Monday, December 24

Christmas Approaches

It may be Christmas Eve, but work continues at WME - and there are a couple more tiny reasons to celebrate. Firstly, this is my 100th post to WME Blogspot: the blog has proved a useful companion to the WME galleries over the last couple of years, giving me a forum for articulating my ideas and plans for the gallery, as well as reflecting on how things have been progressing.

To that end, things haven't been progressing too badly recently. A handful of useful landmarks have been met, the latest of which is WME Staffordshire reaching the 150 photo mark this very morning. The new additions include Stourton Bridge on the Staffs & Worcs Canal, a couple of Codsall views from Boxing Day 2005, and a new Exploring Essington collection adding to the growing presence of South Staffordshire villages on the gallery.

There are just a few more photos I want to try and move before the end of the year, and then I can focus on new photos for the new year. Hopefully I'll be back with post 101 soon enough to tell you all about it.

Friday, December 21

WME's Diet Log continued

I made mention of recent updates in my last post without actually filling you in on the gory details - it's not like me to miss out on a chance of boring you with such matters, so if you thought you'd escaped you're wrong!!

Most of the updates have been little odds and ends, fleshing out existing collections and generally being quite insignificant. There have been a couple of notable developments though, particularly with regard to WME Worcestershire, which can now boast its first proper canal content in the form of a Staffs & Worcs collection containing two Stourport photos. Also on the subject of the Staffs & Worcs, there's news from WME Staffordshire that further photos of Awbridge and The Bratch have appeared, along with a neat little series of photos showcasing Bumblehole Lock.

We have further rail content on WME Walsall thanks to another train at Walsall and a Bloxwich North platform view; WME Coventry has a further Tile Hill Station photo; there's a new Exploring Langley & Langley Green collection on WME Sandwell featuring two shots of the Bridge pub; and progress on WME Warwickshire with a couple of train photos for Stratford Station, and a couple of additions to the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal for good measure.

A busy time in the run-in to Christmas - a nice spread of updates where most galleries have received a little bonus for the festive period...

Stripped off and raring to go!!

Well, we seem to be hurtling towards Christmas at quite a pace now, and beyond that 2008 will be upon us. In preparation, WME has been slimming down ready for the festive period and a big effort next year to stay slimline whilst ensuring a steady supply of updates.

As such, WME1 has been on a crash diet where I have concentrated on whittling down the collections to the bare bones. There have been a fair few deletions, along with a prolonged series of gallery updates that has taken me right through to this lunchtime. The upshot of this is that WME1 is now very skeletal in nature - there are a few more updates left to make, predominantly on WME Staffordshire and Exploration Extra, with the remaining photos being those that I haven't got home collections for yet.

I have been concerned for some time now that things haven't been moving as quickly as I'd like on the WME front - photos have tended to become bogged down in WME1, and I rarely if ever got my most recent photos into the mix. This simply had to change, and come 2008 I will hopefully be drawing upon my whole archive (including any 2008 photos) and updating the galleries in a more organised fashion.

So, WME1 is indeed stripped off and ready to go, hoping for a sprightly and athletic new year where I can hopefully leave behind the technical problems and general sluggishness with which 2007 seems to have been afflicted.

Thursday, December 13

Another landmark in the bag

Only a little update today, but it was enough to bring about the latest in the mad rush of WME landmarks. Yes, WME Dudley has reached the dizzy heights of 150 photos, thanks to a couple of photos of trains at Stourbridge Junction. A few of my galleries are starting to bulk out nicely now, so the improved diet of more photos of late seems to be doing the trick.

No landmarks to report on the other WMEs, but still some useful additions. WME Wolves and WME Brum both see some update action, but perhaps the most significant new arrival is on WME Walsall - only one photo, but it heralds the first new rail content on the gallery for over a year. Take a bow 'Train at Walsall Station (2)'! And yes, it really has been 12 months or more since I last allowed a new rail-related shot to sneak through on WME3.

Well that's your lot for the time being, meaning I have now shifted 86 photos off WME1 and onto their new home galleries over the last month. WME1 is already looking leaner and meaner, ready for an injection of new photos at the beginning of 2008. You have been warned...

Monday, December 10

Keeping Busy...

For once, things are actually going along quite nicely at WME, with a steady flow of updates over the last couple of weeks.

As seems the trend for my recent postings, there is another gallery landmark to tell you about - WME Wolverhampton now has reached the big 250! I'm particularly proud of this milestone as it means that at least one of my galleries is starting to reach the level of content I've been aiming for since day one - maybe in the distant future the other galleries will follow suit. The latest additions here include new collections on Bradley and Penn Fields, plus more views of Ashmore Park.

Wolverhampton hasn't been the only gallery getting some belated attention. WME Birmingham has a new Four Oaks Station collection, plus additions to Sutton Coldfield Station, University and a couple of canal collections. There are new collections too on WME Dudley, looking at Sedgley and The Delph, and on WME Solihull thanks to the inclusion of Exploring Castle Bromwich. My Walsall and Sandwell galleries have also got their fair sprinkling of new content, thus consolidating what has been one of my most constructive sets of updates for months.

There is also good news on the exploration front. November was finished off in fine style with a good old Birmingham local outing - this involved a long overdue return to Bournville, a walk around Selly Park and Stirchley, a visit to Kings Heath Park, a ride on the 27, lunch at West Heath accompanied by photos of the library, the local pubs (the Cavalier and the Fordrough) and a glimpse of the 45 at West Heath Island, and all washed down with a brief call at Northfield Station - phew!

Then it was into December with a lunchtime visit to Ettingshall and Lanesfield, and a proper Saturday outing around Worcestershire with Rog and Woody. The highlights of the latter trip included Rog getting soaked at regular intervals, me beating Woody at pool, and Rog getting told off for inappropriate smoking! You can't take him anywhere... Our ports of call included soggy Bromsgrove, wet Worcester and rainy Redditch (no prizes for spotting the theme there), although Pershore and Evesham were my personal favourites with photos of the 551 bus and of Evesham Railway Station. The pubs weren't bad either, with top marks going to The Cricketers in Worcester and its fascinating range of cricket memorabilia, well worth a visit.

Well there you go, I have been a busy boy. Trying to keep up with that pace of updates and explorations is going to be a hard challenge to fulfill, but I'm more than happy to give it a go.