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this page was last updated on 05 December 2016


Archie James Bevan 5th birthday

Archie James Bevan

at my great-nephew Archie's 5th birthday party - seen here just about to blow out his candles. (Wednesday 31st December 2014.) More photos here


Handel by Candlelight

on Sunday 28th December I went with Judith & George to hear the best bits of Handel's music at the Symphony Hall in Brum. fabulous and atmospheric music - more photos here


Bill / William McBain Boxing Day 2014

Boxing Day @ Bev's

our now annual trek to the wilds of Shropshire for Boxing Day lunch with Bev and her brood - it was good to meet Adam's girlfriend Anna for the first time. Photo show here is me with young Archie's blow-up dinosaur .. many were [rudely, in my mind] confused as to who was whom!! More photos here.


Belinda McBain, Nicki Bainbridge & William McBain 25/12/14

Christmas Day @ Belinda's

a lovely meal at my sister's - I just love turkey with all the trimmings followed by the oh-so-superb Christmas pudding with custard & brandy sauce - my absolute favourites!!!! Followed by the Queen's Speech so what's not to like eh?! More photos here


Katie McBain, Joshua McBain, Matthew McBain, Alexander Joel Bevan, Belinda McBain, Jane McBain Christmas Eve 2014

Christmas Eve @ Barrie & Jane's

probably my favourite family time of the year when all family members who can make it gather at my brother's [it used to be at mum's when she could cope with the numbers] to exchange presents. It was a lovely time of fun & fellowship. More photos here


Ex Cathedra

with with Eleanor Rushbury at a wonderful candle-lit Concert of Christmas music in Birmingham - Monday 22nd December. I personally think they're one of the finest Choirs in Britain. The mulled wine and home-made mince pies helped! A good precursor to Christmas.

Nine Lessons and Carols

a lovely mini-Carols from Kings style service at St Thomas' church in Stourbridge 21/12. They have a lovely Choir, augmented for the evening, and it really was lovely to hear all this marvelous music envelop me. Photos here


WW1 truce on Christmas Day remembered

local Halesowen churches came together on Sunday 21st December at Halesowen Town football club to hold a carol service to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of this famous truce. It was an excellent well put together event - you can see more photos here


Reunion night .. !

meeting up tonight with friends from my mid-teens' days (a while ago - obviously!!) @ youth club at Short Cross Methodist .. we meet 2 or 3 times a year and always have a good laugh, which is what made us friends in the first place ‪#‎happydays Wednesday 17th December @ Himley!


Voices in Harmony

Voices in Harmony - Christmas Concert

singing with VIH, we held our annual Christmas concert on Saturday 13th December at Holy Trinity church. We were joined by our junior choir Pure Harmony and just 7 [but most effective] players from the Flowers brass band. It was a splendid evening and a lovely precursor to the festivities!


mum at Save the Children shop

even at 92 my wonderfully energetic mother still spends half a day volunteering at the Save the Children charity shop in Halesowen - seen here on 12th December with the other volunteers showing off their Christmas jumpers


a walk @ Haden Hill Park!

the trees are looking a little forlorn at this stage of autumn [or is it now winter?]. Taken during a walk over Haden Hill park on Friday 12th December


Cousins' furniture

bought at vast expense on 14th february and eventually delivered in July (!!) it developed faults within 3 weeks. This is how it looks now .. and  though they agreed to repair it, here I am on the cusp of a new year and I still have faulty furniture!! Shame on you Cousins furniture of Dudley .. !!


Ian Macrea, Lynton Weston & Bill McBain

a weekend 'away' in Catshill .. !!

staying with Joy & Lynton along with Lynne & Ian 'away' in catshill, Bromsgrove - 14th - 17th November 2014. Our usual good time of getting out & about exploring NT houses and finding new restaurants - plus much food & drink and laughter at the Weston's ... very nice indeed. More photos here.


Festival of Remembrance

sing with VIH Choir at our annual FoR an evening of remembrance we share with the Cradley Heath Salvation Army. We were joined this year by James Morris MP and his with together with the mayor of Sandwell and Consort. The photo shows an authentic WW1 uniform. More photos here


buying my poppy

the In buying my poppy from this guy in Stourbridge 2nd November I started asking about his medals and which he prized the most ... he pointed to his D-Day landing medal and we chatted more. It turns out he was in the Royal Marine commandoes and went ashore in the first wave of the attack on Sword Beach. How often do we just look through quiet and unassuming 'old folk' [yes, I know I'm knocking at that particular door!!] without realising what a rich history they hold.

Dr Carl Macrae

my friends Lynne & Ian were so proud their son was mentioned in The Times on Friday 31st October ... well done Carl


Wazeley Park

the leave are definitely falling, here's a lovely autumnal carpet of them! Walking over Wazeley Park in lovely sunshine on Thursday 30 October 14


Archie James Bevan

my great-nephew all track-suited up for his first ever football training session. I'm sure this is how Beckham started .. !! There's another photo to see here


Dowles Brook

just about to cross the wooden bridge over the brook in Wyre Forest during our walk - 23rd October 2014


the final service at St Luke's Church @ Cradley Heath

It was St Luke's "final service and pilgrimage to St John's" on Sunday 19th October at 10.30am led by the Bishop of Dudley. It was an emotional service especially on leaving the church for the procession to St John's in Dudley Wood where there was a service of welcome. Another photo here


christening of Henry Corben Lynton Guest

Henry's christening
I was at the christening of Henry Corben Lynton Guest on Sunday 12th October at the High Town Ragged School in Cradley

Graham Handley, Bill McBain and Paul Bond

the 'Personnel Team'!
taken Friday 10th October at the Circuit Ladies' Choir concert held at Short Cross Methodist church and where my former boss Paul Bond [on the right] played the piano. Also seen left is Graham Handley - the 3 of us were the Personnel Team at the MPR Regional Headquarters back in the 70s. Happy days.

Kinver Edge
walking over Kinver Edge with my neighbour Terry, on Thursday 9th October. More photos here

Prayer Meeting at Overend Mission
a meeting at church on Tuesday 7th October, led by Emma Alston on the Autumn and the changing seasons

Bill McBain, Margaret & keith Bradley, John & Brenda Woodhouse, Frank Chater, betty Corey, Madeline Blunt

at Stone Manor for lunch
11 of us from church having a lazy time in the sun on the patio at the hotel after a lovely lunch - 2 October 2014

my Grandfather McBain's name is read out during the Roll of Honour at the Tower of London
In a very moving act of remembrance, my grandfather's name was,
was at sunset on Monday 22nd September, among the 140 or so names - part of a nightly event to mark the 100 anniversary of WW1. You can see a video of the event HERE [you can skip to 2 minutes if you only want to hear my grandfather's name].

Greenwich & Tower of London
On our second and final day at Greenwich, we visited the Observatory and saw the panoramic view of London and also the internation meridian line where East meets West. We then went by ferry on the Thames where we spent the whole afternoon and early evening at the Tower of London. The sun shone and everything looked so good. More photos here

Bill McBain & Judith Tyler

Greenwich Sunday 21st September
Away for a couple of days with Judith & George, visiting the Cutty Sark and enjoed a guided tour of the streets of the town and its wonderful naval history - more photos here

flags from 1707
These were suggestions for the new flag at the time of the union of Scotland & England in the 1707 Act of Union ,,, here's hoping that come Friday, and 307 years on, the Union Flag still flies #letsstaytogether

#BetterTogether - PM's speech - 15th September
David Cameron's final speech held in Aberdeen where he passionately sought a NO vote in the impending Scottish Referendum. This is my summation of his whole speech into various bits @ 5 minutes. You can watch the video here

Bill McBain at Nimmins cafe       at Clent Hills 10 September 2014

Clent & Walton Hills - 10th September
walking over Clent & Walton hills on Wednesday 10th September in lovely sunshine. It was, for me, an exhausting walk at 2 hours .. but I know I'm well out of condition!! A cup of tea and a sausage sandwich beckoned afterwards at the Nimmins car park cafe!! See more photos here

Bill McBain in Birmingham UK 8th September 2014

Brum in the Sun - 8th September
even Birmingham looked good in the sun today .. !! Having to be in Brum I took these random shot photos taken on my iPhone so the quality's not brillian but it was an opportunity not to miss. See more photos here

Play Video

PMQs 3rd September - about the Scottish referendum
a YouTube clip of a question posed during PMQs about the effect of a break-up of the UK. I liked David Cameron's response. Better Together indeed. See the video here

Archie James Bevan - first day at school 3 September 2014

Archie James Bevan - first day at school
My great-nephew starts school today 3rd September - so confident & independent that, as you can see from one of photos, he just ploughed on with Amie having to find him to say goodbye. Let's hope that lasts!. More photos of his 1st day can be seen here

Bill McBain at Bletchley Park on Friday 29th September 2014

Bletchley Park - home of the code breakers
went there on Friday 29th August. Fabulous place to visit to see the captured German Enigma machine, and of course the Colossus the world's first semi programmable computer. More photos of the day can be seen here

the McBains' triple ice bucket challenge 27th August
having been 'challenged' by Bev for the Ice Bucket challenge Jane, Belinda & Katie decided on a 'mass pouring' ... you can see the YouTube video here

Bethany McBain in Ghana with Thrive Africa - August 2014

Bethany in Ghana
my niece Bethany McBain is away with her university working in Ghana for a short while with the charity 'Thrive Africa' - August 2014

Elsie Harvey's birthday cake presented by Katie McBain

my mum's 92nd birthday party
on a cold, dull and dismal Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2014 the family held a birthday party for mum at Bev's. Great time and a good laugh as always was had. You can see more photos of the party here

Bill McBain at the Dawlish air show - 23rd August 2014

Dawlish air show - 23rd August
if lovely warm sunshine we sat [on a somewhat precarious position!] on the harbour wall and sat for over 3 hours watching a superb air show which included the Red Arrows and culminated in the WW2 memorial Flight of a lancaster, spitfire & hurricane - and we were especially lucky to have another lancaster from Canada join in!! fabulous sight & sound! More photos of the day can be seen here

William McBain with Joy & Lynton Weston and Lynne & Ian Macrae

Sidmouth - 22nd August
I was away for a long weekend with Joy & Lynton Weston and Lynne & Ian Macrae and on the Friday we went to Sidmouth for a trek around the town followed by lunch at our 'benchmark hotel' The Belmont - we weren't disappointed! More photos here

Peter Fisher's 60th birthday party
we gathered, as we do .. !! Plenty of food and drink made for a splendid evening - and where my nephew Matt made an appearance before going in to Birmingham with Peter's lad Matt. You can see more photos of the party here

William McBain at Dudmaston Hall 14th August 14

at Dudmaston Hall - 14th August
As part of our usual weekly walk we went this week to a local National Trust place @ Dudmaston hall where they have extensive grounds and gardens. We managed for 2 hours before needing to find the tea shop!

Cradley remember the 133 local people who died in WW1 - on Monday 4th August 2014 the local community came together, in the 'Avenue of Remembrance in the grounds of St Peter's parish church, It was an extremely well organised event and it's not often we as a community get together. We even featured as the headlines on BBC Midlands Today that evening! You can see more photos of this event

Overend Methodist Mission commemorates 100 WW1 anniversary

Overend Methodist remembers 100 yr anniversary of the start of WW1 - on the evening on Sunday 3rd August the members of my church @ Overend held a special service to commemorate WW1 100 years on. The Royal British Legion were there along with Baroness Kennedy of Cradley [and her husband Lord Kennedy] and our local MP James Morris. It was a moving ceremony where all names of the 133 men killed in the Great War from the [then] village of Cradley were noted. More photos here.  You can see a YouTube clip of the service here

katie McBain and Bethany McBain - 2nd August 2014

Bethany's Fundraising event - Saturday 2nd August
My niece Bethany is off to Africa soon with the charity 'Thrive Africa' and has to raise enough money to fund her flight and accomodation when there, hence this afternoon of fundraising. A bouncy castle, my brother's Barrie's band played and later the band 'Deaf Inspector' also played for us. It was a good afternoon where a lot of people turned up and spent money!! Katie's cakes, as always, were a hit!!. More photos here

Commonwealth Games - Wednesday 30th July 2014
Day 3 in Glasgow and our second day at the Games - athletics for both morning and evening sessions. We were lucky enough to see 8 finals and then 8 medal ceremonies. Great, though my voice did give way . More photos here

Beverly Bevan, belinda McBain and Bill Mcbain on their was to the Commonwealth Games July 2014

Commonwealth Games - Tuesday 29th July 2014
With Bev & Belinda and staying at my cousin Morag's, we went to the swimming on the Tuesday morning followed by a wonder round Glasgow city centre soaking up the Games' atmosphere - then on the evening went to Lesley & Ian's for a catch-up with the Macmillan's .. more photos here

Cal's art exhibition - 3rd July 2014
His latest exhibition was held in Stourbridge on the evening. Good to see some new items out. More photos here

my brother Barrie's birthday bash - 3rd July 2014
The family gathered to help my brother celebrate his birthday. Fire regulations prevented his full allocation of candles on the cake!!

Halesowen parish church - on 11th June 2014

A number of us from Overend Methodist went to St John's on a lovely sunny evening for a prayer meeting led by the Vicar there. You can see more photos here


Queen's Baton relay @ Birmingham - 2nd June 14
The relay is part of a world tour for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games and a former BB lad of ours, Adam Ruckwood, was chosen to be the guy to start the relay in Brum - Adam won a gold medal in swimming at a previous C/Games. You can see more photos here

remembering my sister Barbara - 1st June 14
as we have done every year since Barbara died in 1998 we go first to Short Cross church and then go to Clent were her ashes were scattered. And we stayed on at the Nimmins car-park cafe for their doorstep bacon sandwiches!. A few more photos here

Bill McBain at the BBC Midlands studio

Clent, Birmingham, the BBC & the Hippodrome
Staying for a few days with Joy & Lynton, on 27th May we went first for a walk over Clent followed by a trip into Birmingham visiting The Cube & BBC Midlands studio and then going to the Hippodrome for an early evening meal there followed by the show 'two men - one governor' on 27th May 2014!. A few more photos of our day here

William McBain at bewdley May 2014

Bewdley and Dudmaston Hall - 26th May 2014
With Joy & Lynton and Lynne & Ian we spent the day at Bewdley walking along the river and enjoying a drink and soaking up the lovely sun and heat overlooking the river Servern. Then off to Dudmaston Hall [a National Trust place!!] where we had lunch and managed a good walk in their gardens and grounds. More photos here

my first meeting with my great-niece Kiki - 19th May
Two car loads of us descended on the village of Littlewick Green to visit Abigail & Alan for our forst glimpse of Kiki. It was a beautiful sunny day so we had a picnic on the village green come cricket ground - this is often used as a backdrop on the TV series Inspector Morse! This photo [left] shows the 4 generations in the family - my mum, beverly Bevan, Abigail Smallwood and Kiki. Other photos here

Dr Alexander Joel Bevan on his 30th birthday

Dr Alexander Joel Bevan - celebrates his 30th
Helping my nephew Ali celebrate his first birthday after qualifying as a medical doctor! He was back from London for the weekend and we went to Bev's for lunch and to see him. Other photos here

'A Passion for Birmingham'
I went into Birmingham with Margaret & Keith to see a local theatre group perform this Passion Play - held in many streets and building in the city centre. It was a good precursor to Easter! A few photographs here

Michael Collie of BBC fame with mum and family

Michael Collie @ a VIH Choir concert - 5th April
The photo shows my mum, Belinda McBain, Jane McBain and Nicki Bainbridge with Michael Collie of the BBC Midlands Today who was the compere at our concert - held at the Cornbow Hall in Halesowen

Bill McBain over Clent April 2014

a misty Kinver Edge - 3rd April 2014
as part of our walk we walked the top of Kinver Edge where the cloud had descended and this was our view from the top! I think I prefer sunny vistas ... !!

Elsie Harvey @ Halesowen on Mothering Sundat 2014 - with Bill McBain

Mothering Sunday - 30th March 2014
going first to Short Cross Methodist and then to Belinda's for a family get-together to help mum celebrate her day. There are more photos here

a flooded Kinver!
we usually walk though this field at Kinver, not wade around it. The effect of too much rain. No wonder much of the UK is flooded - 5th February

sunrise at the Belmont hotel in Sidmouth - with Bill McBain

A long weekend break in Sidmouth - 10/13 January
I was away with Lynne & Ian and Joy & Lynton for a long weekend in Sidmouth, staying at one of our favourite hotels The Belmont - food there is superb! And the weather wasn't back either and we got out & about and you can see our photos here

John Jeavons, Bill McBain and David bump into each other in the Wyre Forest - 8th January 2014

and look who I bumped into ...
It was my first walk of the new year and we went into the depths of the Wyre Forest. And when far from the madding crowd we bumped into John & David drinking coffee on a bench I never knew existed!! We're old friends from Boys' Brigade days - 8th January 2014


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