My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Friday, July 22, 2011

On Ilkla Moor baht ‘at…*

* Translation:  On Ilkley Moor without a hat.

Sixty-eight years ago today, bombs were falling on Bradford.  Two women in the maternity ward of St. Lukes Hospital were put in an ambulance and evacuated.  After a few miles, the ambulance made a stop was outside Harry Ramsden’s Fish and Chip Shop.  It was there that one of the occupants gave birth to a daughter.  Having successfully coped with that little episode the ambulance drove on...until I came into the world on the middle of Ilkley Moor.  

If ever Yorkshire declares independence and becomes a monarchy, I reckon that I (along with the lady who shares my birthday) have the credentials to sit on the royal throne.

The shaping machine shown in today’s picture also comes close to sharing my birthday.  After a couple of years aiding the war effort, it spent a relatively easy life in the testing laboratory of a Sheffield steel works.  When the steel works closed down it was - quite literary - put out to graze.  Ten years ago, I rescued and restored it.  

Along with the lathe, a shaping machine is one of the earliest and most versatile machine tools.  I doubt if many today’s engineers would know a shaping machine if one fell on their head.  My machine has today celebrated its 68th birthday cutting a replacement gear for the paper feed mechanism at one of the island’s printers. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to note that after all those years, the machine seems to have more teeth than you do.