The Anonymous Widower

Should We Exempt Low Alcohol Beer And Wine From The Age Regulations

I drink Marks & Spencer ).5% Southwold Pale Ale for four main reasons.

  • It is low alcohol and doesn’t interact with the Warfarin, that I am prescribed to control the INR of my blood, so I don’t have another stroke.
  • Because it is made with less barley, it appears to be gluten-free to my body.
  • It also has the proper taste of real beer.
  • It is brewed by Adnams in Suffolk and I started drinking their beers at fourteen under supervision of my father, whilst we played snooker in Felixstowe Conservative Club.

As my GP says, at 0.25 alcohol units a 500 ml bottle, you’d have difficult drinking enough to affect your health.

There is one annoying thing about it and that is buying it.

This morning, I bought three bottles in the M & S store at the Angel, where my family has been shopping since before the First World War.

As I usually do, I used one of the automatic tills and had to wait for a minute or so, whilst the assistant verified that I was over eighteen.

The store was busy and she was helping someone with another till.

I wonder what would happen at the checkouts, if there was no age check on low alcohol beer and wine.

  • It would obviously speed up the tills with some customers.
  • But would it have the affect of brewers and winemakers, making more quality low alcohol products?
  • And would these be purchased by those who knew they should cut their alcohol intake?

It’s probably one of those ideas, that would go down well in London boroughs like Barnet, Islington and Richmond, but how would it go down in places where alcohol was a necessary way of life for many?

How too, would such a drink fit with those of a Muslim faith?

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Food, Health | , , | 4 Comments

Freedoming – Freeport Braintree Shopping Centre

Freeport Braintree has its own Braintree Freeport station.

Judging by my journey today, it is not as successful as Bicester Village and it hasn’t been discovered by the Chinese Shopping Army.

But I was able to get there for £7.65 by buying a ticket with my Senior Railcard from the Freedom Pass forward operating base of Shenfield station.

I should say, you can get to Shenfield station at any time with a Freedom Pass, but you must use TfL services like TfL Rail, or buy an extension ticket from Zone 6.

These pictures show the Shopping Centre.

It didn’t seem to be as busy as I expected for a Bank Holiday Monday, but the Centre is very typical of this type of shopping attration.

Do they come in flatpacks from IKEA?

Passenger numbers for stations in the area in 2016-2017 were as follows.

  • Braintree – 788,000
  • Braintree Freeport – 82,698
  • Cressing – 33,176
  • White Notley – 10,552
  • Witham – 2,344,000

Bicester Village station by comparison gets 1,311,000 passengers.

Would More Trains Help?

The Braintree Freeport station only gets one train in each direction per hour.

Would more trains help?

Network Rail are looking at the possibility of a passing loop at Cressing, which would allow a doubling of frequency.

But if the current trains aren’t that busy on one of the premium hopping days of the year, I have my doubts.

Will The New Trains Help?

New trains often do help increase visitors to a town, city or attraction.

But I do wonder if a lot of the customers come from the North of Braintree and to get there from the major towns and cities of Cambridge, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich means a change of train at Witham, where the main East Anglian expresses don’t stop.

So they drive! Or take the train to London!

Conclusion

The train passenger statistics tell the truth and they should be watched.

If they rise substantially and the new trains fill up, then perhaps that passing loop at Cressing should be built!

 

August 27, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Progress On Access To Platforms 20-24 At Waterloo Station – June 21st 2018

These pictures show the creation of the new access routes between Platforms 20 to 24 and the Underground at Waterloo station.

I suspect there will be a lot more retail outlets.

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The New Wide Pedestrian Entrance To London Bridge Station

These pictures show the entrance to London Bridge station from the bus station.

It will also be the way many people enter the station after walking across London Bridge.

From notices on the walls, it would also appear that there will be a new Marks and Spencer Simply Food.

June 21, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Marks And Spencer Returns To Dalston

Marks and Spencer used to have a shop in Dalston, but it is now long gone. In those days before and during the Second World War, the shop would have been close to where my mother worked at Reeves.

Yesterday, I went to the littleWaitrose at Highbury and Islington, only to find it was being rebuilt, so I decided to take the Overground to Dalston Kingsland station and get the tin of cannellini beans,  needed from the big Sainsburys opposite.

On turning right out of the station, I saw a new store had been opened under a new residential block.

Imagine my surprise, when I saw it was a new M & S Foothall.

But Marks and Spencer don’t sell cannellini beans, do they? Oh! Yes they do!

  • This new stop may only have a short frontage on the street, but it is deep.
  • It is much more Kings Road, than Dalston Kingsland High Street.
  • The gluten-free section is massive.
  • I was even able to get the Southwold 0.5% low-alcohol beer.

These pictures show the store on Dalston Kingsland High Street.

I suspect this store will be a roaraway success.

  • It is a high-quality store.
  • The world-famous Ridley Road Market is opposite.
  • The only major store in the area, is a medium-sized, but rather tired Sainsburys.
  • Passengers changing between the two alston stations will have to pass the front door.
  • It is up there with new stores I’ve seem in Camden Town, Muswell Hill and West Hampstead.

If Crossrail 2 is built, it will sit right on top of the Dalston mega-station.

April 13, 2018 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | 1 Comment

A Good Summary Of What’s Happening In Creating New And Updating Old Stations

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled Stations: what happened in CP5 and what’s happening in CP6?

It is an article to read. Especially, if you’re thinking of moving house to a new area!

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

The Western Arcade At London Bridge Station

These pictures show the Western Arcade at London Bridge station, which opened after Christmas.

The Arcade connects the spacious double concourse under the tracks of the National Rail station with the Underground station.

All it needs now, is for the shops to be occupied.

January 8, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Chilled Marks and Spencer’s 0.5% Southwold Pale Ale

I took this picture of Marks and Spencer’s 0.5% Southwold Pale Ale in the fridge of their store on Finsbury Pavement in the City of London.

Not that it needed to be cooled today, as it was real bass monkey weather.

December 9, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , , | Leave a comment

The Electric Taxis Are Coming

London’s new electric black taxis will soon be seen on the streets.

From the pictures, I’ve seen, they could be an interesting ride.

  • There is a panoramic glass roof.
  • They are roomier, than the current black cabs and can seat six instead of five.
  • Wi-fi and charging points are standard.
  • Air-conditioning.
  • A small petrol engine is used to boost range up to nearly 400 miles.

I shall search one out for a ride.

The Times though points out an interesting point about the design. This is said.

The bigger story is LEVC will now use the technology behind the TX to build far greater volumes of hybrid electric vans, the sort that deliver all our online shopping.

That certainly is a bigger story.

A few points of my own.

Geo-Fencing

Will geo-fencing be used to ensure that in central and sensitive areas and those with high air pollution, the taxi will run on batteries only.

This would also be particularly useful with the delivery van, where delivery depots tend to be outside the centre of a city.

Wireless Charging

London’s black cabs use rabjs and only yesterday, I picked up one from the rank at the Angel.

Milton Keynes has buses that can be charged using an inductive system.

So why not install inductive charging on taxi ranks?

Online Shopping Delivery

Parcel delivery companies don’t have the best of images. Electric last-mile delivery would certainly help.

For too long, vans have just been a crude metal box, with a couple of seats and an engine at the front.

So why not design a complete system around the taxi chassis?

  • If the depot was outside the city centre, charging could be done at both the depot and on the journeys to and from the centre
  • The van could also be designed so that containers packed at the depots could be loaded for each delivery.
  • The containers could also be brought into the centre of the city at night into the main station by a purpose-designed train.
  • A sophisticated onboard computer could control the driver and the deliveries.

There is a wonderful opportunity here to develop parcel delivery systems that are truly efficient and as pollution-free as possible.

Service Vans

If I walk down my road of about 150 houses and a couple of tower blocks on any weekday during working hours, I will probably count around half-a-dozen service vans of various types for small builders, plumbers. Most have not come further than a dozen miles.

If the economics of the electric van are pitched right, I think a large proportion of these vehicles will go electric, as they often sit around for large periods during the working day.

Conclusion

I can’t wait to get a ride in one of these taxis.

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

Development Of Knightsbridge Station

Knightsbridge station is an important station on the Piccadilly Line.

It is unusual in that it is one of the few double-ended tube station, with one entrance at Sloane Street by Harvey Nicholls and the other along the Brompton Road at Harrods.

I took these pictures on a Sunday morning as I walked around the station.

The existing building over the Sloane Street entrance is being redeveloped. Wikipedia gives these details.

The residential development of One Hyde Park opposite the station features an entrance to the station which is the diverted closed off exit. It re-opened in December 2010.

In 2017, a developer will refurbish the block above the station and close exits 3 and 4 that lead to Brompton Road and Sloane Street. When this work is complete, there will be a new entrance in Brompton Road, the two exits having been blocked permanently. The station will also feature Step Free Access available from a new entrance in Hooper’s Court, where the original station first opened, with lifts in the original lift shaft that will led to the Piccadilly platforms.

This page on the TfL web site gives more details. This is said.

Knightsbridge Tube station will have step-free access in 2020, reached by a new entrance at Hooper’s Court.

Two new lifts will serve the Piccadilly line platforms, making the station step-free from street level to the trains.

A second new entrance will open at 15 Brompton Road in 2019, replacing the former entrance on the corner of Sloane Street and Brompton Road. The pavement on Brompton Road and Sloane Street will be widened, making more room for pedestrians.

Note that the new entrance at 15 Brompton Road will be about halfway between the corner and the LK Bennett store, which is at 39-41.

Conclusion

It looks as if Knightsbridge tube station will be very much improved.

But!

  • Cutting the traffic through the area would help.
  • I can’t say that I’m impressed with the new entrance to the station on the North side of Knightsbridge.

At least the entrance by Harrods, is much more in keeping with the area.

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment