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.
An account of the journey to Penzance, setting the scene for my next post, about Penzance itself.
This is continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall. We have reached Saturday, which for me featured a trip to England’s westernmost commercial railway station (note England not Britain – Arisaig on the Glasgow-Mallaig line in Scotland is further west), Penzance. The closest station in time terms to my parent’s new home is St Germans, and that is where my train journey started.
St Germans is completely unstaffed, and therefore, since there is no one to maintain it, has no ticket machines either. Tickets are purchased from the conductor once you are on the train. You are only allowed to do this at unstaffed stations – boarding without a ticket at a station where you can purchase one renders you liable to a penalty fare of £20 (I heard another passenger who had done this escaping with a warning not to do it again).
I had a bit of time at St Germans (given that the next train to call at St Germans was two hours later this was indubitably the sensible position to be in. Here are some photographs from the station…
The ticket issued by the onboard conductor is much bigger than a standard train ticket.
THE JOURNEY TO PENZANCE
Taking pictures through the windows of a moving train is not especially easy, although I did at least have a window seat for the entire journey, so was never shooting across people. After leaving St Germans the train called at Liskeard (change for the Looe branch line), Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel (although the name might suggets otherwise as far as I am aware no elves live here!), Par (trains to Newquay depart from here), St Austell, Truro (Falmouth services diverge here), Redruth, Camborne, Hayle, St Erth (branch line to St Ives from here) and Penzance. Here are the pictures from this journey…
These pictures were taken both on arrival at Penzance, and towards the end of my time in Penzance.
Continuing my personal account of #Marxism2017 with two disability themed meetings.
Welcome to this continuation of my series about Marxism 2017. This post focusses specifically on the two meetings on disability, which took place during the second and fifth slots on the Saturday.
DISABILITY AND RESISTANCE
This meeting was scheduled for room 3E, but when the main lift at Student Central broke down and resisted all efforts to get it working again it was rescheduled for the ground floor. As soon as it was known that the lift was busted the organisers of the festival made it clear that refunds would be available for those who thought they could no longer enjoy the event (there was only one ground floor location remotely suitable for meetings, and three meetings in each session were scheduled for rooms on the 3rd floor, which was inacessible to the physically disabled without the lift working.). Although the ersatz meeting venue was not ideal it was the least bad solution for this meeting.
This meeting was packed full of inspirational stories from various campaigns. As an autistic person I identify particularly strongly with struggles for disability rights. I am a member of group of whom (UK figures – feel free to give me others from elsewhere in the world if you know them) 74% are unemployed, and 85% are under-employed.
Here are some pictures:
HOW CAN DISABLED PEOPLE WIN LIBERATION – RODDY SLORACH
The lift appeared to working again during lunch, but then packed up again and could not be coaxed back to life again, so again we were in the ersatz venue. There was an additional problem this time in that the machines in the cafe outside which we were based were shutting down, creating a lot of background noise. Although 6 hours had elapsed since the end of the panel meeting covered above this meeting felt in many ways like a continuation of the other, with every contribution being inspiring. Although I did not speak myself I was pleased to note that three other autistic people did make contributions. I conclude this post with a few photos:
A brief account of James and Sons’ October auction with some photographs.
James and Sons’ October Auction took place in the Erpingham Room in the Maids Head Hotel, Norwich on Wednesday. Lots 1-450 were fairly normal James and Sons auction fare, and then lots 451 onwards were a lifetime collection of posters. Thus the plan was to have a break after lot 450.
A DIFFICULT START
We started the day with the internet not working properly. We were able to connect using Wifi, but our card reader requires a cable connection to function properly. Nevertheless, the auction got underway on time, and there were some notable successes early in the auction, especially the militaria.
As well as imaging pretty well all of the posters I had described most of them, so it was with interest but little expectation that following a short lunch break that I awaited the outcome of this part of the sale. A few posters sold well, but the majority did not. Slightly frustratingly in the circumstances with so much not finding buyers all four of the railway themed posters I had been considering went way beyond my price range. Here are the fab four in question:
The auction done, it was time to load the van back up. This task accomplished I was able to go my own way (the van would be unloaded the following morning, so I would not be needed in Fakenham). I had just enough time before the last bus I could catch home using my dayrider plus to make a trip to the library worthwhile. I got home 13 hours after setting out.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Fortunately enough good things happened during lots 1-450 to more than cover the disappointing outcome of the poster sale, and it was overall a very good sale.
How does this poster connect to the Museum of London? To find out follow the link below.
AN AUTISM RELATED PIECE ON WWW.INDEPENDENT.CO.UK
This story is about a 4 year old boy who was hospitalised after being fed a ‘holistic cure’ for autism on the advice of someone describing themselves as a ‘naturopath’. The notion of any sort of ‘cure’ for autism is of course offensive nonsense. Equally, the idea that a ‘naturopath’ should be entitled to prescribe remedies for anything should probably be considered offensive nonsense. The combination of one person’s belief in the offensive nonsense of a ‘cure’ for autism and one person’s cynical willingness to exploit this gullibility created a situation that was very dangerous for an innocent child. The full piece can be viewed here.
SAJID AND THE FRACKERS
Some of you will know that the Dishonourable Sajid Javid has recently made a decision to ignore the will of a community and give Cuadrilla the go ahead to frack there in defiance of clearly expressed local wishes. Mr Javid receives big money from fracking companies and as such should have had the decency to admit to a conflict of interest and say that this was a decision that he could not be involved in making, but of course Tory and decency do not go together, and so unsurprisingly he made a decision in favour of his rich mates and against the community and against the environment. I end this section by linking to a piece that details the environmental impact of fracking.
I am presenting this pictures in two tranches, starting with the general…
I bring this post to a finish with some pictures of the new £5 note, which before I got this one in change I had not seen in the flesh…
An account of james and Sons’ September auction, with a spotlight on the October auction.
James and Sons’ September auction took place this Wednesday at Fakenham Racecourse, while apart from on that day my recent work has mainly been focussed on the October auction (Wednesday 26th, Maids Head Hotel, Norwich.
THE SEPTEMBER AUCTION
I was not involved with setting this auction up on the Tuesday due to having other work to do back at base, but I did make a flying visit to the racecourse that day to resolve some queries that people had raised at the last minute about auction items (one potential customer wanted an image that had been missed and another wanted a detailed condition report on pair of vintage spectacles – the fact that both items sold to the customers who had made the inquiries was final proof that their queries had been resolved). That just left…
THE DAY OF THE AUCTION
My work day did not get off to the best of starts, because I fell victim to a recent timetable change and arrived at the racecourse a little later than I would have liked (I now have a copy of the timetable that will come into force from this Sunday). Fortunately there were no serious issues with the IT, and the auction started on time.
With the auctioneer needing regular breaks from the rostrum, and the only person capable of substituting for him being also the only person who could substitute for my role on the rostrum I was at my post while the first 650 lots went under the hammer, finally getting to consume my sandwiches at 2:20PM, before resuming my post for the last 50 or so lots (the auction ended at lot 781). This, combined with the heavy lifting work at the end, made for an exhausting and stressful day.
THE TALE OF THE HAMMER
The auction began with banknotes and coins, which fared pretty well overall. Then there were a large number of stamp lots, which predictably enough did not attract huge attention (www.the-saleroom.com while good for many things are poor on stamps, and there were not many people there in the room). After that there were a variety of different items, some of which sold well. In among the medley of items in this middle and latter part of the auction was lot 461, four decorative plates produced by Coalport, all in their original boxes with paperwork. This might not sound like the kind of lot to catch the photographer’s eye, but the the images below may provide some explanation…
My opening bid of £12 proved sufficient to secure the items (I had prepared for the possibility of success by bringing a stout, empty, fabric bag with me to transport them).
The auction ended with some ‘Bradbury’ stamp pages, which may as well not have gone under the hammer at all since by then there was no one left in the room save staff.
Overall it was a successful sale.
THE CLEAR UP
While two of my colleagues took a few items to our storage unit near the village of Syderstone (principally the rostrum and the stools that we sit on behind it) I moved as much stuff as I could (almost all of it) over to the door so that it could be loaded straight on to the van once they were back. The van duly loaded it was time to head back into town, and thanks to my colleague dropping me on Oak Street I was just able to catch the 16:38 bus home. The bus to work yesterday morning was 20 minutes late leaving King’s Lynn, so by the time I arrived there were a mere five boxes of stuff left to carry in to the building, a task I accomplished in not much more time than it took the kettle to boil for my coffee.
SPOTLIGHT ON OCTOBER
Wednesday apart, since September 15 I have been engaged on a major project at work – describing and imaging a vast number of posters – a task that is not quite finished, but which is responsible for almost 250 lots so far. The first 230 or so of these lots were film posters, ranging in size from a colossal 40 inches by 30 to 16.5 inches by 16.5. Here are a few examples…
Yesterday, after a few more film posters I finally got some variety…