The Anonymous Widower

Denny Bros Completes Solar Scheme At Bury St Edmunds Factory

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the East Anglian Daily Times.

This is the sub-title.

An energy-hungry manufacturer has completed a huge £0.5m solar array across its roofs – which on a good day can power the whole operation and more.

This Google Map from a few months ago, shows the incomplete array.

A more recent picture in the article, shows the top building with solar panels on the roof.

According to another report in the East Anglian Daily Times, the company turns over about eight millions.

As Denny Brothers appears to be a well-run company, that is partly employee-owned, the numbers must add up.

Incidentally, the article was displayed with two adverts; one for a solar panel company and the other for the well-known employee-owned company; John Lewis.

I suppose that’s the way the cookie rumbles!

I certainly don’t regret installing solar panels on my flat roof!

What About A Couple Of Wind Turbines?

I ask this question, as some MPs want to allow more onshore wind, providing the natives don’t mind.

I wrote about onshore wind in Chancellor Confirms England Onshore Wind Planning Reform and I think that in the right place they are acceptable.

I know the Government has changed since September, but if you look at the Google Map above, I suspect a couple of turbines could be squeezed in and they probably would be in Germany.



November 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Walking From Cavendish Square To The Marylebone Lane Entrance Of Bond Street Station

I walked from Cavendish Square to the Maylebone Lane entrance Of Bond Street station, taking these pictures as I proceeded.


  1. It was an easy walk
  2. It took me about seven minutes.
  3. I passed the rear entrances of John Lewis, House of Fraser and Debenhams.

It could be made a bit flatter, by eliminating kerbs

Would this route be a good enough connection between Crossrail and ehe Proposed Development Under Cavendish Square?

Could a pedestrian tunnel be built from Cavendish Square to Marylebone Lane with a travelator?

Or why not just pedestrianise Herietta Street and put a travelator, where the roads used to be?

It’s a big expensive investment under Cavendish Square and they can afford to make it the best.



December 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oxbourne House Is A Mixed-Use Retail And Residential Project Located On Europe’s Busiest Shopping Street

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Fletcher Priest web site.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The project includes high quality apartments and a prominent retail provision, as well as step-free access to Bond Street Underground and Crossrail Station below, where a new street-level station entrance has been constructed off Marylebone Lane.

Note that Fletcher Priest are the architects.

These pictures show the state of the building on December 29th, 2019.

This Google Map shows the location along Oxford Street.


  1. Oxbourne House is the building along Oxford street with the ribbed structure on its Western end.
  2. The pedestrianised Marylebone Lane, at the Eastern end of Oxbourne House,  running down towards Oxford Street.
  3. The recently built entrance to Bond Street station is hidden by Oxbourne House.
  4. The Radisson Blu Edwardian Berkshire hotel on the other side of Marylebone Lane.

This second Google Map shows the wider picture.


  1. Marylebone Lane and the Radisson Blu hotel are to the left of this map.
  2. Cavendish Square is in the North-East corner of the map.
  3. Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis are in a line to the East of the entrance.

It looks to be a well-placed entrance.

It Gives Rear Entry To The Department Stores 

Will travellers for Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Cavendish Square use the pedestrianised Marylebone Lane and Henrietta Place route, in preference to the crowded route along Oxford Street?

Perhaps if Henrietta Place were to be pedestrianised as well and the signage was clear, many savvy duck-and-divers may be tempted!

I describe the current walking route in Walking From Cavendish Square To The Marylebone Lane Entrance Of Bond Street Station.

Access To Harley Street

The Marylebone Lane/Henrietta Place route gives good access to Harley Street and all its consultants, clinics and facilities.

If as I suspect the route were to be pedestrianised or at least had the kerbs removed,, as the Marylebone Lane entrance to Bond Street station has step-free access to all platforms, Harley Street would have better step-free access to public transport, than many hospitals.

Access To The New Cavendish Square Development

This proposed Cavendish Square Development seems to be mainly upmarket shops and medical facilities like consulting rooms and probably expensive diagnostic equipment.

The access from Bond Street station will be better than to Harley Street.

  • the route will be built step-free.
  • There might only be one road to cross at most.
  • It will be shorter.
  • As an aside, I suspect taxis will be able to drop and collect visitors from inside the development.

I wonder how many consultants will move from Harley Street to the Cavendish Square development.


The new Marylebone Lane entrance to Bond Street station, gives step-free access to an area to the North of Oxford Street

The new entrance also acts as the foundation for Oxbourne House, whose development probably contributed to the creation of the new step-free entrance.


December 29, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Now Following The Queen’s Example

By Legend, the Queen never carries any cash.

I’m now deliberately following a similar policy, but I only use a contactless bank card for most of my daily purchases, like my paper and food.

I’ve even still got a couple of John Lewis vouchers gathering dust in my wallet, as sincve the new M & S Food opened in Dalston, I rarely go need a Waitrose.

One thing I find with M & S Food, is that on a typical purchase the average price is two pounds per item. So to keep under the thirty pound contactless limit, I rarely buy more than fourteen items. These unusually fit easily into usable bag.

Buying my paper in M & S or a station also means I can use contactless for the purchase.

A couple of days ago, I was approached by an aggressive tin rattler for a charity I would never suppose because of some of their practices. So I waved my card and asked. “Do you do conactless?” I got a smiling “Sorry! No!”

I still use cash for three purposes.

  • Restaurants with waiter/waitress service, so the tips go to the staff. It also means at busy times, in cafes I use a lot, I always get a table.
  • Black cabs, when I occasionally use one.
  • Personal services from local tradesmen, where the value is small. Otherwise it’s a bank transfer.

But it’s amazing, how little cash you now need.


April 25, 2018 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Did I Get The Samsung QLED Television With The Faulty Screen?

These pictures show the screen omn my new Samsung QLED television.

Notethe shadow down the screen.

You don’t expect that, with the price I paid.

I shall be going into John Lewis today.

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Computing, World | , , | 1 Comment

How To Annoy Customers

I just sent this message to John Lewis Card Services.

I shall be cancelling my card at the earliest possible opportunity.

I have a problem with my left arm, due to it being broken by the school bully and a stroke which didn’t help.

So for convenience, i don’t use any web sites that use the shift keys in passwords.

Why do people do this?

Passwords should always be able to be typed with one hand.

For instance, why couldn’t I use say “donald=13”?

No-one would guess that!

October 10, 2016 Posted by | Finance | , | 2 Comments

My Useless John Lewis Credit Card Statement

I recently bought a winter coat in Marks and Spencer. The zip has gone, so I want to find the store, where I bought it, as I use several of the large ones in London regularly. I probably bought it with my John Lewis credit card, so all I need to find is a transaction at over a £100 for Marks and Spencer to get a date and store.

But I can only get the last statement as a spreadsheet, which just gives dates, values and not the store. It’s not even formatted to the sort of level, that a child of six could program.

Quite frankly it’s utter crap!

Unlike with Amex, which gives you everything you need to trace purchases, in an easy-to-read clickable format.

Do John Lewis expect me to keep paper copies of all my purchases?

Paper is so Nineteenth Century!

November 18, 2015 Posted by | Finance, World | , , , | 3 Comments

A John Lewis With Its Own Station

John Lewis didn’t have a store in Birmingham, but they opened one in the Grand Central Shopping Centre on Thursday above the reopened New Street station.

It is pretty spectacular to say the least.

The comedians will start to be calling the West Midlands, the White Country, if stations of this style appear all over the area.

I wonder when you last saw the sun in the main Birmingham station!

September 24, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

My Credit/Charge Cards Got Cloned

I use an American Express Charge Card for my travel, for the insurance and also because, if I know I’m picking up rail tickets, I don’t have to think which card I’m using. It is contactless, so I kep it separate from my Freedom Pass to avoid card class and often I don’t take it out with me.

I also have a John Lewis Partnership Card, which I use for everyday purchases and on-line, as it doesn’t use that non-protection system Verified by Visa, which is a pain in the arse.

Over the last two weeks, both have been cloned and used online for substantial purchases. With both cards, the fraud protection systems at the card companies picked up the illegal uses and the cards were stopped , causing me the hassle of having to update various web sites, where the card is stored.

So how did the cards get cloned?

I’m not sure, but both of the card statements often come in the post on the same day. I doubt it’s anything to do with the Royal Mail, although because they are moving buildings in the main sorting office that serves me, there has been a couple of things that have gone astray or turned up late.

Normally, when the statement arrives, I put it by my computer and pay it the next time, that I go on-line. I then shred the statements.

But I’ve been away a lot in the last month or two and I’ve had builders around, which caused the shredder to be out-of-use for a time.

So perhaps I was less than zealous in shredding a statement!

I suspect that as I put the green sacks for recycling outside late on a Wednesday night, someone has been raking them over and removing ones that might be promising

One thing I have done is make the American Express card paperless, so there is nothing incriminating from that going in the rubbish.

Unfortunately, the John Lewis card has no paperless facility and as it is not contactless, I am seriously thinking of giving it the order of the boot. It will certainly be going into temporary retirement.

In fact, I would say don’t get a new credit card unless the following conditions apply.

  1. The card’s call centre and processing is based in the UK.
  2. All statements can be paperless.
  3. Past statements are available on-line in an easily readable form.
  4. Cards are contactless.

I think contactless cards are important. Most contactless payments are in big retailers or in London on transport. Transactions are probably caught on CCTV and there is often no handy piece of paper that could be taken by untrustworthy staff. The twenty pound limit also means that you can’t use them for the sort of purchases criminals like.

I have worked on very secure projects in the past and only access my bank accounts from one computer that never leaves my house.

People ask me if I would use ApplePay or the future AndroidPay. I certainly would, as if say the system was cloned and I lost money, Apple or Google would be finished. Until proven otherwise, I feel that they are more secure than contactless cards.

If you worry about contactless cards, just reflect on the fact, that I have been unable to find any negative comment about their use on London’s transport system, which is one of the largest contactless card-based systems in the world. There are so many out there who hate Boris with an absolute passion, that if anything had happened, it would be repeated ad infinitum.

The weak link in all these systems isn’t the technology, it’s the fact that we do stupid things, like drop our phone or card (Guilty, as charged!) and that criminals end up in retailers and card companies in positions, where they have access to sensitive data.

How can you be sure, that the nice man in the corner hardware store hasn’t taken your card details and sold them on to someone, who has the knowledge to take card numbers, expiry dates and names and addresses to defraud on-line retailers and service providers?

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Finance | , , | 6 Comments

I Thought Couriers Like This Had Reformed

I knew that today, I would be getting my new cooker hood delivered. The delivery company confirmed yesterday that it would be coming today and that they would tell me today, in what four hour slot it would come.

The message yesterday was just an automated voice one, with no instructions on where to phone, text or e-mail if there was any problems.

This morning, I got the delivery slot as any time between 15:00 and 19:00. This is very inconvenient as I have an important appointment, I booked some time ago, at 18:00.

It doesn’t matter to me, if I don’t get the hood delivered today, as it won’t be installed until next week or even the week after.

I have no means to contact the couriers to say this time is inconvenient.

Also judging by this courier company’s attitude of we deliver it when we decide and don’t tell you who we are and how to contact us, I suspect it would be a difficult process to get the item redelivered.

So it is wait here until it is delivered and hope that it turns up.

Incidntally, I actually ordered the hood from the John Lewis web site, so for a start they will be getting a complaint to say the least.

But I did think that couriers with these sort of attitudes had reformed.

July 10, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment