Monday 28 February 2022

Craven Arms

On Saturday i went to Craven Arms in Shropshire. This is a village named after a pub (or stage coach tavern) on the Welsh marches. Adjacent to Craven Arms is the hamlet of Stokesay where there is a castle/fortified manor house and a rather lovely church. You can see my photos here.

Friday 25 February 2022

Churches (133) : St Nicholas, Warwick

The church of St Nicholas in Warwick was rebuilt in the 18th century on the site of an earlier church which was built in around 1123. Little is known of this church though was said to have been in a poor state by the 18th century. 

The tower and steeple dates from 1748, the first parts of the old church to be rebuilt. The body of the church including the nave was rebuilt in 1779. A chancel was added in 1869.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Oxfordshire Places (3) : Chinnor

Chinnor is a village in South Oxfordshire. There has been settlement in the area since the Iron Age, the name Chinnor may derive from the Saxon for "Ceona's Slope". Chinnor existed for sure in the late Saxon age, records of the village date from the reign of Edward the Confessor. Later Chinnor was owned by the Earl of Winchester and until the late Middle Ages the de Ferrers family.

Chinnor remained a small village for centuries, only seeing a spark in growth in the 1960s. The population more than doubled in size between 1951 and 1971. A major employer in the area was the Chinnor Cement & Lime Limited Company, this finally closed down in 1999. 

Chinnor's parish church is St Andrew which dates from 1160 though much of the church today from the 13th and 14th centuries. Chinnor station is the HQ of the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway preserved line, the original station closing in 1961, re-opening in 1994.

Sunday 20 February 2022

Local names

Due to the storm(s) sweeping Britain this week i postponed my planned trip to Shropshire until next week. Instead i went on a walk around the local streets, just like during the original lockdown! I have recently formed an interest in photographing the older metal painted street name signs in Birmingham. The Council may remove them at some stage so i thought it would be an idea to record them.

Saturday 19 February 2022

New ribbons

Both the Silver-Reed and Imperial typewriters i have bought this year work well but the ribbons in each are completely worn out. Luckily you can buy anything on eBay including new typewriter ribbons! I fitted the new ribbons the both typewriters and now i can see what i am typing! I also videoed myself typing, i actually can type at 45wpm which is pretty decent though i had to slow down for the Silver-Reed as it couldn't quite cope with me at full speed!

Friday 18 February 2022

Churches (132) : St Michael-on-Greenhill, Lichfield

The parish church of St Michael-on-Greenhill in Lichfield, Staffordshire has existed since 1190 though much of the current church dates from an extensive restoration in 1842-3. The oldest part of the church is some 13th century masonry in the chancel. The West tower is 15th century, it's spire needed replacing in 1601 after the original was blown down.

The church was much changed by it's 19th century rebuilding. Changes included remodelling the South aisle and adding perpendicular windows to the North aisle.

Wednesday 16 February 2022


Another day, another typewriter! An Imperial 2002 typewriter arrived today, the 6th in our growing collection. The typewriter looks to work well, though the ribbon is completely shot so it's hard to be sure. Before we buy any more typewriters it might be an idea to get a stock of ribbons in...

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Oxfordshire Places (2) : Banbury

The market town of Banbury, Oxfordshire's second largest settlement, has Saxon roots. The name itself comes from the Saxon chief Banna who built a stockade in the 6th century (a burgh). However, it's location on at the junction of two ancient Iron Age roads means that settlements in the area date back to 200BCE at least.

During the Middle Ages Banbury became prosperous due to the wool trade. During the Civil War, Banbury was an important Parliamentary forces base, though the castle was Royalist. A gunpowder producing industry using saltpetre from nearby King's Sutton developed during the war. After the war the town became a centre for religious dissent.

The Oxford Canal reached Banbury in 1779, and remains a centrepiece of the town. The railway reached Banbury in 1850.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Sandbach and Elworth

Yesterday i headed up to Sandbach in Cheshire (the station is actually in the neighbouring district of Elworth). Sandbach is a place i've heard of for a long time, due to the motorway service station of course. A familiar sight when my Dad used to take us up the M6 to Liverpool. Sandbach (the place) is a very pleasant little market town. You can see my photos here.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Second attempt typewriter

A few weeks ago i bought a typewriter off eBay but it unfortunately was lost by the courier. Once the refund was in, i bought another typewriter. Guess my horror when the same courier was used to deliver it! Luckily in this case they didn't lose it. So, here we have a Silver-Reed Silverette, a nice compact little machine. It seems to work fine though needs a new ribbon.

Friday 11 February 2022

Churches (131) : Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield

The parish church of the Holy Trinity in Sutton Coldfield dates from the 13th century. However, the oldest parts of the current church date from the 15th century being the West tower and aisles. The church was expanded in the 15th century by the Bishop Vesey including adding two aisles to the nave. His tomb now resides in the church. The nave was rebuilt in 1760 to add a clerestory.

The church was restored in the 19th and 20th century, with some material re-used from Worcester Cathedral. The church of St James, Hill in Mere Green is a former daughter church of Holy Trinity.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Oxfordshire Places (1) : Tackley

Tackley is a village next to the river Cherwell and near to the Oxford Canal. The village has existed since Saxon times, the village church still has some Saxon remnants. The Domesday Book entry for Tackley lists a watermill. Later mills were still in use as late as the 18th century.

A railway line passes through Tackley in the mid-1850s but it was not until 1931 when Tackley gained a railway station which is the Nethercott part of Tackley. Nowadays the population are mostly commuters to other towns and cities though farm fields still surround the village.

Sunday 6 February 2022


Yesterday i headed to Chepstow, which is in Wales (just!) A very fine place it is too next to the river Wye (which separates the town from Gloucestershire) with a castle and other surviving medieval features including much of the town wall. You can see my Chepstow photos here.

Friday 4 February 2022

Churches (130) : John the Baptist, Stamford

The church of John the Baptist in the Lincolnshire town of Stamford is now redundant as a place of worship though has been preserved. The church's origin is 12th century though little from that age survives apart from scattered examples of stone work. Most of the current Perpendicular style church dates from the early 15th century including the five stage tower.

The church was restored by the Victorians. Other work took place on the church in the 1950s to address problems caused by subsidence in the vaults. The church has been disused since 2003, it is under the care of the Church Conservation Trust.

Tuesday 1 February 2022

Cigarette Card Stars (10) : Arlene Denton

A Lancashire lass, Arlene was a dancer who came to London in the early 1930s. She also appeared in some films apparently, including one which the card calls the "Mad Mystic" though no film seems to exist called that according to IMDB! As with some of the other more obscure cigarette card stars let us know if you have any more information!