The Anonymous Widower

Protests: When’s It Time To Go Home

I haven’t really been thinking much about the protests in the City of London.  In truth, I think they are rather pointless, as the power of the City and the bonus culture will be broken in a few years. Or as far as they affect the general public they will.

Just read this article on the BBC web site, which talks about when it’s time to go home.

But why do I feel that the city protests are pointless?

The clearing banks are finished for a start, as new technology and clever web sites will increasingly take over their work. As I say often on this web site, I use Zopa to manage my long term money and get just under 6% before tax. The only other thing I need is a simple on-line banking account to manage my cash and standing orders.

In the next few years other ideas will emerge and many of us will not need a clearing bank any more. As my friend David said many years ago, banking will shed jobs with gay abandon. But the City will create new industries and many will need lots of people like those being laid off by the banks.

An interesting insight was a couple years ago, I found a company organising on-line shopping for the cargo ships that wander the world. It is based near the City because it is close to the skills, customers and companies it needed to setup. These sort of ideas will gravitate to the City if we have the right environment and create jobs and income for London. Why do you think Silicon Roundabout is just north of the City. rather than in Manchester, Leeds or Newcastle?

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Finance | , , | Leave a comment

Another Crossrail Hole

I came across this boarded up site at the junction of Southampton Row and Fisher Street.


Another Crossrail Hole

You can find more about it here.

It’s just a ventilation and emergency access shaft for the railway.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Greenford Escalator

Here’s a video of the Last of the Many.

It could have been longer, but people kept using it.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

The Last of the Many

I went to Greenford station today to see the last of something that was very common on the Underground; a wooden escalator.

As you can see from the pictures, the escalator isn’t pristine, but being as it’s owned by London Underground, I suspect it’s mechanically perfect.  And of course as they scrapped hundreds, they’ve probably got several shedfulls of spare parts.

I did also make a video, which shows it still works.

I wonder how many others are still running in the UK.  When I went to Moscow in 2000, they were still going on the Moscow Metro. But the Greenford one is just a baby to the giants in Moscow.

Wooden escalators may have advantages for those who are not too good on their pins.  When I ascended, I just slid off as I used to do as a child. And of course now that guide dogs are allowed on escalators, they’re probably more dog-friendly.

But these are not reasons to go back to wooden treads.  I do think though, that In the next few years a better step design will evolve.

I think it is needed as we now have people with large cases, buggies and all types of dogs wanting to use them more and more. And then of course there’s fashion items like stiletto heels and long skirts, which sometimes get caught. I am also not forgetting those on crutches or in a wheel-chair, who find escalators difficult.

It’s a challenge and he or she who solves it will make a lot of money.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Dinosaurs Wreck Daylight Saving Bill

The latest attempt at saving lives by moving the clocks an hour forward has been wrecked by those MPs, who have gone against the main will of the House of Commons, the government and the people of the UK, by using procedural tricks to talk the Bill out. Read all about it in the Guardian.

It’s funny, but now I live in London instead of Suffolk, I’m more in favour than ever of the bill. I have just walked back from  a bus in semi-darkness.  So in Islington and Hackney, the lights aren’t too bad, but it was just at this time of night last winter, when a teenage girl was killed as she crossed between two buses, just round the corner from where I live.  An hour of extra daylight and she might still be alive. She probably shouldn’t have done it, but who hasn’t.

If the Scots, who weren’t the major objectors this time incidentally, want a different timezone to England, then that is their business.

But how many other pedestrians will have to die before this lunacy is corrected.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment

An Excursion At Wood Green

I went to Turnpike Lane, as I was going to Cockfosters to be picked up by a friend from school. It is an ideal station to be picked up on the northern part of the M25.

I was ahead of time, so I got off at Wood Green, where my father had his printing works and had a walk round. The station itself is virtually unchanged from 1967 or so, which was the last time I used it. Although, the escalators have been modernised and passenger barriers have been installed. But this view is almost identical.

Wood Green Station

Except for a few details and the Ocado van.

I walked down Station Road took this picture of the works.

H Miller & Sons, Wood Green

Note that until perhaps twenty years or so ago,  there was a sign saying, H Miller and Sons, above the widest of the arches, which then had a pair of double doors. My father was one of the sons.

My father’s office in the building was at the top left, where new brickwork can be seen. I spent many an hour on a desk there as a young child sitting on a pile of leather bound ledgers watching the trains go to and from the now closed Palace Gates station.

In the photograph, you can also see the parapet, where my grandmother’s ginger cat went about its business in this tale.

Here is a photo of the Jolly Anglers, which hasn’t changed that much since my father used to illegally take me in for lunch in the 1950s.

The Jolly Anglers, Station Road, Wood Green

I also took a photo of where the Rex Cinema used to be.

Where the Rex Cinema in Wood Green Was

Many a day, I would go there, whilst my parents worked. It wasn’t that bad a cinema and was magnitudes better than the Essoldo in East Barnet, which had a collander for a roof.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 8 Comments

Krushchev Would Feel At Home

Turnpike Lane station is one of the few stations on the northern part of the Piccadilly line with some of the original 1930s details still intact.

Here’s some rather superb uplighters, that would not look out of place in a hotel of the period like the Savoy.

Uplighters at Turnpike Lane Station

And here’s the escalators.

Escalators at Turnpike Lane Station

The escalators are virtually identical to those on the Moscow Metro, as London Underground had a lot to do with installing them. When I was in Moscow in 2000, the escalators there still had their wooden treads.  Because of the Kings Cross Fire, most, if not all, of those in London have now been replaced.

As Nikita Kruschev was one of those incharge of building the Moscow system, he would be pleased that London Underground still has some of the details from the 1930s similarly to those installed in Moscow.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

North Shall Be East

When I used to use the northern part of the Piccadilly line, you always talked about going north and south. So from Turnpike Lane, or Turnpicky Larny in the local speak, to get to Cockfosters, you took a northbound train. But not any more, as this picture taken at the station shows.

North Shall be East

London Underground, now uses a convention, that the line has the same cardinal directions at every station.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport, World | | Leave a comment

Doctors Catch Bob Crow Syndrome

I like this use of words in a leader in The Times today.

I would define Bob Crow syndrome, as being unwilling to give up salaries and pensions, that are way above what similar groups of employees are getting.

The leader does praise British Airways pilots, who graciously took a pay cut rather than see  their jobs disappear.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Health, News | | Leave a comment

Is God He or She?

I don’t believe in any supreme being, but I find it strange that Christianity, Islam and a lot of other religions assume that God is male. Others do have famale deities, so it’s not universal.

It would be a real problem for some religions and especially sects in some, if God did appear and she was female.  It would certainly cause a lot of embarrassment.  But I suppose they wouldn’t believe her, as their God is male.

At least not believing in anything means, I won’t have that problem.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | World | | 4 Comments