Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2017

The ten most popular posts from 2017 in reverse order.

10. The tide is coming in…

9. Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s

8. Things never said in the office…

7. Cinematic Advent Calendar #05 – Leon

6. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

5. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Four

4. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

3. Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, 1999

2. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

1. Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

The tide is coming in…

When I mention where I live, the talk often comes round to people getting stuck in the mud or cars getting caught by the tide.

Those who live in Weston-super-Mare will know that every summer weekend, a visitor or three gets caught in the mud trying to cross between Uphill beach and Break Down. The river Axe gets in the way, but it’s usually the mud that gets in the way first.

After the mud, the other thing that comes up in conversation is the tidal range.

Usually referred to the as the second highest tidal range in the world, it is actually the third, only the bay of Fundy (North America) and Ungava bay (Hudson straits) are bigger. The tidal range on the Severn can be as much as 15m (49ft). What this means for Weston-super-Mare is that the low tide mark in Weston Bay is about one mile from the seafront. For most of the time you don’t see the sea, which is why when I get the chance to see the beach with the tide in I take a photograph!

Grand Pier in the sea at Weston-super-Mare

Although the beach itself is sandy, low tide uncovers areas of thick mud, hence the colloquial name, Weston-super-Mud.

The other aspect of this long ideal range is that sometimes people get caught out by the fast rising tide having parked their car on the beach and their car gets swamped by the incoming tide.

This was the first time seeing the tide in at Uphill beach (just along from the main beach at Weston-super-Mare) that I saw a bus right by the high tide.

Bus in the sea

This wasn’t any old bus though, this bus served coffee!

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2016

Across this blog I wrote fifteen posts in 2016. As might not be expected most of the top ten posts that year were from 2016, and I was pleased to see how popular my 1990s photographs of the Bristol Harbourside were.

I visited Legoland in 2013 and felt that it was A bit tired and this was the tenth most popular post, dropping one place from last year.

Also about Legoland Miniland was the ninth post.

The eighth post was about Time travelling by train which was a post on the newly painted GWR High Speed Train in the classic 1970s blue and yellow.

Inter City 125

The seventh popular post was inspired by a newspaper article and talked about the many Changes at the railway station in Weston-super-Mare.

The sixth placed post was from my 2012 series of Cinematic Advent Calendar posts, this one was #07 – The Eagle has Landed. There were quite a few films in the advent calendar that have significant memories over and above the film itself. Queuing for Star Wars was significant for example. With The Eagle has Landed I went to see it at the Aldeburgh cinema with my grandparents.

When I used film, I didn’t take than many photographs, but I did take a fair few of the Bristol Harbourside, so the fifth post was of the Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, circa 1999.

Three of the next four posts were similar and all contain photographs from the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

Construction in the Bristol Harbourside

Fourth was this post Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s and third was this one: Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s (second part).

The second most popular post was a comparison of Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s and the view today.

The most popular post of the year on the Stuff blog was a series of photographs of Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

So quite a few posts from 2016 in the 2016 top ten.

Changes at the railway station

Though I am more likely to spend time at Worle station, I have been known to catch trains from the main station in Weston-super-Mare. Despite being a smallish town, Weston has three railway stations. The main station which opened in 1884 replacing the original station which opened in 1841. Weston Milton opened in 1933, a small halt to serve the then expanding Milton area. Worle station was opened in 1990 and unlike the other two stations, which are on the Weston loop, Worle is on the main Bristol to Plymouth line.

Over the years the railway station at Weston-super-Mare, well in terms of tracks, has changed quite a bit, even if the buildings and platforms have remained as much as they have since the line was built. This photograph from the local paper reminded me of how much has changed.

Weston-super-Mare Railway Station

Back then there was an up and down line on the Weston loop. There was also multiple sidings for good and carriages. I suspect a lot of the coal wagons for the local gas works were stored there awaiting return to the Welsh collieries.

By the late 1970s (the BR HST is still in blue and grey), when this image was taken on 28th March 1978, most of the sidings have now been taken away and replaced with a coach park. Lots of visitors to Weston-super-Mare were now coming by coach. The light brown building on the right of the photograph in the background is the Odeon cinema which is still there today, but Weston is getting it’s own multiplex at Dolphin Square.

Weston-super-Mare Railway Station Copyright Roger Winnen

You can see a lot of the points had been removed too.

By the time of this Google Street View image, the sidings have all been removed and replaced with a Tesco store and car park (which was the focus of the story in the local paper). Hildesheim Bridge was built in 1991 and crosses the eastern end of the platforms.

Weston-super-Mare Railway Station

Hildesheim is the German town which Weston is twinned with.

Change happens and over the next few years I suspect we will see more change.

Ten amazing sand sculptures

Here are ten of my favourite sculptures from this year’s Sand Sculptures at Weston-super-Mare. This year’s theme was “when I grow up…” and there was a range of sculptures that were inspired by this theme. Click the image for larger versions.

So who wanted to be a firefighter when they grew up? So there are the fires, the hoses and the water.

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If I found these surgeons looking over me, just about to go under a general anaesthetic, I would be feeling rather scared. These are rather freaky.

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Now who wants to go to the moon? Astronauts are often a childhood dream. This sculpture was really tall and I was impressed with the height of the thing, and the nice details, like the chimpanzee looking out of the window of the rocket.

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A rather depressed farmer looks after his crops and a sullen cow. Maybe its’ the sand, but he does look sad. The sculpture was rather flat, and it was quite effective.

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No this wasn’t about someone growing up to be a Pharaoh or even an Egyptian god, no this was about growing up to be an archaeologist, you can see the little figures in the sand.

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I think this was a vet, or someone wanting to be a mad scientist growing over sized dogs.

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Lots of young people want to be professional footballers.

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Tut, tut, construction worker stereotype!

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This was just plain freaky! No idea what it was supposed to represent.

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Yes, we can all grow up to be superman! To infinity and beyond… oh wait!

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I am always impressed with the quality and the ideas of the sculptures.

Better than a bear wall

I did quite like this Bankey’esque street art on the side of the wall of the Bare Grills restaurent in Weston-super-Mare.

Better than a bear wall

Though the claws on the bear prints are a bit worrying!

So it is Banksy!

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Well, well, well, after much speculation about the so called filming for a feature film in the Tropicana in Weston-super-Mare, it was announced today that it is a modern art exhibition by Banksy and many other modern artists.

Dismal Land – a festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.

Are you looking for an alternative to the sugar-coated tedium of the average family day out? Or just somewhere a lot cheaper?
Then this is the place for you. Bring the whole family to come and enjoy the latest addition to our chronic leisure surplus…

“I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour,” said Banksy.

It will be on view for five weeks (or is it six) with tickets at £3 each limited to 4000 a day. If this is going to be anything like the Banksy show at the Bristol Museum, this will sell out very quickly and will be very popular.

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Having passed it a few times over the last week I did wonder what was going on. The construction crew behind it all were all staying in caravans close to the railway station. There was talk it was a film crew, but once the tanker truck could be seen along with the disney’esque castle it seemed to be less a film, more likely something else. I did think it might be a crystal maze type TV show, but the more you thought about it, the more likely this was something else. Once the Banksy rumours started earlier this week, then it was pretty obvious it was going to be Banksy.

Looking forward to going and having a look, and as a local I might try and get in for free tomorrow.

Tranquil Knightstone Island

 Knightstone Island

Marine Lake isn ot quite still enough for a perfect reflection, but still enough to reflect.

 Knightstone Island

The tide was in, which always seems like a rare occurrence in Weston super Mare, even if it does happen twice a day. This is mainly due to the how far the sea goes out at low tide.

 Knightstone Island

15 Classic Cars in Weston-super-Mare

So let’s be frank about this, I really don’t know that much about classic cars, however I have recently thought it would be nice to own an old classic motor.

These photographs were taken at a recent classic car event in Weston-super-Mare, I can guess what some of them are, but please add a comment if you are more confident than me in what they are.

1. 1931 Austin Seven Swallow

2. An American car of some kind… 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air – 938 XUP

3. Who knows, but nice wheels! Chevrolet  – SV 6473

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4. 1950s car, Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire – 172 CEV

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5. A blue car…

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6. Another classic, 1920s or 1930s?

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7. A Rolls Royce from the 1970s…

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8. Hmmm, 1949 Riley 1.5 Litre – KXN 114

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9. Okay, so I know the sun glare doesn’t help… Riley  – RDV 566

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10. This one I am pretty confident is a Morris Minor 1000 Traveller.

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11. Bodie and Doyle would like this Ford Capri

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12. Another American car, calling Dick Tracey, calling Dick Tracey…

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13. A wedding car…

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14. Willys Jeep

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15. Custom BMW Mini.

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So can you help me out, please add a comment if you know what some of these cars are.