Monday, 22 June 2015

Home at last! (Pic heavy!)

Not  really a painting related post, but I am just back today from nearly 2 weeks away from home that involved a week spent in Stockton-on-Tees and a week spent in Nolton Haven on the Pembrokeshire Coast of Wales (incidentally one of the densest areas in the UK for WW2 airfields).

No major purchases resulted in this holiday, mainly due to me not coming across any interesting book shops. However we did manage to get out and about a little bit to museums and the likes. The main nice thing I picked up was this:

this was from the Seaplane museum at Pembroke Dock. My grandfather on my mothers side did his national service as an armourer in the RAF at Wig Bay in Scotland (up the coast from Dumfries) working on Sunderland flying boats. As it turns out Pembroke Dock was one of the biggest flying boat bases in the UK during WW2, with up to 100 Sunderlands and Catalinas of Coastal Command operating anti-submarine patrols of the Bay of Biscay and Atlantic convoy routes from there. Many of the surrounding airfields were Coastal Command strips as well - flying Hudsons, Wellingtons, Beufighters, Beuforts, Ansons, Halifax, B17's in British service, Liberators and more! Some pic's from the museum:

The museum itself is trying to raise funds for the raising of a sunken Short Sunderland mk.1 from the seabed near the docks. They had various bits and bobs from the plane that have already been recovered and conserved. They also had a lot of info on the dockyard (which was a royal dockyard up until the '20's and was responsible for a lot of the Royal Navy's big names prior to WW1). This area of coastline also played a part in the D-day preparations (hence the D-day diorama).

We also visited the Welsh Spitfire Museum at Haverfordwest. This was a small museum with a lot of nice and very interesting displays. Again, the aim of the group that runs the museum is to rebuild an aircraft - namely a Mk VIII Spitfire.

20mm cannon shell - sausage fingers for scale!

This Spitfire spent it's war in Australia and was purchased and brought back to the UK from a scrap yard in the '90's.

We also went to Pembroke Castle, which was very impressive. I love these old structures and how every single part of the construction is aimed at defending the place. There were some cracking models of the building process of the castle, as well as details of the castles part in repelling 'the last invasion'. An invasion in the late 1700's of French soldiers that landed on the welsh coast nearby.

It seemed that wherever we went there were military structures I could have spent time exploring.

There was stuff literally just lying about. Like these beach defence/anti tank blocks just down the hill from our cottage:

A considers me to be both very boring and also an expert in spotting WW2 concrete... Thankfully she is very understanding and we have an agreement that she does not complain about this sort of stuff and I don't complain about being dragged round shops. Thankfully there tends to be shops near museums (most of the time!)

We also visited some non military sites, like the Cathedral at St. Davids (smallest city in the UK - also near a WW2 airstrip) - and with some interesting WW1 and WW2 memorials in it:

So all in all a very busy little holiday, with some nice views and decent weather:

The journey home was appalling, taking 12 hours to get back to A's parents. Along the way I spotted this:

And finished the holiday on Sunday night with an early Birthday pressie in the form of a Proclaimers concert in Darlington.

All very action packed! During my time away I also got a call from work and informed I was going to be back for less than a week before spending what appears to be 4 weeks working in Middlesbrough (near A's parents). A good opportunity for the future but not so great for my painting (or my sanity, being away from A for so long!). Still, it appears I will get home for the weekends and I may try to take the small box worth of Full Thrust mini's I took to Wales with me to work on - only getting 6 ships almost finished while I was away.


  1. Wow, that's a lovely trip!

    Pembrokeshire was where I spent most of my childhood and I went to community college in Haverfordwest after school. I never had a car back then though, else I would have loved to see all those wonderful airfields and museums!

    (Pembroke castle never looked that swank when I was a lad.....)

    1. They've done a lot of work to it this century apparently Dai :P

  2. Hi Jamster, really enjoyed this post, brilliant!!! So your going down south again??? Looks like fate is dragging you down that way? Next you'll be having breakfast buns with David Cameron 😎 lovely pics all of them!!! Was away at a huge Waterloo game in Edinburgh weekend past, Ace!!! Belated happy birthday Jamester!!! Will you be back for claymore in August?

    1. Thanks Paul, Birthday's not till next month so you still have time to get me a gift ;)

      Yeah, looks like I am only home for a few days then off back down. I saw your youtube video, looked like a big game. I'll be back by August, should be back by the end of July (I think! find out more tomorrow).

  3. Wow! Thanks for sharing, I'll not lie...I saved alot of your pics to my terrain inspiration photo folder!


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