The Anonymous Widower

How Do We Get Rid of this Waddling Woman?

So Ann Widdecombe is still in Strictly Come Dancing!  I just think she’s had her fun and now is the time for her to go.  So do the judges, but the British public keep voting her back in!

My bet on Pamela Stephenson is still there and I’m hoping she goes all the way!

November 28, 2010 Posted by | News | , , | 1 Comment

A Strange Station

The train to Norwich stopped at Lakenheath station, which is one of the least-used stations in the UK and is unusual in that it has no weekday services and only one each way on Saturday and three on Sundays. However, there has been a large increase in passengers in recent years, due to the stations proximity to the RSPB at Lakenheath Fen.

There is a big lesson here, in that if you have a special interest site, that can generate significant traffic, then it is perhaps worth researching whether a station could be provided.  In my travels around the UK, one example that suggests itself would be to have a station close to the retail park, which is near to where Scunthorpe United play.  There are also serious plans for a station at the Ricoh Arena, where Coventry City play.

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Memories of Wymondham

I actually passed through Wymondham twice today and not only is it the nearest station to where my Lotus Elan was built, but it has precious memories of the time in the 1960s, when I was courting C.

For two summers she worked as a mother’s help for a family called Wright, who lived at Hingham, looking after their three children Amanda, Caroline and Timothy.

The two girls were bridesmaids at our wedding in 1968, but we lost contact with them all over the years, despite living only an hour or so away.

November 28, 2010 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Crying in Their Beer

As an Ipswich suppoter, I hate to say it, but Norwich City have given me one of my best football moments.

It was the 18th February 1967 and C and myself went for a drink in a Greenall Whitley pub, called something like the Royal Oak on the East Lancashire Road (A580) by St. Helens.  C wasn’t into football much, although she used to go to Barnet as a child with her father.  But she was so amused at a table full of disgruntled Manchester United fans, crying in their beer, after Norwich had beaten them 2-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

She actually remembered this incident a few months before she died.  I’ll never forget it!

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

A Second Visit to Carrow Road

I’d only been to Carrow Road once before and that was with my late youngest son to see Norwich City play the team he supported as a twelve-year-old, Liverpool.

The ground then was fairly ramshackle and you can see now that it has been completely modernised.

Carrow Road, Norwich

What the flags were about, I don’t know!

I will say little about the football, except that Ipswich self-destructed and I don’t believe they’ll do any better until someone takes charge of the defence.  Damien Delaney may have scored but he needs someone to help him out.  We need Gareth McCauley back in the team as soon as possible to put some sense and backbone there.

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

To Norwich in the Snow

The train from Dullingham to Cambridge was a few minutes late but for once in the last few weeks, it was actually two coaches, so it was fairly comfortable.  The Cambridge to Norwich train was a three coach, Class 170. It has been promised that the two coach version of this train will be used on the Ipswich Cambridge line after December 12th.  But hopefully, I’ll have moved before I need to use one. 

The train sped through the snow, as this picture shows. 

Through the Snow to Norwich


It reminds me off the old joke about the old lady who’d been on a train journey on a very snowy day and asked the conductor, “How does the driver know where he’s going, when he can’t see the rails.” 

Norwich incidentally, is the only town in East Anglia with a proper railway station, with enough platforms laid out so that trains can be despatched efficiently. 

Inside Norwich Station

But is it not to be expected that East Anglia, the forgotten part of the UK, has such awful stations, as there are always more important places to buy votes, especially when Labour is in power.  Norwich station seems to have slipped through the financial net or it could be that it is East Anglia’s only terminal station and was built properly in the first place.

But think of the others.

Bury St. Edmunds is best described as a building in keeping with the ruins of the Abbey.

Cambridge is effectively one long platform, which is the third longest in England, where trains are shunted, coupled and decoupled to try to run an effcient service. At least it is going to be upgraded with a new long platform.  Hopefully, this will allow, Ipswich, Norwich and services to and past Peterborough to be expanded.

Ely is a busy junction station that works, but it is not the best place to connect between north-south and east-west services.  It could do with a proper bridge and/or  lifts so that passengers can transfer easier and a lot more car parking.

Felixstowe is a halt in the car park of a shopping centre.

Great Yarmouth is a low cost industrial building with a few facilities.

Ipswich is really a two platform halt on the main London to Norwich line, with additional platforms for the branches tucked along the sides.

Newmarket is a single platform with a shelter

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Wonga Moment

I first became aware of Wonga, the on-line lender,  a couple of years ago at an on-line awards ceremony.  It didn’t win, and I can remember telling a lot of people at the time, that I didn’t think it was very ethical or even legal, as it charged a very high rate of interest for small sums. I think I even asked the guy doing the presentation a question on this basis, but I can’t be sure.

I’d hoped that the businesss had gone to the dogs, as I didn’t like it, but I now know it hasn’t, as it adorns the shirts of Blackpool FC.  And then on the train to Norwich this morning, I saw the headline, What ‘pay day’ lender Wonga’s television advertisements fail to dwell on: 2,689% APR , in the Mail on Sunday, being read by the guy next door.

In other words, they charge hundreds of times more than my preferred on-line lender, Zopa.

I have no experience of using them, but the Mail has a fairly worried tone about the company.  I would suggest that before you use Wonga, you read their article and discuss it with someone who knows finance better than I do!

I also write this from experience of being a partner in a finance company and the sometime holder of a Consumer Credit Licence.  I also once had a business card that amongst the things I did, said. “Loans Sharked”

Wonga though might have a postive side.  When there is a general awareness of how much they are being charged by some of the highly-advertised finance companies, people may actually realise that there are other and much better ways of getting their finances in order.

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Finance | , , | 4 Comments

Off to Norwich This Morning

I’ve just ordered the taxi to take me to the station to get my train to Cambridge.  The weather doesn’t seem too bad, but it’s a bit cold. To say the least. The train was also on time at Ipswich and is just approaching Needham Market.

Here’s hoping it all goes well!

November 28, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment