The Oulton Park monument

One of the more incongruous sights at a motor racing circuit is at Oulton Park, Cheshire.

I was reminded while watching the British Touring Cars racing on ITV4 this afternoon that I took a photograph of the monument to Captain John Francis Egerton on my last trip there in 2015.

Oulton Park Monument

It was erected by subscription in May 1846 following the Captain’s death from wounds received during the first Anglo-Sikh war in 1845. One of the more elaborate Eleanor Crosses constructed in¬†Victorian times, it was granted a Grade II* listing in 1986.

It is fairly close to the Warwick Straight as it runs out towards Lodge Corner as can be seen by the barriers and hazard signs in the background. Fortunately it’s in a position that is likely to be safe from even the most wayward driver.

British Celanese Motor Club Driving Tests – June 1960

Earlier on today I came across a number of photographs taken on the afternoon of Sunday June 26th 1960 at the British Celanese Motor Club Driving Tests event. Thanks to my late father’s meticulous record keeping I can also provide the context to the event, as well as the photographs.

Driving Tests Entry Form

The entry form for the event.

Instructions for each of the six tests

Instructions for each of the six tests. If anyone would like a copy of the complete booklet containing the descriptions of all of the tests, just let me know!

Test 1 in progress

The first test in progress. The Moon Hotel (now known as The Canal Turn) is in the background.¬† According to the DVLA’s vehicle enquiry service, the white Austin Healey, 434 HNU, is still taxed. If the current owner would like to contact me, I have a number of other photographs of the car along with records from the BCMC to show that it was competing in their events from soon after first registration in July 1958.

First test in progress

A small but enthusiastic crowd of spectators look on.

First test in progress

Did he touch the back of the garage? It looks like a close-run thing to me.

And finally, the results.

The resultsThe Austin Healey finished fourth. This was one place behind my future Godfather in third, with my future father finishing first.

Colour pictures of Derwent Dams in the drought of 1959

In 2017 I drove up to the Derwent Dams for the first time in several years. This afternoon as I was going through more boxes of slides that my father left, I came across these ones of the dams. They were taken during 1959, when a severe drought affected Central, Eastern and North-East England between February and November.

Ladybower Reservoir 1959

An almost empty Ladybower Reservoir, looking towards the Snake Pass.

Salvage

It looks as if this group may be attempting to salvage building materials that were exposed by the drought.

Village remains

The remains of one of the villages submerged to make way for the reservoirs.

Graffiti

Graffiti was clearly a thing in 1959. I wonder who Julie was?

Winifred graffiti

… and for that matter, who was Winifred?

Derwent Reservoir

A rather empty Derwent Reservoir.

Buckfast Abbey and Buckfastleigh

Today’s wanderings around Devon took me to Buckfast Abbey. It’s very quiet at this time of year, so there’s plenty of opportunity for reflection and generally poking around the site.

Buckfast Abbey

Buckfast Abbey. The current Abbey (left) was completed in 1937. The monastery is the grey building to the right. The last tower on the right is the oldest part of the complex, dating from the 11th century.

The Benedictine abbey celebrates its millennium this year. However, Dissolution meant that for around 340 years (until 1882) there was no monastic community present at Buckfast.

The Methodist Chapel standing in the middle of the current Abbey site was erected in 1881. It may now look rather incongruous in its surroundings, but it stood by the main road when it was built.

Buckfast Methodist Church

Buckfast Methodist Church. A joint Methodist-Anglican service is held at 3pm on Sundays.

After lunch in The Grange Restaurant it was a short walk into Buckfastleigh. It’s a well-kept, albeit a rather sleepy place – there was almost no-one around this afternoon with many of the shops closed.

Fore Street, Buckfastleigh

Fore Street, Buckfastleigh

However excitement may be on its way. I see from the Town Council notice board that a by-election is in the offing if the current vacancy for a Councillor is contested.

The Globe Inn, Buckfastleigh

The Globe Inn, Buckfastleigh

The Ship Inn

The Ship Inn. A random image, found in amongst pictures of caravans and a family holiday at the seaside. The film it was on was developed in September 1968. Does anyone recognise this particular Ship Inn and could tell me where it is?

I’m also intrigued by the man and the cart. I wonder if the cart was his or if it belonged to the pub?

The Ship InnUpdate:

It’s The Ship Inn at Long Sutton. Many thanks to Mary Mayfield for suggesting Lincolnshire and for Jonathan Calder for suggesting the specific pub. Google Streetview confirms. The man with his cart seems to be long gone, however.

The Ship Inn, 2016

The spirit of London 2012 lives on

As a visitor to the London Paralympics in 2012 one of the things I appreciated most were the temporary bright pink signs to the events seen around the capital. Even though I’m a relatively frequent visitor to London, they reassured me that I really was heading in the right direction. So today it was nice to see that a couple still remain. I saw this one at Canning Town. Not quite a ghost sign, but not far off I suppose.

Buses for ExCeL ghost sign

 

Stapleford Miniature Railway Open Weekend – August 2017

I’ve been meaning to post a few photographs from this event for some time as a follow-up to the 1974 cine film I wrote about earlier this year. The railway is currently open to the public on a couple of occasions each year in June and August, with profits going to the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice (LOROS). It’s maintained in fantastic condition by a dedicated army of volunteers known as the Friends of Stapleford Miniature Railway. For once, the August Bank Holiday weather was beautiful.

Stapleford Hall

Stapleford Hall – Car parking for the open weekend was in a field in front of the hotel – which was somewhat challenging terrain for my Caterham!

Queue for the trains

The queue after I’d been on the train – it paid to get there early.

Sir Nigel Gresley

A4 Pacific Sir Nigel Gresley and Southern Railway 4-6-0 Lord Nelson, both visiting from the Eastleigh Lakeside Railway.

White Heron

Diesel Locomotive White Heron. This can also be seen in action on my 1974 cine film of the railway.

As well as the miniature railway there were exhibits of classic cars, stationary engines, fairground organs and miniature steam engines. All told it was an enjoyable morning spent re-living a part of my childhood.

Stapleford Miniature Railway in August 2017 from Tim Holyoake on Vimeo.

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