The Anonymous Widower

Is Rugby Sevens The Ideal Team Sport For A Games?

I’ve spent some of this afternoon watching the rugby sevens at the Commonwealth Games.

I’ll watch rugby on television, if there’s nothing else on, but rugby is getting more and more like American football, which to me is a game of large men playing to an obscure set of rules, occasionally broken up by some outstanding skill.

But to me, rugby sevens is a completely different game, where agility,speed, skill and tactics are more important than brute strength.

I wouldn’t be interested in going to see a full size rugby match, but if someone said come along to a sevens tournament, I’d probably go.

Rugby sevens is also unique amongst multi-team tournaments in that the game is designed to fit into two days and like it is at the Commonwealth Games on a Saturday and Sunday. So unlike all other team games at Games, like football and hockey, it is very easy to fit into the schedule.

Also, like in Glasgow, all you need to stage it is a decent football or rugby stadium. It is even better though, if you have a top quality stadium like Ibrox, you could use.

And then there’s the advantage that teams are small, so organisers don’t have to provide masses of accommodation for rugby players and officials.

So to me, it’s not surprising that rugby sevens is going to be a sport at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil! Especially, as it is already played in the Asian and Pan American Games.

Did two butchers from Melrose in the Scottish Borders realise what they had started?

July 26, 2014 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment

We Have Ways Of Making You Learn

I’ve just read a report in The Times, which says that Munich Technical University, one of German’s best, is going to teach Masters courses in English.

It reminded me of a story told by a Frenchman, who had immaculate English and worked for I think IBM.  He went on a company course in Germany, which as participants were from all over Europe, was being conducted in English by a German.

On reaching a concept that some on the course found difficult, he addressed everybody with “We have ways of making you understand these things!”

Somebody had to explain to him, the laughter that followed.

July 26, 2014 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

East Suffolk Gets A Community Rail Partnership

The two East Suffolk Lines out of Ipswich to Felixstowe and Lowestoft are being proposed for a Community Rail Partnership. It’s reported in Modern Railways, but strangely not in the East Anglian Daily Times.

I have travelled these lines occasionally over the last few years and still go to my long-suffering dentist in Felixstowe. I have only been to Felixstowe once since the opening of the Bacon Factory Curve, but it does appear that this development has made trains on the East Suffolk Lines more reliable and better to time.

The Ipswich to Felixstowe branch, must have one of the simplest schedules anywhere on the UK rail network. A single Class 153, just trundles up and down the line every hour over a dozen times a day.

A Community Rail Partnership can only benefit the line.

So what enhancements would I like to see on the Felixstowe branch.

A two coach train should probably be used, as at times the line gets busy and increasingly there are passengers with bicycles.

But the line doesn’t necessarily need a train with a toilet, as Ipswich and Felixstowe stations both have excellent facilities.

One thing I’d like to see is better interfaces with the buses at Felixstowe, but as ever the information is as visitor-unfriendly as you will find. It should at least have a town circular that goes to all the important places in the small town, arriving and leaving at the station convenient for the trains.

It should also have bike hire.

So let’s hope the Community Rail Partnership improves the line.

One possibility that might happen is electrification to Felixstowe Port, which would completely transform this line, Then an old electric multiple unit with perhaps three coaches, could be saved from the scrapyard and given a well-deserved sprucing up and retirement on the Suffolk coast.

I don’t know the Lowestoft line as well, but properly looked after by a Community Rail Partnership, it could be a serious asset to the towns on the route.

One thing is missing from the services back to London from Lowestoft and Felixstowe is the lack of a late train to get back to Ipswich and on to London.

The last train from Lowestoft leaves after nine on most days and at 20:05 on Sundays, whereas the last train from Felixstowe leaves just before half past nine all the week.

It’ll be good to see how the rail services develop in this proud part of Suffolk.

July 26, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment