Sunday 14 April 2024

Project Windsock

When i saw you could get a windsock for less than ten pounds on Amazon the only question is, why not? So, my windsock is now installed on the shed. What use this is for me is unknown, but i love it.

Friday 12 April 2024

Churches (219) : Holy Trinity, Coventry

Holy Trinity Church in Coventry dates from the 12th century and is the only complete medieval church in the city. The church is large and is Perpendicular in style. The tower has a seventy-two metre high spire, one of the highest non-cathedral spires in the country. The church has transepts, a chancel with chapels and the nave has north and south aisles.

The church is close to Coventry Cathedral.

Thursday 11 April 2024

Model week : Back on track

The new layout project is starting to take shape, although much of it will reuse my huge stockpile of N gauge stock and supplies i did need some new track and that arrived yesterday. I was able to set up the planned layout on the new board and ran a quick test train using my Class 33. Now i am finalising the track layout and once that is done i will look to make it permanent. With this layout i am trying something different. I am going to mark where the ballast needs to go, then remove the track and lay the ballast, then i will put the track back and nail it in place. A different method to how i have done it before, we'll see how it turns out!

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Monday 8 April 2024

West Midlands Places (14) : Elmdon

Elmdon is a village in Solihull, notable for being the location of Birmingham Airport and a Jaguar Land Rover factory.

Elmdon means hill of the elms, the village is listed in the Domesday Book but remained a sparsely populated estate until a turnpike road was built through Elmdon. The centre of Elmdon was near the parish church of St Nicholas, which was built in 1790, and the now lost Elmdon Hall but moved due the turnpike. The hall survived until 1956, though in it's latter years had a variety of uses and occupants including the Home Guard in the Second World War. The hall was demolished and it's lands largely turned into Elmdon Park.

Elmdon Airport was opened in 1939 though quickly became a Royal Air Force airfield due to the war. Post-war it eventually became Birmingham Airport, the old village was demolished during the building of the runway! In 1946 Rover opened a factory in Elmdon, the factory having it's origins in a factory built in preparation for the pending war in the late 1930s, and during the war made aero engines. The factory later became Jaguar Land Rover's Solihull plant and currently makes Range Rovers and the Jaguar F-Pace

Sunday 7 April 2024

Birmingham Museum Collection

I didn't go very far this weekend but i did go to somewhere i've wanted to go for a while. Every year the Birmingham Museum Collection, where exhibits not on display in the museum are stored, holds an open day. I always manage to miss it... until now! I was surprised at how great the collection was, and the number of old computing and telephony exhibits. Birmingham could have a great science and technology museum to display all of these items, if there was any money for it! You can see my photos here.

Friday 5 April 2024

Churches (218) : St Mary, Highley

The parish church of St Mary in Highley, Shropshire dates from the 12th century. The nave and chancel are Norman, a west tower in the Perpenticular style was added in the 15th century. A vestry was added to the north of the church in 1903, the church being restored in the 1880s.

The church is built from buff and red sandstone. The church house (see below) is a timber framed building which dates from the 16th century.

Thursday 4 April 2024

Reading day 2

Last Saturday was the big day of my Reading trip, a full day on the railways armed with a rover ticket! Unfortunately, my carefully made and timed plan fell apart immediately as the line from Newbury to Bedwyn was blocked due to flooding but i quickly adapted and i managed to visit eleven new stations (mostly in Berkshire but a couple also in Hampshire). This is most a record for me for a single day! I also visited the lovely Kennet & Avon Canal in both Woolhampton and Aldermaston. I really enjoyed my trip and certainly will be returning to Reading in future years.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Reading trip day 1

Usually, i go to Guildford for Easter but this year i decided to do something different and went to Reading instead (don't worry, i've booked to go to Guildford in a couple of months!) On day one i did some exploring along the line to Bracknell as well as in Reading itself, which has a rather fine Minster church. You can see my day 1 railway photos hereplus the non-railway Reading photos are here.

Monday 1 April 2024

West Midlands Places (13) : Halesowen

Halesowen is a market town in the west of the West Midlands though has been part of Shropshire and later Worcestershire in recent centuries prior to 1974. Halesowen is listed in the Domesday Book as Hala, it was renamed Halas Owen after the manor was given to the Welsh prince Dafydd ab Owain by King Henry II.

By the 1220s Halesowen was a market town and was listed as having a population of 600 in 1300CE. The town grew in the Industrial Revolution, becoming a centre for nail production. Coal mining was also important to the local economy, by the early 20th century Halesowen had 130 mines.

Halesowen became part of Worcestershire in 1844, being an exclave of Shropshire. The town centre was greatly redeveloped in the 1960s. However, retail in the town declined after the opening of the nearby Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the 1980s.