Shanklin Town Council Elections – Thursday May 4th

I am letting you know that I am re-standing for Shanklin Town Council Elections on Thursday 4th  May.  I was co-opted onto the Council around 18 months ago and will be a candidate for election in the Shanklin South Ward.

IMG_20170426_1436081_rewind_kindlephoto-111462744 (1)

I am standing as an independent.  Shanklin Town Council has traditionally not been about party politics.  This enables us to ensure that we are able to get things done for the benefit of all Shanklin residents.  With the Council elections going on the same day and with some town council candidates also standing as party representatives for the IOW Council there is a danger that this could give the Shanklin elections a political bias which could be detrimental to the town.

With more aspects of the Council’s work being devolved locally the role of the town council is becoming increasingly important.  I can offer stability as I am already a council member, enthusiasm and drive to ensure Shanklin continues to thrive.  I have spent seventeen years in the tourism industry and know how important tourism is for Shanklin’s success.  I have recently sold my guest house to move onto new challenges and I have moved to the Shanklin South area I wish to continue to represent.  I am now self-employed as a professional artist.   I hope this also gives me a creative vision towards the future of Shanklin. Public money may be tight on the island but with energy, determination and imagination we can get things done.

Please include Karl Stedman in your choices for Shanklin Town Council Election – South Ward. I would be grateful if you could share with Shanklin South voters.  I am not intending to produce a leaflet as I do not feel it is appropriate and it is less recycling for you!

A day at Lisle Combe

Thanks to the Isle of Wight Gardens Trust I spent a very enjoyable day at Lisle Combe a lovely house at the Undercliff just past Ventnor Botanical Gardens. The reason was for a talk by Kate Harwood a garden historian and lecturer. Lisle Combe is an early 19th century cottage orne (no, I’d never heard of one of those either!) and the home of the poet Albert Noyes (no, I’ve never heard of him).

The talk was titled….Gardens of the Picturesque and Recency Period.

I hadn’t known what to expect but in fact it was a terrific day. Amazingly it was  sunny and warm. The group were lovely. Kate certainly knew her stuff and how to share it with us in an entertaining and informative way. The house was fascinating and the owners pulled out all the stops to make us welcome and wonderfully well fed.

The gardens are overgrown and in a sad state but it’s still possible to imagine how they once were and hopefully can be again. Like all these old houses and gardens upkeep is a huge job and restoring and maintaining the house should probably come first but it would be wonderful to see the gardens looking fabulous again.

I have even been inspired to do a little pencil drawing of the house, something that I’ve not done for a very long time…….IMG_20170323_1751519_rewind_kindlephoto-605451760


When Dad went to art college one of the books he was required to purchase was one of anatomy. The idea was that you couldn’t be expected to be able to draw the human body properly without an understanding of the skeleton and muscles……… things have changed!

The recommended anatomy book was expensive so he started college with one he copied from one on the library! 

I’ve always been fascinated by these drawings and have had a couple framed. I came across these old engravings in another anatomy book and couldn’t help reproducing them myself though obviously I had to add a bit of colour. Not to everyone’s taste and I’m fairly sure I’ll never be allowed to hang them on a wall in our house…….

Dad’s Calligraphy

Whilst sorting through my Dad’s studio I’ve come across some of his calligraphy. Dad worked for a very long time as a calligrapher and illuminator mainly for the House of Lords and for the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He produced state documents for many of our countries big occasions from announcing the Queen Mothers passing to the wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, of Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and only the other year the wedding of Prince William to Katherine Middleton.

Much of his work is buried in archives. A tube containing documents to be worked on would arrive at the house on a Monday morning and then on Friday it would be sent back to London completed…..well that was the idea anyway, it wasn’t always that easy ! Because of this he retained almost none of his work and in fact apart from a piece I asked him to do for my birthday one year I wasn’t expecting to come across anything much. I’d come across some odd bits of practice text but then opened a draw and found these treasures.



I think this is The Prince of Wales arms…..well sorry sir but It’s mine now!

I’ve gathered together some of his equipment, a couple of pens, his agate and ivory tools, some seals and a photo and have displayed them in a glass topped box. IMG_20160616_1000220_rewind_kindlephoto-639482225

I’ve got to work out how to display the rest of the documents now!


Some more drawings. I’m going through the fifth portfolio with most of the A2 size drawings recorded now!


This is Wastwater.


Southport Parish Chuch with what looks like Woolworths in the background so obviously not a recent drawing!


The lovely Wigton.


The chapel of St. Catherine at Lanercost Priory.


The promenade at Silloth.


‘ The Folly’, Settle.


And finally the gateway to Skipton Castle, great fun to draw.

A few more of my drawings

I drew this ages ago of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral on Duke Street which is just off Oxford Street in London.


Another oldie this time the reception building at The Mariners on the Island of Anguilla.


I drew this just before it was knocked down for a development of flats. It was the old Palladium Cinema in Kendal. The front part of the building had some lovely 1930 details, now lost forever. The building had already closed down but I was able to get access, I took some photos in the gloom but it wasn’t until the photos were developed that I was able to really see all the furniture and original light fittings that my flash photos had picked up.


The Esplanade Gardens Cafe on the seafront at Shanklin on The Isle Of Wight has recently been ‘redeveloped’ with a new roof and layout. Unfortunately this has meant the loss of the little cupola and the internal wood panelling that gave it it’s character….that’s progress!



Brougham Castle, well……..IMG_20160514_1107367_rewind_kindlephoto-701213726what’s left of it!


The castle gateway at Egremont.


Holy Trinity Church in Kendal.


Old House in Askrigg.


The lovely Coniston, where it doesn’t always rain……though it has done every time I’ve been there and I’ve been there a lot of times!



The pile of drawings is getting smaller now, though I do keep coming across ones I’ve forgotten about.IMG_20160514_1104419_rewind_kindlephoto-701090479

Rydal Mount.


Glenridding Pier, Ullswater.


Hardrow Scaur falls in Wensleydale.



Christ Church, Silloth.


Shap Abbey.


The Tarns!