stories and illustration

Coldstream Bridge, November



November 2, 2018 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Water Under the Bridge

awater under the bridge

April 23, 2016 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Tweed Estuary

Tweed Estuary

March 15, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crow on Coldstream Bridge


February 8, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Floodwater 2


January 11, 2015 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge

December 30, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Union Chain Bridge

union chain bridge

I was asked by Heather from the Chainbridge Honey Farm to produce a design to publicise the project to save, maintain and repair this famous bridge which spans River Tweed between England and Scotland. Some information about the Union Chain Bridge, and about the project to save it, I have copied from websites and set out below. The design will be used in puiblicity, and also possibly on cards. The swans and the salmon are always with us. The bear, partly derived from the “Ber” in Berwick (he is on the coat of arms, but really the derivation is from the word for “barley”), is really my bear from Bear in a Boat in the Borders, and he is included in the design by kind invitation of Heather from the Chain Bridge Honey Farm.

From the website

The Union Chain Bridge spans the River Tweed between Horncliffe, Northumberland, England and Fishwick, Borders, Scotland. It was designed by Captain (later Sir) Samuel Brown RN, who held patents for the design of the chains, although Brown altered the tower and abutments on the suggestion of John Rennie. When it opened in 1820 it was the longest wrought iron suspension bridge in the world with a span of 137 metres (449 ft), and the first vehicular bridge of its type in the United Kingdom. It cost £7,700 to construct and pre-dates the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Menai Bridge, which are of similar design . Today it continues to carry traffic, and visitors can enjoy pleasant walks along the river bank. Just up the hill from the Union Chain Bridge on the English side is the Chain Bridge Honey Farm, where there is situated a permanent exhibition on chain suspension bridges. Downstream on the Scottish side is Paxton House, where visitors can see Alexander Naysmith’s depiction of Union Chain Bridge, painted before its actual completion. The OS reference for the Union Chain Bridge is NT933510.

From the website :

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Berwick upon Tweed: Mixed Messages

Mixed Messages

September 7, 2014 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Crossing the Bridge into Tweedmouth


Berwick upon Tweed from Tweedmouth Docks

I waited from early in the morning for the box office to open for the Edinburgh Book Festival. The phone lines were clogged, so it was suggested I try on-line.  I was put in a queue, to try and get a ticket for Haruki Murakami on August 23rd, and was put in as 3736th in the queue.  Several hours later, when my spot came up, the event was sold out.  Of course. Alas. Day blight.

The mood a tad lifted, went to Berwick on Tweed for the annual attempt to render my hair acceptable.

I knew the hairdressers had changed hands, but nobody had told me it had also changed address, so I was a bitnonplussed when I saw blue and white pottery in the window. Heaven had disappeared. I did not even know the new name, but ascertained the new owners were over the river, so used my nous. Took the route through the Sallyport on to the quay:




Looked back towards the quay from the sundial on the old bridge:


And looked at the swans through the lens of my old camera, so they are but specks on the shallow water with the reflections of the big road bridge


though in the shallows, among the green stones and grit of the estuary at low tide, one could see the swan in its less elegant guise:


Tweedmouth has a very different atmosphere to Berwick, partly because the docks are here, just by the end of the bridge.  I lived for a couple of years in a flat in a place called BreweryLane – I always thought it would be classy to move to the street in Berwick called Temperance Terrace, but never managed this.  I felt the shadows of the past over me, so much has changed. Behind the flat there is a kind of forlorn chaos, waiting, still waiting, for better times:


The docks, however, cheer me up.  The dock gates are open so I go in where I am not supposed to be (just on the edge) and take some photographs of old scenes


and new machinery


and an intriguing white rock:


The hairdresser knows all kinds of people that I know, so it is a pleasant experience. I come back over the Old Bridge, and go off to Caffe Nero, where they have nice frothy cappucinos, to wait for the bus to Coldstream.  Farewell to Berwick, and Tweedmouth too, and the North Sea – but River Tweed, I’ll see you back home:



June 29, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Border Crossing 4

Border Bridge 4

January 24, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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