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Thursday, 4 October 2018

Officially, I am now an OAP

Yes, Sunday was my 65th birthday and I am now an Old Age Pensioner. Hurrah.

A part of the Civil Service, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has mailed to me details of the pension, both how much and when I will receive it (on the 24th of each month). I think I am one of the last people that can claim their pension at 65, my partner is 2.5 years younger than me but she has to wait until her 67th birthday to receive the pension. DWP was also the last Civil Service Department of both my partner and me.

65 also means I can claim a number of other benefits. I am waiting for my bus pass that will allow me to travel on scheduled bus services free of charge after the morning commute; very handy as I don't own a car, I own a bicycle but I am too lazy to ride the 15 miles into York. I qualify for a Winter Fuel Payment, or technically, the household qualifies as someone aged 65 or over lives here. This is a 200 UK pounds annual payment, not a huge amount but I will take it and I am grateful. There may be more so I have some investigating and probably some form filling to do.

Under the clock tower in front of the green door - the bus stop for services to and from York

The grassed area in the foreground now has mature trees, otherwise not much has changed
Another advantage of being an OAP, I can bore for England. "You kids don't know you're born", one of my grandmother's favourites, or start a sentence with "When I were a lad". I'm confident there are plenty more so I need to practise.

This old photo I found on Google Images. This is of Easingwold Station with the Station Hotel at the left rear. This was the end of the smallest branch line in England, about 2.5 miles from the main East Coast line. Somehow it escaped being nationalised after WW2, but went bust and was closed in 1956.

Saturday, 22 September 2018

St Mawes Castle (3) Internals

These photos were taken in the Gun Tower.

St Mawes Castle (2) Externals

St Mawes Castle is a lot smaller than Pendennis across the river

The main entrance, originally there was a drawbridge

Through the Gatehouse and going into the main Gun Tower

One of the bastions from the Gun Tower

East Side bastion

Front bastion with the Coat of Arms and West side bastion

Grand Sea Battery, these four gun positions were remodelled during the 1870's for 64 pdr cannons

This is a 24 pdr from 1815, mounted on the 1870's racer

The Main Magazine, built in 1854

The Magazine's protecting wall

The Saluting Battery (start the kids off young)

These are some extra photos I got from Google Images. Many thanks to those posted these.

The Main Magazine

Road Trip 2018 ; Visit to St Mawes Catle (1)

Two years ago on our last visit to Cornwall, we went to Pendennis Castle. This year we visited its partner, St Mawes Castle.

This map above I have copied from the English Heritage Guidebook to the two castles. They were built in the 1540's during the reign of Henry VIII to protect Carrick Roads.

Carrick Roads was formed during the last Ice Age so it somewhat fjord-like. It is the estuary of the River Fal and some other streams. During the 15th century there was a major naval base in Falmouth so Henry's engineers built the two forts which, as the crow flies, are only about a mile apart so they would create a crossfire to protect the Roads.

Carrick Roads is unbridged below Truro. We were travelling from the West and would have to drive through Truro to get to St Mawes. However, there is a ferry at King Henry Reach that saves about thirty miles off the journey.

The ferry has been in continuous use for centuries, the earliest written mention is around 1530. The current ferry was built in 2006 and can carry 30 - 35 cars. It is a vehicular chain ferry and it takes about 10 minutes to cross the river. The King Henry it is named after is thought not to be King Henry VIII, but King Henry VI as there is a small chapel nearby that is dedicated to Henry VI after he was murdered in the Tower of London, one of the two Princes allegedly killed on the orders of the future Richard III.

We arrived at St Mawes and could easily see Pendennis across the water.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Austin Seven

We live in a small country town, Easingwold, in North Yorkshire, population around 5000.

Twice or three times a month I see someone driving down the main street in an Austin Seven. These diminutive cars were made during the '20s and '30s and had a 747cc engine. The car was about half the size and weight of a Ford Model T. They were a very tight squeeze for four people, probably middle class families of two adults and two children.

Every time I see him, I want to stop the car and ask about the car and why and how much he drives it around. But I have not seen it parked anywhere and I wont try to stop the car as it goes down the street, there is a bit of a slope down the hill and I'm not sure how well the brakes work.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Road Trip 2018 : A day in Worcester & the Commandery

A day trip to Worcester, starting with the statue of Edward Elgar, previously listed, then the Cathedral.

Stained glass memorials from WW1

Colonel Ellis who was at the Battle of Waterloo

Tomb of Rt Hon Stanley Baldwin, three times UK Prime Minister

Tomb of King John

In his mouth, this lion has the tip of King John's sword, I don't know why

Tomb of Prince Arthur, older brother of the future King Henry VIII

Boat trip

Rowing club building

The museum we went to, The Commandery, was something of a surprise, a very nice surprise. This is quite a small museum with a few very good exhibits, but with lots of charm and enthusiasm.

In 1651, the future Charles II attempted to raise rebellion against the Parliamentary government. A Scots Army of around 16,000 moved down the West side of England and took Worcester. Parliamentary forces laid siege to the city. The Commandery was the headquarters of the Scots forces. These two photos are from Google Images.

There was a very interesting lecture on the weaponry of the period.

An introductory video

and a nice cafe