The Anonymous Widower

The Bridges of Newcastle

If Newcastle has one unique feature that distinguishes it from all other cities in the UK, it is the bridges across the Tyne.

The bridges in order as you go from the mouth of the Tyne upstream or from east to west are as follows.

A lot of these bridges have been designed to allow large ships up the Tyne.  Now though, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge has effectively stopped this.

Purists will say why have I called this the Bridges of Newcastle rather than the Tyne Bridges, especially as Newcastle is only on one bank of the River.  But most people will know of Newcastle and many will not know the name of the river.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Newcastle Station

Newcastle Station is unusual in that it is built on a curve, but as you’d expect from an area which boasts William Armstrong and Robert Stephenson, it is not a station without a lot of very good ironwork.

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When I arrived I couldn’t find a tourist office for a map.  However, I did find one later when I asked at the railway information desk.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

The Stig’s American Cousin

Just watching a repeat of Top Gear! 

Very funny, but I suspect that the team might not be welcome in the US after this!

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Simon Calder

Simon Calder is my favourite travel writer and I spent quite a bit of the journey from Peterborough to Newcastle reading the travel section in The Independent.  Or should I say his travel section, as a lot of it seems to have been written by him.

For a start there was a piece about how to spend two days in San Francisco, although I don’t think it was written by Simon.  And as I am going there in May, it is something that appeared at the right time.

Simon’s editorial was entitled “The week of travelling dangerously” and was about the problems of the Icelandic volcanic ash. The last two paragraphs of a very good article sum up why we ended up in such a mess.

Travel, like life, is about risk management. Flying is far safer than travelling by road. Britain has the best aviation record in the world over the past 20 years, thanks to an obsession with safety on the part of pilots, air-traffic controllers and engineers. But there are limits, which were overstepped this week by a spokesman for the aviation regulators who insisted that only “complete safety” was acceptable. The only way to achieve zero risk: ground all flights, forever. If we all switch to cars, the increase in risk to us, and other road users, increases dramatically. This was the week of travelling dangerously.

“Complete safety” is a laudable but unachievable aim. To suggest otherwise gives credence to the assertion among some pilots that CAA actually stands for “Campaign Against Aviation”.

Taking up Simon’s point about increased risk in cars, how many people have been injured or perhaps even killed in their journeys home by perhaps dubious methods?  Thank goodness, I’ve not heard of any yet.

He also had a marvellous article about travelling on a container ship.  I’ll do that one day.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Newcastle from Peterborough on the Train

On Saturday, I went up to Newcastle for the first time since 1968.  I’ve passed through it several times since, but I’ve never actually spent any time in the city.  But as Ipswich were playing Newcastle I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss to take a visit.

I could have driven it, but I felt it would better let the train take the strain.  Or rather the train from Peterborough.

InterCity 225 Train at Peterborough

I had a good run to Peterborough in just under an hour and was able to park in the car parking close by the station.  This is not always the case, as parking at Peterborough seems to be a bit limited and also a bit expensive.  Surely, if you want to encourage rail travel you must provide lots of parking at an affordable price!

But on Saturday it was only six pounds for the whole day and there was plenty of space.

The train was also on time at both ends of the journey.

The only problem with the train was that I had to travel backwards in First.  But I did like the free coffee, although they weren’t too sure about which of the snacks and meals were gluten free.  So I declined.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Arnos Grove, Southgate and Oakwood

Arnos Grove, Southgate and Oakwood are three London Underground stations at the top end of the Piccadilly line.

I’ve put these in as a gallery, so that I can properly caption all the pictures

I used to live near Oakwood and probably used the station around a thousand times, mainly to get to Southgate for school.

They have all been recently restored.

There seems to be no sign of the plaque at Oakwood saying that the station is the highest point until you meet the Urals.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Jim’ll Mix It

I thought this was a good name for a concrete company.

Jim'll Mix It

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Business | | 3 Comments

A Cash Box Robbery in Hampstead

I’m nearly 63 and I’ve never been at a real crime scene, except for our three burglaries in the South of France, that prompted us to sell Les Ondes.

But I came across a cash box robbery in Hampstead last Friday.

Cash Box Robbery in Hampstead

Here’s the report of the robbery in the Ham and High.

We all fear crime, but is it that common?

April 25, 2010 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Old Names Never Die

Hampstead Station on the Underground used to be or was going to be called Heath Street.  Wikipedia states that it was only given that name before opening, but was always called Hampstead.  If anybody knows the truth let me know.

Heath Street Sign at Hampstead Station

The tiles have been restored and they have still left the name. 

But Gillespie Road still lives!

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Missing Sock

The Missing Sock is a strange name for a pub and it the new name of the old Prince Albert at Quy.

The Missing Sock

I did pop in after a game of tennis to enquire if they could do gluten-free food.  Not sure if they are clued up or not!

But I’ll give them a try.

I do wonder though, if the amount of money they have spent on the pub might be wasted, as after all it is a pub you drive to and it may just be too remote.  But they know about pubs and I don’t.

April 25, 2010 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment