Friday, 12 September 2014

Art in Hereford - and a New School

I was chatting on the bus to someone I know who was off for the weekend to a jazz festival in Chichester. There's nearly always someone interesting to talk to on the 39.
I was going to get some more ink for my printer - I've been having problems, so I thought I'd better get a new cartridge (if that doesn't work, the fault may be something more serious). So I walked up Widemarsh Street to PC World, and saw that the big Victorian building opposite Thomas Cantilupe School is being renovated, and a new bit is being built at the back. It seems that this is the Robert Owen Free School, moving into new premises. They promise vocational learning and excellent results, but to be honest the leaflet I picked up later on in town was a bit vague. None of their pupils have taken their GCSEs yet, so claims of dramatic improvements and fantastic results may be a little premature, though it's nice to see a school emphasising practical skills and work placements with companies.
Maybe if Hay School decided to go for "Free School" status they might get the building work done at last!
Outside Maylord Orchards, there's a "beach" - small children with buckets and spades were playing in the sand and there were deckchairs dotted around. Meanwhile Poundland have moved into the shop that used to be TKMaxx, now that TKMaxx have moved to the Old Market shopping centre. A life-size, multicoloured statue of a cow has moved into the Old Market, too - I wonder what the bronze bull in High Town thinks of her!
I managed to pick up a copy of Ancillary Justice by Anne Leckie, this year's Hugo winner, too, which is promising to be an exciting and complex space opera full of interesting cultures and characters. I started to read it in the Lichfield Vault, over a half of Adnam's Broadside.
I don't think I've ever been inside the Mayor's Lodging, the black and white building at the end of the alleyway near the cathedral, but now it's an art gallery rather than a jewellers' shop I stepped inside, and I was very glad I did. The gallery upstairs has some excellent decorative plasterwork on the ceiling, presumably put in by Mr Lawrence, the Mayor who lived there in the seventeenth century. He also had a picture of Hereford Castle painted on the wall in what must have been the master bedroom at the time. This has been restored, and looks very impressive, though the notes in the room point out that the castle was mostly ruinous by this time, and so the picture owed a lot to the artist's imagination. The artwork in the gallery was very impressive, too - there were lots of local landscapes that I liked.
In All Saints Cafe there's a display of textile wall hangings that I would have loved to have looked at more closely - but it seems a bit rude while people are having their lunch!

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