Trinity Men’s Fellowship Eccleshall - Staffordshire

 © Trinity Men's Fellowship       Webmaster David Sandham

I thought that to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day I would put out the Union bunting and flags. However, as the main idea was Victory I drilled a couple of holes at an angle in the wooden log to enable the flags to be displayed in the shape of a “V”.

I was just under two on VE day and do not remember anything but my Mother always told the tale that we were in London on that day and as she was out for a walk, with me in the push-chair, she noticed crowds making their way to Buckingham Palace, so being an “interested in what is going on ” person she followed and arrived at the palace. We were quite near to the front by the railings and as Mum had a baby in the chair people kept letting her in. Eventually Mum says that we were right in front of the railings when the King, Queen, Elizabeth, Margaret and Winston came out onto the balcony.

Ever since when photos or films of the scene come up I try to spot us but so far have failed to prove the story. BUT you never know! Perhaps you will spot me?

Lockdown at the Howes

I’m afraid my contribution during lockdown is not as grand as some however here goes:

 1. Sorted out a couple of wiring problems with the garden lighting (12v), all now working

2. Replaced brickwork which had come loose on which the garden fence is supported at the bottom of the garden, these were loosened due to force of the wind over the years.

It did require putting in longer anchor bolts to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Now waiting for Eccleshall Fencing to reopen, presumably post lockdown so I can put new fencing in.

 Exciting stuff is it not!!!!

The shady area in the garden, which has always been a problem, has been cleared and replanted with shade loving plants. Where tree roots prevent planting direct in the ground, some pale pots have been installed and again planted with shade loving plants.

Tidied the garage.

Installed a new water feature in the garden.

 Removed the side door of the garage, which has been jamming on the frame for years, Stripped and repainted the external woodwork of the garage; planed it and refitted it.

Planted up a dozen large ceramic pots.

Replanted the west facing border with new shrubs, and a magnolia tree, and the gaps filled with summer bedding plants. Also installed some solar powered lighting.

 I have jet washed the block paved drive and paths around the house.

Our Secretary, Rob Hughes, has been extremely busy  with many projects around the home and garden.

Stephen Habgood has been painting the garage doors. Unfortunately the paint was flaking so it all had to come off. One door is now done and only one to do!

David S has been protecting his cherry tree to prevent the pesky birds from  stealing all the cherries before they are ripe enough to be picked. This is done every spring and has proved to be very successful  but as the tree grows the cage is becoming VERY LARGE!

Mike Malyon writes:-

“The joys of living in a 2 bed flat with no garden are manifold, which means I have been spending some of my time on a project that I had been meaning to do for many years - sorting out multitudinous photos that have accumulated. I am thoroughly enjoying it but not, unfortunately, the other half and the descendants; the same thing happened with the family tree! A few yawns were detected.

But I have got a car gearbox seeping a little oil which will get attention tomorrow.”

These are pictures of my old printing press. I have cleaned it up & lubricated everything that looked as if it needed it (& some things that did not!).

The machine is an old Adana 6X4 letterpress machine & has needed new rollers & some other minor parts.

Together with a selection of type & spaces, rules & ornaments, it is destined for my daughter in law after lockdown. I just have to fix the disc ratchet...

It all takes me back to my 5 years ‘in the print’ in The Metropolis, up to 1967. Ah, happy days!

Bob Marsh, Apprentice to William Caxton?

Norman Howe, the Sparky (and plasterer and painter), strikes again!

Another project to do, redecorating the sitting (TV) room.

So decided to  tidy up the wall that used to have a TV mounted on it with all the HDMI cables , TV aerial, optical cable and surround sound wires routed to it.

Now all that is left is a power socket which i still use.

Removing the various sockets

Plastering the holes which were left

The finished job!

Ken Cruxton has just finished his latest bead picture

A close-up of the area around the nostrils to show the intricate details, the multitude of different colours used and the care that has to be taken with the placement of the beads

Fred Douce has sent in a photo of a wonderful painting he has created during the Lock-down

Some words from Ken to describe the process of creating the pictures

“The picture is made up of different coloured individual beads which are applied to a preprinted adhesive backing.I found it quite relaxing.It was  a project I could pick up and say do 15 minutes at it leave it and do something and go back to the picture later.The picture took about 12 hours to complete. It is quite a strain on the eyes and best done in short stages.”

Lester’s Historical reading project.

After nearly a year, I have completed a project. In truth, it's only taken two weeks. Sometime last year, Frank Ward lent me a book about Scott and Amundsen. Somehow the 600 odd pages kept putting me off but covid-induced removal of excuses has seen me pick it up and get hooked onto its words. It's interesting how nations distort history for national glory, ours being no exception. I shall say no more other than to thank Frank for the loan and ask if I can send him the bill for Ranulph Fienne's  book I've just bought (he wrote it because doesn't like Frank's book's treatment of Scott).


David prepares to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE DAY

Our Chairman has an interesting horticultural project

As last Autumn was very wet, our garden was in a very poor state.  However, thanks to the enforced lockdown, Ann and I have worked very hard in the garden.  The shed and garden furniture are all painted, the flowers and plant pots are all doing well (Ann's department) the lawns and vegetables are coming on nicely (my department).  However, when we moved into the house, we were very surprised to see a very strange tree growing in our garden.  The first picture shows the tree, with the leaves half grown at this time of the year, the second shows a close up of the leaves.  You will see that the leaves are  very different in shape and do not have proper veins.

Eventually Ann showed some leaves to a gentleman at our local garden centre who immediately recognised them as from a Gingko Biloba tree (also known as a Maidenhair tree).  The species apparently originated in China about 200 million years ago and they are known to live for about 1000 years!  How such a tree found its way to Staffordshire, I have no idea.

The thought occurred to me that if I could take cuttings off the tree I could find a lucrative market for them!  Sadly all my earlier attempts failed.

As I had time on my hands during lockdown, I thought I would make further attempts to grow my own.  However, I then took the precaution of reading more closely, I discovered that the Gingko occurs as male and female trees!  

If there is anyone out there who knows how to distinguish the sex of a Gingko tree, and happens to have a tree of the opposite sex, please let me know.  We may have a lucrative business opportunity!

Keep Safe

YIF   Peter

This is a photo from the Internet of a Ginko tree which was planted by Emperor Li Shimin, the second ruler of Tang Dynasty (618–907). It is located in the Zen monastery in Xi'an, China and is thought to be 1400 years old.

It has grown into the towering attraction it is today thanks to a spring underneath it, according to the Ancient Guanyin Temple in Xi'an.

People have been travelling from all over China to visit the breath-taking sight during last autumn when the foliage spectacle began to form.  

The yellow leaves formed a beautiful 'carpet' on the grass underneath the tree, making it one of the sights of the season.

The tree in Peter’s garden

Close-up of the unusual leaves

David S extends his photography to the VERY close-up.

An early Birthday Present from Mrs. S arrived today. It was a “Macro Lens” which clips to the front of my camera lens. We ordered it yesterday - good old Amazon. I love it how you can follow their delivery van over the Internet for  the last few houses before they get to you!

So I quickly opened the packaging, then washed my hands, Again! In case the Amazon man had Covid 19! The lens fitted into a holder without a problem and then the holder was clipped onto the front of the camera lens. All ready to go.

First attempts were not a success. It was totally impossible to hold the camera firmly enough to prevent camera shake so it was out with the tripod. But this did not help on it’s own because it was still difficult to focus.

So I dug out an old cross-milling vice which I bought years ago. Normally the camera is mounted on a rail to enable it to moved but I decided to keep the camera still on the tripod and move the specimen.

I started off experimenting with inanimate objects.

The pound coin was most interesting.  I bet none of you knew that the year it was minted is shown all around the edge. On the right you can see a section just above and to the right of the thistle on the reverse of the coin. Get out a magnifying glass and a £ coin and see if you can see one of the dates?

Next I tried a dead damselfly.

Then I went onto living insects. Mrs. S found a “Shield Bug” in the garden and brought it into the shed. It was a real show-off, did not try to run away, just posed on the leaf and waited until I had taken some photos, then we let it go back into the garden.  You can get really close with this lens but the problem is that it has such a short depth of field as can be seen in the lower right where only the central strip is in focus. There is a technique called stacking focus which I will be trying - results will  be published once I have sorted it.     David

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