18th August picture of the day…

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We’ve had another mixed day here at Bigland Towers – not that I was going to be going anywhere as there’s another rail strike on so no trains were operating through the Calder valley. I couldn’t have gone anywhere If I’d wanted to! Whilst this was a major inconvenience for many I was happy to be stuck at home as I’d lots to do in preparation for next week and my ‘grand tour’ around the UK’s rail network. To add to the happiness at being busy at my desk, the weather wasn’t exactly conducive to wandering with the camera. Our latest dry spell has broken but it’s still not going to be anywhere near enough to replenish our famished reservoirs. Whilst I was working I was seeing friends in the South and West reporting on the torrential rains they’d had and the consequent floods as the water ran off fields baked like clay. At least we’ve not suffered that here. I’ll be interested to see the contrasts as I traverse the UK next week.

My plans are finally coming together. I’ve only one day out of the seven where I may have to ‘wing it’ or plan at the last moment due to problems with a couple of the train operating companies. But that’s all grist to a journalists mill, so I’m not going to worry about it.

Whilst I’ve been busy at home I’ve managed to add another load of railway memorabilia to eBay and offer up for sale stuff that’s been sat in cupboards for years. Some of it is rather unusual and certainly limited edition as it was souvenirs that were commissioned for various press events over the years. Here’s an example. You’d be mugs to miss stuff like this! https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/314112297014

So, my picture of the day is another mugshot!

No, it doesn’t tilt – unless you make it!

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

17th August picture of the day…

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It’s another short blog from me tonight as this is the second evening in a row where we’ve been sociable – and it’s only Wednesday! The day started as normal with the pair of us working from home which was no bad thing after yesterday’s heavy rains. The downpours reduced the daytime temperatures to a comfortable level that was more conducive to working – another bonus. Even so, we’ve had such a rainfall deficit this year our local reservoirs are at paltry levels I’ve never seen in all the 12 years I’ve lived in West Yorkshire. There’s a lot I could say about this situation, but it would involve an awful lot of political spleen-venting and four letter words so I’ll leave it for another blog when I can’t hold the torrent back any longer.

I finished work early today as a couple of old friends who’ve decamped from Yorkshire to Devon have made a temporary return and pitched their caravan up the road in Cragg Vale where we joined them for a few hours this evening. Just up the road is one of our favourite pubs and fantastic community resource – the Robin Hood Inn which is where we booked a table for a meal after a few drinks. They weren’t offering a full menu due to the fact they were still recovering from a big local event (Craggfest). Even so, the food they were serving was excellent and the portions humongous. I ordered the pork with stuffing and Yorkshire puddings and really struggled to finish it as we also had lashings of fresh veg as an accompaniment. So, this picture of the day is food based…

Having bid adieu to our friends the pair of us are now back at home and letting our digestive tracts work their way through such a mid-week feast.

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

16th August picture of the day…

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It’s a short blog from me tonight as the pair of us have had a very convivial night at the house of friends. Normally they cook for us but today we turned the tables and brought with us food we’d already pre-prepared. All that was left to do was cook the potatoes in chilli and the spicy chicken kebabs to go with all the salads and demon garlic mayonnaise we’d brought with us. Needless to say, a fine time was had by all – but I wouldn’t stand downwind of us in the morning!

The earlier part of the day saw Dawn commuting into the CRN office in Huddersfield whilst I worked from home planning more of next weeks round Britain odyssey and prepping a lot of old slides and other memorabilia which went live on eBay this evening. Follow this link to see what’s on offer, which includes 90 new slides which I’ve only added today. Oh, there’s also a selection of old badges and branded moleskine notebooks which may tickle your fancy.

As for today’s picture, this is identical to one of the slides that are now up for sale (starting price £1.99). I’ve added a selection of pictures of the railways of Sri Lanka, taken in 2003. The railway still uses a couple of British-built locomotives classes, including these examples, the M7s, which were built by Brush, Loughborough in 1981.

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

15th August picture of the day…

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Another week and another day spent chained to a desk, but hardly in a bad way. The weather forecast was threatening rain and even the possibility of thunderstorms so it seemed like a good day to be at home. Neither rain nor thunder materialised, all we had was a few desultory spits of rain which didn’t even wet the pavement.

Away from the weather my time was spent productively. I’ve a lot more of next weeks around Britain trip and now have an idea of where I’ll be ending the week as I’m not going to try and return home on the day, it would cramp my style too much and mean too much retracing of steps. I’ve not finalised everything as I’m waiting for a few temporary timetables to either be confirmed or cancellations be announced. I may have to be flexible on the Saturday as a result. Even so, it’s going to be quite a trip!

Another project that’s taken up a lot of my day has been preparing another batch of old railway slides and sundry memorabilia for sale on eBay. I’m hoping to have many of the articles added tomorrow and released for sale in the evening. There’s a mixture of UK pictures going back to the mid 1990s plus a selection of Sri Lankan railway images dating from 2003 which feature some old British built locomotives.

One unexpected diversion today was the return of an unexpected visitor. On Friday a racing/homing pigeon put in an unexpected appearance. The poor thing was suffering from exhaustion due to the heat and crash-landed at the back of the house where I found it voraciously chugging water out of an old flowerpot. I managed to save it from the local cats and put it in our outhouse with a supply of food and fresh water for the night then released it successfully the next day and watched it fly away. Well, it seems it enjoyed its holiday a little too much. This afternoon I was looking out of the office window and noticed it perched on the wall opposite, almost as if it was watching me! This time it was a much closer call with the cats who were already stalking it – but now it’s back in the outhouse. This time we checked the rings on its legs and found a phone number – which is local! I’ve rung the chap and he’s going to collect our feathered friend tomorrow. Let’s hope this time it decides it’s given me enough stress! Besides, I don’t want to fall out with the cats…

OK, time for today’s picture. This one’s from my recent jaunt to Manchester and features the Edwardian baroque magnificence of the Midland Hotel. The hotel was designed by Charles Trubshaw and constructed between 1898 and 1903 for the Midland Railway Company at a cost of more than £1 million. It’s coated in a variety of terracotta and granite and it looks stunning!

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

14th August picture of the day…

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It’s been another slow Sunday here at Bigland Towers. We’ve both been having a busy time over the past few days so it’s lovely to have one day in the week where the alarm clock can bugger-off! Mind you. the weather’s still been pushing temperatures into the edges of 30 degrees so that fact the pair of us had a couple of hours work to do in the cool of the cottage was no bad thing. I’ve managed to upload all the pictures I’ve taken over the past few days which can be found by following this link.

By late afternoon we’d finished all we were doing and incoming clouds took the edge off the heat so we sallied forth to Sowerby Bridge and a couple of drinks in some of the local venues. Both of us were surprised just how quiet the town was. There’s several pubs with large beer-gardens/outdoor seating that I’d have expected to be packed but they’d all enough room to dump an elephant! Had everyone had a skinful the night before and were still recovering? Were they all having barbecues at home – or was it the fact it’s the school holidays so many folk are away? Who knows! Whatever, it made for a more relaxed day. Just to feel virtuous (and to get our steps in) we walked back along the canal which was also very quiet, but at least it’s not affected by the drought and unnavigable the way some are.

Now we’re having a quite night home. Well, once I’d watered the gardens anyway. We’re predicted to have thunderstorms tomorrow but I’m taking no chances as we’ve hear these tales before. I must admit, I’d love a good thunderstorm right now. Next week will see me mostly working from home as I’ve a lot of paperwork and planning to sort out before I begin my round Britain trip for RAIL magazine on the 22nd. I’m really looking forward to the adventure but I need to plan the last few days first.

Right now it’s time to leave you with a picture of the day, but what to choose? Oh, I know – here’s an image from yesterday’s trip to Todmorden that shows how Victorian engineering suffers from the ravages of time and the fact they didn’t always get ground conditions right. Here’s the railway viaduct which crosses the centre of the town and possesses a real kink when viewed from the right angle…

Northern’s CAF built unit number 195127 arrives at Todmorden station across the ‘kinky’ viaduct whilst working 1J15, the 12:12 Leeds to Manchester Victoria.

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

Diverting times…

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We’ve had another hot and sunny day here in the Calder valley which prompted me to venture out with the camera as on Saturdays Trans-Pennine Express trains are diverted from their usual route and traverse the Calder valley. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while but as Dawn had to work this morning this gave me the excuse I needed. I’ll be documenting the diversions at several locations over the coming months but as I only had a few hours today I headed over to Todmorden as I could swap between a couple of locations quickly.

Here’s a few examples.

185126 (rear) and 185138 speed through Todmorden station whilst working 1P71, the 11:02 Manchester Victoria to Darlington.
802206 passes Hall Royd Junction just outside Todmorden whilst working 9M20, the 09:47 Newcastle to Liverpool Lime Street. This is the junction for the line to Blackburn which is off to the left.
802217 approaches Todmorden station working 1P25, the 1154 Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle.

There’s plenty of other pictures to be added to my Zenfolio website later, but these give you a flavour of what the day was like. On another day I would’ve stayed longer but I was keen to tear Dawn away from her computer, so the two of us arranged to meet up in Halifax for a wander and a couple of drinks.

I have to say I was amazed at just how busy Halifax was and what fun people were having. The Piece Hall was as stunning as ever. Right now the courtyard hosts a roller-skating rink which is proving to be very popular. What was equally popular was the nearby Westgate Arcade which hosts a variety of bars, cafes and restaurants. The covered seating area was jam-packed and the crowds were being entertained by a swing band and dancers who were performing nearby. The town’s really come on as a place to go to in recent years and it’s lovely to see. Here’s a few pictures to give a flavour.

The stunning Piece Hall
Life in the Westgate Arcade
Our final stop was in the ‘Meandering Bear’ which always has a great selection of beers on offer at prices that surprise many Southerners.

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

12th August picture of the day…

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After yesterday’s Blackpool jaunt today’s been one where the focus has been very much about home. The day’s been another hot one with the mercury hitting the 30 degree mark so ideal for spending lots of time in the cool of my office. Plus, I’ve had a couple of days worth of pictures to edit. The galleries they’ve been added to you can find by following this link.

I did eventually venture out for my daily constitutional but boy, was I hot and sweaty by the time I got back. Apart from the absence of humidity these temperatures remind me of being back in Asia – only without the colour and the chaos – well, if you discount what’s happening in politics anyway.

One unexpected event was playing host to a racing pigeon. I’d been out watering the back terrace garden when I spotted a clearly exhausted pigeon drinking from an old plant pot base. The fact it showed absolutely no fear or inclination to move when I approached convinced me it wasn’t one of our skittish locals. When I got close the rings on both its legs confirmed my suspicions. Myself and a couple of neighbors fed and watered it, but then the damned thing wanted to go to sleep on the back steps, which would have been suicide as next door has a couple of cats. Instead, it now has a perch in our shed where it has food, water and sanctuary until tomorrow when we can see if its fit enough to fly off or we have to try and contact its owners.

Talking of flying away, our evening’s been spent in our local pub (The Big 6) to celebrate Holly’s last shift after seven years behind the bar. Nowadays the ‘ginmeister’ works as a teacher and doesn’t have the time. Her send-off brought a lot of old regulars together and included the former Landlord and Landlady – John and Leslie. We had a lovely night catching up with everyone and reminiscing about old times.

Right now the pair of us are back at home and ready to call it a day. It may be Saturday tomorrow but we’ve both got lots of things to do involving work rather than play. Before I switch off for the evening I’ll leave you with the picture of the day which is one from my visit to Blackpool. Odd to think, but until the early 1990s when the Metrolink system in Manchester opened Blackpool was the last refuge of trams in the UK, now look at it. It’s gone from a run-down old system running vintage vehicles to an growing business that uses new Bombardier Flexity 2 trams and is extending its routes to include a new interchange by Blackpool North station.

Trams are in the pink in Blackpool…

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

Rolling blog. Blackpool bound…

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08:20.

It’s another hot and sunny day here in West Yorkshire so I’m heading to the seaside for a few hours to get a selection of pictures for a client. Right now I’m packing my kit before heading off to the station. It’s going to be a flying visit as I need to be back in Halifax this evening as we’re out for a meal with a friend this evening. I’ll update this blog as I go along…

09:20.

With the sun already heating the place up I decided descretion was the better part of valour,so rather than walking up our steep hill to head to Halifax I took the shorter and easier downhill route to Sowerby Bridge. The only problem is there’s no direct trains to Blackpool from here anymore (bar weekends) so I have to arrive slightly earlier to catch a Manchester Victoria service as far as Hebden Bridge and change there. Here’s my train now…

09:45.

Well, there’s worse place to change trains!

As expected, this 3-car service to the seaside is packed with ‘the bucket and spade brigade’ – young couples, families with prams and a brood of kids or elderly solo travellers whose only encumbrance is a suitcase.

10:05.

We’ve just left Burnely Manchester road where we gained dozens of new passengers including a family with a mamber in a wheelchair plus two old dears with wheeled walking frames which have been added to the pram collection.

At the last moment we were joined by a second wheelchair which has made this vestibule rather cosy – and we haven’t reached Blackburn yet…

10:20.

In order to insulate myself from the onboard mayhem and chatter I’ve retreated into listening to music. As a homage to my destination I’m playing the album ‘Too old to rock and roll, too young to die” by Jethro Tull. It’s an old favorite and those who’re familiar with it will know the connection.

10:25.

During our stop at Blackburn we lost a handful of folk but gained far more – and plenty of suitcases! Looking around I’ve observed several people who’ve clearly kept the local tattoo parlours in work. Shame it wasn’t the dentists…

11:40.

Well, this is fun! I changed trains at Preston where I had plenty of time to observe the melee as hundreds of day-trippers and holidaymakers changed trains. Many had kids in tow which was a bit like herding cats! Not easy as the island platform used by trains to the resort (1 and 2) is narrow so staff were constantly exhorting people to stay behind the yellow line. Unlike the unwary and uninitiated I knew our train would be a 2-car so stood in the right place to ensure I was one of the first one and able to get a perch seat to observe the fun. To say this 156 is rammed is an understatement! On days like this the train really could to to be a 3-car at least.

16:00.

I’ve bid adieu to Blackpool to head back to Halifax and prepare for our evening out. I’ve certainly had an interesting time. I managed a handful of pics that fit the clients needs but also captured many others that will sit quite happily in the archive for future use. It’s a shame the trip was so rushed as the weather was ideal. I need to spend a day documenting the Blackpool South branch. It’s a curious hangover from the days of BR rationalisation in the 1960s when it was reduced to a ling siding from Kirkham and Wesham. I’ll add some links later to show just how important a railway it used to be, complete with an express link. Now it’s hopelessly under capacity. It really needs to be trains a minimum of every 30 mins, not once an hour – and not 2-cars either!

Having got the shots I needed at Blackpool pleasure beach I walked along the promenade all the way up to Blackpool North, taking pictures on the way. I first visited as a child back in the late 1960s and have one abiding memory of the family visit. We visited a cafe serving fish, chips and peas (as one did). My late sister Ruth was a baby who was duly plumped in a high chair. Not being old enough to use a knife and fork she was given a spoon. This worked well until it came to eating the peas. The sight of her determinedly chasing the peas around her plate with a spoon still raises a chuckle half a century later.

To be fair to Blackpool it’s a town that’s invested heavily in the seafront and tried to reinvent its image somewhat. I didn’t see one ‘kiss me quick’ hat or anyone eating candy floss and only heard one bingo caller in the whole time I was walking. The town’s visitors have become much more multi-racial too. It’s no longer just a refuge of the white working classes. Southport, just down the coast where I grew up was always known as the place the middle classes holidayed, although it was also a big venue for Scousers on a day out.

Whilst Blackpool’s changing, the clientele isn’t always. I passed several couples deep in arguments and the use of four-letter words (even in front of small kids) was endemic. ‘Fcuk’ and its derivatives are used by many almost as punctuation.

Anyway, I’ll add a few pictures from my trip tomorrow, but here’s a few for now.

The ‘Paris of the North’, allegedly…
Vintage trams are still running tourist trips.
The concourse at Blackpool North has been improved with new retail outlets. Despite the infamous reputation it has with both railstaff and enthusiasts I found people polite and helpful.

18:10.

I’m home, showered and changed, ready to pick up our friend before heading over to Honley for an evening eating tapas – and not just the Yorkshire kind* either!…

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

*’Yorkshire tapas’ – slang for bags of nuts and crisps.

10th August picture of the day…

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The heat has made a comeback here in the Calder Valley. Today and for the next few days the skies will be blue and the temperature in the very high 20s. Today was a taster – although I spent a lot of it cooped up inside as I had a whole host of things to sort out for work and also (hopefully) pleasure. Plus – eBay!

I’m slowly wading through all the railway memorabilia I’ve amassed over the years and sorted out what’s not longer needed on the voyage. That includes a selection of commemorative notebooks which I’ll never get to use in a month of Sundays. Such as this one which celebrated the opening of Siemens new Three Bridges Depot back in 2015. There’s more on offer, plus there’s hundreds of old rail slides which can be found here.

As well as eBaying and catching up on paperwork I did manage to venture out into Sowerby Bridge to pick up some shopping, but it was the heat of the day and by the time I’d walked back up the hill to home I was a sweaty, soggy mess! Mad dogs and Englishmen and all that!

The heat has also kept me preoccupied with watering the garden. It may not be huge but the fact it’s spread over several levels means you get a work-out that way too! There’s no hosepipe ban around here yet but as I use watering cans anyway it won’t affect me. I’ve started using old dishwater anyway just to get in the habit and ‘do my bit’.

Tomorrow I’m tempted to venture out with the camera but I suspect I may have too much to do unless I have a really early start to spend a couple of hours on paperwork first, but as it’s so hot at night that may be difficult. Just in case, I’m going to call it a day and have an early night, so here’s today’s picture. When the weather had cooled down a bit I went for my evening stroll, but this time with a purpose. The Blackberry season is well underway here in the Calder Valley and despite the fact it’s been a dry summer the crop is bountiful, early – and lush. There’s a fantastic collection in a couple of locations along out road, one of which is the edge of a field which is clear of trees and affords a great view of the valley below. Oh, and cows…

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!

Rolling blog. Tales of the unexpected…

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09:55.

I’m on my way to Manchester as expected, but under very different circumstances due to a sudden family tragedy that’s happened to a friend and colleague from Community Rail Network. Dawn and I were planning to go into Huddersfield where I’d catch the train and Dee would spend a day at the office. Now we’re both going into Manchester from home because Dawn’s providing cover as she was involved in running the awards for many years. I’ve gone on ahead to do some bits first, with Dawn following on behind.

It’s a beautiful day for travelling anyway. There’s clear blue skies across the valley and the mercury’s rising. I’m on the 09:44 from Halifax which is busy but with seats available which has allowed me to set up the laptop and begin blogging. Feel free to pop back and see what I get up to as the day goes…

Manchester bound…

10:30.

Rather than hang around in the Stygian gloom of Victoria I decided to change trains at Rochdale to grab pictures in the sun. My time was brief and services piled up on me, but I managed a couple before joining a pair of class 150s sat in the ‘new’ bay waiting to leave with a service to Clitheroe. It’s an all-stations stopper which has filled up rapidly.

On arrival at Victoria I noticed this bell symbol which I’ve never seen on a Northern unit before.

13:45.

We’re at Manchester Central, food-tasting. It’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it…

18:10.

Our meetings over the awards ended up taking most of the day, but that was no bad thing as we were really thorough and went through all the event with the ‘tech’ team and I got to see the awards hall and plan the photography.

My plans for getting some pictures went out of the window but that was fine. Instead we headed to Victoria to get a train home. That’s when the farce began. The 17:22 was running late due to a fault on the train but was due to arrive on the same platform (6) as the 17:37 so we joined the crowds packing the area.

At the last minute it was announced the 17:22 would leave from platform 5, so we took the chance and trotted over the footbridge to wait. The pair of 2-car 195s arrived and we joined the rear unit. Bad move No2. As we sat we saw the 17:37 pull in next to us. The conductor then announced we’d be running fast to Hebden Bridge due to our lateness. Result! We thought…A minute later he annouced the rear set was being split off so we’d have to join the front train. Deep joy! Whilst this farce played out the 17:37 left ahead of us, meaning we’d be stuck running at reduced speed behind it despite running ‘fast’. So, now we’re stood on a packed 2-car with many people who’re missing their stations as they were unaware of the change.

21:30.

Well, we made it home, albeit later than anticipated. To be honest it’s been a good day, despite the unfortunate circumstances. We’re all really happy the the awards venue, the logistics of the event and the food. Oh, and the wine – which we forced ourselves to sample – purely to ensure we wouldn’t expect guests to drink something that wasn’t up to scratch! Roll on the awards on the 4th October….

I’ve a small favour to ask…
If you enjoy reading this or any of the other blogs I’ve written, please click on an advert or two. You don’t have to buy anything you don’t want to of course – although if you did find something that tickled your fancy that would be fab! – but the revenue from them helps me to cover some of the cost of maintaining this site (which isn’t cheap and comes out of my own pocket). Remember, 99% of the pictures used in my blogs can be purchased as prints from my other website –  https://paulbigland.zenfolio.com/

Or – you can now buy me a coffee! https://ko-fi.com/paulbigland68312

Thank you!