Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Aspiring to Greatness


This etching by Wenzel Hollar (1607-1677) of Salisbury Cathedral is about as sepia as it gets and so I offer is as my submission for Sepia Saturday. The inspiration I took from Alan’s picture this week was tall buildings; a tenuous link I know, but a link nevertheless. Salisbury is my spiritual home, where I lived and taught for more than twenty years, and where the view from the bedroom window was of this magnificent building.


 I have wonderful memories and photographs. Sadly none is sepia (as I am far too young) and hundreds can be found in the many publications of old Salisbury photographs.  As cathedrals go Salisbury is pretty tall but its spire is the tallest in the British Isles (123m). The cathedral close is also the largest in Britain, allowing the visitor to admire its towering majesty unfettered by the proximity of other buildings. The cathedral houses Europe’s oldest working clock (AD1386) as well as the best-preserved of four remaining copies of the original 1215 exemplification of the Magna Carta.



But enough of facts let’s share some photos and newsclips. About twenty-five years ago that very famous spire was under threat of collapsing, unless some major restoration work was carried out. The Spire Appeal was launched with HRH The Prince of Wales as president. As part of the fundraising effort a ‘Symphony for the Spire’ took place on the West Green on 6th September 1991 and we were privileged to attend. An unforgettable and magical experience with: Kenneth Brannagh, Phil Collins, Placido Domingo, Peter Donohoe, Ofra Harnoy, Charlton Heston and Jessye Norman. The concert was broadcast on BBC television and radio. Almost all outdoor productions at the cathedral concluded with a firework display; Last Saturday was the final day of Salisbury International Festival and this meant a Party in the Close with scenes like the one below at a performance of Carmina Burana.




John Constable painted the Cathedral and the Water Meadows several times and was inspired by views like this one of Heavenly peace.


The picture that captures what that view of the cathedral meant to me was the one I took on the morning I left our house at the end of September 2009.


A maginficent sunrise! Birds were still singing with the dawn, there was the sound of a water bird disturbed from its roost, and an early morning mist was rising from the Water Meadows.

I’m also linking to Carmi’s Thematic Photographic over at Written Inc. as he has given us a prompt of ‘Glow’ this week (Jan 16th 2012), and I think the fireworks and the glowing dawn both qualify.

20 comments:

  1. Ive been to Salisbury a coupld of times, i remember it having some great charity shops! Your photos are great :o) Scarlett x

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  2. Yes A Beautiful Building...Also ,I Always Think The Spaces Around It Add To Its Splendor .

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  3. I've never been to Salisbury, but the cathedral looks lovely. Interesting post.
    Liz

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  4. I didn't know anything about Salisbury Cathedral so I appreciated your information. It certainly would have been terrible if the spire had collapsed.

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  5. Wonderful post! Thanks for telling us all about this remarkable and beautiful cathedral. I am so glad to learn that they have worked hard on restoring it. Your picture at the end is very pretty.

    Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello,

    Kathy M.

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  6. My nan used to live in Salisbury, and whenever we went to visit her there would always be a competition in the car as to who could spot the cathedral first.

    PS. There was a bakery in the main sqaure (no idea if it's still there) that sold the most amazing treacle tarts ever.

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  7. I've been trying for hour to comment on your post and have only succeeded by switching to Google Chrome. Your post on Salisbury had me looking for my pics of Truro. Salisbury is a magnificent building.

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  8. Fascinating, I knew nothing about this cathedral. I think I need to pay it a visit. It does seem impossibly tall, like a moon rocket.

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  9. Beautiful post how I would love to see the cathedral.

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  10. dakotaboo's treacle tart probably came from Reeve's the Baker. I used to love wandering through Salisbury and its market on sunny Saturday mornings.

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  11. These are some stunning photos!! I've been to Salisbury only the once but very much enjoyed my visit there - so many buildings bursting with character and we were spoilt for choice with lovely tea rooms and pubs!

    The sunrise you've captured is beautiful, it must be such an evocative photo for you!

    Jem xXx

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  12. It looks like a magnificent building! Salisbury reminds me of Old Sarum (the earliest settlement of Salisbury), until 1832 the constituency with the least number of inhabitants (one MP represented three households)...

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  13. great post!!
    Jessye Norman, Carmina Burana and fireworks?
    a dream scenario for me!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  14. So many cathedral spires define a city. This is one of the most striking.

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  15. The closest I've been to Salisbury is Stonehenge, but from what I've read the Gothic interior is pretty impressive too.

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  16. Doggone it! Another beauty I missed on my trip. Someday. Someday I will see it.

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  17. Oh my this is tremendous in both the sepia and Glow for TP, not sure how I missed this before, I must have been on vacation, but so happy to view it today...those fireworks are amazing, and what an amazing place to have taught for such a great amount of time! Very nice!

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  18. The fireworks shots are enhanced by the cathedral, especially where the roof appears to explode.

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  19. Beautiful. It's on my 'must-see' list for when I get to England.

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  20. That last shot is stunning - love the red clouds on the blue sky!

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