Saturday, August 26

Exploring Essington

A great bit of local exploration yesterday saw me visit some old Wolverhampton haunts and also venturing out into Staffordshire.

The Wolverhampton haunts included Ashmore Park, where I tracked down the True Briton pub on Snape Road to add another piece to the Wolverhampton pubs jigsaw - I vaguely knew the pub existed but it was good to finally have a proper look. I also called in at Long Knowle and Underhill, adding to my library photos with the Scotlands & Underhill branch on Masefield Road.

The Wolverhampton stuff was fantastic, but the real highlight was venturing into Staffordshire to explore Essington. The village has featured in countless journeys on the way to Nan's old house in Bloxwich, as well as visits to Sunday car boots at the fruit farm, but this was my first time having a proper look around. I wasn't disappointed, with photos provided by local shops and the inviting looking Minerva pub. I really like investigating villages such as this - it gets me away from the urban sprawl for a bit, and gives me a taste of the essence of England.

By way of an added bonus, the walk provided opportunities to take a few bus photos, and I was particularly pleased to add a few more Green Bus photos to my archive. With an ageing fleet of vehicles, the Green Bus Service has a charm and friendliness that combined with cheerful drivers helps make phototaking a pleasure. The 8 runs hourly through Essington, so I ambushed the 11:15 for a shot on its way to Wolverhampton, before finding the 16 as it terminated near Essington Church. Delighted with my bus pics at Essington, I captured the 8 at Long Knowle for good measure and allowed myself to return to TWM reality with a shot of the 511 at Underhill.

Some of the photos have already found their way onto WME1 as I couldn't resist trying them out online, and I look forward to adding a few more in due course. All in all, a fine way to spend a quiet Friday morning in August.

Thursday, August 10

WME Wolverhampton Updates

More of my recent archive discoveries have found themselves a home, with WME Wolverhampton being updated yesterday morning
  • The Ashmore pub has been added to Exploring Ashmore Park, a useful photo of a local landmark
  • Exploring Dovecotes has received a photo of Ryefield underpass, another contender for the title of 'Least glamorous photo on WME'
  • Two more shots of the entrance to Wolverhampton Station have been added, unfortunately both show the station still looking as ugly as ever
  • A couple of additions also to the Shropshire Union Canal, with a nice view of Autherley Lock and a forgotten shot of Turnover Bridge. This collection is building quite nicely now
  • And finally, a photo of the 572 at Wolverhampton has joined Wolverhampton by Bus - another useful photo that shows a now withdrawn route and an operator other than Travel West Midlands

A small but useful update then, developing a couple of local collections that had been effectively dormant for ages, whilst building up further some of the more established WME Wolverhampton fare. The gallery contains 107 photos now so there is a fair bit online for the visitor to look at.

Sunday, August 6

A few bits and pieces

Recent work at WME has seen me working my way back through my photo archive trying to extract a few extra photos with which to add a bit more substance to my existing gallery collections. This process is ongoing, but I am pleased with how things are progressing, especially as I have unearthed some really useful pictures already.

This background work has meant things have been quiet on the updates front, and will be for some time to come. However, I have taken the opportunity to put a few archive discoveries into their new homes on the full WME galleries, so...
  • On WME Birmingham, two extra photos of Edgbaston Tunnel have been added to the Worcester and Birmingham Canal collection
  • On WME Dudley, I've added a photo of the 299 at Stourbridge to accompany the one already in Dudley by Bus
  • On WME Coventry, two photos of route 34 are added to Coventry by Bus. The first is another Tile Hill South shot, similar to that already online but from a different angle. The second is particularly useful in capturing the other end of the route up at Walsgrave Hospital, adding a new location to the collection and presenting more Coventry memories in the process. I've also started up a Coventry Station collection with a couple of train photos - another important development that now means a major Midlands station is represented whilst giving WME Coventry its first new collection in ages
  • On WME Telford, a couple of additions. A look at the stands at Wellington Bus Station adds substance to Stops & Stations, whilst a second platform view shot provides a bit more flesh to the Oakengates Station section. Both pictures were good bonuses to find amongst the archive, allowing me to make tiny but significant progress with one of my least developed galleries

Things are slow and painstaking at the moment, but it is important for me to try and extract everything I possibly can from my photo archive in order to present my explorations, experiences and memories as fully as possible. Its proving quite rewarding going back through my photos and finding extra photos to use that I missed or ignored the first time round - photos that just add that little bit extra to the overall jigsaw.

In setting up the galleries I wanted to cover as much ground as quickly as possible, with the result that WME has now become quite established. My priority has thus changed from providing a few launch collections and a handful of starter photos to now building on those foundations so that there is much more depth to WME as a whole. The photos added this weekend are part of that, and its particularly pleasing to see WME Coventry and WME Telford get some new additions after such a long time. I envisage this bits and pieces approach continuing for some time, so keep an eye on WME1 to see what other forgotten gems emerge...