The Anonymous Widower

Coronavirus Lockdown In Sweden: a New Take On Safe Shopping — No Assistants

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Sunday Times.

It could be the way, that convenience stores will be going! Even my local Marks and Spencer in Dalston, allows you to scan using an app, put the goods in your bag and just walk out!

I must try it, as it would mean that I would have to touch less equipment and won’t have to stand there like a wally, whilst the assistant verifies my age, after I have purchased low alcohol beer.

There could also be little robots like Daleks or R2-D2 wandering around, who you could ask questions, like “Where is the Adnams 0.5% low-alcohol beer?”. They would reply “Follow me!” and lead you to your next purchase.

April 19, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Queuing For Marks And Spencer In Dalston

I took this picture of the orderly queue waiting to get into Marks and Spencer in Dalston.

It does appear that everybody was obeying the rules and I only took twenty minutes to enter the store.

  • The store was well-stocked, although there were very few ready meals with long Best Before dates.
  • Gluten-free bread, biscuits and cereals were at near normal levels.
  • There were about a dozen bottles of Adnams low-alcohol beer on the shelves, which I reduced by a couple.
  • There were no gluten-free cakes. Not that I buy them often.
  • Some lines like gluten-free sandwiches seem to have been dropped. Not that I wanted any, as I won’t be travelling.
  • The staff were being very professional.

I was able to get enough food in my bag to get me through to the middle of next week.

April 9, 2020 Posted by | Food, Health, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Walking To Liverpool Street Station

I took these pictures yesterday, as I walked from my home to Liverpool Street station.

I had intended to buy the latest edition of Modern Railways at W H Smith’s in the station, but it was shut.

April 4, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | 3 Comments

Marks And Spencer In Dalston Was On The Ball

This morning, I walked to Marks and Spencer in the Kingsland Road for essential supplies.

I got more than I needed and now have enough food in the fridge and my cupboards for the next ten days.

The hold-up in the store were the tills, but one of the assistants had taken control of the situation, by marshalling customers to spare self-service tills, scanning goods and helping to get the customers out of the store as fast as possible.

It was real East End spirit in action.

Remember that the BBC soap, was nearly shot in a real square close to Dalston and in some ways the chivvying and banter could have been transposed.

Is EastEnders dealing with COVID-19? I doubt it!

March 31, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , | 4 Comments

My Daily Exercise

My father always said I was born lucky!

When I bought this house in Dalston after my stroke, I bought it because of the location.

  • There are four London Overground stations within walking distance.
  • Four bus stops are within a hundred metres, which are served by five bus routes, one of which goes to King’s Cross, St. Pancras and Euston
  • There are more than ten bus routes within walking distance.
  • I have three bus routes to and from the Angel for the shops and Chapel Market, where my paternal grandmother, used to shop before the First World War.
  • If I walk the other way, there was the rather run down Kingsland Road with a Sainsbury’s and lots of unhealthy takeaways.

But then Marks and Spencer opened a Simply Food store in the Kingsland Road by Dalston Kingsland station.

  • It is about a fifteen minute walk from my house.
  • It has a full range of their gluten-free food.
  • It stocks everything I need regularly.

It was certainly my luck, that they opened this store.

Today, I took my daily exercise by walking to the store and bringing home enough food for a couple of days.

  • Is this killing two birds with one stone?
  • The walk along the Balls Pond Road was notable because there was only little traffic and few pedestrians on one of East London’s main arteries.
  • A sizeable proportion of the shops were shut.

It was also very breezy and was this good to protect me from COVID-19, by blowing it away?

March 28, 2020 Posted by | Health, Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

COV-19 Isn’t Good For Chuggers

Outside Marks & Spencer on Dalston Kingsland Road this morning, I was accosted by a chugger.

I told him that because of the coronavirus, that I wouldn’t be stopping.

He gave a knowing look and allowed me to walk on!

He didn’t look pleased and I suspect, I wasn’t the first to give him that excuse.

March 13, 2020 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

The Proposed Development Under Cavendish Square

These pictures show Cavendish Square.

Note

  1. Underneath the square is a very expensive car park
  2. Harley Street, with its medical connections, lies at one cornet.
  3. John Lewis sits on another corner.

It is a very pleasant place to sit and have lunch on a sunny day.

This article on IanVisits is entitled A Shopping Centre Under Cavendish Square?.

Ian details how, plans are emerging to turn the Cavendish Square car park into a shopping centre and medical complex, spread over four floors under a re landscaped Cavendish Square.

Ian also discloses how the square was used as an access point to build the Victoria Line in the 1960s.

This development could change the area in several ways.

  • Cavendish Square could become an even better landscaped garden.
  • The medical complex would be a much-needed modern extension to Harley Street.
  • Could the development be used to create the much-needed step-free access to Oxford Circus station?
  • Would upmarket shoppers be drawn to the development?
  • Could the square become electric vehicles only?

I very much think this development could be a valuable addition to the area.

 

December 30, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

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.

Note.

  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 | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Thoughts On Step-Free Access At Oxford Circus Station

The London Underground station most in need of step-free access is probably Oxford Circus, where the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines have a cross-platform step-free interchange, which connects to the Central Line.

  • Oxford Circus is the third-busiest station on the Underground.
  • The capacity of the station probably limits the capacity of the Victoria Line.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr, shows the lines through the station.

Note.

  1. The cross-platform interchange between the Bakerloo and Victoria Lines
  2. The Central Line running East-West under Oxford Street.
  3. Crossrail is shown by dotted lines, passing to the South of the station..

South of the Central Line, it would probably be difficult to squeeze in lifts and more escalators, but to the North, there may be space for another entrance building.

  • The great advantage of making either the Victoria or Bakerloo Lines at Oxford Circus step-free, is that the other one will get it as well.
  • I think it will probably depend on which of the buildings in the area, need to be replaced.
  • I also suspect that the areas under Oxford Circus, Oxford Street and Regent Street are well surveyed, as there has been continuous development of Oxford Circus station since the 1960s.

On the other hand, the opening of Crossrail, with a new entrance to Bond Street station in Hanover Square, may mean that passenger numbers reduce at Oxford Circus, thus allowing a simpler solution.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a very innovative solution to provide step-free access at Oxford Circus station.

I feel that the Proposed Shopping Centre Under Cavendish Square could be the elephant in the room.

  • An upmarket shopping centre and medical centre needs good access for taxis, cars and public transport.
  • Cavendish Square was used to build the Victoria Line.
  • Tunnelling techniques have improved since the 1960s.

This Google Map shows Cavendish Square and the area between the square and Oxford Circus station.

Consider the four corners of the map..

  • Oxford Circus station is in the South-East corner.
  • Harley Street is just on the map at the North-West corner.
  • The BBC is just off the map in the North-East corner.
  • John Lewis’s flagship store occupies the South-West corner.

But perhaps the most interesting building is the former BHS flagship store, that lies to the East of John Lewis, with Cavendish Square to the North and Oxford Street to the South.

The proposed development under Cavendish Square will be upmarket and it will need high quality access to attract tenants, visitors and clients.

  • I doubt there will be masses of car parking, although they could probably dig up to a hundred metres below the square. Could there be an automatic car park, where vehicles are taken and stacked deep underground?
  • Good access for taxis, private hire vehicles and delivery trucks will be needed..I suspect that planning permission, would specify electric vehicles only.
  • The Bond Street station complex, with Crossrail, Central and Jubilee Lines is perhaps two hundred metres away. I feel the developers of Cavendish Square, will see access to Crossrail as being essential.
  • Oxford Street station is closer, but good access will be needed between the station and Cavendish Square.

Access to Bond Street and Oxford Circus stations would probably be via wide, deep tunnels with travelators as are being installed to solve the horrendous access problems at Bank station.

The former BHS building could be key in any design.

  • The BHS building has a superb location.
  • Tunnels between the two stations and the Cavendish Square complex could go via any development of the BHS building.
  • It might be possible to go higher on the site.
  • It might even be possible to put another station on the Central Line in the basement.

There is certainly a lot of scope for an innovative solution at Oxford Circus station.

December 29, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Manchester Metrolink’s New £350 Million Trafford Park Line To Open In April

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

The Wikipedia entry for the Trafford Park Line, says this about the planned opening.

The final stretch of track was laid November 2019, with the first test trams running soon after. In December 2019 it was announced that the line was expected to be opened in April 2020, seven months earlier than originally planned.

I wonder why, the line is opening early.

It would be interesting to know!

It could be the old chestnut of bad planning, with planners putting in a lot of float, so they are not late.

The Junction At Pomona Station

This Google Map shows the junction at Pomona, where the Trafford Park Line leaves the Eccles Line.

I don’t know when the picture was taken, but you can clearly see tracks going West.

Wharfside Tram Stop

This Google Mapshows the Wharfside tram stop.

It does look like there are only a few more tracks to lay.

The Trafford Park Line And The Imperial War Museum North

This Google Map shows the Trafford Park Line threading its way past the IWM North.

The works seem mainly complete.

The Terminus At The Trafford Centre

This Google Map shows the Trafford Centre.

The tram stop will be in the North East of the Centre.

This enlargement shows ithe tram stop more clearly.

Note that the tracks will be extended to the North-West to Port Salford on the other side of the Mancvhester Ship Canal.

Tram Services On The Trafford Park Line

Trams will run between the Trafford Centre and Crumpsall on the Bury Line.

  • Crumpsall has been updated with a third platform.
  • Trams will call at Deansgate-Castlefield, St. Peter’s Square, Piccadilly Gardens, Market Street, Stutenhill and Manchester Victoria station in the City Centre.
  • At present there appear to be no plans to connect the Trafford Centre with Manchester Piccsadilly station.

It looks to be that some passengers will change in the City Centre to get to and from the Trafford Centre.

December 27, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments