The Anonymous Widower

The New Balcony at Waterloo

I went to Waterloo station today to see how the new balcony was progressing.

It will be used for shops and eateries and according to one personable young lad in Marks and Spencer, it should be open by the end of this month.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Stonewall’s Bus Adverts

It would appear that the hated Wonga adverts seem to have all but disappeared, but another group has replaced them from Stonewall.

Stonewall’s Bus Advert

I have no objection, as being gay is just another facet of our many-faceted society, especially as I think that they are promoting same sex marriage in the adverts.  I was lucky enough to have a very good marriage, that lasted nearly forty years, so who am I to deny anybody the same happiness, just because their sexuality is different from mine.

I should say that I was only intending to take a picture of the bus on the right, but when your eyesight is dodgy, pictures don’t turn out how you expect them!

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

Defibrillators on Buses

If you search for defibrillators on buses, you will find that some companies do have them on buses and train staff to use them.

So perhaps where you have a two-man bus, like the New Bus for London, they should be carried and staff should be trained. Note that some of the newer buses have got bigger, so I suspect there might be a space to store a defibrillator.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Guess Who?

On my trip on the New Bus for London, I sat by the rear platform for a time.  I took this picture.

Guess Who?

Who is it? I should say that Health and Safety regulations, do not require all passengers to wear a parachute on the rear platform of the New Bus for London. There is always a helpful conductor or as I prefer a Bus Captain there to ensure good behaviour.

I should say, that I had a brief chat with the Bus Captain, who very much liked the bus.  I suppose acting as a Rear Gunner chatting to passengers, is better than being shut behind a Plexiglass screen with the money, driving the bus.

If you haven’t identified him yet, here’s a picture after he got off the bus.

Boris on the Stump

It’s only the second time, I’ve ever come across a politician on the stump.  The first time, I was under a car fixing the brakes, when I was called out by a lady canvassing for her local party.  I voted for her, as she apologised for interrupting me.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

The New Bus for London and the Standard Wright Bus Compared

I travelled today from Victoria to Piccadilly on a New Bus for London or NBfL and then an hour or so later, I went from Bank to my home on a 2009-vintage standard Wright Bus or SWB.

So how do they compare and are there any features of the new bus could be fitted in the next generation of buses?

  1. The sculptured seats of the NBfL are a lot more comfortable and after a quick look under the seats of both buses, it would appear that something similar could be fitted to the SWB.  I suspect though that they are a bit more expensive.
  2. The stairs seem to the top deck easier on the NBfL than the SWB and because there are two sets it gives you a choice when you get on and off.  Remember that the two staircases on the NBfL are used to hide the engine and the batteries. Hybrid bus designers will get more and more ingenious about where they hide the drive train, which will reduce weight and make the buses more fuel efficient.
  3. The ride is much better in the NBfL in my opinion as I said here and lessons learned in the design, might well be able to be employed to improve the ride of the SWB.
  4. Everybody seems to like the conductor or are they now a Bus Captain? I’ll always remember the look on the faces of an elderly couple as they got on a NBfL at the rear in the Balls Pond Road.
  5. I think too, that the Bus Captains enjoy their new role.  But then responsibility is always a great motivator to everybody.
  6. I also like the colours of the NBfL better, as they are calming and seem to bring out the best in everybody. You can definitely have too much yellow.

But I suppose the biggest difference, is that a NBfL has a presence, that makes it stand out from the crowd. I thought today with its curved front and the TfL roundel on the front, that it reminded me of the trolleybuses of my childhood.  The SWB may be a nice bus, but they don’t stand out.

The only definite thing we can say, is that in ten years time, buses will be more stylish, passenger and crew-friendly and of course more fuel-efficent and quieter than they are today. Let’s hope that those buses are still designed and made in the UK.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Quality of Some A-Levels

It would appear that nothing changes here in some subjects. The main news story is that Michael Gove wants to reform A levels and give the universities more control. He states that some A levels don’t prepare some students for their University courses.

Was it ever any different?

When I went to Liverpool University in the 1960s, my maths was good, especially as I had done a Further Maths exam after my normal Pure and Applied Maths. The latter incidentally was dropped soon after I took it, despite it being the most useful to engineers.

Others though, did not have my maths skill, despite having got an A level.  So a lot of my first year was spent relearning maths, so I could be a good engineer.

In fact, the problem was even worse.  Until the year before me, the Engineering Department at Liverpool, got the Maths Department to teach maths. But they had found it was taught so badly, that they took to teaching it themselves.

That was sixty years ago!

I’d love to see a current Maths A level paper and see how much is within my knowledge.


April 3, 2012 Posted by | News | , , | 2 Comments

Another Mass Shooting In the United States

Sadly, there is has been another mass shooting in the United States, this time in Oakland.

When is the country going to get the simple relation, that guns kill people?

They send an awful message to the rest of the world. Look at the latest film from Hollywood; The Hunger Games.  Quite frankly it is sick. Why has it been given a certificate in the UK?

April 3, 2012 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

The Bluebells Are Out in Kew

The BBC has just said that the bluebells are out in Kew.  This is the earliest they have appeared since records began. No wonder I’ve had such a terrible time being boiled alive in this house, with all the sun we’ve had so far this year.

April 3, 2012 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment