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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bill Nichols: A Wandering Picture Taker

Please give a warm welcome to Bill Nichols, a fantastic photographer and historian who is here to share some of his work with us. Take it away, Bill!  

I feel honored to be here today writing this guest post, and by the time you read this, my blog Spuds Daily Photo will be just over six months old with over 6000 views!

When I said I'd be up for guesting, I never thought I'd get accepted as I am relatively new to blogging. I'm no writer, so I thought it better to tell you about my blogs.  (Tina here - we love new people!  Encouraging new bloggers is one of the big goals of The Challenge, and this blog.  We're not just for WRITERS, we're for BLOGGERS!)

I've been called an historian and photographer though I claim to be neither. "I'm an old fellow who likes to take photos and reads some history on places I visit."  That is the description on my profile, but as someone once said on a forum I visited,  "A Wandering Picture Taker" would describe me better.

So how did I get in to blogging?  I thought it would be another outlet for the photos I have taken.  I am  a member of Geograph where I go round the country taking photos of the areas I have been to. I did a few posts on there and thought, "This is not so hard!"

With the encouragement of other bloggers, I started off with Spuds Rural Explorations which tells about places I had been to and photos to back them up.  The first post was called Pillboxes along the Thames which was about all the defensive blockhouses (pillboxes) that remain along there mostly hidden from view.
I update the blog periodically with new reports.

This is a pillbox and was one of my favorites as it overhung the bank but during the summer of 2012 it went in the river. 

This picturesque looking boathouse near me is a defended building, the section on the left is one huge pillbox.


As a spin off from this, I started Forgotten Fairmile which is about the conversion of a mental hospital in the village where I live. I got permission to record the development and started to photograph it all. During this time, I got involved with a villager who was starting a village archive and was researching his family who worked Fairmile.  The outcome was we had an exhibition for the village which was well received, and just lately I did a talk on the subject to the residents of Fairmile. My parents worked there and it is dedicated to them.

This group photo includes my mother.

It would have been taken on this lawn.
The link is a video I made.

I realized I had few followers and discovered Google + which did help. Then one day I came across Beneath thy feet, a blog on Taohophilia, or the study of gravestones. Since I visit a lot of churches and churchyards, this seemed second nature so, My Grave Place came about. I tend to do this weekly and join up with a few other bloggers on the same subject.

Last we come to my daily blog, Spuds Daily Photo which is hardly six months old. I post a photo from my collection each day with a short explanation and hopefully people will enjoy my offering and leave a message.

The A to Z challenge was a good outlet, though I did need some encouragement from Dana of the Daily Dose.  I did feel out of place with all the writers and so few photographers posting. Oh yes, I'm sorting out the theme for the next one at the moment.

There is one more blog which is on a different account. Cholsey new Pavilion where I have followed the building of the new village hall for the village where I live in. The blog will soon becoming to and end as the work is nearly complete, though I will leave the blog going for people to look at. I might add the main contractors who came from the north of England who followed the progress on it as well.

I hope you have enjoyed my little rendition here and will come and visit my blogs, and if you like any of them feel free to join.
I'm currently on my roadtrip and visiting all the blogs in the A to Z and am amazed at the amount of subjects people blog on but I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful photos with us, and congrats on keeping so many blogs going!


Dear Readers - we're still accepting guest posts from anyone who has participated in at least one A-Z Challenge.  Email me at tndowney at gmail dot com if you're interested.  We accept posts from all kinds of blogs, not just writing blogs!  We are a big family, and there's room for everyone!


  1. Your photos are beautiful, Bill. I particularly love the one of the graveyard - probably because I wrote a book about a girl who lived in one. I love anything spooky like that! :D

  2. Bill, I was very happy to come across your blog in the A-Z challenge and I still check in on a regular basis as I love seeing the photos of UK. I was also impressed of your offer of help in relation to my family history. Well Done and Keep up the good work.

  3. GREAT post Bill, thank you! I was wondering where they were in the world but I see from Sharon that they are in the UK. Well done for completing the A-Z and for now, being on the blog as a guest! So pleased I read about you and once our moving is over I hope I have more time to check in on future posts.

  4. It is such a pleasure to follow your blogs, Bill. A - Z is the place to be to meet some amazing bloggers, of which you are one, my friend! :)

  5. The UK is a good source for pictures of old buildings and historical places. Love your pictures. Nice to tie it in with a picture of your mum.

    As an ex pat I am wondering where some of the pictures actually are.


  6. I always enjoy your pictures, Bill. Wonderful post!

  7. Hello Bill...I enjoyed your guest post very much. Photos add so much interest to posts regardless of the genre. As a family history genealogist and story teller...can't claim to be a writer...I find a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

    I'm off to visit your blogs and add you to this weeks 'AtoZ Road Trip which I'll post tomorrow. So nice to see you here as a guest. I visited your blog during the challenge and look forward to going back.

    Sue CollectInTexasGal~Today's Post~
    With This Ring

  8. That's really neat! You make me want to put more pictures on my blog, even though that would have nothing to do with most of my posts (I'm one of those writers you worry about. Don't. We all just want to have fun!).

  9. Wonderful pictures a pleasure to the eye.


  10. Bill, I love your photos! I'm intrigued by the pillboxes; I want to know more. I do enjoy photography, but don't get around with the ol' camera as much as I'd like.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  11. Thank you for all your kind comments, it was a pleasure to tell you about what I do and show my photo's.

  12. Thank you Bill for being our guest today! Sounds like people enjoyed your work!
    Tina @ Life is Good


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