My account of the homeward journey from Fort Picklecombe.
We have reached the penultimate post about my Cornish holiday – the last day. This post details the long journey home.
The length of time it took to get from Plymouth to Fort Picklecombe on the Thursday was playing on my mind, and I wanted to be sure that we were away before 9AM, since my train was due to depart Plymouth at 10:44, and I reckoned that a single ticket from Plymouth to London bought on the day (London-Lynn would still have been valid on the original ticket) woulkd probably cost more than my original ticket (in this assessment, to borrow from history, there was the proverbial “cubit of error my way that does not obscure the 99 cubits of error the other way” – actually said ticket would have been fractionally less. Nevertheless, I did get a few lasy pictures before leaving the fort:
On the journey into Plymouth I managed to snap two pictures from the back of the camper van:
I had some time to kill at Plymouth station and did so by taking photographs…
PLYMOUTH – LONDON
This train was a service called “The Cornish Riviera”, which starts in Penzance and snails up through Cornwall stopping pretty much everywhere and then makes up time by calling only at Exeter St Davids and Reading between Plymouth and London. Although I had an aisle seat on this journey, and no opportunity to move to the window seat I was not going to be denied at least some photos. I got a good few between Plymouth and Exeter and a handful thereafter…
LONDON TO KING’S LYNN
I crossed to the Hammersmith and City line platforms, nos 15 and 16 of the main station, and waited a long time for an eastbound train, then discovering that it was terminating at Edgware Road (very odd indeed for a train from Hammersmith), so I had to change again. I arrived at King’s Cross and was just in time to catch the 14:44 to King’s Lynn, which was not overfull (as the 15:44, the next service, certainly would have been). This means that I was at home and unpacking by 5PM.
To explain the title of this post, Kernow is the Cornish name for Cornwall, and that is where I am at the moment, staying for a few days in my parents new home. Here is a map to start things off:
My parents new place is near Kingsand, towards the bottom centre of the map.
In this post I will tell you about the stage I left the November auction in, describe my journey down from King’s Lynn and finish with a few pictures from the new house.
JAMES & SONS NOVEMBER CATALOGUE
I had booked Thursday and Friday as leave, and in order to be as up to date as possible before going on leave I agreed to work Monday as well as Tuesday. By the end of Tuesday the imaging was as complete as possible, and I had given my colleague Andrew a start towards the printed catalogue, with a front cover image selected and placed appropriately on the page and the back cover completed. I offer links to the files and also screenshots:
Why two versions of the front cover? Well my employer did not like my initial choice of front cover image, requesting the coin book in its place, and being me I kept both versions.
KING’S LYNN TO CORNWALL
The first part of my journey was on the 9:54 train from King’s Lynn to London, which mirabile dictu ran to time. As far as Cambridge I had the company of Jo Rust, Labour candidate at the last two general elections in my constituency. Ely Cathedral was, as often, a target for my photographic attentions:
On arrival at King’s Cross I headed down to the Circle/ Hammersmith & City/ Metropolitan lines to get a train across to Paddington. The first train was heading for Uxbridge, therefore not one for me to take, but the second was bound for Hammersmith, and hence going by way of the right Paddington, the one that is structurally part of the mainline station, as opposed to the Circle/ District line station that should revert to it’s original name of Praed Street.
Having a had a decent but not stellar connection at King’s Cross I arrived at Paddington with just under an hour to go before my train for the long-haul section of the journey was due to depart. Although careful to stay close to the information screens that I would not miss the platform number for my train when it came up I did get some photos while I waited for this information.
I did not get as many pictures as I would have liked during the train journey to Plymouth, as my camera’s battery ran out of charge just beyond Exeter (so no pics from Newton Abbot, Totnes or the approach to Plymouth). The train arrived in Plymouth exactly on schedule, making it a jackpot-like two train journeys in Britain on one day that had run to time!
Picklecombe Fort, wherein my parents have their new apartment is about 2.5 miles from Plymouth as the crow flies, but the road journey is so roundabout that this portion of the journey took almost the same amount of time as King’s Lynn – London had at the start of the day!
THE FIRST CORNISH PICTURES
This morning, with my camera battery fully charged I took some pictures here at Picklecombe Fort.
A post created from my experiences at the Marxism and Nature day school which took place at Student Central, Malet Street, London on Saturday.
This post is based on a day school organised by the International Socialism Journal titled Marxism and Nature which took place on Saturday. To set the scene, here is the timetable for the day:
The travel should have been straightforward, since Malet Street is walkable from King’s Cross, but engineering works intervened. The first effect of the engineering works was that I had to get the 6:54AM rather than 7:54AM train from Lynn. After getting the replacement bus service from Ely to Cambridge the next train to London turned out to be a stopper, so reckoning on saving a bit of time overall, I alighted at Finsbury Park and took the Piccadilly line line to Russell Square. Having a little time to spare, I avoided the most crowded route, opting for a slightly circuitous walk which had the bonus of taking in this splendid commemorative plate:
This post will be followed by several on http://www.londontu.be focussing specifically on the public transport elements of the day.
THE EVENT: PHOTOGRAPHIC OVERVIEW
Here before getting to the real meat of the post are some photos taken at the event. The event took place at Student Central, formerly known as the University of London Union (ULU). The opening and closing plenaries were in the Upper Hall, which when I first visited the building was known as the Badminton Court (although these are both beaten in the changeability stakes by The Venue, which was Manning Hall when i first visited, and then became Room 101).
THE ANTHROPOCENE IN SLIDES
The pictures produced below come from all across the day…
THE WORKSHOP SESSION
I have included some of Ian Rappel’s slides above, so this section will focus mainly on the other speaker at the workshop, Sarah Ensor, who is researching the history of class struggle in Iceland and whose blog can be found here.
MORE ON THE CLOSING PLENARY
The closing plenary featured Ian Angus, many of whose slides I have already shown, and Camilla Royle, deputy editor of International Socialism Journal, who had played a key role in organising the event. The event ended with a show of solidarity with antu-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery.
Knowing that a non-stop train to Cambridge would be leaving Kings Cross at 17:44 I headed that way in no great hurry, and was comfortably aboard the train. Here are some final photographs…
An account of a visit to London for an NAS training session, including Sutcliffe’s Laws of Travelling by Public Transport and lots of photographs.
This post deals with events on Saturday, when I attended a training session for branch officers at NAS HQ in London. Before moving on to the main part of my post I have a small section on…
WHY I AM GLAD THAT MY FIRST POST IN MAY IS AUTISM RELATED
April is Autism Awareness month, and here in West Norfolk we certainly did our part, with our hugely successful Positive Autism Awareness Conference. However it is also important to make it quite clear that autism does not stop at the end of April. Improving awareness, understanding and ultimately acceptance of autism is a year-round task.
SUTCLIFFE’S LAWS OF TRAVELLING BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
I have never previously set these out in full, so here goes:
Zeroth law: Any journey involving public transport requires careful planning no matter how apparently straightforward it is.
First law: If you allow scope for things to go wrong you will have a quick, clear run.
Second law: If you decline to allow scope for things to go wrong you will have a horror run.
Third law: Because bitter experience has taught them to make allowances public transport users are less likely to arrive late than car users.
Do you recognize the more famous set of laws on which the formatting of this set is based?
The session was due to start at 10AM, which gave two options for which train to catch – the 7:54 and be tight for time or the 6:54 and have time to spare for things to go wrong. In keeping with the first law of travelling by public transport the second option was chosen. The other person travelling from West Norfolk wanted to travel there with me, so we agreed to take the 6:54. On the day preceding the journey I called in at the station to make sure that the service was running as it should be (The branch chair had kindly arranged tickets for us, requiring in return that we make sure to come back with expenses claim forms so that she could reclaim the money). Here are some pictures from this preliminary stage…
We took our places on the train and having allowed for things to go wrong had a clear run to London. Callum’s girlfriend had decided to travel with us so she could have a look round London, and at King’s Cross she and Callum arranged a meeting point before Callum and I head off towards NAS HQ.
A shot out of the train window near Cambridge.
A side view of St Pancras, taken while Callum was arranging a meeting point with his girlfriend
The walking route we were going to follow.
Walking up Pentonville Road (between Pentonville Road, Angel and our London starting point of King’s Cross this was quite a monopoly board journey!) we arrived at NAS HQ almost dot on 9 o’clock, and were the only people there that early. I took some pictures while we waited for others to arrive, including the feature image…
This map is on Pentonville Road, but all the other pictures in this set were taken outside NAS HQ
AT NAS HEADQUARTERS
Alessia, one of the two people running the session arrived a few minutes after we had, and let us in to the building. We took our places in the training room, and examined our training packs…
This pot took a long time to boil.
Note the virtual emptiness of Norfolk on the NAS branches map and the complete emptiness of Linolnshire
The ticket – effectively £6.30 for a day’s unlimited travel in zones 1-6 (a day return is £24)
THE TRAINING SESSION
The training session consisted of presentations and some group activities. I found it to be a very valuable day, definitely worth the early start. The bit I enjoyed most came near the end, when we had to decide whether certain scenarios were things we could do as NAS volunteers, things we could not do or things that we might be able to do. At the end of the session Callum and I went our separate ways, he to meet his girlfriend and I to head back (albeit by a somewhat circuitous route). The pictures I took between here and the concourse at King’s Cross station will be featuring on my London transport themed website, so I shall not share them here.
Apart from providing a few good photos, the return journey was pretty uneventful (yes, on the Saturday of a bank holiday weekend I had two public transport journeys pass without incident), and I arrived back home just over 11 hours after setting off in the morning.
Half of the frontage of King’s Cross train station.
The best-known platform at King’s Cross
Ally Pally through the train window.
Ely through the train window.
Just beyond Ely, a perfect shot of a cross-country train where the routes diverge.
Welcome to the next installment in my station by station guide to London. Following the success of my piece on Paddington I have gone for the other main line terminus among the original seven stations on the Metropolitan Railway…
King’s Cross and St Pancras are next door neighbours to one another, and therefore served by the same Underground Station. Although this was one of the 1863 originals, the platforms that now serve the Hammersmith and City, Circle and Metropolitan lines have been resited – the present ‘surafce’ level station dates only from 1941. The Piccadilly line station was part of the original section of that line which opened in 1906, while the City and South London Railway (now the Bank branch of the Northern line) got there in 1907. Finally, it was part of the second section of the Victoria line to come on stream in December 1968.
Although King’s Cross (of which more later) is by some way the larger of the two main line rail terminals here, St Pancras is an extraordinary building, resembling an outsized fairy castle. St Pancras is now an international terminus, running trains to the continent, and meaning that over a century after he just failed to make it happen the dream of Edward Watkin, who guided the Metropolitan in its great era of expansion, of being able to travel by rail from Paris to Manchester by way of London is now a reality.
King’s Cross is a station of two parts – the main concourse and platforms 1-8 which run long haul trains to the north and scotland, and off to one side platforms 9-11 from which trains to much more local destinations such as Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn depart. It is here that you will find the sign to platform 93/4 from which the Hogwarts Express departs in the Harry Potter stories. Having mentioned one literary association, King’s Cross plays a passing role in more than one of Edward Marston’s stories involving Inspector Colbeck a.ka. The Railway Detective.
I have my usual style map images to help those of you not familiar with the area to orient yourselves:
I hope that you have enjoyed this piece and that you will be encouraged to share it.
Before I get to the main meat of this post a word of explanation of circumstances: I am now back home in England, having returned yesterday, getting back to my flat in King’s Lynn at twenty to six in the evening courtesy of some remarkable good fortune – straight through passport control/ customs, short wait at baggage reclaim, straight on to a Gatwick Express service, good connection at Victoria which got me to King’s Cross in time to board the 15:44 to King’s Lynn. I had planned for the 16:44 and would not have been squealing with outrage had it been an hour later still, so this was a colossal bonus. I have quite a few more Greek posts to put up, but they will now be interleaving with my more regular types of posts, about James and Sons, and continuing to wage my online campaign to present the best face of King’s Lynn.
The balcony of my parents house in Tseria faces west, and therefore if one is out there at the right time as I was a few days ago one benefits from some very fine sunsets. Before the pictures of the sunset itself I am using this post to present a couple more pictures of folk art from the little church just below my parents house (see https://aspiblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/18/a-little-church-in-tseria) for more on this theme…