Good evening everyone,
Well it's been a very productive week of the admin side of things, I've now finished all the town data for Wales Scotland and Warwickshire ready for the Imperial War Museum War Memorial register, it's following the lines of the Ordinance Survey system where you have the location name, a four figure grid reference, the County and what type of feature it is. I've changed it slightly so instead of having Swansea and Abertawe as two separate entries there is just one. This should hopefully stop some of the wrong spellings and entries into the main system.
It's also been a week of no Internet at the trailer and even got no phone signal here at the moment! So when this update gets online I got no idea...
With working so hard on all data I am now got a backlog of images in the system, hope your clear these this week.
A nice surprise today was meeting up with an old friend Peter Finn are spending the day in and around the Stratford-upon-Avon area, we've managed to see a Vulcan powering up at the old RAF Wellesbourne airfield this afternoon, there is a video of it on my Facebook page, for those that don't do Facebook you shouldn't need to be registered only to see it. Another nice surprise was a couple of hours ago, seeing three cats in the caravan opposite me, they simply watching Missy enviously as she catches shrews in the hedge behind us!
Tomorrow is a short hop into Stratford-upon-Avon to Tesco and I'll start this area, I suspect I'll be here for roughly a week, I suspect it will be then Warwick and Royal Leamington spa, not sure after that moment.
Good afternoon everyone,
A bit of a blip with my mental health this week, it's thrown at me a bit it's also made me work a lot harder trying to get over it. I've been trying to drag the war memorial and war grave data into the 21st-century, all the war grave information is still down as World War II counties, the war memorial data for Wales and Scotland is pre-1994 counties. I have around 35,000 records in my system that need updating, some is fairly easy others isn't. For example Yorkshire, as it used to be World War II is now split between North South and East Yorkshire is the same with Sussex. Still a lot to do but I'll get there!
Met up with Neil Berryman at Cirencester Caravan club site who gave me replacement cap badge, it was to be a weekend meeting up with old friends and new with the odd shandy thrown in.
I headed out to the Gloucestershire steam extravaganza at South Cerney and met up with the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal British Legion Riders and spent a lot of time helping out on the stall. The weather was terrible, we had two thunderstorms go through with a little bit essentially between not pleasant for the visitors and stallholders at all.
I again headed for the steam fair, the weather much improved and was able to have a mooch around in between helping on the stall again. In the afternoon I was called into the main ring with the scooter and was introduced to everybody told to go round with my bucket, it soon became very heavy!
I headed back to the caravan site to find that Missy's flexible lead and ground spike had been mown by the wardens it was totally obliterated and hard to miss being blue grass!
I headed for Stow on the Wold, it's a lumpy journey from Cirencester to Stow and I knew my power would be chewed so had arranged for a charge in Bourton on the water, the managers at the old manse hotel had met me before at the Woolpack in Beckington so that I didn't have to explain everything to them about what I do et cetera. Once plugged in let Missy out to entertain the public, or perhaps it should be the way round, whilst I sat drinking tea on the scooter, there were a lot of people from the Far East in the town Missy photograph taken a lot I also met to people that Somerset. Once I had got enough of a charge I headed for Tesco Stow on the Wold.
Tuesday and Wednesday
Tuesday started dry but soon went downhill with the rain so you get a little bit done in Stow. Wednesday was a complete washout.
A pleasant day yesterday, I managed to get six towns and villages done of which Upper Slaughter was a Thankful Village, for those that don't know what thankful village is it is the lost nobody in World War I. As I went to Lower Slaughter the only thing that was recorded there was the cross in the churchyard yet village hall had plaques to World War I and World War II and so the church as well as of the things, and I'm told that the son of the man who invented the Spitfire lived there so in a village hall was a large mural of village on the wall along with the Spitfire.
Lower Slaughter Village Hall
Today I headed for Moreton in the Marsh via a couple of small villages, I had to visit and make an appointment to get into firefighters college, this will be on Sunday.
Not sure what to do tomorrow yet, the rain is supposed to be heading in again tonight according to the last forecast I looked at play by ear. Sunday I had to Moreton in the Marsh caravan site get a shower et cetera before heading to Evesham on Monday morning, having spent to one of the staff here who lives in Moreton in Marsh about the route I will take I will apparently be passing through Blockley, apparently the church was used in Father Ted television series I can't say remember the series will have a look anyway.
There's a lot to do in and around Evesham so not sure how long I'll be there for, nor where I'm going after that yet...
I missed doing this update for June so there are two months worth here:
Junes mileage: 631.49
Julys mileage: 522.60
Mileage so far: 29567.43
Raised with Gift Aid: £73,121.86
Raised without Gift Aid: £71,705.11
Good afternoon everyone,
Apologies for the lack of updates last week it was a very slow week and at times very wet. I managed to get Badminton church on Thursday managed to beat the rain thank goodness. It was a week of killing time and not wanting to far away from the campsite needed to be at ready for the meeting in Birmingham.
I decided on Saturday to move to the campsite, this was due to the forecasts and seen about Sunday being extremely wet, as it turned out it was a wise move! Sunday, besides being wet I wasn't feeling too good spent most the day curled up in bed, it was so bad I couldn't even look at a beer!
Well Monday morning arrived in the taxi collected me from the campsite and to the station in Gloucester collecting my tickets, I was well out of my comfort zone and was hoping the train was going to be nearly empty. As the platform filled up I started getting a bit more anxious and ended up using some of the tools on the phone app to help me get through it. It worked to a point. It turned out to be the Cardiff Central to Nottingham train with only two carriages! I was lucky to find a seat myself and many others in the carriage were being wound up by a group of unruly, ill mannered Welsh girl guides!
I was glad to get off the train at Birmingham New Street station, forgotten how big it was and could have done with a mobility scooter to get from the platform to the taxi! A tiring and painful experience which was to be repeated as I headed home!
On arriving at the central library I met up with Ian and Catherine from the Imperial War Museum War Memorial Register for a spot of lunch, a brew and the natter, it was also nice to put faces to voices I normally hear on a phone.
I learnt a couple of bits during the meeting from the War Memorial Trust about how there are grants available to help clean or protect war memorials, this information can be found at warmemorialsonline.com
A couple of bits from Saturday as it travelled across from Tetbury to Eastington, the first being the war memorial at Inchbrook on the outskirts of Nailsea, I have been reliably told by number of different sources that this was the first war memorial in Britain to those from the Great War, apparently the villagers at the time thought it was a waste of time and money! I suppose at the time money was short...
The other one was as I passed Chevanage house, this is where the filmed the house seen for Poldark, the entrance gates were firmly chained and padlocked, I can only guess it's to keep Ross Poldark out ;)
I head to Westonbirt School tomorrow for an appointment to photograph the memorials in the school and in the church, hope you can beat the rain is forecast to move in. Thursday I had to Cirencester for one night at Tesco's and then it's a weekend off as I'll be meeting up with Neil Berryman again. Monday I'll be heading for Stow-on-the-Wold, a long hop up the Fosse Way, in some ways are not looking forward to that as it's a long straight road and the cars will be travelling fast because of it!
On the 23rd and 24th of September we have sandbag bash very close the National Memorial Arboretum so I'm gonna change my plans slightly and Potter across country slowly towards the National Memorial Arboretum do memorials on the way I will then head back towards Stroud to finish that area. I've also got to go back to Tedworth house some more counselling sessions before heading down to Salisbury to get the scooter trailer thoroughly serviced I suspect then it will be out was the Forest of Dean and the Chepstow area to try and finish off Gloucestershire.
Good afternoon everyone,
Well it's been a mixed weekend, Friday was rained off, I was meant to go to Wotton under edge to the church there but instead headed back to the trailer to dry out. I tried again on Saturday, got caught in a very heavy downpour when I was in the middle of nowhere, and was thwarted by a wedding when I finally got to the church! So again I headed back to the trailer.
Sunday was another wet day and is a case of having to move to my next stop which is preplanned by the time I got to the leisure centre in Yate it was easing off, monsters of the Cross Hands hotel again in the orchard the sun was shining, well for a little bit. I had to apologise to the management there is apparently Missy lesson presents that I didn't know about, a tad embarrassing to say the least. Later in the afternoon the heavens opened it didn't half come down! I did deploy the rain shield and then contemplating making a new one for the other end of the trailer...
This morning I headed towards Tetbury and try to do Badminton church on the way but the churchwarden wasn't available, one thing I noticed as I left the village was a lot of press photographers outside the main gate to Badminton House, no idea what was going on there. It was then onto Westonbirt School and church, again I was to be thwarted, this time by a film crew were apparently going to be at the school the next week, this means I have to come back and try again.
This week's a bit of a limbo week waiting for the meeting in Birmingham, I don't stray too far from the campsite that be staying at on Sunday and Monday. Apparently Wednesday and Thursday are going to be very wet so be glad of bit cover at Tesco in Tetbury.
Good afternoon everyone,
for the thunderstorm that six clock this morning was as much flash and bang as fizzle and pop, nevertheless the heat over the last few nights has made it difficult for sleeping and feeling tired this afternoon.
Well it's been pretty much the same as normal with the graves and memorials that still averaging more than four new memorials per day and around six known memorials per day which rather happy with.
Two things of late which which have thrown me slightly off balance mentally, one is not having my beret, strange not having on my head and the other is my bits my leg which until the ulcer on my leg heals I can't wear and makes walking very very difficult very painful especially on an even ground.
I headed out this morning to do to churches one was a small town and was easy to do, the other was a village called Owlpen. On the way there I spotted a muntjac deer in the edge of a wood stopped to watch it for a few minutes before it disappeared back into the wood. I always study the map for heading out not only to see where got to go but also to pick the best and easiest route. Owlpen is in very steep valley so by looking at the map I was going to go in on the less steep side, however on arriving at the junction there was a red triangle sign saying it had a gradient of one in four or 25%, the scooter is fine graves like this unless they were like this one, underneath the red triangle was another little sign that said for 1500 yards! As I would have to come back out this way I decided to air on the side of caution and not damage the motor scooter by climbing the hill.
I also about the hospital is morning and had the lead checked, the ulcer is healing nicely should be about done in one to 2 weeks which is good news.
My next stops are Thornbury until Sunday, old Sodbury Sunday night, Tetbury for a few nights to catch upon bits of missed and then Cirencester for a couple of nights before heading to Stow on the Wold, I may be there for a while as there is lot to do in that area and I have no other stops there.
One thing before I forget, I need to say thank you to Ashley at ZX Host for upgrading and sorting out the servers when my blog and war grave website are hosted.
Good evening everyone,
Well I pleased to say I'm feeling better, I was told last night there is a bug doing the rouands and going by a certain section of Tesco medicine shelves bore testiment to as they were virtually empty!
Feeling so rough has meant that I haven't been able to do much, I did manage to get a little bit done. Mondays rejection at Churchdown Tesco by the Community Champion to me staying there was fortuatus, I headed back to the race course and that evening met a family from Arlwas, they told me the course was used as a hospital in World War One. This meant I had to investigate and see if there was a memorial to it, eventually found out there was and was taken to it. it was a series of boards, bricks and a plaque, the board is the recreation room and the bricks are from buildings where soldiers scratched their names in to them. The other was in Southam Church and is a sword and shield, not known what era it is from.
I'm slowly heading down towards north Bristol to cover that area. I'm having some counseling via phone and email and some self help, its a trial with Vetrans NHS Wales, for those that may find a bit of self help useful its at https://at-ease.dva.gov.au/highres/#%21/home and is free. I had a stressfull moment this morning and was able to use the app to help me cope with it.
I'm heading for Dursley on Monday and then Thornbury after that, I wonder if I'll get called a murderer again whilst I'm there...
Good evening everyone,
I had to nip to the doctors this afternoon to get the ulcer checked, all looking good and healing slowly.
Well its been strange not going round looking for memorials for the last two days, I've been a bit bored today and its been very hot! Luckily we are on a nice shady pitch.
Yesterday was a day of minor maintenance on the scooter and trailer and also getting the new bucket secured, I drilled through the handles and fitted nuts and bolts so that they can't be ripped out again, a new padlock to keep it secure on the scooter and when its on the trailer. I need to say a big thank you to Travis Perkins in Cheltenham who gave a large discount on it. This means any thief will now need to bring a toolkit to steal the bucket!
Whilst I was doing this I left my camera over looking the race course and taking a picture every ten seconds, this was roughly for six and a half hours and I ended up with more than 2350 pictures! I have down loaded them and created a movie of one minute and twenty seconds and I pleased with the way it has turned out.
The IWM War Memorial Register is having a meeting in Birmingham at the end of the month and hoped I'd be able to go, I looked at the logistics last night, it would need to be by train and taxi but three train changes with Missy would be too much :(
Tomorrow I head for Bishops Cleeve and the Appletree pub for two nights, its then back to the race course for one night.
Good evening everyone,
Well six days ago the collection bucket was stolen from off the trailer whilst I had phoned my brother, it was securely padlocked to the trailer, or so I thought. Tesco in Gloucester caught it on CCTV and it appears that he snapped the handle or something similar and then ran off with it. He was a rather distinctive character with a Staffordshire bull terrier with free white paws.
On the Thursday morning after the theft I started trawling the city of Gloucester looking for him, I did meet up with homeless ex-two rifles lad called Dan, when I told him what happened and described him he gave me a name, I will give you the name in case wrong. Needless to say it didn't do my depression or stress any good and I was a bit spun out to say the least!
That afternoon, Thursday, local press did interviews with me pictures to get into their papers. BBC radio Gloucestershire got me into the interview during their drivetime programme just after five. Not long afterwards the studio received a call from a gentleman who wishes to remain anonymous to say he would replace the money, £40 to £50 that was taken, he turned up as promised the following day with the money, I'd like to say a big thank you to him for replacing it.
SSAFA have replaced the bucket although can't use it yet until I get it secure the new padlock and nuts and bolts.
I have continued to crack on and get the memorials and graves photographed, I moved on to Cheltenham Tesco who were expecting me and looked at me brilliantly as per usual, it's taken me nearly 5 days to get the memorials and graves cracked in the city, is it a city? I started with around 80 memorials recorded and I've increased it by roughly 4 times that amount! That'll keep London going for a while.
I'm stopping at Cheltenham race course caravan site and this has been kindly paid for by three of my followers on Facebook, so thank you to them. On Friday I want to head to Bshops Cleeve to get that corner of the county done in out of the way, it will then be back to Cheltenham racecourse for Sunday night before heading to Churchdown Tesco for a couple of days and then onto Hucclecote Tesco extra for a couple of days again, not sure where after that yet will work out, I can't stop at Stroud Tesco until the end of July as it's been refitted.
I had a visit from the police tonight they have identified the person that took the bucket, he's apparently known scroat, and I've done the necessary statement filling and signing for them. I've also spent the evening going through my kit get rid of dead batteries, rubbish and stuff are no longer need or is useless, I'll do the same tomorrow the back end of the trailer.
Having information from the police has cheer me up a bit and hope you can get back on an even keel and doing a bit more regular updates again.
Some newspaper bits about it:
I'll leave you with the view from the trailer...
Good afternoon everyone,
I'm afraid on here and Facebook postings may be a bit scarce other the next few days, between the ulcer on my leg and the locked collection bucket being stolen on Wednesday evening, I'm not feeling to good, mentally that is, I'm also tired due worrying about them both.
Just got back from hospital after finding a pressure ulcer on my bad leg, a dressing has been put on it and I need to pop back Wednesday morning to get it checked. I must say the staff were wonderful.
The weekend was a mixed one, Friday was a bit stressfull to say the least, I arrived in Tewkesbury at the first one of my possible stops, the Bell Hotel, there were no plugs available and no room in the carpark, ok, no problem, next one, got to the Wheatpieces Hungry Horse, "No, you cant stay here", time to panic a little bit. A few phone calls after searching the internet for campsites, all full. Panic level rising, a young lady that works at the HH suggested Croft Farm Waterpark, it didn't come up on the initial search, phoned yes they have a pitch, phew.
Anyway, paid for three nights which was later refunded, thank you to the owner.
I did mange to get out with the camera (as per counsellors orders!) and found some insects and birds...
This my second time of writing update as the first one disappeared into thin air!
Well it's been very hot of the last two days, 32° in the shade yesterday and today and I believe it's going to to get hotter by the end of the week. Missy stretched out in front of the trailer trying to keep cool.
I need to say a big thank you to Tesco Quedgeley for looking after myself and Missy, they even put a fan in the trailer to help Missy stay a bit cooler, they also treated me to two new SD cards, that should keep me going for the next six months so.
I've moved on to Gloucester Tesco staff have lent me a fan for Missy again, not sure how long I'll be here and I'm in a bit of a quandary as to whether to go to Tewkesbury or Cheltenham next.
I'm struggling a bit with the accessibility around Gloucester, the city centre and the quays are fine, move away from their and I encounter bollards and lampposts in the middle of the path that you can't get past, A frames in gaps in walls that cyclists can get through but I can't, it gets very frustrating at times!
Gloucester is also very under recorded for memorials, I started with 19 on the system, two have been lost, and I have found 58 so far and I've only scratched the surface Gloucester so far.
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