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Buildings in Drachten

A few buildings in Drachten I missed first time round.

Art Deco style brickwork on this:-

Art Deco Brickwork, Drachten

Typical old Dutch style:-

Dutch Style Building, Drachten

Modern bungalow type house but flat-roofed:-

House and Trees, Drachten

Another more modern style house:-

Modern Style House, Drachten

I also spotted this neat multi-child trolley being trundlied across the town square:-

Baby Trolley, Drachten, The Netherlands

Sneek (i)

There’s something satisfying about a town which has water in or near its centre. It nearly always brightens the place up.

Sneek (it’s pronounced snake) is a town in Friesland, in the north of The Netherlands.

Like a lot of towns in Flanders and most in The Netherlands, Sneek is built around canals. This one was right beside the road leading into the town from the motorway. The town centre is just off to the right.

Canal in Sneek,  Friesland

We parked by the side of this (different) canal:-

Canal

That was after having crossed this bridge to get to the canalside:-

Canal Bridge

And this canal is in the middle of a shopping street. Notice the “Christmas Light” style hangings over the canal:-

Canal in Sneek

Along with more standard light fittings these also appeared over the “normal” streets:-

Street in Sneek

The design is in the shape of the Waterpoort, a prominent feature of Sneek’s townscape which I’ll post about later.

This is another beautiful, leafy canal in Sneek:-

Canal

A bit further along the same canal was this striking modern theatre:-

Sneek Theatre

Woolworth’s British Shop Fronts

Thanks to Duncan for this one.

A short history with photographs of British Woolworth’s shop fronts, whose heyday was of course in the Art Deco 1930s.

As Duncan says, an old Woolies is almost instantly recognisable.

Hull

For our trip to Belgium and the Netherlands we took the ferry from Hull across to Zeebrugge.

At Hull we got onto the ship, examined the cabin, no room to have a cat never mind swing one, then went up on deck.

Hull was surprisingly green but with some industry too.

Over the dockside rooftops I spotted what I thought might be a football ground with what appeared to be the word KCom on a stand. Was it the KCom stadium, the home of Hull City AFC (and Hull FC, one of the city’s two big Rugby League clubs) I wondered? But it looked too small.

It turns out that it was KCom I had spotted but it was KCom Craven Park, the home of the other Rugby League club, Hull Kingston Rovers.

KCom Craven Park

KCom Craven Park 2

In this zoom shot the end S of “Rovers” can be seen on the far stand’s seats.

KCom Craven Park 3

Some modern architecture in Hull:-

Building, Hull

Groningen Museum (Groninger Museum)

First a word on pronunciation. You might think Groningen is enunciated as Grown-ing-en. It isn’t.

Since the letter g in Dutch (certainly at the start and end of a word) is pronounced more like the Scottish “ch” sound – as in loch – and the final n is not emphasised, the name actually sounds more like HHrrrown-ing-ih. (I assume Groninger – HHrrown-ing-er – is an adjectival form meaning “of Groningen.”)

Anyway the museum is one of those modern architecture buildings that seems to have bits sticking out everywhere. I liked it. It reminded me a bit of the Imperial War Museum North.

It’s prominent from the ring road.

We didn’t have enough time to go in as we were going on a boat trip round the canals that encircle the town centre. You can’t go to The Netherlands and not go on a canal. This is the museum from the boat jetty.

And this is from the canal as the boat comes back to its starting point. That colour scheme could make your eyes go funny.

Modern Glasgow at Night

Most of the buildings I featured in the two previous Modern Glasgow posts are lit up with coloured lights at night.

This is BBC Scotland from the North bank of the Clyde.

And its entrance on Pacific Quay.

Here’s Glasgow Science Centre (at dusk.)

The Hydro manages to look like a spaceship.

Striking Architecture

One strange thing we learned about Chester is that it’s in Wales – in the televisual sense at least. Button 4 on the remote in the B&B had S4C and Channel 4 was on button 8. I think the border is actually right on Chester’s outskirts but it still seemed strange.

We left Chester and headed east to view some modern architecture. I took the A56 because I was fed up with motorways and knew the road passed close to our destination.

As a result of this we travelled through Altrincham, Sale and Stretford, encountering quite a few Art Deco cinemas, shops and houses on the way but I have no pictures as I was driving.

At Salford we were directed down Matt Busby Way past the Theatre of Debts Dreams and on to Daniel Libeskind’s building for the Imperial War Museum North. This photo was taken from across the Manchester Ship Canal.

Imperial War Museum North.

The first thing I noticed on getting out of the car in the car park I instantly recognised as a Soviet designed tank. (The good lady wondered how I knew but they’re just so distinctive.) It’s in desert camouflage since it’s a T-55 as used by the Iraqi army and was captured by British forces during the second Gulf War.

Tank outside Imperial War Museum North

There’s a T-34 inside the museum. (When I see Second World War footage of those I always think they look like Daleks. It’s probably the way the gun sticks out.) Also among the exhibits are a Harrier Jump Jet – which had to be craned in before the roof was put on – a gun turret from a Wellington bomber – tiny inside – and a German floating mine laid at Scarborough in World War 1.

The building’s shape and form were explained by the tour guide (from whom we got a hug: but don’t get your hopes up – she went to school with our younger son’s girlfriend, and we’d met before.)

The unusual shape is based on a fragmented world with three shards representing Earth, Air and Water – the three arenas for war. Apparently there was to be a fourth symbolising Fire – highly appropriate to war, as well as matching the four ancient Greek Elements – however, the project’s funding didn’t permit that. The audio visual displays projected onto the inside walls are very effective.

We spent four hours inside and wondered where the time had gone. It’s well worth a visit.

A spot of lunch (late) and then over the Ship Canal to the Lowry, designed by Michael Wilford and started in 1997. We were told the building is supposed to resemble a steamship. My photo is a stitch of two taken from the War Museum side.

The Lowry Salford

More details are on the Lowry website.

There were lots of Lowry paintings, of course – some not of matchstalk men: mostly the early ones before his style settled. In “Going To The Match” he captures perfectly that stooped-over walk men used to have when walking to a football match. Others of the pictures show this stooping too, though, so maybe it’s a Northern England thing.

There are some of Lowry’s landscapes here too but none was as good as his riverscape that we saw in the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow.

We then spent some time in the Lowry Retail Outlet just across the plaza.

The area has been cleaned up since it was industrial. There were scullers taking advantage of the calm water. The new BBC premises in Manchester are under construction a stone’s throw away off a branch of the Canal. (See the cranes in the photo above.) I hope from the outside that will be more interesting than the vast shoe box they recently built in Glasgow – which is stunning inside instead; but that’s a bit pointless really.

The footbridge across the Ship Canal between the two museums is interesting as it’s on a lift; or rather two lifts – a kind of modern equivalent of the Transporter Bridge at Middlesbrough. There’s a photo on the Lowry site of it raised to allow a ship through.

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