orb: Broadlight

Sunlight – The Golden ORB
Price: £15

The Orb: Sunlight

The Orb: Sunlight

Daylight – The Red ORB
Price: £15

The Orb: Daylight

The Orb: Daylight

Additionally, Rita has decided to add three new items to the installation as they were also linked to the general “water” theme:

Two Water dishes

Water dishes

Water dishes

Two water dishes that can store rain water. The blue one is made from recyclable glass, the red one is made from recyclable plastic. Their legs are made from glass beads, the by-product of glass making that can be used for decorative purposes. Both are hand painted with abstract cat details. Can be used as soap or candle holders.
Price: £10 each or £20 for a pair

The DISC

The Disc

The Disc

Mixed media on plastic. The DISC has two sides – the Light Side and The Dark Side (as visible here). It symbolizes both; the Earth and The Moon as both are described having the light and the dark sides. Maybe it represents us all as well? There is light and darkness in all of us.
Price: £15

The Dream Catcher

The Dream Catcher

The Dream Catcher

Rita’s description for this strange sculpture reads: “Made entirely from natural materials: dry leaves, wooden spheres and long green painted grass. What you cannot see is the inside of the biggest sphere: there are several plastic beads that move when the Dream Catcher is rotating. Imagine you are a Dream champion, somebody who can travel through people’s dreams. You would need some kind of device to enter the Dreamscape. It also shows you the good and the bad dreams people are having. It is very useful – did I mention that it can make anyone fall asleep at once?” Price: £20

03. Zodiak

Zodiak is the biggest abstract art series that Rita has ever done. It was prepared in collaboration with British artist Matt Griffiths (sketches) and took nearly half a year to prepare. 12 pictures were displayed for the first time in the Messina Palace in Valetta as part of Notte Biance celebration in 2011.  The exhibition entitled “Astral Room” was big success. One of the artworks has been purchased to a private collection by member of the German-Maltese Circle.

Zodiac - part one

Zodiac – part one

Zodiac -part two

Zodiac -part two

We  have extensively covered the preparations and the exhibition previously on our blog. Please take a look at the entries below to  see detailed information about each picture and high  res images, taken by Malicia:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/zodiak-part-1/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/zodiak-part-2/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/zodiak-part-3/

Each of the 11 remaining Zodiak signs were priced at £45. Sign descriptions were laminated and presented for the  members of the public to read.

Description of each Zodiac painting

Description of each Zodiac painting

To raise the number of exhibited artworks to 12, Rita decided to add  smaller abstract piece entitled “The Rain Maker”. It has been inspired by Kate Bush song entitled “Cloudbusting”, the second single from 1985’s album “Hounds of Love”.

The Rain Maker

The Rain Maker

Acrylics and mixed media on canvas.
The artwork is professionally framed and signed by the author.
Price: £30

It’s been a very long day for us as the preparations took several hours to be completed. Please visit us tomorrow at 5 pm. Refreshments and finger food will be provided.

Hope to see you all tomorrow evening. Friday night is perfect for art,  remember that!
xxx
Rita and Mal

Art at County Hall

Dear readers,

Art at County Hall project logo

Art at County Hall project logo

Its mid-May already and in just few days Rita will have her artworks exhibited at Worcestershire County Hall, being a part of Art in County Hall project that showcases local artists  to general public at the picturesque local government building. Art in County Hall is an impressive project – bringing together unusual space and artists that make the Worcester scene a vibrant one. Rita cannot be more proud to be participating. We will make few posts about the project naturally as we want to show you the space and the exhibition itself.

We will start off with The County Hall itself as we love the building and how it works. It is an absolute gem and the surrounding grounds/public park are worth visiting as well. There will be many pictures in this post as we tried to show you the space from every angle. But if you prefer a bit of reading, you won’t be disappointed. We had a visit to the Worcestershire County Archives and they found us an article from 1990 about the building and how it was designed. Fascinating reading it is.

Plus usual links, dates, maps and directions – one happy package.

So let us begin:

County Hall

Entrance

Entrance

Heart of the campus

Heart of the campus

The home of Worcestershire County Council is one of few public buildings in this part of the UK representing brutalist architecture (think Barbican Centre in London for comparison). It was designed for short-lived Hereford and Worcester County Council and located at the semi-rural “E Edge” of the Worcestershire.

Although the building itself was completed between 1974-1978 under the careful eye of its architect – Robert Matthew of Johnson – Marshall & Partners,  the plans for the complex were ready as early as 1972.

View of the Registrar Office

View of the Registrar Office

One of two "wings" or "houses" of the building

One of two “wings” or “houses” of the building

The Hall became house for Worcestershire County when Hereford and Worcester County Council ceased to exist in 1998. Built in red and brown brick, The County Hall was opened for further expansions (which ultimately did not happen if you don’t count few annexes like boiler room) and was considered both innovative and surprisingly ecological for its era.

How brilliant the design was for late 70s – you can tell from good practice case study quoted below. We have to admit, we were impressed by the amount of work put into the concept! It is a very early model of an “intelligent building” making use of solar energy depending on the season and turning elements of the façade into blind shades.  Outworldy, genius and futuristic in the same time.  It is like architectural version of a Doctor Who episode!

 Energy_Efficiency_Hereford_Worcester_County_Hall_1990

County Hall building consists of three connected parts:

  • “Central Section” includes reception, IT help desk, public areas, meeting rooms and Riverside Café open for visitors and staff.
  • “Two wings” or “Houses” include offices, Registrar’s Office, offices of main political parties, gallery passage and the Council Chamber.
The building seen from the side

The building seen from the side

Cantena Terrace

Cantena Terrace

Shades and columns - beautiful details

Shades and columns – beautiful details

County Hall grew very quickly after its inception. Since 1977, many of the buildings owned by Council in the centre of Worcester have been vacated and the staff moved to County Hall campus. In 1985 the Record Office moved to a purpose-built building added to the site.

Today the main campus includes The Hall itself, Record Office annex, eight car parks (682 spaces for County workers and another 96 reserved spaces), boiler room, a bus stop, large public grounds/park and a lake. It is a site for over 3000 workers daily.

The Garden

The Garden

The second "house"

The second “house”

The campus boarders Worcester Woods Country Park and the grounds are home for multiple wild animals (hares, squirrels, badgers, terrapin turtles) and birds (swans, crows, robins, wild ducks, seagulls and even herons). We will not count the amount of species of flowers and trees – but thanks to its unique ecological value, the campus is often referred to as “Worcester lungs”.

Notice about wild life

Notice about wild life

The lake

The lake

The grounds are very well preserved and offer many surprising features, beyond the lake. If someone was to take a stroll around the area – they would encounter jogging paths, a big fountain (called The Flat Fountain by locals), a pond with a brick bridge,  a herb and flower garden and a huge weeping willow.

Pond and the bridge

Pond and the bridge

The solitary Weeping Willow

The solitary Weeping Willow

The Flat Fountain

The Flat Fountain

Public path

Public path

You can also find many sculptures scattered among the campus: dancers, capoeira  fighters and even a heron eating a fish.

The Dancers

The Dancers

Capoeira Fighters

Capoeira Fighters

Heron sculpture

Heron sculpture

Heron sculpture again and artificial pond with a bridge

Heron sculpture again and artificial pond with a bridge

Being an important business and public place, County Hall has an easy access from city center and from the nearest highway network (M5). You can see the directions from the attached leaflet.

County_Hall_How_to_get_there

And once you arrive on site,  you can use the following map of the campus

Map_County_Hall

If you are still not fully convinced that County Hall campus is one green and living organism, please have a look at the panoramas we had done. They may convince you that Worcestershire has one of the best landscaped sites in the United Kingdom and its County Hall deserves at least a Grade II of protection.

Panorama #1

Panorama #1

Panorama #2

Panorama #2

Panorama #3

Panorama #3

Panorama #4

Panorama #4

The Gallery at County Hall

Gallery at County Hall is formed by large circular public space outside of The Council Chamber.  The Gallery passage contains three large wall spaces each being 7 meters wide and 3 meters high.  There are also two cabinets approximately 6ft high by two feet which can exhibit 3D work.

Art in County Hall ad

Art in County Hall ad

Glass cabinet

Glass cabinet

This space is recently being used to host art exhibitions promoting local artists and showcasing works from students of a nearby University of Worcester under the Art in County Hall. We cannot offer you a virtual tour of the place but we can surely show you a 360 degrees view via images.

Entrance to Gallery Passage

Entrance to Gallery Passage

Both Rita and I believe that Art in County Hall project offers a lot of potential. Just think, County Council is Worcestershire biggest employer, with over 5000 employees. Nearly 3000 people are present daily at the site. That is a large crowd of those potentially interested in art and a good public for upcoming local artists. Moreover County Hall acts as a hub for business meetings, political parties, it is so to say – the headquarters for the councillors. By its very nature it brings together business and funding and is a place where decisions (also about art) are being made.  Art and culture are hardly invited to such places of power, they usually remain in the galleries or  museums  which are not places where political decisions are forged. It kind of marginalizes art in a way.

Passage #1

Passage #1

Passage #2

Passage #2

At the County Hall the division is broken down – art is exhibited in the very heart of the building, for everybody to see. It is hard to pass it and not notice it. And once the art is noticed, it cannot be left out of the equation.  It becomes a part of the scene – not just a fancy background. Bringing together artists, businesses and local government can only create  a positive environment – a platform where a true discussion about the role of art in today`s society can begin. Simple, yet revolutionary idea.

Passage #3

Passage #3

Passage #4

Passage #4

Passage #5

Passage #5

There is also another dimension to the project. We often look up to fancy and very expensive centres –like Microsoft campus in Seattle or Googleplex (headquarters of Google) in California, with its smart buildings, environmental friendly surroundings and secretly wish  we had something similar in close proximity. We often  forget that we have fantastical sites near us, with unique buildings and public parks like the County Hall campus. Those places can be morphed into real epicentres for the community  with just a bit of love and creativity. And that is what art does the best.

We hope you enjoyed this small tour of the County Hall. We will now proceed  to pack the artworks into the suitcases – as tomorrow is a setting up day.

We will see you soon.
Mal& Rita

Craft & Artisan Producers Fair in Bromyard

Dear  cat-lovers!

Finally, we can share some fantastic news with you this morning! Recently, The Cat Shop has been invited to participate in two arts and crafts markets: this Saturday (16th of April) we will be in Bromyard attending a newly created arts and craft show organized by the wonderful Conquest Theatre and on 23th of April, you will be able to meet us in Stratford-upon-Avon! We have to say, we are truly delighted to be distinguished – to join the famous market in Stratford, you have to be placed on a reserve list and wait for months to have a stand. Yet, we have been extremely lucky to be noticed and to be invited. Thank you kindly to those who made it all possible!

The Bromyard Craft & Artisan Producers Fair will start exactly at 10:00 am and will last till 13:00 pm. The event will be placed in the theatre foyer and the admittance is free. So please come and admire the fantastic creations made by local arts and crafters!

Please visit their official pages for more information:
https://www.facebook.com/events/956393824446157/
www.conquest-theatre.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/ConquestTheatre/

As usually, we have been preparing well for the occasion. Our stock has been updated and we have framed newly created artworks. Some of them have been described on our blog in the last few weeks, so if you’d like to find out more please visit our previous entries to learn about each picture’s history and stories behind them:
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/worcester-easter-festival/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/worcester-easter-market-part-2/

01. “Up and Away”

Framing “Up and away” has been a true pleasure! Designed by Mal and finished by Rita, this lovely artwork is one of our favourites. We still cannot get over the fact that we have used about 2 cm of golden string before Athabasca (our boss cat) has claimed the rest as a toy! That’s a very expensive cat-toy as the artistic string costs £5 pounds per meter!

Up and Away framed

Up and Away framed

02. “(Wibbly wobbly) Timey wimey cat”

This artwork has been created last year around 3 am (eternal) in the morning before the Artisan Market in Senglea in Malta. There is one thing all artists must know before participating in any artistic markets on the island – the markets on Malta are absolutely bonkers! You start very early and you continue long after the sun has set. Be prepared for very long hours, thousands of tourists, who come in and go out then come in again and go out yet again to return for a next circle 20 minutes later. Your voice is gone before the lunch!

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey...cat

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey…cat

Our blue feline friend is named “(Wibbly wobbly) Timey wimey cat”, an obvious reference to our beloved 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant. We are sure, there are cats on Gallifray and this might be just one of them. Do you like “Doctor Who”? This Timelord kitten will take you on an adventure through time and space. Please be aware, the artwork comes with a sonic art frame!

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey cat framed

Wibbly wobbly timey wimey cat framed

03. Falling into place

Do you like puzzles? We have to admit, we are not big fans of them but cats are mysterious creatures and they puzzled human race since times immemorial. We love that pun so we decided to literally create a puzzle cat and named it “Falling into place”. Those who live with any animals can swear that pets are the last missing puzzle piece to complete our lives.

Falling into place framed

Falling into place framed

04. Flower power

“Flower Power” and “Falling into Place” have been made on the same day and were also framed one after the other. They are using semi-transparent paper to create a unique 3D effect. Did you know there is another cat in our catalogue that is part of the mini cat-series? It is a portrait of Athabasca, our beloved kitten! You can purchase all three of them for a single price! This is what we call a real bargain.

Flower power framed

Flower power framed

05. The impossible kitten

The titular Impossible Kitten has been made by Malicia and is a mirror reflection of the cat used in “Up and Away”. Her name is Clara, another reference to Doctor Who TV series. We tell you, our cats are pop culture felines!

The impossible kitten framed

The impossible kitten framed

06. A lot of blooming fun part 1 & 2

 Those two very lovely cat artworks were very hard to make. Rita complained before on our blog that it took her ages to glue all flowers together and that her fingers were cut and bleeding from working with artistic metallic sheets. Once we framed them, we realized that they look very oriental. Japanese people have a term for watching cherry trees blossoming. It is known as “Hana mi” (flower watching festivals) and thousands of people are drawn to public parks to witness the true celebration of spring.

As much as Rita likes them now – framed and finished, she will be truly happy when they are sold. They still remind her of the painful struggle to make them!

A lot of blooming fun part 1 framed

A lot of blooming fun part 1 framed

A lot of blooming fun part 2 framed

A lot of blooming fun part 2 framed

07. Butterflies Spotting

This kitten can be described as a younger sister to artwork called “In Bloom”.  It incorporates the same idea – showing a black cat staring out of the window and looking into a beautiful garden. You don’t see the cat`s face but you get a glimpse of a traditional English country garden, full of flowers and butterflies. Obviously – the cat is closely observing the insects and is not interested in the humans at all. “Butterflies Spotting” is smaller than “In Bloom” yet more focused. It can truly brighten your living room, a patio or  a cottage.

Like many of our artworks, the title is a reference. “In Bloom” is named after a song by Nirvana. “Butterflies Spotting” takes a playful twist on book/film “Train spotting”. Choose kittens, choose butterflies…

Butterflies Spotting framed

Butterflies Spotting framed

In Bloom - the big sister

In Bloom – the big sister

The curator

As you all know, each artist needs a manager and each exhibition needs a curator. We would like to introduce you to our boss and slave driver – Athabasca the white, AKA Oriental Shorthair, The Arctic Cat, The White Terror, The White Walker, Half Persian-Half Siamese Bandit, The Loud One and Basca (for short). This 16 + old, completely deaf, all white and spoiled-rotten kitten approves our efforts to convince the world that cats should rule the planet.

In her spare time, she likes to play with strings, catnip filled toys (mice shaped) and sleep on laptops and  chairs.

Basca the art curator

Basca the art curator

Obey the master and like The Cat Shop on social media.

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

We will see you in Conquest Theatre, Bromyard on Saturday, 16th of April! Support your local artists by visiting the local markets.

XXX
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

 

Bromyard Speed Festival – in pictures

Dear fans of speed and antique vehicles.

Royal Automobile Club Association logo

Royal Automobile Club Association logo

Malicia is taking over the blog and we will do something completely new around this time around. Rita asked me to look though all the pictures taken during Festival of Speed on April 3rd and edit the best ones. Thing is, so many pictures were good that once I sat down and started editing, I ended up having over 100 imaged processed and  complied into two groups: cars and motorcycles. It would be a waste not to use them all!

We have done quite a few image based posts and they are always well received, but never before they included so many shots in one go. It feels more like proper photo reportage than a visual recording of a particular area or event. And why not, to be frank. The Festival of Speed was so diverse and detailed, that you had to go Japanese tourist mode to see it all. Each car is a different tale and they all form a part of what makes British heritage so important and valued.

It was a whirl of colours, wheels, brands and historical artefacts. You can’t show it all in just few clicks. The rule says that one photo should be enough to tell a story, but sometimes you need one hundred pictures to do justice to the event. Mind, we only had a mobile phone so don’t expect that we will win Pulitzer Prize for feature photography (we will leave that honour to Tyler Hicks) but we tried our best. There will be few cut off heads or wobbly horizons and strange angles on the shots. But this comes as a part of the package – you have a small tool and a very limited time and too many objects that just can’t be missed.

Although Malicia is usually responsible for visual aspect of the blog, this post is the first time she was responsible for choosing, editing, chronological order of all the images and commentary. Proper editorial job and she is very proud of herself.

It is very important to support local cultural events – either by attendance or writing about them. Pop and local culture events don`t have big budgets, they don’t often find themselves presented to big audiences and they hardly receive coverage in major newspapers. But they are crucial to understanding of local history, customs, feelings or grievances. Such local events often shape and form individuals that become huge stars later on. Want an example: try to understand The Smiths without detailed knowledge of Manchester area in the 80s. Or better – try to understand Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear phenomena without attending one of those fairs full of old racing cars, past glories and strange characters.

We hope you will enjoy our (hectic) coverage of Speed Festival 2016. If we got any car brands wrong, please point it out. We`ll correct ourselves.

You can read of review of Festival of Speed here:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/bromyard-speed-festival/

Ta,

Mal & Rita

 

Cars brands:

 

Aston Martin

Aston Martin profile

Aston Martin profile

Aston Martin from the side

Aston Martin from the side

Aston Martin inside

Aston Martin inside

Aston Martin logo

Aston Martin logo

Bentley

Bentley profile

Bentley profile

Bentley front

Bentley front

Bentley logo

Bentley logo

Bristol

Bristol profile

Bristol profile

Bristol profile

Bristol profile

Bristol logo

Bristol logo

Caterham

Caterham profile

Caterham profile

Caterham side

Caterham side

Caterham mascot

Caterham mascot

Chevrolet

Chevrolet profile

Chevrolet profile

Chevrolet seen from the side

Chevrolet seen from the side

Chevrolet logo

Chevrolet logo

Chevrolet engine

Chevrolet engine

Factory Five

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car profile

Factory Five car engine

Factory Five car engine

Factory Five logo

Factory Five logo

Ferrari Pininfarina

Ferrari logo

Ferrari logo

Ferrari Pininfarina front

Ferrari Pininfarina front

Ferrari Pininfarina profile

Ferrari Pininfarina profile

Ferrari Pininfarina back

Ferrari Pininfarina back

Classic Ford

Ford profile

Ford profile

Ford seen from the side

Ford seen from the side

Ford Austin

Ford Austin front

Ford Austin front

Detail #1

Detail #1

Detail #2

Detail #2

Ford Austin logo

Ford Austin logo

Ford Thunderbird

Ford Thunderbird engine

Ford Thunderbird engine

Ford Thunderbird front

Ford Thunderbird front

Ford Thunderbird logo

Ford Thunderbird logo

Ford Thunderbird profile

Ford Thunderbird profile

Jaguar

Jaguar front

Jaguar front

Jaguar profile

Jaguar profile

Jaguar logo

Jaguar logo

Jaguar steering wheel

Jaguar steering wheel

Jensen Healey

Jensen Healey front

Jensen Healey front

Jensen Healey profile

Jensen Healey profile

Jensen Healey logo

Jensen Healey logo

Lola Cars

A pair of Lola cars

A pair of Lola cars

Lotus Cars

Lotus racing car #1

Lotus racing car #1

Lotus racing car #2

Lotus racing car #2

Puma

Puma profile

Puma profile

Puma front

Puma front

Puma logo

Puma logo

Sunbean Bluebird

Sunbeam Bluebird full body of a legendary car

Sunbeam Bluebird full body of a legendary car

Sunbeam Bluebird profile

Sunbeam Bluebird profile

Sunbean steering wheel

Sunbean steering wheel

The inside of the car

The inside of the car

The flag

The flag

Engine of the Bluebird was regarded as exceptionally advanced in its time.

Engine of the Bluebird was regarded as exceptionally advanced in its time.

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports

We are living for the history - as the song goes

We are living for the history – as the song goes

Sunbeam logo

Sunbeam logo

Shelsley Walsh racing course in an old photograph.

Shelsley Walsh racing course in an old photograph.

Sunbeam profile

Sunbeam profile

The seats - we wonder if they were comfortable.

The seats – we wonder if they were comfortable.

Sunbean seen from the side

Sunbean seen from the side

Sunbeam spare wheel

Sunbeam spare wheel

Turner GT

Turner seen from the front

Turner seen from the front

Turner profile

Turner profile

Turner seen from a side

Turner seen from a side

The wheel

The wheel

Turner logo

Turner logo

Mdina Grand Prix 2015 - the car that went a long way.

Mdina Grand Prix 2015 – the car that went a long way.

TVR

TVR seen from the front

TVR seen from the front

TVR profile

TVR profile

TVR seen from the side

TVR seen from the side

TVR steering wheel

TVR steering wheel

Wolseley

Wolseley seen from the front

Wolseley seen from the front

Wolseley profile

Wolseley profile

 

Motorcycles brands

AJS

AJS profile

AJS profile

BSA

BSA bike in full glory

BSA bike in full glory

Can Am

The background on this unusual motorbike

The background on this unusual motorbike

Can Am profile

Can Am profile

Cab Am seen from the side

Cab Am seen from the side

Ducati Desmoquattro

What a machine!

What a machine!

Ducati Desmoquattro seen from the front

Ducati Desmoquattro seen from the front

Ducati Desmoquattro profile

Ducati Desmoquattro profile

Ducati Diavel Carbon

Ducati Diavel Carbon - if you prefer toned colours

Ducati Diavel Carbon – if you prefer toned colours

Honda 750

Honda is one of worlds most recognized brands. More than Adidas, bet you didn't know that!

Honda is one of worlds most recognized brands. More than Adidas, bet you didn’t know that!

Kawasaki

Not always a ninja...

Not always a ninja…

Norton Superior

Norton_Superior
Suzuki

One of the best bikes we have ever seen

One of the best bikes we have ever seen

Yamaha 400

Another legendary brand - Yamaha

Another legendary brand – Yamaha

 

Till the next time

M/R

Bromyard Speed Festival

Hello, hello!

Ready, steady, Go!

Ready. Steady. Go!

West Midland life can be hard if you are an outgoing person without a car. Herefordshire and Worcestershire are sparsely populated and you need your own transport to get to many interesting places. Birmingham has an excellent public transport system but the further you are based from Birmingham, the worse it gets. At Vanadian Avenue, we are constantly keeping our eyes and ears open in search for some local things to do, yet we are not able to get to all events, just because there is no decent bus connection. Luckily, sometimes we can get a lift and we enjoy a fantastic day out.

Map of the event

Map of the event

Leaflet #1

Leaflet #1

Leaflet #2

Leaflet #2

Old photos always get Malicia`s attention

Old photos always get Malicia`s attention

We learnt about Bromyard Speed Festival by accident. An unconfirmed internet rumor that Jeremy Clarkson has been booked to open the first edition spread quickly like Californian forest fire causing great excitement among locals. We were a bit skeptical as he is currently filming the equivalent of “Top Gear” for Amazon Prime, but tempted to see him in real life, we decided to give it a go.

The event was to take place on Sunday, 3rd of April so exactly at 11:00 am, we arrived in Bromyard and we set ourselves up on the main street waiting for the vintage car show to start.

Car parade in full swing!

Car parade in full swing!

Rare, precious and still kicking!

Rare, precious and still kicking!

You could buy some curios trinkets at the festival

You could buy some curios trinkets at the festival

For those of you who know very little about Bromyard, we need to say few words about it. It is a medieval market town located in Herefordshire, placed exactly halfway between Hereford (22 miles) and Worcester (20 miles). According to Bromyard and Winslow Parish Council statistics, it has nearly 4,500 inhabitants, several pubs (including two traditional half-timber “black and white” buildings), one local library, one theatre (The Conquest Theatre) small S-F Museum, two hotels and St. Peter’s Church dating back to Norman times. Bromyard may seem like a quiet place but it has several very active clubs and societies organizing nationally known events such as Bromyard Gala, Nozstock Festival of Performing Arts or Folk Festival among others. It also has a strong claim to motoring fame – Morgan Cars were originally set up in Bromyard before moving to Malvern and The Chairmen of the Austin, Bean and Morgan motor companies lived inside or close to town for many years. You can learn more about Bromyard motoring history on festival’s official website: http://www.bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk/history.html

We want this car, like now!

We want this car, like now!

Preparation for the car parade

Preparation for the car parade

Car parade is about to begin

Car parade is about to begin

By 11 o’clock, the town was already packed and several vintage cars were driving through the town centre forming a small parade. At first, we thought that we have missed the formal opening and Jeremy Clarkson’s speech but soon we found out that that Mr Clarkson’s appearance was not confirmed at all and it was probably an April 1st joke, a clever publicity stunt or a local gossip. To be very honest, the entire event was very well organized and there was no need for any special guests. Rita is not a big fan of the pompous presenter so she wasn’t bother by the fact he wasn’t there. At least nobody got beaten up when the food stand ran out of burgers around midday!

General view of the festival

General view of the festival

Rows and rows of truly unique vehicles

Rows and rows of truly unique vehicles

We love antiques. Hand on the heart. One of these days we will do a blog from Antiques Roadshow!

We love antiques. Hand on the heart. One of these days we will do a blog from Antiques Roadshow!

First editions of any events are usually plagued with many unfortunate incidents so Speed Festival organizers should be praised for a nearly flawless delivery. Each point of interest has been clearly marked on maps, volunteers were helpful and well informed and guests were directed to the right places. The organizers took serious security measures and the visitors were separated from the car parade by proper fencing. We had 3 emergency ambulances points, West Mercia police stand in Co-op car park and two emergency vehicle access points. The only thing we could complain about was the prices. Although the event was generally admission free, you had to pay 3 pounds to access The Paddock situated by The Conquest Theatre and another 3 pounds for the flyers or the event plan. We didn’t mind paying for the access to Paddocks as we had a chance to see the famous Blue Bird, but paying the same amount of money for a single leaflet seems a bit too much. Other than that – we are truly impressed. Overall, the Bromyard Festival of Speed attracted more than 3000 people, so hopefully it will become another annual attraction for the picturesque town.

Festival menu

Festival menu

Memorabilia corner

Memorabilia corner

Festivals as such always bring sellers who offer many artifacts from the good old days

Festivals as such always bring sellers who offer many artifacts from the good old days

If Mal wanted to buy every old photograph she fancies, she`d have to live at Tate Gallery...

If Mal wanted to buy every old photograph she fancied, she`d have to live at Tate Gallery…

Talking about the car parade – it was a very impressive sight. More than 130 vintage and classic cars took part in it, driving slowly in circles from Rowberry Road, passing the Council Corner, turning into The Cut then into the Broad Street, and finally arriving on High Street and Rowberry Road again. The cars were touring in groups of 20-30 cars at 20 minutes intervals. You could see the very impressive Royce-Royce Bentley MK VI Special (produced between 1946 and 1952) limousines in motion carrying up to 5 people, a lot of classic Morgan cars (Plus 4 Coupe from 1954, Morgan Super Sports from 1933 or Family 3 Wheeler from 1935), superb vintage cars (previously unknown to us SunBeams, Diatto Targa Florio, Riley Brooklands and Railton Straight Eight) or fan favourites Hill Climb Cars (including Porsche Cayman SV-R, Caterham Seven or Jensen Healey). Hillclimbing motorsport is a fascinating thing and maybe one day we will write more about it. You can read a short description about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillclimbing

Caterham

Caterham

Jensen Healey

Jensen Healey

Younger visitors were also mesmerized by a large collection of classic racing bikes and rally cars. We have to say, we are not interested in motoring or racing cars but some models were simply stunning. It was hard not to fall in love with them. Rita was especially pleased to spot a classic Ferrari and Mal was happy to discover that one of the vintage cars took part in The Mdina Grand Prix Classic Car Event in 2015.

Turner GT

Turner GT

Mdina Grand Prix 2015!

Mdina Grand Prix 2015!

We have mentioned the Blue Bird above but it needs to be explained why this car was the biggest attraction of the festival. We have never heard of the Blue Bird before but it has a fantastic history worth of a blockbuster movie. It was designed by brilliant French automobile engineer Louis Hervé Coatalen in 1920 for Sunbeam, a marque registered by John Marston Co. Ltd of Wolverhampton. It was officially known as Sunbeam 350HP and was equipped with a modified aero engine. Considered to be the fastest car in the world, it was tested by famous aviation pioneer and pilot, Harry Hawker. In 1922, it was purchased by Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had it repainted blue and nicknamed it the “Blue Bird”. The rest, as they say is history. The Blue Bird won several land speeding records and Sir Campbell became a true motor racing legend. The car has been recently renovated and is visiting motoring festivals all over the country. It is also on permanent display in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire. If you’d like to support the restoration of this fantastic machine, please see the links below. The museum needs to collect nearly £30,000 for a new gear box.

The legendary Blue Bird

The legendary Blue Bird

Look at the engine. It used to power the fastest car on the planet.

Look at the engine. It used to power the fastest car on the planet.

The Blue Bird links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunbeam_350HP
https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/news/the-sunbeam-350hp-appeal/
http://www.bluebird-electric.net/bluebird_history/sunbeam_blue_bird_Malcolm_Campbell.htm

National Motor Museum links:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Motor_Museum,_Beaulieu
www.beaulieu.co.uk/
http://www.nationalmotormuseum.org.uk/

It would be very unfair, if we missed another very old and very unique Sunbeam model that was displayed right next to the Blue Bird. The other Sunbeam known professionally as Sunbeam 16/20 Sports is even older as it has been made in 1911 and is in private hands (owned by Hicky Hickling). This 4 cylinder, 4300cc vintage monster of a racing machine can go at 100 m/h at the top of its speed and is the oldest surviving competition Sunbeam in the world. The car has won numerous racing competitions and held hill record at the Shelsley Walsh racing in 1912, the oldest motorsport events in the world running continuously from 1905 until today. Restored in mid-1990, it also travels around the UK being admired by new generations of speed racing fans.

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports profile

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports profile

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports from side

Sunbeam 16/20 Sports from side

Photo of Shelsley Walsh racing course

Photo of Shelsley Walsh racing course

Sunbeam logo

Sunbeam logo

The history of Sunbeam

The history of Sunbeam

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelsley_Walsh_Speed_Hill_Climb
http://www.skwimages.com/media/802fbcec-236c-11e3-aae3-371ff1c67724-hicky-hickling-in-the-sunbeam-16-20-4-3-litre-1911-kop-hil
http://www.autocar.co.uk/blogs/motorsport/shelsley-walsh-relives-its-rich-history

We would love to write about each car or motorbike we have seen but it is simply impossible. Please take a look at our pictures and if we are missing any vital information about any of the models, please contact us and we will try to add them. Thank you kindly for your assistance!

Bromyard Festival of Speed:

Points of interest:

  • The Paddocks – located near the Conquest Theatre. Large vintage car display including the Blue Bird and Sunbeam 16/20 Sports
  • Prestige Car Display – located near the Old Road
  • Autojumble and Trade Stands – located near Sheep Close and on Pump Street
  • Motorcycle display – two locations, first one close to “Rose and Lion” pub near Little Hereford Pub and second on New Road.
  • Morgan Display – located near The Cut

Official website: http://www.bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BromyardSpeedFestival
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BromyardSpeed
Email: enquiries@bromyardspeedfestival.co.uk
Phone:  01885 555010
Post: Bromyard Speed Festival, c/o Holden Vintage and Classic Ltd, Linton Trading Estate, Bromyard, Herefordshire, HR7 4QT

Another of great cars - Bristol

Another of great cars – Bristol

Festival hosted a large collection of motorcycles as well

Festival hosted a large collection of motorcycles as well

Local news:

BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hereford-worcester-35953755
Hereford Times: http://www.herefordtimes.com/news/14401961.Crowds_flock_to_Bromyard_Speed_Festival/ http://www.herefordtimes.com/sport/14306797.New_motoring_event_to_take_place_in_Bromyard/
Classic Cars for Sale: http://www.classiccarsforsale.co.uk/news/event-news/1603/blue-bird-to-appear-at-bromyard-speed-festival/
Bromyard Info: http://www.bromyard.info/index.php/78-news/1716-bromyard-speed-festival-to-take-place-on-april-3.html

As usual, thank you kindly for reading and we hopefully will see you very, very soon!

Have a lovely day,
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

A call out to all Worcestershire artists

Dear fellow artists!

We don’t usually post things like this but this is a very special case. Worcester City Council posted an official call out to all artists who would like to design an installation that will be permanently displayed in the area of St John’s in the city. The project is worth 30.000 pounds and can bring fame and fortune to the lucky winner.

If you don’t live in Worcester, you can find more information about the call out on official pages of Worcestershire Arts Partnership that are also involved in the project:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Worcestershire-Arts-Partnership/321230657962937
http://worcsartspartnership.blogspot.co.uk/

Worcestershire Arts Partnership

More information about St John’s area can be found here: https://cocamidemea.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/st-johns-ca-appraisal.pdf

Interested? Please see the full memo below and send your applications! You may be the one they are looking for!

*************************************

Brief for Artist

Worcester City Council logo - "Civitas in bello et pace fidelis". A faithfull city - in peace and in war

Worcester City Council logo – “Civitas in bello et pace fidelis”. A faithfull city – in peace and in war

St.John’s, Worcester

  • Background

Worcester City Council are inviting applications from an artist or group of artists to deliver a concept, design and installation of public art funded through S106 developer contributions for the Sainsbury’s Swanpool Walk development in St. John’s, Worcester.

Swanpool Walk, Worcester WR2 4EL, UK

Swanpool Walk, Worcester WR2 4EL, UK

You can click on the picture below or copy the following address ino new bowster to see the exact location:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Swanpool+Walk,+Worcester+WR2+4EL,+UK/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x4870f095c0159c39:0x66509f99bf86ec8c?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9zsPTrenLAhVpAZoKHc5qDnAQ8gEIGzAA

  • John’s location

St. John’s is a suburb of Worcester which lies to the west of the city. The name St. John’s is also used to refer to all of Worcester west of the River Severn including residential suburbs. The central part of St. John’s is a Conservation Area, designated because of its special architectural and historic interest. There are two parks in St. John’s, Pitmaston Park to the southwest and Cripplegate Park to the northeast. St. John’s is a historic settlement built upon pre-existing Saxon roads and has a varied historic environment which includes Roman enclosures and burials, medieval timber-framed buildings, sites of Civil War fighting, and former tanneries and malthouses. The area is rich in architectural and historic interest and the St. John’s Conservation Area includes 29 grade II listed buildings and one grade II* listed building.

Known locally as ‘the village in the city’, St. John’s contains many local independent shops including two butchers, a chemist, library, as well as a large Sainsbury’s and an adjacent sports centre. It also has a number of local pubs. Close to St. John’s are three primary schools and a secondary school. To the north of St. John’s is the University of Worcester St. John’s Campus.

  • Context

The selected artist(s) will work with officers and members from Worcester City Council, Worcestershire County Council and local community groups and schools to deliver a unique and interesting public art concept that will reflect and celebrate, in some way, the heritage of St. John’s, and which can act as a focal point in and around the area to create a sense of civic pride. Initial concepts are that the artwork will reflect and/or interpret the history, heritage and the present day of St. John’s through researched themes. Artists are asked to consider the themes of people and community, buildings and place, retail and leisure.

In particular the objectives are:

  • To create unique and distinctive artwork(s) that are of a high quality and design, are durable and easy to maintain, which integrate with the character of St. John’s and enhance the character of the St. John’s Conservation Area.
  • To create artwork that builds on the identity of St. John’s through its heritage in an innovative and engaging way, and is responsive to the local community.
  • Provides a focal point or series of focal points that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities, and seeks to involve all members of the local community and visitors.
  1. Location and scope for the work
  • The artist should be able to use outdoor, robust and user-friendly materials in an innovative and creative way and which require minimum maintenance.
  • The work should visually integrate with the character of St. John’s and capture the essence of the place, however there is scope for modern interpretation and materials which enhance and/or complement the historic environment.
  • There is scope for the artwork(s) to be located at various strategic locations in St. John’s and it is envisaged that there will be links to key sites including both parks.
  1. Role of the artist
  • Research the area and its residents to assess the scope of the commission.
  • Run workshops with local residents, community groups and schools to engage with ideas and identify community priorities.
  • Research ideas within the scope of suggested themes for the main artwork and justify location(s).
  • Design and make the artwork, transport and install the work.
  • Publicise the work and involve the local community at all key stages, including the unveiling.
  1. Budget

The fee for the work is capped at £30,000. This fee should cover all costs associated with the design process, local research and workshops, materials, fabrication, transport and installation.

  1. Target audience

It is important that this project engages with and subsequently reaches as much of the local  community as possible, covering a wide demographic.
The aspiration is to encourage a wide range of people from the area to talk about and visit St. John’s and the artwork and be proud of the history and heritage of their community.

  1. Selection process

This opportunity is being advertised both locally and nationally. Artists will be selected on the following criteria:

  • Quality of work and enthusiasm for this project.
  • Ability to meet the brief within budget and show value for money.
  • Proven experience of being able to produce commissions and delivering them to set deadlines.
  • Proven ability to collaborate with a range of professionals.
  • Proven ability to successfully engage with local communities and target audiences and an awareness of the social impact and accessibility of their work, both physically and intellectually.
  • Show an awareness of the local area and be able to relate their work to the St. Johns area and the themes expressed for interpretation.

Artists are asked to provide an expression of interest in the first instance. No designs are required at this stage, but images of at least three examples of previous work and references from two previous commissioners must be supplied, along with an outline approach to the design process. Evidence of insurance (minimum £5 million public liability and £1 million professional indemnity) is also required, and artists must hold a current DBS check.

Expressions of interest should be submitted electronically to Julie Lynn, Worcester City Council julie.lynn@worcester.gov.uk by midnight on 3 April 2016.

The Subject bar should contain the title: St. John’s Worcester ARTIST SUBMISSION

There will be a shortlisting exercise from the expression of interest. Those shortlisted will be asked to attend an orientation session on 13th April 2016, to include visits to potential locations for artwork, and provide outline designs by 30th April 2016. Design proposals should also include how the artist would approach community engagement within their proposal.

Schedule

1 Brief advertised March 2016
2 Deadline for expressions of interest 3 April 2016
3 First stage sifting of expressions of interest April 2016
4 Orientation session 13 April 2016
5 Deadline for outline designs 30 April 2016
6 Interviews May 2016
7 Selection of artist May 2016
8 Agreement of draft design and contract June 2016
9 Development of proposals with community June – early July 2016
10 Agreement of final design By 16 July 2016
11 Creation of artwork TBA
12 Installation TBA
13 Unveiling TBA

 

  1. Appointment

Following an interview/selection process with a panel that will include local Councillors, officers from Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council, the selected artist will be required to enter into a contract to design, make and deliver the artwork within a mutually agreed timescale and programme installation in conjunction with Worcester City Council.

Good luck to all!
xxx
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

Worcester Easter Market in review part 2

Welcome back!

We wrote for sun, they sent us rain!

We wrote for sun, they sent us rain!

We are so sorry you had to wait for the second part of our review, but we truly needed to rest. Two long days on the market in cold weather, rain and strong winds sent us to bed for 24 hours. Luckily, we recovered enough and we are now back in action.

Before we introduce you to some wonderful artisans we have met, please take a look at the previous links below. You can read about our preparations before the market and read the first part of our review as well:

https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/worcester-easter-festival/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/worcester-easter-market-part-2/
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/worcester-easter-market-in-review-part-1/

Rita Dabrowicz waving at the camera at our stand in the rain.

Rita Dabrowicz waving at the camera at our stand in the rain.

A view from our stand

A view from our stand

Now few thoughts after attending the fair. Worcester Easter Festival has been organized by LSD Promotions and we have to admit, that despite a very nice and competent crew working alongside the traders, the market had been very poorly advertised. It had absolutely no promotion, suffered from poor internal communications and not many shoppers were even aware it was actually happening. According to other sellers, only one advert has been published in a local newspaper and it was just 3 days before the market took place, a bit too late to properly advertise it. What’s even worse, half of the people we spoke to never received any emails, receipts or maps how to get to the market – us included. We have been promised a full pack to be sent by regular post (it never arrived and we live in Worcester City center area), then an email was supposedly sent out with digital copies of the documents and we never received that either. Please note that it was not a problem for us as we live within walking distance but majority of the sellers came from other towns such as London, Coventry or Manchester. It would be nice if the organizers thought about providing some information about local hostels/hotels, bed and breakfasts or even maps so our guests could navigate their way around Worcester and find an accommodation for the night. Worcester has a complicated road system and vital streets such as London Road are being maintained as present. Several people had to sleep in their vans as all hotels in the city have been already booked for Easter Holidays. We have directed couple of people to small hotels in Malvern but many were left to their own devices. Pretty sad.

Advertising materials

Advertising materials

A stand advertising the market

A stand advertising the market

A stand advertising the market - better shot.

A stand advertising the market – better shot.

The other side of the stall promoting the market.

The other side of the stall promoting the market.

Even better idea in this situation would be to form a partnership with a local B&B or a hotel and to introduce a new package for those merchants that come from far away. Such package should include a price of hotel room & the stall at the market or some serious discount when booking a place for the night. Why this is essential. Bad weather affects sales. Overbooked hotels make an angry merchant. Sleep deprived artisan who did not make enough sales to even cover the costs of market and petrol, will simply never return again to Worcester. Market towns ought to take their reputation seriously – give decent conditions to the merchants and they will be coming back, will recommend you to others and the market will grow.  Not to mention, people forced to sleep in their cars is an accident waiting to happen.  The last thing local artisan community needs is a black PR that our guests have been having misadventures while in town.

Quirky and fun posters that were available for the public during the market - we approve of that. More please!

Quirky and fun posters that were available for the public during the market – we approve of that. More please!

Family orientated fun. Making any market better since the down of time.

Family orientated fun. Making any market better since the down of time.

Another complaint we have is regarding LSD Promotions website. It doesn’t work properly and it is hard to find anything useful there. Rita had to call in to ask where the application for the market was located to be able to download it. We also had to ask for digital copies of  leaflets and posters – such materials should be available on the website so the sellers can find them easily.  The biggest let down was that nobody informed the traders about red weather warnings issued for Saturday for Worcester and Malvern that included severe flooding and high winds. Again, we have found it on our own by listening to the radio or checking the weather reports.  Lack of information resulted in several sellers choosing not to arrive for the second day at all as they didn’t know if the market would be on or not. Even local stall holder such as us were not informed. We were only told that some sort of advice will be given on Saturday morning, which of course as you can guess, never happened.

The High Street in Worcester.

The High Street in Worcester.

Another shot of the location - with market stalls visible.

Another shot of the location – with market stalls visible.

It makes us also think that if bad weather made some artisans to cancel their appearance on a second day (if your wares are made of paper you will not want to hang around in torrential rain), some compensations should be available. We were told that Easter Market was  different and no compensations would be provided. We are fans of finding a middle ground. If a trader had to skip a day, so their wares are not damaged, why not offer them  a chance to appear some other time, with a discount? We have standard markets every Saturday on the High Street and surely something could be arranged to keep both sides happy and satisfied.

We also had a Easter Bunny. That was cute - the kids loved it.

We also had a Easter Bunny. That was cute – the kids loved it.

Bunny with balloons. Hopefully we will see him coming back next year.

Bunny with balloons. Hopefully we will see him coming back next year.

Our experience overall is rather that of disappointment – two stars out of 5. As we have said before, the organizers are wonderful people but a complete lack of promotion and  troubles in communication resulted in a very low sales for us. We will think hard before participating again.

Trading in pouring rain is difficult – you have our word for that. Please see how our stand presented itself on the second day of the fair. We have become “Cats in hats”, it was not planned but we tried to keep our spirits high.

Rita as a ginger cat in a hat.

Rita as a ginger cat in a hat.

Malicia as a black cat in a hat.

Malicia as a black cat in a hat.

Hissing at the rain to make it go away.

Hissing at the rain to make it go away.

Our stand - rainy day two.

Our stand – rainy day two.

Cats in the rain.

Cats in the rain.

We always cover our cats in a cling film to prevent damage due to elements. We are clever kittens.

We always cover our cats in a cling film to prevent damage due to elements. We are clever kittens.

On a positive note, we met wonderful artists and made new friends. We had a fantastic time, drank a lot of tea and discussed million different topics. If you’d like to learn more about them, please read their short bios and visit their pages. Believe us, it will be worth it!

01. Pelle Gifts

Pelle Gifts stand #1

Pelle Gifts stand #1

We absolutely loved the gifts. They are mind blowing.

We absolutely loved the gifts. They are mind blowing.

Katie Townsend has always been interested in jewellery design and created many unique pieces for herself as a hobby. In 2014, she decided to go pro creating Pelle Design brand. Her store grew very quickly in the last two years and now Katie offers a large selections of gifts through her website: bracelets (male and female), watches, hats, scarves, gloves and other decorative elements. You can contact Katie through her Facebook page or visit her very popular stand in Stratford-upon-Avon where she is present every weekend.

Website: http://www.pellegifts.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PelleGifts

02. The Funky Cupcake Company

Funky Cupcake Company stand logo.

Funky Cupcake Company stand logo.

The delicious goods.

The delicious goods.

Yes, cupcakes can look that good.

Yes, cupcakes can look that good.

Mouth watering eye candy!

Mouth watering eye candy!

It’s not easy to be a baker these days. Popularity of shows such as Great British Bake Off encouraged many people to open their micro bakeries and the competition is very tough. Each market we go to has at least 4-5 stands offering cupcakes, marshmallows, fudge or cakes. You have to be extra good to convince visitors to buy from you and not from the other places. Well, Nathalie Morris, doesn’t have any problems with leaving her competitors miles behind. Her creations not only look like a million pound deal (or million USD if you prefer!) but they taste heavenly. We have tried several of her cupcakes and we give it five or even six stars! If you The Funky Cupcake Company somewhere at your local market, don’t hesitate even for a second.

Website: http://www.thefunkycupcakecompany.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFunkyCupcakeCompany/

03. Beverly Todd

The man himself - true artist and gentleman.

The stand in its glory.

Wider angle - so you can see the entire stand.

Wider angle – so you can see the entire stand.

Glass is a very delicate material - just marvel at the details!

Glass is a very delicate material – just marvel at the details!

Simply beautiful. You have to agree.

Simply beautiful. You have to agree.

Classically trained landscape artist, Beverly Todd specializes in the use of oil paints and bullseye glass. She has been always fascinated by the outdoors and clouds and you can see the love of open spaces in her work. She is a member of Contemporary glass makers association and her works are in private collections all over the UK. She is also represented by several High Street art galleries.

What we love about her art is she is able to paint anything you can think of – green fields with grazing sheep, snowy gardens, blooming flowers, stormy sea, cloudy skies, autumn forest. You can purchase her craft through her website in form of coasters, framed artworks, curved glass blocks, glass platters and bowls.

Website: http://www.beverlytodd.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyToddArt/

04. Luxury Hampers and Gifts Ltd

Hamper heaven!

Hamper heaven!

If you need a properly composed hamper- who you gonna call?

If you need a properly composed hamper- who you gonna call?

Luxury Hampers and Gifts Ltd is a small family owned company founded by Paul and Ellen Halpin-Barnett. To create their outstanding hampers, they only use  British products of the highest quality – award winning wines and champagnes, locally baked cakes and cupcakes, organic teas and coffees. Hampers are beautifully packed and prepared for all occasions – from birthday celebrations to Christmas season or wedding receptions. Purchasing from them, you are supporting small and micro businesses from Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Website: https://www.luxuryhampersandgifts.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luxuryhampersandgifts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Luxury_Hampers
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/luxury_hampersandgifts/

05. SIXTEEN

Quality goods and a very friendly merchant!

Quality goods and a very friendly merchant!

You`ll be spoiled for choice at Sixteen.

You`ll be spoiled for choice at Sixteen.

Customer browsing the wares.

Customer browsing the wares.

Must have for all the Mods!

Must have for all the Mods!

Nicola Holder and her team opened Sixteen in Wing, Buckinghamshire in 2010 to find an outlet for their refurbished retro furniture. Their skills in renovation were so great that a simple business idea soon turned into a fully operational store that offers now a whole range of services, including  home décor. Nicola travels around quite a lot, visiting arts and crafts markets all over the country. If you see her, stop and say hello!

Website: http://www.homeatsixteen.co.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/homeatsixteen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/homeatsixteen

06. Blue-Beri

The artisan maker and her stand.

The artisan maker and her stand.

Incredible details. Malicia wishes she bought this one for herself.

Incredible details. Malicia wishes she bought this one for herself.

Aprons can be a very clever idea for a gift.

Aprons can be a very clever idea for a gift.

Angela Crofts is the proud owner of Blu-Beri brand. Based in Herefordshire, Angela makes shopper bags, tote bags, make-up purses, cushions and other accessories from high quality materials. Each item is individually crafted from high quality fabrics and has a unique, contemporary design. Angela’s bags are  very sought after and hopefully soon we will see her bags in High street boutiques. We have to admit that we fell in love with beautiful cooking aprons and we will have to get one for ourselves. Maybe two as  we both love to cook!

Website: http://www.blu-beri.co.uk (in preparation)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blu-Beri-1433193970304076
Ebay store:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/bluberi2014?_trksid=p2047675.l2559

07. Flora Graphics

Flora Graphics stand.

Flora Graphics stand.

Flowery alphabet was very popular with buyers.

Flowery alphabet was very popular with buyers.

Color and detail - always a great combination.

Color and detail – always a great combination.

Simple yet effective and beautifully crafted.

Simple yet effective and beautifully crafted.

Stephanie Cutler has always been an avid gardener with a great love for wild flowers. Her own, traditional English garden is full of forget-me-nots, elderflowers, lady’s mantle, violas and other old time countryside favourites. Her floral expertise comes handy when Stephanie creates her truly unique designs – she hand pick the flowers she grew, presses them, dries and uses to produce greeting cards, coasters, table-mats, tableware and other gifts. If  you are looking for something extraordinary – look no further. Flora Graphics offers you everything you can dream of!

Website: http://www.floragraphics.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Floragraphics/

08. Natures Rooms

Sarah and her stand.

Sarah and her stand.

Soya wax - slow burning and totally vegan!

Soya wax – slow burning and totally vegan!

Sandalwood candle we bought!

Sandalwood candle we bought!

Sarah Evans is one special lady and her creations are pretty special too. She makes ecological soya wax candles and reed diffusers that contains only natural oils. You will not find any pesticides, herbicides, petroleum, paraffin, beeswax or genetically modified materials in her products and she has laboratory certificates to prove it. We bought a slow burning sandal wood candle from her and it’s like a heaven in a jar – its smell is very strong and wonderful. It comes in a stylish glass container and weights almost 1 kg. If you are looking for a environmental friendly, ecologically disposable and truly vegan item, please give Sarah a call now.

Website: http://www.naturesrooms.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Naturesrooms/445770492256062
Google+: https://plus.google.com/114681244989468229002/about

09. The Cheese Board

Barry and his son Tom - the best team ever.

Barry and his son Tom – the best team ever.

The selection is incredible. WE mean how many jams and marmalade and cheese you can take home?

The selection is incredible. WE mean how many jams and marmalade and cheese you can take home?

Details, details.

Details, details.

We purchased Guinness Cheddar. Best cheese you can have. End of topic.

We purchased Guinness Cheddar. Best cheese you can have. End of topic.

We have saved the best for the last. Our neighbors, Manchester based company called The Cheese Board do not have Facebook page or their own website but their food is to die for. To learn about them you have to attend local markets, but once you taste their food, you will be coming back for more. As the name suggests, the Cheese Board makes a great range of special cheeses for your enjoyment – from Guinness flavoured cheddar (we got one for ourselves), Red Wine Port, Garlic Lancashire, Cheddar Madras, Wensleydale Blueberry, Cheddar and Leek, Balsamic Onion, Fiery Dragon, Smoked Paprika to Red Leicester with black pepper. You can also purchase  a huge selection of chutneys (cider and apple, hot rhubarb, sun dried tomatoes and garlic, mango, lime and ginger to name a few), marmalades (brandy, whiskey and red onion) and jams (chili, rhubarb and ginger). To make your order, please contact Barry or Lisa at Lisa.leigh@uwclub.net or by calling  07717666699.

We know that our blog doesn’t cover every stall available on the market but it would be impossible to write about each stand. We have chosen the ones we thought were the best and we hope our readers agree with us.

Don’t forget to visit The Cat Shop on Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/VanadianAvenue/the-cat-shop/
or like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecatshopdecor

Have a fantastic day and we will see you very soon!
xxx
Rita and Malicia

*****Update 31.03.2016*****

It seems that we are on the roll! Another blog and we score another mention! This time, we have been honoured by Sarah of NaturesRooms.

Natures Room Facebook mention for Vanadian Avenue

Natures Room Facebook mention for Vanadian Avenue

Thank you very much!
xxx
Rita and Mal