Friday 26 January 2018

Winter in the Severn Valley 2018

Continuing with editing the backlog of pics from the West Mids, our annual post-Christmas, pre-New Years walk in the Severn Valley.  A nice walk, with plenty of opportunity for some railway photography.  "Taw Valley" above, in poor light...

The day was somewhat gloomy, lighting-wise, with frequent wintry showers.

Ivatt "Flying Pig".  We were somewhat lucky in our timing, nearly all the service trains were facing the right way for our photography purposes...

We stopped for a brew and a sarnie from the refreshment hut at Hampton Loade, and a browse of the second-hand sales carriage.  Pannier tank on southbound train in the platform, seen above.

The shelter came in very useful when the heavens opened somewhat dramatically around lunchtime.

The pannier again, just setting off in gloomy, post-rain light.

This is what we were there to see- "Erlestoke Manor", on it's last day in service before withdrawal from service for repairs and rebuilding, at the end of it's 10-year boiler certificate.  Happily the weather obliged for once, and it was facing the right direction, which we were very pleased with.

By late afternoon the light was really fading, so we decided to try some long-exposure stuff.  The 'Flying Pig' on its return.

Then it was off home.  Happily we'll be making a return in 2018 as we won a photography competition with one of our shots from a previous winter excursion to this stretch- the prize was a family ticket for a day, so we'll have a crack again later in the year when hopefully the weather will be a bit brighter...

Friday 19 January 2018

On a gathering storm...

...comes a tall handsome man, in a dusty black coat, with a red right hand...

Sorry, went all Peaky Blinders there for a minute, but it's very tricky to visit the Black Country Museum (where much of Peaky Blinders is filmed) without imagining yourself walking in slow motion, head tilted down to the ground, dramatically, with the theme song playing.

We've had an Unchained pass so made a few visits in the last year, but the pass is about to expire so we made what will probably be our last visit for a while.

The lighting being a bit poor, and us having taken lots of photos there during 2017, this time was just about playing around a bit with grey scale.

My (Ben's) favourite spot during this visit, with the willow tree contrasting nicely with the brickwork.  This patch hadn't actually been open the last couple of visits, so it was nice to have a poke around a new area.

So that's that.  They're about to massively expand the museum over the next few years so there should be a bit more to photograph in a future visit.  In the meantime, we're looking at getting an unchained pass for somewhere else, as we've really enjoyed being able to do so many visits to the Black Country Museum over the last year.

Apologies for the lack of updates recently- Christmas coincided with some rather serious illness issues, but hopefully should be getting back on track soon.