Thursday 31 August 2023


The last place i visited on my trip to the Scottish Highlands was the rather nice town of Elgin which has a fascinating former cathedral now ruins and some other interesting buildings. I did also see (though couldn't photograph) a bathroom and kitchen worktop manufacturer called Elgin Marbles! What i did photograph can be seen here.

Wednesday 30 August 2023


Based in Inverness for a few days of course i wanted to visit a couple of other places too, Nairn is a town just a couple of stops down the line and is rather nice too. Unfortunately due to time constraints i wasn't able to reach the coast (the beach is apparently pretty good) but maybe another time? You can see my photos here.

Tuesday 29 August 2023


I've been to the Far East, Europe even London but i haven't been to Scotland. Well until last week anyway when i finally made it! I have a very enjoyable trip to the Highlands, flying to Inverness. I also visited Nairn and Elgin but more about them another time.

Inverness is a superb city on the river Ness (no sign of any monsters unfortunately). You can see my photos along the Ness here and the other photos from Inverness here. I have no hestitation to say its one of the best places i have visited on my many travels, I certainly will be returning to the Highlands some time within the next couple of years.

Monday 28 August 2023

Typewriters (10) : KOFA 300

Quite a few examples of this typewriter are on sale on eBay at any one time, often listed as being "vintage" or even "1970s/1980s". You could of course wonder why such an "old" typewriter has the Euro symbol on it's keyboard! That must mean the typewriter was built no earlier than about the year 2000. New typewriters are still made in China and this typewriter came from there, it is listed on this website (though the site is pretty old).

As it isn't a very old machine it naturally works pretty well and has little sign of wear and tear, though is a little plasticky. 

Saturday 26 August 2023

Churches (194) : St Mary, Lower Heyford

The parish church of St Mary in Lower Heyford, Oxfordshire dates from the 13th century, replacing an earlier Saxon church. The church was rebuilt in the 14th century in the Decorated Gothic style. It has north and south aisles either side of the nave. A clerestory and porch was added to the church in the 15th century as was the west tower. 

The church is built mainly from partly-coursed limestone and marl stone rubble. The church was restored in the mid-19th century.

Thursday 24 August 2023

Model week : Harrier

The latest model project, #107 is a Hawker Harrier and is progressing well. I have done this kit before, way back in 2016 with Project #068 though this time i am doing the kit with it's wheels up! Painting should commence at the weekend.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Gardening update

Time for a garden update, well all is reasonably well after the death of one of the two rosemary bushes over the winter. The other rosemary bush is thriving as are the lavender, mint and oregano plants also in the herb garden. It is mysterious how one mighty rosemary bush died but such is nature i guess. The shrubbery is also doing well and probably needs a bit of tidying up.

The rest of the garden is growing well, the wet summer has seen much greater rates of growth than we've been used to recently. Over the last few years nothing much grows after the end of May but that has all changed this year. Naturally this also includes the weeds!

Tuesday 22 August 2023

A little trip into Wales

At the weekend i headed up to north Wales to the village of Cefn-y-bedd. I also walked up to Caergwrle (where i went earlier in the year) and climbed the steep hill up to the castle which i wasn't able to make last time. A tiring walk though the view from the top was worth it. You can see my photos here.

Monday 21 August 2023

Typewriters (9) : Boots PT800

The major British retailer Boots sold typewriters throughout the 1960s to 1980s. The typewriters they sold were Boots branded though built by established typewriter manufacturers. We have two Boots typewriters in our collection, one is an Erika made Model 42 from the late 1960s and the later Seiko built PT800.

This is a standard Seiko typewriter of the period. It is nice and clean and has had a new ribbon fitted though there are some problems with operation. At times it can be very stiff and the carriage hardly moves, at other times it moves all too quickly and far! These problems may be ironed out with a bit of typing though. Having visited a Boots store today i can sadly report that they no longer sell typewriters which is a shame.

Friday 18 August 2023

Churches (193) : St Peter, Machynlleth

The church of St Peter in Machynlleth, Powys mostly dates from a rebuilding in 1827. However, the church has existed since 1254 at least. The oldest part of the current church is part of the west tower from the 15th century.

The nave is six bay and aisleless. The tower has three stages. The church was given a Gothic feel in modifications made in 1894. The church is largely built from coursed local rubble.

Thursday 17 August 2023

Soho Loop

The original Birmingham Main Line canal stretched for over 36km from Aldersley Junction (with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal) to the centre of Birmingham. The canal was opened to traffic in 1769 and was fully open in 1772. However, the original line of the canal was long and winding as it followed the contours of the land, with a number of deviations to give access to the many industries in the area. This was creating bottlenecks along the route and also making journey times longer than they needed to be.

A much straighter New Main Line was built in the 1820s, which opened in 1827. Much of the original main line was kept especially where it gave access to industry, some of the old loops became branches of the new main line, this included the Soho Loop.

The Soho Loop is a 2km section of canal which loops off and then rejoins the New Main Line just outside of the city centre. The loop once had a branch which served Matthew Bolton's Soho Manufactory. The remnant of the branch is now used for private boat moorings. A notable location the Soho Loop passes is Winson Green prison and also Soho railway depot.

Rotton Park Junction, the Soho Loop begins under the bridge

Soho Loop

A pipe bridge

Winson Green junction, the Main Line is beyond

The Soho Branch

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Short Heath

There was no railway trip last weekend due to other commitments, but i did have time for a local walk on Sunday. I walked from Erdington railway station up to Perry Common through Short Heath. Not the most interesting trip there has ever been but it did fill in a gap of my travel photography, you can see the photos here.

Monday 14 August 2023

Typewriters (8) : Smith-Corona XE1630

So far in this series we have only covered mechanical typewriters. These do form the vast majority of the collection though there are also three electrics too, though only the Smith-Corona XE1630 works. This was my Mum's typewriter which she let me have. It works fine though lacks the magic of a loud mechanical typewriter.

If you are going to collect typewriters then electrics are best avoided as so often they are broken, and if the issue is with the circuitry then this is likely to be much harder to fix than a broken mechanical, which is usually fixable with a bit of wire or some oil.

Friday 11 August 2023

Churches (192) : St Stephen, Tonbridge

The church of St Stephen in Tonbridge, Kent was built between 1848 and 1853 close to the railway station which sparked the development of the south side of the town where the new church was built on land bought by the vicar Sir Charles Hardinge. 

The church was built by the Punnett family and was consecrated in 1851. The spire and north aisle were added in 1866. 

Wednesday 9 August 2023

Model week : Finished Basset

Project #106, a Beagle Basset 106, has now been completed and turned out pretty well. Next up will be another Harrier, this time wheels up perhaps.

Tuesday 8 August 2023


On Saturday i headed down to London. I wanted to head to one of the termini of the Northern Line in High Barnet and also cross some other tube stations off on that branch of the line. I managed two other stations as well as High Barnet and a church in Barnet at a bottom of a very steep hill (which i had to go back up!) before the heavy rain drove me back home. You can see my photos here.

Monday 7 August 2023

Typewriters (7) : Triumph-Adler Tippa

This typewriter joined the collection earlier this year and is a rather lovely little portable. It types well, especially after the ribbon was changed. The carriage does seem to get stuck before the end of the line, hopefully this will not be unfixable.

The most interesting thing about the Tippa is the keyboard layout. It has a German layout with a few keys dedicated to accented characters and the eszett. It also has the Y and Z keys switched so has a QWERTZ layout not QWERTY!

Friday 4 August 2023

Churches (191) : All Saints, Preston Bagot

The parish church of All Saints in Preston Bagot, Warwickshire has Norman origins. The nave is 12th century though divided from the chancel by a Victorian arch. The nave was lengthened in the 15th century as was the chancel in the 19th century when the church was restored.

The church has no tower but has a timber bell turret and spire. The church is built from coursed lias stone rubble with a sandstone dressing.

Thursday 3 August 2023

SR100 is 25

It seems amazing that the typewriter collection now has twenty five members, for a long time i only had one machine but a couple of years started collecting more and how the collection has grown, most of them even work! The latest machine which arrived this week is a Silver-Reed SR100 Tabulator and works very well indeed. It doesn't even need a new ribbon (well urgently anyway).