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.
Taking a slightly different view of the street here, but still drawing! The Bishy Road has a thriving and active community which knows how to greet the Tour de France and throw a street party. I am quite pleased that I have discovered one tiny corner which speaks volumes about the secret of this community’s success – a noticeboard tucked away deep in the heart of the heart of the Bishy Road where everyone can see what’s on – without ever needing to go online. I will leave it to you to guess where it is!
The cards and notices give a cross section of life in Clementhorpe: life drawing, yoga for adults and kids, piano lessons, playgroup, spanish lessons, gutters cleared, theatre shows, garden services, plumbing, counselling, kids coaching, kids creative workshops, acupuncture, reflexology, music nights, photography, events organiser, fish and chips – all the bases covered!
I will leave you with a flavour of the Bishy Road dressed up for the Tour de France and their street party which followed.
This has to be the most dynamic and colourful street I have drawn so far!
The intention to draw the Bishy Road began on a spring day in 2013, over elevenses at the Pig & Pastry. It has come to fruition amidst a summer frenzy ahead of Le Tour de Yorkshire. The Bishy Road is ready! Vive Le Tour!
Now my husband is a Tour fan and having joined him to see several stages in France over the years, it is tremendous fun. For those of you who have never been – get over to York – it will be wild! The colour, music and carnival floats followed by these superhuman bikers is unmissable.
I understand (sort of) that for allsorts of reasons, Sir Bradley won’t be riding in this year’s Tour, which to me is a loss given how much he contributed to getting the Tour over here for us. However, I hope he will be watching as the Tour passes along the Bishy Road – York is aflame! This link to the York Press gives you a flavour.
I am running off a limited edition set of 199 prints of the Bishy Road drawing – which marks the 198 cyclists in this year’s Tour – plus one. The first print off is heading for Sir Brad of the Bish – just as a small thank you to him on behalf of this great street.
I have had tremendous fun interacting with some of the Bishy Roaders and hope to meet a few at the street party on 6th July. I only wish I had started sooner to include the opposite side and Cycle Heaven (which is next on the drawing board) but I have been burning the midnight oil to get this one finished.
Please do click over to the website www.drawingthestreet.co.uk and have a look at the street as a whole. Prints, cards post cards etc all on their way….meanwhile, please use any screen grabs for your community use, but I would be delighted if you would acknowledge Drawing the Street. I have shared some good quality images on my website (you miss out on the detail if I scale it down), but I am a self-employed working artist and if you do wish to use the images commercially – please get in touch and I am sure we can work out rates which work well for us all. This may be my drawing, but it is also your street.
Last of all: thank you Bishy Roaders! You really are something pretty special.
My earliest memory is being held in my Dad’s arms, travelling on the train from Kings Cross to York in the winter of 1962. I was only two when our whole family moved north from Sittingbourne, Kent, up to Acomb, York.
Life has moved us all in varied directions but last year saw us clearing the last of our dear Dad’s belongings from his home. We would get going early on and set ourselves a bookshelf to clear, or a cupboard to sort but it would always be followed by a treat…morning coffee out somewhere and The Pig and Pastry was a regular treat!
So after all these years I got to know the Bishy Road. What a community – I had to draw your street!
My drawings always begin with an old OS map and this too began with the old OS street maps in York library, then a sketch. I aim to catch all the architectural details as I hope my drawings will stand as an archive of our streetscapes as they stand at present.
It is gradually taking shape on a 1.8 metre length of 300gsm water colour paper. For this drawing, I am working in permanent Indian inks: sepia and terracotta and using a mapping pen rather than my usual fixed width Rotring technical pen. It has more variety in the line. Let’s see how it goes!
Thanks for reading…oh and I have not forgotten about the south side of the street – that’s up my sleeve.
Yes, I know, a slow start but I am gradually getting back into my drawing stride.
I have just come back from a weekend in York, visiting family in my old home town and taking a fresh look at some of the York streets that I would like to draw over the course of the coming year. There is one particular street in York which I love to visit, known fondly by the locals as the Bishy Road.
It is a good step away from the tourist hot spots but it is always buzzing! Hardly surprising when there are so many great independent outlets such as the Pig and Pastry and Cycle Heaven – the latter is always a big attraction for my husband whenever we visit.
What really strikes me as the key to this thriving street is the great community spirit and the handy, reasonably priced car park alongside.
It was great this Christmas when we had free car parking here in our town of Newcastle-under-Lyme, more please! Let’s support our local communities wherever we are by providing access to our town centre shops.