Friday 17 May 2024

Churches (224) : Abbey Church of St Mary the Virgin, Tewkesbury

A monastery has existed in the town since 715CE but the abbey's origins are from the 10th century. The current abbey church was begun in 1102 with construction lasting several centuries (and surviving a serious fire in 1178). After the Dissolution, the abbey church was saved by the townsfolk who wanted to continue using it as their parish church. One part of the church that has not survived is a free standing bell tower which was demolished in the 18th century.

The church is large, the same size as many cathedrals in the country. The church has a cruciform plan with one of the largest Romanesque crossing towers in Europe. The tower was once topped with a wooden spire but this collapsed in 1559 and was not replaced. The church has an eight bay nave with aisles and a north porch. The church is mostly built from limestone ashlar.

Thursday 16 May 2024

Polesworth at last

I have been to Polesworth railway station before, though on that occaision i drove to it and was only able to look through the locked gates. Polesworth is what is known as a "difficult" station. It has one train a day, and that arrives at the station before 7am! In order to arrive at Polesworth by train i had to travel from Birmingham New Street before 6am and then get the one train a day to Polesworth from Nuneaton. 

It was worth it though, and i was the station's only user that day as no one else boarded or alighted! Afterwards i had a look around the village and then took a bus back to Nuneaton. You can see my photos here.

Wednesday 15 May 2024

Model week : Some testing

The ballasting has been done, not perfect but seems good enough. I have now laid the track on top though await some nails to properly fix the track down. A little light gluing was done to allow some test runs using my Class 33 and Class 28, both ran fine. I was surprised how little issues there were. 

Now, laying track onto ballast is unorthodox but i am trialing a new method which hopefully means less mess and makes it easier to move track afterwards. Later on i'll paint the track so it blends in with the ballast below better. Well, we will have to see how it pans out anyway!

Tuesday 14 May 2024

South Liverpool

At the weekend i went up to Liverpool, this time not charging about hunting for new stations for a change. Instead i wanted to visit some places in the south of the city that i had only had a fleeting time at on previous Liverpool trips, this included a walk along the Overpool promenade of the Mersey. I also visited the ruins of St Luke's church in the centre. You can see my photos here.

Monday 13 May 2024

Calculators (19) : National Semiconductor Novus 750

This addition to the calculator collection was manufactured in about 1976 and has a very pleasing 1970s beige and brown look. The calculator supports the four arithmetic functions only though displays numbers with a lovely red LED display.

The calculator does turn on though operation is pretty flakey. The slightest movement can clear the display. Like many calculators of this vintage the logic of the CPU seems to have suffered bit rot. It can display entered numbers but not really do anything with them.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Maritsa 30 is 32

I have added a new typewriter to my collection, the fourth so far this year. The rather nice Maritsa 30 is number 32 in the collection. I should have bought it earlier in the year so the name would have been more apt! The Maritsa is a fine late 1980s machine, the last wave of typewriters before the onslaught of the microcomputer. It comes with a rather nice, microcomputer-esque case.

Friday 10 May 2024

Churches (223) : St Peter, Berkhamsted

The parish church of St Peter in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire was founded in around 1222CE though most of the current church dates from the 14th and 15th centuries. The church was altered during a Victorian restoration.

The church is in a cruciform layout with a nave and transepts, the tower atop the crossing. The chancel is the oldest part of the church which dates from the 13th century. The south transept has a lady chapel. During the restoration in the 1870s the exterior was refaced with flint flushwork.

Tuesday 7 May 2024

Wood End to Danzey

On Saturday i walked from Wood End to Danzey railway stations in Warwickshire, going via Tanworth-in-Arden. This is a journey i have done before a few years ago but the weather was much better this time. The fine parish church of St Mary Magdalene was also open so i was able to take some photos inside. You can see those and all of my other photographs here.

Monday 6 May 2024

Calculators (18) : Samsung Secal 800N

The Samsung Secal 800N is a mid-1970s model, probably built around 1975 or 1976. The calculator has a dedicated calculation chip. it supports the four main arithmetric functions plus percentages and square roots. It also supports negative numbers.

Despite externally looking in good nick, the calculator did not turn on when batteries were fitted. This is a shame as i'm sure the Vacuum Fluorescent Display would have looked superb.

Sunday 5 May 2024

Return of the homepage

For years (many in fact - i did my first one in early 1995) i had a homepage, always hand crafted in HTML. Then i got into blogging in the late 2000s and early 2010s and i began to use my blogs such as this one as my homepage instead. 

However, i am unsure if Blogspot has a future. Google do not seem to care any more about the platform and they have a tendency of deleting things when they bore of them! Therefore, I have decided to create a new homepage which includes content from my two railway blogs, this blog and the Shires blog, and my typewriter blog. Hopefully these blogs will not die (at least before i do) but if they do... well there will be a place for my content to continue, and here it is.

Friday 3 May 2024

Churches (222) : All Saints, Newtown

The church of All Saints in Newtown, Powys was built in the late 1880s in the Early English style. The church has a nave and chancel and a south aisle. The organ is located in the north transept. The south transept holds the vestry, with a tower above it. The upper stages of the tower are octagonal.

The church is built from snecked Llanymynech limestone masonry with Grimshall freestone dressings.

Wednesday 1 May 2024


It has been awhile since i went somewhere new on a weekend trip. So, on Saturday i went to Bingham in Nottinghamshire, a nice little market town with a cute church - which was open too which was nice. You can see my photos here.