Saturday, 10 March 2018

The Rising Sun in Watford.

Premier Inn, Watford.
We recently stayed at the Premier Inn in Croxley near Watford. It is called the 'Rising Sun'.  I remember riding with my mother on the top deck of the London Transport bus to Watford as a pre-school child. Where the road crossed the canal there existed two or three quite distinct hump backed bridges which I referred to as the 'water hills', presumably not having 'bridge' in my vocabulary at that age.

Sun clocktower awaiting restoration.
Opposite the hotel I noticed this clock tower and I remembered the Sun Printing Company which must have occupied a site near here. At one time the Sun Engraving Co. was the largest engraving and rotogravure plant in the world. When the Sunday Times launched their 'colour supplement' it was the Sun who printed it.

I went for a stroll around the block and found a couple of signs suggesting that the hotel and associated shops had been built on the site of the Sun Printing Works.

The Sun clocktower in the middle of this aerial photograph. It is surrounded by allotments.
Above it, the Sun Printing Factory, now the Rising Sun Premier Inn Hotel.
A fascinating history of the Sun Engraving and related companies can be found by clicking here.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Ice on the Winding Pond

Ice on at the Winding Pond, Clowes Wood, Canterbury
As the weather forecast was for a wind chill of minus 8 degrees C,  John and I decided on a short ride along the Crab and Winkle Line to Whitstable.

Readers of this blog with good memories will know that this pond was excavated to provide water for the stationary steam engine which hauled the trains up the incline from Whitstable in 1830. As a relic of the steam railway age, you will not find many older. To read about the Crab and Winkle line, click here.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 33

Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Paul Godart is 34 yrs. old and is the works manager for the shipyard of Germe et Jouy, a company in Boulogne building trawlers, patrol boats and dredgers. He lives at the factory.

This is his photograph on his safe-conduct issued to him on 22nd June 1918 by the controller of the armies in the north of France to allow him to travel in and around Boulogne within limits of about five miles.

The means of transport allowed him?

A bicycle.

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Margaret Thatcher in Grantham

 The museum in Grantham is excellent – well laid out, uncluttered, interesting and legible.

This is the portrait of Baroness Thatcher painted by Lorna May Wadsworth. 

Lady Thatcher said to the artist, "It's very fierce." 

Wadsworth responded with, "Sometimes, Lady Thatcher, we women have to be fierce to get our own way."

"Very true," Thatcher said.

As a student Margaret Thatcher graduated in chemistry and applied for a job with the giant chemical company, ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries). The appointment board's assessment in rejecting her application was, 
"...this woman is headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated..."

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Train vandalism in miniature

Some railway modellers are imaginative in their search for realism in miniature. This train, seen recently at the Canterbury Model Railway Exhibition, had suffered graffiti spraying down its side.

Elsewhere on the same layout, this car was being impounded. Perhaps the driver should have used one of the hire bikes you can see in the racks.

This representation of a diesel motive power depot was throbbing with realism as all the locomotives were generating the correct engine noises. The miniaturisation of electronics has been welcomed amongst the modelling community, allowing lighting and sound effects hitherto unrealisable.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Another bargain from M&S Food.

Coming back down the A1 we popped into the services at Baldock to possibly grab a sandwich at the Marks & Spencer food store.

And I was sorely tempted by this bargain offer: 

'3 for £8 or £2.60 each'

Read it carefully and work out the maths for yourself. You could save yourself some money!