It’s almost two years since I first sketched out this drawing. It all began with a coffee at the Pig and Pastry and somehow the word has got around that this is one extraordinary street. Hearing that Bishy Road has been awarded the honour of becoming Britain’s No 1 Great British High Street was such good news today.
That’s a huge amount of community effort, dedication and commitment spent over many years, led by Johnny Hayes of Frankie and Johnny’s cookshop and with a whole raft of participation in and beyond this remarkable street.
Congratulations Bishy Road! Enjoy your big moment. You show how it is possible to turn the ordinary into extraordinary.
There is a sense of great relief when I complete a street drawing, even more so on completion of a pair. I have spent the best part of 100 hours on each drawing from the early sketches to the drafts, the transfer and then ink then wash on the watercolour paper. With ink, there is no rubbing out mistakes so they get to stay!
Plus we live with a nervous dog, two Burmese cats and a tortoise which combined can be quite a handful!
Yes, I do shut the cats out but Norman can negotiate door handles, walls and windows with ease and he likes to help.
So the great Bishy Road is complete. It has been a joy to draw this street – the most interactive and sociable that I have done so far. My first contact with the street began last year with elevenses at the Pig and Pastry, where this drawing began. Since then, through connections on social media, I have gradually picked up the great warmth, humour, fun and sense of community spirit on this street from simple acts of kindness such as looking after a lost dog to the generous spirit in fundraising for various charitable causes. People care here. The photographer Karen Turner, has captured the energy of this street beautifully over on her blog – it’s well worth a look.
Furthermore, there is a real sense of belonging here which the Clementshall History Group demonstrates through their blog where you can see how several shops have survived with the same use for over 100 years – that is some achievement!
As my first drawing reached completion, Bishy Road greeted le Tour de France. Now, as I wrap up the second drawing, Bishy road have entered the competition for the best Great British High Street. I wish them every success – their sparkle is the result of combined hard work, vision and commitment.
The full length drawings of both sides of Bishy Road are shown on my website Drawing the Street and for detailed views of the buildings, please visit Drawing the Detail. The original drawing is just under 2 metres long and it is not easy to reduce the image down to a phone sized view unless I crop it – hence Drawing the Detail.
Limited edition (100 only) signed giclee fine art prints (unframed) will shortly be available for sale, three sizes, 60cm (£48) 1.2m (£119) and 1.5m (£195), through Blossom Street Gallery and Framing, please contact me for further information or to reserve one. Banners are also available by request – please contact me for a quote.