Manchester's renowned for rain, but at the second gathering of the new Urban Sketching Group, it's a mild and sunny afternoon..
We meet inside The Exchange- it's 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 have no fear of piles.
I settle down to sketch.. two German ladies are surrounded by heaps of boxes, they're arranging it with decorative wooden hangy-things, which in my ignorance I imagine are called Volkjulebilderplakken or somesuch.
As time and I draw on, their stall fills up with goods, dusk falls and the lights in the cabin shine out.
When I count up afterwards, 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!