Sunday, May 31, 2015

London Transport Museum Depot

I've wanted to go to the London Transport Museum's Depot in Acton for some time, it is where the majority of the collection is held but it is not usually open to the public and i was going to go to the open weekend last month but a bad flu meant i couldn't go. But never mind as i went yesterday instead on a small guided tour and in hindsight it was a much better way to experience this fantastic facility than with lots of people milling about (if you want to take photographs).

The depot exceeded even my high expectations and i think it might be the best heritage visit i've ever made, the wealth of preserved tube stock is amazing and i was able to board a number of historic vehicles plus get up close with a number of unique exhibits. And of course take lots of photographs, which can be seen here!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Lightning done

Project #063, an English Electric Lightning, has been completed and lovely it looks too! Next up will probably be another Tiger Moth.

Monday, May 25, 2015

A bit of Deltic thrash

I went to the Severn Valley Railway again today (second time this year) and enjoyed some "thrash" behind 55 019, the Deltic which is visiting for the Summer. While Deltics arn't my favourite diesel locomotives they certainly sound good, well 3,300hp is unlikely to sound bad!

I travelled behind it up to Bridgnorth and back and stuck my head out of the window to breathe in plenty of fumes (as you do!) I was also able to photograph one of the rebuilt "Ultra 73s" which is at Kidderminster for some reason (driver training or testing probably). You can see my photographs here.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Hertford Union Canal

The Hertford Union Canal is a short canal in East London which stretches from the Regent's Canal to the Lee Navigation. Like the Limehouse Cut the Hertford Union Canal is intended as a short-cut between the Thames and the Lee Navigation. It was opened in 1830 and later taken over to form part of the Grand Union Canal system.
The canal is completely straight throughout its 1.5km length though does have 3 locks. For much of its length the canal runs alongside Victoria Park. At its Lee Navigation end the canal junction is in view of the Olympic Stadium and Park.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Project #063 is an English Electric Lightning, one of the classic Cold War British warplanes and the sort of exotic air shapes that thrilled 60s and 70s British lads (before they discovered girls anyway!) Its progressing well and painting has now begun.

Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Dock

I've spent a lot of time over the last couple of years exploring London's waterways, especially the Thames in Eastern London. On Friday i moved West and visited Imperial Wharf in Battersea as well as Chelsea Dock. This is similar to St Katharine Dock which i've visited a few times in the past, a nice little dock full of expensive yachts and river craft, though also a narrowboat! You can see the photos i took here.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Rails South of the river

I returned to London this week to attend a conference on e-learning, afterwards i had time to do some railway and waterway photography. Now last November i traversed the North and East of London on the Overground travelling from Willesden Junction to Shoreditch. Today i (more or less) completed the circle by travelling across South and West London from Canada Water to Willesden Junction. In doing so i took in Peckham Rye (no sign of Del Boy) and Clapham Junction - the busiest station in the UK, truly the Heathrow of the network with trains arriving and departing whichever way you look!

The most interesting part for me was the chance to see so many (ex-Southern) DC Electric Multiple Units. I've hardly ever seen any before (as they pretty much never come North for any reason) but that has certainly changed now! My railway photos can be seen here.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Return to Leamington

I like Leamington Spa a lot so returned last weekend to do some more photography at the station as well as a little bit along the canal. You can see my railway photographs here. You may notice that some of them are not square! I have decided to not crop photos taken with my DSLR anymore, its a pain having to crop dozens of photos!

Some of the photos are square but that is because when i got to Leamington i thought the battery in my Nikon DSLR was flat so started taking photos with the iPhone instead, actually it turned out the battery was fine but had got slightly knocked out of alignment in my bag so once the battery was restored to its proper position the photoshoot was finished using the Nikon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Broad Eye Windmill

The Broad Eye Windmill is one of the landmarks of Stafford, though these days it is home to a radio station and the sails have long been removed. The windmill was built in the early 1800s in order to help provide flour for the population of the town which was rising fast. The windmill is the highest in the Midlands though only the upper floors were used for flour production.

The original sails were augmented by a steam engine in 1835 and production continued until 1886 with the sails removed in 1897. New transport links meant flour could be bought into the town more cheaply than the windmill could provide plus people wanted finer grade flour which the windmill could not provide. In the 20th century the windmill was used as a shop and for storage but eventually lay derelict. It became a listed building and was restored in the 1960s. Since 2011 it has been the home of Stafford Radio, there is the hope also that a heritage centre can be set up in the windmill.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Vickers Viscount

Recently completing a model of a Vickers Vanguard reminded me of its much more successful smaller brother the Viscount which i used to see flying into BHX in the late 70s and 80s. The Viscount was one of the first airliners equipped with the new turboprop engines in the early postwar period. It first flew in 1948 and despite the new engine technology was a conventional aircraft, however it was also very reliable and popular with passengers too. The new turboprop engines gave it a higher performance and smoother flight characteristics than piston engined airliners, but it was also more fuel economic than turbojet powered airliners (albeit which were faster and larger)

A total of 445 Viscounts were sold (compared to only 44 Vanguards) and they served with airlines across the world on short and medium haul routes. The last Viscounts probably flew commercially in 2007/8, not a bad service life at all considering it was designed just after the war. The Viscount below in the grainy photo was at RAF Cosford when i photographed it with my Instamatic camera!