The Black Country Museum

The “Black Country” is the name given to a region of the West Midlands in England.  During the Industrial Revolution the area became heavily industrialised, with coal mining, iron foundries, brickworks and steel mills.  The name is believed to have come from from the soot from the heavy industries that covered the area.

The Black Country Museum was opened in 1978 and is an open-air museum of shops, houses and industrial buildings that have been relocated and rebuilt to form a village covering over 100,000 square metres, demonstrating the history of the area, with a focus on 1850 to 1950.

The following photographs were taken on our visit there in April 2018.  All were taken with a Canon EOS 60D and processed in Lightroom, with the black and white conversion done using “Tonality” as a Lightroom plug-in.

IMG_2978-EditThree Wheels

Mine Buildings

The Mine Shaft

IMG_3017-EditPetrol Pumps

IMG_3019-EditThe School

IMG_3049-EditSunken Barges

Floating Barge!

IMG_3057-EditIn the Butcher’s window!

IMG_3089-EditHeavy Metal

IMG_3094-EditCoal Shovel

IMG_3113-Edit-2The Stores

Black Landscape

Anchor Forge

IMG_3128-EditSacks of Straw

A Barrel of…

IMG_3145-EditThe Hardware Store

Bodmin Moor – Around Minions

On holiday in Cornwall, we spent a day on Bodmin Moor.

Our walk started in the village of Minions!Minions1

First stop: a stone circle close to the village called “The Hurlers”.  Local legend claims these were men who were turned to stone for “hurling” on a Sunday.Minions6Note the tin mine in the background – we’ll return to that on the way back.

The walk continues, with our destination – the granite tor known as “The Cheesewring”, clearly visible in the distance.Minions2

The Cheesewring
The name came about because the piled stones resemble a “cheesewring”, which was a press-like device once used to make cheese.  It is a natural formation, caused by wind-erosion, although local legend claims that it was the result of a stone-throwing contest between two giants!

The view from the top:Minions4

The road back down to Minions passes the old tin mine seen in the background from The Hurlers:Minions7

And then back into Minions for a Cornish Cream Tea at the “Hurlers Halt”:Minions8

All photographs taken with a Panasonic Lumix TZ70 – except the “Hurlers Halt” which was taken on an earlier trip in 2005!

Letchworth Food Festival

Although I was born in Hitchin, I grew up in Letchworth Garden City.  Every year, a “food festival” is held in the town centre.  Here are a few photographs from this year’s event:


hotdogsHot Dogs




VodkaOld Vodka (and young salesperson!)


cocktailsCocktail Barman


sausagesShe Sells Sausages


Anglesey Abbey

Our second visit of 2017 to a National Trust property took us to Anglesey Abbey, near Cambridge.  The property consists of 98 acres of landscaped grounds, divided into a number of walks and gardens.


Lode Mill – 18th century water mill, restored in 1982


Silver Birch Trees on the “Winter Walk”


The visitors entrance at the rear of the house.


No idea what this is, but I liked the colours!


These chaps sit at either end of a bench in one of the gardens.


Lightning Strikes Twice!
Giant Redwood – struck by lightning in both 1987 and 1999.

Waddesdon Manor

Spring is finally here, allowing me to start getting out & about with my camera again.  This week saw us visit Waddesdon Manor, which lies a few miles west of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.  It was built in the style of a french chateau between 1874 and 1889 by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild .  The property was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957.


The back of the house and the “Parterre” garden.


The fountain is central to the “Parterre” garden.


Another view of the back of the house from a bit further away.  The Parterre drops away out of sight.


One of two seven metre tall structures by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, composed of glass wine bottles.  The bottles originate from Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which is one of the Rothschild vineyards in Bordeaux.


The aviary is filled with colourful and exotic birds, including the “Rothschild Mynah”.


New fronds on an Australian Tree Fern, spotted on a walk through the grounds.  These are around 2 inches high.