Tuesday 31 August 2021

Calculators (10) : Lloytron Accumatic 55

A typical chunky mid-1970s calculator. The Lloytron was powered by a Rockwell A1241PA processor and had an eight digital vacuum fluorescent display (actually nine digits but the extra digit is used for the negative sign and memory status). 

As well as the standard arithmetic functions the Lloytron also offers square roots, squares, reciprocals and percentages.

Monday 30 August 2021

Model Week : Ballasting (N gauge edition)

It's time to get a move on with Shard End, the N gauge layout i began earlier in the year. The track layout is finalised now so it's time to do some scenery and actually start building a proper layout! So i have begun ballasting, always the best way to destroy perfectly fine track circuits of course! Lets see how things are when the glue dries.

Sunday 29 August 2021


Yesterday i went to Stafford. Now i have been here a number of times over the years but in the past it has been purely to take railway photographs and i have not seen much of the town itself. So this time i left the station! Stafford has a number of interesting buildings as befits a county town including it's main church. You can see my photos here.

Friday 27 August 2021

Churches (114) : St Peter, Hereford

The collegiate church of St Peter is the oldest parish church in the city of Hereford dating from 1074CE. The current church dates mostly from the 13th and 14th centuries. It has a nave, chancel, South aisle and a tower with a spire. One of the bells in the tower is thought to have been the Common Bell which was rung to give warning of emergencies to the people of Hereford. The church was restored in 1885.

The church is from ashlar sandstone and rubble.

Thursday 26 August 2021

Wednesday 25 August 2021


I have just bought a rather lovely 1980s typewriter. It is an Olympiette Special (made by Olympia). Although it looks a bit shabby it types incredibly well. I took a photograph of some of the typing i did and the type looked like it had been Photoshopped, it was so sharp! What will i do with this typewriter? What do i do with my Brother Deluxe? Not a lot!

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Calculators (9) : Prinztronic MC66

The Prinztronic MC66 was a meaty desktop AC powered calculator from the early 1970s. Made in 1973 and powered by a Rockwell 15352PA processor, the MC66 provided the basic mathematical functions, memory functions and a constant key. It had a 12 digit green vacuum fluorescent display.

The calculator has very pleasing "space age" styling, including the typeface used for the name.

Monday 23 August 2021


On Saturday i went to Saunderton in Buckinghamshire. Now this is an interesting place. In reality Saunderton is on the outskirts of Princes Risborough, though Saunderton station is in a different place a few miles up the line with a different village (also called Saunderton though with a different postcode) around it! I went to both anyway, you can see my photos here!

Friday 20 August 2021

Churches (113) : St John the Baptist, Middleton

The parish church of John the Baptist in Middleton, Warwickshire dates from the middle 12th century and may be built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. Parts of the nave and chancel date from then, a doorway on the South side has a Norman zigzag arch. The church was enlarged with a North aisle in the 13th century. The tower dates from the 15th.

The original parts of the church were made from coursed sandstone rubble, some later additions from ashlar. The church was restored in 1876.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Calculators (8) : Academy

This was a mass-produced calculator from HK, known as the Standard Type 1. Our example bears the name "Academy" though many other names were also carried too including "King Sonic", "Mustang 3000" and "Binatone"! All were the same calculator, manufactured in the late 1970s. The calculator is similar internally and functionally to the Texet 880A.

The calculator is powered by a Texas TMS0972NL and has the basic arithmetic functions, percentages and a memory. The display has eight digits and uses red LEDs.

Monday 16 August 2021

Atherstone and Mancetter

On Saturday i headed up to Atherstone in North Warwickshire. I have been once before, on a Winter's day, so it was nice to walk the Coventry Canal when it the towpath was dry! I walked to the neighbouring village of Mancetter this time too. You can see my photos here.

Saturday 14 August 2021

Model Week : Yellow Peril

A new locomotive has arrived on the Birches Green layout. This little yellow switcher, which obviously will be called the Yellow Peril, is a welcome addition to the fleet's switcher section which have been a bit depleted after the failure of all three Liliput switchers! In other news the Mustang model project has been completed.

Friday 13 August 2021

Churches (112) : St Peter, Derby

The parish church of St Peter in Derby is the only medieval church in the city. The church dates from the 11th century and was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The church has been rebuilt a number of times. The first was in 1338 when the South aisle and chantry was added. The church was rebuilt again in 1350 in the Decorated Style.

The tower was rebuilt in 1509, the walls over the nave and aisles was also raised and a clerestory added. The church was restored in the late 1800s. The West side of the church and the tower were rebuilt in 1898.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Calculators (7) : Texet 880A Executive

Texet made this calculator in 1978 in HK, powered by a Texas Instruments TMS0972NL or a MOS MPS-7560 chip. The calculator has the basic arithmetic functions, it can handle negative numbers with the CS key and percentages. 

The calculator has memory store though the eight digit red LED display has no indicator to show the memory is being used. Helpfully there are three separate keys that can clear the memory!

Sunday 8 August 2021

Railing around the West Midlands

Due to the poor weather forecast i changed my original plan for Saturday for a canal walk in the Warwickshire countryside to a multi-rail jaunt around Birmingham (though of course in the end the weather turned out to be fine!) I bought a daytripper ticket and criss-crossed the West Midlands from Sandwell to Bournville and up to the edge of Staffordshire. You can see my photos here.

Saturday 7 August 2021

Model Week : Painting the Mustang

The latest model project, #096 a North American Mustang, is proceeding well and is in the final painting stage. A couple of new kits have been bought for the stockpile too. In other procurement news a new locomotive has been purchased for Birches Green and it should arrive in the next couple of days.

Friday 6 August 2021

Churches (111) : St John the Baptist, Berkswell

The parish church of St John the Baptist in Berkswell in the West Midlands is a Norman church which probably dates from mid-12th century The church is notable for it's two-part crypt, the Eastern part being under the chancel and the Western part under the nave and North aisle. These parts of the church date from the original building. 

A South aisle was added in the 15th century, the tower is also thought to date from this century. The half-timbered South porch was added in the early 16th century.

Wednesday 4 August 2021

Railing in Rugeley

I had a day-off yesterday and headed up to Rugeley Trent Valley for some rail photography. It is always better to do this on a week day as you have a higher chance of seeing freight, engineering trains and other more unusual workings. On my visit this included a new Class 720 on a test run before it goes off to work in East Anglia! You can see my photos here.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Calculators (6) : Triumph-Adler 814

Also known as the Triumph-Adler EC1M (and built by Omrom in Singapore), the 814 was a large desktop calculator from 1973 built using LSI discrete logic. The calculator came in mains powered (as in my example) or battery powered versions. The calculator has the basic arithmetic functions and a memory. The calculator is designed for heavy duty number crunching in the likes of accounts or payroll departments and has a fold out stand on the back.

There are also a few other function keys along the left-hand side, what A, K, CA and CI do i don't know (though on other calculators K is used for carrying out calculations using a constant), unfortunately the calculator is non-operational. Similarly there is a sliding switch above the display, perhaps something to do with number of decimal places displayed? The display is an eight digit VFD (vacuum fluorescent display).

Monday 2 August 2021

Willington & Repton

On Saturday i went to Willington in the South of Derbyshire (and indeed very close to the Staffordshire border). I have been once before but concentrated on the canal that time. While i did revisit the canal too i wanted to take some photos in Willington itself and also make the short walk to the neighbouring village of Repton with it's famous school and it's fine Saxon church. You can see my photos here. I took some photos along the canal too of course, which can be seen here.