Category Archives: Eccleshall Architecture

Drawing the Street Together in Eccleshall

fire station in Eccleshall now Kru by Ronnie Cruwys
Kru, once the fire station, Mo and Peel House, Eccleshall High Street

I’ve just completed my ninth Eccleshall street drawing.  There are more streets to draw (Gaol Butts, Castle Street and Small Lane) but I’m happy that I’ve drawn enough to share on the walls of Eccleshall Library and Gallery at 12 in my forthcoming twin exhibitions this November.

Why on earth did I opt for Drawing the Street ‘Together’ in the same town? Well, as a member of Staffordshire Artists Cooperative, we take it in turn for a monthly exhibition upstairs in Gallery at 12. After two years, my first turn is this November!

Having drawn a few streets elsewhere in Staffordshire, I decided to hire the exhibition area in Eccleshall library, a few doors along where I will display my Eccleshall drawings.  Gallery at 12 will hold my Staffordshire drawings. These venues are only a few doors apart as you can see below.

eccleshall High Street Exhibition Together by Ronnie Cruwys
A few doors between

To bring you up to date with the most recent drawing, it starts from Kru and extends to the 1960’s sheltered housing ‘John Pershall Court’ on the High Street. You can see it in full here.

pen and ink drawing of Eccleshall by Ronnie Cruwys
Galley at 12 artists Jo Hill, Helen Cartlidge and Jo Hearn, chatting together on the High Street

This drawing includes three fellow artists from Staffordshire Artists Cooperative: Jo Hill, Jo Hearn and Helen Cartlidge and her dog Tatty, the latter who live on this part of the street.

Eccleshall artists on the high street
Three artists and a dog

Helen and I are October birthday buddies – sharing the same date of birth but there has been no let up for either of us this year!  As soon as the prints are ready, they are round to Helen for framing. Thanks Helen.

Before this was a drawing of 3-19 Stafford Street, from Daru Chini restaurant to Perrys the Butcher.

pen and ink art of eccleshall
Daru Chini Restaurant, Eccleshall Fish Bar and the side of the Coop, Stafford Street, Eccleshall

Local historian Jan Baker has kindly given me some insights into some of the more hidden features of the town such as the listed milestone, tucked discreetly behind a planter.  Jan is featured walking past – a tribute to her with my thanks.

KIngs Arms Eccleshall Ronnie Cruwys
Jan Baker walking past the Kings Arms, Eccleshall, milestone behind the planter.

I would love to invite you to come and visit this lovely rural town and to see the exhibitions. They are up between 1-30 November. Limited edition prints are all available to buy after the exhibition or order sooner as unframed prints.

If you are free on Tuesday 7th November, I will be having a  Drawing the Street Welcome Evening I would love to see you there!

Thanks for reading.

Ronnie

 

 

It will all come out in the wash

pen and ink illustration of Eccleshall Staffordshire
The west side of Stafford Street, Eccleshall, waiting to tell a story.

Back to Eccleshall for the sixth street in the ongoing series. When I began Drawing the Street, it was with the intention of adding morsels of history to the buildings which I draw. These are personal histories or facts that I record on my archive blog Drawing the Detail which is accessible for anyone researching their ancestors or simply wanting to know a little more of who lived where, what they did or made and so on.

pen and ink drawing of eccleshall
Black and white under-drawing

Whilst I was working on this drawing, I noticed on ‘Eccleshall Today‘ that someone had posted about a recent visit to Shrewsbury Prison where he had seen a notice about an execution of an Eccleshall man, William Griffiths, back in July 1923. It appears that William and his mother, Catherine Hughes,  lived somewhere on this steet, probably in one of the buildings to the left and given today’s understanding of events, would have probably been sentenced to manslaughter rather than murder. If anyone has any recollections from family or friends about this, I would be interested to hear from you.

egg tempera
Warm ochres for Eccleshall brickwork

Back to the drawing! I always mix up a range of red and yellow ochres and get started with the brickwork once the pen and ink underdrawing is done. I work in thin washes building up the colour so I can get subtle variety in the brickwork.

egg tempera in red and yellow ochre
Applying thin washes of paint to build up colour
red and yellow ochres on Eccleshall brickwork
Warming up the brickwork colours on 14 (right) -22 (left) Stafford Street
Stafford street Eccleshall
Street taking shape in colour
No 8 Stafford Street
Bowcock and Pursaill, solicitors at No 8

I will close on a small finished section of the drawing featuring No 8, Stafford Street. This is now home to Bowcock and Pursaill, solicitors. I smiled when I looked at the 1871 census as I thought it was appropriate that a launderess named Rebecca Bradbury,  once lived here. I am sure she spent her life seeing it all come out in the wash.

Thanks for reading

Ronnie

 

Happy Birth Year Mr Renshaw!

pen ink and natural pigment wash on cartridge paper
Cottages on Stone Road Eccleshall, Staffordshire

Not long ago I received an email from Mr Tom Renshaw who used to live at no 9 Stone Road Eccleshall. Tom had received a birthday card from his daughter which showed the cottages closer to the town centre which I drew a couple of years ago.

2crop Stone Rd Eccleshall Ronnie Cruwys

Tom gave some insights into the earlier life of some of the buildings – the wooden fronted building used to be a corn merchant, ‘F.Gardner’ and the building next to it a bakery, ‘where we would buy bread fresh from the oven and eat it without butter or anything else’.

Stone Rd Eccleshall Ronnie Cruwys.jpg

When you reach 82, why not celebrate the whole year? It allows me time to wish you a very happy belated birthday Tom and to sign off with a close up of your former home.

Stone Rd 7 to 13.jpg

 

 

&Buttons and Flowers

So here we have the finished drawing of 32 to 56 High Street, Eccleshall, complete with guest appearances by local residents. This has been great fun to include you all and I hope you can still recognise yourselves…

buildings on high Street Eccleshall
Next along Eccleshall High Street
Drawing of Sean Hirst Flowers Eccleshall Staffordshire
“Sean Hirst Flowers” and  “&Buttons”, Eccleshall High St.
man walking dog in drawing of Eccleshall
Walking the dog
Caroline on the High Street
Calling the shots
pen and ink drawing with gallery at 12 member
Staffordshire Artist picking up texts after a Gallery meeting
Eccleshall high Street artwork
Valentines, Eccleshall

Greetings cards are now in stock  at Gallery at 12 in Eccleshall of this latest drawing. Prints also available to order and you can see the drawing in full over on my website:Drawing the Street.

 

Dave Hall
Father and son

Thanks for joining me!

Ronnie

 

A Glimpse Behind a Tall Hedge

old vicarge eccleshall staffordshire
Glimpse of the Old Vicarage

A few months ago, I met up with a couple enjoying a quiet drink outside Merckx Bar on the High Street in Eccleshall.  I had just dropped off some prints of Eccleshall High Street into Gallery at 12 and was taking a few photos for the second drawing of the High Street, so I could add some real people to the benches outside Mercks.

Merckx Belgian bar Eccleshall
Summer evening after work at Merckx Belgian Bar

From this enjoyable but momentary meeting, I was asked if I might draw the Old Vicarage. I hadn’t seen this building before, but possibly because it was hidden away behind a very tall hedge, with only a glimpse through the gate.

gate to old vicarage eccleshall
Gate to the Old Vicarage, Eccleshall, date shown as 1703

The hedge has since been thinned out so that this handsome, Staffordshire red brick building with rusticated brick quoins, is a little more visible from Church Street. It was built in the Queen Anne style and is listed grade 2.

It’s good to look at buildings from a different angle.  It has made a pleasant change to draw the Old Vicarage as a one-off perspective, and I’m pleased to have recorded another of Eccleshall’s listed buildings.

sepia line drawing of the Old Vicarage
First stage of drawing the Old Vicarage – inked out in sepia
pen and ink drawing of old vicarage eccleshall
Late summer’s afternoon with the hens roaming freely in the garden
old vicarge Eccleshall side view
East side of the Old Vicarage
pen and ink drawing of Old Vicarage eccleshall
Finished drawing of the Old Vicarage, Eccleshall

The drawing of 1-35 High Street is also finished, here’s part of it. Limited edition signed giclee prints are on sale at Gallery at 12, the Arcade, High Street, Eccleshall.

high St Eccleshall drawing
Part of Eccleshall High Street Drawing

Thanks for reading. Ronnie

Gallery at 12, Eccleshall

It has been quite a month. Apart from finishing off a few more drawings in between a few fun family events, quite a lot has been happening.

drawings of eccleshall, Micklegate, Keele walled gardens
A few drawings more

First of all, a big thank you to Paul at the Stone and Eccleshall Gazette who found my work on the web and then gave me a fab introduction to Eccleshall with his generous write up. This has been so timely and I really appreciate this vote of confidence. It was published just as I had placed the first framed print of Eccleshall High Street on the wall of Gallery at 12.

stone and eccleshall gazette
Paul’s generous write up in the Stone and Eccleshall Gazette.

Just before this happened, my Instagram site (@ronniecruwys) took off.  I have been posting work-in-progress photos  for the last 9 months and have been using hashtags to connect with other artists interested in the same subjects, for instance #Eccleshall or #Drawing #Architecture. It has been great to connect with people all over the world and share stages of my work in progress. One drawing (of Audlem) got reposted on to another site and within 2 days had over 30,000 likes. Crikey. Meanwhile, Stone Road Eccleshall is getting a respectable response too.

Screen grab of stone Road Eccleshall drawing work in progress
Instagram approves of the Stone Road

I would also like to give a big vote of thanks to my new Instagram buddies @carolineiam @daveh500 @eddequincey for pointing me in the direction of Gallery at 12, where I have since become a member, and for giving me such enthusiastic support!

What’s more, I actually met @carolineiam last night in Eccleshall, in one of those wonderful moments of serendipity!

So, back to the Eccleshall drawing.

This is now scanned and on the website www.drawingthestreet.co.uk if you want to see it full length.

 

Starting with the grade 2 listed building home to Wyn’s and the old Sweet Shoppe:

Eccleshall  high Street
Katherine House, Eccleshall Pharmacy, Wine Etc, Spencers, the old Sweet Shoppe and Wyns
Eccleshall the old sweet shoppe and Wynns
Close up of the old Sweet Shoppe and Wyns

No 2, on the corner is early C19.

Next along is the Arcade, home of Eccleshall’s artists’ co-operative, Gallery at 12 and the lovley coffee shop The Artisan.

pen and ink drawing of gallery at 12 Eccleshall
The Artisan, The Arcade with Gallery at 12, Eclipse and Little Monsters
gallery at 12
A glimpse into Gallery at 12, High Street, Eccleshall, with my first few small sized prints up.
clock at james du pavey
Quick sketch over coffee at the Artisan last Saturday – Clock outside James du Pavey

 

the Bell Eccleshall
No 24, a grade 2 listed building, Eccleshall Library, Francesco Hair group and The Bell listed grade 2, Eccleshall
drawing of Star Pizza and London House
Star Pizza,  London House and Nisa

British Listed Buildings Online is a great resource for the history of our streets. The building to the right of London House is listed grade 2, early C19. London House is also listed grade 2, and probably late C17 or early C18.

I do plan to continue with drawings of Eccleshall so please follow this blog if you would like to be kept up to date – or over on Instagram.  Thanks for reading.

Ronnie (@ronniecruwys)