Sunday, 8 December 2019

Review of 2019 : March

The days get warmer (and longer) and Spring approaches. March turned out to be a very busy month. It started with a misfire though, my intended trip to Colwall was cut short due to train problems so i visited Malvern instead (i did get to finally go to Colwall later in the year) but Malvern was a great back-up.

Next up was Long Eaton in Derbyshire to walk the Erewash canal up to the river Trent. Mid-month came trips to Barnt Green and Henley-in-Arden. Then my first trip to London of the year followed by a trip out to Southend-on-Sea (including the Pier Railway of course) and Leigh-on-Sea, the glories of the British seaside off-season! At the end of month i visited Budbrooke near Warwick.

On the BGLR i built some signals, inert though so we just have to imagine the lights!

Song of the month was "Calm before the storm" by Nina.

Saturday, 7 December 2019


Some railway stations have mountains as a backdrop, East Midlands Parkway has the cooling towers of Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station instead. To be honest this is a rather impressive backdrop too. I visited here today to see the power station and also the nearby village which gave the power station it's name.

Interestingly despite only being a short walk away the power station is hardly visible from the village. Which is both good and bad (as it would have made for some interesting views!) You can see my photos here.

Friday, 6 December 2019

BGLR : The Bear returns

As per the stock rotation schedule E10 Bear has returned to the layout to resume duties. After a week of tests and trial runs it will replace Growler which will then move to the reserve pool until sometime next year. Both Roco electrics are now active on the layout, however in February Jam is due to return to reserve when the Falcon returns.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Review of 2019 : February

The Winter contines though of course that did not stop the travelling! The month began with a trip to nearby Hampden-in-Arden with stop-offs at Marston Green (my birthplace incidentally) and Lea Hall. I also returned to Leamington Spa and explored the Lillington part of the town.

A longer trip was to Long Buckby in Northamptonshire which included a walk along the Grand Union Canal. Finally I headed down to Moreton-in-Marsh in Gloucestershire.

On the Birches Green Light Railway I made plans for an extension of the tramway section with a baseboard extension. I also bought some signals in kit form.

Song of the month was "Why so serious" by Jessie Frye.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Churches (45) : All Saints, Leighton Buzzard

The Church of All Saints in Leighton Buzzard was founded in 1277CE and is in the Early English style, built on the site of an older church. The church has a tall spire that is nearly sixty metres high. A clerestory was added in the fifteenth century, there were also enlarged windows added and carved angels added to the exterior.

The church was restored in the mid-1880s, changes made to the interior during the Reformation were rolled back to something more akin to the original layout. The church was badly damaged by fire in 1985, the chancel and nave roofs being badly damaged as well as structural damage caused to the structure. Work on restoration, which included rectifying other faults with the structure discovered after the fire, was finally completed in 2016.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Review of 2019 : January

The year 2019 approaches it's close (and the 2010s too of course) so let us begin the annual review of our adventures this year...

January began with a trip to Honeybourne, the first of many new places visited this year. Atherstone was next with a walk along the Coventry Canal. After a brief stop over at Claverdon station (by car) in 2018 i also visited the lovely Warwickshire village properly. Finally in January came a visit to Belper in Derbyshire.

My model railway, the Birches Green Light Railway, got off to a good start with the arrival of a new locomotive which was called Maggie.

Song of the month was "luxury" by Pr0files.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Warwick Market Hall Museum

As I've said in the past I've aimed to visit more regional museums, to be honest I haven't visited that many yet but on Saturday I did visit the Warwick Market Hall Museum in the centre of the town. It has a nice collection mostly dedicated to Warwickshire's pre-historic and historic past. Exhibits include a fossil Ichythosaur which was found in Wilmcote, the skeleton of a Irish Elk (Megaloceros giganteus) and the Sheldon tapestry map of Warwickshire.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

A little bonus church

Whilst on a drive around North Warwickshire I saw a sign for Lea Marston church so decided to go down what proved to be a very narrow and rough road and have a look. It was worth it as the church of St John the Baptist is wonderful. Seemingly a lovely rural location that has been left largely unchanged for centuries but appearances can be deceptive. For much of the twentieth century the parish was rather different. No less than three power stations dominated the parish skyline though by the mid-1990s the last had been decomissioned and demolished like the rest.