England and Wales

I've finally run out of photos from last year's trip to the UK -- well, almost! Here are some miscellaneous shots which didn't make it into the previous posts.

One of the reasons I went to Cornwall was because that's where my family came from (the paternal line, at least). I didn't meet any other Holmans there, but I did find evidence of their existence, such as this sign in Truro.

In Camborne there's this ... industrial thingy ... made by Holman Brothers, a manufacturing firm which exported mining equipment around the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today the company is part of CompAir, but it's nice to see that they remember their heritage.

The ghost sign here reads, in part, 'HOLMAN BROS. LTD' and adorns a faded part of their former Camborne empire. It's still not clear if they're any relation or not, but some of my mob were mining engineers and Tremayne is not far away.

Newport Castle, as seen from the town centre.

There's not much of it left, sadly. It was built in the mid-14th century and sacked less than a century later. It's on the banks of the river Usk, which clearly has a very large tidal range.

Wedding photos in the amphitheater at Caerleon. Makes a nice change from the local youth their practicing knifecrime.

Quite possibly the worst TARDIS ever made. It needs another coat of paint, one of the signs is wonky, there's gold foil on the windows and ... it's on wheels. I won't say who is responsible for it, except that it's in Cardiff, where people really ought to know better.

Another bit of castle, this time in Swansea.

A very old house in Conwy (the sign over the door says 1589). It's not a tourist attraction, it didn't even have a plaque. But internet sources tell me it was built for the Vicar of Conwy and later became the Black Lion Inn. The wharf is just behind so no doubt it was frequented by nautical types.

Across the road is Aberconwy House, which I've already mentioned. I wasn't hugely enthralled by it, but I can recommend the National Trust shop in the basement if you're in Conwy and in need of an umbrella.

I think I've mentioned that I could see Conwy Castle from my hotel window: here's the proof.

The same view without the window frame.

Conwy boasts The Smallest House in Great Britain. I guess it's pretty small, but really it could be smaller. So I faked a tilt-shift and I reckon it's now appropriately tiny.

The view from Llandudno Pier. There seemed to be more windfarms about this time compared with 2007. Or maybe I was just travelling in windier parts of the country.

A big anchor in Caernarfon, belonging to HMS Conway, which ran aground in the Menai Strait in 1953. It's sitting in front of a small maritime museum, which I sadly didn't get to have a look at.

One of the few photos I took in London -- St Pancras International, the new Eurostar terminus, which was still under construction when I was last there. It's lovely.

Lover-ly, even.

This is the man who wanted Slough erased from the face of the Earth, and they build him a statue. Madness.

The great airship sheds at Cardington, where R31, R38 and R101 were all built.

The first shed, which goes back to 1916 (the other was brought down from Pulham in the 1920s). The site was originally owned by Short Brothers, but eventually became RAF Cardington. For the Second World War it churned out barrage balloons. It's been used for movies (both as a location and to house stages) but it'd make a great airship museum, don't you think?

A different view of the Shuttleworth Collection's Comet.

The day I was at Duxford was also the day a horde of bus enthusiasts descended on the place. Unlike aeroplane anoraks, bus anoraks are clearly deranged. But I will admit that this bus (a postwar Crossley DD42) is quite charming.

A hangar door at North Weald. It doesn't show up very clearly, but on the lower part there is still scarring from a near-miss during the Battle of Britain.

And that's it. I did briefly spy Tower Bridge while changing trains once, and I spotted a fox running down a street in Peckham, and had a thoroughly enjoyable pub meetup with Alex, Jakob, Lester, Neil, Ross and Simon (I think that's everyone!). A few days' research at Colindale, a little bit of shopping and then a rush at the end when I realised that I (or at any rate, the plane I was booked on) was leaving 24 hours earlier than I thought! And then it was all over. Until the next time ...

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2 thoughts on “England and Wales

  1. Post author

    It helped that I knew it was there! Otherwise it's very difficult to see, especially from street level. Luckily there's a handy footbridge over the railway nearby.

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