The Anonymous Widower

Will Sky Ever Broadcast A Freeview Sports Channel?

Yesterday, Sky held the rights to both the Cricket World Cup Final and The British Grand Prix.

But in the end Sky shared the coverage of both events with Channel 4!

Now that both events have successfully concluded, Sky will have the details of the following.

  • Number of viewers.
  • Advertising revenue on both Sky and Channel 4.
  • Reaction from politicians, some of whom are not very pleased with Sky.

This will enable the company to decide, whether it is in the company’s interest to do it again.

  • I can also see a scenario, where if a Sky Freeview channel exists, that sports would want to do promotional deals to get their sport in front of viewers, by perhaps having the top level on satellite and lower levels on Freeview.
  • Sky uses a lot of repeats on its Sports Channels at Off Peak times.
  • Freeview technology will also be allowing more channels.
  • Sky must be a bit worried about competition from other broadcasters woth bottomless pockets.

I don’t think we can rule anything out, as Sky are an innovative and ambitious broadcaster.

 

July 15, 2019 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wimbledon Comes To The City

I took these pictures in Spitalfields today.

Perhaps, we should do it more often!

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Refereeing At The Women’s World Cup

At times, as in today’s England game against Cameroon, refereeing has not been of the highest quality.

I watch a lot of football and being a referee is something I would not want to do!

But I do have a few thoughts!

Are Some Of The Referees Not Fit Enough?

I have my suspicions on this one, as some of the bad decisions seem to have happened, when the referee is behind the play!

Referees from major football playing countries, probably officiate in many more games and come under much more scrutiny about their fitness, than they do in other countries.

Was It A Mistake To Send Referees Home From The Last Sixteen Countries?

I know why FIFA has done this, but does it get rid of a lot of the best and most experienced referees?

Perhaps delaying until the last eight would have been better?

Should We Integrate More Women Officials Into The Men’s Game?

We are always hearing that there is a shortage of referees for matches in the UK

I wouldn’t be surprised that this is a problem in a lot of countries, with large league structures.

Surely, welcoming more women into the profession would help to ease the shortage.

I actually, think, as with many other trades and professions, the shortage will mean that more women are welcome.

I should say that at Ipswich in the Chapionship, we have had the occasional woman assistant referee and there hasn’t been any adverse crowd reaction.

But, I suspect, other crowds and possibly countries wouldn’t be so friendly.

Conclusion

The standard of refereeing by women will improve, as more come into the game, due to the shortages.

But no real progress will be made in the UK, until a woman referees a high-profile League or Cup match.

The first time it happens, will be down to a chapter of unfortunate circumstances.

Perhaps a team of four for a match will contain two women, one of whom will be the fourth official.

The man refereeing the match, becomes unable to do so, as happens a couple of times during matches in the Premier League every year.

Perhaps, the man running the line has made a terrible howler and is getting stick from an angry crowd.

So, the inevitable decision will be made.

After all, Bibiana Steinhaus, has refereed in the Bundesliga for a couple of years.

One of her problems according to Wikipedia, has been that Iran cut her out of broadcasts of matches, when she is the referee.

But then there’s no accounting for that religious basket-case!

 

June 24, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Down The Pub For The Football

There is a typical man’s pub that does beer and pizza near me, where I go occasionally to watch football, if I don’t fancy watching alone.

So for tonight’s England-Argentina game in the Women’s World Cup, I walked along my road and had a butchers!

There wasn’t a seat to be had, so I may have got my gluten-free beer, but there wouldn’t have been anywhere to eat a pizza.

But it was gratifying to see the support for the women’s version of the National game!

 

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Food, Sport | , , , | 2 Comments

Hillside Station To Go Step-Free

This document on the Government web site is entitled Access for All: 73 Stations Set To Benefit From Additional Funding.

Hillside station in Liverpool, is on the list.

These pictures show the station and the current station building, which is on a bridge.

This 3D Google Map shows the station.

Note.

  1. The station appears to have a large forecourt.
  2. The stairs to the platforms have thirty-two steps.
  3. There could be enough space for lifts outside the platforms.

But will a simple solution, be able to cope with major events like the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale?

Perhaps something more radical, but very possible will be done.

One idea, could be to extend the station building at both ends.

  • A set of wide safe stairs and a lift could provide direct access from the street to the platform in the extensions.
  • Once installed, the original stairs could be removed.

There are certainly possibilities for an architect to develop a solution to cope with the biggest events.

June 2, 2019 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New GWR IETs Under Fire Over Lack Of Buffets

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail News.

This is the first paragraph.

The RMT has been holding demonstrations today at London, Swansea and Plymouth about the lack of buffets on GWR’s new Intercity Express Trains. Surfers have also been protesting about the simultaneous withdrawal of space to carry their boards.

As I don’t even swim, the latter doesn’t bother me and I can’t remember going to the buffet on a GWR train since, I regularly used to go to Reading to see Foster Wheeler in the 1980s. I must admit, that I’ve availed myself of the trolley service.

I have flagged up for some time, that the Class 800, 801 and 802 trains are a bit lacking in the bulky luggage department.

The picture shows an InterCity 125 about to make luggage disappear.

Also in Bicycles And Class 800 Trains, I said this.

I also noticed from the information displays, that all bicycles needed to be booked. That is a bit different from the days of the InterCity 125s, which had lots of space in the back of the locomotive.

On one trip to Plymouth, I saw several surfboards swallowed by the locomotive.

I got in a conversation with a station guy about bicycles and surfboards and from the knowing look on his face, I suspect it is a bit of a pain.

With the growing popularity of cycling, surely a turn up and go regime is needed.

Given that cyclists and surfers may look at the weather and decide, it’s a good time to go cycling or surfing, I suspect that GWR need to come up with a solution to this problem.

In the 1960s, I remember working with a manic surfer; John Baxendale, at ICI in Runcorn. Regularly, at the weekend in the winter, he’d strap his surfboard to the roof of his trusty Morris Minor and drive to the very North of Scotland to go surfing.

Rather him than me!

But if all surfers are like John in the 1960s, they are devoted to their sport and grab all opportunities.

The simplest solution is probably to provide a hire service in Cornwall for bicycles and surfboards.

But the design of the Class 800 trains allows up to twelve cars in a single train.

Could this lead to GWR and/or other operators, adding a tenth car to the trains to handle large luggage and perhaps bring specialist cargo like flowers and seafood up to London? GWR have done this in the past.

 

 

 

 

May 13, 2019 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Where Will I Watch The Champions League Final?

My father had first gone to White Hart Lane as a child, in his father’s pony-and-trap, before the First World War. He told me how they gave a local lad a shilling to hold the horse’s head during the match.

That would be about twelve pounds in 2019 money. I don’t drive, so would you pay twelve pounds to park your car for a match today?

Later he had been at the 1921 FA Cup Final at Stamford Bridge, where Spurs had won the cup for the second time.

He took me several times to see Spurs in the 1950s and we were there in 1961, when Spurs received the First Division trophy after losing to West Bromwich Albion.

I was now going regularly on my own and I cycled down from Southgate.

I seem to remember paying half-a-crown to leave my bike in a secure space. That would be about three pounds today.

In the early 1960s, my parents moved to Felixstowe and to overcome the boredom of summers and other holidays in the place, our neighbour started taking me to Ipswich Town, where I saw a few games of Alf Ramsey’s First Division-winning side of cast-offs and misfits!

As I’ve lived in Suffolk off-and-on for over fifty years, it was the start of a long-term relationship.

I should also say, that following Ipswich Town and the companionship I;ve enjoyed, has been a great help to me, since C’s death!

For four years in the 1960s, I was at Liverpool University or living in the City.

I saw Spurs play many times all over the North West, but it was not a good period for them and I only saw one win, which was at Everton.

I also used to go to both Liverpool clubs, where you just walked up on the day and paid to get in. Those were the days! I remember, I was there to see Emlyn Hughes make his debut for Liverpool. Wikipedia says that was March 4th, 1967 against Stoke City.

Most long-term football fans have a long-term relationship to one club and I’ve met some strange relationships.

Ipswich for instance have a clutch of Liverpudlian supporters, who seem to have started supporting Ipswich in the Bobby Robson-era. That could be just the Liverpudlian attitude to be different.

So where will I watch the Champions League Final on June the First?

I am leaning towards Manchester at the moment! Although, thinking about it, Barcelona could be an interesting alternative!

May 11, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Residential Development Convenient For Rugby And Train Travel

I went through Twickenham station yesterday and took these pictures.

Surely many more stations could sustain a substantial development of much-needed housing on the top.

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Sport, Transport, World | , , , | 3 Comments

Development North Of Kew Bridge Station

This Google Map shows the large site to the North of Kew Bridge station.

Note.

  1. Kew Bridge station in the South-East corner of the map.
  2. The M4 passing around the North of the site.
  3. The triangle of railway lines going to Hounslow in the West, South Acton in the North and Barnes and Waterloo in the East.

Some of the plans for the site have been disclosed.

Brentford’s New Stadium

I took these pictures from a train, as I passed through yesterday.

Brentford Community Stadium is planned to open in Summer 2020.

Step-Free Access At Kew Bridge Station

Currently, Kew Bridge station is not step-free.

Searching the Internet, I found this document on the Hounslow Borough Council web site, which is dated April the 15th 2019 and entitled Step-Free Access To Many Of Hounslow’s Stations Proceeding At Pace!

This is an extract.

Kew Bridge is also set to benefit from accessibility improvements when the new Brentford stadium opens. The London-bound platform is to be made step free and the council is working with SWR and NR to explore how step-free access from the country-bound platform to the street can also be delivered.  A feasibility study is due to progress later this year.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines at Kew Bridge station.

The two lines, through the disused platforms at Kew Bridge station could be used as a terminus, by the proposed West London Orbital Railway.

I’m sure Brentford FC wouldn’t object to more trains serving their new ground.

Preparations For The West London Orbital

This picture was taken as I looked through the short tunnel, that connects the current Platform 1 to the disused platform shown on the map of the lines.

It appears that the rubbish and shrubbery of many decades is being cleared.

Could it be in connection with making the London-bound platform step-free?

It would also allow surveyors to assess how much work is needed to get the platform back into use for the West London Orbital Railway.

Development To The South Of The Station

This picture shows a large site behind the station building and the country-bound platform

The location of the site can be seen behind the Express Tavern on this Google Map.

The map also shows how the flats developed on the South side of the tracks have limited the ability to put a second footbridge over the tracks to whisk passengers from London to the stadium.

I wonder, if a route could be built, through the developments, to deliver step-free access to the country-bound platform.

But it would be the wrong side for the stadium!

A step-free bridge is needed at Kew Bridge station.

The Cafe At Kew Bridge Station

Whilst at the station, I had a welcoming coffee.

It’s certainly better than your average chain coffee shop.

I could also wait watching a Departures display.

 

 

May 1, 2019 Posted by | Sport, Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Rugby Goal-Light Technology Trial At Principality Stadium

The title of this post is the same as that on this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

New technology to light up rugby posts in different colours to show whether a kick is successful was trialled at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Although, I’m not registered blind, I do have problems with spotting movement in certain light conditions and at certain angles.

If I regularly went to rugby, these lights could improve my experience.

They are a good idea.

What puzzles me, is that the post says they could be used in American Football.

You’d have thought that the Americans would have already done it, but obviously they haven’t!

 

 

April 27, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment