The Anonymous Widower

Match Twenty-Two – Ipswich 2 – Middlesbrough 0

At one point, I thought I might miss this match.

But as luck would have it, I was on the 13:00 rather than the 13:30 train out of London, so the delay induced by signalling problems in the Shenfield area only meant I missed the first ten minutes or so of the match.

I’ll put in this quote from the Middlesbrough manager; Aitor Karanka, as it sums up what happened well.

Ipswich wanted it more than us. Murphy was first to the rebound for their first goal, Teddy Bishop at 18 years old was the best player on the pitch and Jay Tabb, at 5ft 5ins, scored with his head.

With a bit of luck, we’d have had a third, but a two-nil victory keeps us near the top of the Championship.

December 20, 2014 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

A Pleasant Surprise In Middlesbrough

I like nice cafes and it was only as I was leaving Middlesbrough, that I found the Traveller’s Rest in the station.

From a quick perusal of their menu, it would appear that there is something I could have eaten, which was a pity, as I didn’t get anything to eat until I got home about five hours later.

There’a positive review of the cafe here.

I did chat to the owner and he also indicated that Northern Rail had been very encouraging in his venture. Are they repeating the philosphy, which was obviously at play with the Overground at Crystal Palace station and South Eastern at Margate?

Let’s hope so, as all fair-sized stations need a distinctive and spacious cafe or restaurant for the passengers.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

The Unwelcoming Thing About Teesside

It can’t be said that Teesside is not a breezy place and the wind on my visit was strong, cold and straight off the North Sea. Joking with the locals about this, they at least felt that this winter, they hadn’t had much rain.

I think the architect of the Riverside Stadium took this into account, as it was pleasant inside for the match.  Even if the result was disappointing.

Teesside is certainly a place, where you should wrap up well. But saying that, one of the things I remember about living in Felixstowe is the wind off the North Sea.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Walking To The Riverside Stadium

My purpose in going to Middlesbrough was to see Ipswich play Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. On a pleasant day, it is one of the better walks from a station to the stadium, as there are things to look at.

I even popped into the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, where I went over their current exhibition called Art and Optimism in 1950s Britain. It was interesting, but it was an exhibition, that would have been excellent to visit with someone of my own age, as a lot of the things shown, would bring back memories for those like me, who can remember the 1950s.  I can’t actually remember the Festival of Britain, but I have seen photographs of myself, there in my Cumfifolda pushchair, with my grandmother.

I was a bit disappointed to see that some of Middlesbrough’s liths had been vandalised, as had the statue outside the court. There’s a report here on the latter, but the other damage looked like thieves were after the metal.

March 8, 2014 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Grim Up The North-East

Sunderland lost two-one at home to lowly Notts County, Middlesbrough lost by the same score to Burton Albion and then in the late match Newcastle lost three-one at Stevenage.  When I last looked at the map, Stevenage was in that hotbed of football, Hertfordshire.

Only a few footballers appear to have been born in the county and but they do include Dave Kitson, Kevin Phillips, Vinnie Jones, Jack Wilshere, Ian Walker, Iain Dowie, Rodney Marsh, Dean Ashton, John Radford and Ashley Young.  The last incidentally was in the same class at school in Stevenage as Lewis Hamilton and his brother, Lewis, was also on the bench today for Burton Albion.

So there might be some mild celebrations just to the north of the M25. But don’t insult the county by calling them soft Southerners or something similar or they’ll get Vinnie Jones to show you the errors of your ways.

January 8, 2011 Posted by | Sport | , , | 1 Comment

Areas Worst Placed to Survive the Recession

The BBC has made a list of how areas of the UK can survive the recession.

It would appear that Middlesbrough is at the bottom of the list.  And no wonder!

I went there to see Ipswich play their first match of the season and although I enjoyed the visit, I got the impression, that the town was doing little to pull itself up by its bootstraps.  I was an occassional tourist and I think that they don’t believe they have anything to offer visitors and that Government must do more to help. As an example, the Tall Ships Race was on at Hartlepool across the river and if I’d known then I’d have stayed another day.  But it wasn’t mentioned on either the town or the football club’s website, so I didn’t go! There were no posters either! I suspect that certain football clubs would have got in on the act if it had been local to them, by perhaps introducing some of the foreign sailors before the match.  If nothing, it would have been good publicity.

Either they learn to live without subsidy from the rest of the UK, or it will get a lot worse!  But how do you wean areas like Middlesbrough off their addiction to subsidy?

If they don’t manage it, then towns like Middlesbrough will suffer the same fate as large parts of the former East Germany.  There anybody with skills have moved on and it has got to such a state, that the birth-rate has declined to almost zero, as young women just can’t see any point in bringing up children in such an environment.

Middlesbrough has a lot to offer, but it is doing a very bad job in selling itself to the rest of the UK, except by handing out a begging bowl for more subsidy!

Remember, one man’s subsidy is somebody else’s tax!  Certain politician’s will always argue that you can tax the rich, but then many in the higher wealth levels can easily move to other countries to live or work!

September 9, 2010 Posted by | News, Transport, World | | Leave a comment

New Readers

I was given a write-up in the Ipswich Town program today and some people who visit, may have been directed from the program.

Don’t take anything I say too seriously, as underneath it all I try to amuse and inform.  Remember too, I have other interests outside Ipswich Town, like art, architecture, engineering and trains.  I also feel that one of the ways we’re going to get this country out of the mess it’s in, is by appreciating what we’ve got here in these Isles and enjoying it. Who would have thought that a visit to Middlesbrough or Crewe could be so enjoyable.  But they genuinely were and I shall be visiting other places in the next few months, that might be equally unpromising.  Hopefully, they’ll be equally enjoyable, even if Town don’t win or the trip has nothing to do with football.   

The next trips will be Portsmouth and Scunthorpe.

Feel free to post comments.  I reserve the right to remove those that are not constructive!

August 28, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Middlesbrough as a Tourist Destination

I enjoyed my day on the Tees and at the football, but really, I do think that Middlesbrough fails on several counts.

  • There was no bus map on the Middlebrough web site, or was it just invisible.  Perhaps no-one uses buses in the town, as taxis are affordable.
  • None of the web sites I viewed mentioned the Tall Ships Race. I would have liked to have gone.  But then people said that the race was in Hartlepool and that was across the water.
  • Signage to the railway station was poor, but not as bad as some places I’ve visited.
  • There was no paper shop open in the station when I left at ten o’clock on the Sunday morning. That is only a small point, but I always like to travel with something to read.
  • The football club, the vtown and the area should work together so that visitors enjoy their visit to the full.

Councils have got to realise that visitors are one way  are going to make their town or borough prosperous and they have to provide information, as every extra night someone stays is money into local pockets.

But I did enjoy the weekend, all the same.

I hope that the next time, I come to the town, things are better.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Transport | | 4 Comments

The Tees Bridges and Barrage

Although the bridges across the Tees at Middlesbrough, are not as numerous as those across the Tyne at Newcastle, they are more impressive and also include a unique flood protection barrier.

Travelling down the river fropm the mouth pf the River Tees, the bridges are as follows

The Transporter Bridge is one of the most unusual, unique and impressive bridges in England.

Foot Passengers on the Transporter Bridge

On Saturday, the bridge was closed, but they were still allowing foot passengers to cross over in the gondola slung from the bridge.  A scene from Billy Elliot was shot in the gondola. So we just took a few photos and moved on.

It could be argued that the Newport Bridge is just as unique as its more famous brother.  It is a vertical lift bridge and only one of four in the United Kingdom.

The Newport Lifting Bridge

The bridge is no longer raised, as large ships rarely go past it these days. It must have been a marvellous sight to see it being raised.

The Tees Barrier is many things to different people; a road and foot bridge, a white water canoe slalom course, a flood barrier a barge lock and even a test facility for turbines and a fish ladder to allow salmon to pass upstream.

The Tees Barrage

I liked the barrier a lot.  It just shows how if you use your imagination, you can create something that serves a number of purposes well.

The Infinity Bridge was the last one we saw and is a foot and cycle bridge in a very clean  design.

The Infinity Bridge

All of these bridges can be visited by just walking. There is a detailed walk on the AA’s web site.

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments


Temenos is impressive and towers over everything in the dock area of Middlesbrough, except for the transporter bridge.

Temenos and the Transporter Bridge

I like Temenos and feel that it is beautifully sited and paired with the nearly hundred years old bridge, that is still in full working order, despite what you saw in Auf Weidersehn Pet.

We need more structures like Temenos and the transporter bridge, as I think they make people and especially children think about engineering and how to build things.  In recent years London has gained the Millennium bridge and the Hungerford footbridges, Newcastle has the winking bridge, but poor old Ipswich has gained nothing at all. Properly built these types of structures last generations, as so many of our Victorian bridges have shown.

Perhaps after the match, we should have all gone had paid homage at Temenos, which in ancient Greece was a place to worship gods., as the structure is very close to the Riverside Stadium. But I suspect if we’d tried, the Middlesbrough Police wouldn’t have understood the joke. These Middlesbrough fans don’t look too happy as they trudge home in the shadow of Temenos.

Temenos, the Transporter Bridge and Middlesbrough Fans After The Game

I said that Tenemos was impressive, but so was the quality of the water in the dock below. Terry pointed out a salmon, which are nhow comon in the Tees.  How many were there, when the bridge was built?

August 9, 2010 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , | 4 Comments