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  1. I was thinking of Doncaster to Hartlepool, but if the cap fits...
  2. Sounds like the sort of thing best left to those who know about them! What track do they run on? Coarse Scale O / tinplate?
  3. It’s funny how things come round in groups on eBay. Right now, there seem to be a number of O Gauge, BL live steam 2-6-0 passing through. I’ve never heard of these before, anyone care to offer any information or comments? Are they any good? Are they common? What track do they run on?
  4. On the subject of the nature of content and emphasis on the BBC and elsewhere, my good wife spends a considerable amount of time watching the torrent of repeated “classic” soap operas which fill the airwaves. The difference between the mid-80s and later 90s is immediately evident, to the most disinterested observer (and anyone less interested in them than me, is probably dead.. )
  5. Robert Silverberg wrote a short story version of WotW in the style of Henry James, featuring that author (rather than Wells) as the narrator; one if the better pastiches around.
  6. I did enjoy the tv adaptation of Sword of Honour, though (although much of the subplots were lost - where was the smoothly treacherous Sir Ralph Brompton, the cynical self-seeking careerism of Ian Kilbannock, the utopian folly of Joe Cattermole, and much else?). Daniel Craig was rather good as Guy Crouchback, Ritchie-Hook suitably ghastly, Ludovic was well realised.. definitely a success.
  7. I’ve seen some of it on iplayer now and for me, it falls at all possible hurdles other than the quite spectacular (at times) CGI. That said, it’s not unrelated to a good deal of Wells’ later work in certain respects. Wells himself wrote a good deal of speculative social fiction, “Ann Veronica” comes to mind. Most of this is long out of print, for good reason; it’s pretty much unreadable. Much of his prediction is wildly wrong, or descends into self-absorbed, self-righteous Utopianism. The BBC would have embraced him with enthusiasm. There’s good and sufficient reason that his modern reputation stands largely upon a limited number of his early books.
  8. You need to remember that Wells formed his thinking in an age before the Bolshevik Revolution, when Fabians could still believe in the coming technocratic state. The Soviets ran rings around him for their own purposes, as they did George Bernard Shaw, Nansen and other figures of the time.
  9. Another thing which bears mention, a propos Pacers (and rural rail services generally) is the relationship between the supposed, and actual destination. Buses, in the generality, deliver the traveller to some recognisable approximation of their intended destination. However it’s a joke dating from the earliest days of rural rail services, that they mostly don’t. There is a common literary device, in which the traveller is met by an aged retainer, or other bucolic grotesque in some absurd or inappropriate vehicle (anything from an aged Rolls-Royce to a hay-wain, or perhaps it is market-day and the cart has a full complement of rustic revellers already) and thereby proceeds through the gathering dusk for an indeterminate period, three or four miles being a considerable journey by such means. Or perhaps, as in “Scoop” the hapless townsman attempts an ill-advised journey on foot, with predictable results. This is still the case; I couldn’t help but be struck, during my recent Lincolnshire interlude, with the generally abandoned appearance of such places. There is another, more modern variant, in which the journey starts or ends in some windswept, formerly grandiose station, now largely comprising dirty ballast, boarded or unlit windows, windblown litter and pigeon droppings, often under a capacious roof thick with encrusted soot. The traveller is joined by a variable company of shouty, ill-mannered teenagers, strident single mothers with overloaded pushchairs, a few servicemen travelling on warrants and the occasional pensioner. The journey terminates, eventually, at a station much like the departure point, leaving the traveller to negotiate his onward journey by villainous-looking minicab.
  10. That’s an interesting turn of phrase; “bus” in the American and Canadian sense, tends to be more along the lines of “motor coach” in the U.K. I rather think that the defining characteristic, in the British sense, is “how much change do you get from three quid?” when assessing the journey.
  11. The Pacer was and is, a bus body in the British sense; a simple “box on wheels” designed for short-haul use in a temperate climate, which stops and opens its doors every few hundred yards. It’s totally unsuited to the Canadian distances and climate in pretty much, any aspect you might care to name.
  12. Judging by the pictures and accounts of abandoned locos that appear from time to time, the usual method is to tip it off the track and leave it there...
  13. Meanwhile.... BBC 4’s three-parter covering the events of 1641/2, the tumultuous seven weeks in which Charles 1 lost control of the country and left Parliament, or more correctly a faction within Parliament, effectively in control of the capital and heading a course for civil war, was absolutely engrossing. Probably why it was shown in three consecutive episodes at 10pm on a Sunday evening...
  14. That animation is quite instructive, although I do note that - (1) there ARE short circuits, but they can be ignored in DC (although not in DCC) (2) like most references to live frog points, it seems to require modification to the structure of the unit as supplied (cutting the Factory Bonding Wires) (3) they may require further modification if found to be troublesome
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