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.