Wednesday, 18 July 2018

River Cole (West Midlands)

The West Midlands River Cole flows North West across the Birmingham plateau. The river source is at Hobs Hill near Wythall. The river then crosses across the South East of Birmingham through the likes of Yardley, Chelmsley Wood and Shard End before joining the river Blythe at Coleshill. From there the waters join the Tame, then the Trent and eventually the North Sea at the Humber estuary.

The Cole is a non-navigable waterway but at one stage it had twelve watermills along it. The Cole is usually shallow but due to the nature of the clay soil in the area the river can be changed quickly by heavy rainfall and can easily flood.

The earliest recorded name of the river from 972AD is Colle which is an old English word for Hazel.
At Shard End

At Wythall (rather swollen by heavy rain)

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Churches (22) : St Andrew's, Shottery

Shottery is a small village to the West of Stratford-upon-Avon, though nowadays there is continuous settlement between the two places. Most famously Shottery is the home of Anne Hathaway's cottage, purported to be the childhood home of William Shakespeare's wife. There is some doubt about this though it is certain she did originally come from Shottery.

The church of St Andrew in Shottery dates from 1870 [1] though to a thirteenth century style. The church is made from light brick with a stone dressing and has a nave and chancel.

[1] Nikolaus Pevsner & Alexandra Wedgwood, The Buildings of England: Warwickshire (Penguin, 1966) p. 397

Sunday, 15 July 2018

All along the SVR

So another visit to the Severn Valley Railway yesterday, my second of the year. I was planning on going to a diesel event in the Autumn but as the lack of rain has made the ground tinder dry and steam locomotives have been setting off many line-side fires the SVR have gone diesel only for the next few days. Of course I thought it would be a good idea to go up and get some diesel thrash. I took photos all along the line, including the now closed Eardington Halt which i have finally got some decent photographs of. You can see my photos here.



Saturday, 14 July 2018

Bridgnorth

Today I took a trip on the Severn Valley Railway, this time I went all along the line from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth and this time visiting the historic old town. This is built amid the ruins of Bridgnorth Castle and is atop some cliffs. The best way to reach it is by funicular railway of course, I haven't been on the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway for many years. In fact the only time I have been on it before was the only time I have visited the old town before when I was with the cub scouts, in 1982!

Bridgnorth is a lovely old town. I must make sure my next visit is sooner than thirty six years! You can see my photos of the town here.




Thursday, 12 July 2018

IBM 7070

The IBM 7070 was a mid-range data processing system introduced in 1958. It was IBM's first stored-program computer to use transistors rather than vacuum tubes, the first of a new line of fully transistorised mainframes. The 7070 used around thirty thousand germanium transistors and could perform twenty seven KIPS (thousand instructions per second). The 7070 used machine words consisting of ten digital digits plus a sign. Each digit was encoded by 5-bits. The 7070 used core memory and could store up to around ten thousand words.

Unfortunately the 7070 was incompatible with the models (such as the 705) it was intended to replace. A simulator was needed to run programs written for older computers though the waste of resource and incompatibilities meant the 7070 was a bit of a flop. The later 7080 was said to be fully compatible.

Also coming later were the faster 7072 and 7074 in the early 1960s. They were replaced by the highly successful IBM 360 within a few years.
IBM 7074 (Public domain image)