Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Houghton Crossing

Back To Books February Photography Walk explored Brampton Valley Way from Houghton Crossing heading north to Lamport Bridle Way, taking in Lamport, Hanging Houghton and returning to the start point at Houghton Crossing. After weeks of dull weather we had the most beautiful day both for walking and taking pictures.

We entered the cool, tree lined cycle track
then followed a well trodden path 
up a hill, past grazing cattle.
Photographers from various parts of the County, 
walked, talked and
 captured the moments.
Eventually our path lead us back to the main road 

and Lamport where we noticed
the detail and the bigger picture,
a leaf caught in a lace curtain,

a curvaceous bench awaiting sitters.
and design.
A sequence of patchwork
and tapestry brickwork.
Words set in stone
and fairytale roof tiles caught in mellow shadows.
To our right the green field beckoned,
 an unplanned pathway called us from the roadside,
inviting us to reconnect with the soft grass,
whilst taking in the stately, dormant trees.
Walkers held hands,
Sonja found a pheasant feather to adorn her hat.
We remarked to each other that we had all 
 driven past these fields and houses in cars. 
The walk through the landscape made us wonder 
why we hadn't taken the time to stop before.
Photograph by Andrew Rushton
It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon,
in company, in the fresh air, enjoying
the tantalising promise of Spring.

You can see the photos from this walk here

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Planting a Jubilee Wood

Back To Book were awarded a pack of 420 trees of plant along the Brampton Valley Way in November. Originally we had hoped to plant the trees on the site of the Old Keepers Cottage and chose the Wild Harvest pack with the hopes of creating an edible landmark. After several conversations with Ranger Chris Howe this was changed to an All Year Colour pack and due to the quantity of trees, they have been spread out along the Valley Way. Because timings were tight  and the trees needed to be planted, none of the members of Back To Books were able to help with the planting. The trees were planted by the Scouts under Chris's expert guidance and are hopefully thriving.

However all was not lost with regards to Jubilee planting opportunities as Carole Miles, as part of Beanfield Artists, had applied for another Community Tree Pack which she had originally planned to plant during a proposed project near Weldon. The funding for this project was never secured, the project was unable to go ahead and Carole was left with trees but no planting space! During a chance conversation with Rosalind Stoddart FRSA, Independent Cultural Engineer the subject of trees came up. Ros was planning to plant trees in the field behind the Water Tower in Brigstock, over coffee and much excitement, the trees found their new home!  

Rosalind Stoddart FRSA, Independent Cultural Engineer

More good fortune followed as lovely Back To Books member and Nursery Manager for AES Europe Ann Leonard, along with Proprietor - Mr Robert Cockroft and Operations Manager - Mr Anthony McKenna  -  donated the stakes and mesh to protect the young trees.

Ann Leonard

ES Europe Website

This happy set of circumstances led to a wonderful Jubilee Woods Tree Planting Day on Saturday February 18th and many members of Back To Books were on hand to plant the trees. We planted 106 trrees, 105 hawthorn, hazel, silver birch, rowan, wild cherry, dogwood and one walnut tree. There was also a special tree grown from a seed from one of the Royal Estates. It was a wild, windy, wonderful day of poems, planting, stories and cake, a fantastic way to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and to help make a new woodland around an existing oak tree. Carole & Ros would like to thank everyone who came and helped to make it such a special day!

To celebrate the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth ll's 2012 Diamond Jubilee, the Woodland Trust is helping millions of people across the UK to come together to plant 6 million trees. There is still time to apply for a Community Planting pack and you can find out how at the Jubilee Woods Website

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Workshop Opportunity - Felt The Landscape 2

Artist Carole Miles will be running a second felting workshop - creating abstract, spherical landscapes of views from along the Brampton Valley Way. The spheres will be displayed during Kathy Page's reading at the Water Tower, Brigstock March 2nd 2012. The workshop will be held at Litchborough Village Hall from to 3.00pm. There will be a charge of £5.50 to cover room hire but all materials will be provided. Please bring some lunch to share. Felting will give your arms a really good workout! 10 places. To secure your place please sign up here

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

If You Would Like Tickets To Attend Departures Read On!


A Reading By Kathy Page

Friday March 2nd

6.30 - 9.00pm at the Water Tower 

Benefield Road, Brigstock, Kettering NN14 3JA

As part of her contribution to Back To Books project
On the Right Track author Kathy Page will talk about
the story as a journey, read  a selection of her short fiction
and  also introduce her latest book,
 In the Flesh,
a collection of  personal essays about the human body
and our oddly complex relationship with it.

The event is free and on a by ticket only entry
- to secure a ticket please click here

Back To Books would like to thank 
Rosalind Stoddart, FRSA Independent Cultural Engineer 
for making the wonderful space at the Water Tower available
for Kathy's return visit

Kathy will be bringing copies of In The Flesh and her
wonderful collection of short fiction As In Music.
Click the here if you would like to order your  signed
copy of either / both books.

Kathy Page’s seven novels include
The Story of My Face (long-listed for the Orange Prize)
(a Governor General’s Award finalist),
and The Find (short-listed for ReLit award).

She also writes short fiction and memoir.
Born in London, she lives with her family
on Salt Spring Island, near Vancouver. 

For more information about forthcoming events at The Water Tower
visit The Water Tower




We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $154 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil  a investi 154 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Felting the Landscape - Getting Spherical

Carole Miles ran a felting workshop for Back To books at the lovely village hall in Litchborough. The idea was to create spherical landscapes of views from along the Brampton Valley Way which will be used in an installation at some point. Carole originally hoped to install them in a railway carriage on Northampton and Lamport Station during the forthcoming reading by Kathy Page on the evening of March 2nd as a prelude to the online writing course she will be running our On the Right Track project. The venue for the reading has now been changed to The Old Water Tower in Brigstock. There will be more details about the reading and the course to follow soon!

It was a day of good company, laughter, exercise and creativity!
Laying on colours over the base
Damping the fibres
Getting on the first pair of tights
Preparing to put the felt back in boiling water
Bouncing to felt the fibres together
The strange magic of taking the roving from this state
to this!
One set of processes leading to so many different surfaces and textures

Sonia enjoyed the process so much she went on to embellish her first vessel and make more at home! and said"brilliant day felting at Litchborough making felt vessels based on the landscape, Carole coped well with our neediness - she can't have found it too bad though as she is running another for us next month! Good to be with a group of lovely like-minded people"

You can see more images from the day here
and read about Carole's experiments with felt here
We will be felting again later in the month!