As we were saying previously…
More images from the Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival of 2019. Special thanks to the owners of these vehicles for taking the trouble of keeping these oldies on the road for us all to see.
DRW 2019 Created 19/08/2019.
As we were saying previously…
More images from the Tewkesbury Classic Vehicle Festival of 2019. Special thanks to the owners of these vehicles for taking the trouble of keeping these oldies on the road for us all to see.
DRW 2019 Created 19/08/2019.
It’s that time of the year when all manner of vintage, rare, strange and wonderful vehicles converge on the town and show off. I have been a regular attendee since 2016 and the results of my visits are all buried in the archives of this blog (somewhere).
The problem with posting about the festival is that many of the cars have featured here before and finding previously un-photographed cars is not as easy as it would seem. However, there are often new vehicles that catch my eye and I like getting those to add to my already impressive stash of vintage car pics.
Unfortunately they have raised the entry fee to £7.50 and that may come back to bite the organisers. The changeable weather also played a major role in attendance and at one point it was touch and go whether we would have rain or not. Fortunately the rain stayed away and the sun did pop in for a look. The usual obstacles were also there, the people seemingly rooted to the spot, the aimless and lost cellphone users, kids doing their thing and pram pushers doing their best to bulldozer everybody over. Fortunately they did not allow dogs or we would have been besieged by heaps of mutts pee-ing on hubcaps and tripping everybody up. Oh, and as usual I ask myself: “why do women even bother attending?”. Because of the position of the sun many images are taken from the same side and tend to loom similar. Realistically you can only really photograph a car from a few positions given the limitations of space etc.
I have no real theme this year and the images are of cars that caught my eye. I am not a car buff though so identification of some may be impossible. The vehicles on this page have been identified as they have info sheets or badges that could be used to ID them with.
There were a few vehicles that made me ooh and aaah: the first being this really stunning customised 3 wheel Morgan. It was magnificent.
The second was this wonderful old Fiat 500 Topolino
and then there was this very stunning Nissan Figaro
This was also the first time that there were so many Figaros on show. They are nice little quirky cars and were introduced in 1991 although we never saw this model in South Africa.
Naturally there were masses on Mini’s in all shapes and sizes, but two stand out for me this year: The first is a Mini Moke
and the second was this very nice Morris Mini Traveller
Other cars that caught my eye:
Motor cycles were not as well represented as they should be and there were a number of curiosities amongst them.
The British love the Volkswagen Kombi and there are lots of them that that have been converted into camper vans. A number of these were on display and you cannot really show them off in their entirety.
That is more or less the vehicles that I can ID, there are a lot of others that I cannot. They may be seen over the page.
DRW 2019 Created 19/08/2019. Special thanks to the owners of these vehicles for taking the trouble of keeping these oldies on the road for us all to see.
Tewkesbury has some really old buildings in it, and recently I spotted two new information plaques that had been placed in the town that highlight some of the history of the buildings in question.
The first I spotted outside the Town Hall.
While the second was in the alley next to Cross House:
Cross House is a real gem, and for me has one of the best doors I have ever seen. One day I was lucky to find it open and popped my head and phone inside to see what was behind it and was very surprised. It does house a dentist’s surgery so I did not poke around too much.
There are other finds in town that at breathtaking and I will add more as I gather in the images. Until then..
DRW © 2019. Created 14/08/2019
Continuing with our Medieval Festival…
Day 2 starts off with a parade through town, usually just before midday. It is quite a festive occasion and kind of chaotic too, but the town turns out and the munchkins hopefully have fun and items of clothing go missing as do various reproduction swords, helmets and body parts. Its that kinda day! I parked myself not too far from the Town Hall, just looking for the odd scene worth capturing. It is in the nature of this sort of thing that participants get photographed, there is really no way around it. And, because the parade moves and photographer doesn’t many images look the same.
Things start off with the king/knight on his horse.
followed by a group probably affiliated with him.
The sign of the wagon certainly confirms their allegiance.
Followed by the Tewkesbury Town Band. They are really very professional and do a great job.
I was watching this tall fella walking to the assembly point and I could see by the way he was walking that it was heavy going. He must be exhausted after the days events.
A number of large puppets and floats were also in the parade and kudos to those who carried and moved them.
Local schools also had individual floats or displays and it was great to see the kids included in the parade, at the end of the day they will be the ones who will have to ensure the success of the festival 20 years from now, and while some may have been bored out of their minds (and suffering from cellphone withdrawal) others were enjoying themselves.
Mythago also appeared at the festival, and they are quite regular attendees and really good at what they do. Morris dancing with a twist is the best I can describe it.
This large dragon was awesome, and really quite labour intensive for the people moving it.
There was also a party from the Abbey, and they were covered in clouds of incense from the two incense swingers who seemed to have mastered the art of synchronised incense holder swinging. Out of curiosity, the burner is a metal censer suspended from chains, and it is called a thurible (via Old French from Medieval Latin turibulum) and the altar server who carries the thurible is called the thurifer.
and then there was this fine vessel replete with figurehead…
and one of my personal favourite people: The Wild Man of the Woods, he is the widest travelled and longest running Green Man in Britain (accompanied by a friend)
with the Pentacle Drummers bringing up the rear. They are loud, energetic and their vibe has to be seen to be believed and standing up close to them is quite an experience.
There is some footage of them performing at the parade in 2017 on Youtube
And then it was all over bar the shouting, with people following the parade towards the end of town, scattering in their different directions as they reached their turning off points. The Medieval Festival would still continue till later tonight before wrapping it up for another year. Some however seemed to have slept though it all…
Special thanks to all who participated and who worked so hard to make the festival a success. See you next year? hopefully.
DRW © 2019. Created 14/07/2019
It’s that time of year again when Tewkesbury dons its finest medieval garb, hauls the codpiece out of ye closet and goes gaga at the annual Medieval Festival.
The official website says:
“Tewkesbury Medieval Festival is widely regarded as the biggest free Medieval gathering in Europe with over 2000 re-enactors and traders travelling from as far afield as France, Poland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Many live in full Medieval style for the weekend and welcome visitors to the living history camps around the battlefield, King Edward’s camp on Windmill Hill, and Queen Margaret’s camp in Bloody Meadow. The re-enactors cook over open fires, fettle their armour ready for battle, weave, sew, play Medieval board games, whittle spoons, and a myriad of other things. In our large Medieval market you can buy anything from a full harness of armour or cooking range to a bottle of mead or a leather belt. We also have a large exhibition tent where you will find displays from historical societies and an exhibition of Graham Turner’s wonderful paintings which have featured on our posters for over 20 years. In the Bright Knight tent you will find Medieval inspired crafts and shows for our younger visitors. Medieval minstrels, jugglers, stilt walkers, friendly dragons, and bears wander around the festival site and there is a varied programme of events in the beer tent. On Sunday, join the people of Tewkesbury in a vibrant parade through the town. If you are a visitor to Tewkesbury, please take the time to look around.”
For a few weeks the banners have been appearing in the town and I did a post about those last year and am not going to do another this year, however it really seems as if there are far fewer banners around than last year, but it could be my imagination.
Ye weather outside is for 19 degrees with light cloud and a gentle breeze. and hopefully it will improve because I am heading out there after 12. I like to rubber neck the market and attempt to look at the many tents selling various goodies and of course admiring the ingenuity and fervour of those who go all out to make the day a success.
I got to the festival site after 12 and it was not as full as usual, but that may have been because I was running early. As you can see below it was generally overcast and not very warm either.
This is the area of the Medieval Market and where you can buy everything from dodgy curry to a hand or two.
Many of the tent/shops were packed with interested festival goers and rubber neckers as well as the stalled dog walkers and selfie mob. I was considering buying a sword but very few had prices on them and some were just not viewable because of the crowd. Maybe next year?
Of course part of the fun is seeing the many costumes that people are wearing, and some are really fantastic.
What I like this that there is a crossover of styles in a festival like this, and almost anything goes.
The food stalls were chocabloc once again but I did manage to get myself a crepe for lunch, and this is something I always look out for because they are delicious.
The area where the battle was to take place was devoid of crowds and you could get some idea of the space involved, and from 3.30 this space becomes jam packed with people.
At the moment all was quiet as future participants wet their whistles or enjoyed some time in their tents and around their fires.
Actually I enjoy this area because there is a “normality” about it; a glimpse of life in a tented camp while fighting wars for the king.
My meanderings took me across to Queen Margaret’s Camp and the Kings Camp. This area is really where you get to show off your crown and goodies. It also has tents where family groups are living while the festival is going on, and it is quite interesting too.
I am however looking for that definitive pic of a knight on the phone!
and then I was done and dusted and was about ready to go home. I was tired and was not ready to hang around till 4 pm for the battle, the huge crowd kind of gets to me after awhile and I get tired of dodging dogs, people on phones, prams, and groups of people who are having a convo in the middle of the aisle. Yes the festival is interesting but the irritation factor is high too. This is the queue of cars near Aldi all trying to get to the festival…
That was it for the day. I may go see the parade tomorrow morning, depending on how I feel.
I suspect though, when the festival ends for the day this is how everybody will feel….
DRW © 2019. Image of map from the official Festival website Special thanks to everybody that put in so much effort to make the day a success.
This morning there were balloons in the air and I missed it! The best I could do was this solitary balloon about to be attacked by a large bird.
Later I went for a walk, hoping to find a suitable spot to launch my Pretoria Castle from, and did some looking to see whether the flood waters had subsided. This is the view from King John Bridge towards the Avon Locks and the Healings Mill in the background on the right.
and downstream on Shakespear’s Avon Way
Last weekend while photographing the flood it struck me that I had never done a photo essay about the Victoria Gardens. I was unable to do so at the time because of the flood waters, but this morning went walkies in that area to see whether the water had resided and how things looked in the area.
By today the water level had dropped dramatically and the gardens and mill were once more accessible. It was also possible to cross the river at the bridge by the mill. This is what it looks like from the bridge looking across to the mill.
and downstream from the bridge. This high pond is really a sluice gate and somewhere I have an information sheet about it and seem to recall it is called a “Fish Belly Sluice”. Naturally I cannot find it at this moment to confirm what I remember. The garden is the tree-ed area on the left.
The Victoria Pleasure Gardens were created by public subscription to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. They were popular with the Edwardians and in 1910 a bandstand was installed which was in regular use till the 1950’s. The gardens were badly affected by the 2007 floods in the town and as can be seen winter flooding can inundate it. The garden is now taken care of as a result of collaboration between local councils and a volunteer group, “Friends of the Victoria Pleasure Gardens”. The arches in Gloucester Road are signposted as having been erected to celebrate the diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in June 2012 as well as Queen Victoria in 1897.
And to think that a week ago all of this was under water.
On my way home I popped into the very famous Abbey Tea Rooms in Church Street. I have been wanting to go in there in ages but have never done so. It is a riot of nostalgia and all things eclectic and to be honest I think you would spend hours just looking around and still never seeing everything. .
My mother would have blown a blood vessel had she seen all of that, and then would have thrown it all away in a frenzy of cleaning. Fortunately the people there are much more far sighted than she is.
I can also recommend the food, and I may have to return because I have so much more to look at, but there is so little time and space.
And that was my day. Tewkesbury is busy hanging out the banners for the upcoming Medieval Festival in July, so soon I shall be posting some of those. But till then this sneak peak will have to suffice.
DRW © 2019. Created 22/06/2019
Today (22 June) was supposed to be the Model Steam Rally held by the – Model Steam Road Vehicle Society (MSRVS). Unfortunately a group of “travellers” descended on the town and were flooded out of their camp site. They then moved to higher ground and the area where the rally was to take place was vandalised, forcing the cancellation of the rally. I missed the rally last year as I was elsewhere, and was really looking forward to it this year.
However, I decided to hold my own photo essay based on images that I took in 2016 and 2017, after all I do not get too many opportunities to see live steam in action. The steamer are not full size replicas, but half, quarter and smaller replicas and have all the charm of the real thing but without the need for heavy workshop and a crane.
There are not too many cars on display at the event, but they are fun to see, and I have to admit I have my favourites.
That blue Zephyr is really a blast from my past.
There is also a nice variety of bric-a-brac for sale at the sale tables, and of course a chance to acquire a handy new hammer (or two). I always used to argue with one of my work colleagues about how hammers are so important that there are at least 2 songs about them!
I am not sure whether there is a song about scales though.
One of the exhibitors had a really complicated small town on display along with the associated vehicles and people. It was really fascinating because there was so much small detail.
This is only a small part of the exhibit though. It was very difficult to photograph because of the angles and compactness of the display. Small replica steam engines and trains are really amazing pieces of engineering in their own right, and a number of them were on display.
However, we were probably all here to see the steam engines, and this is a collection of images from the three events that I attended. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed seeing them. Maybe next year we will be luckier.
Special thanks to all those who put in so much effort into keeping this hobby alive.
DRW © 2019. Images are from 2015.2016 and 2017. Created 22/06/2019
Autumn arrived a few weeks ago, and literally overnight the trees where I live lost their leaves following a terribly windy night.
Miss Emily was also bragging about her new wellies and I took her out for a quick pic session. It was not very successful I am afraid.
“Gee, just look at all these leaves! did you do that?”
“Me? Miss Emily you credit me with too much energy, twas the wind. Didn’t you hear it last night?”
“Now that was wind! I thought the house was going to blow away and wanted to start packing my hats and hair bows away just in case.”
“Talk about hats, where did you get that chapeau from anyway?”
“Ah, tis a school hat, I found it in a shop in town, it’s very nice.”
“It’s also a bit too small for you, or maybe your bonce is too big?”
“My bonce big?”
“Yep, a 5 gallon hat on a 10 gallon head.”
“That’s not very nice, I think I must go pout.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to pick up all these leaves instead?”
“No thanks, I will leaf that to the experts. Oh, I made a pun.”
“And it was truly punful to hear.”
“I definitely feel a pout coming on.”
“Never mind the pout, do you realise that a few years ago you made your debut amongst the leaves on the field?”
“Yikes! what is with all the yellow? I look like a 46″ banana!”
“Oh I don’t know, I think you looked kind of cute, all prim and proper. Even your sandals were yellow.”
“That is scarey. I hope I don’t have them anymore.”
“No, I gave them away because they didn’t fit very well.”
“That’s a relief. Where is my hat?”
“You hadn’t really developed your own “style” by then. You were really just a cute dolly with a pout back then.”
“And no ice cream either?”
“None. You were more of a tea and biccie type of girl when I met you.”
“Wowsers, I am impressed with me. Such self discipline, so much catching up to do!”
“Not so fast young lady. What are we going to do about all these leaves?”
“Sell them on ebay?”
“I think not. I will leaf you to think about it.”
It took her a week, but she finally ended up doing backstroke in the leaves..
DRW © 2019. Created 16/07/2019
This has been an odd week weatherwise. One of those nasty storms has hit the UK bringing widespread rain and floods. Unfortunately Tewkesbury has a reputation for floods and frankly I was concerned. On Thursday a flood warning was issued for the town:
I live right on top of the Carrant Brook and it tends to rise and fall dependent on a number of factors, and when I moved into my current flat in 2015 the brook flooded and consequently flooded the field outside.
The flood warnings were pretty grim, especially for what is known as “the Severn Ham” aka “Tewkesbury Ham” aka “The Ham”, and the area between the Mill Avon and the Severn. You can see that area in the image below between the two rivers on the left.
However, if the Avon floods it tends to back up the Carrant brook which then floods the area where I stay and in 2007 my flat was under a metre of water. Consequently I was concerned because the rain that was falling in Wales would eventually make its way downstream and that would affect the Avon/Severn and possibly me. The long and the short of it is that I stayed at home on Friday, my bag packed and my eye on the field outside. Fortunately it never came to an evacuation situation, although next week more rain is forecast.
This morning has been cold and overcast/sunny/windy and everything inbetween and I decided to head down to the Ham and have a look at the levels in this area.
I took the following image on Friday morning looking towards the Avon lock. Normally it looks like this:
But on Friday it looked like this:
The cream building on the right hand side of the image is interesting because it has a high water mark on it from the floods in 2007.
The sign is also quite interesting:
This morning I crossed the bridge over the Mill Avon and took the following two images:
I then walked along the pathway towards the Ham. There was standing water in a large portion of it and the lower bridge at the other mill was impassable.
There are two mills on this stretch of water. Healings Mill is derelict and abandoned but cannot be demolished because it is a listed building. That closed in 2006 and is now home to thousands of pigeons and other birds. I suspect they are hoping it will fall down on its own although I believe there are plans to convert it into yuppie pads.
Downstream from Healings is the old Abbey Mill which closed in 1921, it is now apartments and that was where I was heading. I have explored around this area when the water level was lower.
Just next to the building is the Victoria Gardens and it too is under water:
I was not able to photograph the other side of the mill as I left my wellis at home but these images below were taken in April 2016 from the Victoria Gardens.
Actually the area around the mill is very pretty and I should really go explore around there when the water subsides and we get some summer again. Hopefully normality will creep into our weather and the levels will drop so that I can rest easy again. Unfortunately I get antsy when it rains and when you consider how quickly a town can be inundated you can see why. Things at the moment are not as bad as they were in 2007 and I have seen the field behind where I live much deeper under water than it is now, but it doesn’t take much to tip that balance. Maybe its time to invest in that boat I have always wanted.
DRW © 2019. Created 16/06/2019
It is about time I posted about my newest toy boat. I mentioned her briefly on my other toy boat post some months ago, and in between then and now I have acquired another one, albeit in a poor condition too.
The new boat is missing a funnel, masts and some of the lifeboats. The forward bulwark is also broken and that has damaged the foredeck. However, I suspect this ship may be a newer iteration because it does not suffer as much from the warping of the superstructure like the first one does. The funnel and deck in the foreground come from the 2nd boat and it is badly warped so I will remove the deck area and replace it. The new funnel has been glued but needs more coats of paint.
So, I have 2 ships that are in need of work, and sailing, although at the moment our weather is as such that there is a lot of water but no way to access it (that may change as flood warnings are in force for Tewkesbury as of today).
This is the clockwork motor (prop shaft leads off to the right), and is wound though the shaft in the centre of the image which comes up into the funnel.
You can see a slight colour difference in the 2 ships below, which really supports my theory that the one may be much older.
I may just repaint one of them in UC colours and leave the other in an assembled stated but unpainted. It’s a lot of hull to paint and I do not feel up to doing it. So, at this moment this is where I am at. Once I get some sun I will take more pics. but till then I will continue to work on them both. I will be honest, I really like this pair, they may be somewhat out of scale and warped and generally quite tatty, but they are wonderfully quirky models and I would have loved to have had one as a child. I believe that they were available in SA, but apart from that information know nothing further.
The real ship looked like this:
The big flood never happened thankfully, although I did get to try out my new ship in the flooded field where I live. Unfortunately the water was full of grass clippings and they kept jamming the prop. It was also very difficult trying to juggle the ship, camera, string and myself so I gave up quite quickly.
Afloat on my local puddle:
And there you have it, a pair of interesting models from a different era. The real Pretoria Castle was acquired by Safmarine and entered service as SA Oranje in 1966 and she went to the breakers in 1975. The models date from either the 1950’s or mid 1960’s. They are almost as old as I am.
DRW © 2019. Created 13/06/2019