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.

Sunday 29 May 2022


Near where i live i can clearly see the horizon, and there is a church spire sticking out above the rest. For awhile i have wondered what that church was. I know now, St Edburgha in Yardley! I didn't have a train adventure this weekend due to engineering works on the Cross City Line, so instead i had a bus trip. You can see my photos here.

Friday 27 May 2022

Castles (16) : Rochester

Situated at a strategic location on the river Medway in Kent, Rochester castle was an early Norman motte and bailey castle built not long after the Conquest. The stone castle was built between 1087 and 1089CE. The large keep, which dominates the castle ruins today, was built in the 12th century after King Henry had granted the castle to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The castle saw action a number of times in the Medieval period, including the First Barons War, the castle being besieged by King John. The last time the castle saw action was in 1381 during the Peasants' Revolt when it was captured and ransacked.

The castle decayed over the following centuries, parts of it being taken for re-use in buildings elsewhere. The castle was opened to the public in 1870 and since then has seen some restoration.

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Typewriters (1) : Brother Deluxe 1350

This new series will take a look at our growing typewriter collection.

The series has to start with the Brother Deluxe 1350, the first in the collection. This is a fine typewriter which would have been built in Japan in the early 1970s. Unlike most of the other typewriters in the collection, it had a fully enclosing case with zip, later typewriters tended to go for a plastic half cover with the bottom of the typewriter exposed. 

The typewriter works well and has some pleasing late 1960s design touches with a fake wood finish above the keys.

Monday 23 May 2022


I headed up North to Cheshire at the weekend to the lovely market town of Nantwich. Another nice place in Cheshire which is a county i am quickly growing to love. I took some photos in the town and also did a walk along the Shropshire Union Canal in Nantwich, including a rather splendid aqueduct! You can see my canal photos here.

Saturday 21 May 2022

Model week : Tug away

Time to start a new model kit, and this one is a little different and not just because all of the parts are in a rather shocking red! Project #098 is a jolly little tugboat and is progressing well.

Friday 20 May 2022

Churches (145) : St Peter and St Paul, Syston

The church of St Peter & St Paul in Syston, Leicestershire dates from the 13th century. Most of the church dates from a restoration by Ordish in 1872 though original features of the church remain. The original chancel was replaced in 1880. 

The church has a West tower, a nave with aisles and clerestory. The church is built from pink granite and white limestone.

SVR Diesel Gala 2022

Yesterday i attended the Severn Valley Railway Diesel Gala, one of the highlights of the year. This year did not disappoint, with me managing to see everything i wanted to (though the last thing on the list appeared literally minutes before i had to leave!) A great day was had watching (and travelling behind) old diesel locomotives. A perfect day apart from the mild sunburn! You can see my photos here.

Wednesday 18 May 2022

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Buckinghamshire Places (10) : High Wycombe

High Wycombe is a market town in the South of the county. The settlement first appears as a Saxon village known as Wicumum in 970, though the remains of a Roman villa in what is now the town have been found. The town was granted a market charter in 1222 and became a mill town with with paper, linen and lace produced in the town.

In the 19th century the furniture making industry took off in High Wycombe sparking an expansion in factories and housing for their workers. The town became well known for it's chair making, the Wycombe Museum includes a number of chairs made in the town.

In the 20th century the slums were cleared and replaced by new housing, the city centre redeveloped after the Second World War. The parish church of All Saints dates from the 13th century. High Wycombe railway station opened in 1854.

Sunday 15 May 2022


It's funny, i hadn't been to Wales for years and now in the first few months of this year i've been three times, its like buses! Abergavenny is a rather lovely little town with castle ruins (well it is Wales after all) and other pretty buildings of interest. Surrounded by some beautiful hills. You can see my photos here.

Friday 13 May 2022

Churches (144) : St Thomas, Stourbridge

The parish church of St Thomas in Stourbridge in the West Midlands dates from 1726, the money to build the church largely raised through a public subscription. A chancel was added in 1890, stained glass and further improvements to the interior and exterior were also made in the 19th century.

The church has aisles and a West tower. The church is built from red brick with stone dressing.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Buckinghamshire Places (9) : Seer Green

Seer Green is a village in the South of the county. It's name is derived from the Norman French for a dry or arid place. It was known as La Sere in the 13th century, Green being added to the name at a later stage. Seer Green was a hamlet of the parish of Farnham Royal but became it's own parish in 1866. The church of the Holy Trinity, which was first built in 1846 therefore then became the parish church.

The land around Seer Green was agricultural with the area known for it's cherry orchards. Seer Green is known as the cherry pie village and a cherry pie fair is held annually. Much of the nearby land is nowadays taken up by Beaconsfield Golf Course. Next to the golf course is Seer Green & Jordans railway station which opened in 1915.

Monday 9 May 2022

Lapworth to Lowsonford

It's been a long time since i have done a decent canal walk so headed down to Lapworth at the weekend to do one. The last one i did was back in December, that was from Lapworth too though on that occasion a different canal! At the weekend i walked down the Stratford Canal to the lovely little hamlet of Lowsonford and back. You can see my photos here.

Friday 6 May 2022

Churches (143) : St Mark, Cheltenham

The parish church of St Mark in Cheltenham Spa was built between 1860 and 1866 by John Middleton. Transepts were added in 1888. The church is Gothic revival in the Decorated style and made from drilled Cotswold stone.

The church has a five bay nave and a two bay chancel. The West tower has three stages and a spire.

Thursday 5 May 2022

On test at Stafford

Today i had a day off work and headed up to Stafford to photograph some trains. There is always more variety on a weekday compared to the weekend, more freight working and test trains. I was not disappointed, both of the new units being built for West Midlands Railway were on test today and headed through the station. You can see my photos here.