All Time XIs – The London Transport Clash

An all time XI cricket post with a public transport theme – my thanks to insidecroydon.com for providing the inspiration.

INTRODUCTION

Today’s all time XIs cricket post features players whose names link to London stations, and then leads on to something I came across yesterday and wanted to expand on today. Incidentally, three of the names featured here were suggested by a twitter correspondent in response to a previous post in this series, and none of my own station connections from that earlier post have been reused today.

HEATHER KNIGHT’S XI

  1. Chris Broad – left handed opening batter. Various London stations have Broad in their name – Ealing, Fulham and Tooting Broadway to name three, while there used to be two termini at what is now Liverpool Street, the other one being Broad Street.
  2. Victor Trumper – right handed opening batter. His given name forms the first six letters of Victoria, a massive transport hub. With all due respect to Mr Marks there are not many cricketers of distinction who have had the given name Victor.
  3. Robin Smith – right handed batter. He gets in here via Hammersmith, terminus of the Hammersmith & City line, and now linked by a subway (it used to be a horrible surface level road crossing when I first did it) to the District and Piccadilly line station of the same name (the original western terminus of the Piccadilly), which of course contains his surname.
  4. Clem Hill – left handed batter. There are several stations in London that have hill in their name. Tower Hill (District and Circle), Hillingdon (Piccadilly and Metropolitan), Harrow-on-the-Hill (Metropolitan), Sudbury Hill (Piccadilly) and others.
  5. David Gower – left handed batter. When the Metropolitan Railway as it was then called opened for business in 1863 the station that is now Euston Square was named Gower Street after the major thoroughfare of that name.
  6. *Heather Knight – right handed batter, off spinner, captain. The presence of Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line) enables me to give this side an excellent (indeed world cup winning) skipper.
  7. +Tom New – wicket keeper, left handed batter. He averaged just over 30 with the bat in his Leicestershire career. New Cross and New Cross Gate, now part of the London Overground network, but once termini of London Underground’s East London line, get him in (New Barnet and New Southgate in north London would also do the trick, as would Newbury Park on the Central line).
  8. Sydney Barnes – right arm fast medium bowler. Barnes and Barnes Bridge are suburban railway stations through which trains heading towards Richmond and Windsor head.
  9. Shane Bond – right arm fast bowler. As the twitter correspondent mentioned in the introduction pointed out the presence of Bond Street (Central, Jubilee and in due course Elizabeth lines) creates an opportunity to include this brilliant but injury prone Kiwi quick.
  10. Kate Cross – right arm fast medium bowler. King’s Cross and Charing Cross, as well as DLR station Crossharbour provide the links that get her into this team.
  11. Phil Tufnell – left arm orthodox spinner. Tufnell Park on the Northern line is his link station (the second of my twitter correspondent’s three suggestions).

This team has a fine batting line up, and what looks like an adequate set of bowlers, although relying on Knight’s off spin as pretty much sole back up to the front four is a little chancy.

WG GRACE’S XI

  1. Gordon Greenidge – right handed opening batter. There is a London Overground station called Gordon Hill, which I used to fill one opening berth in this team.
  2. Harold Gimblett – right handed opening batter. Harold Wood is a station on what is currently a TFL Rail route, and will ultimately part of the route of the Elizabeth line when that is finally completed.
  3. Dennis Brookes – right handed batter. The Northamptonshire stalwart gets the nod thanks to District line station Stamford Brook (Piccadilly trains run fast from Hammersmith to Acton Town, passing Ravenscourt Park and Turnham Green as well as this station).
  4. Clive Lloyd – left handed batter. There is a Tramlink station called Lloyd Park, which enables me to include this scorer of 7,515 runs and also scorer of the first ever century in a world cup final.
  5. *William Gilbert Grace – right handed batter, right arm bowler of various types through his career. My only usage of now closed station in this exercise. When the first deep level tube line, the City & South London Railway opened in 1890 (the origin of the Northern line), its northern terminus was King William Street. This terminus was abandoned when the line was extended in 1900, so only served as a station for 10 years.
  6. Learie Constantine – right handed batter, right arm fast bowler. Thanks to his civil rights work Constantine became Baron Constantine of Nelson and Maraval, and there is a station served by the District and Piccadilly lines called Barons Court, which gets him in (neither the seventh Baron Hawke, nor the third Baron Tennyson have records that would justify using this link, although both did play for England).
  7. +Arthur Bush – wicket keeper, left handed batter. There is a Tramlink station called Bush Hill Park, and a section of what is now railway but was once jointly served by railways and the Bakerloo line features a station called Bushey, while one of the potential names for the station between Hampstead and Golder’s Green that was excavated at platform level but never opened was Bull and Bush after a famous pub in the area.
  8. Chris Old – right arm fast medium, useful left handed lower order batter. ‘Chilly’ as he was nicknamed (from C.Old – discredit allegedly due to Bob Willis for that one) was a fine player in his day, though injury prone – note that I have cunningly spread the risk by placing him and Shane Bond in opposite teams. He is the third of my twitter correspondent’s picks, from Old Street on the Bank branch of the Northern line.
  9. Arnold Warren – right arm fast bowler. The Derbyshire man, who took five wickets on his only England appearance, in 1909, gets in courtesy of Warren Street on the Northern (Charing Cross branch) and Victoria lines, which is literally round the corner from Euston Square (Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan).
  10. James Bridges – right arm fast medium bowler. He took his wickets at 25.8 each, often bowling in tandem with Robertson-Glasgow, subsequently to find fame as great writer about the game, and the only Somerset player of the time to regularly bat below Bridges. London Bridge (Northern Bank branch, Jubilee), Putney Bridge (District) and Redbridge (Central) are three stations with bridge in their name.
  11. Amanda-Jade Wellington – leg spinner. My spin option comes courtesy of a piece of lateral thinking. She is a namesake of Wellington who won the battle of Waterloo, and London’s busiest station is also called Waterloo.

This team has a strong top six, a keeper, and four good bowlers. There is only one specialist spinner, but I think that can be coped with.

THE CONTEST

Both these teams are somewhat stronger in batting than bowling. I think that Heather Knight’s XI just have the edge because they have Syd Barnes, possibly the finest bowler there has ever been, and that in itself is enough for one to think they are more likely to take 20 wickets.

TRAMLINK AND PHOTOGRAPHS

Yesterday my attention was drawn to something on insidecroydon.com about Tramlink, and the role it could and should be playing in London Transport. They have drawn on the work of one Anthony Norris-Watson who has produced maps in the style of the legendary Harry Beck to show what might have been had every proposed scheme materialized. Some years ago in a post on my London Transport themed website I speculated about effectively combining the DLR, Tramlink and the Waterloo and City as an integrated network, and several of the Tramlink suggestions featured in the insidecroydon.com piece dovetail very well with that, while one branch that never materialized would have run through Streatham to Brixton, connecting to the Victoria line (as a former Streatham resident I particularly see the virtues of that one). I have used Tramlink and enjoyed it, and am also familiar with tram networks in Sheffield, Adelaide and Melbourne, all of which serve their purpose well, so why not give Tramlink a more central role in the transport infrastructure of the capital? It is certainly food for thought, and I may well revisit it in more detail later. For the moment please read the insidecroydon.com post – one of the maps from that post is below, formatted as a link and serving a segue to my usual sign off:

Tramlink

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My most up to date London Connections map.

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LTC
The teams in tabulated form.

Marxism 1: Getting There and Day 1

An account of my experiences onj the opening day of Marxism 2016, topped and tailed with details of getting there, and getting to my accommodation after the final meeting.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the first of what will be a series of posts about Marxism 2016, a five-day political festival that happened in London between June 30th and July 4th.

THE JOURNEY

I made my usual allowances for things to go wrong, catching the 10:54 train out of King’s Lynn. This then ran very smoothly, meaning that I had time once at the event to deposit one bag, pick up a final timetable and plan my meetings without hurry.

MEETING 1: CORBYN, THE LABOUR PARTY AND THE STRUGGLE FOR SOCIALISM

This meeting, with Mark L Thomas as speaker was scheduled for the Drama Studio on level one of the Institute of Education building. However, the numbers of people wishing to attend led to a last minute change of venue to the Elvin Hall.

The talk started, as it had to, with some stuff about the attempted coup against a leader voted for by 59.5% of the membership. The 172 PLP members who voted for the motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn are vastly out of step with their membership – most are pro-austerity while their membership is anti-austerity.

One of the points made about the progress of this attempted coup was that if it succeeded Labour would have lost all claim to be regarded as democratic party – 172 highly placed individuals would have demonstrated that their opinions counted for more than those of over 250,000 who voted for Corbyn.

Mark L Thomas reckoned that the right-wingers in the PLP had two fears:

  1. As people who depend on election results they feared that Corbyn could not win an election and…
  2. As right wingers they feared that Corbyn could win an election (Blair himself had said opnely that he would rather lose an election than win one with Corbyn as leader).

This meeting was an excellent and inspiring start to the event. Of course since then tens of thousands of people have joine the Labour party, many stating that their reason doing so is to support Corbyn.

I will finish this section with a suggestion/ challenge: if the 172 are so confident that they are in the right why don’t they resign their seats, triggering 172 by-elections, in which they stand without the benefit of the Labour rosette against whoever the CLPs choose as the Labour party candidate? Of course the answer to this is the same as the answer to why hasn’t one of these individuals garnered 51 signatures and challenged Corbyn to a leadership battle: they know that in a fair, open fight like that they would get thrashed.

A late addition – it appears from breaking news that the Chilcot report (it is fairly obvious from the timing of the attempted coup against Corbyn that they wanted him out before Chilcot was released) is very damining – here is a snippet from a much longer piece that can be viewed here:

In its damning report the inquiry panel found:

  • Judgments about the severity of the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction – WMD – were ‘presented with a certainty that was not justified’;
  • There was ‘little time’ to properly prepare three military brigades for deployment in Iraq, the risks were not ‘properly identified or fully exposed’ to ministers, resulting in ‘equipment shortfalls’;
  • Despite explicit warnings, the consequences of the invasion were under-estimated;
  • Planning and preparations for Iraq after Saddam’s fall were ‘wholly inadequate’;
  • Mr Blair’s government failed to achieve its stated objectives.

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Mark L Thomas giving his talk.

MEETING 2: WOMEN, SOCIAL REPRODUCTION AND THE FAMILY

This meeting, with main speaker Sally Campbell (editor of Socialist Review magazine, and author of Rosa Luxemburg: A Rebels Guide) and chaired by Ruby Kirsch was also very interesting and lively.

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Sally (left as you view the picture) and Ruby preparing for the meeting
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Sally giving her talk

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THE OPENING RALLY 

Finally in terms of first day meetings came the Opening Rally, at 7PM in the Logan Hall. We heard from a variety of workers who have been involved in struggles in various places (as well as speakers from the UK this panel included an Irish TD and a French railway worker. Perhaps most impressive were Victor and Juan, two cleaners who spoke by way of a translator, and who have been part of an all out strike in the heart of the City. After all these amazing contributions Amy Leather (organiser of the Marxism festival) made the last speech. The whole thing was superbly chaired by Emma Davis, a teacher.

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The whole panel of speakers
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Emma Davis calls the meeting to order
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Emma introducing the first speaker.

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ACCOMODATION

The person who had put me up last year had offered to do so again this year. Unfortunately he could not attend the opening day of the festival, so we had arranged a meeting point at the Rose and Crown on Hoe Street, which I located without undue difficulty.

 

The Inaugural Autism Awareness Cup

An introduction to the Autism Awareness Cup, a couple of important links (please follow up on both), and a classic infographic with a link to the original post in which I found it.

INTRODUCTION

This post is about an event that has been organised by a young man named Grant Cotton as a fund-raising autism awareness event. I have also included one of the finest autism related infographics I have yet come across.

A SIX A SIDE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT IN KING’S LYNN

The tournament will take place on July 10th, using the artificial pitch at Lynnsport, 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometres) from the centre of King’s Lynn, and each team will have the name of a country (England, Holland and the Republic of Ireland have all been bagged already). Reproduced below is Grant Cotton’s poster for the event, which can be seen in its original setting by clicking here:

Poster

A COUPLE OF IMPORTANT LINKS

My first link, courtesy of my friends at DPAC, is to details of a court case which will impact on the enforcement of the law regarding wheelchair bays on buses (this law is not open to misinterpretation – it states clearly that if a wheelchair bay is not in use the driver has discretion to allow a non-wheelchair user to use it, but the needs of wheelchair users come first – a non-wheelchair user in a wheelchair bay is legally obliged to move for a wheelchair user). I urge anyone who lives in London or who can travel there on Wednesday to be at the court to make our presence felt. I have already shared this story on facebook and twitter and pressed a link on my London transport themed website www.londontu.be.

My other link comes courtesy of NAS, and concerns a new Too Much Information film which will be showing at various shopping centres over the next few months. Of reasonably local interest are the showings that will be happening at Chapelfield, Norwich on August 27 and 28.

A GREAT INFOGRAPHIC

I spotted this on blondemomsense this morning and had to include it. The original blog post from which I extracted it can be viewed here:

Infographic

Rugby, Links and Pictures

An account of this weekend’s six nations action plus some pictures and some links.

INTRODUCTION

The third weekend of the six nations rugby tournament is done and dusted. As indicated in the title I also have some links and pictures to share.

THE SIX NATIONS

On Friday night Wales took on France at the Principality (nee Millennium) Stadium. Yesterday’s two matches featured Italy versus Scotland at Stadio Olimpico and England versus Ireland at Twickenham.

WALES V FRANCE

Wales came into this match with one win and one draw to their name, France with wins over Scotland and Italy (a record which flattered them – given a decent kicker Italy would have beaten them and they were not convincing in the second game either). The match was fairly close throughout, and not of the highest quality. The Welsh emerged victorious and thus temporarily sat at the top of the table.

ITALY V SCOTLAND

Since Italy were included in the tournament, making it the Six Nations, these two sides have accrued 14 wooden spoons between them (Italy 10, Scotland 4) and few would bet against one or other adding to that tally this year. Often of late Italy have come to grief in the kicking department (see above) so it was ironic that on a day when Kelly Haimona was flawless with the boot they were well beaten, and are now very likely to finish bottom.

ENGLAND V IRELAND

England came into this match having won both games, unconvincingly against Scotland in the Calcutta Cup match and very comfortably against Italy. Ireland, winners in 2014 and 2015 had started with a draw and a defeat. England dominated the first half but failed to register the points to reflect that, and when James Haskell got himself sin-binned (for the fifth time in his international career) defeat was more than a possibility. However England were only one point behind when Haskell was able to rejoin the action, and two converted tries in a short space of time thereafter put them 13 points ahead. Although Ireland pressed hard in the closing stages England had done enough and on the balance of play over the whole 80 minutes their victory was well deserved.

THE TOURNAMENT SO FAR

England now lead with three wins from three games, Wales are second, and France third, with Scotland currently fourth, Ireland fifth and Italy sixth. England and Wales face each other in their next match, and the winner of that will be a strong favourite for the trophy, with France likely to finish third. Ireland, Scotland and Italy are fighting out the bottom half of the table. Thus far the quality of the play has not been especially high.

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

After a big chunk of text, here are some pictures…

LINKS

Although there are not that many of them I am splitting these links into sections, starting with:

TTIP LEGAL ADVICE

This is a direct link to Michael Bowsher’s legal advice about TTIP.

COSMOS UP

A link to a very interesting piece about Asteroid 2013 TX68, accompanied by an image:

Asteroid

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Three links, and also three pictures, the latter showing how I have combined two metal badges to make a composite public transport badge. Since I am talking about public transport, here is a reminder of my London transport themed website,
www.londontu.be on which I have already posted two of the links.

Citymetric expose in great detail the lack of a business case for the controversial garden bridge.

Following on from the previous link, change.org are running a petition against the building of the garden bridge – please sign and share.

The last link before the pictures that end this post comes courtesy of we own it and is a call to stop some our finest stations from being sold.

Composite badge
Both sides of the two combined badges in one picture.
DSCN4519
The front off= the ‘composite badge’
DSCN4520
The reverse side.

 

AUCTION AT THE MAIDS HEAD HOTEL

An account of Wednesday’s auction at the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich, with a few other bits and bobs, including another mention of the Positive Autism Awareness Conference.

INTRODUCTION

Although mainly concerned with the James and Sons auction that took place the day before yesterday, this post will also mention a few other things at the end.

THE AUCTION

This section divides into several subsections, starting with…

GETTING THERE

Given the early hour at which it was necessary for me to be at the venue and the fact that I was not returning straight to King’s Lynn but was instead going to my parents because we were going to a bridge evening at the Jolly Sailors I decided to aim to be on the 5:55AM X1 bus to Norwich, with the more circuitous X8/X29 route, the first of which departs at 6:10AM as back up.

I achieved my intended aim of being on the 5:55AM bus and this bus not only departed on time, it benefited from a clear run along the A47 to arrive at Norwich bus station precisely when it was supposed to. I then walked down to the Maids Head, picking up a few photos along the way as I was in plenty of time…

THE SETUP

All the stuff for the auction had to unloaded from the van and set up in the room we were using (the Erpingham room) at The Maids Head, and a few things had to be moved around for the room to properly organised for our purposes. That and a few technical hitches notwithstanding (mere trifles such as initially having no internet connection!) all was ready by 9AM when the first viewers started to arrive.

THE AUCTION ITSELF

The auction started quietly, with only a few people present at the venue and no one bidding online on the early lots, but the internet bidding started at just after lot 100, and was very lively at certain points – lot 204 with an estimate of £50-60 went for £260, lots 283 and 286 both went for substantially above estimate, and a sequence of sets of penny reds with Great Western Railway perfins saw some spirited bidding involving a room and an internet bidder, with half a dozen lots estimated at 10-15 actually getting three figures a piece.

These are some of the penny reds which caused such excitement.

Lots 597 and 737 both sold very cheap to yours truly (even with buyers premium there was change from £15 for the two lots put together). Here they are…

In connection with these pieces of railwayana, a quick reminder of my London transport themed website, www.londontu.be.

THE CLEAR UP

The last lot went under the hammer not very long after 2PM, after which everything that had not gone to people in the room had to be loaded back on to the van. Then my colleague Andrew and I travelled back to Fakenham in the van. My initial plan had been to get the 17:38 bus on from Fakenham to East Rudham, but because we were ahead of schedule, but not sufficiently so for there to be a likelihood of me catching the 15:38, and because the weather showed its teeth when we just east of Fakenham, Andrew very kindly gave me a lift to East Rudham. I worked out that I had handled some of these lots seven separate times (carrying them to my imaging area, carrying them to the storage area, carrying them down to the shop for viewing, carrying them the shop to the van, carrying them from the van to auction venue, carrying them from the auction venue to the van and finally carrying them from the van back to the shop).

POST AUCTION

My early arrival at East Rudham proved useful – my parents had unearthed some silver spoons which needed to photographed with a view to selling them. I have two picture galleries in this connection, both created from the same set of originals – the first using Microsoft’s own image editing software, and the second, which I unveil for the first time, using my own image editing software, which was designed specifically for use with Nikon Coolpix cameras…

This is the set of images created using Microsoft software…

This was the result when I edited the same photos using my own software.

The bridge went well after a poor start – I emerged plus 13 on the evening (65p at Jolly Sailors stakes).

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY/ CALENDAR

Monday 1st February: James and Sons feature on Antiques Road Trip – episode on air on BBC1 at 4:30PM (should be available on i-player by 6PM) – I am the guy in the red jacket sat next to the auctioneer.

Wednesday 24th February: James and Sons auction at Fakenham Racecourse, starts at 10AM. This auction features a wide variety of lots, beginning with bonds, passing through banknotes, coins, stuff from HMS Britannia, Ephemera and Militaria before finishing with Stamps.

Friday 15th April: Positive Autism Awareness Conference, the Dukes Head Hotel, King’s Lynn – for more information check out the following links:

Yesterday’s blog post dedicated to this event

West Norfolk NAS’s facebook page

The Facebook event listing

West Norfolk NAS’s website

 

CALLING ALL LONDONERS

I have shared some of London mayoral candidate Sian Berry’s transport related ideas on www.londontu.be:

London City Airport

Fair Fares

This is the official Fair Fares piece

Having provided these excellent suggestions Sian has turned her attention to London’s sky high rents, with this proposal for a London Renter’s Union

If you are eligible to vote in this election I urge you to vote for Sian Berry.

 

Public Transport

Links to information about a wonderful idea concerning London transport put forward by Sian Berry and to a campaign being run by Which?

INTRODUCTION

I have today seen two public transport related items that I wish to share, one of which I have already pressed on to my London transport related website. I have also tweeted about both items.

SIAN’S SUPERB SUGGESTION

The Sian of this heading is Green Party candidate for London Mayor Sian Berry. The suggestion that I am so enthused by is that the entire area covered by London Transport should be a single fare zone, so that people who work in London but cannot afford premium property prices near the centre do not also get hit by higher fares. For more details I have two links for you:

  • Sian’s own piece, posted here
  • This article in the Standard.

I wish Sian luck in the London mayoral contest.

MAKE RAIL REFUNDS EASIER

Just a brief piece here pointing you in the direction of the Which? campaign to make it easier for customers who have been let down by rail companies to secure refunds (I still remember how much work I had to do when claiming a refund from Midland Mainline 12 years ago, which was so clear a case that they actually gave me more in compensation than I had asked for). To find out more, and hopefully sign up to this important campaign please follow the link below:

Make Rail Refunds Easier