December at Leicester
* The first half of the blog was written on the train on the 19th December
Well its mid-December and all Iíve seen of the snow is a light sprinkle one Sunday morning. To some this is a disappointment but to me it offers the opportunity to geograph in safety! My last blog left off at Snibston, I said that I wouldnít be able to do much outside of Leicester. Thankfully that was wrong, I have been all over the place recently.
The last Sunday in November saw me venturing to Barnsley to geograph the mill and pit head of Barnsley main. A long but fruitful day, sadly I missed out on a rare furnace nearby but thatís for another day.
The Saturday after that,(in December now) was spent at Moulton in Lincolnshire. I travelled by train via Peterborough, with huge luck I had a few minutes with 70013 on the platform edge.
Moulton was a good mill, the tallest working in the UK. Its sails had recently been added and the weather was wonderfully crisp. Inside restoration was still at various stages but the usual equipment was about. As it was the 'golden hour' at Moulton photography of the station and signal box was a must while waiting for the train.
That weekend was very industrial, on the Sunday I had the company of Chris, Nigel and John. They had come to Leicester to visit the various sights and sounds. It started around 10am with me wondering outside to find them looking for me and waking up the many student neighbours. The co-op factory down the road was geographed while it undergoes a transformation. Next was the gas works before the mills of Frog Island.
Rather luckily Rood Ashton hall passed through Leicester that day so a bridge at Thurmaston provided a good platform. A quick stop at Gimson works was made.
It was then onto Abbey pumping station for the Christmas steaming. The building houses four Leicester built Woolf compounds. The railway and various other exhibits were in action. Photography was difficult but I pulled out some I was happy with. The visit underneath was excellent.
Three days later I had a free day so went out cycling to investigate the Leicester to Swannington line. I think this was the third railway built in the world (can't confirm with no internet on the train).
Firstly I photographed the ex GCR hydraulic house, a few pigeons before moving onto the old station. Carrying on along the line I sustained a puncture and turned back, the tunnel (Glenfield) will have to wait until 2012.
Reading week had arrived, my mineral A exam is 50% practical sample based so I spent most of the week with samples before they are locked away over Christmas. However I did photograph the ex-counting house while at Morrisons. Its part of the old cattle market. I also did a few shots of Leicester Uni including the union building.
Yesterday (18th December) saw the steam team assemble again. Starting off at Loughborough we ventured to Taylorís bell foundry and the Watt beam engine. The journey up the M1 to Pleasley colliery saw me feeling a little queasy, sod's law just as we got to our destination my carsickness hit a peak!
Anyway we were greeted at the pit and explored the engines again; the rest of the team hadnít visited for years. The transformation of this scheduled monument is fantastic. After a cup of tea and mince pie the short journey to Wollaton hall in Nottingham was made. I had been meaning to go for a while but never made it. The place far exceeded my expectations with a variety of engines. Outside was a rather nice original Whim Gin. I shall return next year to visit the geology section and the grounds. The greenhouses look rather nice as does the agricultural complex.
Next? Not sure
Iím planning to go to the January GCR gala as well as other winter galas.
*Added on the 4.1.12
Nothing much over the Christmas period. My sister is doing a project at Uni which requires 'movement' so we popped over to Middy for moving trains. Later that evening I visited Ellough again to get the ISS as it arcs. Sadly it didn't quite work out as planned. But I'm up to something similar on Thursday.
A journey to Norwich station on Friday 6th means a 3 hour trip back to Leicester. Then its time to become a hermit and revise for my Jan exams. I hope geograph doesn't provide too much of a distraction!
Late Jan sees me and possibly others at the GCR gala, this shaping up to be the biggest ever at the line. Something not to be missed.
- Wed, 4 Jan 2012 at 15:57
- Chosen Photo
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