Thursday, May 31, 2007


Back to the Multi-Storey car park, this time inside, on top, looking down...

Did I mention the lift was broken!

Car park lifts and stair wells are never the cleanest, or most pleasant places to hang around so I made best speed to the bottom, well second best speed as I didn't fancy jumping.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bee for Springwatch

Seeing as the BBC's Springwatch is in full flow right now I thought I should post this Bee. I took the shot from my front door as little Ada was trying her best to grab the poor beastie! She is learning sign language so she was frantically signing Bee while trying to get hold of it and shaking my camera hand at the same time!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Old Pigs

I don't think they used to sell old pigs...

This market ran from 1614 to 1882, I have no idea where they sold their pigs after that date, I have never seen pigs being sold at the cattle market although you do see sheep there!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Wet Bank Holiday

Well it is tradition isn't it!
A Bank Holiday weekend, plenty of free time to get out and enjoy the countryside...
Except it's raining, and I have been struck down by another 'Man-Flu' - bugger!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Jellalabad Court

This is part of Jellalabad Court, which is in turn part of the old Jellalabad Barracks which has been converted to accomodation. One of the flats sold here for £135 000 recently, although it is not described as a flat but a 'one bedroom apartment'.
In their day the barracks must have been huge, it seems that everywhere you walk around that area you see something that must have been part of the military, from smaller houses to flag poles.

The barracks housed the Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) who were raised in 1685 for King James and finally bit the dust when they amalgamated with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry in 1959 and became the Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry. When I joined my regiment in 1984 I seem to remember there being only one or two battalions of Light Infantry so they must have amalgamated again sometime between 1959 and the 80's.

The final part of the armed forces to use the barracks seems to have been the Royal Army Pay Corps as they didn't leave the place until June 1987 when they moved to Exeter. Even the pay corps have bit the dust now as they amalgamated with several other administration units to become the Adjutant Generals Corp.

and no jokes about dodgy piercings please...

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Multi Storey

Still the tallest building in Taunton, and looking from this angle for all the world like some kind of Somerset coliseum, is the multi-storey car park.
The fourth and fifth floors are protected by mesh fencing to help deter potential suicides, although quite why the council think the depressed can't negotiate chain-link fencing is a mystery really.
This was the first time I have stood inside the exit ramp, in fact since moving to the centre of the town I have not needed to park the car anywhere other than outside the house. Not a bad thing considering the lift was out of order today! ;)

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Post Office

The main Post Office building on North Street. Lots of hoohar (sp?) about the government planning to close another 2000 or so post offices as they are losing money on them hand over fist. No surprise when you can't do much else other than buy a stamp there. Things like buying a TV Licence you just can't do at the post office anymore, silly really.

Anyway, I am not sure when this was built but their is a really old doorway behind the castle that was apparently taken from the 'old' post office so I guess this is the new one. Judging by the architecture it has to be 1920 - 1939 or so to fit in with the Art Deco feel of the place. Might have a closer snoop around tomorrow.

Oh and do you see the pigeon? They get everywhere, not just on this blog!

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Feathered Rat

I had a friend in the army called Rat, his little brother was Mouse - this post isn't about either of them...

There has been some talk on the Taunton online forum organised by the local newspaper about the Pigeons that are such a nuisance in town. I saw this one perched on the wire near the canal - it seemed to be minding its own business pretty much.

I messed around with this shot in Photoshop, adding some noise and playing around with the levels until it looked similar to the photographs in my old natural history books I read when I was a kid, I must have learned about so much of the world in black and white!

It was hot today, very hot. I was teaching on a converted bus, with the sun glaring through the windows and the computers running it was very uncomfortable. I have made a concession for the police officers tomorrow - they don't need to wear uniform, I am such a considerate teacher! ;)

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hammet Street Chimney Garden!

Another from Hammet Street, this time looking up to the top of these great houses.
I have already said how much I love chimneys, but taking your eye above the normal level is always interesting - especially when you think you know a place, it's surprising what you don't see unless you look!
In this case I wonder if the residents are aware just how much green space they have up there on their chimney stack? Plenty of anti-pigeon spikes but a goodly amount of green stuff too.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Firepool Lock

A kid and his dad fishing next to Firepool Lock.

The Lock connects the Bridgwater & Taunton Canal to the River Tone and allowed the barges full of coal to reach the wharf.
The canal itself was opened in 1827 and was intended to be part of a larger network connecting Bristol to Exeter but the railway took lots of the traffic intended for the canal so that never happened.
Commercial traffic ceased in 1907 and after the 2nd World War the canal fell into disrepair.
Like most in the country it is now 'only' used for recreation.

I love canalsides, so much wildlife jammed into a small area. Some of my best memories of my father are from when we walked for hours on the canals around Hyde, Ashton & Glossop. I learned so much about plants and trees and animals from him then. I pass on a lot of that sort of thing now when I teach bushcraft and survival skills.

A funny thing happened to me today, I was walking in town with Ada when a woman approached me and asked "Are you the man from Taunton Daily Photo?" - I thought I was famous! However it turns out she recognised Ada! What a cheek - its MY blog not hers, she can't even use a camera yet!!! grrrrr ;)

Anyway, it was one of the people who run the About My Area website, a fantastic resource for communities. If you live in the UK check out your own About My Area, get involved...

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Hammet Street Sign

I found this sign up a tiny little alleyway off Hammet Street in the town centre.

It was one of three identical signs on one wall, quite why someone was so dead against placing goods or cycles against the wall was not clear!


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grey Heron at Firepool Weir

Not the photo I was going to post today but having seen this magnificent bird sat sunning itself on its nest tonight I had to change the plan!

I don't know if it had just been for a swim but it certainly seemed to be drying itself in the last rays of the early evening. I had not noticed the nest before today, it is only 2 minutes walk from the house so I think it must be new. Normally the herons are to be seen a few minutes further along the river or at Hankridge Water Park about 2 1/2 miles away on the outskirts of town.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007


This is the Burtons/Dorothy Perkins shop on North Street in Taunton town centre.
I love the fact that Barbara Jessie Burton laid the foundation stone for this shop in 1930 and here it is 77 years later still being used by the same company - not many shops on the high street have that sort of heritage.

There is a photo of the same foundation stone laid three years earlier on a Burtons shop in Cork, Ireland here.

Burtons itself was started by Monty Burton in 1900 in Chesterfield, England as a tailors and gents outfitters.

Oh, and did anyone see Dr Who? Hot up there wasn't it! ;)

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Friday, May 18, 2007


Just over the road from my house is Taunton Canoe Club. I don't know if this girl was just early for a meeting or if she planned to play polo with the swan.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Back to the Tudor House

I said I would go back to the Tudor House soon so I popped back tonight with the 200mm lens on the Nikon hoping to capture some detail I thought I had seen the other day.

Well here it is, I was not so interested in the woman, who looks like something from a ship by the way, rather the creepy face carved into the post she hang from!

What I didn't notice until I loaded the photo into Apple Aperture is the date carved into the beam behind it, from what I can work out it says 13?8, I will have to go back to try and see the missing digit.

While I was taking the photo there was a minor commotion behind me when a police officer was stopping a couple of lads drinking cider in the street, when I left 2 PCSOs had just turned up to back him up. I didn't think he would appreciate a photo so I left them to it!

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dr Who

No, the Doctor has not come to Taunton but this is a photo of Rebecca, my partners sister taken from the official Dr Who website.
She is appearing in the episode called '42' to be shown on the BBC this Saturday so it's all round to mine for pizza and TV!
She's looking a bit grubby but apparently she is some kind of spaceship mechanic so you can't blame her for being a little oily! ;)
Tenuous Taunton link... Rebecca lived here before moving to drama school in London...


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

London Plane

This is London Plane, a really common tree in British towns. I think it is a cross between an American Sycamore and... erm... hang on... Wikipedia to the rescue...

It IS a hybrid between the American Sycamore and the Oriental Plane, first spotted in Spain!

So WHY is a tree growing in Taunton, tracing it's roots (pun intended) back to the orient and America, first noticed in Spain called a London Plane????

Oh and it is the symbol of the NY City Parks Department? Do they call it the London Plane or the New York Plane? So many questions, never enough answers...


Monday, May 14, 2007

Sustrans - National Cycle Network

Surely they can't both be the way to 3?
Where is 3?
What happened to 2? and 1?

These are signs for a route on the National Cycle Network a massive collection of safe cycle paths mapped and maintained by Sustrans - the sustainable transport charity.

Sustrans was started in Bristol in the 1970's with the aim of making a network of 2000 miles of cycle paths by the year 2000, in 2005 it had already reached the 10000 mile mark, an amazing achievement.

I am a Sustrans Ranger - that means I am responsible for a short section of the network, I have to ride it from time to time to make sure the signage is still clear and nothing it blocking the route. It's been a while since I did it - I don't think I am a very good ranger...


Sunday, May 13, 2007


Apparently Cows Rock!

Is it a place? A statement? A music genre?

I need to know, I NEED to find the mystery sprayer!


Saturday, May 12, 2007


Not something you see every day... The Windies playing in my back garden!
Straight from work I picked a couple of friends up from Weston-super-Mare and brought them down to my house. On the way to buy some beer and wine for pre-, and post- curry drinks myself and Nick sat and watched the last few overs of the first days play.
The light was failing and the Somerset bowler looked as though he was trying to take the batsmans head off with some evil bouncers, you really would not want to stop a cricket ball in the chops at that speed - irrespective of wearing a helmet!
Anyway, straight from the World Cup the Windies treated the bowling with disdain and were wacking a couple of fours per over - we managed to see one get his Century up before we had to rush off to get the beer.
Lots of beer, some wine, a Pathia and even a Bullit and Coke later... my head hurts!

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Friday, May 11, 2007


Tonights entertainment...
Just a couple maybe, this one - a lovely organic hoppy beer and later a Banana Bread Beer.

Teaching tomorrow though so it really should only be a couple... I'll let you know how it goes!

Anyone else on the pop?


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rubbish II

Another view from the makeshift druggie den...

Can you believe they have torn the porn magazine apart, I don't know... What are they like?! Can they not share nicely!?


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Modern Life is Rubbish

In a small area of ground between St. Mary Magdalene church and 'Posh Nosh' is a pretty horrific collection of detrius. Alcohol containers, used syringes, burned clothing and a whole lot of unrecognisable mess.
See the CD? 'The Best New Worship Songs... EVER' - the irony eh!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Tudor House

Just a quickie - this building deserves some real good photos taking so I will go back and try and get some!
It's the Tudor House on Fore Street, the oldest house in Taunton, parts of it date back to 1350. It belonged to Sir William Portman who was responsible for escorting the Duke of Monmouth to London for his execution after the Monmouth Rebellion!
I would love to spend the night in there, I bet it is so creaky and spooky!

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Monday, May 07, 2007


Not entirely sure it is somewhere I would enjoy working out but back in 1895 I am sure it was cutting edge!

I thought the YMCA was an American institution but it seems to be thriving over here, and by the looks of this imposing building, was thriving here over a hundred years ago.

I will definitely go back when the light is a little more favourable to see if I can get some sky into the photo so it doesn't look so artificial.

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Sunday, May 06, 2007


Seems strange that a 'normal' business such as a veterinarian is housed in such an impressive old building somehow.
I have no idea how old the building is but the windows and stonework looks ancient.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Dirty Weekend

How about this for a cheeky advertising line!

At least they have a sense of humour, they must have to have planted this skip on my road for the last 6 months taking away a couple of our valuable parking spaces - grump! ;)

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Friday, May 04, 2007

Mini Milk

Ok, another photo with more than a little personal interest!

This is the beautiful Ada in Vivary Park last week trying to decide if she is enjoying this new cold milky thing she has been handed.

It took a few moments but she eventually decided frozen milk is a good thing and at that point things got much messier, hopefully - if we get a good summer - she may have lots more practice!

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Super Juice!

This funky juice and soup mobile establishment appeared about a year ago.

I haven't tried it yet, perhaps I should - just so I can report back!


Wednesday, May 02, 2007


All these bikes sat waiting for their owners to ride them home...

Lucky people who don't need to get into the car each day to rush to work!

For the record this is at the council buildings.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Tone towards French Weir

Almost at the same point that I photographed the Bluebells was this view of the Tone at dusk. I love the way Willow trees look - very dreamy.

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