The Anonymous Widower

My Football Routine

I usually arrange my Saturday football around a schedule something like this.

  1. 09:00 Go to Islington Marks and Spencer, Boots and Chapel Market, as my grandmother would have done over a hundred years ago, to do my weekend shopping.
  2. 11:00 Listen to Fighting Talk on Radio 5.
  3. 12:45 Leave home and catch a bus to Liverpool Street.
  4. 13:30 Catch the train for Ipswich.
  5. 14:43 Arrive in Ipswich and walk to Portman Road
  6. 15:00 Watch the match.
  7. 17:09 Catch the train back from Ipswich.
  8. 18:30 Arrive back in London
  9. 19:00 Arrive back home.

Sometimes I vary the routine, by having lunch in Spitalfields before I get the train.

I should say that as I’m a coeliac, I find getting acceptable gluten-free food in Ipswich difficult, so I never eat anything in the town.

You might think what is wrong with my schedule.

It’s the dreaded Rail Replacement Buses, that seem to interrupt many weekends, when there is football at Ipswich.

The time taken by the buses means, I have to allow an extra ninety minutes over the normal rail journey.

I know there is a lot of work to do on the line, but why can’t it be done on days when there is no football. As a widower, who lives alone, I find it tiresome.

I’ve even talked to some Norwich supporters about this and they’re as angry as I am.

November 4, 2017 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , | 2 Comments

History Repeats Itself

This article on the BBC is entitled London Marathon 2017: Club runner Josh Griffiths finishes as fastest Briton.

Everybody including Josh, is surprised.

But Josh’s feat is not unique.

Ian Thompson, made up the numbers for his club in the 1973 AAA Marathon Championship.

He then won Commonwealth Gold in 1974 in a record time that still stands.

Good luck, Josh

 

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Sport | | Leave a comment

Everton’s New Stadium

This article on the BBC is entitled Everton agree deal for new stadium site.

This is said.

The Premier League club and landowners Peel Holdings have reached agreement on the Bramley-Moore Dock site near the River Mersey.

This Google Map shows Bramley-Moore Dock and its relationship to Sandhills station.

Bramley Moore Dock is the dock at the end of the A5054.

There is also a second article on the BBC entitled Everton’s new stadium ‘could host Commonwealth Games’.

I suspect that depending if and which Commonwealth Games, Liverpool gets, then there will be a different plan of construction.

If it is 2022, as a stand-in for Durban, it would be sensible to go for solution similar to Manchester 2002, which did seem to work pretty well.

The BBC finishes the second article with this paragraph.

But, Liverpool has seen a few false dawns when it comes to massive regeneration projects – and stadiums – and there is the small issue of decent transport links to sort out before hoards of sports fans can be welcomed.

This second Google Map shows the location of the stadium, the A5054 and the Merseyrail’s Northern Line.

I estimate that from the water in the dock to where the Northern Line crosses the A5054 is about five hundred metres. So if a station were to be built at the  crossing point, walking distances would be of the same order as Arsenal, Aston Villa, Charlton, Rotherham and Tottenham.

Plans for a new station at Vauxhall, which is an area just to the South of the Bramley-Moore Dock, have been proposed. This is said in Wikipedia.

Vauxhall railway station is a proposed railway station in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool. If it is constructed it will be sited between Moorfields and Sandhills on the Merseyrail Northern Line. Construction of the new station was proposed in January 2017 by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, as part of the city’s North Docks project and also Everton Football Club’s potential plans to build their new stadium in the area.

The current Off Peak frequency at Sandhills station, which would be the next station to the North, is as follows.

  • 4 trains per hour (tph) to Southport
  • 4 tph to Ormskirk
  • 4 tph to Kirkby
  • 4 tph to Hunts Cross via Moorfields & Liverpool Central
  • 12 tph to Liverpool Central (combined – 8 terminate there whilst 4 continue to Hunts Cross)

There will be few sports grounds with as good a train service as that, if a new station is built.

This Google Map shows Liverpool Waterfront between Bramley-Moore and Albert Docks.

Any European city, wouldn’t mess about and would run a tram along a historic waterfront like this.

It’s not as if there isn’t enough space as this picture looking North from behind the Liver Building shows.

A tram line could probably go down the middle of the dual carriageway. Especially, if like Birmingham’s new City Centre extension to the Midland Metro, it could be built without wires.

We shall see what happens!

 

 

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Barnsley Interchange Is One Of My Favourite Stations

Barnsley Interchange station is unusual in that it is a combined train and bus station, that seems to be well-positioned in the town.

There is only one real problem and that is like Lincoln station, it is a town centre station with a level crossing.

The other problem with the station, is that it is a steep walk up the hill to the Football Ground.

The only solution would be a tunnel under the hill with a large lift to bring you into the Ground.

I don’t think it woud be very affordable or practical.

There is a lot to like about the station and this Google Map shows the overall layout.

Note the level crossing at the South end of the station.

If you read the section on Services in the Wikipedia entry for the station, you’ll see that the station handles three or four trains per hour in both directions at times. The track layout on the Penistone Line doesn’t help, as this extract from Wikipedia describes.

Barnsley also marks the last continuous dual running track (except for parts) for trains heading towards Huddersfield, or the first continuous dual running track for trains heading towards Sheffield.

I suspect Network Rail and the Penistone Line Partnership have ideas for increasing capacity, but they’d really like the level crossing removed.

I did notice though, that trains in opposite directions, didn’t always seem to pass in the station, which is a technique that has been used in several places to cut the number of times crossings close.

Perhaps because of the single-track sections on the Penistone Line this is not possible.

But other factors will help.

  • Northern’s new Class 195 trains will probably handle the stops a couple of minutes faster, than the current Pacers.
  • As there are upwards of a dozen stops, this could save a lot of time and allow organising the passing of trains better.
  • There are some other level crossings, which might be removed.
  • Most of the line is single-track, but it does seem from my helicopter that the track-bed has been left wide enough to reinstate the original double-track.

So in a few years time with the new Class 195 trains, some track modifications and perhaps better signalling, a more frequent and better service might be possible.

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2017 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The 2024 Summer Olympics

The venue for the 2024 Summer Olympics, will be decided on the 13th of September this year.

The candidate cities are Budapest, Los Angeles and Paris.

Could President Trump be the man who actually decides, which city gets the Games?

His Welcome to America policies could be all Los Angeles needs to have a failed bid. Would any Muslim country vote for Los Angeles.

I have worries too about the Budapest bid, as the current Government there isn’t that popular in parts of the EU.

So does that mean Paris is a shoe-in? But what would be Marine Le Pen’s view?

I suppose Riyadh could make a last-minute bid!

 

January 29, 2017 Posted by | Sport | , , , , | 3 Comments

Kempton Park Racecourse Could Close For Housing

This article on the BBC is entitled Kempton Park racecourse faces closure to make way for housing.

This Google Map shows Kempton Park racecourse and the surrounding area.

Kempton Park

Kempton Park

It is a large site of about a third of a square mile, bounded on the Southern side by the Thames, with the Shepperton Branch to Waterloo on the Northern side.

Note.

  • London needs lots of quality housing and it would certainly provide that.
  • Kempton Park station currently has two trains per hour (tph) taking 44 minutes to and from Waterloo.
  • As I said in An Analysis Of Waterloo Suburban Services Proposed To Move To Crossrail 2, whether Crossrail 2 is built or not, four tph could run on the Shepperton Branch to Waterloo in perhaps 30 minutes.
  • There might be space for a section station on the London side of Kempton Park station.
  • Road connections are good to the M3 and M25.
  • A black-cab or mini-cab to Heathrow wouldn’t be outrageous.

On this rough look it certainly looks to be a good site for housing.

It is also possibly the only site owned by The Jockey Club, whose sale would create enough cash for thei improvements to go ahead.

But as on Radio 5 tonight, not all horse racing participants and fans will like this decision.

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

Football In The Fog

Surprisingly, the strongest team on the pitch; the fog, didn’t win this game.

The guy next to me was a teacher, whose duties included taking games, Never having been any good at ball games, I wouldn’t know, but he felt it was very difficult out there.

Strangely, Ipswich seemed to improve, when they substituted the blonde-harired Williams and two other lighter-skinned players, with three of a much darker hue in Bru, McGoldrick and Ward.

Perhaps, they were more difficult to pick out. After all, McGoldrick used his head to create one goal and score the other.

December 17, 2016 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

Lord Sugar’s Tweet On Andy Murray’s Win

You’re Knighted

Come on your majesty @andy_murray for a knighthood. World number one.

I can’t imagine someone else connected with the US version of the show, tweeting that!

November 20, 2016 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Widowhood Is A Lonely Dark Club

And a dark club, that no-one asked if you wanted to join.

After forty years of a generally happy and vibrant relation, especially when it came like a thunderbolt from nowhere, makes it no easier.

It is lonely, but I do have the freedom to do what I want.

I could just throw my clothes on the floor each night and live on beer and baked beans. Which I don’t!

Today, I’m off to see Ipswich lose at Sheffield Wedneswday.

I’m then off tomorrow for four days in the Canaries! Nothing to do with Norfolk!

But both trips will be alone!

Surely, there must be widow, out there who feels like I do!

November 5, 2016 Posted by | Sport, Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Old Ford Water Recycling Plant

This plant just off the Greenway takes raw sewage from the Northern Outfall Sewer and converts it into clear water for non-potable purposes on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

I visited it during Open House 2016.

We need more plants like this, to make better use of the water we use.

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | 1 Comment