Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Rainhill in the rain

A modern train travels through Rainhill, scene of the famous trial that the Rocket won and set the template for railway locomotives for the following decades.

Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Castles (13) : Long Buckby

Compared to well preserved castles like Cardiff and Warwick, Long Buckby castle in Northamptonshire these days has little surviving features (on the surface anyway) apart from a mound. The castle was possibly built in the mid twelfth century during the reign of Henry II by the de Quincy family who held Long Buckby at the time.

The castle had a ring motte with a bailey to the West and a larger bailey to the East. Excavations were made in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries when the foundations of the former wall and a ditch around the edge of the baileys were discovered.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Staying in sunny Solihull

After a number of longer range rail adventures recently I decided to keep it pretty local this week. I work in Solihull (though over by the airport) but have never travelled there on the train so did so yesterday and had a look around the town centre including the rather nice parish church. You can see my photos here.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

BGLR : Tourist train

This week a new coach arrived, now coaching stock is not in short supply at Birches Green but this one is the first of three tourist coaches. It is four-wheeled unlike the others which have bogies. Very nice it looks too. Maybe next year it will get a steam locomotive to haul it too...

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

The sad end of Ian Allan Birmingham

It is Spock (the Vulcan) who said "All things must end." and indeed is the case with the Ian Allan bookshop in Birmingham which will close next weekend. This is very sad for me as Ian Allan was not a normal shop in many ways. A specialist transport and military bookshop, it was regularly visited by myself and my best friend in our teens. It was the highlight of our weekends (this was before we discovered girls of course).

Indeed I have been going to the shop since the mid-1980s (albeit in it's previous location where the Birmingham New Street entrance is now). I have bought hundreds of books from there, many of which I still own.

Below is the first book I ever bought from Ian Allan on Electric Locomotives which I bought as my interest in railways first began when I was a schoolboy in the mid-1980s. Next to it are the last two books I bought last weekend. Inbetween are many many books and many many memories.