Manchester, in the North-West of England, is renowned for rain, but at the last gathering of the Urban Sketching Group, it's a mild and sunny afternoon..
We meet inside the Exchange- its the old Corn Exchange building transformed into a theatre.
We can't stay and sketch inside here today as there's a performance on, and, anyway, it's far to nice not to take advantage.
Outside, in St.Anne's Square, they're setting up fake Hansel-and-Gretalesque cabins for the Christmas Market and there are a few stone benches to sit on for those who don't fear piles.
I settle down to sketch.. two German ladies are surrounded by heaps of boxes, they're arranging it with decorative wooden hangy-things and as time and I draw on, their stall fills up with goods and the lights in the cabin come on.
When I count up after, we sketchers number around nineteen- such a good turn-out! We lay our sketchbooks at the foot of the War Memorial- there's a lovely diversity of styles and subject matter. Well done to all, and especially to Simone for starting the group!
Caroline Johnson, Manchester and Rennes.