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Only I wish I wasn’t starting it this damned early! I’m already half way through my first cup of coffee as I prepare to head off to Chesterfield for the day. Still, it’s not all bad, when I opened the living room curtains this morning I could see that the garden and road outside are dry (which makes a pleasant change) so the walk to the station should be enjoyable and I don’t have to swathe myself in waterproofs. I’ll be blogging as and when throughout the day as it unfolds, so feel free to keep popping back to see what I get up to…


My walk to the station was rather ghostly this morning as Halifax was deserted. I hardly saw another living soul until I arrived at the town centre. Even the dog-walkers seemed to be having a lie-in today. This changed on arrival at the station where a few dozen folk were waiting for simultaneous departures East and West. I boarded the 06:17 to Hull via Leeds worked by a 3-car Class 158 which had plenty of space available and didn’t fill up until we reached Bradford.

Where is everybody?


My trip from Leeds to Chesterfield was uneventful. The Cross-Country Voyager I caught had plenty of spare seats so I had chance to do some work on the train. On a whim I decided to chane at Sheffield and catch the Northern service that was running behind us for the last leg. This turned out to be a 2-car Class 195 and it was rammed! Plenty of people disembarked at Sheffield but dozens joined it, making it rather cozy…

Right, i’m off to find a taxi – more later…


Apologies for the long absence but it’s been a hectic day. The client had arranged for me to visit several of their construction projects. What I hadn’t realised was these were spread all over the Midlands! So I ended up spending the day being driven around to visit and photograph a diverse range of construction projects at Alfreton, Tipton, Stoke and a couple more back at Chesterfield. I’ll write about this in detail later when I’m on the train back to Leeds. Right now I’m wating for my connection in Sheffield so decided to get out of the cold and wet in the excellent Sheffield Tap on the station.


So much for my cunning plan to blog at length from the train. I’d been waiting for Cross-Country’s 18:21 to Edinburgh to get me to Leeds. Not that I was the only one as dozens of folk lined the platform. Handily, my train was diagrammed to use 1B – right outside the pub! There was just one problem. We were treated to a single 4-car Voyager. It’s like the old days inside. I’m perched on the luggage rack as most seats are occupied and I can’t get near a power socket to plug-in my laptop.

Still, I have to laugh as I’ve just seen a couple of HS2 antis arguing on Twitter that we don’t need HS2 as only the rich use trains! You know that anyone trotting out that nonsense has probably never travelled on the railways at all.

We’re all rich, apparently…


I’m back in the warm at home and looking forward to catching up on sleep after such an early start. It’s been a fascinating day that’s allowed me to see so many different things. The inside of a recycling centre near Alfreton (that was a bit ‘ripe’ – even in this weather). A galvanizing factory in Tipton (that was different), a couple of brand new offices and industrial units, a huge business near Stoke employing 280 staff manufacturing meals for M&S that bans anyone bringing in any glass or nuts and finally, the new extension to a huge garden centre – all of which gave me the opportunity to indulge my interest in architecture. Oh, the routes we took also allowed me to view a lot of HS2 construction work around the West Midlands and Birmingham – which is really coming on. Finally, we had a scenic drive back across country through Leek, the Peak District and Bakewell to Chesterfield. So, all in all not a bad day at all – especially as I was being paid to enjoy all this!

Now all I’ve got to do is sort out the pictures – but that’s going to have to wait. Tomorrow I’ve got some serious scribbling to do…

I’ve a favour to ask…
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Thank you!