Foxfield light railway 2017

Random photos of trains and train parts (not the propeller), from 2017.

Foxfield Railway is out in the countryside off the A50 between Caverswall and Blythe Bridge. Its an old coal/mineral line which used to haul coal up a steep slope from a mine then down a less steep incline into the outskirts of Blythe Bridge. The main railway line runs nearby.

Foxfield is worth a visit over the summer months when it is open to visitors mainly at weekends. You can take a trip on a train, visit the engine shed where most of these photos were taken. Visit the cafe for a simple menus of hot and cold food, or visit ” the one legged shunter , the bar selling real ales. The bar is named after the dangerous job of shunting. Men would sometimes get trapped between train waggons, losing legs or sometimes worse!

 

Peeling paint

 

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I’m thinking of painting something like this. It’s a window in one of the buildings at spode. Goodness knows what the paint is made of. It is just so old. The wood looks dry and decaying. The putty holding the glass in is probably made with lead. Surprisingly the window looks quite clean and the building opposite is reflected in it. Capturing the detail will be a challenge.

Today at Spode site

Flowers and old wood

Blocked up windows and peeling paint.

Dasies and dianthus.

A history in brick and slate.

Clay and pottery.

Caged in but released,

Renewed and Revivified.

Pansies and wallflowers shining,

their sunlit faces turned to a bright, chilled sky.

Crumbling with asbestos innards,

But able to be proud again.

 

Timothy Trow memorial day

Timothy Trow was  a tram conductor who tried to save a young girl who had fallen in a local canal, he drowned while trying to save her. He is recognised as a local hero. Today, 13th April  is the anniversary of his death.

I sang with two choirs to commemorate his death by the Memorial stone laid near to where he died on London Road, in the West End area of Stoke on Trent. Singing a song about his life by a local song writer. We then had went over to the local Methodist church, a decendant of the girl who was saved read a piece about the incident. The choirs then sang three more songs.

There were images selected by the local archives department on display inside the church. In all it was a very poignant day.

Bottle oven / pizza oven….

A replica bottle oven is growing on the grounds of Spode at the moment. It’s going to be a pizza oven at the hotel on the Spode site.

Around the other side of Spode near the Church Street side is the base of an original bottle oven which had been demolished years ago. There are very few real ovens still standing in the city. Many were knocked down or fell into disrepair over the years. Where hundreds once stood and smoke stained the city sky less than fifty are still standing and many of these are in danger of being lost to the history of the city, county, and country.

Even now buddleia and other shrubs are growing in between their bricks, pulling the ovens down in continued dereliction. Hopefully some can be conserved.

For those who don’t know bottle ovens are bottle shaped buildings containing a central kiln which the oven surrounds. Pottery was stacked inside the kiln and fired by stoking fires under the ovens with coal.