Monday, September 29, 2008

DLR services Monday 29 September

TFL have been pretty quick to put out a press release this morning to say that there are unlikely to be any Docklands Light Railway Services between Bank and Canary Wharf during today's morning rush hour. This is due to over-running engineering works in the Westferry area.

Fortunately my plans to travel from the West End today to Docklands were to go via Waterloo. (a) I prefer to and (b) that's what we are encouraged to do, because of ongoing escalator works at Bank station.

Well done TFL for the prompt advice. Less well done for the works over-running in the first place.

NB: Usual disclaimer - this is not a live site. Click here for current position.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Knife Arch in the Country

Friday evening, Princes Risborough station - What's this? A knife arch and lots of police (well, four) stood around.

Obviously not fitting the right profile, I just wandered into town to do some late night shopping, without having to be analysed, probed, questioned or otherwise delayed.

Once I got to Tesco, another surprise. In the side car park was a huge police lorry belonging to the Thames Valley Police 'Mounted Section'. What? Police horses and a knife arch. What was happening to this backyard of relative rural tranquility?

Well, it transpires that two things had caused are local boys and girls in blue to get a bit twitchy and to bolster the local police cloak of invisibility with a year's worth of resources:

  • On the previous Saturday night, according to the Bucks Free Press, there was a mini-riot with a fight erupting at a private party on the north side of the town. Apparently there were worries that some of those involved might return to continue their misdemeanours on Friday. On the night in question I had been enjoying a meal in a local pub with a friend and we had noticed a number of police cars haring up the road from High Wycombe toward Princes Risborough. As we live in such a quiet relatively crime-free backwater, we had just assumed that there had been a road traffic accident somewhere.
  • Trouble makers from the Thame Show were expected to come into town and cause a bit of bother. A quick bit of research into this theory would suggest that it can quickly be discounted as the Thame Show is a one day show that finished the day before.

When I returned to the station, the number of police had increased to 9 or 10. It transpired however that, as it was getting a bit late for them (it was nearly ten o'clock), they needed to work out how to remove the aforementioned knife arch and return the train station to its usual state of late night desolation. I can't say for how long the police horses stood in the Tesco car park, munching their hay.

As an interesting aside, a local commented to me yesterday that he hoped that Risborough 'wasn't going to go back to how it was in the 1970s'. Apparently Princes Risborough was a regular hot-spot for Mods & Rockers who would travel on trains to the town, half way between High Wycombe and Aylesbury, to fight. I am unable to confirm this by means of a link to some obscure corner of the internet, as I usually would.

How the world has moved on - Princes Risborough has, I think, changed little over the years whereas the population mix of the two larger neighboring towns has changed dramatically over the last three decades.

As if I hadn't already had enough excitement for one evening, a broken down train on the Risborough to Aylesbury single track line had caused some delays to Chiltern Ralways' services, so I was almost 30 minutes later than expected in getting home.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Anonymous Blogs - Is the writing on the wall?

Apparently the European Union is currently investigating whether to force all bloggers to register their real identities, with a photograph.

Now, I know of many bloggers who would simply stop blogging if they were no longer anonymous. I choose to be anonymous, simply because it suits the style of writing that I seek to achieve.

Personally I think it would be a shame to impose public profiles on people - it would certainly make the Blogosphere a less interesting place.

Thanks to Monday Books for pointing me in the direction of this.

Do please buy some books from them - it might be a bit cheaper to go via Amazon, but Monday Books always post via first class post, don't charge postage and are really nice people to deal with. When I look at the sort of books they publish, it makes me realise how valuable some of our small independent publishers really are.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

DIY Sauna

Late Monday afternoon. Wandered down to Marble Arch to catch a train out to Stratford.

La la la... through the ticket barrier. La la la... down the escalator. La la la... along the passage way and down the stairs. La la la onto the platform.


It was as though I had walked into a brick wall. It felt really hot. It wasn't particularly hot outside, or anywhere elso on the station, just on the platforms. I acclimatised fairly quickly, but the contrast in air temperatures over the space of a few feet was incredible.

I seem to recall that the Evening Standard ran some articles a few years ago about the differences in ambient air temperatures on different London Underground lines - my recollection is that the Central Line was the warmest because of the type of braking system that the trains use.

Anyhow, if my experience of this week is anything to go by... Need a sauna? Don't spend big bucks on a fitness club or gymn. Don't fly off to Scandinavia to experience the real deal. Just buy an Oystercard and check out the platforms at Marble Arch. Delightful.