Friday 30 September 2022

Churches (159) : St Peter, Harborne

St Peter's in Harborne, nowadays a suburb of Birmingham, dates from the medieval period though all that remains of that church is the 14th century tower. The church was built on the site of an earlier Saxon church, it is thought that St Chad may have preached there. Most of the current church dates from a Victorian rebuilding in 1867.

The church has a nave, aisles, transepts and an apsidal chancel. The church is built from red sandstone, the newer parts being rock faced.

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Grey Fox

Another typewriter joined the collection today, number 12 i believe. This machine is a WH Smith Grey Fox, similar to my Red Fox though grey of course. It doesn't work though, it is missing a key and seems pretty broken internally. So maybe one day this will be an interesting repair job, until then it can just look pretty.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

Gloucestershire Places (4) : Cheltenham

Cheltenham is a spa town to the North of the county. The settlement of Celtan Hom, which may mean steep hill, was first recorded in 803CE. It appeared in the Domesday Book as Chintenham and received a market charter in 1226. 

Cheltenham's fortunes changed when mineral springs were discovered there in 1716. In 1788 the town and it's spas were visited by King George III and other royals which made the town a highly fashionable place to visit. Horse racing at Cheltenham began in 1815, adding to the visitors who thronged to the town every year. Many visitors came via Cheltenham Spa railway station which opened in 1840.

The town is said to be one of the most complete Regency era towns, it also has a number of fine churches including St Mark's.

Sunday 25 September 2022

Clifford Chambers

Not every place that i want to visit has a station, for a while i have wanted to use a train and bus to get to somewhere away from the railway and so yesterday i did this for the first time. Train to Stratford-upon-Avon and the bus to Clifford Chambers. Truthfully it isn't very far from Stratford but its a start! Clifford Chambers is a nice little village with the usual pretty medieval church. As a bonus there was also an old tractor parked in the street, well of course! You can see my photos here.

Friday 23 September 2022

Churches (158) : St Mary the Virgin, Kirtlington

The parish church of St Mary the Virgin in the Oxfordshire village of Kirtlington has Norman origins and may have been built on the site of a Saxon church. The oldest parts of the church date from the early 12th century including supports for the bell tower. The nave was rebuilt in about 1250 with North and South aisles added. A chancel replacing the apse was built later in the century.

A clerestory and a South porch was added in the 15th century. In the 18th century the Lady chapel was replaced by a family chapel for the Dashwood family. The tower was also demolished in 1770 and was rebuilt in 1863, a few years later the chancel was restored.

Wednesday 21 September 2022

Departing Bewdley

Back at the SVR Diesel Gala, a Class 33 hauled train departs Bewdley.

Tuesday 20 September 2022

Gloucestershire Places (3) : Lydney

Lydney is a town in the Forest of Dean, on the West bank of the river Severn. Settlement in the area dates back to the Iron Age, a fort was built in the area. Later on the Romans built a temple on the site. The Saxons later built a settlement at Lydney which by the time of the Domesday Book was known as Ledenei.

Located on the Severn, Lydney later gained docks to capitalise on the river trade. A railway bridge crossing the Severn was built near Lydney in 1870, the bridge was damaged beyond repair after being struck by oil tankers in 1960. Lydney railway station opened in 1851, one of a number of stations in the area. Another of these stations, Lydney Junction, is now the Southern terminus of the Dean Forest preserved railway.

The parish church dedicated to St Mary dates from the 13th century though most of the current church dates from the start of the 16th.

Monday 19 September 2022

Wootton Wawen to Preston Bagot

On Saturday i returned to one of my favourite places, Wootton Wawen and did a canal walk up to Preston Bagot. This small village has a rather lovely church (thats on the end of a very steep walk uphill!) For a change the church was open too! You can see my Preston Bagot photos here and my Stratford Canal photos here.

Friday 16 September 2022

Churches (157) : St Peter, Cradley Heath

St Peter's church in Cradley Heath in the West Midlands is an example of a dissenters' church which was bought into the established church by an act of parliament. A group of dissenters known as the Independent Congregational Society built the church in 1789, however the church was bought into the Church of England in 1799 after the congregation ran out of money.

The church was built with a provision for a clock in it's tower, which was built in 1875, though one was never fitted due to a lack of funds. In 2021 the clock from the demolished church of St Luke elsewhere in Cradley Heath was fitted into St Peter, finally giving the church it's clock! (The photos below are from before the clock was fitted.) The church was extended in 1933 to accommodate a larger choir.

Tuesday 13 September 2022

Gloucestershire Places (2) : Ashchurch

The village of Ashchurch is at the North of the county close to Tewkesbury. The first record of the name (then known as Asschirche - Church near the Ash tree) date from 1287. Ashchurch was part of the parish of Tewkesbury until the 16th century when it became a parish on it's own. The church dedicated to St Nicholas dates from the 12th century with additions and changes in the following centuries.

The railway reached Ashchurch in 1840, the station is now known as Ashchurch for Tewkesbury (as the larger settlement doesn't have a station anymore!) The Ministry of Defence maintain a large vehicle storage depot near the village.

Monday 12 September 2022


Time for a new addition to the typewriter collection. This Silver-Reed SEVENTY is number 11 in the collection. Its very similar to my Silver-Reed Silverette though the chassis is a different colour and it is in slightly better condition. It seems to work pretty well.

Sunday 11 September 2022

Barrow Hill Roundhouse

Yesterday i headed up to Chesterfield in Derbyshire to finally tick off a railway museum i have wanted to visit for some time. Barrow Hill Roundhouse is a surviving example of a railway roundhouse shed where a turntable serves a number of sidings for locomotives. The collection at Barrow Hill is amazing, including quite a few single surviving examples of the first generation AC electric locomotive classes which used to rule the West Coast Main Line. You can see my photos here.

Friday 9 September 2022

Churches (156) : Priory Church, Leominster

The Priory Church (dedicated to St Peter and St Paul) in Leominster, Herefordshire was originally a Benedictine priory built in the 13th century, possibly on the site of an earlier Anglo-Saxon monastery. In 1539 the East side of the church, and most of the monastic buildings, were destroyed but the rest of the priory survived to become a parish church.

The church has a two-tier West tower, a South aisle which dates from the 16th century and a North aisle dates from the 19th. The church is built from ashlar sandstone.

Thursday 8 September 2022

Tuesday 6 September 2022

Gloucestershire Places (1) : Kemble

Kemble is a village at the South-Eastern edge of the county deep in the Cotswolds and close to Cirencester. The village has existed since Saxon times or even earlier as it is situated near the Roman Fosse Way. Roman tiles have been found in the nearby village of Ewen.

A pre-Christian 7th century cemetery having been found in the village. The parish church has Norman origins with a tower dating from 1250CE. Kemble is the closest settlement to the Thames Head, the source of the mighty river.

A nearby former RAF base (once home to the Red Arrows) is now known as Cotswold Airport used mainly by light aircraft.

Monday 5 September 2022

Liverpool rails

At the weekend i headed up to Liverpool for the first time this year, i really would like to go more often. Maybe next year. Anyway i headed around on the Merseyrail network, crossing off three more stations and saw an interesting new train at Lime Street. You can see my photos here.

Friday 2 September 2022

Churches (155) : St George, Edgbaston

The parish church of St George is in Edgbaston close to Birmingham city centre. The church was built as a chapel of ease for St Bartholomew's church in Edgbaston in 1836-8. The church was built with a nave with two aisles. A chancel was added in 1856.

The church was transformed in 1884-5 with the building of a new larger nave, South aisle and chancel. The original nave became the North aisle, the original chancel became the lady chapel.