With trains, it has always been known, that the faster you go, the more passengers you attract.
So when you get a headline of Virgin mulls 135 mph working in Modern Railways, you suspect that they are working on faster trains.
After all the Class 390 Pendolinos are capable of 140 mph, but are limited to 125 mph in service.
At present, most trains to both Liverpool and Manchester take about eight minutes over two hours from Euston, but one train a day does it in two hours. So to lose that eight minutes and get all trains on the headline-grabbing two hours, would mean an average speed increase of 6.25%. If the average journey speed bears a direct relationship to the train’s maximum speed, then by increasing the current maxium from 125 mph to 135 mph is a rise of 8.0%.
So is this where the conservative figure of 135 mph came from? It is just enough to get all London to Liverpool and Manchester trains just under that magic two hours, that will give a sensible return for the cost of the extra speed and the track and signalling improvements?
Applying the same rules to the Glasgow time of four hours and thirty minutes, could give a speed reduction to four hours and ten minutes.
So on a rough and ready cakculation, Virgin’s op speed of 135 mph, could bring a great improvement to the West Coast Main Line. Remember that the rebuild of the line in the early 2000s was intended to deliver a London Manchester time of an hour and forty five minutes.
The BBC has done a blind tasting test of the tap water from various parts of the United Kingdom.
I don’t drink much water directly, although I do drink a lot of it in cups of tea all day.
I was brought up in London and I suspect that the water I drink now in Hackney is vaguely similar to that I had sixty years ago in Enfield. It’s probably exactly the same to that we had in the Barbican, as that area is only a kiolmetre or so away and I can see the flats from the corner of my road.
I certainly will drink it again, if there is nothing else, which is something I hardly ever did, whilst living away from London.
Except for the four years or so, that I lived in Liverpool, I’ve always lived in hard water areas. In fact, at one time, I lived in Melbourn near Cambridge, which in the 1970s reputedly had the hardest water in England. It also had quite a few sets of twins and the doctor thought there was a connection.
It’s funny, though but a few months ago after a couple of days in Liverpool, the tastes and smells around my mouth were quite different. It was almost if they were much fresher. But that could have been the Liverpudlian sea air.
Incidentally, one of the waters they tasted was from Woodbridge in Suffolk, where C and I lived for twenty or so years. The water didn’t come out well in the taste test! But I do remember C, who was an obsessive water drinker, saying she didn’t like the water, when we moved to Newmarket. She used to drink masses of bottled water, although usually insisted on tap water in a restaurant.
As ever the weather didn’t cool the ardour of the Liverpudlian ladies at Ladies’ Day at Aintree yesterday. There are pictures here.
There is no truth in the rumour, that the Royal Liverpool Hospital, had to deal with ten thousand drunken young ladies with hypothermia.
Many believe that the Grand national and all steeplechasing should be banned.
But what would happen if we did ban it?
All our major races would probably move to Ireland or if the Scottish government decided not to ban it, to Scotland.
They would be overjoyed and some places in the UK, like Liverpool and Cheltenham, would lose quite a few jobs and lots of income.
But life in this country would lose one of its great spectacles. Soon horse racing would be reduced to a shadow of its former self, with probably only all-weather racing on the flat surviving.
I do think sometimes, that the various antis in all sorts of areas, have one aim in their mind; to take all the fun out of our lives.
If a man has never made love to a woman, who’s wearing nothing but a fur coat, he’s never lived! Incidentally, it wasn’t C’s coat either and it was at a two hour break in proceedings in a Catholic wedding.
David Rose is one of the most important people in the history of British television and film drama.
Tonight he gave a fascinating and insightful presentation of his work at the Duke of Wellington in the Balls Pond Road.
I remember him in some ways for the work he did in the 1960s with Z-Cars and Softly-Softly. Did Z-Cars and the music scene in Liverpool in some way influence me to go to University in that city? If it did, David is worth a big thank-you, as I’ve often said that Liverpool made me. I did of course meet C there, although she was fairly local to me in North London.
His later work for the BBC in the 1970s, was not something I remember very much, as it was the time, when we were bringing up the kids and working hard, so we didn’t watch television very much.
If David’s presentation turns up at a venue near you, it is very much worthwhile seeing.
I just wish, I’d seen more of the plays and films he has produced. Sadly, it would appear that copies don’t exist of all of them, due to the BBC’s policy of reusing videotapes.
I’m fairly certain, although I could be mistaken, that the Class 390 Pendolino, I took back from Liverpool on Saturday was named City of Manchester.
But it was the second train south in the morning.
It’s very strange bus over the last couple of days, my health has been very much a roller coaster. or should I say my rhinitis.
On Wednesday, it was particularly bad and I was getting through the usual small packet of paper hankies a day. I did have a swimming lesson and I suspect, I did give my nose a bit of a washout, but the running nose was very much the same as it normally is.
Thursday in Liverpool is was a bit better, but on Friday, despite it being a day, when God had decided, she would empty her bathwater, my tissue consumption was much reduced. We were also indoors for a lot of the day in a warm room. But was it dry?
Yesterday, as I came down from Liverpool on the train, it was fine, except that I could taste the softer Liverpool water running into my throat.
Today, though it has been awful and I’ve got through over a small packet of tissues on my walk around London this morning.
So which is the dominant factor controlling the rhinitis?
As I do know that my health problems improved as a child, when we moved to Felixstowe and maintained the improvement at Liverpool University. So, perhaps being by the sea helped. After all, I sometimes notice, that when I go to the football at Ipswich, I do sometimes breathe better.
It could too have been the temperature and humidity in the hotel. I set the temperature to the nineteen, I aim for at home.
One thing though, that the pain in my teeth and around the old break in my left humerus, seems to increase with the rhinitis.
So if I can stop my nose running, I may get rid of some other symptoms.
As I’m going on a cruise in eight days time, perhaps this will help me solve the mystery.
At least though, I’m certain that what causes the rhinitis, caused it as a child and as it didn’t kill me then, it probably won’t now.
Central station has recently been refurbished to a good standard. You do wonder if Manchester’s chaotic transport system would be better, if they’d tunnelled under the city, like they did in Liverpool.
Liverpool’s network has been talked about as a candidate for years and this section in Wikipedia, shows what could and might be done.
I don’t generally go to Starbucks very often, but I will use this one in Bold Street in Liverpool.
In the 1960s, I’m fairly certain, it used to be La Bussola, which was the coffee bar, where everybody went.
April the 6th, sees the Grand National run at Liverpool this year.
In some ways, I’m surprised, as in the 1960s, it was quietly fading away! But then out of the Book of Unlikely Sporting Heroes came that amazing horse; Red Rum. By winning the race three times in five years, he effectively recreated all of the interest in the race. He must be the only animal, who has single-handedly saved a sporting or other event, that was failing and put it on a sound footing.
Now the Grand National meeting at Liverpool, is one of the biggest events in the city. C and I went once with the kids and some day I’ll go again.
I was once told a tale, that in the 1970s, when it looked like Aintree racecourse might fold, that the Jockey Club had plans in place to recreate the Grand National course on Newmarket Heath.
Luckily Red Rum came along and the rest as they say, is history!
In some ways though, Red Rum had the last laugh, in that he spent several years enjoying himself as a celebrity. He then died at thirty, which is a very good age for a horse.