The Anonymous Widower

When Was The Last Time Sussex Had Two Teams in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup?

With Crawley beating Hull at the KC Stadium and Brighton beating Newcastle at home by the same score, it means that Sussex has two teams in the fifth round of the FA Cup for the first time.  Brighton of course did make the 1983 Cup Final.

I do suspect that the draw might be fixed so that they play each other, as who would fancy a trip to the Deep South.

It’s actually quite a small list of counties that have two League teams outside of the obvious, like Greater London, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Tyne and Wear and a few others, who have two clubs anyway. I can find Bristol, Derbyshire, Devon, Essex and Hampshire.  And of course Sussex.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport | | 1 Comment

What Do You Get When You Cross Good Engineering With Good Financial Skills?

February’s Modern Railways magazine has an interesting article about how a whole new lengthened set of trains are being created to work the South West London services for South West Trains.

Currently these services are worked by 4-car Class 458 and Class 450 trains.

For various reasons South West Trains want to go to a 10-car railway, which would mean the simplest solution would be to lengthen the Class 450s to 5-cars and run them in pairs as required. But this would require upwards of about a hundred new carriages and typically these cost about a million pounds each.

But  then Porterbrook’s engineers and managers got involved and suggested using the redundant purpose built fleet of 8-car Gatwick Express Class 460 that were surplus to requirements to lengthen the Class 458’s to 5-car trains. This is possible as both sets of trains were built by Alstom to a common design.

So South West Trains will get what they want at a lesser cost and probably earlier too.

The irony is that Porterbrook, is basically a train leasing company and not an engineering one.

So next time you ask, what have bankers done for us, look at a clever piece of work like this. But then it was probably led by engineers who understood money, rather than bankers who understood engineering.

All of the best engineers I’ve worked with always understood the monetary implications of what they did! Some also understood marketing too!

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Finance, News, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

One Of My Least Favourite Stadia Will Get a Station

The Ricoh Arena at Coventry is a reas9onable stadium, unless you want to get there when the buses aren’t running from the centre. That happened on News Years Day in 2011 as I reported here.

But it would now appear that by December 2013, it will have its own station! About time too!

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Is Hull Going to be Connected Properly to the Rest of the UK?

Modern Railways are quoted in their February edition, that NetworkRail are going to investigate pushing the TransPennine electrification on from York to Selby and Hull.

This sounds like a good idea and I suspect that all those Hullensians will be pleased. It will also keep NetworkRail’s electrification train busy, especially as that line doesn’t have too many bridges, tunnels and viaducts.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Should Paul Scholes Captain GB in the Olympics?

Rules say that for Olympic football, you must pick an under-23 side, but you are allowed three overage players in your side. This article in the Daily Mail says that Giggs, Scholes and Beckham could be those overage players.

Obviously others will have their view and especially, when it is known, who’s not going to Euro-2012.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

Liverpool Supporters Boo Evra

The Suarez affair has not shown Liverpool of their supporters in a good light. Watching the match today between Liverpool and Manchester United, there is a lot more booing of Patrice Evra.

I think, it’s going to need some sort of punishment to bury all of this.

Incidentally, it doesn’t seem that the supporters behaviour is not much better at Loftus Road, where Chelsea and John Terry are playing.

It wwould appear that we might be winning the battle against rscism in football, but now we have another one, where supporters use a racist incident to stir up trouble.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Peston on RBS Bonuses

Robert Peston at the BBC is a financial commentator I respect.  His post today, in response to the news that the Chairman of RBS, Sir Philip Hampton,  has turned down his bonus, should be read by all. According to Peston, Sir Philip didn’t actually request a bonus in his contract.

Well, the additional reward for Sir Philip was always something slightly unusual, which – as it happens – he didn’t request when he took the job three years ago. This shares incentive had already been agreed in negotiations with another candidate to chair RBS (Lord Davies, the former Standard Chartered chief executive, who ultimately turned the job down), and Sir Philip just attached his moniker to a contract drafted for someone else.

That sounds like a cock-up by the previous government to me.

Peston goes on to have a dig at the lack of talent available and also headhunters, whose interest is best served by high salaries. The first point is proven by looking at how many banks  the world are in trouble and the second is well-known to anybody who’s ever hired anybody through a headhunter or an agency.

I think we’ll only know how good Hester and his co-directors are, when RBS is sold off.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Finance, News | , | Leave a comment

More on Stehen Hester and That Bonus

He is a rich man in his own right.  If I was him, I’d tell the stupid politicians I didn’t want the bonus, resign and tell them, where to put their job. I would know that I’d done a good job and could take my pick of a lot of well-paid jobs out there.

If that happened, it would cost all the UK Taxpayers even more and who would most politicians blame.  David Cameron and the Tory members of this current government, who have nothing to do with this mess. RBS was such a state in 2010, that it should have been liquidated. But Gordon Brown needed the votes! Especially in Scotland!

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Finance, News | , , | 2 Comments

It was the Crowd What Won It

At Liverpool University, in I think, 1968, the University Rugby team, got to the final of the British Universities Rugby Cup. Usually, this final would have involved two of the more sporting universities. But somehow, we got there and would have been long odds to win against Loughborough.

However, some old fart, decided to have the final at Birkenhead Park just across the Mersey one Wednesday afternoon.

So the whole University marched down the hill to the ferries and virtually filled the ground.

To say we were raucous would be an understatement, but Loughborough fell apart under the battering from the crowd and Liverpool won the trophy for their only time.

In the Telegraph next day, we were described as a mini-Kop that nearly rioted.

It was certainly an afternoon to remember.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

An Enterprising Aussie

it has been reported on the BBC, that outside the ladies singles final in Melbourne today, between those two grunters; Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, there was a man selling ear-plugs at $3 a pair.

January 28, 2012 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment