BLOG - Flood Action #a

Living on the edge of the flatlands does occasionally present Mrs Weir and I with problems we can do little about.

One of those problems is the possibility of being introduced to a life aquatic. Normally it’s an unlikely prospect however a low pressure system, high spring tides and strong northerly winds does if nothing else, make the idea a newsworthy one for the next few days.

Thankfully the threat of flooding in my home town has diminished somewhat on the back of an increase in flood protection measures, however those looking further into the future suggest that at some point relatively soon our capacity for defences are unlikely to match that of the attack.

With this being the case the piece of ephemera pictured here is perhaps as much of a indicator of the future than it is the past. Produced in March 1953, following flooding that left 307 people dead, the booklet opens with a slightly ominous list of dates “1376 – 1883 – 1947 – 1953 – ?” in order to ensure that the text that follows is fully understood – “We all sincerely hope that such a catastrophe will not happen again, but we must be prepared.”

As well as maps of the affected areas the booklet contains instructions for those “whose duty it will be to take such immediate action as will lessen the risk of loss of life”, and those instructions are bleak, matter of fact and very much of their time.

BLOG - Flood Action #b

Obviously the hope is that tonight is not the night that the land is reclaimed by the incoming seas, however if it is the last point in the booklet reminds us – “DON’T lose your self control – a “COOL HEAD” with prevent “COLD FEET”, which I’m sure you’ll agree is sound advice whatever the weather.

BLOG - Flood Action #c

Treasure Trove


I was enormously pleased to hear that The Detectorists was going to make a return just after the first series finished, and the first episode of the second confirmed that I was right to be pleased.

Returning in very good health it continues where it left off (albeit with the passing of a certain amount of time) with the action (and I use the term advisedly) moving along at a very gentle pace through the enormously handsome Suffolk countryside.

To be honest I probably fit almost perfectly into the target audience of The Dectectorists (although plainly this has been written from the heart as much as the head), a point driven home further in this interview he did with The Guardian recently, in which he slowly realises that the programme was probably written for his dad as a way of saying ‘Sorry for not being interested in coins when I was younger’.

Sadly I don’t have the talent Mackenzie Crook plainly has so wasn’t able to write such an eloquent apology for my dad, so I hope that if nothing else he was able to trade off my younger disinterest against my increasing curiosity in his latter years.

[UPDATE: The completists amongst you might be interested in this tweet from Jamie Cairney, one of the people responsible for how handsome The Detectorists looks, which shows a behind the scenes view of the filming of the shot above of Oldham church. And whilst I’m here I should also point you in the direction of this wonderfully written blogpost from Peter Ross in which he fears (thankfully unfounded fears) the arrival of the new series, “Not because the first was bad. Quite the opposite. More in the spirit that it would be wrong to add even a single further note to The Lark Ascending.”]

I do love a pier.

In fact I have to be honest and say that a holiday without a visit to a least one of Britain’s remaining piers never really feels like a holiday.

I managed to miss outlining details of our recent expedition back to the “the finest seaside resort in Western Europe”, and in fact I was only reminded of my omission on hearing a short programme in the Pier People series over on Radio 4 Extra about the pier in Llandudno.

So rather than bang on about the tremendous time Mrs Weir and I had in the North of Wales, I thought I’d briefly introduce you to the piers at Beaumaris (built in 1846 and reaching out to a distance of 570ft) and Bangor (opened in 1896 and reaching a deal further than the pier in Beaumaris to 1500ft).

BLOG - CruiseC

Last week Mrs Weir and I spent some time away from home relaxing on the high seas. Spending time with the Chief Financial Officer is always a delight, however a week resting and recuperating has resulted in the arrival of the first common cold of the season, to which I have all too easily succumbed.

Quite frankly all of us here at Weir HQ could now do with a holiday.

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Highlights included a great deal of time staring into the distance watching the sun go down, and then rise again, with occasional appearances from the moon in between – a particularly super variety of it at that.

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You Are Here



As a result of trawling through many many photographs looking for something entirely unrelated, I was happily reacquainted with the evidence that whilst I am almost always here, I am often elsewhere too.

As someone who finds the English motorway system beautiful, if not strange, I was more than happy to pick up a new addition to the Travel section of the steadily increasing library here at Weir HQ. Motorways – As-you-go Maps and Pictures, originally yours for just 75p, is a heavily illustrated introduction to the motorways throughout Britain, although whether it was originally intended for children or adults is unclear given the mix of illustrations sat above technical details of the roads in question. That said whoever it’s original audience was I’m more than happy to give a new home.

Forton Service Area: At Forton Service Area, south of Lancaster on the M6, there is an 80 feet high observation restaurant tower, from which an extensive view can be had of Morecombe (sic) Bay and the Lakeland Hills. The provision of such facilities allows long-distance motorists to rest their eyes and minds as well as their bodies.”

Corley Service Area: The coming of the motorways brought into being a new kind of road station, the Service Area. Service Areas provide not only fuel and servicing facilities for vehicles, but also refreshments for travellers. Service stations also act to some extant as central points for police, fire, ambulance and other emergency services, but they do bit us usually provide facilities for overnight accommodation.”



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