Thursday, October 26

Keeping those updates coming

Wednesday is usually my late start at work, so I try and use the morning wisely by doing some work on WME. Yesterday was no exception, and I managed to transfer another handful of photos from WME1 to their permanent homes

  • Starting as usual with WME Wolverhampton, and a new Exploring Castlecroft collection showing the Firs pub and a view of Castlecroft Road. Not my greatest ever photos, but they serve a purpose and look alright
  • Next up WME Birmingham, with just a single new photo this time as another train shot joins the new Sutton Coldfield station collection. It would be nice to include some photos of the station itself in the collection, and not just the trains I've placed in there so far - sounds like another little project to work on!
  • Next is WME Coventry where I'm actually down to the bare bones in terms of test photos I could include. I have added a photo of the No. 7 bus on Broadgate, which leaves me with only 9 photos in Covtest so I don't envisage much further update action on the Coventry front for the foreseeable future
  • And finally, WME Staffordshire and an Exploring Codsall collection featuring the Crown pub and Charles Wheeler's sculpture 'The Lone Singer'. Its always good to add in new exploring collections showing shops, pubs and local landmarks, but the places covered on WME Staffordshire have so far tended to be villages such as Codsall and Kinver, and I'd quite like to include more of the county's major towns in there as well.

Overall then, a small update but a useful step in the right direction nonetheless. WME1 is now down to 402 photos - I might break through the 400 barrier soon, although 350 test photos still seems a long way off. In the best WME traditions, things are taking ages to sort out, but judging by the way the galleries are fleshing out, I think it is worth it.

Tuesday, October 24

Back with more updates

Well, I must say I really enjoyed my week off - Rog and I managed to cram in a few outings, including an excellent Saturday in Staffordshire when we were joined by Woody. Lots of good photos which will hopefully see the light of day on WME at some stage, but in the meantime I'm still ploughing through the photo archive from the first half of 2005.

The first part of 'Operation Archive Extraction' was primarily completed a little while back - I'd been through and extracted what photos I could up to and including my outings from April 2005. I'm now somewhat bogged down in the second phase of the operation, whereby having extracted the photos I now have to try and use them on the local WME galleries. This hasn't been as straightforward as expected, I've had to do a lot of tweaking and background work to sort out photo sequences and build up a better record of what's actually in my archive.

The good news is that I am getting there. Before 'Rog Week' I had possibly my most sustained series of updates for months, and I've been able to pick up where I left off with some more additions:
  • WME Wolverhampton: A victory for the sequencing solutions I mentioned as a series of views of Devils Elbow Bridge join the Wyrley & Essington collection. The collection is coming together, although Devils Elbow is rather dominant at the moment
  • WME Walsall: More canal coverage as two pictures of Rayboulds Bridge join the Walsall Canal collection. The second photo had been sitting on Walstest for a while, waiting for me to check for any earlier examples. I finally got round to it, did indeed find a slightly earlier shot (only a month or so in it) and now both are tucked in nicely in their new home. Oh, and I also took the plunge and stuck the Stand K sign at Walsall Bus Station into the Stops & Stations Collection
  • WME Birmingham: and yet more rail content, with an addition to Duddeston (a useful view of the station entrance) and a new collection for Sutton Coldfield. I keep harping on about WME Brum being rail dominated, but I make no apologies in this instance - Sutton Coldfield is a great station, up there with my favourites and I simply had to include it. And by sorting out the various train photos I've taken there, it now is included, so there!
  • WME Dudley: nothing so exciting on Dudley unfortunately, although a platform view at Lye is not to be sniffed at, especially with the old station footbridge making an appearance. Talking about footbridges, the one on the canal by Coseley Tunnel must be the most photographed canal footbridge on WME - especially with two more views now added. That makes it four and counting now, and I'm sure there must be more recent shots I haven't even got to yet. And I don't even like the bridge that much!!
  • WME Staffordshire: still on the footbridge theme, the old footbridge at Codsall appears a couple of times amongst the four new additions to the Codsall Station collection. The collection is building nicely, and there is talk of the footbridge being resurrected using some of the original material, so good news all round I think
  • WME Telford: almost every photo on this gallery dates from Friday 13th August 2004, including the two new additions. We have a rather uninspiring shot of Stand D at Oakengates bus station, and a look at the old station house/ dentists surgery at Oakengates rail station. Considering I've had just the one outing's photos to go on, I don't think WME Telford is doing too badly really
  • WME Solihull: only one addition, but a good 'un - a view of the frontage at Shirley Station, a nice antidote to all the ugly, modern rubbish I have to put up with at other stations.

So thats the updates, whats next on the horizon. Well, WME1 still needs some exercise and its a case of me fighting the photoflab at the moment. Looking at the gallery, I still think there's more mileage in purging the test collections and trying to shift as much as I can onto the local WMEs. WME1 has already come down from 500+ photos to 408, but I'd like to take another big chunk out of it to get it down to something approaching 350 photos or less. This process is worthwhile, as the local WME galleries are growing, whilst I'm forcing myself to deal with awkward photos that I've been stockpiling. Sorting out the photo sequences has also took me back into the archive and released a few more photos that I'd somehow ignored, so I am presenting a more complete picture of my outings as a whole. And you know what, I'm actually enjoying the challenge of tackling the long-standing problem photos.

So, its on with the WME1 clearout. Hopefully I'll have a few more updates coming quite soon, the flab will melt away and then I can concentrate on the newer stuff. And hopefully I won't have to resort to the photo equivalent of liposuction, mores the pity!

Friday, October 6

October Updates so far

I'm on holiday next week, so I've spent the last few days trying to tidy up some loose ends on WME with a few more updates thrown in for good measure. There's a fair bit to tell you about...
  • Beginning with WME Wolverhampton as per usual. There's a bit more canal coverage as two photos of Cable Street Bridge join the Birmingham Main Line Collection, and views of the locks at Compton and Wightwick Mill join the Staffs & Worcs. And there's yet more new stuff from Wednesfield Park on Exploring Wednesfield. Thankfully, no signs this time, just a couple of shots amongst the flowerbeds (oo-er!)
  • Onto WME Birmingham next, and here there's a new addition to Birmingham by Bus in the form of the 156 at Perry Barr, after many edits I might add. I've also added a new collection Exploring Stockland Green. Its always great to add in new local collections, and this one is no exception. There are two nice shots of Stockland Green Bingo, and I've finally got a home for my photo of the bird statue at Brookvale Park. Great!
  • Next stop, WME Walsall. Progress here sees two views of local shops joining Exploring Bentley, a collection that is slowly growing into a useful pictorial view of the estate.
  • Looking now at WME Dudley, and yet more bus additions. Unsurprisingly, they concentrate on the usual Dudley by Bus locations, Halesowen and Stourbridge. These two places dominate the collection even more now, with Halesowen staking its claim with four shots of the Ludlow's 006 route and two views of the 210. Stourbridge might feel a little left out by only getting one new photo, with the 240 getting an airing. I could do with more photos at other locations but the archive won't allow that as things stand.
  • Still on the bus theme, I move onto WME Sandwell where Sandwell by Bus does get a new location joining the ranks thanks to a shot through the drizzle of the 124 at Cradley Heath from Rog trip 2
  • Not to be left out, WME Coventry gets a single new recruit, as a further train photo joins the Coventry Station collection.
  • WME Solihull had been effectively left to hibernate over the last couple of months, but it has risen from its slumbers now. Firstly, another train photo joins Shirley Station, and there are also train photo additions to Marston Green Station after a bit of trawling through the archive layers. With no hint of fanfare, I can announce the arrival of a new collection for Birmingham International Station, currently including a platform view and an onboard shot of the SkyRail interior. The challenge now will be to keep the gallery from going back to sleep...
  • Into the wider WME region now as I call in on WME Staffordshire. Additions here to Staffordshire by Bus, showing the 825 at Lichfield and at Rugeley - the Rugeley shot is a particular favourite. Lichfield City also benefits from me tweaking the archive with two more Cross City train photos, and not forgetting Cannock Station - a new collection for a station that is actually very forgettable indeed. Still, its there now...
  • A quick stop on WME Worcestershire just to mention that a further train photo has joined the new Foregate Street collection
  • And finally for this mad ramble, Exploration Extra and the Cornwall collection - no, not a range of farmer's clothing, but instead a transport related snapshot of the county that now includes two more bus photos, the 18 at Truro and an Eden Project shuttle outside St Austell Station

Well then, did you keep up? I think I can safely say there's a fair bit of progress there, and that I might just about have deserved a holiday. Hopefully you'll agree, and I'll aim to be back in updating action later this month. Enjoy the updates...