Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pictures at an Exhibition

Recently we travelled to the county town of Stafford.  For some reason we don't go there very often but this time we had a special reason for visiting. 

We wanted to see the Rob Ryan exhibition at the Shire Hall Gallery.  There was a festive Christmas market outside the hall with lots of lovely tempting food and drink and beautiful crafts and flowers.

The words on the banner are  'Your job is to take this world apart and put it back together again - but even better!!!'

There are both original paper cuts and prints in the exhibition. As well as some wonderful decorated pottery cats and dogs to reflect the ceramics heritage of Staffordshire.  I was thrilled to see these as I have my own pair of painted cats purchased when we first came to live in the county.  The middle section of the exhibition featured Rob Ryan's illustrations for the book 'The Gift' with words by poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. 

Here is a (link) to a post on the blog 'Spitalfields Life' about the opening of the Rob Ryan exhibition in Stafford with some wonderful photos of the Staffordshire cats.

Whilst we were in the Shire Hall we had a cup of coffee in the cafe on the balcony overlooking the exhibition and then had a quick look in the old court rooms.  You can sit in the viewing gallery and play recordings of past court proceedings - it's very atmospheric and reminds me a little of the court in The Judge's Lodgings at Presteigne.

Outside the market was in full swing.  I loved this old Citroen van with its open side.  They were selling some lovely things like scented candles in pretty cups, festive door wreaths and bunches of lavender in wooden garden trugs.  Lots of pennies needed though!

This is the outside of the Ancient High House museum.  We usually pop in here for a look around but didn't this time.  It's very interesting inside; especially the panelled rooms where King Charles I and his nephew Prince Rupert of the Rhine stayed  in 1642 as they passed through the town on their way to nearby Shrewsbury.

Above is the very pretty Church Lane.  In summer this lane is full of brightly coloured flowers in tubs and hanging baskets.  At the top of the lane is the church of St Mary.

It was time to move on as we hoped to call in at Amerton Farm on our way home.  I'll leave you with some more images of Stafford.  I bought a copy of the exhibition poster as a souvenir!

Thanks, Diane for introducing me to the wonderful work of Rob Ryan.


  1. Stafford is a place which I have never really visited. I've passed through on the train on occasion, but don't think I've ever explored the town proper. Maybe I should.

  2. Looks like you had a lovely day...I really like those illustrations for the book. Such a lot of work has gone into them!
    I've never been to Stafford ... it looks like a nice place to visit!
    Love Kathy xxx

  3. What a lovely way to spend a December day. Thanks for letting Edward and I tag along.

  4. Wow, this looks like something I would really enjoy. All of your pictures today were so much fun for me to I was actually traveling. You know, one of these days I'm crossing that ocean to visit all of the lovely places I see via these blog posts from all my European bloggy friends...someday...

  5. I've been Stafford many times but love seeing familiar places from your eyes.

    Amerton farm used to be a place we went when Amy was young. Happy days sitting outside with our bakeshop goodies. Lovely place.

  6. I love Rob Ryans work - when I did a blog post about the exhibition he did at the Sculpture Park, he left me a lovely comment on my blog - which thrilled me to bits! I have a bit of a henkering for one of those old Citreon Vans - I would like to sell Pattiserie out of one at Farmers Markets. You have inspired me to stop off in Stafford (perhaps in Spring!). xxxxt

  7. Great pics - I'd love to see the exhibition - love his stuff. Thanks for sharing. Posting this at a friend's as no internet this week - boo, hoo!!

  8. Rosie, I've never been to Stafford but as with all your travelogues I'm on a mission to find out more and book a train ticket! Church Lane looks so pretty. Popped over to Rob Ryan's blog - his work looks very interesting.


  9. That Diane is a trendsetter, isn't she?! ;-)
    Lovely buildings in Stafford!

  10. Sounds like a very pleasant day out! I quite like visiting Stafford. Dave and I occasionally stop there on the way back to Wolverhampton if we have time, or at Amerton farm, but we haven't been to either for quite a while!

    I quite like the park in Stafford, though it may not be so nice at this time of year! I've never visited the Shire Hall, so that's something to think about next time we are there.