13 May 2013


As well as other blossom in pinks and mauve, the lilac adds a sweet perfume to the neighbourhood where I live and particularly the ones leaning over the stone walls in the little road that winds around in a crescent next to our home.
The poem that includes the line 'Come down to Kew in lilac -time, (it isn't far from London)!' would normally refer to the earlier month of April.  However, the beautiful lilac is a welcome addition to May flowers.
I didn't have to go far to take these photos during a sunny hour last week.  Since then we are back to cold winds and rain.

Yesterday I spent an interesting afternoon with a group, mainly Friends of Derby Museums and Art Gallery, taking a walk with a writer and historian guide to see where John Whitehurst, the famous clockmaker, instrument maker and geologist lived as part of the tercentenary celebrations of Whitehurst's birth. The heavy rain and wind did not deter us, but my photographs captured some  bleak scenes, especially as many of the buildings associated with this fascinating man and his associate, the landscape and portrait painter, Joseph Wright, are in need of some TLC and promotion such as the Friends of the Museums are trying to do.  I didn't manage to go into the Joseph Wright Gallery to see his paintings as I was in need of a cup of tea with our relatives before heading back home.  That's something to look forward to another time!

Plaque in the pavement near John Whitehurst's house.

John Whitehurst's premises in Irongate is covered in scaffolding and plastic tarpaulin.
The alleyway leads to his first clock making workshop at the back of the house.

The narrow building of the clock making workshop.
Many fine clocks were made by
members of his clock making family
 and those that were apprenticed to them such as
the Smiths of Derby.

                                                  The clock tower of Derby Cathedral


  1. The weekend was lovely. Your visit to the clock makers buildings sounds like a delightful adventure. Oh and lilacs in May are indeed a favorite of mine. Your lilacs nearby would just lift my spirits to see and to take in the fragrance.

  2. I am so glad that you managed to get to Derby and see some of the John Whitehurst locations - H used to row on the river Derwent with John Smith of Smiths of Derby.

    1. Rosemary - what a shame you weren't with us in the group! We would have been so interested in your personal connections and extra information.

  3. Oh, I do love lilac! Your afternoon in Derby sounds fascinating. I'd heard of John Whitehurst in connection with Josiah Wedgwood and the Lunar Society but didn't know much more about him. It sounds like there is a lot to learn:)

  4. splendide , et très instructif
    l' écoulement du temps a une grande
    importance sur la vie
    On dit que le temps change les choses, mais en fait le temps ne fait que passer et nous devons changer les choses nous-mêmes"

    Andy Warhol
    à bientôt

  5. I have missed visiting here. It's been a crazy few months. We had a lilac bush beside our back porch of the parsonage I grew up in. Dad always brought freshly cut blossoms in to put in a vase and greet Mom and me for breakfast. He loved lilacs and roses and I do too.
    Fascinating mini-history lesson on the clock maker---equally fascinating work place. :>)

  6. No sign of our lilac as yet, Linda - we still have daffodils and primroses in full bloom here. Having read Rosemary's post a few weeks ago about John Whitehurst, it was fascinating to see these photos of where he lived and worked.

  7. I'm jealous - our lilacs didn't bloom this year; the crazy spring must have done them in. Your tour sounds really interesting.