Friday, 9 April 2021

Churches (99) : St Peter & St Paul, Kingsbury

The parish church of St Peter & St Paul in the Warwickshire village of Kingsbury has existed since about 1200CE. The church retains it's Norman nave though the rest of the church including the West tower was remodelled around 1300. The vestry was added in the 14th century with more changes including to the aisles in the following centuries. The church was restored in the mid-1880s.

The church is mainly built from sandstone though brick was used on the nave's East gable during the Victorian restoration.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Cigarette Card Stars (4) : Betty Crocker

"Betty Crocker is one of England's most photographed girls. She has the distinction of possessing an extraordinary number of hobbies, but admits that her favourite sports are the strenuous ones of swimming and tennis, at each of which she is expert. Miss Crocket is justly proud of her delightful figure, and spares no efforts to keep herself in perfect physical trim."

Well in the late 1930s she may have been one of "England's most photographed girls" but trying to find information about her now is rather difficult, one major reason for that though is she shared her name with a famous American food brand! But if you know more about Betty Crocker the English well photographed girl let us know!

Sunday, 4 April 2021

Canley to Coventry

The final trip on my week of rail adventures was to Coventry. I started at Canley station, one I have not visited before, and then walked into the fine city itself. Despite being to Coventry a few times before I have not been to the cathedral and it is certainly worth the wait. The combination of the ruins of the original and the postwar Modernist replacement must be one of the finest buildings in the country. Well I was quite impressed anyway! You can see my photos here.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Churches (98) : St Andrew, Bebington

The parish church of St Andrew in Bebington on the Wirral dates from around 1300CE, though was built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. The South aisles are the oldest part of the church with the South-West tower being added in the 14th century. The chancel and the North and South chapels from the 16th century.

The tower was rebuilt in 1805 after being damaged due to a lightning strike. The church was reordered in 1847 with a North arcade added in the Norman style. The church is built from sandstone.

Friday, 2 April 2021

Rugeley Town

Yesterday I visited Rugeley again. This time I didn't walk along the canal, instead i went into the town itself for the first time (on previous visits I've either stayed at Rugeley Trent Valley or gone along the Trent & Mersey Canal). I also went to Rugeley's other station, Rugeley Town. You can see my photos here.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Model Week : Taming the Demon

Project #94, a Hawker Demon, has now been completed. As it was a biplane I had my usual struggles due to my lack of dexterity! However, the finished product isn't too bad at all, especially if viewed from the correct angles!

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Cradley Heath

Today I ticked off another local station i haven't been to before (though passed through many times), Cradley Heath. I also walked up a rather steep hill to the church of St Peter which can be clearly seen from the railway line. There is a great view of the town and surrounding area from the graveyard. You can see my photos here.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Cigarette Card Stars (3) : Paula DeCardo

"Paramount's lovely chorus girls are admired for their perfect figures and features. One of thge loveliest of them all is Paula De Cardo, a dark-haired young beauty who possesses also a considerable ability in acting for the screen. Her talents in this direction are well borne in mind, and it is more than likely Paula will be one of the stars of the future."

Unfortunately Paula never became one of the stars of the future. She was born in Chicago in 1916, the daughter of the well known dancing team Paul and Perla DeCardo. She made her film debut in 1932's Jewel Robbery, afterwards studying dancing in Paris to hone her skills. She appeared in dozens of films in the late 1930s though always in minor roles. She was also a highly respected ballerina in Los Angeles.

But she died young, at the age of 26 in 1942, her last film being 1940's "Good Old Schooldays".


Restrictions are being lifted (though in fact restrictions were no where near as strict as most believed) and this week I am going to have a number of railway adventures. I started yesterday with a trip to Bloxwich to the North of Walsall. It has two stations very close to each other so i was easily able to visit both, I was also able to take some decent photographs in the town in the bright sunshine. You can see my photos here.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Even more Living 1973

A final selection of scans from the October 1973 edition of Living Magazine.

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Adderley Park

When I was a kid I did most of my train spotting at Stechford. The station between Stechford and Birmingham New Street is Adderley Park and for some reason I never went there. Well that was finally rectified today. To be honest it isn't in the nicest of areas. However, the local parish church is quite nice, although locked away behind iron gates! You can see my photos here.

Friday, 26 March 2021

Churches (97) : St Laurence, Church Stretton

The parish church of St Laurence in Church Stretton, Shropshire, dates from the 12th century. The Norman nave is a surviving part of the church from that period. The transepts were built in the 13th century in the Early English style. The upper stage of the tower and the chancel added in the 15th.

A vestry was added in 1831, the church was restored in the 1860s, 1882 and 1932. The church is mostlly built from rubble stone with an ashlar dressing.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Cigarette Card Stars (2) : Joy Hodges

"Joy has appeared in a number of films, her latest being Universal's 'Service de Luxe' released by General Film Distributors Ltd. Every morning she takes a plunge into the El Mirador pool at Palm Springs, for she believes in swimming for the figure."

The mention of Service de Luxe dates the card to 1938, one of two films she appeared in that year. Joy was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1915. She made her screen debut in 1935 and appeared in a number of films in the late 1930s as either a singer or actor including appearing with Fred Astair in Follow the Fleet (1936). She also appeared in a number of Broadway musicals and made some TV appearances in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Her main claim to fame is helping Ronald Reagan become a movie star whom she knew in Des Moines when he was a sportscaster. When he later met her in Hollywood, she helped him get started in the acting game. Their friendship continued, and when Reagan was the President, she was a frequent guest at the White House. Joy died in 2003.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

More Living in 1973

A few more scans from the October 1973 Living magazine i found in my Mum's loft last week.

Saturday, 20 March 2021


This morning I headed up to Northfield, an area on the other side of the city i've been through (by car and train) but not stopped at before. The parish church is rather nice, one of the oldest churches in the city of Birmingham in fact. It also has a nice steep hill to climb to get to it as well! You can see my Northfield photos here.

Friday, 19 March 2021

Churches (96) : Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's church; he was baptised, married and buried here. The church dates from 1210CE and is built on the site of a Saxon monastery overlooking the river Avon, and was probably at the centre of the original town. A chancel was added to the church in 15th century. A clerestory and and North porch added afterwards (the latter about 1500CE).

The church originally had a wooden spire which was replaced in 1763. William Shakespeare was buried in the chancel after his funeral in 1616. Anne Hathaway was buried next to him in 1623.