Saturday 31 October 2020

Stormy Cambrian Coast

Just a quick post as the storms lash outside (and whilst we were meant to be in Wales this week)- more shots from back in the summer, when the Welsh would just about tolerate you being in the country (rather than the present situation where we were meant to be there this week, but would be instantly stopped, fined, and maybe arrested for looking longingly over the border).

Anyway, Criccieth Beach, in rather stormy conditions.  Not a day for sandcastle building.

As with Northern back home, Transport for Wales were also spending extravagant sums shipping fresh air around by rail, having told people not to use the trains.  Still, I like taking train pics on this beach, it's a good lineside spot.

Greyscale, making a moody scene even moodier...

Same holiday, same bad weather; never seen the the sea having got so far up the beach at Barmouth.  A plan to picnic hear was scotched by the sandstorms.

The railway was struggling to operate; this was the first train over the Barmouth Bridge all morning due to the winds.

On the back, looking towards the old explosives works at Penrhyndeudraeth.  In the morning the sea had been over the road just north of here, and it was still pretty high by mid-afternoon.


Wednesday 28 October 2020

A wet day at Fountains Abbey

With us running out of places to go towards the end of the summer holidays, we booked a visit to Fountains Abbey (somewhere I'd been to professionally a few times in a previous job, but not really visited for pleasure).

Shame though that the weather was pretty appalling, but then with somewhere this busy, and having to book a week in advance, there wasn't a lot we could do about it.

Having got utterly drenched on the walk down from the entrance (passing, naturally, the non-Socially Distancing upper-middle-class people these venues seem to attract, much like our earlier visit to Bolton Abbey), we headed undercover.

Makes a nice spot for a picnic.

Cursed lens-flare, looks like something out of a JJ Abrams-directed film...

Nice vaulted cieling.

After we'd eaten, we decided the weather wasn't getting any better so we might as well continue sight-seeing.

Shame about the white sky.

We ended up bailing early, which was a shame, but after three hours we were so drenched it had stopped being fun.  Maybe we'll make a return on a crisp winters day...


Wednesday 21 October 2020

Wanderings in Airedale

Back in the early summer, I (Ben) found myself with time to kill.  I'd taken the car in for servicing, and so had about 6 hours to myself in Bingley.  Not normally a problem, I'd just go to a relatives house, but at that point Lockdown was still well and truly in effect.  Nor could I travel home, as the whole 'Essential Travel Only' thing still applied to public transport.

At least it was a nice day, so I packed my boots and camera, and set off on my old stomping grounds of the Leeds-Liverpool canal towpath, my regular commute to work back when I was gainfully employed in Saltaire.

I dropped down from the towpath into Hirst Wood, retracing places I regularly used to use for photography projects.

Well, it wouldn't be a Benjy day out without some railway photography, as Northern continued at great expense shifting carriages full of fresh air around (having basically told passengers to bugger-off on official advice).

I got a bit bored of normal shots, so started trying some more abstract stuff with reflections...

By this point I realised I'd only killed about 2 hours, so set off for Thackley back along the canal.  Not a lot to photograph out this far, and lots of people not socially distancing on the canal towpath...

Back to Hirst Wood, and the back route into Bingley where the famous Cottingley Faeries hoax was carried out.  Not that nice and magical a spot at the time of my visit, it has to be said.

Round the back of the sports club... I keep thinking I ought to do a project sometime on creepy deserted sheds and shipping containers.

Finally, mid-afternoon, the garage said I could pick up the car, so I headed back into Bingley.  Not a bad day in terms of a mix of things to photograph, but it would have been a hell of a lot more unpleasant had the weather been poor.

Last shot of the day, at Crossflatts.  Network Rail measurement train heading to Derby.


Sunday 18 October 2020

Skipton by Scotrail

As mentioned in the last post, I (Ben) had been out a bit this summer trying to get pics of the Staycation Express, the regular Skipton-Appleby excursion train.  We'd toyed with going on it, but couldn't guarantee 5 seats together, and there didn't seem much to do to keep The Childs happy for the day in Appleby in the present Coronoconditions...  So, as a railway enthusiast who spent most of the year not taking train pics (and could see that happening again in Lockdown;Round Two, this time it's Christmas) I settled for trying to get pics of it.  Bless-em, Locomotive Services Limited know the value of getting people to photograph their trains, with a right variety of nice colourful locomotives on the roster (compared to West Coast Railways, who only paint their locomotives in dull maroon).  The green 37 had swapped out for this rather beautiful Scotrail 47.  Glossy.

It was a nice start to the day, reasonably bright and sunny...

...though the sun was rapidly going in behind the clouds, promising a day of manky tuppaware-lid sky and crap lighting for the pictures when the train arrived.

I'd already done this location earlier in the summer, but the flat lighting did at least mean I could go over the level crossing, to what would normally be shooting into the sun.

Just to prove I'm on the 'safe' (public) side of the crossing; I've been here before to photograph steam services, and had to contend with absolute prats standing right by the tracks, shouting 'because it's what we did in the 60's and I'm still alive you ealth and safety-lovin bloody idiot kid...'

Running late due to problems up the line (a lightning strike at Ribblehead of all things), the southbound hammering past.

Time for a bit of flower photography whilst waiting for the return.

Over the level crossing, and here's the Scotty 47 leading on the return.

Large-logo blue on the back.


Friday 16 October 2020

A Sunny August Day at Ribblehead

It feels like a lifetime ago, but back in August on a pleasantly sunny day, we headed up to Ribblehead.  Partly for some railway photography, partly a socially-distanced meet up with relatives, partly for healthy exercise.  All things we can't do at the moment, so already feels nostalgaic.

The train I (Ben) was after was the Staycation Express, the 3-times a day, all-summer excursion train (that I'd managed to photograph a couple of times at Skipton).  We missed it heading north in the morning as we got stuck in traffic, but reckoned we'd have plenty of time to see the southbound train at lunchtime instead.

We walked up to the waterfalls up past Blea Moor signalbox, a nice walk in nice weather.

We stopped near the waterfall for a picnic...

...and missed the train.  It came past about ten minutes earlier than expected, so I wasn't in too good a spot.  Ah well.

We finished lunch and headed back, with the intention of getting a pic on the viaduct when the train headed back to the north.

However, several of our group needed the loo (always fun up here, even more fun trying to find an open loo during the days of corona), so after a brief stop to get a pic of a local train crossing, we headed for Stainforth.

Scotrail-liveried 47 on the front here...

...and large-logo blue on the rear.  Not the shot I was hoping for, but I had a plan to come back for another go at getting a pic on the viaduct later in the summer. Railway photography apart though, it was a nice walk and a good opportunity to get out and about with Amy's parents.