Wednesday 31 August 2022

Baddersley Ensor and Merevale

I had a little drive up to Atherstone on Monday in the new car and decided to visit Baddersley Ensor and see it's church, the village has no railway link so is not a place i would normally visit. I also saw an interesting former gate chapel at the site of the former Merevale Abbey. I need to do more of these visits to places away from the iron road.

Tuesday 30 August 2022

Calculators (15) : Commodore 796M

A similar calculator to the 776M (which we use as our daily driver),  the 796M was another popular low cost calculator with basic arithmetic functions and a pleasing (if sometimes hard to see) eight digit red LED display. The calculator is powered by a MOS MPS 7650 processor and requires a 9v battery to run or external power adaptor.

Our 796M works though the buttons are a little flakey. 

Sunday 28 August 2022

Little Kimble

After a couple of train-less weekends i headed out down to Buckinghamshire yesterday. I returned to Little Kimble which i last visited in 2018. This time i visited the parish church in Little Kimble itself. There isn't a huge amount near the little station though the Prime Minister's residence Chequers is nearby - though i did not visit that! You can see my photos here.

Friday 26 August 2022

Churches (154) : St Mary Magdalene, Alsager

The church of St Mary Magdalene in Alsager, Cheshire was built between 1892-6 to replace an earlier "iron church" (a metal pre-fabricated church). The church took a long time to finish, the North aisle not being completed until 1936. The tower was originally planned to be higher and have a spire, it is only the same height as the nave.

The church has North and South aisles, a clerestory, and chancel and vestry and a West tower. The church is built from red sandstone.

Thursday 25 August 2022

Model week : MPD wire up

Progress on the layout has been glacially slow this Summer, even though there are huge plans for expansion! The new MPD has finally been wired up and tested though, now the track layout can be finalised and stuck down. The MPD will allow two more locomotives to be stored on the layout. In other news model kit #099 has been completed, a special kit has been ordered for the next project...

Tuesday 23 August 2022

Calculators (14) : Valuman

From 1975 is the Valuman calculator, also known as the Radofin 1610. The calculator is typical of the simple yet efficient calculators now flooding out of the Far East by the mid-1970s. The calculator is powered by a GIMT5 Mostek CZL550 processor and provides the basic arithmetic functions as well as percentages and constants. It has an eight and a half digit red LED display.

Sunday 21 August 2022

New jamjar

No train (or bus) trips this weekend, instead i finally retired my beloved old Ford Fiesta which i have had for fourteen years and bought a new car, a Dacia Sandero. The Fiesta was my Dad's last car and i inherited it after his passing so of course it was sad to see it go, but all things must end one day. The new car is lovely, it is also very blue.

Friday 19 August 2022

Churches (153) : St Wystan, Repton

The origins of the parish church of St Wystan in Repton, Derbyshire are in Repton Abbey, a Saxon Benedictine abbey founded by the Mercian royal family, the crypt being the burial place of several Mercian kings and princes. The abbey was destroyed in 873 by the Great Heathen Army which seized Repton. About fifty years after the Vikings departed work began to restore the ruins of the abbey as a church, dedicated to St Wystan. Most of the church had to be rebuilt.

The church has been rebuilt and modified a number of times. The West tower and spire were added to the church in 1340. The nave and aisles were rebuilt and widened in the 13th and 14th centuries. A clerestory was added to the nave in the 15th century.

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Spotting Stafford

I had a day off yesterday and headed up to Stafford to watch some trains. A good morning was had, nothing that new but a good variety of freight plus an interesting new livery or two. You can see my photos here.

Tuesday 16 August 2022

Calculators (13) : Casio PERSONAL M-1

A typical mid-1970s calculator with a vacuum fluorescent display. Square roots and percentages are available as well as the four standard mathematical functions. The calculator also has some basic memory functions. It was built from 1976 in Japan. The calculator is in a neat though standard package and can be compared to the more idiosyncratic personal-mini from Casio in the same period.

Sunday 14 August 2022

Local trip

With no trains this Saturday i instead had a bus and tram trip. I took the Metro to the new terminus at Edgbaston Village. Then i walked back to Moor Street - on the way having a look at the splendid Bull which featured at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, and then took a bus to Bartley Green. You can see my photos here.

Friday 12 August 2022

Churches (152) : St Nicholas, Wallasey

The parish church of St Nicholas in Wallasey on the Wirral, despite appearances, dates from the early 20th century. Work began on the church in 1910 and it opened the following year. The plan of the church is in the opposite direction to the usual liturgical direction with the chancel at the West. The church has a central tower, North and South aisles on the nave with transepts. There is a Lady chapel to the South and a vestry to the North.

The church was built out of Storeton sandstone. The church is sometimes known as the Golfer's church due to it's proximity to Wallasey golf club!

Wednesday 10 August 2022

Tuesday 9 August 2022

Calculators (12) : Olympia LCD220

A late 1970s calculator with an eight digit LCD display and a pleasingly minimalist black case. The calculator has some mathematical functions like square root as well as the standard four arithmetic basics. As the calculator no longer works i don't know what the switch above C/CE does that can toggle between F, A and 2.

Monday 8 August 2022


At the weekend i made another trip to Wales, travelling to Machynlleth in West Wales. This is a lovely little town that is well worth a visit. Lots of book and antique shops, i did visit one of the latter but unfortunately no typewriters! You can see my photos here

Friday 5 August 2022

Churches (151) : St Peter, Mancetter

The parish church of St Peter in Mancetter, Warwickshire dates from the 12th century. Parts of the chancel walls still include original masonry. The nave was remodelled in the 13th century with a North aisle added. A West tower, South aisle and clerestory were added in the 15th. A South porch added in the 17th century.

The church is mainly built from sandstone, though of various types. Part of the chancel is ashlar and coursed stone.

Thursday 4 August 2022


A day off mid-week meant i could have an extra little trip. I decided to go to Atherstone in Warwickshire. Initially it was just to take photos of trains but as there didn't seem anything that exciting around i headed into the town and updated my photos there, especially of the interesting church. You can see my photos here.

Wednesday 3 August 2022

Model Week : 99

Project #099, a Handley Page Jetstream, is now nearing completion. So, what will project #100 be? I do have a few interesting kits in my backlog but i wonder if i should get something special?

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Calculators (11) : Sharp ELSI MATE EL-8113S

An early scientific calculator from the mid-1970s, built between 1975 and 1976 and an interesting example of how fast the technology in calculators was advancing. The El-8113S could perform trigonometry calculations, logarithms and powers all facilitated by a Hitachi HD3685 microprocessor. An eight digit VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) was provided to show your answers. There was also a switch to change between using degrees or radians.

The EL-8113S was powered by AA batteries or via an external AC adaptor.