Sunday 30 October 2022


Yesterday i went up to Matlock in Derbyshire. I have been to the station a couple of times before but always to use the Peak Rail preserved railway, this time i wanted to actually see Matlock itself finally! Matlock is a lovely town in the Derbyshire Dales, situated on the Derwent. You can see my photos here.

Saturday 29 October 2022

Colourising Long Acre

The new version of Photoshop, which i upgraded to this week, includes some "neural filters", one of which is a filter to colourise black and white photographs. I decided to give it a go on these scans of photographs taken by my grandfather of Long Acre or Nechells in the 1950s (or around about). To be honest the colourisation isn't that bad at all. The original black and white photographs can be seen below alongside for comparison.

Friday 28 October 2022

Churches (163) : St Mary, Lichfield

The church of St Mary in the centre of Lichfield, close to the cathedral, dates from 1870 though is possibly the fourth church on the site with the first thought to date back to the mid-12th century. The current church replaced a neoclassical style church (built 1721, demolished 1868),  and is in a Victorian Gothic style made from Derbyshire sandstone.

The church when built had an aisled nave, chancel, tower with spire and a chapel on the North side dedicated to the Dyott family. The chapel is where services remain to be held while the rest of the church has been converted for other uses in recent years as congregations have fallen. Lichfield Library now use the building and it is used as well for other community uses such as tourist information.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Litton Imperial 201

Time for one more typewriter this year, the last before 2023 (i promise!) It is this rather fine Litton Imperial typewriter, which is possibly a model 201 though i am not one hundred percent convinced about that yet. It types very well though needs a new ribbon.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Priories (3) : Evesham Abbey

Evesham Abbey in Worcestershire was established in the early 700s (or maybe slightly earlier) by St Egwin. The abbey was Benedictine and became one of the richest in the country. This wealth paid for later additions to the abbey including the fine bell tower which happily survived dissolution. 

The abbey was plundered following dissolution in 1540. Apart from the bell tower the remains of the abbey include a section of wall and fragments of the chapter house and gateway. Two churches on the site, All Saints and St Lawrence, which were built in the 12th century by Benedictine monks, also survive although only the former remains a consecrated church.

Sunday 23 October 2022


Its been a while since i have been to the centre of Nottingham (i've been to a couple of the outskirt towns recently). I had a good canal walk along the Nottingham Canal until it met the mighty river Trent. Returning to the centre i explored the historic heart and some of the fine old buildings. You can see my canal photos here and other Nottingham photos here.

Friday 21 October 2022

Churches (162) : St Laurence, Rowington

The parish church of St Laurence in the Warwickshire village of Rowington dates from the early 12th century and is mentioned in a deed from 1157. The church was rebuilt in the following century, the present nave and ante-chancel were added. A tower was added in the 14th century. The nave was split to add aisles in the early 15th century. 

The church was restored in 1872. The church is built from squared coursed stone, it also includes some red sandstone which was gifted to the church by Queen Mary I from Kenilworth Abbey.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Rail tour top and tail

A rail tour with a lovely old diesel at each end heads through Chester Road.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Priories (2) : Polesworth Abbey

Polesworth Abbey was a Benedictine nunnery in Polesworth, Warwickshire. It was founded in the 9th century by St Modwena and King Edbert of Wessex. The first abbess was the King's daughter Edgytha who later became St Editha. Much of the abbey has now been lost though the abbey church remains as the parish church of St Editha

The gatehouse which dates from the 14th century and some restored ruins of the cloister are what remains of the abbey. The abbey was dismantled by Francis Goodere who had been granted the land by King Henry VIII in 1544. Stone from the abbey was used to construct the now demolished Polesworth Hall.

Monday 17 October 2022

Kenilworth churches

On Saturday morning i drove to Kenilworth to visit St Nicholas, this is the parish church of the town and i missed it on previous trips. A very nice church it is too, and it was open so i could go inside and say a prayer, as apparently Queen Elizabeth I and King James did in the past. Next to the church is the ruins of St Mary Abbey. You can see my photos here.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Hidden London Shepherd's Bush

On Friday i did my latest Hidden London tour, this one of Shepherd's Bush station on the Central Line. The tour was excellent as always with ventilation tunnels and former passenger tunnels now used for storage to visit. You can see my photos here.

Saturday 15 October 2022


On Thursday i visited Loughborough. I have been before but mostly for the Great Central Railway, on this visit i wanted to explore more of the canal and also see the parish church (which is indeed one of the largest in the country). You can see my canal photos here and other photos from Loughborough here.

Friday 14 October 2022

Churches (161) : All Saints, Gravelly Hill

All Saints in Gravelly Hill (close to the Spaghetti Junction!) was built in 1900-01 as a chapel of ease for St Barnabas in Erdington. The church was built as a simple rectangular building out of brick. Originally it was planned to have a much larger church though only the nave was built.

It was enlarged slightly adding a West porch and a vestry, however plans for a chancel were scuppered by the First World War and, despite various efforts in the two succeeding decades, the plans to extend the church came to nothing. The church became a parish church in it's own right in 1928.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Priories (1) : Llanthony Secunda, Gloucester

Llantony Secunda Priory was an Augustinian canon house located in Gloucester. It was founded by the Earl of Hereford, Miles de Gloucester in 1136 as a refuge for the monks of Llanthony Priory in the Vale of Ewyas, after that priory came under attack from the local Welsh population. 

The priory became known for it's cheese making including gifts of cheese to the royal family. The priory was seized by the crown during the Dissolution of the Monastries and the lands granted to the MP Arthur Porter.

The priory is well preserved with some buildings intact.

Sunday 9 October 2022

Along the canal into Birmingham

Yesterday i walked the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal from Aston Junction into the heart of Birmingham. Nearly as far as Brindley Place and the end of the canal though i left near Farmer's Bridge junction as i wanted to walk through the Jewellery Quarter too and some of my old work haunts. This stretch of canal is fascinating, including part where a modern building was built over it! You can see my photos here.

Friday 7 October 2022

Churches (160) : St Mary and St Nicholas, Saunderton

The parish church of St Mary and St Nicholas in Saunderton, Buckinghamshire was built in 1227, originally only dedicated to St Mary. St Nicholas had a different church but this fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1452. St Mary's was re-dedicated to St Nicholas as well.

The church has a nave and a chancel. The former has a bell turret with a steep pyramid roof. The church was rebuilt in the late 1880s after the walls started to lean inwards. The church is built from flint with a stone dressing.