The Anonymous Widower

What A Depressing Opening Game For A World Cup!

I’m sure that the game would be more exciting if Hartlepool and Forfar had been asked to put on an exhibition match.

I think the score was three-nil to Ecuador, as like the BBC panel, I can’t see any fault with the goal that was disallowed by VAR. But then like the BBC panel, I haven’t accepted any brown envelopes!

November 20, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Qatar World Cup: It Is Hard To Know What Is Real At An Ever Creepier Tournament

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times, which has been written by Owen Slot, who is Chief Sports Writer of The Times.

This is the sub-heading to the article.

It is a disgrace that, less than a month before kick-off, we still don’t know how many workers died in the construction of the facilities

I agree with Owen Slot.

The article also details what I consider to be other dubious practices.

Fans from around the world have been recruited as a PR army to report anything derogatory to Qatar.

This is a paragraph from the report.

This is the part in the agreement where these recruits are obliged, effectively, to spy on their fellow fans: “You agree to report any offensive, degrading or abusive comments to the SC and, if possible, to take a screenshot of those comments and then promptly delete them.”

The SC is The Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

I can see this and Qatar’s views on human rights, homosexuality and alcohol, leading to serious trouble.

On my several trips abroad to support football teams, there has general been good humour and manners between the two groups of fans.

One trip, that fans on the way out might go terribly badly was England’s trip to Belarus in October 2008.

Everything went well because everyone wanted a good time and gestures on both sides diffused tensions.

  • The good people of Minsk helped visiting fans navigate the city.
  • A group of us were made very welcome in their excellent War Museum.
  • British fans laid a St. George’s Cross wreath on the War Memorial, which was much appreciated.
  • The Belarussian police were passing local kids into the England fans to get their programmes signed.
  • The hotel were excellent with my gluten-free food, after I gave them instructions in Russian.
  • Several locals engaged me in conversation to test their English.

I also wrote a piece for the East Anglian Daily Times about the trip.  It is in two parts.

Belarus to me indicates how the good people of a country, with help from a sensible police, can still organise things in a friendly manner.

November 5, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

A German View Of The Euro 2022 Final

This article on DW.COM is German View of the match.

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine Crisis: Fifa And Uefa Suspend All Russian Clubs And National Teams

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

This first paragraph says it all.

Russian football clubs and national teams have been suspended from all competitions by Fifa and Uefa after the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

It looks like it is a complete ban from both Fifa and Uefa.

Vlad the Invader/Mad/Poisoner (Delete as appropriate!), is reportedly not amused.

My father, who had something to do with the League of Nations, felt that we didn’t act soon enough over Hitler and Stalin and I could argue we should have acted with tough sanctions after Putin annexed Crimea in 2014.

February 28, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ukraine Conflict: Champions League Final Moved from Russia To Paris

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

UEFA has done the right thing!

How will Putin get his own back on UEFA?

He could stage the Anti-Nazi World Cup by inviting Belarus, Brazil, China, Cuba, Iran, Kazakstan, Myanmar, Syria, Turkmenistan and Venezuela.

February 25, 2022 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

London To Edinburgh On Lumo

Yesterday, I took the 10:45 Lumo service from King’s Cross to Edinburgh.

I took some pictures on the way.

I have split them into sepate topics.

Lumo’s Class 803 Train Arrives

Note.

  1. The train is in Platform 10 in the old suburban station.
  2. This has now been reduced to just two platforms.
  3. In the other platform is a Grand Central service to Bradford Interchange station.

At least it appears, that there could be space to reinstate a third platform, if it should prove necessary.

Seating On Lumo

Note.

  1. I didn’t get a seat with a proper window.
  2. The seat-back table is generously-sized.
  3. There is a light over the table.
  4. The luggage racks were well used.
  5. There is more than normal leg-room. My neighbour, who was taller than my 1.70 metres, also liked the leg-room.

Both of us, thought the seats were more comfortable than LNER.

I have a spine that curves outwards at the bottom and it often objects to train and car seats. But after four-and-a-half hours on Lumo, it wasn’t protesting.

York to Church Fenton Improvement Scheme

When the York To Church Fenton Improvement Scheme and the closely related Huddersfield To Westtown (Dewsbury) Upgrade are completed, the TransPennine route between Huddersfield and York will be fully-electrified.

These pictures show the electrification is underway.

York to Huddersfield will be over forty miles of electrified line, with a remaining gap of just eighteen miles to the electrification being installed between Stalybridge and Manchester Victoria.

Work At Reston Station

Reston station is being built North of Berwick-on-Tweed. I took these pictures as we passed through.

I describe the station in a post called A New Reston Station.

Arrival In Edinburgh

I took these pictures when we arrived in Edinburgh.

Note Edinburgh is not short of platforms that can take five- and ten-car trains.

These are a few other thoughts about the journey.

Non-Stop Between King’s Cross And Newcastle

It seemed to me, that a lot of passengers left the train at Newcastle.

  • Times between King’s Cross And Newcastle are comparable betyween LNER and Lumo.
  • Lumo is non-stop until Newcastle.
  • Lumo is probably more affordable.

I can see Lumo picking up a lot of business on this leg.

Football At Newcastle

I have come across several Newcastle United season ticket holders in London.

Looking at Lumo’s full timetable, there are these two trains on a Saturday.

  • A train leaves King’s Cross at 10:25 and arrives in Newcastle at 13:25.
  • A train leaves Newcastle at 19:35 and arrives in King’s Cross at 22:29.

These could be ideal to see the match and get back to London.

Food

The full food service isn’t in operation yet, but we the trolley did come through twice.

Passenger Loading

Most seats were taken, as we left King’s Cross, but due to high number, who left at Newcastle, there were a few gaps as we ran between Newcastle and Edinburgh.

But then this is a shorter leg and perhaps travellers are more likely to drive.

I suspect that Lumo can’t wait to build up their service to the full five trains per day, as it does look like the demand is there.

Morpeth Station

There wasn’t many boarders and leavers at Morpeth station, but as services build up and travellers realise the system is there, will business increase?

Conclusion

I shall take another trip in the New Year, when the full service is implemented.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Memory Of Jimmy Greaves

I have many memories of seeing Greaves play, but i some ways one memory stands out, as I’ve never seen anybody else do anything similar.

As a game was approaching ninety minutes, Greaves was preparing to take an inswinging corner from the right, as he often did in his latter years at Tottenham.

But the referee blew for time.

Greaves then picked up the ball and bounced it in front of himself. He then kicked it in to the middle, hit the penalty spot and as he’d applied so much spin, the ball rolled into the goal.

I have never seen another player, who controlled the ball as well as Greaves.

September 20, 2021 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Metrolink Tram Drivers To Strike After ‘Pitiful’ Pay Offer

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

The strikes will be on the 25th and 26th September, which coincide with a Manchester United home match and the Great Manchester Run.

It would appear that Unite’s new boss; Sharon Graham means business. And in Manchester’s case, a drop in business activity for two days.

I wonder how many extra tonnes of carbon dioxide will be emitted in Manchester on each day of the strike, as people swap from the electric trams to their cars.

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New £157m Chelmsford Railway Station Makes Progress

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The submission of an environmental impact assessment application to Chelmsford City Council for the proposed £157m Beaulieu railway station marks the next step in the ambitious project.

It may not be a large step, but it moves things forward to creation of this new Beaulieu station, North of the City of Chelmsford, which should be open around 2025.

Beaulieu Station Will Have Three Platforms

Intriguingly, Wikipedia says that the station will have three platforms.

The stations on the Great Eastern Main Line between Shenfield and Colchester will have the following numbers of platforms.

  • Ingatestone – 2
  •  Chelmsford – 2
  • Beaulieu – 3
  • Hatfield Peverel – 2
  • Witham – 4
  • Kelvedon – 2
  • Marks Tey – 3

As Witham and Marks Tey have branch lines, Beaulieu will be very much the outsider.

I suspect the extra platform is very much for reasons, similar to those that result in Cambridge North station being built as a three-platform station with two through and one bay platform.

I don’t think we’ll see Crossrail extended to Beaulieu.

  • The route between Shenfield and Beaulieu is only double-track.
  • All passenger trains currently on the route are 100 mph electric trains.
  • Crossrail’s Class 345 trains are only 90 mph trains.

The speed mismatch would slow services to and from stations to the North.

But will we see a new service between London Liverpool Street and Beaulieu, which stops at perhaps, Stratford, Romford, Shenfield, Ingatestone and Chelmsford?

I suspect we will certainly see a new service terminating at Beaulieu, even if it is only in the Peak.

How Will Current Services Call At Beaulieu?

Currently, one fast and four stopping services stop in Chelmsford station every hour.

There are actually two trains per hour (tph) between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, but only one stops at Chelmsford.

So will the second hourly fast service stop at Beaulieu?

I would certainly be logical.

The four stopping services, that stop at Chelmsford every hour are.

  • London Liverpool Street and Braintree
  • London Liverpool Street and Clacton-on-Sea
  • London Liverpool Street and Colchester Town
  • London Liverpool Street and Ipswich

As all services stop at most stations, I would expect they would stop at Beaulieu.

  • This would give Beaulieu a four tph Turn-Up-And-Go service to and from Chelmsford station, which uniquely for East Anglia is in the centre of the City.
  • If the third platform were to be used for a fifth service to London Liverpool Street, this would be a train every twelve minutes between Chelmsford and Beaulieu stations.
  • I can see that for some journeys, the fastest and most convenient route may include a change of train at Beaulieu.

I also seem to remember, that Greater Anglia had plans to extend the Ipswich service to Norwich and this will surely be useful to travellers from Beaulieu, who would then have a fast and a stopping service to Norwich.

A Park-And-Ride For Football And Events At Ipswich And Norwich Football Grounds

Both football grounds at Ipswich and Norwich are close to the stations and I can see many attendees driving to Beaulieu  to catch a train, as parking in both Ipswich and Norwich can be difficult.

If in the future, there are two tph between Beaulieu and both destinations, it could be the quickest way to the grounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2021 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Southgate Expects

Like most of England, Southgate is probably wishing England well.

The picture was taken after Southgate took England to the World Cup semi-final in 2018.

Transport for London with a little help from Visa, also changed all the roundels.

If they did that for losing in the semis, what will happen, if England go further?

July 5, 2021 Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment