Wednesday 30 September 2020

Tuesday 29 September 2020

Worcestershire Places (4) : Upper Arley

Situated on the banks of the river Severn and with it's railway station on the Severn Valley Railway, Upper Arley looks like the sort of village which has been in Worcestershire since the Domesday Book. In fact the village was in Staffordshire until being transferred in 1895. 

The manor of Upper Arley was founded in about 996CE. Originally it belonged to the college in Wolverhampton. In 1276 it was bought by Roger de Mortimer and remained owned by his family until the mid-15th century. Later it was owned by the Lyttleton and Woodward families.

The oldest building in the village is the Norman church dedicated to St Peter (the oldest remains date from the 14th century). Arley railway station opened in 1862. It closed one hundred and one years later but was reopened by the Severn Valley Railway in 1974.

Monday 28 September 2020

A different angle

I have a garden bench next to the conservatory and often sit on it looking up the garden. However, yesterday i wondered why i didn't have a seat at the other end of the garden. So i placed a spare chair I had next to the shed, this spot gets the sunshine a lot earlier than the bench which at this time of year is pretty important. I was struck by how different the garden looked from this new angle (down the garden). It certainly made me think that I needed to trim back my unruly rosemary bushes. Indeed since the below photo was taken i have chopped the rosemary back quite a bit.

Sunday 27 September 2020

Starting the weekend in Warwick

Yesterday I headed to Warwick, to take photographs of St Nicholas' church and also the river Avon which flows through the town. The latter was easier than the former. The church is rather constrained by surrounding roads which made getting photos of the entire church a bit difficult. I was able to get some, and also a couple of photos of the castle too. You can see my Warwick photos here.

Friday 25 September 2020

Churches (78) : St Andrew, Rugby

There has been a church on this site in the Warwickshire town of Rugby since 1140CE. The oldest remaining parts of the current church date from the 14th century (or earlier) including the unusual West tower which looks like it should be part of a castle! The nave and chancel are of a similar vintage.

The rest of the church dates from a complete rebuilding by William Butterfield in 1877. A new East tower, with spire, was added in 1895. Unusually both towers have peals of bells.

Thursday 24 September 2020

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Worcestershire Places (3) : Norton

Norton is a village near to Worcester in the parish of Norton-juxta-Kempsey. The village was part of the manor of Kempsey which dates back to the Domesday Book. Norton contained a barracks for the Worcestershire Regiment of the British Army from 1881. The barracks remained MOD property until the 1987 and have now been sold off for apartments and a new housing estate.

The parish church (originally a chapel of ease for the parish church in Kempsey) is dedicated to St James the Great. It dates from the 12th century at least though has seen much rebuilding and change in the following centuries, especially in 1875.

Norton is served by the new railway station Worcestershire Parkway which opened in 2020, the original station Norton Halt (which was a little further up the Cotswold Line closer to the centre of Norton) closed in 1966.

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.