23.10.16 — Journal

Design Manchester & Towneley Hall

True to form, I haven’t been staying in one place for too long, which began as last week me and the rest of my house (all designers) headed on the train to Manchester to check out the Design Manchester Festival which was in full swing. We landed in Manchester Piccadilly and immediately headed to the old Fire Station just around the back of the station, where there were some food trucks, the opportunity to get our portraits drawn, and a huge array of handmade products from local designers.

Sooner or later we’d stuffed our bags with as much stuff as we could afford, and wound up having some beautiful portraits drawn – italics for sarcasm – mine had a crown on it and I insisted upon it being labelled “Queen Briggs”. After these shenanigans we headed towards the centre where we hopped onto the Manchester Metropolitan University campus, where we had a bite to eat before heading to their ultra-modern art and design building for a talk by renowned letterpress designer Alan Kitching.

Meandering through the exhibition

Before the talk we took a breather to snoop around the exhibition which had been laid out in the gallery space which spanned each floor of the building, and which provided a beautiful insight into the traditional hands-on approach to the process of designing and upsetting Kitching’s work.

Colour and texture

We then headed into one of the university’s lecture theatres where Kitching presented a selection of his work and his thoughts on design, letterpress, and the process of arriving at his final designs. It was a wonderfully interesting insight into this manual process, and afterwards we all headed back into the city to find something to eat before we all headed off back home.

A view from the art and design building

After stuffing our faces with Wagamama, it was time for everyone to head back to Leeds, except I, for I had arranged to visit Burnley for the weekend and meet up with a friend for some afternoon tea and a wander around one of the town’s most beautiful attractions – Towneley Hall.

Towneley Hall in the afternoon

Towneley Hall is named after the Towneley family who used to live in the lavish house and grounds, which are now form a museum and a lovely public park. We first stopped off at a café/restaurant housed in the old stables, where we enjoyed afternoon tea and scones, before we headed around the museum. The little galavant around was not only interesting from a historical point of view, but also reminded me of various trips I made to the hall whilst in primary school!

The grandeur of the interior
A colourful autumn afternoon

It was soon time to head back home after our day spent sleepwalking around the idyllic grounds, and so I headed off back home before heading back to Leeds the next morning. I currently write this back here in my university city, where I’ve had a clear out of my room and am feeling ready to take on the coming week of work – I think.