Wastwater Lake, Wasdale, Cumbria. Wast Water or Wastwater is a lake located in Wasdale, a valley in the western part of the Lake District National Park, England. The lake is almost 3 miles (4.8 km) long and more than one-third mile (540 m) wide. It is a glacial lake, formed in a glacially ‘over-deepened’ valley. It is the deepest lake in England at 258 feet (79 m). The surface of the lake is about 200 feet above sea level, while its bottom is over 50 feet below sea level. #wastwater #wastwaterlake #lakedistrict #lakedistrictnationalpark #cumbria #beautifulscenery #landscape #lakes #mountains #longexposure #longexposurephotography #canon #canon7d #canoneos7d

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Monument Valley, Utah #monumentvalley #visitutah #travelutah #exploreutah #travelusa #visitusa #exploreusa #visitusaparks #usaroadtrip #travelphotography #landscapephotography #earth #earthpix #landscape_lovers #travel #travelbug #canon #canon7d #canoneos7d #lgphotographix

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Milky Way

 

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It’s been a couple of years since I last posted on here, but I wanted to share an image that I took recently whilst visiting Utah.  I was staying near Bryce Canyon and one evening the clouds cleared away and stars came out and you could clearly see the Milky Way.

i have always looked in awe at Milky Way photos and wished that we did not suffer with light pollution so much in the UK where I live.  I wanted to make the most of the dark skies during my trip around Arizona and Utah so I invested in a new lens before my trip.

The photo was taken with my Canon 7D and my new Samyang 14mm F2.8 lens.  The image is a vertical panorama made of 6 shots taken at 25 second exposure, F2.8, ISO 5000.

Thanks for looking, and your comments are most welcome.

Farnborough Airshow 2014

Red Arrows Hawk

This year the Red Arrows celebrate their 50th Display Season and to commemorate this milestone they have a new tail decoration.  This was one of the Reds heading down the runway shortly after landing.  Once again the Red Arrows did an amazing display which left me feeling very patriotic and proud.

DC3 Dakota

One of three DC3 Dakotas on display at the Farnborough International Airshow 2014.  Its speed and range revolutionised air transport in the 1930s and 1940s and its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made.

Eurofighter Typhoon

An RAF Eurofighter Typhoon taking off right in front of me.  What a fantastic aircraft!  The Eurofighter Typhoon is a highly agile aircraft, designed to be an effective dogfighter when in combat with other aircraft; later production aircraft have been increasingly more well-equipped to undertake air-to-surface strike missions and to be compatible with an increasing number of different armaments and equipment. The Typhoon saw its combat debut during the 2011 military intervention in Libya with the Royal Air Force and the Italian Air Force, performing reconnaissance and ground strike missions. The type has also taken primary responsibility for air defence duties for the majority of customer nations.

AV -8B Harrier II

My favourite of the show is the AV-8B Harrier II.  This particular aircraft belonged to the Spanish Air Force, sadly the RAF no longer use the Harrier due to its commitment to the new F-35 Lightning 2 which will enter service in the future.  The Harrier always amazes me as the pilot hovers and manouvres the plane around in mid air as if it is hanging off strings.  Following the withdrawal of the UK, McDonnell Douglas extensively redesigned the earlier AV-8A Harrier to create the AV-8B. While retaining the general layout of its predecessor, the aircraft incorporates a new wing, an elevated cockpit, a redesigned fuselage, one extra hardpoint per wing, and other structural and aerodynamicrefinements. The aircraft is powered by an upgraded version of the Pegasus, which gives the aircraft its V/STOL ability. The AV-8B made its maiden flight in November 1981 and entered service with the USMC in January 1985. Later upgrades added a night-attack capability and radar, resulting in the AV-8B(NA) and AV-8B Harrier II Plus, respectively. An enlarged version named Harrier III was also studied, but not pursued. The UK, through British Aerospace, re-joined the improved Harrier project as a partner in 1981, giving it a significant work-share in the project. After corporate mergers in the 1990s, Boeing and BAE Systems have jointly supported the program. Approximately 340 aircraft were produced in a 22-year production program that ended in 2003.

The Shard and HMS Belfast

The Shard and HMS Belfast

A photo taken from the River Thames in London of ‘The Shard’ with HMS Belfast in the foreground.

HMS Belfast is a museum ship, originally a Royal Navy light cruiser, permanently moored in London on the River Thames and operated by the Imperial War Museum.

Construction of Belfast, the first Royal Navy ship to be named after the capital city of Northern Ireland, and one of ten Town-class cruisers, began in December 1936. She was launched on St Patrick’s Day, 17 March 1938. Commissioned in early August 1939 shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, Belfast was initially part of the British naval blockade against Germany. In November 1939 Belfast struck a German mine and spent more than two years undergoing extensive repairs. Returning to action in November 1942 with improved firepower, radar equipment and armour, Belfast was the largest and arguably most powerful cruiser in the Royal Navy at the time. Belfastsaw action escorting Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union during 1943, and in December 1943 played an important role in the Battle of North Cape, assisting in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst. In June 1944 Belfast took part in Operation Overlord supporting the Normandy landings. In June 1945 Belfast was redeployed to the Far East to join the British Pacific Fleet, arriving shortly before the end of the Second World War. Belfast saw further combat action in 1950–52 during the Korean War and underwent an extensive modernisation between 1956 and 1959. A number of further overseas commissions followed before Belfast entered reserve in 1963.

In 1967, efforts were initiated to avert Belfast‘s expected scrapping and preserve her as a museum ship. A joint committee of the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum and the Ministry of Defence was established, and reported in June 1968 that preservation was practical. In 1971 the government decided against preservation, prompting the formation of the private HMS Belfast Trust to campaign for her preservation. The efforts of the Trust were successful, and the government transferred the ship to the Trust in July 1971. Brought to London, she was moored on the River Thames near Tower Bridge in the Pool of London. Opened to the public in October 1971, Belfast became a branch of the Imperial War Museum in 1978. A popular tourist attraction, Belfast receives around a quarter of a million visitors per year.  As a branch of a national museum and part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, Belfast is supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, by admissions income, and by the museum’s commercial activities. The ship was closed to visitors following an accident in November 2011, and re-opened on 18 May 2012.

Dubai

Burj Khalifa

My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary recently by spending four nights in beautiful Dubai.  I was unsure what to expect as I had only ever visited the middle east once before when I went to Saudi Arabia.  The hottest months in Dubai are usually June and July which worried me as I do not cope well in extreme heat, however we were lucky as it only hit to very low 40’s!  Dubai is a beautiful place full of interesting things to see including the modern architecture.  While we were there we ensured that we paid a visit to the Burg Khalifa and travelled up to the observation floor to admire the amazing views from the 124th floor.  Unfortunately by the time we came outside for some photos I had to shoot directly into the sun.  As I shoot in RAW I was able to rescue the photo to some degree and it has come out better than I was expecting.

The Burg Khalifa could produce its own record book due to the amount of world records it holds as follows: –

  • Tallest existing structure: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously KVLY-TV mast – 628.8 m or 2,063 ft)
  • Tallest structure ever built: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously Warsaw radio mast – 646.38 m or 2,121 ft)
  • Tallest freestanding structure: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously CN Tower – 553.3 m or 1,815 ft)
  • Tallest skyscraper (to top of spire): 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously Taipei 101 – 509.2 m or 1,671 ft)
  • Tallest skyscraper to top of antenna: 829.8 m (2,722 ft) (previously the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower – 527 m or 1,729 ft)
  • Building with most floors: 163 (previously World Trade Center – 110)
  • Building with world’s highest occupied floor: 584.5 m (1,918 ft)
  • World’s highest elevator installation (situated inside a rod at the very top of the building)
  • World’s longest travel distance elevators: 504m (1,654 ft)
  • Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 606 m (1,988 ft)
  • World’s tallest structure that includes residential space
  • World’s second highest outdoor observation deck: 124th floor at 452 m (1,483 ft). When it first opened, the observation deck was the highest outdoor observation deck in the World, but it has since been surpassed by Cloud Top 488 on top of Canton Tower.
  • World’s highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade: 512 m (1,680 ft)
  • World’s highest nightclub: 144th floor
  • World’s highest restaurant (At.mosphere): 122nd floor at 442 m (1,450 ft) (previously 360, at a height of 350 m (1,148 ft) in CN Tower)
  • World’s highest New Year display of fireworks.
  • World’s second highest swimming pool: 76th floor (world’s highest swimming pool is located on 118th floor of Ritz-Carlton Hotel at International Commerce Centre, Hong Kong).

Dubai Skyline at Night

We stayed at the ‘Fairmont the Palm’ Hotel www.fairmont.com/palm-dubai who made our stay extremely special.  My wife had contacted them when she made the booking and advised them we would be celebrating our anniversary.  When we arrived they greeted us warmly and wished us both a very happy anniversary and promptly upgraded our room to a deluxe room with a view.  The photo above was taken from our balcony on the second floor.  I would thoroughly recommend staying at this hotel if you are planning a visit to Dubai, the staff were excellent and the hotel was beautiful with several great restaurants to choose from.  I recommend ‘Frevo’ a Brazilian restaurant where you get served as much meat as you can eat from a choice of 15 different cuts.  The meat is carved at your table by the chefs.

Thanks for stopping by, your comments and feedback are most welcome.

City Hall and The Shard

City Hall and The Shard

 

I managed to capture this photo of the sun glinting off the glass of City Hall and The Shard behind whilst walking across Tower Bridge last week.  We had taken the day off to go up to London and go up The Shard to see the views.  The view from up there was pretty impressive but unfortunately the weather was overcast so my photos from up there weren’t much good.  However when we got back down to ground level the weather cheered up and the sun came out and we ended up doing a boat trip up the Thames.

City Hall is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority (GLA), which comprises the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. It is located in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge. It was designed by Norman Foster and opened in July 2002, two years after the Greater London Authority was created.  City Hall was constructed at a cost of £43 million on a site formerly occupied by wharves serving the Pool of London. The building does not belong to the GLA but is leased under a 25-year rent. Despite its name, City Hall is neither located in nor does it serve a city (as recognised by English constitutional law), often adding to the confusion of Greater London with the City of London, whose headquarters is in the Guildhall, north of the Thames. In June 2011 Mayor Boris Johnson announced that for the duration of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the building would be called London House.  The building is located on the River Thames in the London Borough of Southwark. It forms part of a larger development called More London, including offices and shops. Next to City Hall is a sunken amphitheatre called The Scoop, which is used in the summer months for open-air performances; it is not, however, part of the GLA’s jurisdiction. The Scoop and surrounding landscape were designed by Townshend Landscape Architects. The nearest London Underground and National Rail station isLondon Bridge.

The Shard, also referred to as the Shard of Glass, Shard London Bridge and formerly London Bridge Tower, is an 87-storey skyscraper in London that forms part of the London Bridge Quarter development. The Shard’s construction began in March 2009; it was topped out on 30 March 2012 and inaugurated on 5 July 2012.  Practical completion was achieved in November 2012. Its privately operated observation deck, the View from the Shard, opened to the public on 1 February 2013.

Standing approximately 306 metres (1,004 ft) high, the Shard is currently the tallest building in the European Union. It is the second-tallest free-standing structure in the United Kingdom, after the concrete tower at the Emley Moor transmitting station. The glass-clad pyramidal tower has 72 habitable floors, with a viewing gallery and open-air observation deck – the UK’s highest – on the 72nd floor, at a height of 244.3 metres (802 ft).  It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and replaced Southwark Towers, a 24-storey office block built on the site in Southwark in 1975. The Shard was developed by Sellar Property on behalf of LBQ Ltd and is jointly owned by Sellar Property and the State of Qatar.

RIAT 2013 (more planes)

 

F4U-4 Corsair and B-25 Mitchell

Here are some more photos from the Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 at RAF Fairford.  The photo above is the B-25 Mitchell flying with the F4U-4 Corsair from the Red Bull team.

MIG 29

 

This is the Mikoyan MIG 29 from the Polish Air Force showing some heat.

AVRO Vulcan

 

…and to finish, we have an AVRO Vulcan bomber form the Royal Air Force.

 

Happy Christmas

Snowman

 

Since starting my blog earlier this year I have been overwhelmed by number of visitors who have been kind enough to like and comment on my photos and many of you have even started to follow my blog for which I am truly grateful.  I have discovered some wonderful photography on WordPress which has given me lots of inspiration.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Brighton Beach

Brighton West Pier

The West Pier was opened in 1866 with a length of 1115 feet, and built with cast iron threaded columns screwed into the seabed. The pier did not have much of a superstructure until 1893 when a pier head was extended and a pavilion added.  A concert hall was added in 1916 and a new top-deck entrance in 1932.  In 1965 the pier was bought by a company that owned some seafront hotels and entertainment venues.  They had ambitions for the pier but as maintenance costs increased the pier was closed in 1975 when Brighton Corporation declined to buy it and the pier passed into the hands of the Crown Estates Commissioners.  A trust was formed to save the pier and in 1984 they bought it for a nominal sum.

The West Pier had been cut off from the shore (partly deliberately, for safety reasons) since the early 1990s. A break was also caused by high winds in 1987, but the West Pier trust offered regular tours of it until the structure suffered a serious partial collapse during a storm on 29 December 2002, when a walkway connecting the concert hall and pavilion fell into the sea. On 20 January 2003 a further collapse saw the destruction of the concert hall in the middle of the pier. On 28 March 2003 the pavilion at the end of the pier caught fire. Firefighters were unable to save the building from destruction because the collapsed walkway prevented them from reaching it. The cause of the fire remains unknown, since fire investigators were unable to access the site for safety reasons. On 11 May 2003, another fire broke out, consuming most of what was left of the concert hall. The fire re-ignited on 12 May. Arson was suspected: the West Pier Trust refers to the fires as the work of “professional arsonists”. Suggested beneficiaries to ending any possible development of the West Pier either local residents who objected to a new development on the sea front, or the threat of competition to the lucrative Palace Pier’s business.

On 23 June 2004 high winds caused the middle of the pier to collapse completely. Despite all these setbacks, the West Pier Trust remained adamant that they would soon begin full restoration work. Finally, in December 2004, the Trust conceded defeat, after their plans were rejected by the Heritage Lottery Fund, in part because of problems with achieving the required “matched funding” from outside sources. Subsequent plans to restore only the oldest, structural parts of the pier were eventually rejected by English Heritage. In September 2005 the Trust revealed in their newsletter that they were forming further plans to rebuild the original structure with help from private funding.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Palace Pier with the derelict West Pier shown in the distance to the right.

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Brighton Beach and Brighton Wheel.

The wheel was manufactured in Germany and was transported to South Africa in 2010, where it served as a tourist attraction during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  It was taken to England in September 2011, a month after work began on building its foundations on Madeira Drive, at a location known as Dalton’s Bastion.  Some railings of historic interest had to be taken out; the Regency Society stated in October 2011 that they had asked the council to keep them in good condition and re-erect them after the wheel is dismantled.  The railings are part of a Grade II-listed length running along Marine Parade, built in 1880 of moulded cast iron and teak.

The wheel was installed during September and October 2011. After a period of testing, it was opened to the public on 24 October 2011—the first day of the school half term.  Paramount Attractions stated they hoped to attract 250,000 visitors to the wheel per year during its five-year existence.

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A Seagull in flight.  Brighton’s football club (Brighton and Hove Albion) are also nick named “The Seagulls”.

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Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Blackpool Tower Ballroom

 

The original ballroom, the Tower Pavilion opened in August 1894. It was smaller than the present ballroom and occupied the front of the tower complex.  The Tower Ballroom was built between 1897 and 1898 to the designs of Frank Matcham who also designed Blackpool Grand Theatre and it opened in 1899.  It was commissioned by the Tower company in response to the opening of the Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens. The ballroom floor is 120 ft (37 m) x 120 ft and is made up of 30,602 blocks of mahogany, oak and walnut.  Above the stage is the inscription, “Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear” from the poem Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare.  Each crystal chandelier in the ballroom can be lowered to the floor to be cleaned which takes over a week.

From 1930 until his retirement in 1970 the resident organist was Reginald Dixon, known affectionately worldwide as “Mr. Blackpool”.  The first Wurlitzer organ was installed in 1929, but it was replaced in 1935 by one designed by Reginald Dixon.  Ernest Broadbent took over as resident organist in 1970 until he retired due to ill health in 1977.  The current resident organist is Phil Kelsall who has been playing the organ at the Tower since 1975 when he started in the circus. Kelsall became resident in the ballroom in 1977, he was awarded an MBE like Dixon in 2010 for services to music.

The ballroom was damaged by fire in December 1956, and the dance floor was destroyed along with the restaurant underneath the ballroom.  Restoration took two years and cost £500,000, with many of the former designers and builders coming out of retirement to assist, the restaurant then became the Tower Lounge.

The BBC series Come Dancing was televised from the Tower Ballroom for many years and it has also hosted shows from Strictly Come Dancing, including the grand finals of the second and ninth series, on 11 December 2004, and 17 December 2011 respectively.

The Blackpool Junior Dance Festival (“Open to the World”) has been held each year in the ballroom since 1964.  Also the World Modern Jive Championships are held annually.

Dancing was not originally allowed on Sundays; instead, sacred music was played. The ballroom also originally had very strict rules including:

  • “Gentlemen may not dance unless with a Lady” and
  • “Disorderly conduct means immediate expulsion”.

The ballroom has had a number of resident dance bands including Bertini and his band, and Charlie Barlow.  Other smaller dance bands have also appeared as residents including the Eric Delaney Band and the Mike James Band.

Under the management of Leisure Parcs, and the direction of bandleader Greg Francis, the Blackpool Tower Big Band was reformed in 2001 after an absence of 25 years.  The New Squadronaires, The Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra and The Glenn Miller Tribute Orchestra also performed.  Themed nights were also introduced along with the sixteen piece orchestra, with resident singers, including Robert Young (born Robert Parkes Stockport 1953), Tony Benedict, Lynn Kennedy, and Mark Porter.  In 2005 the Empress Orchestra became resident in the ballroom alongside the specially created and smaller Empress Dance Band.

 

Cathedral of Power

Battersea Power Station

Once known as the ‘Cathedral of Power’, Battersea Power Station finally closed its doors for good on 31st October 1983.  Over 30 years later this iconic building still lies dormant on the South Bank of the River Thames.

The fact that the station’s output continued to fall, coupled with increased operating costs, such as flue gas cleaning, led to Battersea’s demise.  On 17 March 1975, the ‘A’ Station was closed after being in operation for 40 years.  By this time the ‘A’ Station was co-firing oil and its generating capacity had declined to 228 MW.

Three years after the closure of the ‘A’ Station, rumours began to circulate that the B Station would soon follow. A campaign was then launched to try to save the building as part of the national heritage.  As a result the station was declared a heritage site in 1980, when the Secretary of State for the Environment, Michael Heseltine, awarded the building Grade II listed status.  On 31 October 1983 production of electricity at Station ‘B’ also ended, after nearly 30 years of operation.  By then the ‘B’ Station’s generating capacity had fallen to 146 MW.  The closure of the two stations was put down largely to the generating equipment becoming outdated, and the preferred choice of fuel for electricity generation shifting from coal toward oil, gas and nuclear power.  Since the station ceased generating electricity, there have been numerous proposals and attempts to redevelop the site.

Battersea Power Station

 One of the 4 chimneys and 2 of the cranes that used to unload the coal from the barges on the river.

Battersea Power Station

 A view of one end of the power station photographed with the railway bridge in foreground.

Battersea Power Station

A close up of the cranes in front of the power station on the bank of the River Thames.

Battersea Power Station

Redevelopment work has now started on the site.  The plan includes the restoration of the historic Power Station itself, the creation of a new riverside park to the north of the Power Station and the creation of a new High Street which is designed to link the future entrance to Battersea Power Station tube station with the Power Station.  The redevelopment is hoped to bring about the extension of the existing riverside walk and facilitate access directly from the Power Station to Battersea Park and Chelsea Bridge.  Restoration of the Grade II* listed Power Station is an early priority in the development.  Work is due to commence in 2013 and plans include the restoration the art deco structure internally and externally, reconstruction of the chimneys, and refurbishment of the historic cranes and jetty as a new river taxi stop.  The plan includes over 800 homes of varying sizes, and sales of residential apartments in Phase 1 of the redevelopment began in January 2013 with around 75 per cent of townhouses and apartments being sold within four days.

Niagara

Horseshoe Falls

Whilst staying for a couple of days in Niagara in August I took the opportunity to get up early and head off down to the falls to get some photographs.  I had not had a chance to take a good look at the falls when we arrived late the previous day and I was amazed at the shear volume of water pouring over the edge of the falls.  I walked right up to the end nearest the falls and got absolutely soaked as the mist came down like torrential rain.

The Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls, is part of Niagara Falls, on the Niagara River. Approximately 90% of the Niagara River, after diversions for hydropower generation, flows over Horseshoe Falls. The remaining 10% flows over the American Falls. It is located between Terrapin Point on Goat Island in New York State, and Table Rock on the Ontario side of the falls. 99% of Horseshoe Falls is located in Ontario, Canada with the remainder in New York State, United States of America.

Skylon Tower

The photo above is of the gardens at Niagara with the Skylon Tower in the background.

Standing at 160 metres (520 ft) from street level and 236 metres (775 ft) from the bottom of the falls, the tower required approval from both Canadian and United States air transport authorities, due to its proximity to the international boundary. It was the second tower to be built using the slipform method, in which concrete is continually poured into a form moving slowly up the tower. It was built by Pigott Construction of Hamilton, Ontario. The same methods were also used to build the Inco Superstack in Sudbury, and the CN Tower in Toronto.

The tower features three outside mounted “Yellow Bug” elevators. At the time of their construction they were the first such elevators in Canada. They were designed, engineered and maintained by a division of the Otis Elevator Company from Hamilton, Ontario and can carry passengers to the top of the tower in 52 seconds. Unlike conventional elevators that are guided by side rails, the Skylon elevators operate with a guide rail on the backside only. Special equipment is employed to prevent the cables from becoming tangled in the wind or impeded by snow and ice in the winter. A curtain wall on the outside of the tower behind each elevator protects the counterweight and traveling cables from the elements.

The tower has two restaurants at its top, the lower Revolving Dining Room[1] and the upper Summit Suite Buffet. The Revolving Dining Room seats 276 people and revolves once every hour by resting on a circular rail that is propelled by a 3 horsepower (2.2 kW) motor. An observation deck sits at the tower’s summit. The base of the tower features a number of gift shops, fast food restaurants and a large amusement arcade. A floor for conventions is also available, but is seldom utilized.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

CN Tower and Waterfront

It has been a real long time since I last posted anything on my blog and I apologise for that.  I went on holiday and then when I returned, I spent weeks processing and editing the many photos I had taken and then felt the need to take a break from the photos for a while.

These two photos are of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada.  I have never been to Toronto before and I thought it was a great city with lots to see.

CN Tower and Waterfront

The CN Tower is 553.33 metres high (1,815.4 ft) and is a concrete communications and observation tower in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Built on the former Railway Lands, it was completed in 1976, becoming the world’s tallest free-standing structure and world’s tallest tower at the time. It held both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifaand Canton Tower in 2010. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, a signature icon of Toronto’s skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually.

Goodwood Festival of Speed – Part II

Porsche 911

 

Some more pictures from Goodwood Festival of Speed.  I used my monopod after a while and found it easier to get sharper shots whilst panning to catch these cars at speed.

Above is the Porsche 911.

Throughout its lifetime, the 911 has been modified by private teams and by the factory itself for racing, rallying and other forms of automotive competition. It is among the most successful competition cars ever.  In the mid-1970s, naturally aspirated 911 Carrera RSRs won major world championship sports car races such asTarga Florio, Daytona, Sebring and Nürburgring, even against prototypes. The 911-derived 935 turbo also won the coveted 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979.

In the 1999 international poll for the award of Car of the Century, the 911 came fifth.  It is one of two in the top five that had remained continuously in production (the original Beetle remained in production until 2003), and was until 1998 the most successful surviving application of the air- (now water-) cooled opposed rear-engine layout pioneered by its original ancestor, the Volkswagen Beetle. It is one of the oldest sports coupe nameplates still in production, and 820,000 had been sold by the car’s 50th anniversary in 2013

Audi Quattro

 

The Audi Quattro (above) was the first rally car to take advantage of the then-recently changed rules which allowed the use of four-wheel drive in competition racing. It won competition after competition for the next two years.  To commemorate the success of the original vehicle, all subsequent Audis with their trademark quattro four-wheel-drive system were badged “quattro” with a lower case “q” and in a distinct typeface which has remained nearly unchanged since its inception. The original car with the upper case “Q” in the Quattro name is a collector’s piece.

Vauxhall Firenza

The Firenza is a model of car offered by Vauxhall Motors from May 1971 until 1975. It was a development of the Viva, but had a distinctive coupé body style (fastback) and only two doors.

The initial Firenza was available in a base model 1159 cc overhead valve and two models with overhead camshaft, in 1598 cc and 1975 cc variants. The latter was the same engine as used in the earlier Viva GT. Some six months after launch, in December 1971, performance was boosted when the engine capacities were enlarged to 1256 cc, 1798 cc and 2279 cc respectively. All models had a front-mounted four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels. Suspension was double wishbone and coilsprings at the front, and a live rear axle with trailing arms and coils at the rear. The SL model in each engine size carried the highest level of trim.

The model changes in early 1972 included the introduction of a top-of-the-line 2300 Sport SL model (introduced at the Geneva Motor Show), using the 2279 cc engine. The 2300 Sport SL was the only version to feature the seven dial dash (speedometer, clock, rev counter, fuel, oil pressure, water temp, & battery charge). The engine was an inclined four-cylinder with single overhead camshaft and twin Stromberg carburettors, producing 122 bhp (91 kW; 124 PS). The oversquarestraight four engine was renowned for its big torque curve, making the car very flexible and easy to drive. The interior was equipped with bucket seats, front and back, to carry four persons. The centre console with heater controls and warning lights was quite distinctive and luxurious for the time.

The 2300 Sport SL was raced in by the Dealer Team Vauxhall, following their successes with the Viva GT. In Castrol colours, these cars enjoyed many successes.

RIAT 2013

Red Arrow

 

What a fantastic couple of days I had at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2013 at RAF Fairford.  Unlike last year, the weather on the Friday was amazing and we stood in our usual spot at the end of the run way expecting to get great views and photos as the planes flew over us as they came in to land.  Unfortunately due to the wind direction all the planes were taking off and landing from the other direction!

After a few hours we decided to head back to the camp site where we would get a better view of what was going on.  I was really pleased to get this close up shot of one of the Red Arrows T1 Hawks.

Spitfire

 

The Supermarine Spitfire is another of my favourite planes.  This one was a double cockpit version.

When I woke up (well, I say ‘woke up’ loosely as I don’t think I actually slept) at 6am I went and stood in the queue for a shower at the campsite.  One hour later I got to the front of the queue.  All the time I was queueing, the clouds were building up and by the time I was back at my tent there was quite a lot of low level cloud.  Fortunately there were patches of blue sky so if you were lucky you could get a good photo of a planes as it flew into a patch of blue sky.

F-16 Fighting Falcon

 

This final picture is of the Dutch F-16 Fighting Falcon, quite an awesome aircraft and one I found difficult keeping up with, with my camera.

Thanks for visiting, hope you like the photos.

Goodwood Festival of Speed 2013

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The Goodwood Festival of Speed, commonly abbreviated as FoS and referred within the United Kingdom as simply the Festival of Speed, is an annual hill climb featuring historic motor racing vehicles that is held in the grounds of Goodwood House, West Sussex, England.

Typically held in late June or early July, the event is scheduled to fit into the motor racing calendar to avoid a date clash with the Formula One season, enabling not just fans but many teams involved in current motor racing championships to attend. Visitors can expect to see cars and motorbikes from over 100 years of worldwide motor racing history climb the hill, including many of the latest F1 machines. Aside from the machines, the event attracts a host of names from the past and present of motor racing, offering a rare chance to see world-famous names driving a wide range of cars.

In its early years, several tens of thousands of visitors attended the Festival over the weekend; in recent times its popularity has grown to attracting daily crowds of around 100,000 visitors over the three days it is now held. The record was in 2003 when a crowd of 158,000 attended, before an advance-ticket-only admission policy came into force; but in 2005, attendance crept back to 150,000 and it is capped at this number today

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The Goodwood Festival of Speed was founded in 1993 by Lord March in order to bring motor racing back to the Goodwood estate — a location steeped in British motor racing history. Shortly after taking over the estate in the early 1990s, Lord March (as he is formally known) wanted to bring back motor racing to Goodwood Circuit, but did not have the necessary permit to host a race there. Therefore, he instead hosted it on his own grounds. With a small selection of entrants made up of invited historic vehicles, the first event that took place on Sunday 13 June proved to be a success, taking in a crowd of 25,000 despite a date clash with the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year.  For the following year, the event expanded to two days, and in 1996 added one extra day on Friday. After its date clash for the first event, Lord March would ensure that the event would never be allowed to clash with either Le Mans or Formula One races.

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For more information about Goodwood Festival of Speed and other events at the venue, you can visit the official website at: –

http://www.goodwood.co.uk/motorsport/motorsport.aspx

Thanks for stopping by.

50 followers – Thank you!

 

Wow, I have just been notified that I now have 50 followers on my blog.  I am overwhelmed that so many people like what I am posting enough to actually want to follow my blog.  I would just like to thank you all for your support and I will strive to keep up the (almost) weekly posts.

Thank you all once again, you have made my day.

Portofino Bay Hotel

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This is one of the ornamental scooters parked up outside the Portofino Bay Hotel at the Universal Orlando® Resort, Florida.  The hotel is beautiful in design with lots of colourful buildings surrounding a lake with boats on.  Nestled along a picturesque bay at Universal Orlando® Resort, this luxurious hotel recreates the charm and romance of the famed seaside village of Portofino, Italy, right down to the cobblestone streets and outdoor cafes.

Construction for the resort began in 1997 and was completed by 1999. With the announcement of this property, it became a significant milestone in the multi-billion dollar growth program for Universal City Florida. Beginning on October 15, 1998, guests were given the opportunity to begin booking at the resort for the following year. The resort officially opened in September 1999.

Vapour Trails

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This is the US Air Force F-18 Super Hornet doing its stuff at the Farnborough International Air Show 2012.  It is incredible what these pilots can do in these awesome flying machines.  On 19th July I will be at the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) at RAF Fairford hoping for two things:

1. To get some great photos of planes

2. Better weather than last year – which had to be the wettest most miserable day of the entire year.

If you’ve never been to RIAT and you are a keen aircraft spotter or photographer, this is a MUST.  More details at the following link: –

http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow

I am certainly looking forward to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) which will have a Lancaster Bomber, a Spitfire and a Hurricane flying together.

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