Saturday, 17 November 2018

The Stratford in Shirley

Today I didn't go very far, just to Solihull in fact. I went to Shirley and then walked the Stratford Canal as far as Whitlock's End. It was nice walking along the canal with many signs of autumn (my favourite season). So many leaves were on the towpath and canal in some places it was hard to see where one ended and the other started! You can see the canal photos here.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Castles (8) : Tutbury

Just inside the Staffordshire border is Tutbury castle which was owned by one of William the Conqueror's leading Norman magnates Henry de Ferrers. He was awarded over two hundred manors in England by the King mostly across the Midlands. Duffield castle was another of his castles, though more an outpost, Tutbury castle was his headquarters. The original motte and bailey of Tutbury was constructed in 1068-9.

The castle was nearly destroyed during a rebellion by one of Henry's descendants against Henry III in 1269. It was repaired though became a residential property than a military base. People who stayed at the castle in later years included the wife of John of Gaunt and Mary, Queen of Scots. The Queen noted that the castle was worn out, damp and draughty though she was a prisoner at the castle.

The castle was destroyed after the English Civil War on the orders of parliament though some parts were repaired after the restoration of the monarchy. In later years it was used as a farm and a residential property, but is now open to the public.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Apple, NeXT, Be and Steve Jobs

It is all part of Apple's rich history, how when the chips were down Steve Jobs returned to the company he co-founded and help lead them from the abyss and towards where they are now: one of the biggest companies in the world. However this fascinating blog post details how that almost didn't happen.

In the mid-1990s Apple was struggling. MacOS was becoming out of date and attempts to create a new more modern version were failing hard. Apple looked to buy in an existing operating system to form the basis of the MacOS replacement. In the end they chose NeXT Computer (another company founded by Steve Jobs) and Next's operating system became the basis of Mac OSX. It nearly wasn't this way though, BeOS was also a contender and it is interesting to consider how (Apple) history and maybe the history of the world would have been different if BeOS had been the chosen system.
NeXT Cube

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Wirral Transport Museum

Yesterday I visited Wirral Transport Museum, somewhere I have been keen to visit for some time due to it's tram collection and live running of trams. I had a trip on one of the latter, a good old vintage tram... or was it? Actually the tram was built by the HK Tramway company in the early 1990s! It is one of two built for the Wirral Tramway which is part of the museum. The trams on display in the museum are originals though, including a Liverpool tram. My Nan in Liverpool was a conductor on trams in the Second World War, maybe she worked on that tram? You can see my photos here. The museum is well worth a visit and includes road transport including some nice old buses too.