Category Archives: Television

Ireland — Blarney Castle Stable Yard

Blarney Castle structure

Time to move on to the next Blarney Castle view — the stable yard. To get there we head westward from the South Wall of the castle. Let’s enjoy the views:

Back view of the Coach House Café at the Stable Yard

One of the buildings within the Stable Yard is the coach house, which on the second floor houses the Hay Loft gift shop:

Blarney Castle coaches
Coach House and Hay Loft gift shop

Outside the Hay Loft sign are seating areas to take you refreshments from the nearby Coach Yard Café:

Coaches, Gift Shop, and Seating Area

Before leaving this area, I’ll just remind you what a sucker I am for striking architectural details accented with colorful flora:


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Circumnavigating New Zealand — Octagon to Cadbury’s 2019

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Now let’s start again from The Octagon and head down Lower Stuart Street. In the photo above you see St. Paul’s Cathedral, located along the west side of The Octagon. Turning east we find the Regent Theatre, which opened in 1928:

Regent Theatre

And what is that beautiful car we see above, sitting at the light in front of the Regent? Let’s take a closer look:

Aston Martin

Let’s take another gander at the Regent before we continue on:

Regent Theatre

On Monday I gave you a small glimpse of the roofline of Dunedin’s Security Building. Here’s a view of the complete building from across the street:

Security Building

In front of the Dunedin Railway Station, which we’ll visit next week, is ANZAC Square:

ANZAC Square looking west

North on Castle Street is/was the Cadbury chocolate factory. Unfortunately for us, and especially for chocolate-loving Ursula, the factory closed mere weeks before our 2019 arrival. Earlier this year the abandoned factory still stood, but it was slated for demolition:

Defunct Cadbury’s chocolate factory on Castle St.


Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, Television, vacation

Circumnavigating Australia — Melbourne and Puffing Billy

Puffing Billy

Our cruise ship departed Adelaide on Sunday, March 1. Two days later Radiance of the Seas docked in Melbourne. But this day we would not be touring Melbourne. Instead, we had a date for a ride aboard the Puffing  Billy Railway, a narrow-gauge heritage railway.

Locomotive 14A

There’s a lot to see on this excursion, so we’ll be enjoying it this week and next. And there’s a lot of history on this line, from the stations to the equipment used.

Menzies Creek Station

For instance, today I’m presenting photos of Locomotive 14A. From the Puffing Billy website:

Built in 1914 and painted Canadian Pacific red & dark brown, this locomotive was issued to the Colac to Crowes line and saw service on all four lines, but mostly on the Colac to Crowes line. It was withdrawn from service in 1962 at Colac and sent to Newport Workshops for storage where it remained, except for a brief time at Bendigo North Work-shops in 1963. After overhaul, it was brought to Belgrave in 1965 where it has seen almost continuous service since. In 1978, it became the first of the preserved NA’s to trial a historic colour scheme for which the Canadian Pacific red & dark brown was chosen, but ended up mistakenly being painted a “London Tan” & dark brown. In 1996 it received a more correct Canadian Pacific livery. This “temporary” trial livery has now given way to 14A’s designated livery of all-over black. Its physical configuration will match the late 1940s era with the extended bunker, guard irons, etc.

Locomotive 14A

Locomotive 14A would not be our steed this journey. You’ll see that beauty on Wednesday. I present Locomotive 14A because it was available for detailed viewing while we awaited our own transportation. Let’s take a look at the boiler of this beautiful steam-powered locomotive:

Red hot boiler

And while we’re at it, let’s take a gander at the vitally important temperature and steam gauges that warn against impending disaster should the pressure get too high:

Locomotive boiler gauges

Narrow-gauge is defined as, ” . . . track gauge narrower than standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) [source].” Puffing Billy’s track width is 2 feet 6 inches/762mm.

Narrow-gauge — 2’6″/762mm

I’ll be posting links below to provide you with more information, and I’ll be including these links throughout the series. Until Wednesday, here’s one last look at Locomotive 14A hitched up to the rest of her train:

Locomotive 14A ready to go

For more information:

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