Blackpool Illuminations, Overland and 4x4 Exhibition - Whilton Mill, Kilsby and Spilsby, England Weeks 75 - 77 4th - 16th October 2012
After leaving the Isle Of Man Steam Packet ferry at Heysham we headed south.

Surely every overland trip should include a drive past Blackpool Illuminations.

We camped not far from Squires Gate so drove north to Bispham then south.

One of those strange British institutions the illuminations extend the holiday season in Blackpool.
Blackpool Tower. England's answer to the Eifel Tower.

We felt like a couple of geriatric infants.

The illuminations were first switched on around 1907.

Part of the memory of my first trip off the Isle Of Man.

In its heyday there were three piers.

Central Pier seems to have grown a Ferris wheel.

Blackpool has the longest (I think) tram line.

A special tram for the illuminations.

Past the Pleasure Beach on the way south.

We could hear the screams from the roller coaster. It seems to have become steeper or I've become older.

We decided to visit the UK's first Overland and 4x4 Exhibition after hearing of it on the grapevine. At Whilton Mill.

Being over 3.5 tonne we could be a display vehicle with free entry.

We got some piccies printed and bought a bit of hardboard for display.

Turned out to be a really good weekend. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Lots of info on Morocco. Very little on the Stans.

Australia seems a very long way away.



Lots of Land Rovers including these two forward control versions.

Next year's expo already has a date.

We happened to be near Kilsby so planned a wheel alignment check - useful after replacing king pin bearing.

We had preserved the alignment and no adjustment necessary.

This time we managed to look at the entrance to Kilsby Tunnel. 2650m long. That's one of Virgin Trains on the main west coast line.

Nearby at Crick is Crick Tunnel.

Part of the Grand Union Canal.

1397m long.

Kilsby is also around where Danelaw was dominant to the north. Near Watford Gap which is probably why its considered where the north begins.

The railway tunnel required ventilation for the steam trains.

This is the largest of the ventilation towers.

A smaller one near our camp site lets out a low whistle whenever a train is in the tunnel.

Bletchley Park is further south. At Bletchley (funny that) near Milton Keynes.

This is Block B, the entrance to the museum.

Bletchley Park is now famous for the industrial scale code breaking which was developed during WWII.

Several thousand people worked here as part of the code breaking process.

These are some of the parts of a Bombe. Machine used to automate part of breaking the code created by the German Enigma machines.

By the end of the war there were about 200 Bombe machines working.

One of the Enigma machines used to reverse engineer how they worked and help set up the code breaking process.

Code breaking is not unlike taking the incomplete Ogham Script of burial stones, with an unknown language, and ending up with English. With a few extra twists of course.

From my perspective the genius of Bletchley is the industrialisation of code breaking. 

Bletchley Park was originally a mansion with extensive grounds.

The original owners added some whimsical architecture as the fancy took them.

Hence the copper cupola speared by a gable end.

A peculiarity of the Enigma machines was that a letter was never coded into itself.

Thus, a coded message with a possible (German) translation with no spaces could be slid sideways until no letters on the top line were above the same letters on the bottom line. The guess was referred to as a crib.

One step in the process.

Colossus was developed to decode the more complex ciphers created by a Lorenz machine, as used by the German High Command.

Whereas the Bombe was electro mechanical Colossus was more electronic. The advent of stored programme computers.

Colossus is housed in the National Computing Museum within Bletchley Park. Unfortunately the rest of that museum was closed.

Also in the grounds is a toy museum.

Meccano models of Blackpool Tower were provided to shops which sold lots of Meccano. The more they sold the more complicated the model.

A slightly blurry Bayko model.

I haven't seen Bayko for years. It probably couldn't be sold these days for health and safety reasons. Grrrrr.

And so back to Lincolnshire. And a walk in the country.

The Viking Way, one of England's many long distance paths, runs along the bottom of this valley.

North of Blechford. We walked to Scamblesby.

Past Juicetrump.

No idea about the name. Its a sandstone outcrop in the middle of the chalk.

To a choral concert in Alford church.

Just a few days in Spilsby this time. Ready to head to Morocco for the northern winter.

A brief visit to Chesterfield and a glimpse of a different sort of church spire.

Maybe the model for Gandalf's hat?

The last batch of kippers from the Isle Of Man.

Fillets. None of the careful removal of bones that I remember from my youth. How the world has changed!

And so the leaving of Dover once more.
St Valery en Caux, Courseilles sur Mer, Avranche and Kerne, France Week 78 17th - 22nd October 2012

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