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    Neilston and occasionally Oxford

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  1. Steve Hackett is still touring (except just now of course !), keeping the Genesis flame well and truly alight. Saw him in Edinburgh last November, on his Selling England/Spectral Mornings tour; I never expected to see the Battle of Epping Forest live, among others, what a treat ! It didn't hurt that his bassist was Jonas Reingold, of Flower Kings and Karmakanic fame, either.
  2. Before I retired my commute was also around 10 miles. Around 25 years ago, before my local line got a Sunday service, I did try cycling, in to work for Sunday night shift, and home from work off Saturday night shift. This was during the summer, in good weather and daylight, and even then I did not repeat the experience very often ! I love cycling, but it is one thing doing it in ideal conditions, but very different, not to mention dangerous, on a dark, windy and wet winter night. While getting people out of their cars and onto bikes is a laudable objective it is for many, if not most commuters, simply unrealistic. (I did use the train for commuting whenever possible, greatly encouraged of course by having free travel, but two years before I retired my work location moved, only a couple of miles but enough to make the train impossible for the early shift and grossly inconvenient for the night shift, resulting in me having to lease another car !)
  3. I've really enjoyed the programmes Tim, have certainly learnt some new things, and personally I enjoy the presenter's obvious enthusiasm - A little ray of light in these dark days !
  4. I'm slightly surprised no-one has mentioned the brilliant English band Big Big Train, who (apart from their name !) have multiple rail references on their 2013 double album English Electric Full Power; Songs entitled The Permanent Way and East Coast Racer, and photos of Eastleigh Works, Leicester shed (referenced in the song Summoned by Bells), a PW gang at work and 4498 Mallard (which is what East Coast Racer is about). And their (ex)-guitarist Dave Gregory was of course a member of XTC, the documentary about who heavily featured Pendon.
  5. Regarding flying, my first ever flight was around 1983, Cork-Heathrow; we had intended to travel overnight back from Ireland via train to Rosslare, ferry to Fishguard, train to Reading, a journey of many hours, but Irish fishermen were blockading the ports. So we had to fly home instead, which was very expensive, but quick; The journey time was.........an hour !
  6. Hope his eyes weren't like that when he drove to Barnard Castle to test them !
  7. School dinners put me off sago and tapioca for life ! And while the jam roly-poly was OK, my portion had a wasp (alive) stuck in it one day.....
  8. Regarding furniture then and now, all I can say is........thank goodness we have Ikea now !
  9. Absolutely, I've driven the M40 at 70 in the left hand lane, been overtaken constantly by traffic in the middle lane, while they are also being overtaken by traffic in the right hand lane, as if we were standing still ! And I would have to question why cars capable, somehow, of reaching quite ludicrous speeds are allowed to be made and sold in the first place.
  10. My local Sainsburys has pretty good arrangements in place; Queueing system outside with lines every 2m painted on the pavement Staff cleaning the handles of trolleys before passing them (at a distance !) to customers More staff at the entrance restricting access to ensure the store is not crowded Separate entrance and exit doors Every other staff checkout placed out of use Card-only at staffed checkouts Plastic screens between checkout operator and customer The one annoying thing is being unable to consistently keep 2m apart in the aisles, partly because these are frequently obstructed by staff, either restocking shelves or picking orders for on line deliveries. But these things have to be done.
  11. Just to add to the confusion, Stratford Low Level is now the terminus of the Jubilee Line and a through station on the DLR, Stratford High Street is a separate station on the DLR only. Plus of course there are still the earlier DLR terminus platforms at Stratford High Level !
  12. My nearest big supermarket is card-only at staffed checkouts, but still takes cash at the machines. Even if having to insert the card and input a PIN, that is still less physical contact than exchanging coins and notes ? Personally I prefer using cash where possible but have been using my card for everything since lockdown, no matter how small the transaction, with the result that I have not needed to use a cashpont since March ! Sadly, even if model shops do re-open soon, I use public transport to reach them, which at the moment is strictly verboten, with no end to this particular diktat in sight.
  13. When I started on BR in 1978 Stratford Low Level was open, but only for the Tottenham Hale/North Woolwich DMU service. From May 1979 a DMU service operated between Camden Road and North Woolwich, and as Nearholmer says the North London trains were diverted to North Woolwich after electrification in May 1985 leaving a residual service to Broad Street, which duly closed in June 1986.
  14. Good point; Before the pandemic I booked First Class tickets for my Mum (89 and not therefore a commuter or business person !) from Oxford to Birmingham New St and return. One way was a cheap Advance Single, the other was, due to the time of day, an Anytime Single at twice the price.
  15. Similarly with trains; I would not hesitate, if it was allowed, to get the train from Neilston into Glasgow. I have the luxury of being able to travel off-peak, when all trains are, or rather were, booked to be 4-car Class 380 sets, and even before the pandemic I would never have anyone sat next to me.
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