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William Tromans McBain

visiting my great nephew & great niece - 21st November 2015

seeing for the first time the latest additions to the family Jack James & Lily Mae @ Jodie & Simon's home in London. A good day out - helped by West Brom beating Arsenal .. !! More photos here


Canal at Kinver - 13th November 2015

the canal covered in leaves, after a night of heavy winds. Not many leaves left on the branches after the visit from 'Storm Abigail'


William McBain, Belinda McBain & Nicki Bainbridge - at Voices in Harmony FoR November 2015

Festival of Remembrance - 7th November 2015

at Voices in Harmony's annual Festival of Remembrance along with Cradley Heath Salvation Army's band held on Saturday 7/11. More photos here


"I'm not getting my hair wet" - 6th November 2015

my mum, having just had her hair done, decided it was not going to get wet in her walk to my car


Belinda Joy McBain and William Tromans McBain at an 'allo 'allo party

'allo 'allo evening - 31st October 2015

an excellent night of fancy dress, entertainment and food. Seen here with my sister Belinda. More photos here


my Wi-Fi connection - 26th October 2015

I think Virgin broadband had a surge - but this "ain't bad" a wi-fi speed I got in my living room [the router being upstairs!]. 


Belinda McBain, Beverly Bevan, Morag & Bruce Arthur, William McBain, Bill McBain, Nicki Bainbridge

family meal - 25th October 2015

finishing off Marag & Bruce's visit with a family meal in Stourbridge. Mum enjoyed catching up.


our Scottish cousins are here! - 23/25 October 2015

A short but intense few days where Morag & Bruce came and stayed at Bev's - Belinda & I stayed too. This photo shows us having fun with Siri. More photos here


walking towards Birmingham - 22nd October 2015

starting at Smethwick Galton Bridge, we walked the canal until we got tp the Symphony Hall. We then walked to see the very impressive newly refurbished New Street Station


car vandalism at Kinver - 16th October 2015

not a good end to our walk over Kinver. We came back to the secluded car park to find 4 cars (including my neighbour terry's wife's car) had had their 4 rear-screens smashed in and their boots rummaged for valuables. More photos here


the saga of my burst water pipe - 2nd/8th October 2015

Thank goodness for insurance! A burst pipe somewhere under the house flooded the kitchen floor so the water had to be turned off outside the house on Friday 2nd October - so I've been without any running water until Thursday 8th October!! Trenches had to be dug under the kitchen sink and outside the house both front and back!! More photos here


Boys' Brigade annual Founder's Day Parade - 4th October 2015

A lovely sunny day in Halesowen where this year's BB & GB Founder's Day parade and service. It was held in St John the Baptist church which is a beautiful and historic church - services have been held on this site for over 1000 years. More photos here


In Torquay - 27/30 September 2015

A superb few days away with Joy & Lynton staying with Lynne & Ian. We struck lucky with the weather - the sun shone, full stop! Visits to Teignmouth, Salcombe, Hope Cove and Dartmoor Prison [visiting the museum only!! More photos here


I'm a great-uncle again x 2 - 23rd September 2015

I'm so pleased that my niece Jodie safely delivered twins today - Jack James and Lily Mae. More photos here


'King Charles III' at the Rep - 10th September 2015

I saw Robert Powell in this superb production at the Birmingham Rep - coincidentally the day after HMQ’s longevity was celebrated but which opened with her (future!!) funeral service! If you have the chance to see it, go for it. Don’t be put off by swathes of the dialogue parodying Shakespearean verse, it really is in keeping and the play has you laughing out loud before plunging you into a more serious Constitutional crisis.


a day in London - 9th September September 2015

a good out out courtesy of cheap train tickets!! It was by coincidence the Queen's record-breaking day re longevity of her reign. The photo is of Westminster Abbey which was giving a most wonderful peel of bells, giving a lovely atmosphere. It's just a pity that as we ate our picnic lunch in St James' Park w heard strange siren-like noises; it was only later we found out it was a special flotilla of boats [including the royal barge] to celebrate the special day. A photo opportunity lost!! There are more photos here


walking to Hampton Loade - 3rd September 2015
    enjoyed walking along the banks of the Severn .. with the added benefit of seeing locos from the SVR now and again. There are more photos here

mum's birthday bash - part 3 of 3 - Chelmarsh - 30th August 2015
    final part of mum's birthday celebrations held at Bev's - it was good Abi, Alan & Kiki and Adam & Anna were able to come back and join us. More photos here

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Colin Russ @ Overend Methodist - 30th August 2015
    Colin was our visiting preacher on the morning and coincidentally Paul Maley was visiting too ... Colin used to me my Sunday School teacher at Short Cross many years ago (!!) and I was Paul's Sunday School teacher also at Short Cross a few less years ago!! Three generations ....

mum's birthday bash - part 2 of 3 - 'at home' - 26th August 2015
    It's mum's birthday today 26th August and it was open house - seen here about 5pm. More photos here

mum's birthday bash - part 1 of 3 - on SVR - 23rd August 2015
    An early 'party' for mum's 93rd birthday, we had a day out on the Severn Valley Railway [starting off in lovely sunshine but ending in rain!!] travelling from Kidderminster to Highley where we stopped off for lunch. A good family day out. More photos here

walking in Halfpenny Green woods - 13 August  
    Another walk this time in the woods near to Halfpenny Green airport

walking from Trimpley Reservoir to Arley - 6 August  
    A good 2 hour walk with my neighbour Terry, and being lucky enough to see the SVR locos from time to time along the way. More photos here

"if you go down to the woods today .. " - 30 July  
    I think we got a little lost in the depths of Wyre Forrest

a bolshie heron - 16 July  
    walking along the canal towpath near Kinver, this heron didn't wand to cede his ground .. !

Joshua McBain

my nephew Joshua giving a talk  
    Josh giving a talk on the use of self-deprecating advertising - see a short video clip here

local history talk - 9th July  
    Margaret Bradley, local historian, held another one of her talks on local history, usually just on Cradley. Tonight she was talking about my old stomping ground of Hawne House, Corgreaves Hall and nearby Hawne Colliery. There were about 120 people there - who'd have thought local history would be so popular!!

Magna Carta exhibition - 8th July  
    in London solely to go to this exhibition at the British Library. When I booked the tickets way back in January the BL's website said "that to mark its 800th anniversary we are holding a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ exhibition. I have seen two of the four original 1215 Magna Carta documents, together with Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the USA’s Declaration of Independence and one of the original copies of the US Bill of Rights, both on display in the UK for the first time." #fabulous

William / Bill McBain at Benthall House 7 July 2015

at Benthall Hall - 7th July   
    a lovely day out with my cousins Val & David Coley on a sunny/rainy/windy [choose as application for the time of day!!] visiting the national trust place way out in the deoths & wilds of Shropshire. More photos here

Belinda Joy McBain - her 2015 birthday cake

my sister's birthday party - 4th July  
    with the UK still basking in lovely sunshine & heat belinda held her birthday bash, and we were able to sit outside all night. Food, wine & good company - what's not to like!! More photos here

the nation remembers - 3rd July  
    a very dignified one-minutes silence was held today across the UK to remember the 30 Brits murdered in Tunisia a week ago today.

an Overend 'garden party' - 1st July  
    on the hottest night of the year it was good to be able to sit out into the late hours in the garden of Pat Withers who hosted Overend Mission's annual 'Guild' garden party - good food, wine & company - and more photos can be seen here

Archie James Bevan

Archie's first school Sports Day - 24th June  
    my great-nephew Archie trying his best at the archery during sports day - best place to stand was behind him #safetyfirst

a walk over the Lickey Hills - 24th June  
    a lovely walk in warm sunshine over the Lickey Hills today -with a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich as my 'prize' for such a physical effort!!!

Roger Moore, James Bond, or not?! 
    From Overend we held 'Prayers for those in prison' at this beautiful church in Clent when worship has been held on that site for over 1000 years!! St Leonard is the patron saint for prisoners. More photos here

at St Leonard's church, Clent - 17th June  
    From Overend we held 'Prayers for those in prison' at this beautiful church in Clent when worship has been held on that site for over 1000 years!! St Leonard is the patron saint for prisoners. More photos here

Voices in Harmony choir

Singing with VIH Choir - 12th June  
    At a Concert to raise funds for 'Action for Children' a charity supported by the Methodist Church. Our young people's Choir Pure Harmony were superb and you can see a couple more photos here

Dudmaston Hall - 11th June  
    It was 'walking day' on Thursday 11/06, around the grounds of Dudmaston Hall [a National Trust place] and thankfully in glorious sunshine. More photos here

William McBain, Elsie Harvey, Tig & Dr Alexander Bevan 6th June 2015

Bev's Royal Marsden Hospital fundraiser - 6th June  
    The Marsden in London is a world-leading cancer centre specialising in diagnosis, treatment, care, education and research. It is where my sister Bev's husband Rob was treated before his untimely death 20 years ago. This event (an afternoon tea followed by an evening BBQ) held at my sister's home on a sunny but oh so windy day, was too raise much needed funds towards cancer research. See loads more photos from the afternoon's gathering and the evening BBQ here

Joy & Lynton Weston, William McBain & ian Macrae

'away' in Catshill - 1st/4th June 
    I stayed at Joy & Lynton's along with Lynne & Ian, and even though the weather was pretty poor we nonetheless filled our 4 days together, visiting Croft Castle, Worcester and the theatre at Malvern. See a few photos here

Obama photo  
    A mate of mine & I have over the years tried to out-do each other in terms of what we've done, where we've been, who we've seen and who we've met. He's just emailed me this photo of his Godson (who just happens to be David Cameron's private secretary!) meeting President Obama and I'm thinking the only way I can trump this is by taking a selfie with the Queen .... so I'm looking for people who may have such connections ‪#‎help‬

Eurovision Song Contest party - 24th May 2015 
    I haven't watched the ESC for years because it's usually so rubbish! But I was at Paul & Deb's party and the good food and the plentiful supply of wine made the 3 hours of TV bearable .. !! We had a good laugh though no one's yet explained how Australia became a temporary European for the night!!

Voices in Harmony Choir

joint Concert at Dudley Town Hall - 16th May 2015 
    I was with VIH Choir who were invited as the guests of the gentlemen Songsters Male Voice Choir at Dudley's Town Hall on the Saturday evening. We made a good noise together!!

Hampton Court Palace - 11th May 2015 
    we went to HCP [my first trip] and again we were blessed with lovely sunshine and warmth!! We were therefore able to go on an organised tour of the gardens that lasted just over an hour - but the history of the house & gardens is intertwined. I never realised how huge the Palace is, so much so we hardly scratched the surface of things to see. We never got as far as the famous Maze!! We are to come back again and finish the job someday. More photos of the day here

Bill McBain with Judith & George Tyler at Richmond on Thames 10 May 2015

at Richmond on Thames - 10th May 2015 
    a few days away staying in the stunning town of Richmond - I went with Judith & George. We stayed at a lovely hotel just over the road from Richmond Park where in glorious sunshine we had a picnic lunch and later, before dinner, we drove through the massive park. Herds of deer and stags were there in abundance. After rather too may pre-diner drinks we sat down for a lovely meal at the hotel. Off to Hampton Court Palace tomorrow. There are more photos here

Kiyomi's 1st birthday - 3rd May 2015 
    It was Kiki's 1st birthday party being held in the village of of Littlewick Green. A lovely two hours of family & friends watching the kids play games and the like.  More photos of the day here

Organ Recital - 2nd May 2015 
    I went to a splendid organ recital held at St Thomas; church in Stourbridge. A good bit of culture before the football kicks in!!

General Election candidates' debate - 1st May 2015 
    at a candidates' election debate for the Stourbridge constituency - a good bit of banter

Kiyomi (Kiki) Smallwood on her first birthday

Kiyomi's 1st birthday - 27th April 2015 
    my great niece 'Kiki' celebrated her 1st birthday by learning to walk - see some of her first steps in this video here

Pure Harmony sing for St George - 25th April 2015 
    as part of Dudley MBC's celebration of St George, PH sang for half an hour in the Borough's celebrations of our patron saint - see a video of their singing HERE

my birthday - 24th April 2015 
    The sun continues to shine! Out during the day and then out in the evening with Judith & George Tyler to watch a play and then back to theirs for food and [yet more] drinks!

walking on Kinver Edge - 23rd April 
    Enjoying this week's lovely sunshine, on our weekly walk we were joined by Mike Standen, down for a few days from York and staying with my neighbour. Another photo here

St George's Day - 23rd April 
    This is the St George's Day card I produced via Moonpig and sent to family & friends in celebration of our National Day

a good day out on Wednesday 22nd April 2015 
    A good day - first walking along the Birmingham canal in glorious sunshine to The Mailbox where I met Joy & Lynton for lunch. Then we were off to the Alexandra Theatre to watch 'The Producers' a gloriously funny musical with plenty of laugh-out-loud silliness and good songs. Main characters were played by Phill Jupitus & Jason Manford (he's been in 'Ordinary Lies' on BBC1 these past few weeks) and who has a remarkably good singing voice. And then the day was rounded off nicely when Joy & I went to Himley to meet up on the night with Alex, Pat & Deb for our 'teenage gang' reunion. Another photo here

The tale of a bugle - 20th April 2015 
    I moved out of my house in Kestrel Road in August 1987 - last night the buyers of that house knocked on my door and handed over a (Boys' Brigade) bugle they had found lurking in a corner of their garage ... so no rush there then - though tbf it does sort of match my own 'manyana' pace of life!!

"This Joyful Eastertide" - Easter Sunday - 5th April 2015 
    Two lovely church services morning & evening celebrating Easter. We also met for a family lunch at my sister Bev's - and of course the 'obligatory' group photo was taken which can be seen here

Judith's 60th birthday weekend - 21/22 March 2015 
    We celebrated Judith's birthday with a meal at Stone Manor on the Saturday lunchtime for family and 3 of us close friends. A lovely meal and then relaxing in the hotel afterwards. A party for friends on the Saturday night with a further party on Sunday night for other friends! She actually celebrates her birthday on the Monday, 23rd! More photos here

Beverly Bevan, Dr Alexander Bevan, Barrie & Jane McBain, katie McBain, Elsie Harvey, Belinda McBain, Alan, Abigail & Kiki Smallwood - 15th March 2015

Mothering Sunday - 15th March 2015 
    As is usual, we took mum to her church in the morning and then it was off to Belinda's for lunch and the usual family gathering - we had a good turnout! You can see more photos here

Comic Relief / Red Nose Day - 13th March 2015 
    ah Bless him!! My great-nephew Archie all red haired & nosed-up and ready for RND events at school

At the Birmingham Repertory Theatre  - 7th March 2015 
    a good play 'Back Down' advertised as “Never been camping before. None of us have, but how hard can it be?” Standing outside afterwards I thought how good the Symphony Hall, the revamped Rep, the new Library and Baskerville House look.

William (Bill) McBain, Joy & Lynton Weston and Lynne & Ian Macrae - Torquay 3rd March 2015

Torquay - 1st/4th March 2015 
    a good few days staying with friends in Torquay with much fun, food & drink! A highlight was the organised visit to the Britannia Naval College at dartmouth. Wonderful building; wonderful history .. just sad we don't have a decent Navy anymore! Photos here

Exmouth - 1st March 2015 
    with Joy & Lynton en route to Torquay to stay with Lynne & Ian for a few day, we stopped off at a beautifully sunny Exmoth for a walk and a spot of lunch. The only problem was the wind!! I think it must have been nr gale-force as the sand being whipped up off this beach actually hurt the face - with sand in ears, eyes, mouth and hair! It later took a couple of showers to get rid of it!!

Elsie Lillian Harvey (McBain) receives her 25 yr   certificate from Save the Children - Halesowen 1st March 2015

Mum's 25 years' certificate - 1st March 2015 
    my mother has been working as a volunteer in the Save the Children charity shop in Halesowen for 25 years. She and other who also rec'd 25 years' service awards were honoured at a ceremony in Halesowen on Sunday 1st March. Another photo here




    cafe at Arley - 27th February 2015 
      walking around Trimpley Reservoir and sitting out for a welcomed cup of tea and a bacon sandwich, in what was probably the warmest day of the year - not bad for February! I was just about to take a photo of a robin perched so close to me and just as I snapped it flew off to be replaced by this predator!! It's all in the timing, you know!!!


the King's Speech - 25th February 2015 
    I saw an excellent stage production of the King's Speech at the Birmingham Rep. It had everything, pathos & humour and the Australian speech therapist was played by Jason Donnova!

funeral of Roy Perry - 23rd February 2015 
    it's often not till you go to someone's funeral that you get to know them! I knew Roy from his membership of Voices in Harmony choir, and we heard he joined the Grenadier Guards at the age of 18 and just in time for D-Day where he was part of a bren gun carrier. He went all the way to Berlin, aided survivors from the 'death camps' and also ran for the 'Army England' in the 1936 Olympic Stadium in Berlin. He also served in the Middle East prior to the formation of the State of Israel. It was a well attended service with his coffin draped in the Union Flag and escorted by members of the Guards' Association.

my niece Bethany @ 20 - 22nd February 2015 
    an early birthday cake for Beth while she's back for the weekend from Uni - her actual birthday looms in a few days. See another photo here

at the Hawthorns - 14th February 2015 
    an excellent 4 - 0 win over West Ham in the FA Cup game .. seen here with Stephen Bradley. The Quarter Finals beckon.

Fox News at its 'best' 
    Such a good send-up of Fox News by Charlie Brooker in his "Weekly Wipes" on BBC4 - it's only 1 minute long and well worth a watch - you may even add his programme to your EPG/Recorder!! No thanks needed. Watch the video HERE

Jenny Cole, Bill McBain and Joyce Skelton - at All Bar One 23/01/15

an office reunion 

meeting up for lunch at All Bar One in Birmingham with former colleagues Jenny Cole and Joyce Skelton - 23 January 2015


a nail-clipper needed perhaps?

some horns these are - no idea what breed etc but seen while walking at Hampton Loade 22 January 15


a blocked canal 

if you're going to try a 3-point-turn it best not to try it with a narrow boat when on a canal - seen here having got stuck and blocking all traffic! Friday 16 Januart over Kinver Edge and lunch in the village - 8th January. This old Ford Consul is still going!! Another photo of me on the edge of the Edge here


Skype come to my TV 

so there i was, minding my own business and watching Silent Witness when I hear the 'Skype noise' and June Hierons' face pops up on the screen!! I had set up my new TV for Skype calls but I didn't realise it was permanently turned on in the background so worked actively rather than passively! But a nice surprise and good to see it actually works!! Thursday 15 January


at Kinver Edge 

walking over Kinver Edge and lunch in the village - 8th January. This old Ford Consul is still going!! Another photo of me on the edge of the Edge here


my sister Bev's 70th birthday 

meeting for a lunchtime meal at the Fox at Stourton. All her kids came home and the added benefits of her 2 grandchildren too .. !! Mum, Belinda & I joined the party! More photos here


Kinver Canal walk

blowing away the Christmas & New Year cobwebs will a long near 3 hour walk along the canal on Friday 2nd January 2015 - the sausage sandwich at the half-way mark probably didn't do much to reduce my calorific intake!! Another photo here



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