A few photographs from today’s visit to Calke Abbey – the “un-stately home”, as the National Trust calls it.
A time capsule from 1999, found as I was stripping the wallpaper from my old room at my parent’s house. The discovery of these messages from 18 years ago affected me more than it probably should have done. Emily is still at school – it’s just that it’s bigger and she’s not a student! Jessica is still lovely, obviously. Steve is no longer at Acordis (but then again, no-one is).
Finally, Dad put the wallpaper up so well it’s been a real so and so to remove. Good job!
A few photographs from my visit to the RHS Flower Show at Chatsworth. Fortunately the event organisers had resolved the difficulties with car parking and queueing that marred the event earlier on in the week. The showground was muddy, even in the marquees, due to the rain that had fallen. A few more duckboards and places to sit would have been welcome, but for a first attempt it was a very enjoyable day out.
In 1974, Stapleford Hall near Melton Mowbray was home to the 2nd Lord Gretton and his family. The park was at its peak as a tourist attraction, with the grounds containing a lion reserve, miniature railway and two scale model cruise liners.
The Derbyshire Caravan Club centre held a rally there that September. I’ve recently digitised a short sequence of cine film that shows the railway and ships in operation during that weekend.
This would appear to be ‘Victoria’, a model of a LMS Jubilee class locomotive. However, the FSMR website suggests that it didn’t enter service at Stapleford Park until 1975 … and this film was definitely shot in September 1974. Commissioning tests, perhaps?
The complete cine film sequence.
Today, the hall is a hotel, the lion reserve is long gone and the scale model cruise liners are no more. However, the miniature railway is miraculously intact and is open to the public twice a year. In 2017 these events are scheduled for 10th & 11th June and the long bank holiday weekend at the end of August.
I’ve finally started to digitise some of the 8mm cine film that was shot by my father, brother and me during my childhood. The earliest reels are from 1964, with the latest being from 1979/80. Most of it is obviously just family stuff, but there are some more generally interesting scenes in amongst the holiday memories.
This excerpt is the 1973 St. George’s Day parade in Derby. From what I remember, these were fairly large events that started somewhere near the Council House and finished with a church service. Venues changed yearly – as I’m sure that as well as attending this one at St. Alkmund’s Church on Kedleston Road, a parade I took part in another year finished at the (now former) Queen’s Hall Methodist Mission on London Road.
If you look very closely you’ll see me marching with the 147th Derby, 3rd Ockbrook & Borrowash cub scouts …
Harper Gardens is a small public space sandwiched between the A6 Pride Parkway flyover and Siddals Road. Not much larger than many suburban gardens, it’s somewhere I usually pass without a second thought on my regular walks between the office and the city centre. But today I noticed the lovely flowering cherry tree in the north-eastern corner of the plot and stopped to photograph it.
It’s a curious location for a public garden. A quick search of the internet reveals that at some point in the 1940s a paint factory burned down on this spot. Quite how the site ended up in the city council’s hands and became a garden seems less clear.
If anyone can fill in the details for me, the comment box awaits below!
This weekend, I was finally happy that I’d managed to implement a reasonable temperature and humidity project as well as a motion detecting camera for my Raspberry Pi. I decided to invest £19 in a ModMyPi camera box to consolidate them onto my Pi 3. It arrived today, and after an evening’s fun this is the result.
I think it looks much better than my original attempt, even if the rather fiddly assembly took a couple of hours (with testing) rather than the 10 minutes claimed by the manufacturer! It also means that as my camera is now mounted the correct way up, I no longer need to rotate the image by 180 degrees in my code …
Update: After I’d installed this in the garage, I started to get a large number of false positives. A change back to my Pi2 made little difference (although the original version I’d put together but without the DHT22 had worked well). Finally, soldering a 10k resistor between the data and ground wires of the PIR detector seems to have resolved the issue of the data pin going high without it sensing movement.
Other than messing around with a few FORTRAN benchmarks and learning how to code using Python, I haven’t really used my Raspberry Pi computers for very much that’s been practical. However, having bought a Raspberry Pi camera to play with over Christmas, I decided to have a go at building a motion sensitive camera for the garage. It’s cheap and easy to find passive infrared detectors these days, so I acquired three for the princely sum of £5.
The first challenge was working out the function of the three pins in the foreground. A little bit of searching led me to the conclusion that the top pin is the ground, the bottom pin the 5v supply, with the middle being the status pin. If the middle pin goes high, it means that motion has been detected. The sensitivity of the device, and the length of time the status pin stays high for, can be adjusted using the two potentiometers.
I connected the power pins to a couple of the available 5v supply and ground pins on a Raspberry Pi 2. I used physical pin 26 (GPIO pin 7) to connect up to the status pin.
The next challenge was writing some code to detect changes in the status pin and take a photograph when motion is detected. Fortunately, there are plenty of code snippets available that made this task relatively straightforward. The current version of my code is below.
import RPi.GPIO as GPIO import time from picamera import PiCamera # Initialise the camera settings camera=PiCamera() camera.resolution=(1024,768) camera.rotation=(180) camera.meter_mode=('backlit') # Use GPIO pin 7 (physical pin 26) for the PIR detector GPIO.setmode(GPIO.BCM) GPIO_PIR=7 GPIO.setup(GPIO_PIR,GPIO.IN) # Variables used to determine when a picture should be taken. # GPIO pin 7 => high (ts==1) from low (qs==0) # triggers the camera. ts=0 qs=0 try: # Wait until PIR GPIO pin is low (0) print "Waiting ..." while GPIO.input(GPIO_PIR)==1: ts=0 print "... detector is ready" # Loop until quit signal while 1: # Read PIR state ts=GPIO.input(GPIO_PIR) # DEBUG print ts if ts==1 and qs==0: # Create unique filename with timestamp and set qs high t=time.localtime() timestamp=time.strftime('%Y%m%d-%H%M%S',t) filename=("img" + timestamp + ".jpg") camera.capture(filename) print "Movement detected - ",filename," created" qs=1 elif ts==0 and qs==1: # GPIO pin 7 has returned to low, therefore set qs low qs=0 # Wait for a second time.sleep(1) except KeyboardInterrupt: # Cleanup GPIO GPIO.cleanup() print "PIR-PiCamera program terminated"
My Raspberry Pi 2 is now set up in the garage with the motion detector and camera. At the moment it’s simply saving the images onto a drive available to my home network, but I’m probably going to experiment with sending email alerts as well.
As a follow-up to the 1962 Spondon village centre photographs I posted here last weekend, these are the remaining images from the same film that were taken elsewhere in the village.
The first is the junction of Willowcroft Road with South Avenue.
Willowcroft Road sweeps round to the left. At the top of the hill is the junction with Sitwell Street. Two photographs were taken here, the first looking to the left. The spire of St Werburgh’s church is visible to the right of the large tree in the grounds of The Homestead.
The second is taken from approximately the same place, but looking to the right of the junction. The Co-op (which I remember as a supermarket from my childhood, but is now a funeral parlour) is visible in the background.
The next photograph is taken slightly further along Sitwell Street. The building immediately on the left is still there today. However, the buildings next to it have been replaced by houses and, I think, Spondon Village Hall.
Turning right here leads onto a lane that brings you to Moult Avenue. The houses shown in this photograph are there today, but the surrounding area on South Avenue was later developed for housing, so it all looks rather different now.
The final photograph is of Potter Street. This is facing away from Hall Dyke, with the Malt Shovel Inn just out of sight on the right. The houses in the background were demolished and replaced some years ago.