Sunday 31 July 2022

Down the airport

Yesterday i went down to Marston Green (my birthplace of course) and went to the end of Birmingham Airport's runway in Sheldon Country Park to watch some planes. Amazingly the last time i was here was in 1990, i remember this as i came after my last A-Level exam! It has changed a bit, i don't remember the benches being here before though it was a long time ago! You can see my photos here.

Friday 29 July 2022

Churches (150) : St Mary, Lydney

The parish church of St Mary in Lydney in Gloucestershire dates the 13th century, most of the current church dates from then though a chapel was added in about 1500 at the East end of the North aisle. The church has a four stage West tower with a spire, a nave with aisles and a chancel. The church is made from thin-bedded sandstone rubble with large flush quoin stones and has a Welsh slate roof.

The church was restored in the 19th century, including the spire which was rebuilt.

Thursday 28 July 2022

Prop takeoff

Another video from London City Airport, this one being a prop!

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Derbyshire Places (10) : Belper

Belper is a town in the centre of Derbyshire, on the Derwent valley. Belper's origins was in land owned by the Norman Henry de Ferrers, at the time part of a forest. Belper's name may be derived from the hunting lodge name Beaurepaire which was first mentioned in 1231. The chapel of St Thomas (later St John) dates from 1250 and remains intact as Belper's oldest building. The parish church of the town, St Peter is a much more recent addition.

For a long time Belper remained a rather minor place, listed as a hamlet of Duffield as late as the 17th century. However, the town grew thanks to industry including nail making and later water powered cotton mills. Belper was indeed one of the first mill towns, being close to Cromford and Arkwright's first cotton mill in 1771.

Belper continued to grow after the arrival of the railways in 1840. Belper was the first place in the country to get gas lighting. Textiles and hosiery remained important trades in the town until well into the 20th century. 

Monday 25 July 2022

Claverdon again

Its been a number of years since i've been to Claverdon, and that previous trip was made in Winter so i thought it was high time i returned in Summer. I explored more of the village this time and got some nice photographs of the lovely church. You can see my photos here.

Friday 22 July 2022

Churches (149) : St Werburgh, Spondon

The parish church of St Werburgh in Spondon, Derbyshire dates from 1390, it replaced an earlier church which was destroyed by fire in 1340. Most of the church including the West tower, nave and chancel still date from the original building although the North wall of the nave had to be replaced due to subsidence in 1826. A flat roof was also fitted to the church.

The roof was changed back to a pitched roof during restoration of the church in 1892, the North aisle was also rebuilt. 

St Werburgh was an Anglo-Saxon priestess who became the patron saint of Chester in the 8th century. There are ten churches dedicated to the saint including in nearby Derby.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Derbyshire Places (9) : Long Eaton

Long Eaton is a town in the South Eastern corner of the county between Derby and Nottingham and located near the river Trent.

The town has Saxon origins, it was known as Aitone in the Domesday Book. It was a farming settlement and was at a crossing of the river Erewash. Long Eaton gained a market charter and grew slowly, a major setback being a great fire in 1694 which destroyed many houses in the town and buildings around the market place. A building which survived is the parish church dedicated to St Lawrence which dates back to the 12th century.

The town began to grow much faster after the arrival of new transport links and new industries. Firstly the Erewash Canal which opened in the 1779 and linked Long Eaton with the Trent. The first Long Eaton railway station opened in 1839, the current station dates from 1888.

Monday 18 July 2022

Tonbridge and Leigh

Late last week i made a trip down to London for a couple of days, highlight of which was a trip down to Kent. I went to Tonbridge, having wanted to see the rail yard there for some time. I also enjoyed seeing the castle. I also made a short trip to nearby Leigh, a nice little Kent village. You can see my photos here.

Friday 15 July 2022

Churches (148) : Holy Trinity, Sutton Coldfield

The church of the Holy Trinity in Sutton Coldfield dates from the 13th century though the oldest remaining part of the current church is the 15th century West tower. The church was extended in the 15th century by the Bishop Vesey, the nave was extended and two side aisles added. The Bishop's tomb is contained within the church. Wooden screens panelling inside the church were fitted in 1875 having originally been in Worcester cathedral.

Also in the 19th century, the nave roof was raised, with a steeper pitched roof built. Larger clerestory windows were also fitted.

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Tuesday 12 July 2022

Derbyshire Places (8) : Repton

The village of Repton has existed since Saxon times and indeed was highly important in the Kingdom of Mercia, being the home of the Bishop of Mercia until 669CE when he moved his see to Lichfield. Repton is said to be where Christianity was reintroduced to the Midlands when the Mercia royal family were baptised in 653.

Repton was an important centre for the Kingdom of Mercia, King Æthelbald was buried here in 757. The parish church of St Wystan is named after a prince of Mercia and contained a mausoleum for the Mercian royal family. An abbey was built at Repton though abandoned in 873 when Repton was overrun by the Viking Great Heathen Army.

In more recent times, Repton is known for it's public school, alumni of which include Basil Rathbone, Roald Dahl, Adrian Newey and Jeremy Clarkson. Indeed, The Stig is said to have been named after the school's slang term for new boys!

Sunday 10 July 2022

Steeple Aston and Lower Heyford

Yesterday i returned to Heyford in Oxfordshire, a place i visited once a number of years ago and was well overdue a return visit. Actually the village is called Lower Heyford (though the station is Heyford). I also walked to the adjacent village of Steeple Aston, and did a canal walk too. Busy day and you can see my photos here!

Friday 8 July 2022

Churches (147) : St Helen, Burton Joyce

The parish church of St Helen in the Nottinghamshire village of Burton Joyce dates from the 13th century though this church replaced an earlier Saxon one of which little is no known. The North aisle of St Helen's may have reused stone from the original church.

The church was extended Southwards in the 14th century and the chancel was rebuilt. The South aisle was an addition in 1725, the arcades were rebuilt in 1879. The following year a pipe organ was installed.

Thursday 7 July 2022

Model week : Buffet

A new carriage has arrived at the Birches Green Light Railway, to be honest the BGLR isn't short of passenger rolling stock though this one is the first buffet car. So finally visitors to the railway can have a cup of tea while travelling around and around.

Tuesday 5 July 2022

Derbyshire Places (7) : Cromford

The village of Cromford is in the centre of the county in the Derwent valley. Crumforde was a farm near Wirksworth when listed in the Domesday Book and remained a small settlement until it's important role in the Industrial Revolution. Cromford was where Richard Arkwright built the first water powered cotton mill in 1771. Cromford also became the site of the first factory housing development with Cromford rapidly growing for the workers at the mill. Arkwright later built a manor house in Cromford which is nowadays known as Willersley Castle. The parish church of St Mary dates from 1790, built on the site of an earlier church.

The Cromford Canal was built from Cromford to link up to the Erewash Canal. Nowadays only a short stretch from Cromford is navigable. The Cromford & High Peak Railway was opened in 1831 to carry freight across the Dales. This closed in 1967.

Cromford railway station, on the line between Derby and Matlock, opened in 1849 and remains open.

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.