Monday, 21 September 2020

Back on the Merseyrail

On Saturday I headed up to Merseyside. My mission this time was just to get as many new stations in as possible. My target for the year was 40 and after Church Stretton last week I was on 33. As there is talk of another possible lockdown I thought it would be prudent to try and get as close to my target as possible... 

In the end I achieved eight stations and thus passed the target! I will need to return to at least a couple of the stations one day e.g. Cressington as they look very interesting and will deserve a closer look! You can see my photos here.

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Model Week : Dominie

Finally we have begun model kit project #090, it was way back in 2017 when we began project #080 so we have been stuck in the 80s for quite some time! Project #090 is a Hawker Siddeley Dominie, when completed it will be the fourth project this year. This doesn't sound that many certainly compared to the early 2010s but it will be double 2019's score!

Friday, 18 September 2020

Churches (77) : St Michael and All Angels, Jarvis Brook

The church of St Michael and All Angels in Jarvis Brook near Crowborough began life as a chapel of ease for Crowborough parish church, built in 1905 (replacing an earlier church). Jarvis Brook became a separate parish in 1934. The small church has an aisleless nave with lancet windows. The church was built from rough finished stone.

The church has a small open belfry made from timber.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Worcestershire Places (2) : Blakedown

Blakedown is a village in the North of the county near Kidderminster. The village has existed since the Domesday Book when it was known as Bleak Down and was part of Hagley parish. The railways reached Blakedown in 1852 and this sparked a boom in population and economic development. Blakedown split from Hagley and merged with Churchill parish.

Nowadays Blakedown is largely a dormitory town for people working in larger nearby towns and cities. The village's church is dedicated to St James the Great, built in 1866.

Saturday, 12 September 2020

Coming to Church Stretton

This week's rail adventure was a little further than last week's Birmingham trip, it took me to Church Stretton in the Shropshire hills close to the Welsh border. Church Stretton is a lovely little country town, as the name might imply it has a good old church too. You can see my photos here.

Friday, 11 September 2020

Churches (76) : St Mary Magdalene, Lillington

Although like many churches of supposed medieval antiquity the parish church of St Mary Magdalene in Lillington (a suburb of Leamington Spa) is largely a Victorian creation. There are elements of much earlier ages. The South wall of the chancel and the doorway between the Lady Chapel and Sacristy may date from Saxon times with the rest of the chancel dating from the 14th century. The Perpendicular West tower is 15th century, probably built in 1480CE.

The rest of the church dates from rebuilding work between 1848 and 1884 which included demolishing the South aisle and replacing it.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

AL6 through Winsford

Classic traction as a Freightliner pair of Class 86s (AL6s) pass through Winsford with train.

Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Model Week : Sorting things out

I've had a tidy up in the model railway room. A shelf was cleared on a bookshelf and all of the stored rolling stock plus some scenery supplies and spare parts have been collected together instead of being spread throughout the room. One of the places which was used to store stuff was the tramway line and I want to get going with finishing that so need to clear the junk!

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

Worcestershire Places (1) : Hartlebury

Hartlebury is a village to the South of Kidderminster. The village has been in existence from Saxon times, in 817CE it was known as Heortlabyrig (Hill of the Deer) and was granted by Burghred, King of Mercia to the Bishop of Worcester in 850CE. The area remained a home for the Bishop until the 21st century. The fortified manor house Hartlebury Castle being the residence of the Bishop from the 13th century until 2007. The castle is now open to the public and includes the Worcestershire County Museum.

The church of St James is of a much later period than the castle, it was mostly built in 1836 though retains elements from earlier buildings. The tower is 16th century and there are some arches from the 14th.

Hartlebury is a stop on the railway line between Worcester and Birmingham via Kidderminster. It also used to have a line through to Shrewsbury via the Severn Valley, and indeed was the original starting point of the Severn Valley Railway.

Sunday, 6 September 2020

Old workplaces

Yesterday I had a walk around the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham and visited the first three workplaces I have been at in my career. All three were the business locations of Tw2 which I worked at from 1995 until it's demise in 2001. The first location was on Lionel Street, in just a couple of months time it will mark twenty five years since I began my working life there, a fresh faced graduate who had little idea what he was doing. After a couple of years the company moved to bigger premises on Northwood Street. 

Finally, amid much expansion, came the move to swanky (and thus expensive) offices on Newhall Street. Like many companies which expanded rapidly with the resulting debts and expenses when there is a downturn then the bills become harder and harder to pay. However there were some good memories in these places and I'm glad all three still exist even if Tw2 itself is long gone. You can see my Birmingham photos here.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Aiming at Acocks Green

A modest little rail adventure this week. There are two railway stations in the South East of Birmingham which I have yet to visit and are within walking distance of each other. So today I took a train to Spring Road and then walked to Acocks Green village and then finally the station. Afterwards I headed into Birmingham to revisit some of my old work haunts but we'll touch on that in a later blog. You can see my Acocks Green photos here.

Friday, 4 September 2020

Churches (75) : St Peter, Belper

The parish church of St Peter in the Derbyshire mill town of Belper is a fairly recent building, it was built and consecrated in 1824. The church was designed by Michael Habershon, the church building is in the decorated style with a tall West tower.

The church was built from local grit stone. The original plans for the church were modified and part of the nave is now used as the chancel.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Model Week : Tramway ballast

Not much action on the railway this week, all that can be reported is that the ballasting that was done on the tramway track earlier in the year has been improved so the sleepers can be seen (and the ride if better for tramway passengers!)

Wednesday, 2 September 2020

All by myself

A newly livered Grand Central Class 90 heads light engine through Lichfield Trent Valley.

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Before the Big 4 (5) : Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway

The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway was formed in 1846 from the amalgamation of a number of railway companies, principally the Manchester and Leeds Railway. From it's base in Manchester the railway operated to the West (including Liverpool and Blackpool), East Lancashire (including Oldham and Rochdale) and to the East as far as Leeds and Doncaster.

The company's headquarters was Manchester Victoria, it became one of the largest railway stations in the country. The company entered a partnership with the LNWR on some routes and in the early 1920s they agreed terms to merge. In 1922 the two companies merged (the company keeping the LNWR name) but a year later they were amalgamated into the LMS.

The company was notable in being the first to electrify a mainline route with services between Liverpool and Southport beginning in 1904, and later extending to Ormskirk.
Class 27 52322 at Duffield

Class 5 Numbr 1008 at NRM York in L&YR livery

Narrow gauge shunter Wren which was used at Horwich Works

Manchester Victoria today, a much changed station