Archive for June, 2018

Was videoing the feeder at Bough Beech and managed to extract this set of stills of a Blue Tit landing on the feeder

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Some more pictures of 4464 Bittern at the Mid-Hants Railway spring gala

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It was fitting that 4464 Bittern should return to Mid-Hants railway since she was restored to mainline order at Ropley works.

4464 Bittern at Alton

4464 Bittern at Alton

4464 was built at Doncaster works in 1937, a sister to engine to the famous ‘Mallard’. In all 35 A4 pacific’s were built and of these 6 remain in preservation. Bittern now carries a plaque commemorating her part in the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s steam speed record.

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4464 was initially based at Newcastle and was responsible for hauling the Flying Scotsman express between London and Newcastle. After the second world war she pulled the Talisman express from Kings Cross to Edinburgh. The A4s were replaced on these services by diesel locomotives in 1963 and 4464 went to Aberdeen to pull express services between there and Edinburgh or Glasgow. However 3 years later they were withdrawn from service.

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4464 was purchased by a private owner and ran railtours but she quickly developed a cracked frame and had to be withdrawn from service and it was not until 2000 that work began at Ropley works to bring her back to running specification.She returned to service in 2007 and in 2013 she undertook 3 90mph runs as part of the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s record of 126mph in 1938 (as commemorated on her new plaque). Bittern made a top speed of 93mph.

HMS Warrior had a crew of 705 which comprised three groups – the engineering staff (98), the Royal Marines who responsible for the gunnery (115) and the Royal Navy crew. The conditions under which the crew lived were very similar to those of their counterparts 100 years earlier. They shared their mess deck with the main battery of guns and slept in hammocks strung from the superstructure of the ship

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in the middle of the mess deck is the galley where all the food was prepared for the crew and the officers. The main meal of the day would be taken at noon and each seaman took it in turn to do a week’s duty as a mess Cook. This meant that he had to collect and prepare the days food for his mess and take it to the galley where it would be cooked by the seaman who worked there.

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The galley also provided the food for the captain’s cabin, which was at the rear of the mess deck and the officers quarters and wardroom which were immediately below it.

Captains day room

Captains day room

Captains dining room

Captains dining room

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HMS Warrior is an unique ship within the history of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1860, having been built as a response to recent developments in the French Navy. As the first ship built of iron, rather than using metal cladding she represented a major step forward in the evolution of fighting ships. When she was launched she attracted much more attention than any other preceding ship had ever had.
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She was a hybrid between the first modern battleships and the classical ships of the line from the preceding Napoleonic period. She had the capability both sailing under her engines and under sail. Her unique features include retractable steam funnels, so that when she was under sail power the profile of the funnels did not interfere with the flow of the wind. Her gun layout and her facilities were still very reminiscent of ships of the Napoleonic era.
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HMS Warrior remained in active naval service for 22 years during which time her guns never fired in anger. By the time he was retired from service ship design had already moved on and the turn-of-the-century would see the dispensing with the gun arrangements of the previous era and the introduction of deck based pivot guns as on modern battleships. Indeed even in 1860 Warrior has a very early prototype of these guns in the arrangements of her bow and stern chases, the direction of file which could be changed through 100° arc home side to side by mechanical means.

The trackway on the deck enabled quick change of direction of fire

The trackway on the deck enabled quick change of direction of fire

After active service, HMS Warrior used by the Navy in a number of different roles with in ports. Because of her construction, the hull lasted very well and eventually she was sold by the Navy for use as a floating jetty. She ended her working life as a floating oil jetty in Milford Haven in south-west Wales. In 1979, recognising the importance that the ship had played in the development of warships she was purchased, towed to Hartlepool and underwent restoration to her original 1860s condition. She is now on permanent display at the Portsmouth historic dockyard not far from that other great Royal Naval vessel HMS Victory.

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IT update

Posted: June 18, 2018 in Announcements

My ISP has decided that the problems we are currently experiencing with our connection are due to a degraded line. The remedy is to upgrade to a fibre optic connection, which to be fair they are installing free of charge and the rental is lower than what we are paying at the moment. This is all scheduled to happen on the 28th June, so until then I will be continuing to pick out some of my favourite posts from the early days of the blog and sharing these with you all.

Sights of London: Nelsons Column

Posted: June 15, 2018 in History, London, UK
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Nelson’s column is found in Trafalgar Square in the centre of London. It was built to commemorate the life of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson who had died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The monument took three years to build and was completed in 1843.
Nelson had fought in the American War of Independence but really came to prominence during the French Revolutionary War in which he was involved in a number of the most significant naval encounters including the Battle of Cape St Vincent, Battle of the Nile and the Battle of Copenhagen. He died on his ship, HMS Victory, at the moment is of the fleet’s victory over combined Franco-Spanish fleet at the battle of Trafalgar.
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The reliefs at the bottom of the column display scenes from his battles. The one shown below depicts his death on HMS Victory

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(first posted in March 2013)

The Duchess of Hamilton was built as one of 10 streamliners for the London Midland and Scottish railway and entered into service in 1938

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In 1939 it went to USA for the New York World Fair. In 1947 the streamlining was removed (as shown in picture above). It continued in service until 1960 when it was bought as an exhibit for Butlins holiday camp in Minehead. It remained at the camp until 1975 when it went on loan to the National Railway Museum in York. It was refurbished to mainline running condition and spent time either on static display or on excursions.

Duchess of Hamilton in action

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVFCiydrAus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCk5SJIH0lw

In 2005 it was decided to reinstate the original streamlining and the Duchess went back on display in 2009 with her streamlining restored.

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Canterbury Castle in Kent built as one of the earliest Norman castles in 1066. Originally a woodern castle it was replaced by the surviving stone structure between 1100 -1135. Its highpoint in history (or indeed its low point) was when it was captured and held by the invading French army in 1380.

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A plan of the interior

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A model of what it looked like in 1135

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The standing exterior wall

IT ugh!

Posted: June 12, 2018 in Announcements

Have spent the morning trying to sort out an internet problem which is preventing us uploading any images to WordPress or any other site for that matter. Don’t you just love IT!

Anyway, it seems like the solution is not a straightforward one and we shall have to live with this problem for about 2 weeks till it can be resolved (hopefully).

In the meantime, as I can’t upload any new images, I plan to repost some of my early blogs to fill the space.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible