Monday, 6 December 2021

Review of 2021 : March

Lockdown finally lifted in March so the rail adventures could resume. First off was a modest experimental trip to Five Ways and Edgbaston. This was followed by a trip to Northfield, which i followed with my first Covid jab. Adderley Park (and environs) was next, when i used to train spot at Stetchford as a kid i always wondered what Adderley Park (the station between Stetchford and New Street) was like, to be honest i didn't miss much. Later in the month came trips to Bloxwich and to Cradley Heath.

My new N gauge layout got a boost with a brand new loco in the form of a rather fine Class 33. 

Song of the month was "new religion" by Gryff.

Sunday, 5 December 2021


After last weekend, it was good to get back on the rails. I went to Haddenham in Buckinghamshire. I have been once before, on a very wet day a few years ago so it was good to see the place in sunshine! You can see my photos here.

Friday, 3 December 2021

Review of 2021 : February

Lockdown continued with no end yet in sight. I stayed local again. I walked the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal, which passes my house, as far as Minworth. I also visited Sutton Coldfield to take some photos of the church and other areas of interest.

A very welcome arrival was Sophie, my MacBook Air, which has turned out to be a wonderful little computer. Model railway wise i began work on my small second layout Shard End, British Rail in 1970 in N gauge.

Song of the month was "dusk" by Lucy in Disguise featuring Observer Drift.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Review of 2021 : January

Here we are then, the review of 2021. The second year of the Covid era. With lockdown in force at the start of the year there would be no rail adventures until March. However, in January there was a trip to the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal in Minworth. Only local places within walking distance or a short car journey were visited.

The Midlands Photos Blog went live, this focusses on a location in the Midlands every week. Apart from that there wasn't a great deal to report! We just awaited the end of lockdown.

Song of the month was "See it in your eyes" by Roxi Drive.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Warwickshire Places (20) : Wood End

The village of Wood End is just to the North of Tanworth-in-Arden. The village is part of Tanworth parish to the West of Umberslade manor and South of Terry's Green. Umberslade was given in the reign of Henry II to Robert Archer and remained in his family for the next six hundred years.

Wood End is a small village mostly consisting of residential properties though there is a pub of course. The village has a railway station on the North Warwickshire Line.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Small railway adventure only

The bad weather meant i canceled my planned trip to Oakham today, we'll try again for Rutland next year. Instead i had some time to give my Birches Green layout a bit of a run. This included an empty stock move to finally take the tourist coaches to storage, bogie coaches (presumably with heaters aboard) have been bought back for the cold months.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Evolution of the scroll bar

This is an interesting website showing the evolution of the GUI scroll bar from the earliest days of Xerox to the modern day. Personally i think the Mac scroll bar reached it's peak with System 7 and 8. The scroll bars of the current day are rather anemic. 

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

St Mary de Crypt revisited

A long time i blogged about the church of St Mary de Crypt in Gloucester. At the weekend i revisited the 12th century church, also seeing it from the other side too!

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Warwickshire Places (19) : Kingsbury

Kingsbury is a village in the North of Warwickshire which has Saxon origins and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The village was in a defensible position by the river Tame, indeed the "bury" part of the name means fort. Parts of Kingsbury Hall, a fortified manor house, still remain including parts of it's defensive walls.

Kingsbury is in the Hemlingford Hundred of Warwickshire, Hemlingford being a ford over the river Tame very close to Kingbury's church. The hundred's meeting place was at Hemlingford Green.

The church dedicated to St Peter and St Paul has been dated to 1200CE though an earlier church was likely on the same site, parts of the Norman church still remain. Kingsbury remained a small village until the 19th century when coal and mineral mining and the railways helped the village expand (though the station is now gone). Since the 1960s a large oil storage depot has been situated near the village. Also near the village is Kingsbury Water Park, a large leisure facility which re-used former gravel pits.

Monday, 22 November 2021


On Saturday i visited to Gloucester, a city i have not been to for some time (except for a railway station only stop earlier this year). I had a walk around the extensive Gloucester Docks which is a bit like inland waterways heaven. Gloucester, like Worcester and Hereford, is a city full of ecclesiastical treasures including the rather superb cathedral. You can see my photos here.

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Time for an ice cream

One of the joys of visiting a transport museum, like the Crewe Heritage Centre i visited a few weeks ago, is to discover part of their collection which is a bit out of the ordinary compared to the rest of the exhibits. So, as well as a fine selection of railway vehicles there was also this trio of vintage ice cream vans!

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Warwickshire Places (18) : Bedworth

Bedworth is a market town in the North of Warwickshire. Bedworth has Saxon origins and was listed in the Domesday Book as Bedeword. Bedworth was a small settlement until the early-modern period, local coal mines helping spark a boom in the town. In 1939 Bedworth had twenty coal mines but the last closed in 1991. Bedworth also grew due to ribbon weaving and textile manufacturers moving from Coventry. 

Both industries have now gone and Bedworth inhabitants mostly work elsewhere especially in nearby Coventry and Nuneaton. The parish church of All Saints has 14th century origins though was rebuilt by the Victorians.

The Coventry Canal, which flows through the town, opened in 1789. The railway arrived in Bedworth in 1850.

Monday, 15 November 2021


I didn't go very far on my rail adventure at the weekend as i needed to do some Christmas shopping in Solihull. So, i went to Olton in Solihull, had a look at the station and church and then took a bus into the centre of Solihull. A modest day out then though the shopping was done and probably won't need to do any more off-line shopping now. You can see my photos here.

Saturday, 13 November 2021

Heading off

Preserved Class 14 D9551 pulls away with a train at Bewdley on the SVR.

Friday, 12 November 2021

Churches (125) : St Mary and St Leonard, Wombridge

The church of St Mary & St Leonard in Wombridge in Telford, Shropshire has been built on the site of the former Wombridge Priory. The priory was dissolved in 1536 and now little visible remains. The lady chapel of the former priory church remained standing until 1756 when it collapsed. The new church was built in 1757.

The church consists of a nave and a West tower and is made from brick and dressed stone. The church was expanded in 1824 with the addition of North and South aisles and galleries. A chancel, organ chamber and vestry were added in 1869.