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    Northamptonshire/Rutland/Bedfordshire

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  1. Is that the process where instead of using an off-the-shelf proven system successfully deployed in other countries, we allegedly spend several million quid on something produced by the brother-in-law of the Government’s most senior advisor?
  2. And then that “development”* that its listed status had prevented can go ahead. * Starting with demolition.
  3. Is that some Sussex phrase for a sexual practice?
  4. Then you get the real oddities: Northampton is derived from north and hamtune, meaning home farmstead, later Hampton by common usage. Hence the shire is Northamptonshire. Southampton is derived from south and originally hamwic, which became Hampton (not hamtune), where the hamm means “land surrounded/enclosed by water”. Here, the county name comes to be Hampshire, not Southamptonshire. Despite not being formally listed as one of the five Danish burghs, Northampton and most of the county (I.e. north and east of Watling Street) was within the Danelaw. Northamptonshire is the only East Midlands county with a “soft a” (barth rather than bath) and the River Welland, which forms the county boundary between Northamptonshire and Leicestershire and a bit of Lincolnshire is the isogloss for the north/side divide. But Watling Street is also the boundary for the east/west isogloss to the extent that if you speak to old boys in places like Pattishall/Fosters Booth, there is a marked difference in their accent depending on which side of the A5 they grew up on. West is very “oo-ah”. (As indeed was Berkshire until recent times.) You also get a mixture of Danish and Saxon place name elements either side of the A5, indicating that no matter what the Treaty of Wedmore said about the boundary being Watling Street, the border was a bit porous, so you can see, for example, Abthorpe to the west of Towcester (fort on the Tove: saxonised Latin) but Gayton just to the east. People tend to ignore governments when it comes to day to day living!
  5. Chalk, so that you can rub it out?
  6. The thing about place names in England is that due to the different linguistic influences consequent on lots of different invaders during the first century (and a bit) CE, they tend to be extremely localised and due to the somewhat fluid nature of spelling, largely phonetic but unfortunately without any agreement on the phonemes, plus corruption over time, what you start with and end with can appear to be very separate things. Brythonic into Latin, into Anglian and Saxon (not the same, some places got both!) via some Norse (especially Northern and Eastern parts), plus an overlay of Norman French... it’s amazing the English language isn’t even more fouled up than it is! And that’s before we get to place names! If you grow up in an area, the place names are normal to you, but move just a few miles away, and they can seem very weird.
  7. Given that you do need a loco to shunt the wagons, and your preference for building wagons, the above strikes me as just about the sanest piece of thinking I have seen on line in many years! And those spectacle plates look good.
  8. The big deal is down to two factors: He was behind the creation of the rules (and the ill-preparedness which preceded them); and No one other than Boris likes him. Actually, he admitted to driving that distance after realising he probably had Covid-19, when this is one black and white issue: if you think you have a contagious disease, you need to isolate immediately. He also admitted to driving some distance to check his vision, as he wasn’t sure it was working properly. That’s illegal: if you suspect you are unfit to drive, you don’t. Let me put it another way. If thousands of people came round to your house and kicked the place down, would you dismiss that as ok because there were thousands of them flaunting the rules?
  9. Pratt is, I was once told, an old word for buttock, so Pratt’s Bottom is potentially rather tautologous.
  10. That’s fabric, not paper, grade Tufnol, force-fitted in a Myford.
  11. As the prototype’s were wooden, and the loco used in places where knocks and scrapes were common, I wouldn’t worry about it, but would present it as the carefully modelled result of a rough shunt...
  12. The North Staffordshire Railway had running powers into Derby over the Midland.
  13. Much prefer Diana Rigg (who wouldn’t!) in “Briefer Encounter”, as part of an episode of “Three Piece Suite”, made when the BBC produced high quality programmes rather than filling the airwaves with dire coverage of non-news. (Covid19 is news, but doesn’t need an extra 90 minutes a day to inform us that no one really knows. Standard news slot could do that.)
  14. A technique commonly used in Split-frame Scale: Crossbeam from PCB:
  15. Many years ago, when but a teenager, a friend had a “round the walls” layout in his bedroom, with a removable section over the doorway. This simply dropped onto ledges and was held in place with simple plates either side of the drop section. But it meant the door had to be shut to use the layout. So he changed the layout yo have a return loop cutting across the room. This was removable and was simply a thick plank cut to a suitable width for a single track. He cut some basic girder shapes out of card, added basic detail such as strengthening ribs and a wrapper around the edges, and painted them a dark grey, then stuck them onto the sides of the planks. Although lacking in fine detail and having no supports, this was a very effective solution.
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