Archive for the ‘misc’ Category

The Shout

September 19, 2016

When we holidayed in Scotland we called in at Tighnabruaich each evening because I could get internet access there and could send and receive messages. Our chosen spot was by the lifeboat station which meant we were there when the lifeboat was called out. It’s an inshore type. It was darkening as dusk turned to twilight.

I was sitting in the car when I became aware that the lifeboat was being hauled out.



It was pushed into the water on a cradle behind a special tractor.

image006Once in the water the engine was started.


The lifeboat set off.


As it set up its wake it nearly created the need for another rescue.


That floating pontoon really did the rock and roll but the photographer out on it somehow managed not to fall into the briny.

We saw the boat return, rather more sedately, when we were back at our holiday home in Kames.

The next day we visited the shop at the lifeboat station and learned what had happened. A boat described as a dinghy had suffered engine failure off the island of Inchmarnock. The sailor had installed his reserve engine which didn’t start. As he was drifting and without power he called for help and was safely rescued. He had called at the lifeboat station earlier that next day and, we were told, put a good contribution in the box

How lucky we are to have volunteers willing to ride out and effect rescues


A Co-op Pass Book

September 18, 2016

When I was a child my mum shopped, when possible, at the Co-op. She was a member, with a number, which meant every purchase earned a small dividend. It is more than 50 years since my mum died but I still remember her co-op number and would reveal it to nobody as it can be a useful password or number.

When I became an independent adult it was natural for me to become a Co-op member and I joined up in 1970 and was given a pass book. Here it is.


I have blanked out parts of this – I’m a tad wary of identity theft.

Looking back I have no idea, really, why I became a member and what benefits might have accrued to me from it. For by this time the Co-op had abandoned member’s dividends in favour of Co-op saving stamps. It’s clear from the inside of my book that no transactions were ever entered.


Again, sections have been blanked out.

I have no real reason for keeping the book – except nostalgia for an old system.

The Peak District

September 17, 2016

I like the Peak District so it was with pleasure that I turned my railway poster calendar to September and found a picture of this Derbyshire (mostly) area.


This poster, for the old London, Midland and Scottish Railway was first published in 1923 with art work by R S Wyatt

It features a viaduct with a train in LMS red passing over it.

I suspect this represents the viaduct at Monsal Head – now a walking/cycling trail. I snapped a photo of it in 2008 when I was in the area.


I note from what I wrote at the time that I was unwilling to pay to park near there so was unable to get a good photo but I can certainly find photos of elsewhere on the Monsal Trail.

image004It is a very pleasing area.


The Monsal Trail is clearly a former railway – once part of the third way between London and Scotland.

On the Waverley

September 16, 2016

The paddle steamer Waverley has featured before on this blog for I have seen this lovely ship in various locations. However, at the end of July in 2016 we stayed in a location that was close to Waverley sailing routes. And, what’s more they were in Waverley’s Clyde area homeland for this venerable vessel had been built to take Glaswegians ‘doon the watter’ to places where they could enjoy sun sea and air. Our plan was to catch the boat at Dunoon for a tour of Loch Long.

Annoyingly, for me, it was not possible to keep tickets. I did take a photograph, though.


And so it was that we joined a queue of at least 250 people all boarding at Dunoon. It looked a lot, but somehow once on they seemed to thin out. It didn’t feel crowded.

But first let’s see the wonderful paddle steamer arrive.




On board it was really rather elegant. There was a café with Lloyd Loom furniture.



There was plenty of space on the open decks.


But for me it was the engine room that made it.

At the control panel.


The engine itself.


You can click here to see and hear the engine at work.

Or click here for a second film of the engine.

The scenery was as lovely as you’d expect. With a loch side castle at Carrick on Loch Goil as an end point.


Then back to Dunoon where we left this delightful boat to sail off – it ought to be into a sunset, but the weather wasn’t that kind.


Kew September

September 15, 2016

Kew September

My September Kew gardens poster dates from 1927 and shows a plant archway.


Now I like that artwork which is by Clive Gardiner. He wasn’t familiar to me but having looked him up I shall keep an eye open for his posters.

Now here’s an archway in my garden.


This arch is very utilitarian for it is covered with our fig tree. The steps are out to pick figs. It was an entry from this tree that won my wife the best horticultural exhibit in our village produce show at the August bank holiday. Blackberries also earned a prize.

I’m sure the arch at Kew was more beautiful. After several weeks of moderate neglect our garden needs attention, but it is being productive. The dinner I ate earlier had a grand collection of veg and fruit from the garden – fresh, tasty and as healthy as can be.

An Oxo tin

September 14, 2016

Oxo tins must be incredibly common. I have several from different eras and in different sizes. The fact of the matter was that having used the Oxo cubes inside, the tins made very handy storage containers. Here is a very well used small tin.


This could date from the 1930s although I certainly can’t be sure of this.


The tin has writing on all sides but most of it is too worn to be readable.


We clearly see a tin which has seen much more use than storing the six Oxo cubes until used.

The inside is in better order.


The inside of the lid has a readable message and then we can see what became of the tin.


Yes, it was part of somebody’s sewing kit. Those spools are, I believe, the ones that were used on earlier Singer sewing machines.

This tin and contents was given to me as a present. I’m not knocking it as a gift at all but in case anyone should ask, my guess is that the cash value is approximately nothing.

Bragging rights

September 13, 2016

Back at August Bank Holiday weekend we had our village produce show. So who came away with the bragging rights?

Some of us have to make do with odd little bits of success and I am proud of the fudge I make. I have learned, by being a helper at the show, to take note of what judges like and to learn from what they say. I have learned that our food judge seems to be very fond of my fudge. It has won three firsts and a second in the last 4 years. It looks ordinary but it is packed with everything bad for you and seems to be very popular.


So that’s my fudge on the small blue plate and I’m totally happy for my wife’s sweets, on the yellow plate came third. And here’s the judge’s comment.

image004I’m very happy with ‘lovely flavour and consistency.

But my wife has the real bragging rights with a collection of trophies but I’ll pick on her first prize loaf of bread.

image006And the comment here…

image008Brilliant – now who wouldn’t feel just a tad smug with that comment?

Eric Ravilious – September

September 11, 2016

Now who’d have thought it? A double dose of interest for me this month. Not only a Ravilious wood engraving, but it is of a train.


This was an illustration for a book called ‘The Hansom Cab and the Pigeons’ published in 1935 by Cockerel Press. This company specialised in handmade books with art work by well-known exponents of illustration.

In terms of the train there is really nothing much right with it, except an overall effect.  The loco appears to have no water or coal storage and those 12 wheeled carriages would struggle on curves. And why did the bridge engineer make the train have to go up and over a hump.

But despite all this I enjoy seeing this image.

The Anzacs

September 9, 2016

Many men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps came to my home county of Wiltshire to be trained for fighting in World War One. They fared as well as other troops – which is to say badly. But we do remember them in many ways. We have seen the military graveyard at Sutton Veny – a sad memorial to the many men who died of injuries or off a strain of flu they had never experienced before. Today we’ll look at a chalk mark – a cut out shape on a chalk hill. It is of the Australian badge and is a bit hidden by trees. We associate this badge with the Anzacs.


This is viewed from Stockton, a lovely little village in the Wylie Valley but the badge is onLamb Down, Codford. It is more visible in winter.

image004However, there is an explanation board.



Of course, we are still marking the 100th anniversary of WW1 events. So we paid our respects here, whilst passing at the end of August.

The big baler

August 31, 2016

What a transformation in the last 30 or so years. After the corn harvest by combine harvester, a baler would go round and compress straw into bales of a size a man could lift. That no longer happens in this area. The process is the same but the scale is different. These days the bales are enormous and need power lifting gear.

I took my suburban grandson to see harvest in operation on the edge of Salisbury Plain. The combine seemed to keep away from us but soon the baler arrived and grandson was impressed by the size of it.


I was surprised that the tractor drove along with the huge row of cut corn, as left by the combine, between its wheels.

Soon the first bale was issuing from the back of the baler.


Compared with days of yore this is a high speed process. It’s a big field, but it seemed in no time the combine had finished and there was a spread of bales across the field.

At this time of year farmers make use of time and so the next night, after dark, I could see tractor headlights in this field and I knew the bales were being collected into piles.

Since then a field a bit closer to home has been cropped and baled. This time it was a large round bale machine that was used.

I think harvest around here is now all but over.