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Today’s been another one where I’ve been tied to the office as I’ve continued to make inroads into scanning my old slide library in order to get them onto my Zenfolio website. Mind you, it does free up an awful lot of physical space too – and now they can be seen by anyone and I can access them anywhere!

Yesterday I added another batch of old rail pictures from 1990. This morning I was up at Sparrowfart to start scanning more travel pictures from Brazil, this time from the Island of Fernando de Noronha which I was lucky enough to visit in 2002. I have to say it’s been one of my favourite Islands. It’s pretty unique and (at least in those day) unspoilt. It’s now a world Heritage and conservation site and the main reasons to go there are to enjoy the wild coastlines, beautiful beaches and the flora and fauna. I must admit, scanning these pictures is really giving me itchy feet! Anyway, here’s a link to the gallery. I’ve still plenty more pictures to add and I’ll alternate them with the railway shots.

Here’s a selection of both as a sample.

In 1990 this scene was nothing out of the ordinary. Now… On the 12th May 1990 one of the two shunting engines that acted as Euston station pilots trundles around the entrance to platforms 15-18. These were used to shunt mail trains – one of which can be seen through the arch, stabled in the Downside Carriage shed. These engines would also be used to swap coaches in/out of rakes used on the main-line expresses in the days before we had fixed formation trains like the Pendolinos, although most of the day they sat idle. Now, this whole area is being swept aside to build the new HS2 station. The pilots are long-gone as mail trains disappeared from Euston back in the late 1990s. The carriage shed was demolished last year and the site is where the new HS2 lines will emerge from the tunnel from Old Oak Common to enter the new HS2 station which will be built here and to the left of the picture.

This is the stunning island of Fernando de Noronha off the North-East Coast of Brazil. It’s a fascinating plce with a rich history, beautiful beaches and abundant wildlife. This is a view of Moro do Pico, at 323 metres tall it’s the highest point of the island.

Whilst scanning archive pictures I’ve also been keeping abreast of various news. Originally I thought I might need to take a trip down to London today to visit the latest national StopHs2 protest, but as I predicted the other day – it’s turned into a damp squib that wasn’t worth bothering with. If it had happened it would have been the first national StopHs2 demonstration since 2004. As it is, the Stop Hs2 website lowered expectations yesterday when they published this excuse.

“On Wednesday, Elizabeth Cairns and Matt Bishop invite you to join them in Parliament. This event will NOT be happening in Portcullis House, no matter what Facebook says, and there is no rally in outside Parliament either. Stop HS2 will also be launching our latest briefing for MPs that day, but that is a separate thing, so sorry for any confusion as the two things got a bit mixed up!”

Really? So what WILL be happening? Not a lot it seems. This is a classic example of someone writing cheques they can’t cash. I don’t think Ms Cairns actually understood what this entailed. Hence this…

I’m asking people to come as individuals, to use your democratic right to visit parliament, lobby your MP and make your voice heard. I will be there with my family from 11am and plan to stay in the public spaces (st Stephens hall) peacefully as long as I am able to be there and welcome anyone who wishes to join me.

OK, so no-one’s actually made an appointment to see their MP then? By the way, here’s today’s Order paper. Somehow, I think many MPs may have better tings to do…

Later, this video appeared on Facebook. Apparently, all of 6 MPs were lobbied and that was a ‘success’. Excuse me if I’m underwhelmed! Meanwhile, back in the wider world, Grant Shapps, the Transport Minister has yet again confirmed that an announcement on Hs2 will be made next month.

Daft anti HS2 stuff aside I was saddened to hear that today, yet another of the Monty Python team has passed away. We lost Neil Innes at the end of last year. Today, Terry Jones joined the choir invisible after battling a rare form of dementia since 2017. There’s so much that I could write about this subject, but this isn’t the blog to do it in. Suffice to say I feel so much for Terry’s family. It’s an awful thing to happen. Dementia and mental illness rob you of the person you loved. It takes their essence and leaves a husk. Personally (having experienced lost a for few loved ones in my time) I think it’s one of the worst things to have to cope with. My heart goes out to them, but I’m also grateful that Terry (and Neil) have left us all with so many happy memories – and a huge amount of laughs!