The Anonymous Widower

Waterloo Upgrade August 2017 – Was It Alright On The Day?

This article in the Standard had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Furious commuters hit out at ‘shambolic’ queues on first weekday of major works.

This article on the BBC had a headline of Waterloo station: Stations quiet after upgrade warnings.

This article on the Independent had a headline of Waterloo station upgrade: Passengers report trains better than normal despite predictions of ‘month of chaos’.

There certainly isn’t lots of interviews on the BBC this morning with irate passengers.

This was the first paragraph from the Independent.

Commuters reported easier journeys than normal on train lines into London Waterloo on Monday morning as some passengers apparently took alternative routes or worked from home to avoid a predicted “month of chaos”.

But I think that Network Rail and South West Trains must have got it more or less right.

London thought they would have a problem during the 2012 Olympics and Transport for London flooded the streets and stations with extra staff to help passengers.

And it worked!

Network Rail and South West Trains have done the same, at least at Waterloo.

And it seems to be working!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are The Retail Implications Of Crossrail?

The title of this post is from an article in Retail Week.

This article is typical of what we will see in the coming months, as commentators and analysts realise what effects Crossrail is going to have on London and the South East.

The enormity of the project is summed up by this paragraph in the article in Retail Week.

There are 40 construction sites in total and 1,700 companies involved – all the major developers are in on the act, and Transport for London is leading. London will be the greatest beneficiary, but the potential value of the Crossrail project to the wider UK economy is estimated at £42bn.

I think that most Londoners don’t know the effect that Crossrail will have on the city.

If you compare the figures with the Olympics, this article on the BBC says the 2012 Olympics cost £9bn and the UK economy received a boost in trade and investment of £9.9bn. For comparison purposes, the budget for Crossrail is £14.8bn.

It will be interesting to see what the true audited figures for Crossrail are in about 2020.

If they are this good, then we should be looking for more projects like this, all over the country.


May 27, 2014 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Thieves Target Sochi 2014

I found this story in the Moscow Times after being pointed to the thefts by the headline in The Times of Thieves Try To Scrap Winter Olympics. here’s the first paragraph of the story.

With less than three months left until the Winter Olympic Games, city authorities in Sochi are embroiled in a battle with an unexpected vice: the theft of manhole covers by metal scavengers.

Some 800 manhole covers were stolen in the last couple of weeks, most of them sold as scrap metal to any one of 20 recycling companies, city officials said.

I suppose President Putin is blaming gay thieves.

November 13, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Stratford Has A Gold Pillar Box

Stratford has one of the gold pillar box, which have been put up all over the country to honour the Olympics medal winners.

Stratford got its, because this was the nearest box to the Olympic Park.

August 25, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

The BBC’s Gloomy Reporting

Despite the good news of the near £10 billion boost the Olympics gave the UK, BBC London is leading with two negative stories.

In one they are saying local business in London are moaning about loss of business because of the games.

And in the other, we have the residents of Surrey complaining that they have more road closures this weekend because of another cycling event. I suppose that it does make it difficult to drive the 4×4. I did hear once that you need a degree in moaning to live in Surrey.

Of course for balance the BBC is also reporting that too much of the Olympic benefit came to London.

In some ways the best legacy from the Olympics in this weather, are the new air-conditioned Class 378 trains on the London Overground and the S Stock on the sub-surface lines of the London Underground. It can also be said, that the place which has benefited most from these trains, is Derby, where they were built or are still being built in the case of the S Stock. It can also be argued that these trains would have been ordered anyway. The value of the orders is approaching two billion pounds.

July 19, 2013 Posted by | News, Sport, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games

I’ve now got four tickets for each of the sessions on the 25th, 26th and 27th of July.

It was fairly painless and except for a wait on the first access, probably because all the world and his wife were trying, it didn’t take too long either.

In some ways, I wish I’d bought some more tickets. I suspect the touts have, as they always have needs. But then I’m not in any need of making money that way!

But I do want to enjoy the athletics at the Olympic Stadium

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

The Greatest British Olympian Ever

With the retirement of Sir Chris Hoy, who numerically is our greatest Olympian, the debate is starting as to who is the greatest.

There are many worthies amongst my favourites, but then only one would be on a vote for the top ten greatest Olympians.

But that one Olympian does stand out.

I remember on the 6th of July 2005, sitting with C in the kitchen listening as Lord Coe put the final speech in London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics.

She was a barrister and said it was the finest plea in mitigation she’d ever heard. He delivered it superbly. You can read the speech and othe others here and  C was right.  it was written, so that if we failed in the bid, as was expected, then Princess Anne, Lord Coe, Ken Livingstone, Tessa Jowell, Denise Lewis and the others involved, could come home knowing that they’d given it a very good shot.

Fortunately, Lord Coe got the result most people really wanted and the rest as they say is history.

Many people did not ever see, Sebastian Coe running. I didn’t see his Olympic trumphs, but I did see him on the television many times in the 1980s. he had a grace and created excitement, like no other athlete of the period.

So as someone, who won gold medals on the track and gave us the magnificent  London 2012 Olympics, there can only be one choice for Britain’s greatest Olympian.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

Munich Olympic Park

I’ve been to several Olympic Parks and some like Montreal and Athens are not in the best of health. But Munich appears to be in use.

It is in my view one of the world’s most iconic sports stadia.

It is place full of tragedy and happiness.

I remember watching on television as the massacre at the Olympic village unfolded. Thankfully, no Olympics has seen anything like it since.

But there is a lesser tragedy entwined in the site and that is of one of Britain’s greatest ever athletes Lillian Board, who died in Munich of cancer, a couple of years before the 1972 Olympic Games. One of the paths on the site has been given her name. She was truly a multi-talented person, who represented her country at all distances up to a mile, and surely, she must be one of few people, who’ve received their MBE from the Queen, in a coat they’ve designed and made themselves.

Then there is the sadness and triumph in the medal tables on the honours board. Look at those of the women athletes and there is an awful lot of DDR and USSR. How many were clean?

But tucked in at the bottom is Mary Peters, who produced the performance of her life to win gold in the pentathlon. Of all the sporting events I’ve seen, both live and on television, her performance in Munich is in the top ten.

April 15, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Grandmother Of All Overspends

it is being reported that the overspend on the Sochi Winter Olympics is approaching £335 million in several places.  Read about it here in the Bangkok Post.

The Times is also reporting that they’ve got serious floods in Sochi.

It’s good that we had the Olympics last year, so now weather and cost overruns can’t effect them.

March 14, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

Stratford Panorama From The Emirates Air-Line

The picture shows the Olympic Park from the Emirates Air-Line cable-car.

Stratford Panorama From The Emirates Air-Line

Stratford Panorama From The Emirates Air-Line

The mouth of the River Lee is in the foreground.

March 3, 2013 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment