Pictures by Walter

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20170806 – Steam to Tweedmouth

Fife Circle to Tweedmouth and Back

Outbound

SRPS (Scottish Railway Preservation Society) Railtours Fife Coast and Border’s Railway steam special. Hauled by Sir William Stanier’s iconic Black Five 45407 The Lancashire Fusilier.

(1) SRPS Rail Tours – 45407 “Lancashire Fusilier”

We set off at 08:50 from Linlithgow on time our train of 10 passenger coaches + 1 service coach was headed / hauled by Ex LMS Stainier Black Five 44507 “The Lancashire Fusilier” and tailed by type 37 diesel.

(1) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f6.3, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 50 mm,  Shutter 1/100th sec ISO 100

On this trip we would cross the river Forth four times. Twice outbound and twice return.

(2) Crossing the Forth for First Time (1 out of 4)

(2) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f7.5, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 20 mm,  Shutter 1/125th sec ISO 100

There was a planned photo-stop at Dumfermline Station whilst we awaited our path on the circle.

(3) Waiting Right of Way at Dumfermline

(3) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f5.6, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 50 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 100 

(4) Steaming to Tweedmouth

From Dumfermline we made our way around the Fife stopping for passenger at Kirkcaldy and Dalgety Bay before making our way to Edinburgh Waverley to pick up our final passengers.  Then it was full steam ahead to Tweedmouth and the Borders Railway

(4) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f6.3, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 110 mm,  Shutter 1/160th sec ISO 100

(5) Arrival at Tweedmouth

We arrived at Tweedmouth on time and made our way to lunch at Abbotsford (another blog).

(5) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f6.3, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 50 mm,  Shutter 1/100th sec ISO 100

Return

We depart at 15:15 from Tweedmouth, this time we were hauled by the Type 37 Diesel as far as Newcraighall triangle where “The Lancashire Fusilier” one again hauled the train in Edinburgh Waverley.  Unfortunately due to a signal check we lost our right of way and had to wait for a suitable space in traffic.

(6) Departure Edinburgh Waverly

(6) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f5.6, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 200 mm,  Shutter 1/250th sec ISO 1000

We reversed out Outbound route Stopping at Dalgety Bay, Kirkcaldy, Dumfermline and a 45 minute water stop at Winchburgh Junction.

 

(7) Technical details: Canon 500D,  f5.6, Canon 18-200 mm Zoom @ 200 mm,  Shutter 1/250th sec ISO 1000

Despite losing time on the return journey prior to Edinburgh we had made up time and arrived back at Linlithgow as scheduled. Throughout the journey the volunteer SRPS staff had provide a very professional service to the passengers.

Gallery

Forth Road Bridge and the new Queensferry Bridge (Click on image to see gallery of journey)


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20170617 – Scottish Youth Festival Final

Scottish Youth Festival Final

Regulars readers will recall that my partner, Susan is heavily involved in the Am-Drama scene in Scotland.  She holds the Posts of

  1. Edinburgh District Secretary
  2. Eastern Divisional Secretary
  3. Member of the SCDA Scene Magazine Committee
  4. Member of the Festivals Committee

SCDA – Scottish Community Drama Association more commonly called, SCDA or Scottish Community Drama hold an annual Youth Drama Festival (1-Act Plays)  and an Open Festival.  In both festivals clubs enter at district level and winners go onto Divisional level.  Winners from Divisional finals go to the Scottish final. Youth teams festival finishes with the Scottish Final.

My involvement is minimal – I take pictures and find the challenge in getting a production shot which shows the actors portrayal of character and not a posed shot and taking into account the stage lighting.

This year the Scottish Youth Final was held at Birnam Arts Centre in Dunkeld and organised by SCDA Northern Division on 17th June 2017.

Kirkintilloch Players:  The Wall

Winners and Scottish Champions SCDA 1-Act Festival 2017 Click here or on image to see full album of The Wall

(1) The Wall  – Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 160 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 3200

(1) Kirkintilloch Players 2017 Scottish Champions SCDA Youth Festival.

 Thurso Players: Box

Box by Linday Price – Performed by Thurso Players at SCDA 2017 1-Act Youth Festival

(2) Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 142 mm,  Shutter 1/160th sec ISO 1000 (Click on image for full album)

(2) Thurso Players – Box

Indelible Arts Theatre: Sparkleshark

Indelible Arts Theatre production of Philip Ridley’s Sparkleshark at the SCDA 2017 1-Act Youth Festival

(3) Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 102 mm,  Shutter 1/100th sec ISO 1000 (Click on image for full album)1/400th sec ISO 2000

(3) Indelible Arts – Sparkleshark

Unmasqued Drama Company: Remembrance

Unmasqued Drama Company’s production of Mark Rees’ Remembrance at the SCDA 2017 1-Act Youth Festival – Scottish Final

(4) Technical details: Canon EOS 5DMkII,  f2.8, Canon 70-200 mm Zoom @ 110 mm,  Shutter 1/125th sec ISO 320 (Click on image for full album)

(4) Unmasqued Drama Company: Remembrance

 

 


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20170615 – Steam to Scarborough

Scarborough Spa Express

My birthday was in May and my partner asked what I would like as a present. Hmm tough question with so many answers.  However, we have a bucket list, not a real fanciful one though it has one really must do before we go trip.  On our list was a trip to Scarborough behind steam.   A quick check on the net showed that West Coast Railways has an Express to Scarborough on the North route starting from Carnforth.  The route – Carnforth, Hellifield, Skipton, Keighley, Shipley, Leeds, Lancaster, Preston, Blackburn, Hebden Bridge, Brighouse, Wakefield KG and York.  Train would be deisel hauled from Carnforth to York (Network Rail’s conditions), Diesel would be swapped for steam locomotive at loop outside York and thence to Scarborough. For our trip we would be hauled by two diesel loco Type 37 and 47 and our steam locomotive would be the ex-LMS Stainier Jubilee class Express passenger engine 45699 Galatea.

(1) 37515 Loch Laidon hauls “Scarborough Spa Express” into Carnfort

(1) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 31 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 800

(2) Change of locos and power

(2) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 31 mm,  Shutter 1/80th sec ISO 800

 

(3) Onto York Station

(3) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 155 mm,  Shutter 1/125th sec ISO 400

(4) Departing York

(4) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 250 mm,  Shutter 1/400th sec ISO 1600

(5) On the Scarborough Line

(5) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 128 mm,  Shutter 1/200th sec ISO 200

(6) Arrival Scarborough

(6) Technical details: Pentax K-50,  f8, Sigma 18-270 mm Zoom @ 128 mm,  Shutter 1/200th sec ISO 200

Gallery

Departing Scarborough

 


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201608 – On our Holiday August 2016

I was tempted to use that old essay title used by many of us on return to school after any holiday break – “What I did on Holiday”. In a sense this was a very special holiday in many ways.  I had watch my partner battle her cancer, facing decisions on treatment and her battle to regain strength.  At the start of 2016 we planned this holiday and we had set three objects to attain:

  1. Travel on Strathspey Railway
  2. See Dolphins
  3. See White Tailed Eagle
  4. Enjoy ourselves

We had hired a caravan at Coulmore Bay, North Kessock, Inverness from Val Beales Chalmers.  We hired her smaller caravan before, but this 6 berth was a superb base for our touring around Sutherland etc.

21/08/2016Strathspey Railway:  We boarded the steam hauled train at Aviemore Station.  It was hauled by Ex-LMS 2-6-0 Class 2MT no. 46512 “E. V. Cooper, Engineer” for our return trip to Broomhill. (Click here on image right to view album).  We arrived at the caravan unpacked and had dinner.  The journey had tired out Susan, so a quiet night sitting down at the old ferry dock in North Kessock.

 

Following day 22/08/2016 – Two Castles and A Canal:  An early start of the day saw us heading east towards the Moray Firth in search of Macbeth’s Cawdor Castle. It was not until I entered the basement of the castle did it dawn on me that I had previously been to this castle. We enjoyed a walk around the grounds and garden, alas we could not tackle maze as it was being renovated. From Cawdor we headed east for a long drive to our next historic castle Urquhart. (Urquhart Gallery) This was a tactical error due to the site being a tourist attraction with nearly all the tour busses stopping to drop off their passengers.  In fact it was too much for the both of us – so we cut short our visit and headed for Fort Augustus – see Gallery.

A Special Trip – Orkney: Susan was invited by a drama friend to visit Orkney I was included in the invite.  We were sailing from Gills Bay to St Margaret’s Hope by the first ferry of the day.  We left our caravan at 5 am on a very foggy Monday morning.  I had set up TomTom (SatNav) to give me directions.  Even as I type this I shudder at that drive up via unclassified roads, single track (to me farm tracks) lanes as well as the main roads.  I’ll give the programmers of the SatNav their due – the device got me straight there in less time I would have taken using just the main roads.  Never again I tell you.  I turned left and came face to face with a family of deer fine in clear weather but in fog!.  We did get to Orkney and Susan friends made us welcome and took us round the tourists spots like the Italian Chapel, Skara Bra etc. (Click here or on image at left to view Orkney Gallery)


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Hiatus – How to bridge Gap in Blog – Part 2?

Due to personal life effecting events this blog came to a grinding halt in June/August 2016. However life carried on as did my photography.  My partner had been diagnosed with uterine cancer in September 2015.  During the operation to remove the cancer her urethra tube (right side) was damaged.  It was several months before the tube was healed enough to allow the Chemo treatment to be started.  I know my partner was stressed during this time and so was I. However, we did manage a few outings – with rest in between our gentle adventures.  Thankfully that is all behind us now and we can relax a little bit. So How to bridge the gap – Part 2?

May 2016:   As Susan’s energy level began to recover our occasional outings got longer.  We revisited a few places one being a firm favourite is the historic village of Killin at the head of Loch Tay.  The river Dochart provides a series of spectacular falls/rapids.  On it flood days you senses are assaulted by the scene and roaring of the rushing water deafens the hearing.  (Click here or on image at left to view gallery)

 

 

June 2016:  Visit to our local Zoo/Rescue centre Five Sisters Zoo near West Calder.  The zoo has rescued 3 ex-circus brown bears and 4 ex circus lions with the help of public donations.   It is one of the most popular attractions in West Lothian (Click here or on image right to see gallery).

 

 

July 2016:  A three-day trip to Cardiff for the British Final of the 1-Act festival was followed by a three-week construction of a model railway – (see earlier blogs).   Susan had recovered enough to join her fellow Mercators for their performance of “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Man of Mystery” in the Edinburgh Fringe.  Our one photographic outing was  along with our fellow Intrepid Sid Morgan when we visited the Weeping Window exhibition at The Black Watch museum Perth and a wee side trip to Balvaird Castle.

August 2016: Two outings – one in connections with the model railway and my interest in what is now termed as “heritage Railways”, to me it will always remain “Steam Locomotives”. In May we went to see the “Flying Scotsman” at Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway  our rail trip in August was to travel to Tweedbank to see 46100 “Royal Scot”.   (Click here or on image below to see gallery)

 


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Hiatus – How to bridge Gap in Blog?

Due to personal life effecting events this blog came to a grinding halt in June/August 2016. However life carried on as did my photography.  My partner had been diagnosed with uterine cancer in September 2015.  During the operation to remove the cancer her urethra tube (right side) was damaged.  It was several months before the tube was healed enough to allow the Chemo treatment to be started.  I know my partner was stressed during this time and so was I.   Thankfully that is all behind us now and we can relax a little bit. So How to bridge the gap?

January 2016:   Due to Susan’s immune system being shot to hell, so to speak,we were restricted on outings.  We did make one outing to Bavelaw/Thriepmuir reservoirs on 30th January.  There is a nice hide sited at the reservoir to allow bird watching in a modicum of comfort.  Unfortunately the cold was a bit too much for Susan so we cut the outing short.  It was the start of a long climb for her.

February 2016:  Visit to Bracklinn Falls near Callander in the Highlands of Scotland.  We were lucky with the weather.  Due to stamina or lack thereof it took us longer to do the short walk.  We plan to return and have added it to our list.  Said list is getting longer and longer. Click on image right to see gallery.

March 2016: We paid a visit to the Kelpies at Helix Park Falkirk.

The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal, and near River Carron, in The Helix, a new parkland project built to connect 16 communities in the Falkirk Council Area, Scotland. Wikipedia

April 2016: We paid a visit to Ballymack Hill Farm, Castle Douglas to spend some time with the fascinating Red Kites (Milvus milvus).  It takes 3 hours for us to get to that farm, but it really is worth it to see the spectacular flying display of these birds.  The problem for a photographer or bird enthusiast is where to look! At first it looks as if there are no birds around and all is quiet.  Then the silence is broken by the call of a kite.  Gradually the surrounding trees begin to show signs of the Kites arriving. Then the prefeed display starts.  (Click on image below to view gallery)