I was travelling First Class both ways on my trip to Yorkshire yesterday.
Going up to York, I used East Coast Trains and although I got coffee, there was nothing else I could eat that was gluten-free. But it didn’t matter as I was going to see friends for lunch.
In some ways I often feel cheated in First Class, as others get all sorts of goodies and I get nothing. It’s usually worse at the weekend, as all that is available is sandwiches.
Coming back from Hull on Hull Trains, I effectively told the steward I was gluten-free by declining the biscuit with the coffee. So when it came to selecting the complimentary meal, she apologised and thought, they might not have anything suitable. But she did say they had one chilli left.
Now my chilli con carnes and many I’ve had in pubs and restaurants have been gluten-free! So I suggest that she checked and she returned a minute or so later with the packet and a big smile on her face.
The pouch said the food was suitable for coeliacs and I gave it a go. There’s more details on the food here.
Unfortunately, the tortilla crisps weren’t marked and I just chanced a couple.
The meal was excellent and I got no adverse reaction at all. So my gut liked it too! Perhaps, I should have had more of the crisps.
The steward then got the bit between her teeth and checked all the other things they served including the chocolate. Admittedly, First Class was by no means full.
After all coeliacs may not be that numerous, but statistics show that about one in a hundred of the UK population may have the disease.
The steward had certainly remembered the two things you don’t lose in any form of customer service; enthusiasm and your temper.
It was an enjoyable and enlightening journey after a bad day at the football.
So well done to Hull Trains and their staff! And especially to Steph!
I had coffee coming home and it was served hot with cold milk.
I only know one person, who is specific about having their coffee like that and like the train, she has connections to Hull, as she was born and grew up there.
Perhaps it’s a Hullensian thing.
I very much dislike water bottles with teats. I got one on the train coming back from Hull.
So I’ve had a stroke and have a bit of difficulty sucking, but what’s wrong with a good old-fashioned screw cap?
Hull’s part in the emigration of Jews from Eastern Europe in the nineteenth centuries is told in this plaque at the station now called Hull Paragon Interchange.
The emigrants actually used special platforms to the south of the main station, as the authorities were worried about infectious diseases. My coeliac disease probably came from Askenazi Jews from Eastern Europe, but I suspect they came by a shorter route more directly to London, where my German-speaking ancestors worked in the fur trade.
This isn’t always the case. But yesterday, at the KC Stadium, this was my view.
It’s just a pity that Ipswich threw away a one-nil lead for the fourth time in succession.
Hull has ten Alexander Dennis Enviro400 hybrid buses.
Note that the transmission is by BAe Systems. See the Hybridrive web site.
The big beasts are showing interest in the field of efficient transport. That can only improve the introduction of more and better solutions.
Modern Railways are quoted in their February edition, that NetworkRail are going to investigate pushing the TransPennine electrification on from York to Selby and Hull.
This sounds like a good idea and I suspect that all those Hullensians will be pleased. It will also keep NetworkRail’s electrification train busy, especially as that line doesn’t have too many bridges, tunnels and viaducts.
The Humber Bridge is one of those bridges that ;looked good on paper and to the politicians, but quite frankly it is now becoming an expensive folly. Wikipedia says this about its creation.
The Humber Bridge Act, promoted by Kingston Upon Hull Corporation, was passed in 1959. This established the Humber Bridge Board in order to manage and raise funds to build the bridge and buy the land required for the approach roadsHowever raising the necessary funding proved impossible until the 1966 Hull North by-election.
To save his government, Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson prevailed upon his Minister of Transport Barbara Castle to sanction the building of the bridge.
I know quite a few people, who either lived or worked on both sides of the Humber and to a man and a woman, none of them ever use the bridge. I myself, have only used it a couple of times to get to Beverley horse races in the past, but on the last time I went, I took the M62 from Doncaster, which is an easier route.
I suppose too, that the bridge was used to try to unify the unwanted and short-lived county of Humberside, which was abolised in 1996.
I think that the telling statistic is that the Humber Bridge only carries about 120,000 vehicles every week, whereas the similar-sized Runcorn-Widnes bridge carries 80,000 vehicles every day.
Why should we bail out a bridge that no-one seems to want?
It would be better to spend the money in providing better services, where they are actually needed, rather than expect people to cross the bridge to say get advanced medical treatment.
There is a possible long-term solution to the bridge, that has been ducked for years and that is to create a road from the M11 up through Cambridge and Lincolnshire to join the bridge and create an alternative route north to by-pass the congested A1.
I suspect it will never be built, as container traffic is moving successfully to the railways and building roads is now something that no government feels they want to do. Correctly in my view!
What would happen today, if the Humber Bridge was being designed now?
It is interesting to look at the new designs for the new Forth Road bridge. Not only have they taken pressure off the crossing, by building a new bridge further upriver, they have gone for a much simpler and less grand design, if the pictures I saw in Scotland recently are anything to go by. But then the Forth Road bridge has been a success in terms of the traffic carried. This could not be said for the Humber bridge.
The Humber bridge was a badly planned bridge, built for political reasons and now it sits like a white elephant around everybody.
I suspect that the best solution at some point would hae been a modern ferry for local traffic, given that most long distance traffic into the area uses the good east-west roads.
But ferries aren’t sexy, are they? Given that those on the Mersey and the Thames still run and are much loved, I suspect that might have been the best solution.
But now it is too late!
So now we’re left with the problem of what to do with the bridge and its financing!
Looking at the map, I wouldn’t rule out that a new crossing is build to the north of Scunthorpe to improve northern connections to that town, which is suffering somewhat at the moment. After all, transport in the whole area needs improvement, with decent rail links to London, the Midlands and the North.
Perhaps the biggest mistake was not to make the Humber bridge, one that carried both road and rail! I do sometimes think, that someone wanted to design or build the longest bridge in the world. If they did, they created a white elephant.