Category Archives: Northern Ireland

Sun, Sea and Sand!

Cefalu, Sicily

Cefalu in Sicily

Hi Everyone,

Spring is just starting to make an appearance here in Kent in England.

As regular readers of this blog will know I like to paint watercolours from my photos of  seascapes and so I thought a post bringing a few of my Seascapes together might help me look forward to the warmer and  sunnier days to come.

Going through my paintings archive I discovered that there are many such paintings, too many to put here so I have just chosen some that I painted over the past few years. Most of the painting are 14 inches by 10 and painted on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper.

Mostly they are places I am familiar with but one or two fit into the category of place I would like to visit as they were gifts or commissions.

I hope you like them!

Brian

Orfordness Lighthouse (Pope)

Fishing Boats at Orfordness Lighthouse

 

Bude in Cornwall

Bude in Cornwall

Balnakeil, Durness(Sleight)

Balnakeil Strand at Durness in Scotland

Paphos Cyprus - Version 2

A beach near Paphos in Cyprus

IMG_1794

The beach at Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

Sandwood Bay(Sleight)

Sandalwood Bay in the North of Scotland

Vias plage

Vias Plage in the South of France

The 6th Hole at Pine Cliffs

The Golf Course and Beach at Pine Cliffs in the Algarve in Portugal.

The Mourne mountains

The Beach at Murlough Bay and the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland

Maybe I will do second post on the same theme soon but wherever you are enjoy your travels and the coming of Spring

Brian

 

Enhance your Family History Project with Paintings!!

The Black Arch on the Causeway Coastal Route.

                 The Black Arch on the Causeway Coastal Route.

By way of a diversion I thought I might introduce you to an idea I had some years ago which can add some extra interest to the documenting of your Family History project.

Researching the historical background of your family is fascinating but can produce a lot of data and alas that data, whilst interesting to the researcher, does not  make interesting reading for the younger members of your family who may  (??)  one day, show some interest in all that research. I guess it is not till we all advance in years that the history of our families becomes a bit more interesting anyway!

Just leaving the succeeding generations all the data is unlikely to be a successful strategy so producing some form of booklet or document is most likely to be a more useful hand me down for the future. Paper is not  much in fashion these days but a paper book or document, maybe also produced as an eBook as well, is still very likely to stand the test of time.

Even for bloggers like us paper is a good solution for long term storage of all that hard work documenting the past few hundred years.

The heart of your project will probably be the Family Tree but adding narrative to each of the families covered by your research will add some insight of the people in the Tree and their way of life.

I decided that to bring the project even more to life I would include as many photos of the people as I could find but that won’t take you back before the mid or late 1800’s. So to illustrate the histories of the families I decided to add some watercolours of the places they came from, sometimes as they might have been at the time, or just places that they liked to visit. Paintings of the Churches they were married in seemed an obvious choice and where possible the houses they once lived in. Even if these have long been demolished you can sometimes find data to reconstruct the scene, at least to give some context to the narrative. If your narrative can give some insight as to how they lived in years gone by this can be very interesting too. 

You will be pleased to know I am not going to bore you with my research data, but here are a few paintings that I have used to illustrate the Family History Book of the 6 major families that it covers.

First of all a couple of Churches painted as near as possible to the way they looked at the time. An earlier generation of my family were married in Minster Abbey on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent during the exceptionally cold winter of 1911. This was the year I believe that Niagara Falls froze over too!

Kent, Minster Abbey as it would have looked in 1911

Kent, Minster Abbey as it would have looked in 1911

In the early 19th Cenury other family members were married in The Churches of Detling (then spelt

Debtling) in Kent and at Boxley Church, also in Kent

Kent, Debtling Church in 1809

Debtling Church in Kent as it looked in 1809

Boxley Church, Kent

Boxley Church, Kent

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the late 19th century some of my ancestors lived in the middle house below West Malling in Kent.  Here I have tried to reconstruct the scene in 1891. He was the local Weights and Measures Inspector, an inserting job, which invloved testing the beer in the local breweries almost every day!

West Malling in Kent in 1891

West Malling in Kent in 1891

The earliest record that I have so far managed to find is of a wedding in Lenham Church in 1628. I don’t think they had Linseed growing in the fields then but my painting tries to show it anyway!

Lenham Church

Lenham Church

Lastly some branches of my family and my wife’s family hail from Northern Ireland.

So here is the Church of St Anne in Belfast where a marriage took place in 1869. The Church was demolished in the 1890’s and the fine (and still standing) St Anne’s Cathedral was built on the site.

St Anne's Church in Belfast in 1869

St Anne’s Church in Belfast in 1869

Northern Ireland,Carrickfergus - Version 2 (Mandy and Drew)

                                                                          Carrickfergus

And lastly we had, and have, close associations with the whole beautiful Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. This spectacular coastal route has featured in a number of my previous posts. So here is a watercolour of Carrickfergus, the beginning of the Causeway Coastal route and a town with many associations with our families.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this diversion. Back to more recent travels soon!

Brian

A Week in Northern Ireland-Visits to the “Game of Thrones” Locations

 

Fair Head from the West

Fair Head from the West

Hi Everyone,

We always seem to be on the go and last week we enjoyed a lovely visit to Northern Ireland, for many reasons one of our favourite places in the World.

It wouldn’t have been authentic if the sun had shone every day , but in mixed weather the countywide was beautiful and we managed to tour around, visit friends and family and also visit both familiar and  new destinations.

Some of these were the locations of scenes from the very popular TV series  Game of Thrones.

We have not been devotees of the series but seeing locations known to us in dramas is always fascinating, especially when they have been “catapulted” back , many hundreds of years, to become the land of Westeros

So this post features some places that can be seen in the series. These are my interpretations of the scenes, and of course are not as accurate as photos but they are all original!

We stayed in delightful new cottage/apartment in Holywood (http://www.holywoodhill.com), which we would also strongly recommend if you are planning visit to Northern Ireland. Holywood is a nice small town only a few miles from Belfast with galleries,cafes,restaurants and shops and makes a good base to get around the Province.

Whitehead seen from Holywood Hills Cottages. Co Down.

Whitehead seen from Holywood Hills Cottages. Co Down.

 

Eventually I will update my guide book to Ulster with these destinations but for now I hope you enjoy seeing them in the blog, together with one or two other places that we visited .

Happy travelling and enjoy the Summer, if  it ever reappears!

Brian

 

The Church and Cliffs at Ballintoy. Co Antrim

The Church and Cliffs at Ballintoy. Co Antrim

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim. The King's Highway in Game of Thrones

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim.
The King’s Highway in Game of Thrones

Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains from Greyabbey. Co Down.

Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains from Greyabbey. Co Down.

Fair Head from Murlough Bay. Co Antrim. Features as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones

Fair Head from Murlough Bay. Co Antrim. Features as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones

Fair Head seen from Ballycastle. Co Antrim.

Fair Head seen from Ballycastle. Co Antrim.

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