Ermine Caterpillar - 17.05.20
Extensive caterpillar webs of several species of tiny Ermine Moth, micro moth family Yponomeutidae, are being sighted in many parts of the local area.
The small caterpillars of Ermine species are often difficult to identify, particularly when inside the silk web, and often the best way to identify the species of Ermine caterpillar is by the foodplant.
The webs will often coat large areas of hedging and trees such as Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Spindle and Bird Cherry.
These are favoured by particular species of Ermine caterpillar such as The Spindle Ermine which feeds on spindle trees and hedging.
Coronation Road, Durrington - The Last of the Ceremonial Trees to mark the Queens Coronation.
After the Second World War a large council estate was built south of Coronation Road in the 1950s and was extended in the 1960s, while many more houses were also built at Larkhill Camp.
Durrington continued to expand in the 1960s, after a drop in population in the 1950s owing to fewer military personnel being in the parish.
In 1953 when the estate was built, as a condition of planning, trees were planted along the roadside verges through the estate. In additon, some residents had trees planted in their gardens and most properties also had hedges, bordering the footpaths.
These trees ranged from Lombardi Poplar to Chestnut, Cherry, Laburnham, Hawthorn and many others.
Some mature Ash and Beech were also preserved during the building works.
Unfortunately most of these have long since disappeared.
In recent years a Lombardi Poplar situated along Coronation Road, has been allowed to grow to a full mature sample. Unfortunately, this tree was definitely planted in the wrong place and has become a menace.
It was the home to many starlings and pigeons, who of course not only make a lot of noise roosting, they also leave a considerable amount of droppings under the tree on residents properties.
Having been planted in the narrow grass verge between a footpath and the roadway, its roots have no doubt travelled many metres in all directions. The roots have also lifted the ground around its base including the kerbs and tarmacadam path and road.
Over the last few years during storms it often dropped limbs onto the road etc.
This tree is now being dismantled, presumably to be removed.
As far as I am aware this is the last of the ceremonial trees to mark the Queens Coronation. It was one of an avenue of Poplars planted in the verge from the Meads Road junction to have survived on the estate, if not the whole village.
'Abnormal Loads' Travelling Through Wiltshire - 03.02.20
These photographs were taken this morning near Chippenham.
Drivers were warned about a couple of "abnormal loads" travelling through Wiltshire.
The main areas affected were Chippenham, Melksham, Trowbridge and Westbury, but motorists were warned that these delays may hit those commuting to Salisbury on Monday and Tuesday.
Wiltshire Police stated that they would be leaving Junction 17 of the M4 at around 10am on both days, travelling down the A350 around Chippenham, Melksham and then Trowbridge before taking the B3097 to Brook Lane, Westbury.
Tuesday will see a further load move into Westbury from the M4 from around lunchtime onwards.
The loads are rail infrastructure, up to 4.7m wide, and were accompanied by private and Police escort vehicles.
Due to their size, they were both slow-moving and had the potential to cause congestion in places where oncoming traffic was required to pull in and wait for it to pass. Traffic travelling behind the moves was not able to overtake.
Police escorting resources are being provided by officers, paid for by the haulier at no cost to the public.
Kings Heavy Haulage move Merlin Helicopter EH101 - 21.11.19
Geoff Souden - RIP
It is with sadness that I report the passing of Geoff Souden, at the age of 92.
I was contacted by his Son Chris, who informed me that Geoff was one of the engineers who worked for Edward ‘Ted’ Hine and helped restore the showman’s engine 'Quo Vadis' back in the 1960’s. Geoff even drove the Scammell low-loader to some rallies and Chris remembers riding ‘gun shot’ in the passenger seat.
The funeral details are as follows:
Wiltshire BA14 6HL
Time: 11.30 on Saturday 19th October.
Rose's Catering - A354
If you are travelling to GDSF, a stopover at Roses's catering unit on the A354 near Woodyates on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, is a must! A welcome break to grab a cuppa, burger, breakfast roll etc. and to catch up with the latest news.
Rose knows all her customers and it's a great place to stop, even with the odd engine dropping in!
Here, Rose can be seen catching up with the New Zealand boys and taking the opportunity to grab a selfie! Of course Rose is Aunt to Robin Marshman (of Horsham Traction Engine Company fame!) I hope they didn't share too many secrets with Rose!
Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - Rainscombe Park, Oare - 8th to 9th June
Taking place this weekend.
A one minute silence will take place in the ring on Saturday, when the steamers are in, in memory of Mr John Newton.
WAPG have donated £68,000 to charities so far, the charities include, Bobby Van Trust, Wiltshire Air Ambulance, Julia's House Hospice, which will be receiving more donations after this years Rally.
John Newton - R.I.P.
Speaking to Barnaby Newton today it is with great sadness to report the passing of John Newton, Gentleman of Steam.
Mr John Newton was the man who helped bring steam to Hungerford with steam rallies on the common during the 1970's, followed by a Victorian Extravaganza which took place in December.
A really likeable man who I have enjoyed many discussions with on the rally fields. John always took the time to explain things to me and was full of wonderful steam history and often told me how he had managed to collect such rare engines.
Over the years I was able to talk to John and share the times, while listening to Barnaby's organ and getting up very close with John’s wonderful engines. I have on occasions travelled on the road with these engines as they made their way to steam events.
Unfortunately, John started to suffer from loss of memory over the later years but I was still able to have a conversation with him but he was not aware of who I was but remembered me as the man who took the photographs.
I can recall travelling home from London in 2016 where I was with Verity and Carters Fair during the day, as I travelled out of Hungerford I met John's engine, The Philadelphia, parked by the roadside. John was onboard having been taken out for a ride on the engine.
Later that year I was able to take some photographs at GDSF of John steering John of Gaunt. It was wonderful to see John out on his engines.
John will be very much missed. I can only thank Mrs Newton, Barnaby and Family, in addition to the engines crews, for allowing me the time I spent with them. My thoughts are with his Family at this time. R.I.P. John.
Abnormal Load - Ludgershall - 31.05.19
I took these photographs in Ludgershall at 10.20. Drivers were being warned that they may face delays on Friday May 31st, as an abnormal load was due to hit the roads.
Wiltshire police warned that a 4.27m wide load was travelling along roads near Devizes and Andover. Oncoming traffic would have to pull over to let the load pass and it could cause delays in the county.
A spokesman for Wiltshire police said: "Road users in the Ludgershall, Everleigh, Upavon and Devizes areas of Wiltshire may experience delays on Friday. An abnormal load is due to enter Wiltshire via the A342 at Ludgershall and travel through to Devizes via Everleigh, Upavon and Rushall, departing Ludgershall at 10am and arriving under escort in Hillworth Road, Devizes at around 11.30am. It will consist of the prime mover, plus both private and police escort vehicles, with the load itself being an electrical switch cabinet 4.27m wide. Due to its size, the load will be both slow moving and have the potential to cause congestion in places where oncoming traffic will be required to pull in and wait for the vehicles to pass. Traffic travelling behind the move will not be able to overtake. Wherever possible, disruption will be kept to a minimum although both hauliers and motorists are asked to please be patient should they come across this load. Anyone travelling both over this period and along or across this route on time critical matters should allow sufficient additional time for their journey. Officers from the Community Policing Team in Devizes will in due course be contacting residents on affected approach roads to ask them to park elsewhere for a short period of time (to allow the load to safely reach its destination). Police escorting resources are being provided by officers, paid for by the haulier at no cost to the public."
23rd & 24th March - Wilton Model Engineering & Hobbies Exhibition
Spiral Cloud seen from Salisbury Plain - 05.02.19
It was while out on Salisbury Plain near to The Old Marlborough Road between 16.00 and 17.00 on the 5th February that this strange happening occurred.
I often meet on the Downs with my friend and his dogs at the end of the day, it is a great way to unwind at the end of the day and be in relative peace with the wonderful views that are available.
We usually walk my friend’s dogs and often meet others doing the same, following this we have a cup of tea and discuss various subjects. Very often there is Military personnel about and we often talk to these people and have a look at the vehicles etc in transit or on exercise.
On the evening in question we walked the dogs and I took several pictures of the sunset as it set below the horizon.
We were sat in the vehicle for a cup of tea and a few seconds later noticed the spiral of cloud, of vapour or whatever it was. It appeared to have been tainted red by the setting sun. As the sun set it became dark and disappeared.
Having noted the time and our exact position it was decided to send this onto the paper, that I often provide with happenings and events.
I spoke with the content Editor and supplied the information as written here, the paper was very excited with the pictures and asked if they could follow this up and contact relevant people.
For several days now the world’s press have been covering this feature and story.
Unfortunately as always things get out of sink with the worlds press trying to make things sound different to the facts.
I can recall that famous quote “Send reinforcement we are going to advance” was delivered as “Bring three and four pence we are going to a dance”
Also the latest TV Advert (Send supplies)???
Having now spoken to others who saw what we did and following my estimates of direction and how far away it was, I can confirm it was at least over in Somerset, maybe further away than that.
It was about 30 miles west of where we were, in the direction of Westbury which is at the western edge of Salisbury Plain. It could even have been nearer to the Bristol Channel.
To quell a few theories in newspapers and on the internet!
I do have concerns about a few blatant comments, referring to rockets and plumes of smoke and underground bunkers near Stonehenge, being used by the MOD.
This is absolute rubbish and to publicise this about an ancient monument is out of order. Stonehenge is miles away and totally in the wrong direction!
However, I have seen and do have pictures of the underground bunker at the ancient monument. This was the old underpass that was supposed to be removed; this did not happen and is used by the security staff at the site.
Stonehenge was never fenced when I was a child, it was free and open for everyone to see. The road which was situated alongside the site, the A344 was one of the oldest roads in the Country. This was dug up and access to the stones denied, along with the free access to the monument that as locals was agreed many years ago. The monument belongs to the Nation not English Heritage who are using it as a moneybox.
It is also not correct to put the blame on the MOD. I was born here on Salisbury Plain, just a few miles from the place we walk the dogs It was nothing to do with the Ministry and yes they would always be notified as they have been on many occasions, when we see unusual happenings out on the land they are responsible for.
Vintage Spirit - March 2019
Thank you to Brian Gooding, for featuring in the 200th issue of Vintage Spirit, my journey across the New Forest with Douglas Hynd, on route to The Great Dorset Steam Fair in 2018. Also thank you to Douglas and crew for allowing me to accompany you and to capture your journey.
CTP 2019 Vehicle Events
Valentine Tractor Road Run - 10.02.19
Somerset Steam & Country Fair - 19th to 21st July 2019
Plain Crazy - 30.12.18
Plain Crazy is a 12.5 ish mile run and has been described as hilly, cold, scenic, desolate, windy and can even be snowy. This event is supported The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal with a donation from the race.
Plain Crazy is race no 4 in the Winter Series of the Wiltshire Off-road League 2018/19.
The race started at 11:00 at Pepper Place, Warminster BA12 0DW. There was a short safety briefing before the race.
Plain Crazy is open to runners over the age of 16 years on the day of the race. Dogs are welcome on a lead. Places are limited to 245 places, although they were numbered up to 265.
Alton - 27.12.18
On route through Alton Hampshire to an assignment, this rather large Santa Hat caught my eye and I just had to stop and take a photograph!
This apparently was Alton’s first illuminated unique Santa Hat and is the only one in the UK!! The Santa Hat was on the lawn outside the Assembly Rooms, to compliment the Santa Run event. The Santa Hat illuminates when dark.
Team Rubicon - 11.12.18
I met up with this team out on a run. This was no ordinary group of runners, these people were extremely fit and one member had run from London, where he set out on his journey on Friday.
Extract from Rubicon website:
What’s the challenge?:
We’re approaching Christmas, and a month of eating / drinking far too much is looming ahead of us. Why not counter-act the calorie-fest and get your running shoes on in support of a great cause?
Damian Lewis is running from 99 City Road to Team Rubicon UK’s HQ in Chilmark (approximately 165km), over the course of five days – from Friday 7 December through to Tuesday 11 December… and he needs some company!
Each day will be broken into stages of various length (ranging from ~5km up to ~20km), and Damian is hoping you’ll join him for a stage (or more!).
We’ll be running as a group, so there is no requirement to run at an Olympic pace here! The target is to get as many people involved as possible.
‘Fancy’ getting involved?:
This event is open to all, and is a ‘the-more-the-merrier’ occasion. We want as many people as possible to get involved – so spread the word, friends and family welcome too!
Bonus kudos will be given to those running in fancy dress (it is a “Santa Run”, after all!), so raid your fancy dress boxes for the most hilarious outfit you can find.
You can find out more -and donate- here https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/running4rubicon-santa?fbclid=IwAR3w7xi5WNK7yZgHJbLy06AYKb8JQtf8a1jhdJBG8ujyEw3C1jKajRDehok
He's only gone and done it: Greyshirt Damian's 165km SantaRun is complete!
Through fair weather and foul and via a few pubs he was joined along the way by staff and volunteers from Team Rubicon and Inmarsat.
CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery enters Southampton Container Port - 05.12.18
CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery is a container ship that is operated by French shipping company CMA CGM. As the lead ship of her class, she is the flagship of CMA CGM's fleet and the largest container ship to sail under the French flag and the largest Europe-based ship. Named after the French author and aviator, Antoine de Saint Exupery.
She was delivered to CMA CGM on 25 January 2018, ahead of her entry into service on 6 February on a routing from southeast Asia to northern Europe.
Antoine de Saint Exupery measures 217,673 gross tons, and is 400 metres (1,300 ft) long, with a beam of 59 metres.
The photographs were taken from Calshot and also the container port on her arrival.
This was just hours after the sister ship, CMA CGM Louis Bleriot, sailed after her maiden trip to Southampton at 02.30 this morning. Unfortunately, the ship visited the port during the hours of darkness, so I was not able to get any pictures of this vessel.
CMA CGM Louis Bleriot on APL’s Far-East Express 1 (FX1) is behind schedule, as the vessel was hit by a quay crane at Southampton on 4th December 2018. The vessel only suffered minor damage but the crane has been taken out of service, resulting in schedule delay in order to complete the discharge.
Local Councillor and Volunteer refurbishing the finger post - Alvediston - 19.10.18 & 26.11.18
On a recent trip to Alvediston, I noticed a Local Councillor and Volunteer refurbishing the finger post and took the opportuity to snap a few photographs. I made a return visit to see the finished product and what a splendid job!
As in many other Councils this is a job that years ago the WCC would have carried out but with staff and budget cuts, this is no longer done. Fortunately for local volunteers, these skills and history is kept alive.
Bath on Ice - 16.11.18 to 06.01.19
I dropped in to see Bath on Ice as it was getting ready to open and then again when it had been opened. What a spectacular site with 1000m²- their biggest year ever!
Can you spot the cable car?
Follow the link below for more information.
Alzheimer's Society Christmas Raffle courtesy of Helen & Peter Palmer - Palmers Papers, Durrington
A Christmas raffle is being organised by Helen & Peter Palmer, Palmers Papers, Bulford Road, Durrington.
The local Newsagent in the Village, has for a number of years run at least one raffle or special collection event during the year, in additon to supporting the Charity by having a collection tin within the shop.
I have donated a selection of local featured calendars, many including my late Fathers photographs for this event in aid of the Salisbury Alzheimer’s Branch.
I can only thank Helen & Peter and the Villagers on behalf of the Charity, for their continued and generous support.
Warminster Town - 4th November 2018
Warminster town has been flooded by a sea of around 17,000 knitted red poppies which are being displayed for Remembrance Day. The bright cascade of poppies, which was made last year by volunteers in the town, is once again being displayed on the front of St Lawrence Chapel. Around 11,000 poppies make up the spectacular cascade and the rest are used on the war memorial, with every name having their own poppy.
A memorial bench and wreath have also been made with the knitted poppies, and a giant poppy is displayed on the tower of the chapel.
The traditional red poppy has for generations been a sign of respect for people lost in military conflict, the white poppy is a sign of pacifism but the purple poppy is worn to remember the millions of animals killed in human wars.
The numbers of animals killed in military conflict are staggeringly high with an estimated eight million horses and donkeys dying in World War One alone. The pigeon is also counted in with these animals that were part of the war effort, as they were vital for communications, out on the battlefield, many were shot by snipers and it was recorded that several pigeons were injured many times and even awarded medals.
It was estimated 750,000 dogs were killed in one week in Britain at the outbreak of World War Two, as the government told pet owners they would not have enough rations to feed animals.
Purple poppies were launched in the UK in 2006 and are often worn alongside traditional poppies and are also widespread in Australia.
Howitzer in Swindon - Wednesdsay 24th October 2018
The first tour of Swindon with the howitzer will take place Wednesday 24th October, please see attached for specific details.
This has been in the planning for several months. Colin Hatch, being very keen to make this all work will be visiting with the Howitzer, the places where parts for these guns, were manufactured during WW1.
Below are a couple of photographs of the Howitzer on the GDSF WW1 Convoy 2018.
Kempton Park Racecourse - 21.10.18
Alongside racing Kempton Park Racecourse also had a selection of vehicles from the First World War on display. Members of The Sunbury and Shepperton Local History Society were on site with information about the role Kempton Park played during WWI as part of the centenary commemorations. The vehicles supplied courtesy of the GDSF WW1 convoy troops!
The display also visited Sandhurst Military Academy.
Spotted - Soya Bean Crop
Having spent several days travelling back and forth to the Dorset Steam Fair site along the A354, I have been noticing the changes to some of the fields and their crops.
In the last week I have noticed a strange crop that I have not seen before, near to the Handley roundabout. I have asked some of my Farmer friends and I understand it is soya beans.
GDSF - 2018
50th Anniversary Show
Head over to the GDSF - 2018 pages and see the start of the site being prepared for the show!
LNER A4 Class 4-6-2 no 60009 Union of South Africa - Sunday 15 July 2018
I was in Bath very early this morning and almost forgot, there was a steam train tour this morning. While taking other pictures, I met a Colleague who was waiting for the train. Unfortunately I did not have time to find a good vantage point, therefore this photograph was taken as the train approached Bath Spa Station. Note the diesel on the rear of the engine.
Due to the risk of fire with the recent weather conditions, all steam train running has been reduced or totally suspended. Therefore, we now have the diesel engines out doing the work, while the steam engine just has enough steam to lubricate and run the system and whistle etc. This is a great shame, as we may not ever see this engine in steam on the mainline again.
The 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ has firebox issues, No. 60009 will not be taking part in any railtours in the near future. This comes as a blow to many, as the locomotive was due to be hauling stages of the ‘Great Britain XI‘ rail tour over the coming week.
At this moment in time, it is not known the extent of the repairs required, or whether these will be carried out. No. 60009 is due to be withdrawn in 2019 and placed in a museum at the owner’s house in Fife, along with K4 No. 61994 ‘The Great Marquess'.
Market Lavington Vintage Meet - 14th & 15th July 2018
The Mullein Cucullia Verbascum Caterpillar
Distributed widely in England, most commonly in the south, and scarcer in Wales, this species is more often found in the caterpillar stage than adults, which however do come to light.
The larval food plants in the wild are various species of mullein (Verbascum), but it also feeds in gardens on Buddleia.
The Mullein moth flies mainly at night between May and July when they feed at flowers. The female lays batches of eggs between May and July on species of Verbascum and cultivated Buddleia plants. They hatch within 10 days and the caterpillars feed gregariously on the host plant often causing severe defoliation. The boldly marked caterpillars feed conspicuously out in the open during the day as well as at night. The caterpillars are fully grown within about 30 days when they leave the food plant to pupate in the soil forming a very tough cocoon.
The moth may not emerge for several years.
Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - 9th & 10th June 2018
Taking place in Rainscombe Park, Oare, SN8 4HZ. The show will see the Bloodhound land speed record show car with childrens activities, the Stunt Monkey trial bike display team and hundreds of vintage vehicles with parades taking place around the show ring.
The show has something for everyone. Please take a look at the poster to the left for further details.
On Friday 8th June I will be travelling on the road to the rally with the engines detailed below. On Sunday 10th June, I shall return to Hungerford with the engines.
The engines I will be escorting from Hungerford are:
Fowler T3 Steam Roller, Built 1923 Wks Number 15964 Reg number WY 7912 - 4-hp 8-ton compound.
This roller spent most of its working life in Yorkshire, originally a tar sprayer, working for Guisley Aireborough District Council. It was purchased in 1968 by the owners late Father, after it had finished its working life in 1964. It has had several restorations since, which are ongoing. Jason Howard is celebrating the 50 years of Family ownership of this engine later this year.
This roller has driven to several events this year including Castle Combe and Lechlade and will be making the journey later this year to GDSF.
The engine will be driven by Jason Howard and Nick Barker
The Newton Family are bringing the Burrell Road Loco Engine Number 4066. John of Gaunt Built 1927 5 NHP VF 589.
The last Burrell Road Loco to be built in St Nicholas Works, Thetford. Used for timber hauling by its first owners Tailors of Cringleford, the engine was used for threshing by several owners. The engine attended some early rallies in East Anglia. It was purchased by the present owners in 1971 from Ron Deamer of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire.
The engine has attended many rallies in the Thames Valley area and was restored by present owners John and Brenda Newton of Hungerford. The engine will be 91 years old this year.
John of Gaunt will be travelling on the road with the roller and will be crewed by Colin and Ian Hatch. The engine is very rarely seen making road journeys, so it will be quite a privilege to travel with it.
Below is a snapshot of last years event. The roller was not at the event last year but thought I would add a photograph in case you do not know this roller!
I am pleased to report that the aerial view of the showground was taken by me, after climbing to the top of Martinsell Hill on the Sunday morning - yes me climbing! Was it worth it - Yes. Would I do it again - No!! Martinsell Hill is the third highest point in the County of Wiltshire - 948ft above sea level and the location of an Iron Age hillfort. Give it a try - but mind the climb down!!
House Fire - Windsor Mews, Durrington - 22.05.18
I noticed a lot of smoke here in the village, to find Firefighters dealing with a 'fairly significant blaze' in the village this morning. Three crews from Salisbury and Amesbury attended the fire in Windsor Mews. A two storey terraced house was ablaze, starting on the ground floor and spreading to the first floor.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue were called to reports of the house being on fire. A crew from Basingstoke also arrived to remove tiles from the roof of the house on fire, to check for any spreading and to remove any necessary tiles from the houses next door as a precaution.
I am pleased to say that the residents all left the house safely.
I came across this shared on the Sewards of Petersfield Facebook page and as I do not use Facebook, I thought I could share this on here and reach as many people as possible.
'Please share the hell out of this- make it too hot too handle.
My 30ft container containing mine and my brothers pride and joy - a 1956 hotchkiss jeep and trailer has been stolen from Stoke on Trent. It not only contained the
vehicle but all my workshop tools and all my stored belongings including furniture, books, models, various militaria and a lot of electrical equipment.
Please share to try to get at least the jeep back, it has so many memories for us.
The police are investigating but this will hopefully speed things up.
The container is distinctive as per the picture and has red oxide painted doors at the rear.
30ft containers are not that common so should be easy to spot'
Extract from Bath Chronicle (photograph courtesy of myself!) - 10.01.18
How much of the city the University of Bath and Bath Spa University owns
Our two universities bring millions to the city every year, but how much of Bath do they own?
The Chronicle can reveal that the University of Bath owns 10 buildings across the city, with its acquisition of the city's former police station in Manvers Street bringing it to double figures.
Its portfolio also includes the controversial Lansdown Crescent property, bought for £1.6 million in 2002, which is currently home to Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell.
The responses from both universities also show that one building, acquired by the University of Bath in 1977, is currently being let to Bath Spa University on a 50-year lease.
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