Friday 30 April 2021

Churches (102) : Pershore Abbey

The parish church of the Holy Cross (to give it it's full name) in Pershore, Worcestershire is a former abbey. The abbey may have been founded in the late 7th century under the Mercian kings. The current building however dates from about 1100CE, with the original abbey thought to have been destroyed by fire in 1002. The abbey was dissolved in 1539 and partially demolished the following year. 

The remains of the church became a parish church, of the original abbey only the tower, South transept and choir now remain. The North transept collapsed in 1686 and was replaced by a wall. The church was restored in the 1860s.

Thursday 29 April 2021

Model Week : Mottled

The latest model project, a Messerschmitt Me262, is approaching completion. I've had a go at Luftwaffe style mottled camouflage. I'm not that happy with the results but its OK I suppose. The kit should be finished in the next few days.

Tuesday 27 April 2021

West Midlands Places (2) : Rowley Regis

The village of Rowley Regis, in the Black Country, has 12th century origins and is the highest point in what is now known as the West Midlands (though Rowley Regis was part of Staffordshire until the 1970s). The village grew around the parish church of St Giles though there have been settlements in the area since at least Roman times, the name Rowley has Saxon origins. Rowley Regis was part of the Royal hunting grounds (hence the "Regis" which was added to the name in around 1140CE). 

Up until the Industrial Revolution Rowley Regis was largely rural but that all changed with the arrival of the canals and later the railways (Rowley Regis railway station opening in 1867). 

Saturday 24 April 2021


Back into the East Midlands this week for the latest rail adventure, this time to Leicestershire. Syston isn't far from Leicester and is a fine little town with a good church, Leicestershire is blessed with many fine churches. The railway station is interesting is that it has only one platform, which of course means you can't go wrong! You can see my photos here.

Friday 23 April 2021

Churches (101) : St John the Baptist, Hartford

The parish church of John the Baptist in the Cheshire village of Hartford dates from 1875. It replaced an earlier church built in 1824 which had proved too small for the growing local population. The initial church consisted of nave and porches and the chancel. The tower was added in 1887 (it's foundations were laid as part of the original church).

A choir vestry was added on the East wall of the church in 1925. The church was restored in the 1990s with the original floor and seating replaced, the pipe organ was replaced by an electronic one and the church roof was renewed. In the late 1990s a West side extension was made to the church. The church is built from buff sandstone with a red sandstone dressing.

Wednesday 21 April 2021

Model Week : Summer is coming

Summer is coming and the tourist train will replace the push-pull service on Birches Green for the season. The three coaches will undergo the usual update with passengers added, the first has been completed.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

West Midlands Places (1) : Hampton in Arden

Hampton in Arden, lying between Solihull and Coventry and being close to Birmingham Airport, was part of Warwickshire until 1974. Hampton in Arden was mentioned in the Domesday Book as Hantone, which has possible Saxon origins.

Hampton in Arden was on the salt route between Droitwich and Coventry as well as being a settlement in the Forest of Arden. The lands were owned by the Crown several times during the Middle Ages. By the 19th century the manor was held by Sir Robert Peel. His son had the current manor house built as well as rebuilding a number of village homes.

Hampton in Arden's parish church is St Mary and St Bartholomew which dates from the 12th century. Hampton in Arden railway station was the original station for Birmingham Airport (and had suitably long platforms for express services) before the opening of Birmingham International in the 1970s.

Sunday 18 April 2021

Burton Joyce

Over a year ago now, my final rail adventure before the first lockdown was to Carlton. In a way it was symbolic that, as many restrictions continue to be raised, i finally went to the next station on that line: Burton Joyce! 

As for Burton Joyce, it is a nice Nottinghamshire village along the river Trent which i had a walk along and got some sun. A marked contrast from last week in Alsager when i got snowed on! You can see my photos here.

Friday 16 April 2021

Churches (100) : St Barnabas, Erdington

The 100th entry in this series has to be this church, maybe the closest i have to my own church as i went to the attached primary school many years ago...

St Barnabas in the Birmingham suburb of Erdington was built in 1822-3 as a Commissioners' Gothick building. The West tower and wide nave are original features of the church though it has been changed many times over the following years. The chancel and transepts were added in 1883.

The biggest changes came after a major fire in 2007. The roof was destroyed though the tower and walls survived. The church was rebuilt and has a new roof and a modern entrance with a more open plan community space opening into the main church.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Model Week : 262

The latest model project is #095 a Messerschmitt Me262. The build has gone pretty well and I should begin the painting in a day or so. 

Tuesday 13 April 2021

Cigarette Card Stars (5) : Kitty Reidy

"Our picture shows this charming young English actress in the costume she wore in last season's production at the Grand Theatre, Leeds of the pantomime 'Goody Two Shoes'. Kitty Reidy has had considerable experience on the stage in this country, and her talent and sparkling performances have assured her a great reception from audiences in all parts of the country."

Kitty appeared in a number of shows in the 1930s and 1940s from Mother Goose in 1934 and Robin Hood in 1947.

Sunday 11 April 2021


Yesterday I had my first proper rail adventure of the year, as in out of local area. I went up to Alsager, in Cheshire near Crewe. A jolly nice place it is too, being full of large Victorian houses. It also has a number of interesting churches, and a railway station of course! You can see my photos here.

Saturday 10 April 2021

Through Adderley Park

A Transport for Wales service heads through on it's way to Birmingham International.

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.