The Anonymous Widower

The Irish Boiler Problem

When I think of Scotland being independent, I’m always reminded of a problem, that was ongoing at a hotel we stayed in, in Dublin.

The boiler for the central heating had failed and the poor plumber was trying to get it going again. The boiler had been made in England a few years before and it wasn’t a cheap one. But it turned out that as it was rather a special, the spare that the plumber wanted wasn’t held in Ireland. And as it was about six on a Friday evening, the factory in I think Birmingham had closed for the night.

So the hotel had to wait a few days for heating. At least they had an immersion heater for hot water.

The plumber told me, how this was often happening as with expensive plumbing and its spares, was generally not kept in Ireland as it was only a small country and it was usually ordered overnight from England.

One of the things that might be a problem with Scottish independence, is that companies don’t keep stock north of the border and it becomes much more difficult to get something urgently. You might also have more paperwork and different currencies and VAT rates.

Prices in Scotland might rise! Or they might fall. Who knows?

September 15, 2014 Posted by | World | , | 6 Comments

Before Overground – Silver Street

A Disgraceful Station By An Important Hospital – Rating 1/10

These are pictures taken at Silver Street station.

It is not one of the better equipped stations, as it has no lifts, escalators, no open ticket office or cafe.

The stairs are also long and precipitous. They would be impossible for anybody with a baby in a buggy!

What makes this a lot worse, is that the station is close to the North Middlesex hospital. So if you have access problems and are visiting the hospital, steer clear of this station. You’d be better going to Edmonton Green and ordering a taxi.

All hospitals should have very easy step-free access from the nearest transport interchange.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

Before Overground – Edmonton Green

A Prototype Station For The Lea Valley Lines – Rating 8/10

This is the first of a series of posts, where I post pictures of the stations on the Lea Valley Lines before the takeover by the London Overground in May next year.

Edmonton Green station is one of the better stations on the line and the lifts that are being installed, should be fully working in a month or so.

I’ve used quite a few stations on the Lea Valley Lines, but this must be one that needs the smallest amount of work to bring it up to a high standard. It’s got lifts, a cafe, tasteful shelters and seats.

It also has good bus connections, so it is one of those stations, where if you were in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy, you might swap your mode of transport.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 3 Comments

Up And Down On The East London Line

My memories if the East London Line don’t go back very far, as I probably only ever used the line once before I moved to Dalston in 2010. I think it must have been around 2000, when I was travelling from Brighton to my youngest son’s house in Bow. I changed trains at New Cross Gate to get to Whitechapel, from where I must have used the Metropolitan Line to Mile End, near to where he lived.

Comfortable and clean it wasn’t! The trains weren’t as bad as the travelling urinals of the North London Line, but the A Stock were forty years old and very tired.

I posted here about the step-free access improvements on the London Overground, so I thought I’d check them out.

The pictures show my route from Dalston Junction to New Cross, from where I walked to New Cross Gate for a train to Crystal Palace. After a refreshment stop at the excellent Brown and Green cafe at the flagship southern terminus of the East London Line, I retraced my steps stopping to look at the improvements at Honor Oak Park and Brockley.

Of the stations south of Surrey Quays on the New Cross and Crystal Palace branches only Sydenham will not be substantially step-free by early next year. At Sydenham though it is effectively two stations, one for each direction, which means with planning, difficult stairs can be avoided.

Several excellent new cafes and coffee stalls, seem to be setting up in the stations.

The future is definitely looking up on the East London Line.

A good start has definitely been made on bringing some of the stations in South London into the twenty-first century.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

An Advantage To The Rest Of The UK Of Scottish Independence

If Scotland becomes independent after Thursday, then we won’t have to suffer, when the weather forecasts give out the often more depressing forecast for north of the border.

The weather forecasts would be even better, if Northern Ireland were to become independent as well.

September 15, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment