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.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A market pie in the sky…

The recent Burnett brother’s theme on markets set me thinking about plan that I devised for the West Yorkshire town of Sowerby Bridge some years ago.  The linier town centre is blighted by a road, along which passes every truck in the North of England.  Over the years various by-pass schemes fell through, the most recent of which was being discussed one day as I queued at the Post Office.   The lady ahead of me chipped in with her six pennyworth, “Nay love, if they can’t move the road, why the heck don’t we move the town?”

Accustomed as I am to moving mountains, her remark fell on fertile ground.  It tied in beautifully with a government regeneration plan which, according to a brief from the Deputy Prime Minister, had to be “initiative led, not funding fed”. 

As I developed the idea of moving the town 300 years to the south (incidentally, it was wonderful press for slow news days) one thing led to another.  I gained the potential of a quarter mile river frontage and it was along that strip of derelict land that I proposed an indoor market to end all markets.  It took the form of a five-storey glass fronted promenade - think on the lines of a linier Crystal Palace - with shops and stall vendors at ground level and balconied restaurants, offices and residential accommodation on the floors above.   My imagination ran riot: trees and exotic plants, a small theatre, a bandstand, some pubs and a church.  Here, within easy reach of the cities of Leeds and Manchester, would be a vibrant living, working and recreational space, summer and winter alike. 

Here are the preliminary drawings for my market “pie in the sky”.

Now dear brother, if you can come up with a compilation photograph to illustrate my scheme, you’ve won!  

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