Thursday 30 September 2021

Old skool thrash

Can't beat a bit of old skool diesel thrash as a Class 56 and 47 depart Derby.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Walking the waterways (26) : Macclesfield Canal

The Macclesfield Canal is a forty two kilometres long canal in East Cheshire. The canal connects to the Peak Forest Canal at Marple Junction then heads more or less South to the Trent & Mersey Canal at Kidsgrove, passing through Macclesfield on the way. The canal was opened in 1831 following decades of planning and consultation. 

The canal, facing competition from the railways, ended up being bought by the Manchester, Sheffield & Lincolnshire Railway in 1846. It remained financially viable for many years, commercial traffic continuing on the canal until 1954. The canal became part of the growing preservation movement in the 1960s, though leisure use of the canal had existed since the 1920s, and the canal is now part of the Cheshire Ring.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Acton Bridge and Weaverham

Yesterday I headed up to Cheshire to visit Acton Bridge, a new station for me. There isn't a great deal around the station but a short walk away is the rather lovely village of Weaverham which has a nice church and some thatched cottages. You can see my photos here.

Friday 24 September 2021

Churches (118) : St Andrew, Shifnal

The parish church of St Andrew in the Shropshire town of Shifnal is Norman, and was probably built on the site of an earlier Saxon church. Parts of the church date from the 12th and 13th centuries with changes in later centuries especially after a fire in 1591. The church has a nave and chancel with North and South aisles and a 13th century tower. The tower and South aisle both have a battlement parapet. The church has a two storey South porch.

The church was restored in the late 1870s. The church is built from coursed sandstone and ashlar.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Walking the waterways (25) : Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal

The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal links the river Severn in Stourport with the Trent & Mersey Canal at Great Haywood, passing through Kidderminster on the way which is where the below photographs were taken. The canal stretches for seventy four kilometres. The canal was opened in 1771, James Brindley being the chief engineer. The canal was a commercial success, transporting goods from the Potteries to the South West and also to the Midlands via a link to the Birmingham Main Line at Aldersley.

The opening of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal in 1815 created a more direct route from Birmingham to Bristol and this affected trade on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal. Despite the competition from other canals and the railways the canal remained profitable, though steadily reducing. The canal was nationalised in 1948 though by now traffic was scarce. 

There were plans to close the canal in 1959 but it survived thanks to the efforts of volunteers. In 1969 the canal was reclassified as a cruiseway and preservation and restoration has continued ever since.

Monday 20 September 2021


On Saturday i visited Wilmcote near Stratford-upon-Avon. This is a place i have been to a few times before and indeed was one of the earliest places i had a railway adventure to several years ago. I updated my photographs of the village including of Mary Arden's farm (or supposedly anyway). You can see my photos here.

Saturday 18 September 2021

Yet another typewriter!

Yes i've done it again, i've bought another old typewriter off eBay! That is three now which i have bought over the last couple of months. That will be it for now though i will look to get a few more next year. The latest typewriter is a Hermes 305 and it works pretty well, except for capital letters being subscript for some reason. 

Friday 17 September 2021

Churches (117) : St Mary, Sileby

The parish church of St Mary in the Leicestershire village of Sileby dates from the 12th or 13th century with building completed by the 15th. The church has a nave, aisles, a chancel, a South porch and a West Tower (in three stages). The church is built from ashlar and granite rubble. 

The church was restored in the 19th century. A pipe organ was installed in 1882.

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Walking the waterways (24) : Rochdale Canal

The Rochdale Canal links Manchester to Sowerby Bridge in Yorkshire, passing through Rochdale. The canal is a wide canal which opened in stages from 1798, the final branch opening in 1834. The canal was successful and became on the major trunk routes for commerce between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Despite competition from the railways the canal reached it's peak in commercial traffic in 1845.

The canal went into decline as with most waterways in the late 19th and 20th centuries though remained profitable until after the First World War. Most of the canal was closed in 1952 and became unusable in the 1960s, including being cut in two by the M62 motorway. Despite attempts to abandon the canal, work to restore it began in the 1970s. It was not until 2002 that the canal was restored for navigation along it's full length.

Monday 13 September 2021

The Wirral

On Saturday i headed up to Merseyside and side some exploring around Wallasey and New Brighton. I also had a look at the new Merseyrail trains which will enter service soon, they had a public demonstration at Birkenhead North. You can see my Wallasey and New Brighton photographs here.

Sunday 12 September 2021

Derby diesels

I had a day off work on Friday and headed up to Derby. I hoped that, as it was a week day, there would be some interesting railway workings and i was not disappointed! There were so many classic diesel locomotives on show it was like being at a diesel gala at times. You can see my photos here.

Friday 10 September 2021

Churches (116) : All Saints, Chalfont St Peter

The church of All Saints in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire was built in 1912 due to new housing and growing demand between Chalfont St Peter and Gerrards Cross. The church was designed in the Arts & Crafts Style by Temple Lushington Moore. However, the church was originally to have been much larger, only the North aisle of the original design was built.

There were plans to extend the church though these did not come to fruition. The church has a single nave and chancel, with a porch and vestry on the North side.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

Another typewriter!

I've bought another typewriter, which puts my collection at three now (and surely will continue to grow). The latest arrival is another Brother Deluxe though an 800 (my earlier Brother Deluxe is a 1350). The typewriter works pretty well, it has a crack on the outer casing though this does not affect operation.

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Walking the waterways (23) : Erewash Canal

The Erewash Canal is a canal which runs in Derbyshire between Langley Mill (where it joins the Nottingham and Cromford Canals) and then flows for nineteen kilometres until it joins the river Trent near Long Eaton. The canal was opened in 1779 and was a commercial success due to heavy coal traffic.

This commercial success kept the canal a going concern despite railway competition. It was taken over by the Grand Union Canal company in 1932 and nationalised in 1947. However, by now the canal was in decline commercially and the last cargo by boat was carried on the canal in 1952. Part of the canal was closed to navigation but remained watered in the early 1960s. The canal was restored to full navigation in 1973.

Trent Lock on the river Trent

Narrowboat near Trent Lock

Water management near the Trent

Boat in Long Eaton

Derby Road Bridge in Langley Mill where the Erewash meets the Cromford Canal

Monday 6 September 2021

Wootton Wawen

On Saturday i paid a visit to one of my favourite places (though not one i have been to for a couple of years), Wootton Wawen. As well as some photos of the church (which is the oldest in Warwickshire) and the village, i also did a canal walk from Wootton Wawen aqueduct to Edstone aqueduct. You can see my Wootton Wawen photos here, and the canal photos here.

Friday 3 September 2021

Churches (115) : St Mary and All Saints, Kidderminster

The parish church of St Mary and All Saints' in Kidderminster, Worcestershire has existed since at least 1315, the consecration date of the chancel though the foundation existed in early Norman times. Most of the current church has existed since the 15th and 16th centuries. The church has a perpendicular tower, which is crenellated, and a nave.

The chantry was rebuilt in the 16th century, the rest of the church was restored in 1895. A South aisle was added in 1847 and an organ chamber in 1874.

Thursday 2 September 2021