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December at Leicester

By Ashley Dace

* 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.
SE3403 : Worsbrough Mill - Steam Mill by Ashley Dace SE3403 : Worsbrough Mill - Meal Floor by Ashley Dace SE3403 : Worsbrough Mill - Stone Floor by Ashley Dace SE3606 : Barnsley Main Colliery by Ashley Dace SE3606 : Former Rail Tracks by Ashley Dace SE3403 : Worsbrough Mill by Ashley Dace SE3403 : Oil Engine by Ashley Dace SE3606 : Barnsley Main Colliery by Ashley Dace SE3606 : Barnsley Main Colliery by Ashley Dace SK3586 : Sheffield from the Station by Ashley Dace SK4804 : Desford Station by Ashley Dace SK4804 : Double Headed Pannier Tanks by Ashley Dace
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.
TF2116 : Windfarm at Dusk by Ashley Dace TF2422 : Spalding Station by Ashley Dace TF2422 : Footbridge and the Moon by Ashley Dace TF2422 : Spalding Signal Box by Ashley Dace TF3024 : Moulton Windmill - Governor by Ashley Dace TF3024 : Moulton Windmill - Great Spur Wheel by Ashley Dace TF3024 : Moulton Windmill - Governor by Ashley Dace TF3024 : Moulton Windmill - Cap and Sails by Ashley Dace TF3024 : Moulton Windmill by Ashley Dace TL1898 : Can I climb up? by Ashley Dace

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.
SK5806 : Abbey Pumping Station - Eccentric valve motion by Ashley Dace SK5806 : Abbey Pumping Station - Beam Engines by Ashley Dace SK5806 : Abbey Pumping Station - Beam Engines by Ashley Dace SK5806 : Abbey Pumping Station - Cross by Ashley Dace SK5806 : Abbey Pumping Station - Cylinder heads by Ashley Dace SK5806 : Abbey Pumping Station - Cylinder heads by Ashley Dace SK5805 : Frog Island Mill by Ashley Dace SK6209 : Rood Ashton Hall 4965 by Ashley DaceSK5705 : Grand Union Canal by Ashley Dace SK5705 : Demolished Buildings by Ashley Dace
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.
SK5903 : University of Leicester - Percy Gee Building by Ashley Dace SK5903 : University of Leicester - Percy Gee Building by Ashley Dace SK5902 : University of Leicester - Ken Edwards by Ashley Dace SK5902 : University of Leicester by Ashley Dace SK5802 : The Counting House - Leicester by Ashley Dace SK5605 : Leicester to Swannington Railway by Ashley Dace SK5705 : Leicester to Swannington Railway by Ashley Dace SK5704 : Leicester to Swannington Railway - Former Coal Wharf by Ashley Dace SK5704 : Leicester to Swannington Railway - West Bridge by Ashley Dace SK5804 : Leicester Castle by Ashley DaceSK5804 : Pigeons next to the canal by Ashley Dace SK5804 : GCR Goods Yard Hydraulic house by Ashley Dace

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.
SK5339 : Manlove Alliot & Co by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Early Whim Gin by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Wollaton Hall Agricultural Buildings by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Early Whim Gin by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Horizontal Engine at Wollaton by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Basford Beam Engine - Wollaton Hall by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Fowler Traction Engine by Ashley Dace SK5339 : Wollaton Hall by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery - Markham Winder by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery - Northern Shaft by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery - Southern Shaft by Ashley Dace SK4964 : Pleasley Colliery - Northern Shaft by Ashley Dace

SK5219 : Loughborough Beam Engine by Ashley Dace SK5219 : Loughborough Beam Engine by Ashley Dace SK5319 : Taylor's Bell Foundry by Ashley Dace SK5420 : Brush Works by Ashley Dace SK5420 : Loughborough Railway Station by Ashley Dace

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.
TM4486 : Ellough Church at Night by Ashley Dace TM4486 : Ellough Church at Night by Ashley Dace TM1265 : Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum by Ashley Dace TM1265 : Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum by Ashley Dace TM1265 : Mid Suffolk Light Railway Museum by Ashley Dace TM1265 : GER 424 Third, later Second (body only) built 1892 by Ashley Dace
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.


When
Wed, 4 Jan 2012 at 15:57
Chosen Photo

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