Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year

We've only had snow on the hills this winter so I had to dig back into the archives to for a suitably snowy scene for New Year of the fields, the Duddon Estuary and Black Combe taken in March 2013.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Yellow Bikes and Jerseys

When the Tour de France visited Yorkshire with two stages over two days Yorkshire folk got rather excited and painted yellow bicycles popped up all over the towns and countryside.  An appeal went out to knitters for 2,500 little jumpers portraying the famous tour jerseys, yellow for the race leader, polka dot for the best climber, green for the most consistent points finisher  and white for the best young rider.  The knitters went to work with gusto and eventually 23,453 were actually knitted and strung along the streets of towns and villages.
The bicycles appeared decorated and in various stages of repair or
Come the day the 'Games Makers' were wearing their yellow t-shirts, here is one directing people traffic from Harrogate railway station.
and of course there was a good spread of spectators sporting Tour yellow t-shirts and French symbols such as French berets (above) blue and white stripped jerseys and even the occasional string of onions.
There was also a good smattering of punning local businesses signs such as this Indian restaurant featuring Bradley Wiggins (nickname Wiggo) the 2012 Yellow Jersey winner.
The banners were out as the race approached and this one says "Bonjour la France et Mémé" which of course is 'Hello France' but also "and Grandma", I wonder where she was?
Eventually all the build up was over and the race was on.  The true yellow jersey (briefly held by Marcel Kittel here) making the starting roll out from York before the proper racing began.  While watching the race where is the best place to leave your bike?
Well possibly chained to church fencing and this particular church is St Clements, not the famous London one whose bells said oranges and lemons but they have however chimed in with lemon yellow flags.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at Y here

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

X is for Aircraft

Inside the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford 'National Cold War Exhibition' hanger with the tail of XM598, a delta winged strategic bomber, the Avro Vulcan, whose RAF numbers all start with X so although I don't know which one the following photograph is of I can be assured I'm totally 'on theme'
Photo from Wikipedia of  a Vulcan flying  at an Air Fete of 1985
It looks like a giant moth from this angle although I'm not sure if any of them are still flying, perhaps only the XH588 might be which is owned by the "Vulcan to the Sky Trust" and on display at Robin Hood Airport.  
Here is the Cold War Exhibition hanger where XM598 is on display, taken from underneath a Hercules turboprop military transport plane.  .
whose propellers happily gives me another X.  You may be able to judge from the sky in the last two photographs that the RAF Cosford Museum was the perfect indoor destination for a day of inclement weather - four hangers, a shop and a café, there was plenty to occupy us.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at X here

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Waterfront Warehouses

Bonding Warehouse, York The Bonding Warehouse in York.  
This part of the River Ouse was the principal dockside for seagoing vessels until the 19th Century.  The warehouse was built in 1875 for the storage of imported goods liable to excise duty until it closed in 1958.  A brief history of its intervening years can be found here  It has recently been converted into luxury apartments and offices which includes an escape ladder for the occupants in the event of flooding. 
Northern Docks Warehouses
 Northern Docks Warehouses, Liverpool
There would certainly have been goods here that would attract excise duty for the largest warehouse in the photograph is the Tobacco Warehouse, which when it was built with 27 million bricks in 1901, was the largest brick warehouse in the world and indeed may still be.  The area between it and the Stanley Warehouse in front of it has been nicknamed "pneumonia alley" because it is usually in shade and in this breezy location acts as a wind tunnel.  I was stood on an unusually windless day on the Mersey ferry doing the triangular loop from the Wirral peninsula across the river and back.
Waterloo Warehouse
 Waterloo Dock, Liverpool
I'm on dry land here by the Waterloo Dock and  the converted East Waterloo warehouse apartments to the right.  The Liverpool Dock complex is massive and runs in a continuous row along the Mersey, there are still lots of working docks but it always blows my mind when I imagine what it was like in the past when its 7½ miles was at full pelt with cargoes leaving and landing from all over the world.  Of course the most photogenic of the old Liverpool warehouses are those of the Albert Dock but as I have contrived over various rounds of ABC Wednesday to feature them I'm managing to resist the urge to include them again.
Oliver's Wharf, Wapping
 Wapping, London
Journeying south to the Thames River here is Oliver's Warehouse. Built in 1869-70 for George Oliver in a Tudor/Venetian Gothic style to house general cargo ultimately its main use was the special storage facilities for that favourite beverage of the British, tea . This was one of the first warehouses in Wapping to be converted into apartments and its famous residents have included Alex Guinness and Cher.

Do you get the impression I like taking pictures of Victorian waterfront Warehouses?

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at W here

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


When our tea pot came with a verdant cosy like this a photograph was called for.  It looked like something that would be used by a woodland elf. The Riverside Tea Room  in Ironbridge was a place we called in to more than once on holiday, not only for the tea, the cakes and the variety of tea cosies it is also attached to a crafts centre and I can spend hours in places like that.
Meanwhile down the road awhile this cat was keeping a look out for any construction vehicles
but this one was obeying the notice as it drove through the verdant suburbs of Jackfield.  As the quip goes "I love work and can sit and watch it all day" which is possibly why I like to take pictures of it. 
Being slightly nerdish I zoomed in to the vehicle on my computer, it turned out it was a special one, not the type or  make (Terex),  but the family company that owns it, McPhilips Construction celebrated their 50th anniversary in July this year. Their 250 staff enjoyed a day out but they also seem to have a more permanent commemoration of the anniversary with a '50' sign on the side of the vehicle.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at V here

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Unspoilt by Progress

You rarely see a clock in a pub for the best ones live in their own alternate reality where time passes convivially and unnoticed.   The Boat Inn on the bank of the River Severn welcomes the visitor into its door with the boast that it is "Unspoilt by Progress".
First licensed in 1840 the pub's landlady thinks that some of the building is much older and could go back as far as 1740, or earlier, as a fireplace and interior timbers have been dated back to Tudor times.   Wondering why there is a lifebelt by the entrance?
It may come in handy.  This is its famous 'flood door' that records past flooding events.  The most catastrophic flood in the Ironbridge Gorge occurred in 1795, but that was before records began, so I'll start with the highest recorded flood marked on the top of the list which is that of 1st November 2000 at 19 ft 6" (6 metres).  The next one down is 19th February 1946 - 19 ft 5" followed by the 21st March 1947 19 ft 1".  The BBC Shropshire slide show on "Flooding through the Ages" has a photo of the Boat Inn in the flood of 1947 here ( See Image 4 on  the link).  I think the building also looks longer in the photo the BBC have used.  Lets go inside.
and indeed the bar area is unspoilt by progress.  Typically Victorian pubs would consist of many rooms but in modern times walls were knocked down to make a larger overall area and original features removed.  Notice the quarry tiled floor, the first appearance of flood water will not be through the door but bubbling through the tiles from the raised water table below.

An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet, this week sojourning at U here