1 EAGLETON NOTES: A Day In Chester

.

.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

A Day In Chester

CJ had a relatively Good Day today.  We went to Chester.  For those who don't know the city it was founded as a "castrum" or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix in the year 79 (ie nearly 2000 years ago).  Chester's four main roads, Eastgate, Northgate, Watergate and Bridge, follow routes laid out at this time – almost 2,000 years ago. One of the three main Roman army bases, Deva later became a major settlement in the Roman province of Britannia. After the Romans left in the 5th century, the Saxons fortified the town against the Danes and gave Chester its name.

Chester was one of the last towns in England to fall to the Normans in the Norman conquest of England.  William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle, to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border.  

Chester has a number of medieval buildings and is one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain. Apart from a 100-metre (330 ft) section, the walls are almost complete.

As we were going to be in close proximity to buildings all day I decided to take Gaz's Canon EOS 7D with his canon prime 24mm lens with the wee gadgety thing which allows one to compensate for the parallax effect of being close to buildings.  Gaz put his camera and lenses into my care before going back to sea with permission to use them to see if I wanted to move from my bridge camera and return to full SLR capability in due course.  My last SLR was pre-digital.  I suppose I should have been a bit concerned given that the kit I was carrying today probably cost more than my car is worth.  His full kit probably cost more than my house did.  I digress.

I had downloaded the manual and read some of the hundreds of pages but still didn't manage to recall all the instructions so quite a few of the 130 photos I took were  over-exposed and therefore unusable.  Ho hum.  

Very old (the bridge), old (the first bus) and new (the second bus) join in the ancient city of Chester
I hadn't realised that milliners still existed as shops
City tours
We had morning coffee at La Paticerie on Lower Bridge Street with wonderful smiling staff and cakes to drool over
The Old King's Head was the house of Randle Holme, Mayor of Chester 1633-4.  It was described as a 'new building' in 1633.
These elegant houses of the Abbey Square were built in the mid 18th century and must be some of the most desirable town residences in Chester
and these cottages were built in 1626 by Bishop John Bridgeman.  The building to the right is part of the Chester Cathedral complex.
A get-together of advertising banners.
What happened to the ever-present sandwich board man with "The end of the world is nigh" written on it that every town used to have?
On the way home CJ and I stopped in Parkgate for an ice cream.
Ice creams and shrimps have (separately!) been part of Parkgate since we were children.
The Ship Inn in Parkgate where, as a young man, I spent many a Friday or Saturday evening in the company of friends.

20 comments:

  1. This looks like a wonderful place. Love the buildings GB. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chester is a wonderful place Jaz. It has some wonderful old buildings and they have, for the most part, managed to produce sympathetic new ones although there was a period when some of the new buildings were real monstrosities.

      Delete
  2. In at the deep end. This lens is a nightmare to focus. It is very sharp though or should I say can be very sharp.
    I find that it is best used tethered to a laptop. EOS utility is free but you do need the CD that came with the camera. It is not a walk around and snap lens. Live view or the 2.5x angle view help but are not perfect. Canon also do several replacement viewing screens. One is split like a rangefinder but I understand it affects metering.
    You have fun with it. It's the sharpest lens Canon have ever produced. Better by far than the non tilt shift Zeiss 27mm.
    If you are using tilt then I find that prefocussing at about halfway into the scene then tilting down a tiny bit till the near foreground comes sharp seems to work. Shift is great for panoramas. Perfect alignement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Adrian in at the deep end with the camera and the lens. I did manage on the whole to make the buildings look upright rather than leaning but it's not a lens for casual use that's for sure. I should really learn to use Photoshop properly and then I could just continue to use my camera regardless. I'm more concerned with recording things than playing with the resulting images though.

      Delete
    2. Graham, it is as easy to record accurately as not. When you adjust for verticals don't forget to re-focus. If the sides are still not straight press Ctrl T then hold Ctrl and pull out the top corner handles. That's the quickest way.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Adrian. I just had a little play in Photoshop and discovered how to do that. Simple when you know how. If I were ever to make a new year resolution or were to spend a winter in the UK I'm sure I'd manage to become more proficient in PS and then I'd probably fiddle around with my images much more too.

      Delete
  3. Ah The Ship Inn at Parkgate brings back some memories. We stayed there for a long weekend once when I was a child. It was a really great weekend if you ignore the Saturday afternoon and evening during which I felt exceptionally ill having accidentally eaten a cake containing ground almonds (at the navy museum at Birkenhead in the cafe on one of the ships).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder, Mark, if the Navy Museum at Birkenhead still exists. I've not heard of it. I must investigate.

      Delete
    2. Not sure. It had a submarine and some other boat (the cafe was on the other boat). At least I think it was at Birkenhead. I know we ended up in a supermarket in Birkenhead trying to find piriton tablets to stop me being quite so ill -- the pharmacist took one look at me and decided I looked too ill for them to risk selling me something to make me feel better!

      Delete
    3. I've discovered, Mark, that it closed in 2006.

      Delete
  4. These photos are wonderful, GB! The houses in Abbey Square are lovely -- particularly the impressive one in the centre with the bright red door. Pretty as a picture, as Granny used to say. Glad you and CJ are having a nice time together. He really does seem to have been having a time of it lately. I hope things will improve for him. Take care and God bless, xoxox Carol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carol. CJ is having a bad time and I, too, am hoping things will improve for him and the family.

      Delete
  5. Great shots, the history in this town is quite palpable. Tip when using 7D next time: shoot in RAW mode (accessible over the menu). That way, if you have Photoshop, you can correct the exposure in it.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mersad. I shot all the images in RAW and JPEG. The problem was that they were over-exposed and whilst one can lighten to show what has been captured the total over-exposure didn't allow me to darken what had been burned out.

      Delete
  6. I'm always impressed by your photos, GB. Are the cameras huge? And does ANYONE know of a foolproof, digital, point and shoot camera*? Mine is supposed to be very straightforward, but I can't use it because...well, I just can't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frances my bridge camera that I usually use is relatively small and light (about 500g) whereas Gaz's camera with the lens I was using weighs about 1.6 kilos. Almost all of the compact digital cameras have a fully automatic mode which should be point and shoot and foolproof Frances. I don't believe that there is any such word in this context as 'can't'.

      Delete
  7. I love these photos of the city of Chester. Even though you were dealing with "teething problems" with Gaz's camera, you still managed some captivating photos.
    The houses and the brickwork, the shops and the incredible details on the front, the cleanliness of the city....loved it all.
    I can assure you that I would not need that friendly reminder at La Paticerie. I would have been hauling a large box of pastries home from that shop.
    I had to chuckle when I saw the photo of the pregnant lady with the advertising banner for Beds Beds Beds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Virginia you'd have needed to raid your piggy-bank first if you were going to buy many of their pastries. Mind you they were absolutely lovely. Yes I rather felt for the pregnant lady having to stand up holding that.

      Delete
  8. I'd love to visit Chester!
    As for milliners, there is a small shop in Ripon. I guess having its own race course, there is some need for the ladies of Ripon to get new and unusual hats at least once a year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's well worth a visit Meike. As coincidence would have it it was Ladies Day at Chester Races so the city was full of ladies all dressed up with their high heels and hats going through to the racecourse which is not far from the city centre.

      Delete