Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Margaret Thatcher in Grantham

 The museum in Grantham is excellent – well laid out, uncluttered, interesting and legible.

This is the portrait of Baroness Thatcher painted by Lorna May Wadsworth. 

Lady Thatcher said to the artist, "It's very fierce." 

Wadsworth responded with, "Sometimes, Lady Thatcher, we women have to be fierce to get our own way."

"Very true," Thatcher said.

As a student Margaret Thatcher graduated in chemistry and applied for a job with the giant chemical company, ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries). The appointment board's assessment in rejecting her application was, 
"...this woman is headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated..."

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Train vandalism in miniature

Some railway modellers are imaginative in their search for realism in miniature. This train, seen recently at the Canterbury Model Railway Exhibition, had suffered graffiti spraying down its side.

Elsewhere on the same layout, this car was being impounded. Perhaps the driver should have used one of the hire bikes you can see in the racks.

This representation of a diesel motive power depot was throbbing with realism as all the locomotives were generating the correct engine noises. The miniaturisation of electronics has been welcomed amongst the modelling community, allowing lighting and sound effects hitherto unrealisable.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Another bargain from M&S Food.

Coming back down the A1 we popped into the services at Baldock to possibly grab a sandwich at the Marks & Spencer food store.

And I was sorely tempted by this bargain offer: 

'3 for £8 or £2.60 each'

Read it carefully and work out the maths for yourself. You could save yourself some money!

Monday, 22 January 2018

Progress on the Great North Road-A14 junction.

I do not know if there has been any progress since last I travelled up the Great North Road, or A1 as it has been called since the 1930s.

The junction linking the A14 Cambridge road to the A1 is being re-planned on a grand scale.

There is a lot of infrastructure dotted about the landscape.

I hope it all joins up when they have finished.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Sunset in Lincoln

I had never been to Lincoln until a few days ago.
Unfortunately my work did not permit me the time to explore as I would have liked.

I did, however, see the sun setting on the cathedral as viewed from the bottom of this steep hill.

And the name of the street is: Steep Hill.

How imaginative!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Passport Portraits of Yesteryear no. 32

Continuing the series of passport portraits in my collection.
Peruse and wonder.
Hortense Marie Stulz, a sixteen year old girl born in Toulon, France; the description in her Swiss passport  reveals that she has brown eyes and her height is marked as 'tall' to which somebody has added, '1metre64' in pencil.

She lives at 40, rue du Marché, Geneva and has been issued this passport to enable her to visit her father who lives in Toulon, France.

Throughout the rest of the Great War she regularly visits him, travelling by train via the frontier station at Bellegarde. By 1919, he has moved to 5 rue Diderot in Nice and she is obliged to travel through Vengtimiglia, Italy, to reach him.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Google kills famous author.

Result of search on Google under 'Martin Lloyd'.
What can I say? The usual denial, I suppose. 
'Reports of my death have been exaggerated.'

National Museum of Scotland.

Unfortunately we did not have much time in hand because of cancelled tram routes, recalcitrant taxi drivers and kilt hire guaranteeing but we did manage to slip in to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh for an hour.

This is a museum not to be missed. 

Apart from the stunning architecture of the building, the exhibits and displays were fascinating.

The history of telecommunications had me absorbed for some time. I would need a week to do the museum justice and the entrance is FREE.

The usual gripe, however, has to be made to the curators. Why do the printed explanations have to be in such small type, so far away and so dimly lit? It is possible now to cold light a notice in an exhibition case without affecting the temperature of the contents. 
Please sort it out.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Edinburgh passport.

 Whilst in Edinburgh I was called in to stand guarantor for a friend who was hiring a kilt but had no UK address. All I needed to do was to provide a utility bill and a 'means of identity, such as a passport' they said.

Well, that was too much of an invitation for me.

To the consternation of the shopkeeper I pulled out one from my collection: a passport issued by the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh to a Scotsman and his nephew allowing them to go to Paris via Calais, Boulogne or other port in 1851.

Until 1914 it was possible to obtain a passport from the Lord Provost who had the authority to issue such documents in his capacity as 'Admiral of the Frith of Forth.' 

And no, that is not a typo. Read the passport carefully. It was oft-times called the Frith of Forth.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Edinburgh taxis want you to walk.

Arriving at Edinburgh Waverley Station on the evening of 30 December, we pushed our way through the thronging crowds on the pavement in the blustering wind and rain, and lugged our suitcases towards the taxi rank. 

What taxi rank? 

With 23m passengers per year passing through the station you would have thought they could have provided a taxi rank. The doorman at a nearby hotel suggested that we walk the hundred or so yards to Waverley Bridge and we would find taxis there.

We did eventually find a taxi there. The driver, on hearing our destination said, 'You can walk that. Just go back up there, turn right at the top then turn left, walk up through the square and turn right at the end and the hotel is along there on the left.'
He was right. We could walk it. Just as we could have walked the 450 miles to Edinburgh had we wanted, but we had not. We wanted a taxi but he would not provide it so we carried our baggage in the pouring rain and wind for the ten minute walk to our hotel.

Welcome to Edinburgh.

On the following evening we tried to buck the system by telephoning for a taxi to pick us up from the hotel. The taxi telephonist, upon hearing the destination, said, 'That's only about two miles. You can walk that.'

Is there some anomaly in the Scots mind which confuses ability with desire? 

And what do taxi drivers live on?