Photo: Roger Emmott
Anne and I had occasion recently to drive north to Grange-over-Sands to attend the annual dinner of my Old Boys’ Association.
The event should have happened in March – when we were snowed in and couldn’t have attended – but, luckily, it was postponed and the weather, and therefore driving conditions, couldn’t have been better.
Positively palatial …
We stayed at the Netherwood Hotel, a magnificent building set in beautiful grounds, only minutes walk from the Promenade.
Our room was the one just above the main entrance, to the right. It was positively palatial …
This annual event is held in various parts of the UK, according to the wishes of the incoming President. When it was my turn, we chose Leamington Spa, hoping its position would attract OMs from all parts of the UK.
Photo: Roger Emmott
It’s quite a trek from Devon to Grange-over-Sands; over 7 hours driving, but worth it to meet up with old friends and to welcome the new President of the Association.
This is us, surrounded by friends at the dinner on Saturday evening.
And as the photo shows, the hotel was the perfect setting for a dinner for so many of us. The men would normally have been wearing their suit jackets but, in the heat, the President suggested we removed them. The ladies just glowed …
In search of art
Because we arrived mid-afternoon on Friday and ventured out with little time to spare, we only managed to discover an amazing tea shop – Hazelmere – where we indulged ourselves with a posh afternoon tea.
If you are ever passing, make a point of dropping in. They serve wonderful sausage rolls and their millionaire’s shortbread is delicious.
But what about the art?
Art on the Promenade
On Saturday morning, we set off, determined to see the sights and find out what happens art-wise in Grange-over-Sands.
We walked the length of the Promenade, enjoyed the views and took lots of photos. And, we found the Fishing Hut …
What is the Fishing Hut?
The Fishing Hut is a handcrafted travelling gallery shed, created by artists Hannah Fox and John Fox, and inspired by Morecambe Bay Partnership’s oral history project collecting memories of the Bay’s fishing industry for future generations.
By luck, it was at the Grange Promenade on that day and when we walked past, Hannah was in attendance.
Hannah invited us to step inside to enjoy a kaleidoscope of short animated films, small illustrated stories, and artifacts that explore and celebrate the culture and heritage of the Fishing communities around the Bay. On that very hot summer’s day, it was also a delight to retreat into the cool shaded interior!
Hannah explained the history of the Fishing Hut, and its purpose and we came away – cooler and wiser – with some treasures:
- Three beautifully designed newspapers created by Morecambe artist Kate Drummond. They bring together stories and quotes from the archive with illustrations and fishing imagery.
- Sets One and Two of John Fox’s illustrated stories.
The inspiration and source of material for these emanate from interviews conducted as part of Morecambe Bay Partnership’s oral history project 2015-18 collecting memories of the Bay’s fishing communities for future generations.
My favourite John Fox story is Salmon in the Pram.
Having just recently scattered the ashes of Anne’s Dad out to sea, the tale of Mrs Butterworth and the salmon as big as a submarine made us smile.
The Fishing Hut will appear at various coastal locations around Morecambe Bay.
- Sunday 5 August at Make My Day Festival, Morecambe
- Monday 6 August at Heysham Head
For more information about the Morecambe Bay Partnership, and the Fishing Hut, visit Hannah’s website www.hannahonthehill.co.uk.
This post is one of my POSTCARD series, sharing all things ART with you when I go travelling.