Hobbies and pastimes
Amongst the rest of St Peters, there lies a beautiful garden centre near the Norton retreat. They offer the very best quality plants, indoor and outdoor goods, gardening equipment. The Garden Centre is situated in the heart of Worcester and is only 10 minutes drive from the idyllic Malvern Hills. If you were to go into the garden centre, their flowers are a very good standard, with beautiful colours that complement the whole environment. They have loads of stuff that you may need, such as pet food to garden statues and soil. They also have animals there, which consists of rabbits and gerbils. Children love looking at them as well as taking pictures to keep for life.
The Diglis Bridge is now completed and was opened in July 2010. Its mast, which towers 26 metres (85ft) above the riverbank, gives it the unique look that people love. The fantastic Diglis Bridge over the River Severn has opened up the whole riverside area, which gives you amazing views and some where you would want to go back to, so you can chill out and relax, with the aesthetic side of life!
This is the new ASDA in Lowesmoor Worcester, they are currently hoping to get it ready and opened for March this year. Before this Builders have been working there socks off to get the new car park up and running. The car park is going to be for ASDA and for other purposes, which will get the car park filled up nice and quickly. Which is a down side because it will make town far more busier.
An ASDA Spokesman said: “We open our stores at times that suit our customers. There currently isn’t the demand to keep the store open for 24 hours, however we will review this once the store commences trading.” This is good thing because it will help ASDA run more smoothly, until they get their store to the right standard for them.
With just six weeks to go until ASDA’s door opens, the store has already filled all of its 270 full time positions after nearly 4,000 people applied for just over 300 full and part time positions. ASDA’s store manger says he is “Humbled” by the amount of interest from the pubic. The Car Park will be a 503-space multi-storey pay and display car park, which will be available for anyone to use, with an amazing money back guarantee because Asda shoppers will be able to reclaim the money they spend on parking after a minimum spend in store. That is good, because it will make more people come to ASDA for shopping. The development is also a monument to the history of Worcester, as the construction has taken over the old vinegar works and porcelain factory, to help maintain the past.
The island is Situated near the locks, and accessed over an old possibly unsafe cast iron bridge from the east bank.
Recently Bevere Bridge has been in the news. An article by Becky Fisher, appeared in the Evening News (OCT 04) headed Mystery of falling bridge over Severn.
The bridge itself is in a bad state of repair Janet White contacted the Evening News, worried that Bevere Bridge, which links the shore to a small island a short way upstream from Bevere lock, is in a bad state of repair, but that no one was able to give her any advice on its maintenance. Janet said “I would like to know if this bridge is to be saved before it collapses” The Evening News contacted both British Waterways and the bridge manager at Worcestershire County Council and both confirmed they were not responsible for it and did not know who was.
However Max Sinclair a local historian immediately wrote the following letter to the Evening News entitled Bevere picture tells a story
It is probable Bevere Bridge was built for the secretive and wealthy Mr Moon who owned property and land in Bevere. He was chief engineer of the London and North Western Railway Company and lived the last years of his life in Bevere.
He was noted for making unexpected inspections of the railway, but the signalmen got wise to him.
When he was spotted travelling towards the east, they would telegraph ahead “Moonlight tonight”. This was the origin of the expression Moonlighting.
Bevere Bridge is a superb example of Victorian craftsmanship probably brought down the Severn on a “flote”, a raft with sides. The first American Locomotive travelled in a similar manner from Stourbridge down to Gloucester.
The County Council who must be entitled to a lottery grant for the work should make this lovely structure safe.
In 1051 King Hardicanute sent officials to Worcester to collect the Danegeld tax. They were assaulted and murdered. Not surprisingly troops arrived some months later to punish the rebels who, being warned, escaped to Bevere or Camp island. After sacking and burning the city the soldiers made for the camp. Four unsuccessful attacks were made ending in a truce.
After payment of a fine the citizens were allowed to return home. Centuries later the island was again a place of refuge for those fleeing the city to avoid the plague.
( Seen in walking groups newsletter.)
The bridge crosses to Bevere Island, was built in 1844, now in a dangerous state.
A Belgian family, coming down the Severn went on the wrong side of Bevere Island and over the weir.
Don Smith the lock keeper lowered himself down in a Severn Punt and rescued them.
Later a tug came up from Diglis and pulled the boat back up the weir. Max
1954 Bevere in the Spring.
Click on picture to view full size.
Worcester South Quay 1920′s
when it was tidy and exciting. Max
Worcester Bridge in 1916.
The old butts spur line ran to the bridge along the North Quay passing through a flood arch on to South Quay alongside the corn mill for several hundred yards.
Worcester Bridge in 1886 when flood waters reached top of centre arch after flooding in Wales. After surviving a terrible storm on the return journey in the Bristol Channel, Captain “Panto” Bourne was hauled by steam tug up the Severn to find the water reaching the top of Worcester Bridge arches.
The crew were bringing home French gilded furniture and coulored glass ornaments to be sold in Droitwich and Birmingham antique shops owned by Pantos’ aunt. Max
The earliest known photograph of the river at Worcester.
St. Nicholas Street 1916.
Broad Street 1916.
Broad Street in 1916 looking towards the Cross, Angel Street is on the left. With Hardy and Padmore lamp standards and tram wire posts.
The Cross and High Street is in centre of picture, the Hopmarket is on the right. Tram and power lines lines lead eastwards along Lowesmoor. Immediately left is Queen Street and the Trinity.
Worcester High Street in 1916.
The Guildhall is on the left.
Lich Street 1916.
Lich Street was an ancient street linking High Street with Sidbury. It was demolished during redevelopment during the ninteen sixties.
Worcester Cross 1916.
In 1780 two Toll Houses were erectedÂ at the western end of Worcester Bridge on the line of the old English and Welsh border.Money was taken from travellers until 1809. A Worcester citizen, Mr William Broughton paid the first and last toll.
When Worcester Bridge was widened in 1932 the buildings were dismantled and re-erected in a Leamington Spa Park.Presumably the Council sold them for City funds. Max Sinclair
The Public Hall in the Cornmarket Square.
An absolute disgrace the phillistine councillors destroyed this superb Concert Hall.Replaced by a scruffy car park. Max
The Commandery at Worcester 1916.
Situated in Sidbury, a short walk from the Cathedral.
Open throughout the year Mon.-Sat 10am – 5pm Sun 1.30pm – 5pm
Formerly called the Hospital of St. Wulstan 1085-1541 it was the royalist headquarters during the civil war 1651. Fort Royal Park was part of the Commandery grounds at this time, where the fiercest fighting took place, resulting in the defeat of the Royalist forces.
There is an impressive great hall and the magnificent painted chamber, also an exhibition telling the story of this violent period in Worcester’s history.
Various events take place during the year, including medieval activity, and battle re-enactments, also ghost hunts and open air theatre.
Peaceful spaces and the Knot garden surround the commandery, a unique building.
The Greyfriary Friar Street.
The Guildhall at Worcester 1916.
The Guildhall at Worcester was designed by local Mr Thomas White. Building the Guildhall was begun in 1721 and completed 6 years later at a cost of £3730. The statues on front of building are of Charles I, Charles II and Queen Anne.
The Guildhall Assembly Room 1916.
Worcester Jail 1916.
The County Prison in Worcester (1814) was situated in Salt Lane, later renamed Castle Street. The prison closed in 1928 but was used as tempory accommodation for the city homeless. The facade was demolished in the 1930′s. The City Gaol on Union Street (opened in 1824, and amalgamated with the County facility in 1867.)
The area has been redeveloped with housing a car dealer and a carpet and furniture warehouse. The infirmary has been replaced with a new hospital east of the city at Newtown.
The old infirmary buildings are being converted for college use.
Ornate entrance to Pitchcroft.
Worcester Institute 1916.
The Victoria Institute was erected at a cost of £52,000 in 1894, built to honour Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. The foundation stone was laid by HRH the Prince of Wales, then the Duke of York.
It was opened in October 1896 by the Mayoress Lady Mary Lygon. At the front was the Public Library, Reading Rooms, Museum and Art Gallery. Fronting on Sansome Walk was a School of Art, Science and Technical College, Also a Girls Secondary School. Max
The School of Art and Science ,Sansome Walk 1916. Max
The Theatre Royal 1916.
The New Theatre Royal, built in 1779, demolished in 1962.
Another charming little building wickedly destroyed by the Council. Max
Theatre Royal Interior.
Queen Elisabeth’s House 1916.
The Queen came to Worcester in 1575, she is reputed to have viewed a pageant and addressed the locals from the gallery. In 1891 the house was moved 30ft on greased railway lines, to facilitate road widening.
1932 St. Stephens School, Ombersley Rd Worcester, My brother Donald playing drum, top right. Became a Japanese War Crimes Judge in Singapore and then a Stockbroker Max
Old City Wall at Worcester.
Section of original city wall incorporated into present day City Walls Road.
Foregate Street Rail Bridge.
An interesting job was graining with scumble the inside of cabin to make it look like oak. Working boatmen advised us to look for ornate brass knobs in the countryside on old bedsteads put in the hedgerow by farmers to block up holes.Decorative lace plates could still be won at the fairs, throwing for coconuts.
The chain for the chimney was made from bent ex army buckles and highly polished.
Traditional castles and roses decorated the rear cabin doors and fitted furniture.
We had a stool and watercan painted by Ron Hough of Braunston to use as a pattern. Max
A boat travelling along a canal can push the water up a considerable distance ahead.
In 1962 we were moored on the ‘Shroppie’ on an absolutely flat calm night. At 4.00 am “Vesta” suddenly lifted and tugged at its moorings, waking us up. For a good ten minutes we lay listening to the strange thump of an approaching motor boat engine.
Eventually the headlamp of a heavily laden motor boat came swirling out of the fog carrying a full load of 3 ton aluminium ingots for Wolverhampton. Strapped to the stern was another laden motor boat acting as a push tug and towing on long lines two loaded butty boats.
This ghostly train, struggling on a criminally shallow canal, passed on its way trying to retain their business contract with the Star Aluminium Company.
We fell asleep grateful that we were only pleasure boaters, and now regretting we didn’t have a modern video camera to record the surreal scene. Max
August bank Holiday on the canal at Braunston 1964. The last large working boaters gathering before the canal trade died. We are passing through on ‘Vesta’. Max
Carriage No 1 built 1897 in Worcester
Alderman Allistons 1898 carriage.
The new coach in Worcester.
Garage rip-offs and Money Making Scams.
Most trades have little tricks to screw more cash out of the customer but the Motor Trade has many more than most.
I have spent more years than I care to remember working in a garage workshop, during this time I can recall lots of tricks and scams to bolster garage owners profits.
When you leave your most prized possession with the local garage for a routine service, repair or MOT, it could cost you a great deal more than you had bargained for.
Servicing your car today can be a quick job probably little more than oil and filter change and check-over required, so the garage will want to increase cash flow from you.
There is several ways in which this can happen, first; The garage states “When checking your car we found the following items that require immediate attention;”
1 The disc pads are below change limit also discs need replacing.
(Unless the pads are below 6mm this should be unnecessary. Unless the discs are badly scored and lipped there is no need to be replaced.) Ask to inspect the parts in question. (The originals should have lasted 25 to 30,000 miles.) There could be at least 40 to 60% profit on these parts so they will try hard to persuade you
2 The battery is down on power, so it needs replacing.
(Unless you have had trouble starting or your battery is more than five years old, this also should be unnecessary expense.) Insist on seeing a hydrometer battery test, a good charge may be all that is required. New battery (30 to 40% profit margin.)
3 The shock absorbers are getting weak, we suggest their replacement.
(Unless your car fails the MOT for this item they shouldnâ€™t need replacing before 30,000 miles.) The profit mark-up on these can again be huge (40 to 75%.)
4 The exhaust has a slight blow, we suggest full system replacement. Exhaust’s have a huge markup, they only last two to three years, (only replace if absolutely essential.) A small leak can be repaired.
The Alternator Ruse.
Starting your car one cold morning, a loud screeching noise is heard coming from the engine that disappears after a few minutes running.
After the local garage has looked at your car, they pronounce, a new alternator is required Sir, and the cost could be over two hundred pounds. (But the fault will be nothing more serious than a loose fan belt,) only adjustment is required. Of course the garage will not make much profit from adjusting belt, and a new alternator will have a large mark-up.
The Parts Scam.
Manufacturer’s parts such as brake parts, wheel bearings, filters, etc. are usually a lot more expensive than the spurious parts that most garages use, these are manufactured by specialist firms, most are made to a high standard.
The price that you will be charged for your spare parts is likely to be car maker’s retail, probably up to 70% higher than the copy. (A good check if you have some mechanical ability is to remove the air filter cover and note name on filter.)
(Make sure you get an itemised bill for servicing, also ask if genuine parts were used.)
Some garages are not particular what grade or quality of oil is used in your engine, most modern cars require a top quality 10/50 grade, a cheaper oil could be used in your vehicle and you will be none the wiser until you have problems with a worn engine at a later date.
Supplying your own 5L of your preferred lubricant, will only be a bonus for the mechanic as he is likely to purloin for his own car, substituting his firms offering. (Ask for make and grade of oil used.)
The Mot Scam.
The MOT will be an area when the motorist will definitely be ripped off.
Your car has failed the test, and you are presented with a long list of items that require attention.
One thing to remember, the testers judgement will be subjective. It is only his opinion; if you are dissatisfied there is an option to appeal.
One MOT tester may allow a little more tolerance than another.
If the workshop bookings are down, this may be a bad time for your appointment.
One of the most common scams for a failure is; Your car has failed the MOT the front brakes are out of balance, we will have to replace, yes you have guessed, although they are not worn out, new disc pads and disc’s required. This will be a quick and easy job that should swell the MOT centres profit. (Always ask to see brake testing report to confirm this.)
Another high profit area is the welding scam. Your old banger has failed due to corrosion on chassis, the tester tells you, it is a small welding job so the cost should not be great.
you OK the workshop to begin the work but are quickly told after they have started the work that the job is much bigger than originally thought and will cost a lot more than estimate. As the MOT and beginning the job has cost you money, you have no alternative than to tell them to carry on with the work, or write off the lot. Welding work although is a filthy job, can bring in lots of easy money.
A little trick played by some MOT examiners is to lever off a welded corner of heat shield on catalitic converter, this allows shield to vibrate and give a noise when reving engine but has no effect on operation of cat.
Tester tells you that due to vibrating noise, a new catalitic converter is required. This will make the garage a nice profit
Tip. Unless your vehicle has failed the emmision test there should be no reason to replace cat.
Most mechanics are aware of tricks to help with their beer money. Mechanics scams are usually concerned with parts paid for by car owner, being redeployed for mechanics benefit. (It will be difficult for the motorist with little mechanical knowledge to check that all parts on service list have actually been replaced.)
The car owner can check if engine oil has been changed, as new oil will obviously be cleaner, this will easily be checked with the dipstick. If you are able to locate the oil filter, usually this fits to front or rear of engine, (basically a canister shape.), if this is covered in grime this could mean oil filter has not been changed. Check air filter for signs that cover has been removed, there will be signs if you look closely. (usually held together with spring clips or screws.) If you are sure that these items have not been replaced, a telephone call to trading standards may give you some good advice.
Removing a tow bar for the sales department or a customer can be a nice little earner for the mechanic. After removing towing tackle, a small free ad will be inserted in local newspaper for a second-hand towbar at least Â£30 to Â£50 pounds will be asked.
Pumping petrol out of your car is easy for the mechanic.
If you take your car in for service with a full tank, a gallon or so will not be missed.
Replacing a petrol tank can be a real bonus for the fitter, as long as he leaves an odd 5L of fuel, to put in the new tank, so the owner can drive away.
Car sale’s scam.
When leaving your old car with the garage as part exchange remember, the unexpired portion of road fund licence on your vehicle is worth money, to you, not left on car to benefit the garage. It is a simple matter to fill in form, attach tax disc and send off to Swansea for your refund.
Do not leave your car with a full tank of petrol, just leave sufficient in the tank to get you to the garage, every gallon you leave will be a bonus to the salesman.
Any extras you leave in your vehicle will be worth money to the garage. Most accessories will be saleable items.
Keep your motoring costs down.
It is difficult to avoid rip-off’s in the motor trade, but if you follow these tips it could possibly save you a little cash.
Most cars sold today have fuel injection, after a time this can give a problem in that rough running and a misfire appears on start-up, after a few seconds running, problem disappears. This could mean fuel system is getting gummed up with harmfull deposits in the petrol. Taking your car to the dealer with this malady can leave you wide open to being conned to have spark plugs replaced, at the very least. (Modern spark plugs last for up to 40,000 miles.)
Adding an additive to the fuel twice a year can alleviate this; Additives can be purchased cheaply at most accessory shops. This is marketed as “Fuel and Injector Cleaner” simply adding contents to fuel tank every six months or so will clean and restore injector system.
Diesel Engine Vehicles.
Diesel cars and vans can also have this problem but is less noticeable; A special additive can also be used on these engine types. This is added to every tank-full of fuel to maintain optimum economy and performance.
An alternative is to drive your vehicle with the pedal to the metal, this could have the same effect.
Maintaining your own car.
The private car owner can help to save on garage costs by carrying out minor jobs his or her self.
Familiarise yourself with under bonnet layout and check and top up coolant and engine oil weekly, brake fluid should also be checked.
Checking your battery is another easy task, most batteries fitted to cars today are sealed and topping up is not usually necessary. You can check terminals for tightness or corrosion.
If corrosion is a problem, this should be cleaned off and anti corrosion washers fitted, followed by anti corrosion compound or vaseline will do the job cheaply.
A little oil or grease on door hinges and locks will lenghthen life and will save money, wipe off excess to avoid marking clothing. Oiling door locks on cars without central locking, can help to stop them freezing, but make sure the ignition lock is not oiled, this could ruin lock.
It is a legal requirement to make sure that tyre pressures are kept to your carmakers recommendations. Tyres that are under inflated can make your car dangerous to drive, and cause rapid tyre wear. If the tyre is over-inflated this can also cause handling problems and costly tyre wear. It is a simple matter to check tyre pressure when filling tank up, otherwise invest in a small compressor that plugs into cigarette lighter socket to easily do this. Keep an eye on tyre wear, any uneven wear could be a sign of misalignment.
All car owners should spend a little time studying cars handbook, this will give information regarding tyre pressures, also types of tyre fitted to your vehicle.
Dont forget to check spare tyre is inflated to at least 35lb. also familiar yourself with jack operation and tools to change wheel should you ever have a puncture.
Another easy job every car owner should be able to do is replace bulbs. The first bulb that will go is the stop light. The stoplights should be checked every week, either with help of a friend or by reversing close to a wall to check reflection. Both the stoplights are legally required to be working, as are all lights fitted to your car. Check your handbook to make sure you fit identical replacement.
Washers and wipers.
A weekly check should be made of level in screenwasher reservoir, and should be topped up with a proprietary screenwash fluid, clean water can be used but remember in winter it will freeze. Make sure washer nozzles are kept clear.
Keep a close check on wiper blades as these will deteriorate over time, do not forget to check rear wiper blade. A worn blade can scratch screen and make a costly MOT failure.
The Timing belt scam.
Your vehicle shudders to a halt on the motorway, the recovery service are quickly on the scene and they state; the cam belt has broken, nothing can be done here, your car is then quickly taken to a garage. The mechanic says; your car engine requires a considerable sum to put back in working order as valves are bent.
But beware valve damage does not happen to all car engines when timing belt snaps, and before agreeing to expensive repair costs, check whether your vehicle could be one of the make of cars that a broken timing belt will not damage the engine, (a timing chain is fitted to some models that rarely breaks.it should state this in the owners manual.) This could save you about Â£500.
Tip; Ask the garage to carry out a compression test to confirm valves are in fact damaged. (This may incur a charge, as a new timing belt has to be temporary refitted.)
Most timing belts fitted today are of the long life type and should last up to 100,000 miles.
When replacing the timing belt on your car, ensure your garage uses fitting kit, this includes tensioner roller and bolts, some models have a tensioner spring which should always be renewed. Sometimes after a large mileage, belt sprockets should be replaced.
The head gasket.
After a routine service the garage reception tell you that your head gasket has begun to leak and needs immediate replacement. This job on a modern car can be an expensive undertaking, as besides replacing head gasket, associated parts may also require replacement. The timing belt will definitely require renewal; water pump and thermostat may also be due for replacement at this time. The cylinder head will need checking for flattness and possibly skimming to ensure mating surfaces are completely flat. New cylinder head bolts should also be used during reassembly. Oil and filter should also be renewed as a matter of course.
Finally to make sure of a successful outcome any suspect radiator and heater hoses should be renewed the radiator should be removed from the car, for flow and pressure check for leaks, if there is any doubt this expensive item should be replaced.
Unless these items are checked or replaced at this time, replacing head gasket will be a waste of money as problem will recur after a short period, and you have been conned.