Archive for March, 2019

4771 Green Arrow

Posted: March 29, 2019 in Trains
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4771 Green Arrow was built is in 1936 for the London and North Eastern Railway at Doncaster. It is a V2 class engine, designed by Nigel Gresley and was designed for express freight and passenger trains. It was withdrawn from service in 1962 and restored at Doncaster immediately afterwards. it moved around a number of storage depots before being returned to working order in 1972 and finding a permanent home at Carnforth the following year.

It was withdrawn from service in 2008 and is now at the National Railway Museum in York, awaiting an overhaul to return it to mainline working order.

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Orion Nebula

Posted: March 28, 2019 in Astronomy
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Was searching through some picture files a couple of days ago and found this set of pictures of the Orion Nebula.

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St Martin, Exeter

Posted: March 27, 2019 in Devon, History, Medieval History, UK
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The site of an ancient church in the Cathedral Close, most of the current church dates to the 15th century. Its furnishings reflect the 17th and 18th-century low-church tradition.

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Built in the mid 15th century to house 13 ‘poor men of good character’. In the 17th century, married couples were admitted and in the 18th century, the constitution was changed again restricting occupancy to single women or widows. The residents were moved to new accommodation in 1890, but the almshouses continued to be used as homes for the destitute until it was bombed in 1942.

Artists impression of the Almshouses

St Stephen, Exeter

Posted: March 25, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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This church on the High Street was founded in Anglo-Saxon times but has been remodelled over the centuries, the latest being in 2012 when the church interior was redesigned to enable it to function as a space for community activities as well as church services

GWR King class 6023 King Edward II in steam at Didcot Railway Centre

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Cirl Bunting

Posted: March 21, 2019 in Birds, Devon, Natural History, UK
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The Cirl Bunting is at the northernmost edge of its range in the UK and is found in the south-western counties. 10 years ago they were restricted to one or two isolated areas in Devon and it was feared that they may die out. The introduction of supplementary winter feeding programmes has boosted the number of birds that survive through the winter months and so are able to breed the next year and this has been responsible for a significant upturn in the population, such that they are now expanding into the neighbouring counties of Somerset and Cornwall.

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It is now estimated that there are around 900 breeding pairs in the UK.

Purple Sandpiper

Posted: March 20, 2019 in Birds, Devon, Natural History, UK
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This medium-sized wading bird is a winter visitor to the UK. It is mostly found in the north of the country but although not common it has established winter roosts in the south at places such as Southsea Castle and Brixham Harbour.

A few pairs (possibly up to 3) nest in the far northern islands of Scotland but it is estimated that the wintering population in the UK is around 13000 birds.

They are usually found on rocky outcrops where they probe for winkles , crustaceans and spiders, although also eat the plants that grow on the rocks.

These photos were all taken on our recent trip to Devon near Brixham Harbour.

Berry Head Lighthouse

Posted: March 19, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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Berry Head Lighthouse is one of the shortest in Great Britain, being only 5m tall. However, its position on the head means it is also one of the highest at 58m above sea level.

It was built in 1906 and automated in 1921. It was converted to run on electricity in 1994. It has a range of 35km (22 miles) and flashes every 15 seconds.

Berry Head also has a Coastguard watchpoint which is built within the remains of the old powder store building of the 18th-century fort.

Berry Head Fort

Posted: March 18, 2019 in Devon, History, UK
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By the end of the 18th Century, the threat of invasion from Napoleonic France was high and so the government took the decision to strengthen the defences of ports of the south coast of England.

The Entrance to Berry Head Fort

Berry Head which overlooks Brixham Harbour had been the site of an earlier battery, but work began in 1794 to upgrade and strengthen the defences.

The Guardhouse (1802) which now houses the Cafe and Vistors Centre

They are an impressive sight and the external walls remain intact except where subsequent quarrying has caused a collapse.