Please ignore the last “published” post on aspiblog – I pressed the wrong button when I intended merely to save what I had already done, so it is incomplete.
A Retropsective on the World Athletics Championships, More on the Inhumane Despicable Sociopath case, some photographs and some important links.
As well as my title piece I have some photos, links and infographics to share, including a section following up my much shared “Inhumane Despicable Sociopath” post..
BRITAIN’S BEST EVER
At the World Athletics Championships which concluded yesterday Britain won a total of four gold medals, their best ever. Mo Farah with both the 5,000 and 10,000m, Greg Rutherford (Long Jump) and Jessica Ennis-Hill (Heptathlon) all ascended the top step of the podium in Beijing, all having experienced Olympic misery there seven years previously. There were also a stack of best ever performances from less experienced British athletes, encapsulated by BBC TV in this infographic…
Shelayna Oskanp-Clarke had never previous broken two minutes for the 800m, and until Proctor did so no British female long jumper had ever gone beyond 7.00m. The performances of Asher-Smith and Hitchon were also British records. Dina Asher-Smith having already become the first British woman go sub 11 seconds for the 100m and being part of the 4*100m relay team now has three British records against her name.
INHUMANE DESPICABLE SOCIOPATH: A FOLLOW UP
Partly because of a twitter storm conceived by a well known twitter user named Gail which tied in perfectly with it my blog post about the revelations of DWP deaths, forced out after a long and hard fought campaign, was very widely shared. I have a number of superb related links to share in this section:
- thegreatcritique has this gem: “How Dare ISIL Kill British Citizens – That’s Our Job“
- johnnyvoid offers this on the DWP and faked stories.
- politicalsift have this piece challenging people to remain unbothered by the tens of thousands of deaths for which this Tory government is responsible.
- A view from someone with inside knowledge of Westminster – Michael Meacher argues that parliament should have the power to force IDS out.
- Disabled People Against Cuts have produced “The IDS Files: IDS Versus Reality“.
- From disabledgo comes this reminder of a petition that seeks to force ministers to assess the impact of cuts.
- Vox Political has this about a United Nations probe into whether IDS’s reforms involve gross violations of human rights (the answer is yes btw).
- The Mirror has the full piece on the story referred to above.
- Glynis Millward has this cracker entitled “And Still No Word From the Bald One”
Now, a few infographics about this story, starting with this great tweet:
This, formatted like a DWP case study, differs from them in being a true story:
Finally to the end this section, a screendump from a text book of the future that somehow appeared on my screen…
A PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE
I am dividing this in to two main subsections, starting with…
Within this section I am starting with a case which is reaching a conclusion soon…
JUSTICE FOR KAYLEB
I have blogged about this outrageous case of an autistic grade 6 boy facing a lifeltime with a felony conviction, but since the case is now going through the courts I include these two links:
Also, for twitter users (I have already done so btw), here is a temporary profile pic you may wish to use in solidarity with Kayleb:
OTHER AUTISM RELATED LINKS
- First up, The Art of Autism have this piece about an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times that asks searching questions about Autism Speaks. In particular, attention is called to the number of autistic people involved in running Autism Speaks: ZERO.
- thecrickettimes are not an autism related publication, but this edition includes a piece by an autistic person – look under “Leisure”.
- Likewise, tweetedtimes are not actually autism related, but have recently included an article by an autistic individual.
THE REMAINING LINKS
I start with a couple of petitions:
- This from 38Degrees seeking to launch a class action lawsuit against the government.
- This petition, aimed directly at the government, seeking to protect wildlife.
I have three more links to purely text based material:
- From patienttalk comes this about helping a disabled child to have a better experience at school.
- This from Shelter about the fact that golf courses take up as much of England as does housing.
- This post from anotherangryvoice deals with the much peddled myth that national economies are like families.
A strictly personal survey of the Piccadilly line, with a suggestion for the revival and extension of the Aldwych branch.
This post is associated with my “London Station by Station” series. I was gratified by the response that overview of the Hammersmith and City line received, and so now I am producing a piece about the Piccadilly line which will be much longer, as there is is much more to say…
The Piccadilly line came into existence as a compromise project taking elements from three distinct schemes. An excellent explanation for this is provided by Desmond F. Croome in his “The Piccadilly Line: An Illustrated History”
Still, not event the combination of this bizarre origin and the schemozzle at Heathrow gains the Piccadilly line the status of London Underground’s no 1 bodge job – for more about that you will have to wait until I feel strong enough to tackle the Northern line!
To give you an overview of the line both in its history and as it stands today here a some images…
Having set the scene, it is time to strap yourselves in for…
I am starting slightly out of position, for reasons that will reveal themselves at the end of the post, with Southgate, which I have given a previous post in the series. For full details you will need to read that post, but Southgate has two features of significance to me: it was the home of the Walker brothers, and in that context Middlesex still play some games of cricket at the Walker ground; and it is home to quirk illustrated by this picture…
That attended to, we can now get back on the journey proper starting at…
This station opened in 1933, and still today it is in a very rural setting. Other than being the starting point for our journey it has no real distinguishing features.
In the direction in which we travel, this marks a transition point – this is the last station at surface level until we emerge at Barons Court.
This is one of two stations, the other being a main line railway station, Alexandra Palace, which serve Alexandra Palace. Whichever you choose you have a long climb ahead of you to reach your objective, although it is worth it for the views at the end. This picture, courtesy of google, shows some of the frontage of the palace itself…
This is the Piccadilly line’s first interchange with any other in our direction of travel. As well as a connection to mainline railways, there is a cross-platform interchange to the Victoria line. It was also the original terminus at this end of the line when the Piccadilly line opened in 1907. Because it was after I had made this particular change in reverse that I got the picture in question, here is a Piccadilly route map as seen in train carriage…
The only station on London Underground to be named after a football club. The club which started life as Dial Square, changed its name to Woolwich Arsenal, of which it was originally the works team and then moved away from Woolwich, dropping the prefix of its name has since moved yet again, to another new stadium. Herbert Chapman who had earlier won three successive championships with Huddersfield Town and even earlier been lucky to survive a match fixing scandal that saw his then club Leeds City thrown out of the league was the person who successfully suggested the name change from the original Gillespie Road, with greater success than Mr Selfridge had enjoyed with his suggestion to the then independent Central London Railway that they might care to rename Bond Street station in honour of his establishment.
I have covered this both in an individual post and in the earlier piece about the Hammersmith and City line. To these I add only that the Piccadilly line is the second deepest line at the station, the Northern line being deeper.
Russell Square is one of the few deep level stations to have no escalators – you have a choice between lifts or stairs. It is also the closest station to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where I was a patient for over a year of my life, in my case in the Mildred Creak unit. For more details about how to locate this hospital, check out their own guide.
One final Russell Square connection – it is the home station for the Institute of Education, which is a regular venue for the annual five-day political festival Marxism and also happens to the place that I visited the first time I ever took part in an Autism Research project – this one being carried out by a woman named Sian Fitzpatrick.
This station is the only official interchange between the Piccadilly and Central lines. When I first used it as a child there were wooden escalators – mind this was in an era when deep-level tube trains using carriages with maple slatted floors and wooden side panels had smoking compartments – health and safety was not considered so important then. Today, Holborn is an ordinary mid-route station, but that was not always the case, and I believe it should not be the case. This is the preamble to…
A MAJOR DIGRESSION
From 1907 until 1994 there was a branch running south from Holborn to Aldwych. It was not doing much by the end of its life, but closure was not the only option – it was ideally placed for an extension into Southeast London and West Kent. I have already linked to the post I put up about Aldwych early on in this series, but in that post I did not give details of my envisaged extension, an omission I rectify as part of this project.
Reestablishing the Aldwych connection, the route would then go:
Blackfriars (District, Circle, mainline railways), London Bridge (Northern – Bank branch, Jubilee, mainline railways), Bermondsey (Jubilee), Surrey Quays (London Overground), Mudchute (DLR), Cutty Sark (DLR), Greenwich Park, Blackheath (mainline railways), Eltham High Street, New Eltham, Longlands, Sidcup High Street, Foots Cray, Ruxley, Hockenden, Crockenhill, Hulberry, Eynsford (mainline railways), Maplescombe, West Mingsdown, Fairseat, Vigo Village, Ditton, Maidstone West (mainline railways), Maidstone East (mainline railways).
The Maidstone connection is important because very isolated ends of lines can end up not getting much use (see Ongar in this series), and by extending it the extra distance to have both the interchanges in and population of Maidstone to bolster its usage one increases the likelihood of it working. The other particularly significant stop in the outer reaches of the extension is Eynsford, not major enough to be a suitable terminus, but definitely has much worth visiting, led by the scenic Darent Valley and the historic Roman Villa down the road at Lullingstone.
BACK TO THE JOURNEY
The digression done, it is time to resume our progress along the Piccadilly, which next takes us to…
I have already covered this area at some length in a previous post to which I now direct you. What I failed to mention in that post is that there is also a quite pleasant walking route from here to Waterloo, and all the attractions I have listed in that post.
This station has a connection to the Northern line (Charing Cross branch). Also, until the refurbishment of Angel (Northern, Bank branch) it had the longest escalators to be found anywhere on the system. At 0.16 miles apart it and Covent Garden are the two closest neighbours on the entire system. Leicester Square serves an area of London known as Chinatown.
The station that gives its name to the line, it has an interchange with the Bakerloo line. Piccadilly is home to the Eros statue. It features in at least two series of novels set in Restoration England, Edward Marston’s Redmayne series and Susannah Gregory’s Chaloner series.
Interchanges with the Victoria and Jubilee lines.
HYDE PARK CORNER
One of several stations serving London’s largest park. This is also the local station for the Albert Hall.
Museum central – see the first post in this series for more detail. Also, the point at which one the projects that were fused together to make the Piccadilly line – a plan for a ‘deep level District’ line to ease congestion on the original District – from here to Earls Court the Piccadilly follows the District exactly, then skips West Kensington, joining the District at the surface at Barons Court. After Hammersmith the Piccadilly runs fast to Acton Town while the district has intermediate stops at Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, Turnham Green and Chiswick Park. Occasional Piccadilly trains stop at Turnham Green where the Richmond branch of the District diverges, but the major branching point is…
Nowadays the District only goes beyond Acton Town as far as Ealing Broadway, but the entire Uxbridge branch of the Piccadilly and the Heathrow branch as far as Hounslow West were originally served by the District and feature platforms at the compromise height used for cross-platform interchanges between ‘tube’ and ‘subsurface’ lines. This station adjoins the Acton Works, where rolling stock is maintained and overhauled. We will explore the Heathrow branch first…
ALWAYS AVOID ALL ALLITERATION
The joke instruction used as this section heading refers to the fact that the three Hounslow’s, Hatton Cross and the three Heathrow stations all being with the letter H – and if you are on a train running the loop route (Terminals 1,2 and 3 and then terminal 4, as opposed to the direct Terminal 5 route), you would in total, between departing Hounslow East one way and returning there in the other direction see station names beginning with H 11 times on the trot.
THE HEATHROW SCHEMOZZLE
When the Piccadilly was first extended to serve Heathrow one station, unimaginatively named Heathrow Central was deemed sufficient. Then, in 1986, Terminal 4 opened, and was not accessible from the existing station. A terminal loop was constructed with a new station built on it to serve Terminal 4. So far, so good, but then the folk who run Heathrow decided that a mere four terminals were insufficient for the number of flights they wanted to run, and a fifth terminal, not accessible from either existing station was built. So we now have a bizarre configuration whereby there is simultaneously a terminal loop and an ordinary direct terminus constructed specially to serve Terminal 5. Quite what sort of arrangement will result if and when a Terminal 6 gets the go-ahead is beyond me to imagine.
I have covered the quirky feature of this station in a previous post.
There are two stations on this branch bearing the name Sudbury, Sudbury Hill an Sudbury Town. I am concentrating on the latter because as a Grade 1 listed building it stands as an example of the best of London Underground architecture. Like so many of the finest examples, this station was designed by the legendary Charles Holden. To find out more about Holden and his work I recommend strongly that you consult David Lawrence’s magnificent Bright Underground Spaces, in which I located these pictures that relate to Sudbury Town…
The last station before this branch meets the Metropolitan for the run to Uxbridge. The Metropolitan converges from a station called West Harrow, while all the other branches of that line bar the Uxbridge one pass through North Harrow. Once upon a time a school opened to serve “30 poor children of the parish of Harrow”. The school is still there, but it is a long time since any poor children got to go there.
This is the meeting point, and for a long time this was a regular terminating point for Piccadilly line services except at peak periods. This is the last marked interchange on the Piccadilly line, although you could change to the Metropolitan anywhere between here and Uxbridge should you desire it.
RUISLIP MANOR AND RUISLIP
Ruislip is an occasional terminating point, although most trains that go that far go on to Uxbridge. These two stations both serve Ruislip Lido, home to among other things the smallest gauge passenger carrying railway in Britain. I have assembled some links for you:
I mentioned earlier in this post that Holborn is the only officially recognised interchange between the Piccadilly and Central lines. For all that is in the region of a 10 minute walk to get from this station to West Ruislip I consider that this should be a recognised interchange – for more detail consult this post.
The current Hillingdon station opened in 1992, but there was an earlier Hillingdon station which opened in 1923. In 1934 this station was renamed Hillingdon (Swakeleys). The suffix was gradually dropped over time, but leaves the question “what is Swakeleys?” to have such significance. The answer, as an internet search reveals is that it is a school. As far as can ascertain it is the only school to have officially formed part of a station name (the stations with Harrow in their name refer to the location not the the school per se). There is also a well known hospital in Hillingdon.
We have reached the end of our journey. The present Uxbridge station opened in 1934, but there has been a station at Uxbridge since 1903. In so far as anywhere so rural can be this is something of a transport hub as several bus services make use of the station forecourt. Now it is time to reveal the solution to the teaser I set as to why I started out of position at Southgate: the connection is a cricketing one – yes we are back in Middlesex out ground territory. Sadly, other than knowing that Middlesex sometimes play there I cannot recall anything about cricket at Uxbridge – no remarkable matches spring to mind, nor great players especially associated with the ground.
SOME FINAL WORDS
This post does not make any claim to be a definitive account of the Piccadilly line – it is a strictly personal view of the highlights of the line that has more stations than any other deep level ‘tube’ lines and is only beaten by the District among the ‘subsurface’ lines, and I have ignored many stations altogether and given quite a few others only sparse coverage. I hope that you have all enjoyed the ride!
An account of a walk around King’s Lynn, accompanied by photos. Also some important links.
I am in the process of putting together a very large post indeed as an experiment, and meantime I offer you this little post…
THE FIGURE OF EIGHT WALK
I did this walk immediately after lunch yesterday. Setting off I headed through Baker Lane Car Park, across the upper Purfleet and down to the Great Ouse by way of the lower Purfleet. The first photo I got was this one of a bird that was perfectly positioned for the shot…
I headed along the river bank and across the Millfleet, then took the path that skirts old Boal Quay round to…
This meeting point of the Nar and Ouse provided some fine photos…
Just beyond Cormorant Platform is the path through Harding’s Pits, from which I then headed across the Nar, stopping to photograph a swan…
Up through the South Gate, across the London Road, through a little known passage and along to Seven Sisters, at which point I entered…
The water by the bandstand is generally good for a few pictures, and today was no exception…
After the bandstand I followed the path the exits the parkland by way of the church of St John the Evangelist, walked up past the train station and on to the second loop of the figure of eight, following another little river in King’s Lynn until the path diverged from it to go past the first of two ponds separated by the width of a road. The river provided a few pics, but nothing was happening in either pond…
From the second pond I followed the road I was round until I reached the path through the meadow that leads to a bridge across Bawsey Drain, on to another path that I followed back towards the town centre. This section of the walk yielded only one picture – a green insect that because of its size I was not sure I would be able to capture…
On the last stage of the walk I got a picture of the model spitfire that currently adorns the Trues Yard museum…
After I was home, I got one final picture of a military aeroplane that flew very low (by the standards of powered aircraft) overhead…
My first link is to a document outlining Mr Corbyn’s mental health policy, for which I am using a quote from the document itself – the second bullet point to be precise…
“Challenging the stigma around mental health and ending the second class treatment of mental illness in the NHS – mental illness should be treated on a par with physical illness. Mental health conditions make up 21.9% of conditions faced by the NHS but receive only 11.9% of the overall budget.”
My next two links both come courtesy of DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts):
This piece from disabilitnewsservice makes some unpleasant but hardly surprising revelations about Maximus, the vile American company responsible for administering the notorious fitness for work tests that have blighted so many lives.
A section on IDS and benefit deaths, a section on the Labour leadership contest and some other stuff including pictures.
This post is about the recent revelations from the DWP of just how many people have died shortly after having their benefits axed – revelations that were carefully timed to coincide with the dissolution honours in an effort to minimize the coverage they got. Having finally had to admit defeat after fighting a long rearguard action against making any revelations at all (well done Mr Sivier and Ms Zolobajluk for your roles in making this happen) they produce the figures at this time of all times!
THE INHUMANE DESPICABLE SOCIOPATH
Others have done a splendid job of publicising the figures already, and most of this section is devoted to linking to the best of the many pieces that this scandal has generated. First however, a couple of pics to set the scene…
When to comes the various articles and other pieces that have been produced, I have to start with the instigator of it all…
In a truly sickening development to this story, pointed up by Political Scrapbook, on the very day that these figures were finally revealed IDS’s confederate (or as they call them in this context, special advisor) Philippa Stroud was awarded a peerage.
I finish with a brief comment of my own: these figures should without a doubt gain IDS the prize of a one way ticket to The Hague – they constitute ironclad evidence of crimes against humanity carried out on a shocking scale.
A PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE
Here are some photographs from yesterday…
THE LABOUR LEADERSHIP CONTEST
This will be a brief section. I am not a part of this process, not because I have been purged (although the Labour right are currently purging with truly Vyshinskian enthusiasm in a desperate bid to win by foul means a contest that are being thumped in by fair means) – I never sought a vote in this contest. I have three links to share:
- This piece in the Guardian about the way this leadership election has degenerated. The only time I can recall an election looking sillier than this leadership election has been made to look by those who are hell bent on ignoring the will of the bulk of their support was when Baldrick got 16472 votes – and that was funny on purpose.
- A new find for me, scriptonitedaily, provide this account of someone who is precisely the type of person Labour should be looking to win back but who has been purged for having previously voted Green. The piece contains details of a very friendly and constructive exchange with her (Labour) MP.
- My final offering comes courtesy of Welfare Weekly and is about some of things that Jeremy Corbyn talks about. Today’s oh so extremist notion is that nobody in the UK should be destitute or sleeping rough. This piece has already had huge success on twitter.
In this section I have three links that I wish to share that did not belong in the main body of the post. After that I have a request, an advance notice and a closing picture.
- Cosmos Up, the source for both this link and the next, address the question of why Earth does not have a set of rings like Saturn.
- My second offering courtesy of Cosmos Up segues naturally to my last link, as it concerns a discovery made by Stephen Hawking.
- The Mighty, so often a source of wonderfully inspiring material today provide an account of a cashier who helped when an autistic child was experiencing sensory overload – a story that should not stand out, but in today’s world alas it does.
My request is that everyone who has made it through this post should please share it as widely as possible. In line with this request I encourage you to use anything in this blog post that appeals to you just so long as you, as I always try to, give credit where it is due.
My advance notice is that I am working on a post that will be much longer than anything I have previously offered for public consumption.
Bilbo Baggins was once reduced at a banquet to saying “Thag you very buch” – I now conclude this post by offering the clarfiied version…
A brief account of one of London Underground’s unacknowledged interchanges.
Welcome to the latest post in my ongoing series “London Station by Station”. On this occasion we feature…
AN UNACKNOWLEDGED INTERCHANGE
The Metropolitan line’s Uxbridge branch, on which Ickenham is located, opened in 1904. The District line started running services along there in 1910, and these were subsequently switched to the Piccadilly line in the 1930s. Central line services were extended to their current western terminus at West Ruislip in 1948.
The two stations are quite close together (about 10 mins walk apart at surface level) and the largest depot anywhere on the London Underground network also provides track connections between them, as it used by the Piccadilly, Metropolitan (Uxbridge) and Central (West Ruislip) lines. Also, unlike some other interchanges that go unacknowledged (e.g Belsize Park and Gospel Oak) it is not especially difficult to think of journeys where this interchange might be useful (Uxbridge to Hanger Lane is one example).
An account of setting up and running an auction, with references where appropriate to being on the autistic spectrum.
This is an account of yesterday and today (set-up and then the auction itself). Most of the pics are from yesterday – the exceptions are a couple of pictures of items that fared especially well.
SETTING UP AND RUNNING AN AUCTION
Yesterday was the day on which everything for the auction was transferred by van from James and Sons premises to the auction venue, on this occasion the Prince of Wales Suite at Fakenham Racecourse. Once there it had to be laid out to best advantage, and the person most responsible for sorting that out was me. Largely lots were laid out in number order, although there were breaks in the sequences for small stuff and stamp albums which were set up on a set of tables to which only staff were permitted access and also for the prizes (as deemed by yours truly) among the small items which were laid out in glass exhibition case. My ability to carry out this task comes from two attributes both of which are linked to me being on the autistic spectrum – the fact that I am exceedingly comfortable with numbers and the fact that I am very pattern conscious.
Fortunately the friendly and helpful folks who run the racecourse had already put out tables (although we did move a few) and provided us with chairs to set out as we deemed best.
I was able to get back to James and Sons for about an hour after we had finished setting up, and before leaving at the end of the day I disconnected the mouse from my work computer and took it with me because James and Sons do not have a spare mouse and for what I do on auction day, even though I use a laptop a proper mouse is much easier to use than the laptop’s scroll pad.
Here are some pictures from yesterday…
I will not state exactly what time this morning my alarm clock was set for – suffice it to say that for some of you it would have been more like a ‘getting in’ time than a ‘getting up’ time. I departed King’s Lynn on the 6:50 bus, and of course at that time of day there was no traffic on the roads, so the bus arrived in Fakenham exactly as scheduled – just after 7:30. The walk from Fakenham town centre to the auction venue, which is quite scenic, occupied a further 20 minutes and as it happened I was the first of the James and Sons team to be at the venue. about 20 minutes later my colleague Andrew arrived and we able to connect all the wiring and get the computers set up for running the auction. In between locating lots for people who wished to see them in the flesh before bidding (a task to which I am well suited because of another of my autistic traits – a near photographic memory which means that I generally know precisely what I am looking for and have a jolly good idea of where it will be) I also carried out sound and video checks and made sure that the computers were working as they should.
The way these auctions work is that David runs the auctions, and has the auctioneers view screen open on his computer. I meanwhile use the live auction app from ATG Media (who run www.the-saleroom.com) and as well as recording bids, making sure that we are on the right lot and addressing any technical issues that may arise it is also my task to alert David to internet bids. I do find both the direct customer service work I do before the auction starts and then being up on the rostrum quite tough, but because it only happens once a month I can manage it.
Although this was one of our smaller auctions, there were a few highlights. Just a couple of examples: Lot 345 was a plastic box chock full of Panini Trade Cards, valued at £20-30 – and the hammer finally came down at £65. Even more remarkable to me, although there had been an inquiry about this item before the auction, lot 532 which was a “Pedigree of Hugh Fenne of Yorkshire” had been valued at £30-40 and sold for £80.
Once the sale was over we then had to load up the van with everything that needed to go back to the shop, go back in to the centre of Fakenham, unload everything into the shop, and then make a trip back to the racecourse for the signs we had put up to advertise our presence, the stools on which David and I had sat at the rostrum and one or two other things.
Fortunately, this was all accomplished in time for me to catch the 15:38 bus back to King’s Lynn (there is a gap in the X8’s schedule meaning that the next bus back after that was not until 17:38 – and that bus can usually be relied on … to be late).
Tomorrow will be largely devoted to updating the database with details of everyone who took part in the auction – and what they bid on and what they won and so on,