Sunday, 3 July 2022

New typewriter

No travels this weekend due to reasons but instead a new addition to the typewriter collection arrived, a rather nice looking Imperial 200 in egg shell blue. The typewriter needed a bit of minor repair to get it working but now types pretty well. It is battered though, it looks like it may have been hung up on the wall as a trendy bit of decor. Not something i do with my typewriters of course!

Friday, 1 July 2022

Churches (146) : St Mary the Virgin, Bearley

The parish church of St Mary the Virgin in Bearley, Warwickshire dates from the 12th century. The nave is probably 12th century with parts of the chancel from the following century. However, much of the church is much more modern with extensive rebuilding in the 19th century. This included extending the nave and adding a Western porch and bell turret. The church's windows are also largely 19th century additions.

The church is built from coursed lias stone. The bell tower is made from brick with a wooden belfry.

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Model week : Jetstream

This year we will finally reach completed 100 model kit projects, i am sure. But first we need to complete #99! This is a Handley Page Jetstream. Construction is largely finished and painting has now begun.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Derbyshire Places (6) : Spondon

Spondon, which is now a suburb of the city of Derby, was a village dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. The name Spondon is derived from the Anglo-Saxon for gravelly hill. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Spondon was destroyed in about 1333 by a great fire, the church and most houses being lost. The parish church dedicated to St Werburgh was built in 1390, replacing the original burnt down church.

The village greatly expanded in the 19th and 20th centuries due to industrial sites such as the huge British Celanese factory making cellulose acetate. This site has now closed.

Also closed is the Derby Canal which once flowed through the village. The railway station which opened in 1939 remains open.

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Halesowen and Quinton

With there being rail disruption on Saturday, i decided to have a bus adventure instead. I travelled to Halesowen which has a rather lovely church. On the way i spotted that Quinton also has a nice church so on the bus back to Birmingham i stopped off and took some photos of that too. You can see my photos here.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Castles (20) : Newark

On the banks of the river Trent in Newark, Nottinghamshire this castle dates from the mid-12th century when it was built by the Bishop of Lincoln after being granted permission by King Henry I. The castle was initially of wood construction, later rebuilt as stone. King John died of dysentery after a feast at the castle in 1216 which indicates the kitchens may have needed work. The Bishop established a mint at the castle.

The castle was extended and rebuilt in the 14th century. Though the castle was slighted during the Civil War. The castle ruins were partially restored in the mid-1850s.

Today the gatehouse, part of the curtain wall and a tower survive.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Typewriters (5) : WH Smith Red Fox

From the late 1970s is this rather fine WH Smith branded typewriter. It was actually made by Silver-Reed and is very similar to the Silver-Reed Silverette we have seen already. One key difference is this typewriter is red of course! It works pretty well and has some rather tasteful grey keys.

Can you use typewriters in anger these days? Well of course, the world runs on text still. I have used my Brother Deluxe 1350 in anger once, typing the address on an envelope which was much less bother than trying to do it on my laser printer (which is Brother too incidentally). I have toyed in the past with trying to organise a type mob where typewriter wielding hipsters descend in a cafe and drown out the place with the sounds of keys and carriage returns. No one would probably turn up though if i did it so i'll leave that kind of thing for cool people to do.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Horsenden and Princes Risborough

Yesterday i returned to Princes Risborough for the first time this year, the aim of my visit was to go to the hamlet of Horsenden which is about a mile away. Naturally the hamlet has a nice thatched cottage and a little parish church (though the graveyard looks like it could do with some TLC). I also took some photos in Princes Risborough in an area i haven't visited before. You can see my photos here.

Friday, 17 June 2022

Castles (19) : Abergavenny

Another castle on the Welsh border, the castle was established by the Normans in 1087CE. The castle was built to overlook the river Usk. A stone keep replaced the original wooden building in around 1100. In 1175 the castle was the scene of a massacre when a group of Welsh nobles were killed there after being lured there under false pretences by William de Braose.

The castle was expanded in the 13th and 14th centuries. By the 15th century however, the castle was falling out of use. It was slighted by orders of the King in the Civil War to stop it being used by Parliamentary forces.

By the 18th century the castle ruins were beginning to attract visitors. A hunting lodge was built atop the motte in 1819. The building now houses the town's museum.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Model week : Tug completed

Project #098, a tugboat, has been completed and pretty fine it looks too! After a few mediocre kits it was nice to finally complete one and be fairly proud of it! 

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Typewriters (4) : Imperial 2002

Another typewriter from the 1970s is this Imperial 2002, and very of it's time it is too. Its in a rather nice cream with a space age font for the model name. The typewriter is in good condition and rather clean too unlike some of the others in the collection.

Continuing the musing of why i like typewriters. As well as the physical presence, a typewriter wins over another sense too, smell. Typewriters can smell amazing, well thats if you think the smell of ink and lubricant oil mixed with decades of dust smells amazing. I do of course, but then again i also like the smell of garlic. My Macbook doesn't really smell of anything at all.

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Statfold Barn

I've only been to the Statfold Barn Railway, a treasure trove of narrow gauge railways very close to where i live, once before. They held an enthusiasts weekend this weekend so i thought it was high time i returned. The weather was great too, unlike my previous visit in 2019 when it was rather moist, and i enjoyed rides on steam trains, a tram and heritage buses. A superb place and a superb day, you can see my photos here.

Friday, 10 June 2022

Castles (18) : Stokesay

Stokesay is a fortified manor house located on the Welsh marches in Shropshire. Stokesay was built on the site of an earlier castle in the 13th century by Lawrence de Ludlow. Despite being owned by a Charles I supporter in the Civil War (and was beseiged by Parliamentary forces) the castle survived largely intact and continued to be used as a residence and later for agriculture until the 18th century.

By the early 19th century the castle has fallen into disrepair and was restored in the mid century. The castle was first opened to visitors in 1908. 

The castle consists of a hall connected to North and South towers. A wall enclosing the courtyard was demolished in the 17th century but the castle has otherwise remained intact and is one of the best preserved fortified manor houses in the country.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Typewriters (3) : Silver-Reed Silverette

A popular typewriter in the collection, very compact and desirable in black. This typewriter dates from the late 1970s. It looks like a typewriter that has worked hard over the years, all the keys are somewhat yellowed apart from one which indicates it has had some maintenance and repair over the years. It types pretty well, as this video i recorded a few months ago shows.

Continuing the musing on why i like typewriters so much, there is a physical presence about them and their output, a tactile feedback you get from using one which is hard to get from a computer, except maybe my Mac mini with it's incredibly loud keyboard (though a typewriter is louder natch). 

Monday, 6 June 2022

Fiskerton & Morton

On Saturday i headed back to the East Midlands to visit the villages of Fiskerton and Morton in Nottinghamshire. A rather rural feeling area with some very narrow country lanes, close to the river Trent and a lot of horses! You can see my photos here.

Friday, 3 June 2022

Castles (17) : Chepstow

Chepstow, literally on the Welsh border, in Monmouthshire was a Norman castle, construction beginning in 1067CE as part of a chain of defences along the Marches. The castle was later used as a spring board for the Norman conquest of Gwent and remained a strategic point until the Reformation though was becoming used more for accommodation by the 16th century. By the 1700s it had fallen into decline and gradual decay.

The castle is located on the river Wye and is located on a limestone ridge. The castle has been expanded since it's beginnings, having four bailies at it's height. Strongpoint of the castle was the Great Tower which was completed in about 1090.

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Rugeley rails

A day off work today ahead of the double bank holiday, i went up to Rugeley Trent Valley to take some train photographs. There was a good selection of rolling stock on display including a Trans Pennine Express train on it's way to the works, so quite off it's usual patch. You can see my photos in my 2022 Miscellaneous set.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

Typewriters (2) : Olympia Olympiette

After the Brother 1350 which started the collection, this is my favourite typewriter in the collection. We are now in the 1980s and plastic is used more and more. So why do i love this typewriter so much, apart from the fact it types really well i love the fact it has London map stickers on it. It seems to me this was a typewriter that worked hard throughout it's life.

Another question you might be asking is why do i love typewriters so much? I shall endeavour to answer that over the last few weeks. Typewriters are very physical machines, unlike computers which are largely esoteric (well being a computing graduate and having had a 27 year career in IT i know what happens inside the box but it isn't very visible!) However, with a typewriter everything is straight forward. You hit a key, the lever it is connected to then impacts a piece of paper. Who knows what goes on inside Microsoft Word? Literally no one.

Monday, 30 May 2022

Model week : New wagon... but there is a problem

A new wagon has arrived on the layout, i believe it is the first example of Bemo we have. It looks very nice but there is a problem. The major retailer who sold it to me (it was second hand) labelled it as a HOe product but it seems like its a HOm product instead. This means it does not fit on the layout's track gauge. Luckily i do have a pair of wheels which can be modified between the two gauges so i was able to test the wagon though the wheels come from another wagon which wants them back. So now i need to track down a new set of wheels.