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photographs taken during 2012


NOTE 1: to see photos of 2005 - 2011 click here

NOTE 2: photos shown on this page tend to be albums of multiple photos. Where I've just take a single photo at an event etc they will be shown at 'Latest News' which can be seen here




New Year's Eve - partying with friends at Belinda's
celebrating my great-nephew Archie's 3rd birthday .. 31st December 2012
Wyre Forest - walking off the Christmas pudding on 28th December 2012

Boxing Day - mum, Belinda & me at my sister Bev's for lunch & tea

Christmas Day - first at my brother's to see his family and my mum .. and then to Belinda's for lunch yum! And watching the Queen's Speech broadcast for the first time in 3D

Christmas Eve - carol singing at Barnett Hill Garden Centre in the morning & then the Family gathered at Belinda's for the exchange of presents

Popping in to see Cal' second art exhibition on Saturday 22nd December - this one in Dudley. We were treated to live music too.

Walking over Kinver on Thursday 20th December and I bumped in to Santa and his crowd. A Nice festive walk it turnout to be!!
walking the woodland over Kinver Edge - thinking it would protect us from the heavy rain .. it didn't!!
swans and a dredger on Netherton canal .. !! Seen here Thursday 6th December.
Walking from Droitwich towards Worcester @ 8.73 miles (I have an iPhone app for that!!) but on the flat. A cold but sunny autumnal day ... 29th November 2012
walking through  very wet Wyre Forest and the mud-churned Dowles Brook there - 22nd November

popping in to see my niece Amie on her 22nd birthday - Sunday 18th November

beating the European Champions Chelsea by 2 goals to 1 @ the Hawthorns today 17th November was no mean feat!!. So tense were the last 10 minutes that even I burst into song - and considering I went with Stephen, my Choir's MD, that was one brave move.
at the annual Festival of Remembrance with our Choir and the Salvation Army band held on Saturday 10th November where - the RBL, local youth groups, the Mayor, local civic dignitaries and local Member of Parliament attended





A lovely Autumnal day, Thursday 8th November, where we walked over Kinver Edge before making our way to Kinver for a well deserved cup of tea and a sausage sandwich!!


On Friday 2nd November I went to the wedding of my Godson Adam Weston to Jen Connor, followed by their reception at the Four Stones @ Clent.
I was at a talk Thursday 25th October on ‘Cradley before Anglo-Saxon Times’ that featured small finds that have been made in Cradley from the Stone Age to Romano-British times. Interesting to think that circa 8000 bc nomadic Mesolithic communities camped on our hills (oh how intelligent that last sentence makes me sound!!)
As if we needed proof that autumn is definitely here .. photos taken while walking through Haden Hill Park today, 25th October, on a carpet of leaves.
Almost famous! While finishing off our Birmingham-Worcester canal walk 4th October (walking the last segment from Droitwich to Worcester) in the middle of nowhere we stumbled across news teams from the BBC & ITV interviewing on the tow-path members of the Environment Agency about the recently discovered shrimps from Eastern Europe which are destroying the indigenous ecology of the rivers!! You may have seen the reports that did appear on TV. Oh, and we walked a total of 12.06 miles [accuracy courtesy of my iPhone walking app!!!] way more than our norm. Exhausted is an understatement!



Cal (the boyfriend of a daughter of friends of mine - oh do keep up!!) held his first paintings' exhibition in Dudley on Friday evening, 28/09/12. It was good to go & support the event. The food (courtesy of Judith & George) was good too


walking with my neighbour Terry through Nimmins Wood on Thursday 27th September .. ending up at its cafe, one of our favourite places for a door-stop style sausage sandwich!! Calories galore

A 5-day break in Amsterdam with Joy & Lynton and Lynne & Ian, staying in an apartment @ Keizersgracht within the city's Canal Ring. Like most of the old buildings alongside the canals it was quite narrow - my bedroom was on the top .. 88 steps up!! The bonus for me was the roof terrace at the rear was outside my bedroom, affording superb views of the city


first full day - 19th September
having flown in to Schiphol Airport the afternoon before, these photos show our visit to Rembrandt's house, a barge trip around the canals of the city, our first foray on a tram and the more than frequent stops at cafes!!


2nd full day - 20th September
The second full day in Amsterdam, starting off with breakfast brought in, courtesy of the bakery two buildings up from us!! Then off with an early start to the visit the Anne Frank museum, which was a moving experience. Then yet more explor...
ing of the City with ‘coffee & cake’ breaks aplenty!! Next was the Westerkerk but sadly the Royal Palace was closed. The evening, after another tram ride and good Italian meal out, saw us tramping round Amsterdam's famous ‘red light district’ – well, it has to be done!
3rd full day - 21st September
After another excellent breakfast brought in from our now friendly local bakery, we took the train to Zaanstadband then walked to the tourist village of Zaanse Schans, a typical former Dutch layout. Then back for more walking around Amsterdam before another good dinner out



last full day - 22nd September
Our final day, which we spent just sauntering around the city centre soaking up the sun and having a final fling at their lovely & atmospheric street cafes [why are ours just not the same?]. I’ll even miss the bikes, which greatly sharpened my reaction-times as they came at you every which way but loose!! Our flight home wasn’t until 9pm giving us plenty of time for a final and lazy meal. On arriving home it was good to be able to use for the first time my new biometric passport which enabled me to bypass the queues!! Welcome home.

my mother's 90th birthday - celebrating first at her church, Short Cross Methodist, and then on to a family & friends party held at Barrie & Jane's. Sunday 26th August 2012





a day out with Judith & George, first to the lovely town of Marlow, on the Thames, and then on to the Odney Club @ Maidenhed for the bulk of the day










at Millennium Stadium - Saturday 4th August. More details soon



at Olympic Park - Thursday 2nd August. More details soon





my neighbour & I have, in stages, been waking the canal from Birmingham to Stratford upon Avon - on Wednesday 1st August 12 we completed it!!!


at Eaton Dorney for Olympic rowing - Monday 30th July. More details soon




an excellent few days away with Joy & Lynton staying with the rest of the groovy gangers Lynne & Ian in Torquay - 22nd/25th July. Superb as always 19th July


Taking the train to Lapworth then walking following the Birmingham/Stratford canal to Wootton Wawen where we caught the train home .. Thursday 19th July


I took these during the Queen’s visit to Birmingham as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK - Thursday 12th July 2012



with a somewhat frenetic practice the night before followed by a meal at Al Fassia, the Moroccan restaurant where Alan proposed to Abi, my niece Abigail Sian Bevan got married on Thursday 5th July at Windsor Methodist Church. It was my privilege to escort her down the aisle


Wednesday 4th July - the wedding practice @ Windsor Methodist Church followed
 by a meal @ Al Fassia

Abigal & Adam Bevan  
the morning of the wedding @ our hotel - Thursday 5th July


the drive to the church with Abi in the wedding car where we went via her
school and where her class came out to see & cheer her - Thursday 5th July

Abigail Sian Bevan & William / Bill Mcbain 5 July 2012      
the wedding service at the church - Thursday 5th July
Abigail Sian Bevan with William / Bill McBain 5th July 12


at the Hotel & reception





So after the Olympics relay, it was time to celebrate my sister Belinda's birthday!! So we gathered at hers on the night

Nicki Bainbridge  

The Olympic torch relay run came to Dudley on Saturday 30th June 2012 - a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to see it. A great atmosphere ..




Staying with friends at Llandanwg, North Wales from 26th - 29th June 2012. I went by train which a most scenic coastal run as you approached Barmouth. The weather was wet but we did see the sun - a bit!!



william / bill mcbain @ Llandanwg beach


So near .. yet so far!! Watching the England v Italy Euro 2012 quarter final - 24th June 12


Walking over Kingsford Forest Park & Kinver Edge 21st June taking these rather poor images taken on my mobile .. but when is summer coming!!


Singing with Voices in Harmony choir today as part of Dudley’s ‘Songs of Praise’ @ Baggeridge Country Park. It was wet, cold & miserable but a good noise was made to the brave folk who ventured out 17th June 2012


a gentle stroll for a couple of hours through the 'countryside' of Netherton [it is actually quite surprising the amount of greenery and fields alongside much of the canal] on Thursday 14th June 2012


Getting soaked through to the skin during a 2 hour walk over Kinver Edge today, 7th June, thanks to relentless heavy rain .. the trees offered no protection!




Overend Methodist Mission's Jubilee 'Big Tea Party' was held on Tuesday 5th June - sensibly held indoors in view of the poor weather!! Games, quizzes, food and a sing-a-long ensued!! 'twas good.


A good day yesterday (3rd July) in London for the Jubilee river pageant – pity the weather didn’t behave as well as the crowd who were amazing (not quite sure why I was surprised at the spread of ages & ethnicities of everyone near me who were enthusiastically joining in, but I was) and we had a group of people who belonged to a choir near us who kept us entertained throughout. A lovely [but damp!!] atmosphere. I was near Vauxhall Bridge just down from the MI6 building – shhh I didn’t tell you that!




At a Jubilee event today where Pure Harmony, the Juniors’ choir that I sing in, were performing a couple of times. An excellent start to the long Jubilee weekend!

to see a
YouTube video
of PH singing the Jubilee Song
click here

Over Clent Hills on Sunday 27th May with mum, Bev & Archie to remember my sister Barbara at the start of the week that sees the anniversary of her untimely death and what would have been her birthday – it is on these hills her ashes were scattered




In all this heat, it was good to be able to sit outside for a meal - on Saturday 26th May I met my former boss Paul together with Ian & Nando for a meal. We meet up every six months or so. Good to catch up on the gossip with a laugh inbetween!!  


Even Birmingham City centre looks good when the sun shines and the temperatures rise! Seen here on Friday 25th May. The new library, still under construction, is looking good. And how good 'for the working folk' to be sitting out in the sun at lunchtime!  




A swelteringly hot day, so how typical it was the day we had planned to do an 11 mile walk in the depths of Warwickshire [my GPS app clocked it at 10.82 miles but who's counting!!] but when the heat is coupled with the wrong boots and the consequent blisters it was a long, long walk indeed. Not helped by the fact that when we finally staggered to the rail station [in the middle of nowhere!!] to come home the trains were only every hour - a 40 minute wait ensured!! Was I glad to step into a cool shower when I got home!!



Walking over a Clent & Walton Hills on Thursday 17th May.


Walking over a wind-swept Kinver Edge on Thursday 10th May.


In London for the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday 9th May - thanks to a £8.60 return rail journey!!!!





walking part of the National Cycle Route 45, the Mercian Way, in the Wyre Forest on Thursday 3rd May 2012.



A few days away staying with friends, and which included my birthday on 24th. A meal at my house on Sunday 22nd; a day out at Stratford upon Avon & tour round the newly rebuilt Shakespeare Theatre on 23rd (his birthday!!} witnessing a rather horrific road accident where a car crashed into a coffee house. A walk & a meal out on my birthday 24th climaxing with a superb performance of Mrs Brown's Boys at Wolverhampton Civic Centre.





weekly walk on Thursday 19th April - by train to the Edgbaston reservoir and then walking along the [long abandoned] single rail track from there to Harborne. The railway was originally opened in 1874 and closed to passenger traffic in 1934.


Scotland - 13th & 14th April - A bitter-sweet and fleeting visit to Scotland for the funeral of this family’s adopted auntie, Margaret McMillan. The service was a lovely & fitting tribute to her.


Easter Sunday 8th April - I went to Short Cross Methodist church for their morning service followed by a fleeting visit to my brother Barrie's to pick up Katie who joining me, mum & Belinda - we were off to lunch at Bev's . She had staying with her my nephew Ali and his girlfriend Tig, Abigail and Amie and her boyfriend Tom. We were also joined for lunch by my niece Jodie who was introducing to the family her fiancé Simon



Walking from the Waterfront at Merryhill towards the Stewpony on a gloriously sunny & warm Thursday, 29th March. I had to put suntan lotion on for the first time this year. let's hope it's the harbinger of a great summer!!


I went to the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on Friday 23rd March because, as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, 10 drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection are being exhibited in five galleries across the UK.



with mum and the family on Mothering Sunday 18th March. First at church, then all out for a meal and then back to mum's



I had a four day break away with Joy & Lynton and Lynne & Ian, staying at the Guyers House Hotel in Wiltshire

Sunday 4th March - Lacock Abbey a beautiful Abbey in its own right but also where the latest Harry Potter film was made
Lynne Macrae & Joy Weston at Lacock Abeey 4rh March 2012  
A long but good day out – first to the historic town of Marlborough for shopping and eating (!!) moving on to the National Trust village of Avebury which is famous for being picturesque (it was the village used for the filming of 'Cranford') and the nearby Silbury Mound earthworks (the largest man-made in Europe dates between 3400 and 2625 BC) and several stone circles - the Avebury ring - which is the oldest stone ring that is known to be in existence anywhere in the world and is even older than Stonehenge. We finished off the day at the 500 year old Avebury Manor recently made famous by the BBC programme ‘to the Manor reborn’ where the BBC completely redecorated the manor in various periods - Elizabethan to the 1930s. Then back to the hotel for a rest and an excellent meal


Tuesday 6th March - at Castle Combe, a small village in Wiltshire with a population of about 350. It is renowned for its attractiveness and tranquillity, and for fine buildings including the medieval church. Then on to the Manor House Hotel for coffee, which was an arm & a leg job!! Then of course we couldn't resist driving through the nearby village of Tiddleywink! Then back to our hotel, Guyers House, where we were treated to a a balloon flight taking off in a nearby field.





Meeting up in Birmingham with Graham Handley and Paul Bond on Monday 27th February - the second photo shows the logo from Graham's MBE tie. An anachronistic comment no doubt, but it still sounds good to me ..



We helped Adrian Sanger celebrate his 55th birthday on Saturday 25th February





It was Bethany's 17th birthday on the afternoon of Saturday 25th February





My auntie, Gladys May Walker, celebrated her 102nd birthday on 19th February 2012 at the home where she now lives. The family turned up - and hopefully we helped her celebrate in style!


Gladys May Walker on her 102nd birthday 19th february 2012  

Walking in the Wyre Forest on Thursday 9th February, an ice-ridden & snow placed area!! It was cold.



Out walking on Thursday 2nd February, walking from the Galton Bridge along the canal towards Wolverhampton on a bitterly cold day



A good, long day out in London on Thursday 26th January, primarily to visit the Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition at the National Gallery. I also did the usual 'touristy' bits



A lucky escape for my niece Amie, her boyfriend Tom & my great-nephew Archie [aged 2] last Saturday when, at no fault of Tom as driver, his car was involved in a bad accident causing it to roll over 4 times, ending up on its roof.



It poured down during our walk around Kinver on Thursday 19th January, even the ducks seemed to be sheltering from the rain!


  Terry Curzon map reading at Kinver 19th January 2012

It was ‘sore feet day’ for me today, 12th January, walking for just over 4 hours, which is a bit longer than the norm!!



my niece Katie's 24th birthday - 5th January 2012



walking over Kinver Edge on an extremely windy day - 5th January 2012



more photographs ...

to see earlier photos from 2005 to 2011 click here