The Anonymous Widower

Aberdeen Unveils UK’s First Green Hydrogen Waste Truck

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on

These are the first three paragraphs.

The UK’s first green hydrogen-fuelled waste collection vehicle has been unveiled in Aberdeen.

While typical waste trucks are powered by diesel and petrol, the new vehicle will use green hydrogen from existing refuelling infrastructure in Aberdeen.

The truck will start collecting waste and recycling around the city from early March and will be the first hydrogen-powered waste truck to become operational in the UK.

I feel, that this is one of the obvious applications for hydrogen trucks.

  • They return to the same depot at the end of the day and if the hydrogen refuelling station is nearby or at the depot, refuelling would be no more hassle than with diesel.
  • The trucks are probably too large for battery power.
  • They tend to work a lot in areas, where there are a lot of people about, like residential streets and shopping centres.
  • Workers will be exposed to less pollution, as they bring bins to the trucks.

Aberdeen Council have provided this video.

I can see lots of Councils at least thinking of following Aberdeen’s example, when they renew their refuse trucks.

Incidentally, I may be only 74, but I can still remember the horse-drawn waste carts that Wood Green Council used to use in the 1950s. They were used around Wood Green town centre, where trailers were parked to receive rubbish from shops and businesses. Horses were used to move them about and to the depot. In the end they horses were replaced by Scammel Mechanical Horses.

February 18, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossrail 2 Changes Its Mind!

This map from the Crossrail 2 web site, show the new route for Crossrail 2.

Crossrail 2 Route - Autumn 2015

Crossrail 2 Route – Autumn 2015

So what are the changes and how do I think they stack up?

Broxbourne Instead Of Hertford East

Broxbourne station is the first, where traffic from Bishop’s Stortford, Cambridge, Hertford East and Stansted Airport all come together.

So perhaps by making Broxbourne a station, where passengers from Cambridge or Stansted can change across a platform for Crossrail 2 and all its destination in Central and South West London is a good idea.

As someone, who lived for nearly thirty years near Cambridge, it would certainly have pleased me.

This Google Map of Broxbourne station explains a lot.

Broxbourne Station

Broxbourne Station

Note that Broxbourne station is now a four platform station sitting on a large site. For comparison purposes this is a Google Map of Hertford East station.

Hertford East Station

Hertford East Station

It is a much more cramped site compared to Broxbourne. The other stations on the branch would need substantial upgrading.

  • Ware is a one platform station with an adjoining level-crossing.
  • St. Margaret’s is a small station with a level-crossing.
  • Rye House is a small station on another cramped site.

I suspect that operating an intensive service over the level crossings and the partly single-track branch was considered a serious obstacle to using Hertford East as a terminus of Crossrail 2.

There are other possible reasons.

  • There is lots of space at Broxbourne for car parking and a proper bus interchange.
  • As it now looks that the West Anglia Main Line will be four-tracked for a lot of its route, could cross-platform interchange be provided between the fast services from Cambridge, Stansted and the North and Crossrail 2, at Broxbourne.
  • The space at Broxbourne would allow some extra platforms to be created.
  • Broxbourne may well be a better interchange between fast services and Crossrail 2 than Tottenham Hale, which is another station on a cramped site.

Broxbourne has so much more potential for extra services than Hertford East.

The Future Of The Hertford East Branch

The Hertford East branch may turn out to be just a branch after Crossrail 2 is built.

If for instance, the West Anglia Main Line was to be three- or four-tracked as far as the Hertford East branch,then Hertford East services could have their own dedicated tracks to Broxbourne, just as the East London Line does to Highbury and Islington station.

This gives a service with the following characteristics and advantages.

  • Generally Hertford East services are self-contained and could be mainly a two, three or four trains an hour shuttle, with possibly extra services to and from Liverpool Street in the peak.
  • The frequency is probably limited by the level crossings on the branch.
  • Hertford East services could probably be arranged, so they didn’t have to cross the West Anglia Main Line, which could remove a capacity restraint on the main line.
  • Passengers would change at Broxbourne to and from fast services to Liverpool Street and Crossrail 2
  • Would a separated branch give scope for some clever platform arrangements at Broxbourne?
  • Would a separated branch free up paths into a very crowded Liverpool Street?

I think it is true to say, that if the level crossings and single-track sections on the branch could be removed, this would allow a much better service to Hertford East.

Turnpike Lane And Alexandra Palace Or Wood Green?

In the original plan, where Crossrail 2 passed through Turnpike Lane And Alexandra Palace stations, this gave possible interchanges to the following lines.

If the only station in that area is Wood Green, Crossrail 2 loses the connection to the Hertford Loop Line, which was at Alexandra Palace.

By 2019, the Hertford Loop Line will have good connectivity to the following lines.

  • Piccadilly Line at Finsbury Park
  • Victoria Line at Finsbury Park and Highbury and Islington
  • Thameslink at any station between Alexandra Palace and Finsbury Park
  • Crossrail at Moorgate
  • Harringay could be linked to Harringay Green Lanes on the Gospel Oak and Barking Line.
  • North and East London Lines at Highbury and Islington.

Some of these links will probably be better than they are now by 2019, due to upgrading at Finsbury Park and Highbury and Islington stations.

So I suspect that building two stations instead of one for Crossrail 2 in the Wood Green area was not considered good value for money.

Crossrail 2 have produced a detailed document about their route through the area.

Kings Road Chelsea

The contentious Kings Road Chelsea station has moved slightly, but those who think they are above the plebs still seem to be against the new station.

For a bit of sense, you can always read this report on Crossrail 2 from the local council. I particularly liked this extract on station size.

A King’s Road Crossrail station would not be “five times the size of Peter Jones” or as big as the “Westfield shopping Centre” as some have claimed. Kensington and Chelsea would remain the planning authority for the station development and the station would therefore have to be in keeping with the traditional scale and character of this part of the King’s Road. – 

Or they could read up about that other difficult to design station; Camden Town, which I described in The Camden Town Station Upgrade Exhibition.

Good design there,seems to have sent the Nimbys back to their caves.

Tooting Broadway Or Balham?

Both Tooting Broadway and Balham stations are on the Northern Line, but I think Balham is being preferred as it is also a busy main line station.

As some of the main line services through Balham, are duplicated by Crossrail 2, the new line now offers opportunities to release the pressure off the lines through Balham.

If you look at a map of the railway lines in the area, it may be that Crossrail 2 will send the new tunnels in a wide circle from Balham to Wimbledon under Tooting and Haydons Road stations, so that the tunnels are dug totally under existing railway land.

Using Balham rather than Tooting Broadway seems a good idea.

Crossrail 2 Shafts

Crossrail 2 have also published a list of where their shafts will be.

  • Downhills Recreation Ground
  • Stamford Hill area
  • Shoreditch Park area
  • Victoria Coach stationAccording to Wikipedia, the freeholder want to redevelop this site and relocate the coach station.
  • Westbridge Road
  • Wandsworth Common
  • Springfield
  • Weir Road

I shall update this as I find out more.


October 28, 2015 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 1 Comment

Putting Some Green Style Into Wood Green

My memories of Wood Green High Road go back a long way. My father’s print works was just around the corner in Station Road and I can still remember the trolley buses turning round just down from the tube station in front of the Nags Head pub. The pub is now called The Goose and it’s not the only name change in the area, as the hill up from the station to the north was called Jolly Butcher’s Hill. Look at picture 166 on this page, as it’s exactly how I remember the area.

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Trolleybus Ascending Jolly Butchers Hill in Wood Green

Thanks to for sending me a copy of the image.

I remember one story my father told about the pub now called The Goose. My father and his mother, at one time lived above the print works and one Sunday, their black dog returned home just before lunch with a large just-roasted joint of beef in his jaws. My grandmother retrieved it from the dog and put the less-impressive joint she was going to roast away for a later meal. My father always thought that the free meal had come from the Nags Head, where the cook had put the newly-roasted joint on a back window-sill to cool down before carving. He used to tell stories like this with a lot of gusto and actions.

I also remember several times going for lunch at the QS restaurant just about fifty metres down the High Road for lunch with my mother. That because something like a Wimpy bar around 1960 and I can still see Ally flipping burgers in the window. It was the height of sophistication to a teenager.

Further down, you went under the railway bridge, which took the Palace Gates Line over the top and my mother and I would often go past the old Alexandra pub to the Marks and Spencer. I went there recently and it still has a lot of the feel of those years. The Alexandra incidentally was demolished to make way for Wood Green’s first supermarket.

Because of this history, I was pleased to see that Haringey council are updating the High Road. This page described what will happen in detail, with wider pavements, new street furniture and quite a few trees.

As I had to get on the Piccadilly Line today and the weather wasn’t too bad, I’ picked the tube up at Wood Green, after taking a few photos on my way down the High Road.

I’d started walking from Turnpike Lane station and walked north.

I wonder how the walk will have changed when they’ve spruced up the High Road.

December 26, 2014 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Sixty Years On

I must have been about seven, when I went with my father to Earls Court to see the Printing Exhibition.

My father didn’t like deep tube lines, which I’d always put down to an experience during the Second World War.

So his route to Earls Court after parking his car outside his print works in Station Road, wasn’t to go the obvious one by Underground from Wood Green Tube station.

We walked up the hill to the train station that is now called Alexandra Palace station. In those days it was called Wood Green (Alexandra Park) and I still refer to it as Wood Green station, as the Underground one is Wood Green tube station.

From the station we took a local steam train, probably hauled by a Class N2 from the 1920s into Kings Cross. At Kings Cross it was onto a Metropolitan line train to Hammersmith and then it was back a couple of stops on the Piccadilly line to Barons Court for the exhibition.

A roundabout way compared to the way most would go. But it ewas an adventure for a seven-year-old, especially as you got to see lots of interesting machines at the exhibition.

I’d always though, as I said that something nasty in the war had put my father off the tube, but now I’m getting older, I find the older deep tube lines rather stuffy and usually plan my journeys to avoid them. As my father and I share several health problems like arthritis and catarrh, I now wonder if his avoidance of the deep lines, was because he didn’t like the atmosphere down there. You have to remember, that in the 1950s, smoking was allowed in the Underground, which certainly didn’t help matters.

Last night, I heard that Alexandra Palace was one of twenty-six stations that were going to get upgraded access. So I went to have a look.

What a change!

The pedestrian bridge across the lines will probably be fitted with lift towers and given a general upsprucing.

I particularly liked the architectural idea of the large window overlooking the tracks. There must be times when staff need to watch all platforms and this view sometimes must be better than sitting in the office watching screens.

In fact with its cafe and details, the station has the feel of a classy historic shopping arcade, all done with a modern feel. Whoever designed and rebuilt this station, has set a high bar for the hundreds of smaller stations all over the country.

So is it true to say that Crossrail 2 will be getting its first updated station in a few years and long before the new line is built?

December 17, 2014 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Searching For The Missing Banksy

I went today to Wood Green to have a look at the place, where the infamous Banksy drawing went missing.

There is a report on the background to the affair on the Standard web site.

This looks like it will develop into a big spat, between everybody concerned with the drawing.

I actually quite liked it and I do feel that Banksy or whoever was the artist, is having a big laugh at the building’s owners, Harringey Council and the Arts establishment.

If you want to go and inspect the site, it’s just a few metres walk down Wood Green High Road towards Wood Green Tube station from Turnpike Lane Tube station.

February 25, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Is CrossRail 2 Going To Follow The Palace Gates Line?

The latest plan for CrossRail 2 shows the line going to Alexandra Palace.  I assume they mean the main line station although the route is a bit vague. This article seems to think the line will come from Seven Sisters station up the Palace Gates line.

I used to watch the old steam trains on this line in the 1950s, sitting on the ledgers at my father’s print works in Wood Green.

I don’t know whether they could get the trains through, although the main obstacle is probably the shopping centre on the High Road.

February 6, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 4 Comments

We Mustn’t Forget Old Techniques

As someone, who grew up in a letterpress printing works in Wood Green, I welcome stories like this.

Abelardo Gonzalez has developed a font for those who suffer from dyslexia and it seems to work.

I don’t suffer from dyslexia, but I do have slightly sub-standard eyesight and know that reading some fonts is easier than others.

Transport for London would also agree, as years ago they developed a special clear typeface for travellers called New Johnston. It’s even on the destination boards of buses.

I also think that I do better in eye tests than I should, because of all that time I spent setting up type and especially the very small ones like 6 pt. I think sometimes my father gave me those pieces to do, as my eyes and dexterity as a child were very good.

October 8, 2012 Posted by | Health, News, World | , | Leave a comment

Harringay Can’t Go To The Dogs Anymore!

A s child, I used to go here to the Harringay Arena to see the ice shows.  There was also a dog and speedway track called Harringay Stadium.  Now all that remains is the name, in that of the large retail park.

Where’s the Dog Track?

With the recent loss of Walthamstow dog track to developers and the abandoning of horse racing at Alexandra Palace, life has lost some excitement in that area of North London.

My great-uncle Charlie, who introduced me to cider lived somewhere locally. He had been some sort of minor official in the colonies.

May 17, 2012 Posted by | Sport, World | , , | Leave a comment

An Excursion At Wood Green

I went to Turnpike Lane, as I was going to Cockfosters to be picked up by a friend from school. It is an ideal station to be picked up on the northern part of the M25.

I was ahead of time, so I got off at Wood Green, where my father had his printing works and had a walk round. The station itself is virtually unchanged from 1967 or so, which was the last time I used it. Although, the escalators have been modernised and passenger barriers have been installed. But this view is almost identical.

Wood Green Station

Except for a few details and the Ocado van.

I walked down Station Road took this picture of the works.

H Miller & Sons, Wood Green

Note that until perhaps twenty years or so ago,  there was a sign saying, H Miller and Sons, above the widest of the arches, which then had a pair of double doors. My father was one of the sons.

My father’s office in the building was at the top left, where new brickwork can be seen. I spent many an hour on a desk there as a young child sitting on a pile of leather bound ledgers watching the trains go to and from the now closed Palace Gates station.

In the photograph, you can also see the parapet, where my grandmother’s ginger cat went about its business in this tale.

Here is a photo of the Jolly Anglers, which hasn’t changed that much since my father used to illegally take me in for lunch in the 1950s.

The Jolly Anglers, Station Road, Wood Green

I also took a photo of where the Rex Cinema used to be.

Where the Rex Cinema in Wood Green Was

Many a day, I would go there, whilst my parents worked. It wasn’t that bad a cinema and was magnitudes better than the Essoldo in East Barnet, which had a collander for a roof.

January 20, 2012 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 8 Comments

Memories of Wood Green

I walked up to Bruce Castle Museum from Bruce Grove station early this afternoon. It was not a difficult walk and there are some buildings worth looking at on the way.

Luke Howard, Namer of Clouds Lived Here

This rather derelict building being refurbished was the home of Luke Howard. He seems to have been an amazing man with a wide degree of scientific interests, who should be remembered for a lot more than his classification of clouds. He must also have been the only pharmacist praised in a poem by Goethe.

But Howard gives us with his clear mindThe gain of lessons new to all mankind;That which no hand can reach, no hand can claspHe first has gained, first held with mental grasp.

I suspect too, that he might have been the Howard after whom the local telephone exchange in Enfield was named. Enfield Rolling Mills, who were my father’s biggest customer and where I worked for a couple of summers, had a phone number of Howard 1255.  There is a list of all the old London exchange names here.

I enjoyed the museum, as it brought back some happy memories for me. I will be back.

  1. C’s godmother and her sister had worked at the Gestetner factory in Tottenham Hale and had a flat which would have been in the middle of the riots, although it looked like no damage was done. They were a lovely pair of sisters, who’d had a hard life, but who always remained cheerful to the end. They both lived into their eighties and still had all their marbles when they died.  But I think, if they’d had the sort of healthcare that we get now, they might have had a few more years. Both seemed to keep falling over and breaking thighs and other bones.
  2. One memory the museum brought back was a tale from my grandmother about the Belgian refugees, who were put up in Alexandra Palace after the First World War.
  3. I can also remember the Monday evening crowds swarming past my father’s printworks on Station Road to the racecourse.  Someone used to setup a Crown and Anchor board to fleece punters before they even got to the races, outside the works on Station Road.  If the police turned up he allowed them to duck inside, provided they put a couple of notes in the charity box my father had on the counter.
  4. I also saw the inside of a pub for the first time at about eight, when my father used to take me for lunch on Saturdays to the Jolly Anglers in Station Road, when we both worked in the works.
  5. When we were at school, we often drive to Ally Pally to have a drink, as no-one seemed to bother how old you were in the bar there.  You would then take your drinks out and sit on the grass to admire one of the best views in London.
  6. In the museum was a display, which had some stationery from Ward’s Stores at Seven Sisters.  In the early 1960s, I used to work in a paper shop, who delivered them to Mr. Ward.  Rumours had it, that he was dying of something and was getting a bottle of Scotch a day on the NHS.

Next time I visit, I’ll have a serious look at the archives.


August 21, 2011 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment