Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Review of 2020 : January

Our review of the year begins, a year unlike any other! However, the start of the year was very familiar: lots of travelling about! The year's rail adventures began with a trip to Kidsgrove and walks along the Trent & Mersey and Macclesfield Canals. The next trip was to Hartford in Cheshire, so staying in the North. In fact all of January's adventures were in the North.

Mid-January saw a trip up to Liverpool, mostly centred on Port Sunlight and Bebington on the Wirral. Finally came a trip to Derby, this time actually leaving the station and having a look around the city!

Song of the month was "the ghost" by Trevor Something.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Warwickshire Places (14) : Hatton

The parish of Hatton near Warwick dates to the early Norman period at least with the land being held by Hugh Fitz Richard, also known as Hugh de Hatton, in the mid-12th century. Hatton consists of the village itself and two smaller hamlets (Shrewley and Beausale). A notable building in the centre of Hatton was Central Hospital, a psychiatric hospital opened in 1846. The hospital was closed in 1995, some of the buildings have survived to become apartments. Hatton's parish church of the Holy Trinity dates back to the 12th century though most of the current building dates from an 1880 rebuild, some remnants of earlier centuries remain, most notably the 15th century tower.

Most of the land around the village is farmland, however Hatton is the centre of a number of transport links. It's station is a stop on the Chiltern Main Line, next to the station is the Grand Union Canal which passes through the parish on the way to Warwick. Hatton Locks is a lock flight which takes the canal down to the level of Warwick and also includes some former canal workshops. A later transport addition is the M40 motorway which passes nearby.

Monday, 30 November 2020

Model Week : Growler and passengers

There has been a double substitution this month, hot on the heels (or wheels) of Ruby replacing Black Beauty, the iconic Growler has returned from store and replaced the Bear. The currently active brown coach has had passengers added to it as well. Growler's first duty following it's return to service was to take this coach on a test run.

Sunday, 29 November 2020

War memorial, Woburn Sands

Woburn Sands (which until Victorian times was known as Hogsty End) is on the Buckinghamshire-Bedfordshire border. This memorial was erected for the inhabitants of Woburn Sands and Aspley Heath who died in the First World War.

Friday, 27 November 2020

Colin P Witter Lock in Stratford-upon-Avon

Just downstream from Bancroft Basin in Stratford-upon-Avon, where the river Avon and Stratford Canal meet, used to be the Lucy's Locks. These were staircase locks which allowed for a difference of nearly two and a quarter metres in height in the water level on the Avon to allow for boat navigation. These locks were filled in in 1959 [1].

They were replaced by the new Colin P Witter Lock built in the early 1970s, next to the old site of the Lucy's Locks [2]. The lock has steel girder supports due to the depth of the lock and the unstable nature of the ground. Much of the work was done by volunteers from Gloucester prison. The gates were donated by the Port of London Authority from the abandoned Grand Surrey Canal.
Head on view of the lock

A river cruise boat is in the lock

[1] Charles Hadfield and John Norris, Waterways to Stratford (David and Charles, 1968) p. 60
[2] Jamie Davies, Shakespeare's Avon - the history of a navigation (Oakwood Press, 1996) p. 141