It was just a month ago that the late flowering honeysuckle was scrambling through the hawthorn hedges of the Shropshire lanes. Photographed by Anthony Sargeant on one of his early morning bicycle rides in September, the hedgerows have now been cut back and the blossom and leaves have gone as the first frosts of winter bring all growth to a halt till next Spring.
Anthony Sargeant and his partner drove down through Europe in an Austin A35 van and ended up here in Sibenik on the Adriatic coast of what was then Yugoslavia ruled by Tito. This photograph was taken on a small wooded resort island just of the coast of Sibenik where small ferry boats took holiday makers to enjoy the sun and the sea. Šibenik is a city on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It’s known as a gateway to the Kornati Islands. The 15th-century stone Cathedral of St. James is decorated with 71 sculpted faces. Nearby, the Šibenik City Museum, in the 14th-century Prince’s Palace, has exhibits ranging from prehistory to the present. The white stone St. Michael’s Fortress has an open-air theater, with views of Šibenik Bay and neighboring islands.
In 1940-50s South-London there were few washing machines. The mother of Anthony Sargeant did not have one but she did have a cast-iron mangle such as this which was housed in the shed at the bottom of the garden. The shed was in fact a re-purposed corrugated iron from a WW2 Anderson bomb shelter. All laundry was done in a large heated copper boiler in the kitchen using a thick wooden pole to stir it around (the thick pole rather like a metre long broom handle also had another use – it was sometimes used to whack Tony when his Mother deemed him to have misbehaved). Heavily soiled pieces of laundry were additionally rubbed on a washing board at the large ceramic sink in the kitchen. After rinsing out the soapy water in the sink the wet laundry was carried up the garden and put through the the wooden rollers of the mangle to squeeze out as much water as possible. The washing was then pegged out along the clothes line which ran the length of the garden. This was not advisable if the wind was coming from the direction of the local gasworks which was less than half a mile away, because at certain stages of the manufacture of Town Gas the coking ovens door would be opened and the wind would carry sooty smuts across the neighbourhood.
Photographed by Anthony J Sargeant on 13th August 2017 the butterfly is feeding on the Buddleia which forms a wonderful boundary hedge at his Shropshire home. The buddleia (known as the Butterfly Bush – not for nothing – it attracts hundreds of butterflies in a good season). There have been fewer butterflies this year – the weather has been rather cold and wet.
This photograph taken by Anthony J Sargeant in 2011 shows an archway in the ruined 12th century Cistercian Abbey close to Ironbridge in Shropshire. Although without a roof the basic structure of this magnificent church is intact. The Cistercian Abbey of St Mary and St Chad was founded in 1135 by Roger de Clinton, Bishop of Coventry (1129–1148) as a Savignac monastery and was inhabited by a small community of monks from Furness Abbey. The stone from which it was built was quarried in the nearby settlement of Broseley. The abbey was closed in 1536 by the order of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Anthony J Sargeant took this photograph during an early morning bike ride along the Shropshire lanes close to his Home. In the distance is the Brown Clee Hill with mist still clinging to the fields below the top. The sun just clearing the horizon at 5.42am sends shafts of gold onto the field beyond the gate (27th August 2017, Shropshire, England)
Wonderful slightly Gauguin’ish etching by William Strang RA owned by Anthony J Sargeant (it is a First State Etching).
Strang was born in 1859 at Dumbarton, the son of Peter Strang, builder, and educated at the Dumbarton Academy. He worked for fifteen months in the counting-house of a firm of shipbuilders (William Denny and Sons) before going to London in 1875 when he was sixteen. There he studied art under Alphonse Legros at the Slade School for six years. Strang became assistant master in the etching class, and had great success as an etcher. He was one of the original members of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers, and his work was a part of their first exhibition in 1881. Some of his early plates were published in The Portfolio and other art magazines. Strang was elected to the Royal Academy in 1921 and died suddenly shortly thereafter.