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.
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’.
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.
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…
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.
Whenever I draw a street scene, I like to include the people who are around at the time. This has become just as important as recording the buildings as it’s the people who bring the street to life.
Although I already had a few photos of people, I put a call out on social media to invite volunteers from Eccleshall to step on to my latest drawing of the High Street by sending me a photo of themselves or friends along this part of the street.
I was delighted when the photographer Caroline Burley sent me a selection of photos of figures striding out between ‘Valentins’ and ‘& Buttons’. Thanks Caroline! I will leave you to figure out who’s who, but here are the line drawings – almost ready for the colour wash.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Starting with the grade 2 listed building home to Wyn’s and the old Sweet Shoppe:
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.
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.
I am gradually picking up from where I left off before my recent accident. I am much more mobile now and keen to get back to normal activities so settling down to draw the second stage of Eccleshall has been a tonic.
This is a wonderful street to draw as it is full of life, colour and history.
As an example, London House was once the shop and home of a ‘mercer’ – a dealer in textiles, built for £50, and is now home to a restaurant.
Eccleshall High Street lies in the heart of the conservation area where there are 61 listed buildings. Further descriptions of these buildings can be found on British Listed Buildings Online. The timber framed building now occupied by Wines Etc was originally built as a market hall in 1884, and is now listed grade 2 along with the others in this cluster.
The 1.6m long drawing is almost complete with some finishing touches to add along with the lettering. Once finished, I will scan and load the finished image on to the website Drawing the Street.
Limited edition, (set of 60) signed, fine art quality giclee prints will soon be available to buy at three different sizes: 30 small prints (60 cm) at £65 each, 20 medium (1.2 mm) at £125 and 10 large (1.5m) at £195, including postage and packing. Please contact me at RonnieCruwys@drawingthestreet.co.uk if you would like to reserve a print. If you are a trader who would like to stock these prints, or licence parts of the image for merchandise, I would be delighted to hear from you. Last of all, something for Cherry of Mercian Scribes:
Some months ago, I began drawing out the bones of Stone Road, in Eccleshall, Staffordshire. This is an architectural gem of a market town, packed full of Georgian and Victorian buildings.
All the streets I choose to draw have some personal meaning for me. This part of the Stone Road sits opposite Eccleshall Police Station, a tiny spot which is engraved in my memory…Some years ago, my husband got knocked off his bike whilst out cycling nearby. He was whisked off to A&E and lived to tell the tale but his bike ended up in Eccleshall police station where I later went to collect it. Of course I was really upset about the bumped bike but what really cheered me up was the sight of this elegant row of cottages.
I will write more about this on another day but thought I would let you know that work is in progress on this delightful Staffordshire market town.
This is a work in progress picture taken this evening. Just an idea of what is on the drawing board as well as my drawings along the Holloway Road.
Plenty more drawings of Eccleshall in the pipeline….thanks for reading!