Random thoughts from Pencefn

…. an engineer, singer and photographer living in Scotland

Tate and Lyle Building in East London

Looking back at 2016

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As 2016 comes to an end, it is time to reflect on my year. I managed to keep up a blog a week until July. Since then time has been getting the better of me, so there has only been occasional postings.

As the beginning of 2016 I was still posting my travelogue of the September 2015 holiday in Ontario. At the beginning of the year I joined Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society, with my first concert the 2 January 2016 singing of Handel’s Messiah.

GCCS in Glasgow Cathedral

GCCS in Glasgow Cathedral
2 January 2016

January 2016
A theme during 2016 was visiting Cathedrals and Abbeys. The first was Rochester Cathedral.

Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral
11 January 2016

More on the visit to Rochester Cathedral:

  • Blog on Rochester Cathedral
  • Pictures from the visit to Rochester Cathedral
    More blogs from January 2016.

    February 2016
    The Cathedral visited in February was Carlisle Cathedral.

    Carlisle Cathedral

    Carlisle Cathedral
    6 February 2016

    This was a return visit, this time to sing with RSCM Scottish Voices on our first meeting of the year.

    More on the visit to Carlisle Cathedral:

  • Blog on the visit to Carlisle Cathedral
  • Pictures from the return visit to Carlisle Cathedral
    During the month I also managed visits to Sheffield Cathedral and Chesterfield Parish Church

    At the end of the month I visited Chichester Cathedral

    Chichester Cathedral

    Chichester Cathedral
    29 February 2016

    More on the visit to Chichester Cathedral:

  • Blog on the visit to Chichester Cathedral
  • Pictures from the visit to Chichester Cathedral
    More blogs from February 2016.

    March 2016
    On Good Friday, we had booked a balloon flight in Central Scotland, however due to unsuitable wind conditions, it was cancelled. We rebooked twice more in 2016, both also cancelled due to weather.

    Consequently, we undertook a day trip to Pitlochry on what turned out to be a sunny, if cold, day.

    View downstream from the Pitlochry Hydro-Electric Dam.

    View downstream from the Pitlochry Hydro-Electric Dam.
    25 March 2016

    Hopefully in 2017 we will manage to get our balloon flight
    My blogs published March 2016.

    April 2016
    Near to where we live are a series of reservoirs that date from the end of the 19th century. The first, Ryat Linn, was located to take advantage of the water flowing in the Brock Burn.

    Brock Burn, Newton Mearns

    Brock Burn, Newton Mearns
    16 April 2016

    More on the visit to Ryat Linn:

  • Blog on the visit to Ryat Linn
  • Pictures from the visit to Ryat Linn
    My blogs published April 2016.

    May 2016
    Something slightly different for us in May, as we participated in the beating of the bounds for Southwark Cathedral. PArt way round we stopped at the Red Cross Garden

    Red Cross Garden, Southwark

    Red Cross Garden, Southwark
    8 May 2016

    In keeping with previous months, two more religious buildings were visited; The Chapel of St Thomas Hospital and Dunblane Cathedral.
    My blogs published May 2016.

    June 2016
    In June we discovered a little known gem in the West End of Glasgow, Bingham’s Pond. Although it has been reduced in size over the years the water is a magnet for wildlife.

    Bingham's Pond

    Bingham’s Pond
    18 June 2016

    More on the visit to Bingham’s Pond:

  • Blog on the visit to Bingham’s Pond
  • Pictures from the visit to Bingham’s Pond
    My blogs published June 2016.

    July 2016
    Following on from our Shaun in the City trails in 2015, we have been looking out for other trails. One was in London associated with the release of the film The BFG based on the book by Roald Dahl. As part of this, a trail of Dream Jars was placed round London.

    Whilst locating them, we came across a Routemaster on Wedding duty crossing Holborn Viaduct.

    Routemaster on wedding duties approaching Holborn Viaduct.

    Routemaster on wedding duties approaching Holborn Viaduct.
    16 July 2016

    More about finding the Dream Jars:

  • Blog on the Dream Jar Trail
  • Blog of Holborn Viaduct
  • Photographs on the Dream Jar Trail
  • Photographs on Holborn Viaduct
    My blogs published July 2016.

    August 2016
    August meant another trip to North Wales. As well as the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway volunteering, I took another set of pictures of Myfanwy’s Shop Window.

    Glosters Summer Window Display

    Glosters Summer Window Display
    8 August 2016

  • More pictures of Glosters 2016 Summer Window
    My blogs published August 2016.

    September 2016
    In September we visited North Yorkshire. Whilst there we managed to visit four abbeys, a priory, a cathedral and four churches, along with other attractions in the area.

    Fountains Abbey

    Fountains Abbey
    20 September 2016


    October 2016
    Most people who visit Portsmouth go to the Historic Naval Shipyard, however on the day of our visit our target was Portsmouth Cathedral. Built as a parish church, and dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury, in the 12th century, it was extended in the 17th century becoming a cathedral in 1927. Various extensions to the building took place including 3 bays of the nave by 1939, with the fourth and final bay completed and consecrated in 1991.

    Portsmouth Cathedral

    Portsmouth Cathedral
    28 October 2016

    My blogs published October 2016.

    November 2016
    November heralded the sixth and final RSCM Scottish Voices service, this time at Culross Abbey in Fife. The church is still in use, however the other buildings in the monastic foundation are in ruins.

    Culross Abbey

    Culross Abbey
    12 November 2016


    December 2016
    In December there was the GCCS Carol Concert in Glasgow Cathedral. I took the opportunity to take some night time pictures in the building.

    Chancel roof at Glasgow Cathedral

    Chancel roof at Glasgow Cathedral
    15 December 2016

    So 2016 is drawing to a close, the blog resolution is to get back in the routine of post a blog a week. If my plan is fulfilled, the beginning of 2017 will include a travelogue featuring the September 2016 holiday in North Yorkshire.

    Author: Stewart

    An instrumentation engineer who enjoys photography and singing. Working in the West of Scotland; a member of St Mary's Cathedral Glasgow and Southwark Cathedral; and a volunteer guard/signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales.

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