Playground of the Midlands

David Manley Avatar


Its over five years on since I embarked on my project entitled From The Earth Wealth. This comprised very nearly a year of visits to every place identified in the 1977 handbook of the District I live in followed by a series of paintings loosely based on these. The whole exhibited at the Tarpey Gallery in 2011 and the whole thing chronicled on this blog. At the time I jokingly suggested to an enquiring reporter that I might go onto each of the other districts in Leicestershire and complete the set.

Well here I am at the end of January setting out for Loughborough and beginning the exploration of Charnwood, the closest of those other authorities, with a view to doing it all over again. My guide this time is an old copy of their official guide, sadly undated, but I suspect published around the beginnings of the 1980’s. I’ve grouped the smaller villages in the guide together and with Loughborough and Shepshed have come up with twelve trips, roughly one a month, to complete this exploration. My pal Simon has foolishly agreed to come along this time and it is he who – confronted with twelve numbers – made the random selection of Loughborough itself (the biggest place by far and the administrative centre of the borough) as our first mission.

Why the ‘playground of the Midlands title? Well From The Earth Wealth is a translation of the NWLeics motto Ex Terra Opes but try as I may I’ve not found one for Charnwood…so I’ve plundered the opening paragraph of the guidebook where someone dubbed Charnwood thus.






5 responses

  1. The start of something new | Simon's Blog

    […] that I am undertaking with my good friend David Manley that he has been itching to do called Playground of the Midlands.  The link explains what the purpose(?) of the project is far better than I can.  Anyway it will […]

  2. Charnwood – No. 2 | Simon's Blog

    […] session on the Playground of the Midlands project – beautiful day, good company and decent food – Perfection.   If you are ever […]

  3. Being on Horse Back | Simon's Blog

    […] the case as far as the local government boundaries are concerned so it has been included in the Playground of the Midlands project.   Walking around in the bright spring sun I have to say I couldn’t care less – it was […]

  4. Best ev’ FB Friends | Simon's Blog

    […] friends started to chew my camera strap.   It’s a hard life but some has to work on the Charnwood project!   Actually things are coming along quite nicely and we were able to cover Quorn, Barrow on Soar, […]

  5. Charnwood – No More | Simon's Blog

    […] night draw in another project starts to come to a conclusion.  The final photography sessions for Playground of the Midlands has taken place and now I have to start the mind numbing process of pulling the book together.   I […]

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