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this page was last updated on 13 August 2014


Our New Years Eve party at Belinda's - it was good to both end 2011 and start 2012 with family & friends .. helped along with good food, plenty of drinks & fireworks. This new year is going to be a good year with (in chronological not importance order, I hasten to say!!) the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations, Abigail’s wedding in Windsor, all the hullabaloo of hosting the Olympics and finally supporting England during Euro 2012 .. and hopefully lots of other good times, so on that cheery note let’s just say “Happy New Year” to one and all. See more party photos here
Archie James Bevan - his 2nd birthday party 31st December 2011
It was my great-nephew Archie's 2nd birthday on 31st December 2011 so we went to help him celebrate with a little tea party - it's the only time of the year I have jelly and ice-cream. More photos here 


I went with Judith & George for a meal at Peter & Phyllis's on Friday 30th December; and where they had this superbly decorated Christmas tree - no, it wasn't on a tilt .. rather I'd had a couple of large Gs&T which affected my perspective [well that's my excuse!!]. It really was a good night of laughs.


William (Bill) McBain and Terry Curzon over Clent Hill on 30 December 2011
It was a 'get rid of the effects of Christmas pudding' walk over Walton & Clent Hills with my neighbour Terry - Friday 30th December


Alexander Joel Bevan & Archie James Bevan - Boxing Day 2011
It's now Boxing Day and i am so stuffed with food that I seem to be waddling from place to place. Today Belinda, mum & I went to my sister Bev's for lunch, tea & party games. Abigail's fiancé's family were there too meaning there were 15 of us to be fed and a total of 7 dogs in tow!! The day was sweetly rounded off by WBAFC holding the league leaders Man City to a draw - happy days!! See more photos here

Matthew McBain, Joshua McBain, Barrie McBain, Jane McBain, Katie McBain & Bethany McBain - Christmas Day 2011For Christmas Day the format is fixed .. church first thing; collect mum from my brother's where she likes to see his family open their presents and then to my sister Belinda's for a superb Christmas lunch with lashing of a favourite of mine - Christmas pudding!!! Queen's Speech then a sleep and then home for an evening in. A good day. See more photos here


the greater McBain Family meet @ Christmas Eve 2011
It was a busy Christmas Eve 2011 with (1) carol singing for 3 hours with church folk @ Barnett Hill garden centre (2) the now traditional visiting to see friends (3) a superb family gathering of 21 in the evening at my brother Barrie's to exchange presents (4) a late night meeting up of friends and finally (5) going to midnight communion at Overend Methodist Mission. A fabulous day .. to see photos of the family do click here or for photos of the friends' events click here


It’s all in the timing, you see .. for as I was parking in Tesco’s car park @ 1240 the programme I was listening to on the BBC's R4 was reporting that, where Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, research had shown the busiest time/day of the year in a supermarket was @ 1244 on the 23rd December .. they weren’t wrong!!!
An excellent Christmas card received, me thinks, from George & Jenny Andrews.





Walking along the Worcester canal on a sunny and oh so warm December day, the 22nd, We're 3 days away from Christmas Day, but with temps in the low 60s we were able to sit outside for a much welcome break at this canal-side cafe; the bacon sandwich & cup of tea were much needed!! More photos here


Kevin Beale @ my house 19 december 2011
It was good to see Kevin Beale who popped round 19th December to deliver his Christmas card .. always good to catch up with former Boys' Brigade guys.


George Tyler at his 60th birthday party
Walking through a muddy and rather bleak Bluebell Wood, near Clent Hills, on Thursday 15th December. It had rained very heavily the night before and is was very muddy, a lot of rain having run off the hills. More photos here


Tig, Alexander Bevan & Archie Bevan - 17th December 2011
On saturday 17th december we met up with my nephew James Aldridge and girlfriend Viv who were up to see the family at Christmas.

in the depths of Blebell Wood @ Clent hills
Walking through a muddy and rather bleak Bluebell Wood, near Clent Hills, on Thursday 15th December. It had rained very heavily the night before and is was very muddy, a lot of rain having run off the hills. More photos here


Like me, my Christmas Sock has seen better days but it's now up and awaiting donations .. you can be the first! I'm also quite prepared to get a bigger sock should it be required .. and remember, it's more blessed to give than to receive .. !!




Voices in harmony choir - 10th december 2011 Christmas Concert
It was Voices in Harmony choir's annual Christmas Concert on Saturday 10th December held at Old Hill's parish church. Also taking part were our junior choir, Pure Harmony [who stole the show, as always!] and the band Invitation Brass. It was an excellent night and a good precursor to Christmas!


i was at the very atmospheric St Thomas church, Stourbridge, on Thursday 8th December for a pre-Christmas Concert of local music groups – my video includes items from ‘Stream of Sound’ [a superb choir of teenage acappella singers], ‘Les Oiseaux’ (a more mature Choir!!) and ending with my favourite of the evening, a few members of the St Thomas Church Choir .. so if you can’t be bothered to listen to all of this video fast-forward towards the end to listen to the church choir!! We are indeed lucky to have such talented groups so close to us .. see the YouTube clip here


Walking over Kinver Edge today - Friday 9th December! It was cold .. !!





I took this today, 5th December, in Halesowen .. it seems the West Bromwich Building Society has changed its name to the West Brom .. good call .. I feel a "Boing Boing" coming on


I went to a rather splendid performance of Handel’s Messiah at St Thomas church in Stourbridge on Saturday 3rd December. The soloists were superb [not not too sure I will ever take to a counter-tenor voice!!] and it's good to see such a good cultural event in Stourbridge - raising money for the church's restoration as the town centre's only grade 1 listed building.


William/Bill McBain, Gill Collins & Eric Collins - over Clent Hills on thursday 1st December 2011
walking locally over Clent & Walton Hills on Thursday 1st December with my neighbour Terry Curzon. It was a sunny but cold day and where we had a nice and deserved cuppa & bacon sandwich later @ Nimmins Cafe on Clent. i also bumped into two of my oldest friends, Gill & Eric Collins, whom I kno from my Boys' Brigade days but who sadly I don't see too often. It was a good encounter!! more photos here


Joy Weston, Pat Nightingale, William Mcbain & Deborah Hubbard - 30th November 2011
Out for a meal in Himley with Joy Weston, Pat Nightingale & Deborah Hubbard, friends from my teenage days .. some ** years ago - 30th November 2011.


just to wish everyone a 'Happy St Andrew's Day'  - 30th November 2011.





With mum @ 89 having difficulties opening cans she bought herself a battery-operated can-opener .. can-opening sorted, you would have thought - wrong!! We did get there in the end but if you want to watch her 'getting there' view the YouTube clip here


Joy & Lynton Weston @ The Good Food Show at NEC 25th November 2011
At the Good Food Show @ NEC with Joy & Lynton (Friday 25th November) at what should have been the start of four days away .. but sadly one of our friends in Torquay was ill so we had to postponed the long weekend .. hence our 'sad & missing you' sent to Lynne & Ian.


Walking along the Netherton canal on 24/11 we came across this & other markers of where the Hingley & Sons Ltd factories once stood – made famous as the maker of Titanic’s anchor; but who, amazingly, once produced 90% of the world’s anchors!!


Amie Bevan at her 21st birthday meal 20November 2011
Mum, Belinda & I went to my sister Bev's on Sunday 20th November 2011 to help celebrate with my niece Amie her 21st birthday, which was on 18th November, and where we met her boyfriend Tom. My great-nephew Archie did of course steal the show as always with his antics. A good day with a splendid meal!! See more photos here


Apologies in advance for this Anglo-Saxon ‘semaphore’ .. !! This short video shows Lord King making a speech in the House of Lords on the passing of the wartime generation during a Remembrance Day debate & he ‘paid tribute’ to veterans of WW1 who had “gradually faded away”. He turned & gestured to Baroness Trumpington (aged 89 and a former wartime member of Naval Intelligence) adding: “and then the survivors of WW2 started to look pretty old as well, as my noble friend, the Baroness, reminds me.” Bad move, and as Jeremy Paxman says she hadn’t lost the art of 'semaphore' & the ability to so communicate her response!! (Taken off Newsnight on14th November.) To see the video clip click here:  http://youtu.be/S5BULpzUVUk


Belinda McBain & William (Bill) McBain at a Festival of Remembrance on 12th November 2011
Belinda and I at a Festival of Remembrance concert on 12th November where our Choir sang .. joined by the Salvation Army brass band .. and attended by the Mayor and local Member of Parliament .. more photos here & spot the difference in poppies .. the Scottish one has 4 petals .. the English one has 2 petals and a leaf .. here endeth tonight’s (educational) lesson!!


Greetings at the 11th hour, 11th minute & 11th second of 11/11/11 … a once in a lifetime moment. (And before any of you shout “haven’t you got anything else better to do?” I would remind you I am retired and can sit around to wait for these things to happen - and share them with you!!)


scroll of comemoration from WW1 for William McBain who died 1916 in the Battle of the Somme
It's Armistice Day today, 11/11/11, and I'm especially remembering my great-grandfather, William McBain, killed on Christmas Eve 1916 in the battle of the Somme at the age of 39 ... my dad never knew his dad, how sad is that?! Lest we Forget indeed.






William / Bill McBain on Thursday 10th November 2011 at Astwood Locks of the Birmingham - Worcester canal
Walking from Tardibigge locks to Astwood locks on Thursday 10th November - with my neighbour Terry. More photos here


The lad on the right clearly has no idea of the words .. so if in doubt, move your mouth!! I saw this on Songs of Praise on 6th November 2011 and just had to take a video clip on my mobile. See the 13 seconds on YouTube here


William (Bill) McBain at Tardebigge canals
Walking along the Tardebigge canal locks on the 4th November 2011 which are the longest flight of locks in the UK, comprising 30 narrow locks on a two and a quarter mile stretch of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. It raises the waterway some 220 feet. More photos here
My nephew Alexander on the night of Halloween ... but don't worry, during the day he's studying Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry



History mage: I made my first tweet on Monday 31st October about the birth of the 7th billion child .. @mcbain2 




William (Bill) McBain over Kinver Edge 27th October 2011
Walking over a rainy & misty Kinver Edge with my neighbour Terry - 27th October 2011. You can see more photographs here

I went with my cousin David Coley to watch a Baggies' training day on a very sunny, if not chilly, Hawthorns, Tuesday 25th October 2011. You can see more photographs here


Ken Aldridge with his new car 23 October 2011
My brother in law, Ken Aldridge with one of his new sports cars .. seen here enjoying the good weather on Sunday 23rd October 2011


Joshua McBain in a Russian Newspaper October 2011
Hot on the heels of my auntie May @ 101 being on TV, my nephew Joshua appears here in an article in the Russian equivalent of our Financial Times .. it says [courtesy of Bing translation!!] "Joshua McBain, Head of economic research at Credos, center of expert analytical research in the field of advertising ... " Well done Josh. Now, where's my 15 minutes of fame?? See the Russian item/website here
May Walker on Midlands Today tv
My Auntie May, aged 101, shown here being interviewed on BBC Midlands Today  about the proposed closure of the home she's at, New Bradley Hall @ Kingswinford, on Monday 10th October 2011. Watch a YouTube clip here
A week away on the Isle of Wight with Joy & Lynton and Lynne & Ian - 10h to 14th October 2011. More photos here

Taken today, 8th October, over Clent from the spot where we scattered dad's ashes .. he died nine years ago today.
Brilliant for sport this weekend (1) Montenegro v England tonight in the Euro 2012 qualifier and (2) an early start tomorrow morning for the rugby WC quarter-final England v France and finally (3) Liechtenstein v Scotland’s Euro qualifying game @ 6.30pm .. oh I do like my TV. (And yes, I have since realised the Union Flag is upside down!)
William / Bill McBain aged 10
A blast from the past. A former neighbour emailed me this photograph to me today - 7th September. I still have the same hairstyle!! More photos here

William / Bill McBain in the Wyre Forrest 6 october 2011
Walking in the Wyre Forrest on our weekly walk, a much colder day than this time last week .. and not a narrow boat in sight for once!! Thursday 6th October. More photos here
Paul Bond and Fernando Jaramillo - celebrating their respective birthdays. September 2011
A meal at my house celebrating my former boss Paul’s 73rd birthday and Nando’s 30th - ably aided by Mr Ian Lacon. Much food and alcohol was consumed!! Friday 30th September. More photos here
Terry Curzon and William (Bill) McBain at the end of the Staffs & Worcs Canal 29 September 2011
HALLELUJAH – the Worcester & Staffordshire canal walk is ended!!! Let the flags be flown and the church bells be rung .. the junction with the Trent & Mersey canal has been reached .. and in temps of low 80s to boot!! - Thursday 29th September. We did the walk in stages over the weeks and it felt so good to finish it on such a lovely day. And the we went to Terry's relatives who lived very close for tea and sandwiches. very civilised. More photos here
Joy & Lynton Weston with William (Bill) McBain over Clent Hills 28 September 2011
I went walking over Clent Hills with Joy & Lynton in the most glorious of weather, finishing off at the Nimmins Cafe for one of their superb sausage sandwiches!! And then bumping into Judith & George and Peter who were also over Clent - more tea drunk! - Wednesday 28th September. More photos here
Paul Bond, Graham Thomas Handley & William (Bill) Tromans McBain - 26th September 2011
I met up on Monday 26th September with Paul Bond & Graham Handley ..  former work colleagues of mine. A two and a half hour lunch and chat at the Birmingham Arts Museum ensued. More photos here
It was our Harvest Festival services at Overend methodist Mission on Sunday 25t September. I do like harvest and the harvest hymns.


Thursday 22nd September .. a fascinating 3 hours event for a one-hour programme .. the warm up, the process for selecting questions & questioners, the practice run before recording, the encouragement to show noisy emotion .. a well recommended experience. And when I went searching for a loo in a rather confusing building this guy said “are you looking for a toilet?” and I said yes, he said “I thought so, you had that look about you. Follow me” – a very helpful David Dimbleby himself. More photos here


I went to the Malvern Theatre on Wednesday 21st September to see ‘Three Days in May’ a political thriller, starring Warren Clarke, which (and this bit is straight from the flier!!) “goes behind the doors of Number Ten during three of the most pivotal days in British History when, extraordinarily, giving in to Hitler was considered by some to be a `viable option´. Having urgently assembled the British war cabinet, new Prime Minister Winston Churchill is confronted with a game of political chess between peace treaty supporters and its opponents.”


Matthew McBain @ his 21st birthday
It was my nephew Matthew McBain's 21st birthday celebrations on Sunday 11th September, so family and friends gathered to help him celebrate - as is our wont!! He wondered 10 years ago, why (in a similar birthday celebration) we were all more interested in the TV news than his birthday!! More photos (including a few photos of Matt's family meal out in Birmingham on the 10th) click here


Bluebell Wood near Clent Hills - September 2001
I went walking locally this week with my neighbour Terry Curzon, this time at the Bluebell Wood near the Clent Hills - Wednesday 7th September 2011. Usually a muddy walk, the near dry conditions were a testament to our dry summer - only made damp by a recent downpour!! More photos here


george Tyler, William (Bill) McBain & Judith Tyler - fairtrade wine tasting 2nd September 2011
I went with Judith & George Tyler to a FairTrade wine tasting evening on Friday 2nd September - held in Stourbridge. We tried all eight wines on offer, as you'd expect!! And then I managed to get home to watch the Bulgaria v England I'd recorded without knowing the result!!


Pat Nightingale, Joy Weston, Alex Long, Deborah Hubbard & William (Bill) McBain on 31st August 2001 at Dudley Arms
On Wednesday 31st August we had another get-together of our 'old gang' from our teenage days at Short Cross ..  we meet up 2 or 3 times a year. Every time we meet up and have such a good laugh, I can see why we were good friends all those 45 years-ish ago.


Elsie Harvey or McBain nee Tromans
Continuing Mum's 89th birthday celebration, we went to Bev's for lunch on Bank Holiday Monday 29th August 2011. More photos here






Elsie Harvey at her 89th birthday 26 August 2011
Mum was 89 today [26th August 2011] and we met at Barrie & Jane's to help her celebrate. More photos here







canal at Acton Trussell
We’re nearing the end of our Worcs / Staffs Canal walk ..  hallelujah .. this week walking from Acton Trussell near Stafford to the Radford Bridge - 24th August 11. Hopefully a couple more walks should do it. More photos here
Willam (Bill) McBain, Judith Tyler & Peter Fisher - hot tub @ the Tylers 20th August 2011
Me, Judith & Peter enjoying a pre-meal hot tub at the Tyler's on Saturday 20th August 2011 - the others were too busy chatting to join us .. !!

Julia Bradbury has a lot to answer for .. her series on canal walks on the BBC inspired me and Terry [my next door neighbour] to walk in stages the B’ham-Worcester canal. On stage 4 on Wednesday 17th August, we encountered an horrendous train journey just getting to our start point of Alvechurch; walked across a smelly & oh so slippery field where the farmer was in the actual process of ‘muck spreading’; gave directions to 2 cyclists whom neither of us could decide whether they were male or female; couldn’t find a place to have lunch @ ‘half time’ and then had to sprint the final 50 yards to catch our train home – I got on as he doors closed. And now I have a blister!! More photos here
William (Bill) McBain, Judith Tyler, Peter Fisher, Phylis Fisher, George Tyler
It was Peter Fisher's birthday on Tuesday 16th August so a few of us gathered for food & drink to help him celebrate ..  it didn't take much encouragement!! Even though it was my second meal of the day, I found the appetite!!
left - right: William (Bill) McBain, Lynton Weston, June Hierons, John Hierons, Joy Weston & Peter Hierons
A 'Majorca Reunion' lunch at Joy & Lynton's on Tuesday 16th August - inviting Peter, June & John who that haven't seen for a year or two when we had all met up in Majorca. A good catch-up of the news & gossip!!
at the Hawthorns for the first game of the 2011/12 season WBA v Man Utd 14th August 11
I went to the first football game of the 2011/12 season at the hawthorns on Sunday 14th August 2011. It's a pity our opening game was against Manchester United - they beat us by 2 goals to 1 .. it was almost a draw!! More photos here
Adam Bevan - his 30th birthday. BBQ held at beverly bevan's on 13th August 2011
It was my nephew Adam Bevan's 30th birthday BBQ held at my sister Bev's on Saturday 13th August 2011. A number of his friends were there too and a number were staying overnight - under canvas!! I'm glad it was them not me!! More photos here
the White Hart Inn @ Penkridge
Yet another walk along the Worcs/Staffs Canal, on Wednesday 10th August 2011  .. the photo shows the White Hart Inn in Penkridge where Queen Elizabeth I once stayed.


William McBain / Bill McBain 6th August 2011 at Berry Head, Devon
Another excellent four days away in Torquay for me and Joy & Lynton from 4th to 7th August 2011 - staying with close friends Lynne & Ian Macrae We visited Sidmouth on the 5th to see their annual Folk Festival; Berry Head (who were holding a Napoleonic War re-enactment) & Brixham on the 6th and staying locally for a long walk along Torquay's sea front & a posh coffee @ the Livermead Hotel on the 7th. More photos here


Archie James Bevan - 28th July 2011
my great-nephew Archie discovers he doesn't have to listen to us if he doesn't want to .. taken by my nephew Alexander in his car on 28th July.  






the Wast Hills Tunnel
After catching the train to Alvechurch today, we walked along the Worcester & Birmingham Canal as far as the Wast Hills Tunnel - which is one of the longest in the country and thus has no tow path - so we turned round and walked back!! The photo shows a narrow boat emerging from the dark & depths of the tunnel ..  !!


William (Bill) McBain, Matthew McBain, Milena Todorova, Elsie Harvey on 26th July 2011
My nephew Matthew and his girlfriend Milena popped round to see my mother and say hi while they were both back in Halesowen .. and of course I just popped in to take the photo!!!


My former boss Paul Bond, now a close friend, has been painting for pleasure for many years - and does have a certain penchant for squares! I have two of his paintings framed and hanging in my house. He's now had them all photographed and his gallery put online ..  he's a talented guy and his  paintings can be viewed here


William [Bill] McBain and Judith Tyler at Upton upon Severn 23 Juy 2011
I went to Upton upon Severn with Judith where we were doing a murder/mystery trail but also where we ran out of times to complete all the clues - Saturday 23rd July. We're coming back!! See more photographs here


Ed Miliband at Fort Dunlop Birmingham 21 July 2011 with William McBain
For some reason I received an email invitation to attend an Ed Miliband Q&A session that was being held at Fort Dunlop in Birmingham on Thursday 21t July. I went as a non-partisan person politically, and i thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the near 2 hours of questioning. See more photographs here


During a walk along the Birmingham/Worcester Canal on Wednesday 20th July, I saw a heron waiting to swoop on a fish for its lunch .. these phoos were taken on zoom so are not very sharp!!  But good to see nature in action - see all photos here


Archie James Bevan
Some of the family met at mom's on Sunday 17th July for lunch and while chatting a mobile phone went off and all of a sudden little Archie stopped what he was doing, lent to one side and then did his little jig ..  so funny, and he did the same every time a mobile rang. See a very brief clip on YouTube here


Another chunk of the Worcs & Staffs canal walk, this time catching the train to Penkridge and then getting to the canal from there. The weather was with plenty of sunny spells - good job I'd 'factored' with the sun tan lotion!! More photos here


I saw a guy wearing this t-shirt while out in Halesowen ..  I love it and thankfully the guy didn't mind me taking this photo!!



Jan Brennan sings in the Little Shop of Horrors at Halesowen College 13th July 2011
Halesowen College students & lecturers put on a show of 'the Little Shop of Horrors' on Wednesday 13th July and I and friends went to see it - our friend Jan Brennan was performing! It was also good to catch up with her parents Trevor & Mal Pratt. There was some good real talent performing there.


Nicki Bainbridge; Belinda McBain ; William (Bill) McBain at a quiz on 10th July 2011
I went to a quiz at Overend Methodist church on Saturday 9th July - it was good fun and we came 3rd [and yes, there were than three teams!!!


A good walk along the Birmingham/Worcester canal, getting as far as where the tunnel that is closed off to walkers. We'll be continuing this walk at the other end of the canal - sometime!!


Barrie McBain 60th birthday
It was my bother Barrie's 60th birthday on Sunday 3rd July and where I popped in to see him & help celebrate. More photos here



Belinda McBain's birthday party 2 July 2011
a good end to my week away by going to my sister Belinda's birthday party, held at her house on Saturday 2nd July. The weather was kind and warm into the night ..  a good night was had! See the photos here


I had a great few days away with John, June & Peter who were spending the whole week at a cottage at Llandanwg, North Wales. A time of relaxation and book reading, plus visits out each day to local places. I went by train and there was a fabulous coastal stretch of track near Barmouth! - much better  than driving there! More photos here


Bethany McBain - going to her School Proms
my niece Bethany McBain on her way to her school Prom - Friday 1st July



Enjoying a relaxing meal at Judith & George's qt the start of what is promised to be a good weekend of sunshine & heat ..  Saturday 25th June 2011.


William (Bill) McBain at Birmingham's food marke on 24th June 2011
At Birmingham's food market while helping buy much of the fresh food needed at Overend's summer fayre tomorrow. Haven't been to this market for years and had forgotten how good it was ..  and a box of 6 large double-yolkers for £1 can't be bad either, now can it? Friday 24th June.


Paul & Deborah Westwood
I went on a visit to see St Kenelm's Church on Wednesday 22nd June 2011. It was organised by my own church and Margaret Bradley told us all about the murder of young Kenelm back in 819 and all that transpired there after and that led to the church being built in the 12th century.  A fascinating and ful of history place to visit. More photos here
I walked with Terry another chunk of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal on Wednesday 15th June from beneath the M54 jnc to Calf Heath marina - so probably ¾ of the route now done. Hopefully will complete before the end of summer ..
Willam- Bill - McBain as superman
I emailed Sky News on 14th June to tell them that, when reporting on Libya, they incorrectly pronounced the word 'missile' ... on reflection I am afeared that “I am become” PEDANT MAN ... surely this cannot be!!



Lancaster, spitfire & hurrican flypast for trooping the colour 11th June 2011
While at RAF Hendon museum on 11th June [see item below] we saw the flight of a Lancaster, Spitfire & Hurricane just after they'd flown above The Mall as part of the Queen's official birthday celebrations [aka Trooping the Colour]. I manage to get a very short video clip - which can be seen on YouTube here
William (Bill) McBain at RAF Hendon museum on 11th June 2011
At RAF Hendon museum on Saturday 11th June 2011, a coach trip organised by Short Cross Methodist. A fascinating place .. if you like aircraft that is!! Mostly WW! & WW" aircraft, but not exclusively so. Well worth a visit. More photos here
William (Bill) McBain over Kinver Edge of 9th June 2011
Another week, another walk. Seen here at the trig point of Kinver Edge on Thursday 9th June.


William (Bill) McBain walking in Bluebell Wood over the Clent Hills 3 June 2001
What fabulous weather we had on Friday 3rd June 2001 and luckily it was a day I'd agreed to go walking with my neighbour Terry .. seen here walking in the shade in Bluebell Wood @ the Clent Hills ..



Meeting at mom's and then over Clent Hills to scatter rose petals on what would have been my sister Barbara's birthday - 1st June 2011. More photos here


William McBain, Elsie Harvey, Beverly Bevan, Archie Bevan & Belinda McBain at Short Cross Methodist on 29th May 2011
On the 31st May we will see the 13th anniversary of the untimely death of my belovéd sister Barbara. As we always do, the family met at church at Short Cross - Sunday 29th May. More photos here


A long overdue task today, the trimming of my conifer trees - as the photo shows, it was some trim! And quite obviously that's not me up the tree ..  !! Sunday 22nd May 2011.


Deborah Hubbard, Pat Nightingale, William McBain Alex Long & Joy Weston at a Short Cross reunion on 17th May 2011
Meeting up with [from l-r] Deborah Hubbard, me, Joy Weston, Alex Long & Patricia Nightingale on Tuesday 17th May at the Dudley Arms @ Himley .. this was our first get-together since last August - we all first met during our  teenagers years at Short Cross Methodist, yes a long time ago!! But we've kept in touch ever since!!


Another walk on Friday 13th May, this time along the canal from the Stewpony to Kinver and back - with this photo of 'mommy duck' with her chicks .. and we saw many other little flocks along the walk. Spring is sprung indeed ..  !! More photos here


A fabulous long 'weekend away' at Catshill with Joy & Lynton Weston and Lynne & Ian Macrae, 6th April - 10th April. The weather was kind to us enabling visits over the days to Croome Park, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, The Barber Institute, Westminster Abbey climaxing nicely with afternoon tea at Claridges! More photos here


Loath them or love them, I thought the Royal Wedding on Friday 29th April, was a splendid National day of pubs/picnics/street parties/family get-togethers .. you didn’t need to like or watch the wedding to enjoy the additional Public Holiday for what it was .. Me? I spent the day in front of the TV.


Walking from the Trimpley Reservoir to Arley, again bathed in glorious sunshine on Thursday 28th April - I do hope summer hasn't already come & peaked!! We walked to Arley's Severn Valley railway station but sadly no steam trains were running; it would have made some good photos. More photos here


It was my birthday on Sunday 24th April, Easter Sunday, so we first went to church before going on with mom & Belinda to Bev's .. all her kids were home and we also had little Archie who brings a smile to all our faces. A lovely day of celebrations [church & personal] was had. More photos here


over Clent Hills on 23rd April 2011
23rd April 2011 would have been my dad's 95th birthday .. after my day out at Wren's Nest all day [see item below] I went to the Clent Hills to spend a little time at the spot where we had scattered his ashes .. this photo [of 3 stitched together!] shows the view from the spot


I went on Saturday 23rd April with Judith & George Tyler to the Wren's Nest National Nature Reserve on an organised tour to view the fossils & limestone rock formations. Apparently some of the fossils found there have not been found in any other location, thus making the Wren's nest an internationally important site for geology. The weather was fabulous; cloudless skies and temperatures in the high 70s Fahrenheit. We later went on a barge to view the underground limestone quarries from the late 1800s. More photos here
It was Pat Sanger's 50th birthday party on the evening of Friday 22nd April, which she held at the Patshull Park Hotel in Pattingham, for family and friends. The hotel is set in lovely scenic grounds; and a good night was had by all. I did duck out of the disco preferring to chat & catch up on the gossip with friends I hadn't seen for a while. More photos here
William (Bill) McBain during an Easter egg hunt - 22nd April 2011
My traditional Good Friday [22nd April], first going with mom to church for the 7.30am service. Then it's off to June & John's for my toasted tea cakes and Easter egg hunt! - as you can seem from the photo left, I was having a little trouble finding it!! More photos here



Continuing our walk, in stages, of the Worcestershire & Staffordshire Canal my neighbour Terry & I walk to Brinsford Bridge which meant we had to walk under the M54, quite a milestone for us - especially as it was a glorious & unseasonally hot [21st] April day. See more photos here



In Scotland from Friday 15th April to late Sunday 17th April at the marriage of Lesley Struther & Graeme Stewart at Alloway Parish Church on Saturday 16th April @ 2.15pm and afterwards at the Brig o' Doon House Hotel, Alloway. And of course it's always great to meet up with our cousin Morag and Bruce to gether with their daughters Karen & Fiona and families. It was the first time we had met some of their children. A good family weekend - as we always do when we go to Scotland! See the photos here


walking alongside the canal from the Stewpony towards Wolverhampton .. Wednesday 13th April 2011



June Hierons, Jayne & Naomi Leech and William / Bill mcBain - 13th April2011
Jayne & Naomi Leech were over from the UAE to finalise Naomi's university placement .. seen here on Wednesday 13th April 2011



The one week in the year when my cherry blossom looks good .. sadly the wind & rain will soon denude it of flowers!



Paul Scharner West Brom
What a fabulous day Saturday 9th April was .. the sun shone all day and  temperatures were up in the 20s .. I wore my shorts for the first time this year [yes, the good people at Tesco's were ‘afeared’ of my knees!!] AND 'The Baggies' achieved a great win against Sunderland thus giving us 7 points from three potentially difficult games at this crucial stage of the Premier League – while ‘all about us’ either drew or lost!! And as a certain Mrs Chris Homer told me yesterday @ Deb's 40th, "if Albion win tomorrow we'll stay up .. " - I'll go with that prediction!! So all is well with the world .. a celebratory glass of wine (@ 5pm!!) beckons .. !


William McBain at the Copthorne Hotel 8th April 2011
it was Deborah Westwood's 40th birthday party at the Copthorne Hotel @ Merry Hill. A splendid night with good food, good company and the wine was pretty good too .. Friday 8th April 2011. More photos here


Archie, bless him, shown here sat in front of the TV watching, we think, a cartoon for the first time. Quieter times at the Bevan's begin .. perhaps!!







Walking along the canal path into Birmingham centre today, 7th April, I noticed this sign as we passed under Galton Bridge .. I never realised it was once so unique!! History in our midst!!


William MxBain with Joy & Lynton Weston over the Malvern Hills on 6th April 2011
The 6th April was the warmest day of the year - so far!! Little did we know this [obviously!] when I along with Joy & Lynton Weston booked some months ago to see ‘Yes Prime Minister’ @ the Malvern Theatre. With such a lovely day a walk over the Malvern Hills, Elgar country, beforehand therefore called. Nice …!! A nice lunch was has too. More photos here


William McBain & Elsie Harvey - for Mothering Sunday 3rd April 2011
Filial duties for Mothering Sunday - 3rd April. At Short Cross in the morning, then mom went for a meal with barrie & Jane and then Belinda, Bev & I & co took her out in the afternoon. More photos here




Terry Curzon & William [Bill] McBain over Walton Hill on 31st March 2011
Another walk with Terry Curzon, shown here over Walton Hill on Thursday 31st March. It was a very windy day, which I needed to keep me from sweating too much - I found it a hard slog this time, having walked over both Clent & Walton Hills!! I am not fit ..
St Thomas's Church Stourbridge montage
The Rev John Vincent, who was the Founding Director of the Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield and former President of the Methodist Conference, was speaking at St Thomas's church in Stourbridge on Wednesday evening, 30th March, as part of their Lent courses. A number from Overend went .. a good evening, helped by meeting up to with friends I hadn't seen for a year or two!


the Rt Hon John Denham, speaking at Halesowen 30 March 11
I was invited by letter to go to hear John Denham, the Shadow Business Secretary, explain how the Labour Party is currently undertaking a number of such meetings throughout the UK to get feedback from folk like us and for us to provide our thoughts on what matters to us and hopefully help shape their future policy. I went as a non-partisan guy more for the experience. And of course the thirty or so people there had almost as many ideas of what was important to us!! i doubt the Labour Party got much from our gathering!! In halesowen, 30th March 20011


William (Bill) McBain and Terry Curzon
I went with Terry Curzon, my neighbour, for a sun-soaked walk over Wazeley Park on Friday 25th March. More photos here



Judith & George Tyler, Peter & Phylis Fisher, William (Bill) McBain, Belinda McBain
At Judith's for her birthday celebrations ... Wednesday 23rd March 2011.




I went with Judith & George for a 'What to look for in Spring' guided tour of the Wren's Nest national nature reserve on Wednesday 23rd March, led by the warden, looking for nature’s first signs of Spring. It’s been a long time since I’ve been looking for newts, frogspawn, bluebells and the like!! It may sound a little naff but it was actually quite interesting!! To see more photos click here
It was a good evening of fun, food, friends & frolics to celebrate Nicki's birthday on Saturday 19th March .. interrupted briefly to listen to the Prime Minister's TV broadcast about Libya - strange times!! To see more photos of the evening click here




I went walking over the Clent & Walton Hills on Friday 18 March 2011, a superbly sunny day, where we saw both newly-born lambs and the Air Ambulance landing on Clent Hills for an injured woman .. see the photos here


I went away with Joy & Lynton to stay for four days away in Torquay, staying with Lynne & Ian: 14th - 17th March 201. Places visited were Budleigh Sulterton, Totnes, Buckfast Abbey, Dartmouth and Coleton Fishacre - see the photos here


photo taken after a superb meal with Paul, my former boss, at Ian & Nando's - Saturday 12th March




walking the Netherton Canal on Thursday 10 March 2011 with my neighbour Terry, on our weekly walk. We got as far as the 1.7 mile tunnel @ Netherton and decided we needed a torch!! For another time ... more photos here


good heavens, Cradley Heath has just (9th March) got a mention in PMQs .. and yes, I do have PMQs on series-link and yes I do know I'm sad ... !!


It was Shrove Tuesday on 8th March .. so the pancake sirens were calling me. I met up with Bev, Belinda & Archie at mom's. This photo shows Archie having his first ever ST pancake, bless him. More photos here.


the Choir I'm in, VIH, held a social evening on Monday 7th March, part of which was a general knowledge quiz which Belinda, Pat, George & I organised. This photo shows Mark's wonderful pavlova donated as part of the buffet we all contributed to.


I went with Paul, George, Emma and Shirley to see the comedian Richard Herring at Wolverhampton on Saturday 5th March. An 'interesting' experience .. still not sure I enjoyed the experience or content!!


I saw this van recently while out driving .. just love the matching name and [almost there!!] number plate.




With my neighbour [on our weekly walks] I'm walking, in stages over the weeks, The Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal from Stourport to where it joins the Trent & Mersey canal, east of Stafford. It's a 'work in progress' .. this photo taken Thursday 3rd March shows a very muddy track & bank just outside Wolverhampton


Paul Bond, William (Bill) McBain & Graham Handley - Wednesday 2nd March 20011
I met up for lunch with Paul Bond and Graham Handley, who are two former work colleagues & close friends of mine, in the Edwardian Restaurant @ Birmingham Art Museum - Wednesday 2nd March 2011. We've known each other since 1969 so we were never short of anything to talk about!! More photos here


I went to to a 40s Night on Saturday 26th February, and though folk may think my wardrobe is rather ancient, sadly I could not find anything suitable to wear despite trawling friends & charity shops for items. But on the menu was rationed food: Black Pudding Hot-Pot, Steak and Potato Pie

Corned Beef Hash, Toad in the Hole, Blanquette of Chicken, Woolton Pie, Vegetable Curry & Fish Cakes .. though I do feel our portions were somewhat larger than wartime's!! More photos here


As part of my niece Bethany's ongoing birthday celebrations, all the sibling went to the Villa v Blackburn game on Saturday 26th February - they came away happy with a 4-1 win!! (l-r = Beth, Kate, Matt & Josh.)


Bethany McBain's 16th birthday

It was my niece Bethany's 16th birthday on Friday 25th February - we dropped in to help her celebrate; it's just what every 16 year old wants - 'oldies'  More photos here



Taken at & near the settling pool at Trimpley Reservoir during my weekly walk with my neighbour - Wednesday 24th February. More photos here



No map & no compass necessary as we know Cardingmill Valley & The Long Mynd like the back of our hand .. famous last words! Sadly when the mist came down when at the summit we got totally lost for 30 minutes until a path was found!! A lesson learnt me thinks .. more photos here


It was my Aunty May's 101st birthday on Saturday 19th February - what a fabulous achievement. The family gathered to celebrate and you can see all the photos here. But this photo [left] shows Archie @ age 1 + 50 = Belinda + 50 = Aunty May. Symmetry is maintained ..  :)


Bill McBain & Terry Curzon

At the summit of Walton Hill after walking over there and Clent Hill on Wednesday 16th February with my neighbour Terry


Archie James Bevan - 6 Feb 2011

Archie, bless him having us in tucks on Sunday 6th February with his range of face-pulls .. sadly I always clicked too late!! But he keeps us amused!


A rather secluded spot over the Wyre Forest - or so we thought - until horse after horse appeared!! Taken during a walk on Friday 4th February.


Has just returned from the Hawthorns [Tuesday 1st February] having watched West Brom play Wigan .. okay the score was 2 – 2 so equilibrium is maintained with a team we may, sadly, vie for relegation but where was the passion for survival guys?! We scraped through tonight with a draw .. I am hoarse with shouting and was not a pleasant person to be near … !!


William (Bill) McBain and Joy & Lynton Weston

I went to Joy & Lynton's Tuesday 1st February for a superb lunch with chat & natter catching up of the gossip. Very pleasant.


Having spent 3 days more or less confined to the house due to a heavy cough & cold, I went out with Terry on our weekly walk on Friday 28th January - this time over Bluebell Wood near Clent. But glad to get home to warmth!! 


We met for lunch at Beverly's on Sunday 23rd January meeting up with my nephew James and partner Viv - this was our long postponed pre-Christmas meeting which had been twice planned before Christmas but both times plans thwarted because of the awful snow falls experienced. More photos here  


Judith Tyler & William (Bill) McBain

We held a Burns Night party at Judith & George's on Saturday 22nd January where we tried to follow the true traditions of the evening with the piping in the haggis, the saying of the Selkirk Grace and where Angus Alston did a splendid Address to the Haggis. Tartan and ginger hair were aplenty!! More photos and a few YouTube video clips here  


My mother, bless her, has bought me this WBA garden gnome .. it's far too good to subject to the elements so now has a warm & cosy spot in my bathroom ...


william [bil] mcbain 13th january 2011 seen here over the lickey hills

Me and the folly at the top of the Lickey Hills .. there as part of our weekly walk on Thursday 13th January. And to avoid any confusion, the folly is on the right!!


A short video clip taken from a recently found Cine-Film of a bed-push I took part in way back as a 19
year old when ‘our gang’ pushed the bed the 15 miles from Halesowen to Stourport in aid of leukaemia research. I find this clip fascinating, not only because sponsored events were relatively unheard of then, but because ‘Health & Safety’ was obviously an unknown concept – as is clearly demonstrated by our total lack of!! See the YouTube video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypQaO73Icmo&hd=1


Meeting for a coffee at the Merry Hill centre for Beverly's birthday .. seen here with Abigail, Bev, Archie, Belinda, Mom, me & Jane - Thursday 6th January. More photos here

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