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View Full Version : 24-hour London tube - why is it all so predictable?


LookingForAJob
21st Nov 2013, 17:10
BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-25025888)

So Boris has announced the plan for the tube to run overnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Seems like a good idea to me - I've had a good few nights in London cut short because of the need to catch the last train sometime before midnight. No doubt there are a good few practical issues to deal with but I doubt that any are insurmountable.

The other big announcement is that all ticket offices will close. No big deal to the vast majority - and for the few who may need some assistance, there are ways it can be provided. I haven't used a ticket office for years - getting a ticket out of a machine is so much easier, quicker. Life moves on and machines do the job much better and more efficiently than a ticket office (especially one where half the windows are closed).

And the Underground says no compulsory job losses. Maybe even good news for ticket office staff if other, more interesting jobs open up.

But then out come the unions. Savage cuts! Safety under threat! Strikes before Xmas! Before the plans have even had time to go public. More trains running for more hours presumably means more train crews needed. So you'd think that the train driver's union would be happy, but no. In fairness they represent many station staff too but surely this is an opportunity to work to get their members wider skills (and so make them more valuable to the organisation and more marketable elsewhere).

It all seems crazy to me.

I think I'm turning into a grumpy old man!

Straighten Up
21st Nov 2013, 17:59
Unfortunately the LU and in turn Londoners are all too often held to ransom by Bob Crow and his cronies. Much like the Royal Mail unions they are determined to destroy what could be a great and efficient company by refusing to modernise and ironically risking becoming obsolete by doing so.

OFSO
21st Nov 2013, 18:31
When I were a young lad living in London several thousand years ago, we all knew and accepted that going to a party meant having to make a decision around 10 p.m.: go home before the last underground train, or stay the night until the first one next morning. I remember only too well that this led to some very interesting and rewarding situations.

And also being kicked out at 3 a.m. and walking ten miles home.

I'm surprised nothing has changed in the last 50 years. What time is the 'last underground train' these days ?

Krystal n chips
21st Nov 2013, 18:51
I've had a good few nights in London cut short because of the need to catch the last train sometime before midnight. No doubt there are a good few practical issues to deal with but I doubt that any are insurmountable.



The other big announcement is that all ticket offices will close. No big deal to the vast majority - and for the few who may need some assistance, there are ways it can be provided. I haven't used a ticket office for years - getting a ticket out of a machine is so much easier, quicker. Life moves on and machines do the job much better and more efficiently than a ticket office (especially one where half the windows are closed).

I will say at the onset, I don't live in London, I've got more sense, and I try and avoid visiting or travelling to and through the dump as much as possible. However, sometimes this cannot be avoided.

Lets see then. Your evening is cut short....aww....why not, if the evening is so essential to your enjoyment, simply book a room for the night somewhere and thus you have no restrictions.

A few practical issues..... one little word here....maintenance....track and rolling stock. Now I don't know the periodicy of either, but, when you introduce a 24 hrs service, over 2 days, then clearly the frequency available is reduced. And a reduction in maintenance can lead to ??.

Ticket machines...wonderful devices, apart from, and you are equally dismissive here, the few who may need them. Having seen the aggression in the queues for the machines, and the length at times, I've used...a ticket office.

Then there's a whole generation for whom the machines are confusing, visitors to the UK, people with varying levels of impairments...I am fortunate to not have any, but, I can more than understand how difficult it must be for those who are impaired in some way. And a ticket office also offers a human being and a face to communicate with...a machine does not and as I say, for a generation of travellers, this can make all the difference.

And, as the BBC's correspondent says in his column, do you think the unions are going to allow staff to be exposed to all the dangers prevalent in the early hours posed by passengers and under the influence of probably both drink and drugs ?....would you fancy being there as station staff ?

Still, as long as you can spend the night in London, enjoying yourself, and you will certainly not be alone here, why worry about anybody who has to provide the service you want.

racedo
21st Nov 2013, 19:18
Mate has had dealings with Bob and said he is actually a reasonable guy who sits and listens and goes through each scenario with the company reps. Bob apparently asks loads of questions and wants to know the minute detail because he knows its important and he will be quized on it.

Bob claims ultimately says that its not about convincing him, its about convincing all of his members that it is in their interests to go with something. Ultimately he will be very clear that he is there to represent his members interests.

Personally have little time for Bob but he doing what he elected for.

vulcanised
21st Nov 2013, 20:51
It seems that SU and I have had similar thoughts.

On hearing this I began wondering which of the unions were the worst in terms of luddites and concluded it was too close to call between the rail and the mail,

SpringHeeledJack
21st Nov 2013, 22:21
Personally have little time for Bob but he doing what he elected for.

That's it in a nutshell, he's there for his members(making sure his nest is well feathered, of course) and not for the people that finance the underground (govt) or the customers who pay a second time by using the services. LT do need to update their schedules to reflect the changing dynamic of the city at night and with 2014 almost upon us it's time to mimic subway systems the world over, but as has been mentioned there will need to be enough time to implement safety inspections and maintenance.

There might well be Nimbyism if the 24hr service operates on the overground sections of the underground, which ironically make up 58% of the network, as a lot of homes are beside or near the tracks.



SHJ

jabird
21st Nov 2013, 22:25
More trains running for more hours presumably means more train crews needed.

Who says anything about these trains being crewed?

ExRAFRadar
21st Nov 2013, 22:31
`travelling to and through the dump as much as possible

Fighting words mate.

Just what web footed, Morris dancing, cousin sh*gging, flat cap wearing, No ethnics round here thank you, roses round the cottage door, latent homosexual feelings, staid, boring, insular little Englander county do you 'Hail from'

Let me guess the scene, walk the Labrador on a Sunday morning, cane in hand, tip hat to the Vicar, past the nice old lady at number 80 who makes Jam, into the local public house that sits by the cool, clear bubbling brook (The White Swan, but all the locals call it 'The Mucky Duck'),

A pint of real 'Ale' that looks like tepid water from a rusty tap, no Lager in here thank you, with the retired Major.

Sunday lunch in the garden perhaps, with the sound of birds and the gentle whistling of the wind through the trees. A solitary Spitfire does a lazy barrel roll over...

Ah well you get it.

Right I'm off to mug an immigrant because they took my flat and my job. Then I have to go plan the next big riot.

But not before I think about stereotyping an entire British county from the words of a person who would describe the Capital City of these fair Islands, with it's 8 million people full of excitement, pain, longing, ambition, dreams, hopes, fears, happiness, loneliness, and it's Museums, Galleries, historical buildings, Mother of all Parliaments, amazing skyline, fantastic parks, kindness of strangers, random encounters, chance to get mugged, chance to fall in love, vibrant, strange, claustrophobic, friendly, helpful, hateful, never boring (Deep Breath) as a 'Dump'

Windy Militant
21st Nov 2013, 23:04
But not before I think about stereotyping an entire British county from the words of a person who would describe the Capital City of these fair Islands, with it's 8 million people full of excitement, pain, longing, ambition, dreams, hopes, fears, happiness, loneliness, and it's Museums, Galleries, historical buildings, Mother of all Parliaments, amazing skyline, fantastic parks, kindness of strangers, random encounters, chance to get mugged, chance to fall in love, vibrant, strange, claustrophobic, friendly, helpful, hateful, never boring (Deep Breath) as a 'Dump'
You forgot smelly!:p

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Nov 2013, 23:23
Ticket machines...wonderful devices, apart from, and you are equally dismissive here, the few who may need them. Having seen the aggression in the queues for the machines, and the length at times, I've used...a ticket office.

Then there's a whole generation for whom the machines are confusing, visitors to the UK
It can't be that difficult, it works in Tokyo - zero queue for the machines, and if you want it in English just press the "English" button.

Gertrude the Wombat
21st Nov 2013, 23:24
But not before I think about stereotyping an entire British county from the words of a person who would describe the Capital City of these fair Islands, with it's 8 million people full of excitement, pain, longing, ambition, dreams, hopes, fears, happiness, loneliness, and it's Museums, Galleries, historical buildings, Mother of all Parliaments, amazing skyline, fantastic parks, kindness of strangers, random encounters, chance to get mugged, chance to fall in love, vibrant, strange, claustrophobic, friendly, helpful, hateful, never boring (Deep Breath) as a 'Dump'
Sounds about right to me. One could hardly claim that London was civilised, after all.

I go there when I'm paid to do so, and leave as soon as they stop paying me, and try to keep it to less than once a year.

Seldomfitforpurpose
21st Nov 2013, 23:27
It can't be that difficult, it works in Tokyo - zero queue for the machines, and if you want it in English just press the "English" button.

It works all around the world but 'Bob' wouldn't get that :ok:

Nervous SLF
22nd Nov 2013, 00:31
Would any of who think that working nights on the Underground is a great idea actually do that shift? I have found in the distant
past that there are "interesting" passengers with "interesting habits" around at night and I confess the thought of being on a train
at 2a.m. 3a.m. or even later fills me with horror.

meadowrun
22nd Nov 2013, 00:43
But probably still closed on Christmas and Boxing days as is most everything else related to ground transportation in the UK.

spekesoftly
22nd Nov 2013, 00:44
What time is the 'last underground train' these days ? Generally between 12:00am - 12:30am.

tartare
22nd Nov 2013, 00:57
Ahhh - the Tube.
Tired of London - tired of life?
My arse.
Great place - but far too much destructive moaning, and mourning for past glories.
Ruperts and Sarahs whose arrogance was just breath-taking.
Bloody good bookshops, museums - and an experience to be had looking at the faded remains of what once was.
But five years was enough, and no way that my kids were being brought up in a society that stratified.
Loving the Kookaburras, red sunsets and inspiringly optimistic Aussie mates...

Straighten Up
22nd Nov 2013, 01:09
Well put ExRAFRadar. Typical of someone who knows very little about a place to pull out a few stereotypes and dismiss all that is great about it.

I've spent the last 5 months travelling through USA and South America (currently in Buenos Aires) and have been lucky enough to visit some fantastic cities and towns, small and large.

Overall I still can't wait to get back home to beautiful, glorious, friendly, well connected, well stocked, get-anything-anytime (including the tube soon!) warts'n'all London.

That being said Tartare has a point. It's great in your 20s and early 30s but I probably wouldn't bring up kids in the centre. Doesn't make it a dump - just a big city.

tartare
22nd Nov 2013, 01:17
Agree Straighten.
Has to be done - and one appreciates slate roofs, Radio 4, musn't grumble, green wellies and people who say `thank you very much' as a result.
But a lot of coin would need to be earned there to bring up Sebastian and Sarah Tartare in the way they are living here.

Burnie5204
22nd Nov 2013, 01:24
Only thing that will present a serious issue is the age of the system.

The LU system does not run at night to allow essential track maintenance EVERY night. Every night a team of CLEANERS descend onto the tracks (not just the stations) to clean the tunnels in order to keep them safe for use by virtue of being underground tunnels and their age.

At first when it's just Friday and Saturday nights they might be able to get away with it. However, BoJos plan is to go 24/7 by 2015. If that happens the tube tunnels simply wont get cleaned.

If the underground goes 24/7 as Boris wants then they're going to have to do a lot of planning to figure out how to deal with that particular issue.

Krystal n chips
22nd Nov 2013, 06:20
" Let me guess the scene "

Radar....Thanks for offering us a U.K.I.P Utopian vision as to where I live and my background. As with any U.K.I.P philosophy however, it's fundamentally flawed...feel free to guess again.

Originally, Manchester.....sunshine !....now, a bit further south, but north of an even bigger dump....Birmingham.

I didn't like London from the day I first got off the train at Euston heading for Wendover. I don't like the fact London is portrayed as "the UK" and the London centric media promotion of our capital....I've seen enough of the various boroughs, "Norf an Sarf" of the sodding river as well as Central London to share the opinion of many...it's an over priced and over hyped...dump.

Back to the Tube.

It would be interesting to see a cost / benefit analysis and the projected passenger numbers that, presumably, have indicated there is a sufficient return and profit to be generated by the proposed cuts and extra services.

jabird
22nd Nov 2013, 16:02
It would be interesting to see a cost / benefit analysis and the projected passenger numbers that, presumably, have indicated there is a sufficient return and profit to be generated by the proposed cuts and extra services.

BCR for Boris - highly positive. Announce cuts to ticket windows (more likely to hit niche / vulnerable users) at same time as 24 hour operations, which appeal to target voter demographic.

Not sure you can BCR a ticket office closure - they deal with all the stuff machines either can't do or are too busy to do.

As for 24/7, surely the big question here is at what price? When the main competition is a taxi, and tube might well be faster, who says anything about regular fares being in place?

As for Bob and his Crownies, he sure is a good negotiator, and well worth his salary as far as his members are concerned (no hint of irony there), but do we still need tube drivers in 2014? Plenty of other tube systems operate without them. I found reference to an incident at All Saints on the DLR in 07 when a man was pushed onto the tracks and train was not halted quick enough, but against that, there are other cases of driver error on the tube trains.

Bottom line is, by far the biggest risk on a mass transit system comes from slips, trips and falls - but usually down steep stairs / escalators, rather than on to the track, as above.

radeng
22nd Nov 2013, 17:05
So of course ticket machines don't fail, and when they do, people can't get on to the station until it's fixed - except being rush hour, the technician can't get there for 2 hours. Still, we've saved money. The previous comments about maintenance are very applicable.

So they don't need drivers? Do they need guards or conductors or train managers or whatever the fancy title is these days? What happens when it all goes t*ts up? When you need to detrain passengers from an immobile train in a tunnel because of a fire or a derailment or even a crash? Who knows how to turn off the power? What about trains that start with the doors open - just look at the RAIB reports to see how often that happens. Not just LUL, but also light tramways elsewhere in the country.

But I suspect a cost/benefit analysis will say that it's rare enough that passengers get injured or killed that paying out 500,000 each time will still be cheaper - unless you get something like another Kings Cross or Moorgate caused by electronic failure. You could probably do a similar exercise at any airline and decide it's cheaper to cut maintenance etc and pay out if there's a crash, but I doubt the public would go for that - even MOL hasn't suggested that.

mixture
22nd Nov 2013, 17:26
Announce cuts to ticket windows (more likely to hit niche / vulnerable users)

The majority of stations in zones 1&2, and most busy-ish stations outside tend to have a human-being keeping an eye on the gates, and will help niche/vulnerable/tourist users work the ticket machines.

So of course ticket machines don't fail, and when they do, people can't get on to the station until it's fixed

Absolute rubbish. Oyster cards are readily available, and can be topped up at Newsagents etc.

I found reference to an incident at All Saints on the DLR in 07 when a man was pushed onto the tracks and train was not halted quick enough

Probably far more references than just one where there was a driver on a non-DLR tube and some inconsiderate type jumped onto the tracks before the driver had a chance to do anything about it.

What happens when it all goes t*ts up? When you need to detrain passengers from an immobile train in a tunnel because of a fire or a derailment or even a crash? Who knows how to turn off the power?

Please, do come join the rest of the world in the 21st century.

Much can be achieved via robust remote monitoring these days. First responders can be despatched, and even London Underground engineering teams have authorisation to use blue-lights these days.

What, honestly, can one driver do in a major event ? By the time he's finished his checks and got round to detraining people, remote monitoring could have had a whole army of first-responders on-site and turned off the power remotely if necessary.

We're taking about a tube train here, operating in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. Not out in some rural area, and not at 30,000 ft. It won't exactly take long to get first responders there.

Capot
22nd Nov 2013, 17:32
London's not uniquelyfull of excitement, pain, longing, ambition, dreams, hopes, fears, happiness, loneliness, and it's Museums, Galleries, historical buildings, Mother of all Parliaments, amazing skyline, fantastic parks, kindness of strangers, random encounters, chance to get mugged, chance to fall in love, vibrant, strange, claustrophobic, friendly, helpful, hateful, never boring (Deep Breath) as a 'Dump'

It's just like that in Truro, if you know where to look, apart from the Parliament bit. So you can get off your high horse, my dear. What's more you can't get a decent pasty in Lunnon.

B Fraser
22nd Nov 2013, 19:42
I do like London, especially in the winter for some strange reason. The restaurant prices are eye watering and the bottle of wine with dinner last night was 65 :ooh:

Three pints of beer in the Bunch Of Grapes by London Bridge was 13.50 which was a bit of a shocker as one is used to Exmoor ale at 3 a pint.

It didn't feel right having to drink up at midnight to get the last tube back to the hotel so it was a black cab which as I often say, are the very best anywhere in the world.

Out Of Trim
22nd Nov 2013, 19:47
What's more you can't get a decent pasty in Lunnon.

Actually Capot, one can get a decent pasty; made in Cornwall! Pretty much Nationwide these days.

Try here! West Cornwall Pasty Company (http://www.westcornwallpasty.co.uk/)

The Traditional Cornish Pasty is nice, but I recommend the Lamb & Mint variety for a nice change! :ok:

jabird
22nd Nov 2013, 21:40
But I suspect a cost/benefit analysis will say that it's rare enough that passengers get injured or killed that paying out 500,000 each time will still be cheaper - unless you get something like another Kings Cross or Moorgate caused by electronic failure. You could probably do a similar exercise at any airline and decide it's cheaper to cut maintenance etc and pay out if there's a crash, but I doubt the public would go for that - even MOL hasn't suggested that.

Moorgate tube crash 1975? Driver error, proves my point.

King's Cross Fire 1987? - poor maintenance causing build up of inflammable material, ignited by cigarette - unlikely to happen with smoking bans and many lessons learnt since.

I'm afraid the example given about some "selfish" soul jumping in front of train is much more likely, but I think that's probably one for a completely different thread.

Reality is we are moving towards unmanned cars (because human drivers are so much better), and we already have drones, again, probably one for another thread.

Since this is PPRUNe, I will cover the pilot issue. Afaik, MOL suggested one pilot per aircaft, not getting rid of them altogether. If something goes wrong in a train, usual concern is get it stopped asap, then, and only if needed, get everyone out. Shutting down a 737-800 at cruising altitude isn't going to solve whatever problem you may have, hence pilots are going to be needed on passenger carrying aircraft for some decades yet.

radeng
23rd Nov 2013, 23:20
In the last ten years, there have three cases of having to detrain passengers not at stations and two partially at stations. In one case, over 700 people from trains had to be taken through tunnels after a derailment. As a result, there were 30 injuries. Without train staff to calm people, how many more would there have been? There were three cases of trains moving off with doors open. 16 reportable incidents some not involving passengers.

Cacophonix
24th Nov 2013, 10:13
Just what web footed, Morris dancing, cousin sh*gging, flat cap wearing, No ethnics round here thank you, roses round the cottage door, latent homosexual feelings, staid, boring, insular little Englander county do you 'Hail from'

Let me guess the scene, walk the Labrador on a Sunday morning, cane in hand, tip hat to the Vicar, past the nice old lady at number 80 who makes Jam, into the local public house that sits by the cool, clear bubbling brook (The White Swan, but all the locals call it 'The Mucky Duck'),

A pint of real 'Ale' that looks like tepid water from a rusty tap, no Lager in here thank you, with the retired Major.

Sunday lunch in the garden perhaps, with the sound of birds and the gentle whistling of the wind through the trees. A solitary Spitfire does a lazy barrel roll over...

Ah well you get it.

Right I'm off to mug an immigrant because they took my flat and my job. Then I have to go plan the next big riot.

But not before I think about stereotyping an entire British county from the words of a person who would describe the Capital City of these fair Islands, with it's 8 million people full of excitement, pain, longing, ambition, dreams, hopes, fears, happiness, loneliness, and it's Museums, Galleries, historical buildings, Mother of all Parliaments, amazing skyline, fantastic parks, kindness of strangers, random encounters, chance to get mugged, chance to fall in love, vibrant, strange, claustrophobic, friendly, helpful, hateful, never boring (Deep Breath) as a 'Dump'

Probably the best post I have encountered on JB... :ok:

I ventured into London via car and Tube with my better half last night to dine in Covent Garden...

Tis a fair city and I heed Johnson's dictum that when a man grows tired of London, he grows tired of life but in truth it was most pleasant to return to the countryside, tepid beer, in breeding and the local village idiot whose job is always insecure given the plethora of candidates to knock him from his lofty perch.

Who was it who said an Englishman has only to open his mouth to make another Englishman despise him...? ;)

Caco

G&T ice n slice
24th Nov 2013, 10:18
But it doesn't alter the fact that London is a dump....

Cacophonix
24th Nov 2013, 10:24
But it doesn't alter the fact that London is a dump....


G&T I notice you hail from the rainy wastes of Cumbria... ;)

I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


Well, jolly good for old Wordsworth (who hailed from a place called Cockermouth) but is does all sound a little bit gay to this soft southerner....

Caco

Andy_S
24th Nov 2013, 11:53
Still, as long as you can spend the night in London, enjoying yourself, and you will certainly not be alone here, why worry about anybody who has to provide the service you want.

In other words - sod the public, lets run the system for the benefit of it's employees......

scotbill
24th Nov 2013, 12:01
Don't enjoy the London experience these days - but for the benefit of its aficionados, Wordsworth also liked the view from Westminster bridge.

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Those were the days!

cattletruck
24th Nov 2013, 12:05
Why not run night-rider buses instead as it's cheaper than running the whole tube service 24/7.

I've been to London about half a dozen times and assumed the tube ran 24/7 seeing London was a big modern city. I got my reality check when at someones house I was told the tube had shutdown several hours ago, but I was given good instructions on where to catch a night-rider bus to Whitechapel near where I was staying.

So at 4am I rock up at this bus stop somewhere in the middle of London suburbia. I'm early, it's dark and there is only one other person there in the shadows. I'm really freaking out - in Oz this is when you get attacked by some nutter who stalks the place. My fear was eased when a very young girl and some workers rocked up, still we were all just shadows to each other.

The bus turned up and I tell the driver to let me know when we reach Whitechapel as I am not from town, he kindly obliges.

Getting off at Whitechapel I had no friggin idea whether to go left, right, up or down to get to the place I was staying at in Bethnal Green. I knew I was close but it was still dark and the streets were empty.

Fortuitously a cab drove by and I jumped in. I gave him a few bob extra for the short journey.

Krystal n chips
24th Nov 2013, 13:01
" In other words - sod the public, lets run the system for the benefit of it's employees "

Your second, third and fourth vertebrae have clearly been exercised to a considerable extent it seems.

Clearly, you are unfamiliar with the travelling public who appear in the "wee small hours ", an eclectic mix of drink / drugs infused, those with mental health problems, those who shall we say, have an aversion to being seen in daylight, those who are simply aggressive anyway and people who simply want to get home, either after work, or leisure.

Now, and here comes the difficult part, for yourself it would seem, how would you feel about being tube station staff, almost certainly with minimal manning levels in place, on a tube station and being confronted with any of the above, in particular, the ones I have highlighted for your benefit?

No doubt you will be dismissive of the fact that, in your eyes they are simply there to provide a service, therefore, as long as you and others get this service you demand, who cares about the poor sods welfare and protection when providing it.

Or would you be willing to take their place and, if not, why not ?

G n T....based on historical plaudits, does the Party have more modernist plans for the Tube perchance ?....:p

B Fraser
24th Nov 2013, 13:14
Let me guess the scene, walk the Labrador on a Sunday morning, cane in hand, tip hat to the Vicar, past the nice old lady at number 80 who makes Jam, into the local public house that sits by the cool, clear bubbling brook (The White Swan, but all the locals call it 'The Mucky Duck'),

A pint of real 'Ale' that looks like tepid water from a rusty tap, no Lager in here thank you, with the retired Major.

Sunday lunch in the garden perhaps, with the sound of birds and the gentle whistling of the wind through the trees. A solitary Spitfire does a lazy barrel roll over...

Substitute the Spitfire for a Tiger Moth and you have described a scene that is still quite common. There are few experiences anywhere in the world that compare to sitting outside a pub in the Chilterns on a warm summer's evening.

I have now moved further west and the perfect day is one spent watching the kids play rugby and then having a meal at the pub while steam trains on the local preserved railway chug up the line. If anyone has a spare fortune and wishes to buy me a Spitfire then I won't refuse.

G&T ice n slice
24th Nov 2013, 20:11
Lived 30 years just 30 minute walk south from my workplace of at Thief Row cargo area (no, not Stanwell) and probably averaged per annum 2-3 visits to London, generally because someone else wanted to go there.

Always got back with a sore throat, and some sort of cold, clothes smelling funny and a nose caked inside with black goo from all the exhaust fumes, hair as full of dust as it would be like if I had just single-handedly taken down an entire lath & plaster ceiling.

I calssify london as per
The Great Wen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Wen)

Personally I would build a high strong wall around the place and use it as a good place to incarcerate various undesirables, thus collecting them all together for easier future handling and resettlement elswhere.

p.s. also Cumbria is a bit overcrowded, Dog & I went for one of our usual walks around the lake and there were millions of people there again.

ok it was 6

G-CPTN
24th Nov 2013, 20:42
Come to Northumberland (or on second thoughts don't).

A crowded Northumberland beach is one where you are within shouting distance of other people (though quite often there isn't another person within sight).

http://blog.thistle.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/st_aidans_beach.jpeg

Straighten Up
24th Nov 2013, 23:34
G&t please do build the wall. Shall we keep the 10-20% surplus of tax receipts to GDP spend or would you still like us to subsidise your spending??

London is not perfect - far from it - but it is a net contributor to the UK economy unlike almost every other region. It's costs a fortune to live here and perhaps you should quietly appreciate that my ludicrous stamp duty payment for a modest one bed flat, alcohol duty on the ridiculous £60 bottle of wine someone mentioned, corporation tax paid by every company who headquarters here, and the vast majority of highest rate income tax payers here pay handsomely for our and your local services.

We've made our choice, you've made yours.

Building a wall would hurt you more than me - I get city airport you get heathslow....

Krystal n chips
25th Nov 2013, 07:04
" London is not perfect - far from it - but it is a net contributor to the UK economy unlike almost every other region. It's costs a fortune to live here and perhaps you should quietly appreciate that my ludicrous stamp duty payment for a modest one bed flat, alcohol duty on the ridiculous 60 bottle of wine someone mentioned,

Thank you for the dismissive perception of the rest of the UK and why so many of us detest London as a result.

If it's that expensive, which it is, and as you admit, then you must be as daft and gullible as you look for continuing to wish to live there.

Unless you have a more plausible and rational explanation of course ?

Capot
26th Nov 2013, 11:22
Anyone who pays 60 for a bottle of wine, in London or anywhere else defines himself as daft and gullible. (I've left out 'or herself' for obvious reasons.)

When staying at a relative's flat in Knightsbridge, we shop at the local M&S where the prices are pretty much the same as they are in the West Country. Perhaps 50p or 1 more on an average/good bottle, perhaps not.

You can invariably buy wine for normal consumption at home as good as you will ever get for 12 or under.

If you use a restaurant where they sell cheap wine back to you for 50 - 150 profit per bottle, to accompany their pretentious and mediocre food, you are an idiot in the finance industry, or a Civil Servant stealing public funds to have a lavish evening out securing your future employment with a bank or a defence equipment manufacturer.

Every 'upmarket' restaurant in Central London does this.

B Fraser
26th Nov 2013, 13:55
Capot,

You may think so but I could not possibly comment. The two vodka and tonic nightcaps back at the hotel cost 36 but that's London for you. I wasn't paying for anything I'll hasten to add.

This week, I'm working up in Sutherland where a double whisky in the hotel bar is 4, there's no-one on the beaches and the air smells only of the sea. Dinner tonight shall be langoustine and scallops at pocket money prices.

Happy days.

Straighten Up
26th Nov 2013, 14:45
Krystal

If you read my comment as dismissive of the rest of the UK that is your own insecurity shining through. I made a statement of fact not opinion following your request to segregate London.

Perhaps it was you who was dismissive of my home town, when you referred to it as a "dump"?? If you want to base your opinion of a whole city on a couple of visits to trocadero and oxford street and don't take the time to experience London the way Londoners see it then that is your loss and our gain. Don't confuse that with arrogance.

BDiONU
26th Nov 2013, 15:11
But not before I think about stereotyping an entire British county from the words of a person who would describe the Capital City of these fair Islands, with it's 8 million people full of excitement, pain, longing, ambition, dreams, hopes, fears, happiness, loneliness, and it's Museums, Galleries, historical buildings, Mother of all Parliaments, amazing skyline, fantastic parks, kindness of strangers, random encounters, chance to get mugged, chance to fall in love, vibrant, strange, claustrophobic, friendly, helpful, hateful, never boring (Deep Breath) as a 'Dump'He forgot to add sh1thole.

SpringHeeledJack
26th Nov 2013, 16:50
It's all too easy to disparage a city or area if only passing through/spending a small time there, I know that I've done it before. As almost always if we are willing to spend a bit of time to explore and immerse ourselves in said city, take the road less travelled we will usually be rewarded with interesting and/or rewarding experiences.

London, despite it's bustling 8 million population isn't all bad, or even that bad. Suffering under the UK disease of lack of forward planning which condemns the public into competing for space that can and does cause problems that don't exist elsewhere in the country make it also a vibrant and interesting place to live, albeit ever more expensive. If you can choose when and where, the central part of the city is glorious, and the bits to the outside all have their lovely charming areas. To use the sobriquet of sh1thole/dump/tip may I respectfully divert the naysayers to Lagos, Nigeria, even though I'm sure that there are people who will chide me over that choice :}



SHJ

Krystal n chips
26th Nov 2013, 18:42
" Krystal

If you read my comment as dismissive of the rest of the UK that is your own insecurity shining through. I made a statement of fact not opinion following your request to segregate London.

Perhaps it was you who was dismissive of my home town, when you referred to it as a "dump"?? If you want to base your opinion of a whole city on a couple of visits to trocadero and oxford street and don't take the time to experience London the way Londoners see it then that is your loss and our gain. Don't confuse that with arrogance

I don't recall suggesting London be segregated, at least no more than it is now, but if you are proposing something more tangible, like a wall, barbed wire and minefields then I can only commend your proposition.

I have no insecurity whatsoever with my perception of the dump, as a whole, having been as I said to various boroughs over the years as well as the over priced centre.

You can safely assume I am far from confused as the concept of arrogance in support of the area therefore.

One deep Atlantic low, tracking down the N.Sea, one spring tide and a nice N.Easterly airstream and next time, Bingo !.....a synoptic chart to kill for !

You may, possibly, not be too happy with this wishful thinking.

G&T ice n slice
26th Nov 2013, 22:35
Dang it K&C stop agreeing with me!

remember:

you : leftwing pinko liberal commie treehugginmg save the whales

me : Genghis was a softie, foreigners begin at Dover, etc etc.

Now go back and say something nice about the vibrant multicultural etc etc London

Windy Militant
26th Nov 2013, 22:45
foreigners begin at Dover, etc etc.
No they don't they begin at Newport, come to think of it Cardiff's a bit iffy too

Cardiff? They eat people's heads in Cardiff mun! - YouTube

Vercingetorix
27th Nov 2013, 00:43
Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner that I love London Town.

Born in Guy's Hospital and lived in W2 and then moved out to NW3.
You can walk from Primrose Hill via Regents Park then a bit of traffic and into Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to Harrods.
Name me any other city where you can do a five mile walk like that or you can do the canal route from east of the city all the way to Uxbridge.

Best city in the world.

:ok:

ExRAFRadar
27th Nov 2013, 13:04
If some of you think London is a dump now you really could not have been here in the 70's. Parts of Fulham were still bomb damaged, Wandsworth was an speakable hell to look at and yet the community spirit was something I will never forget and indeed lament it's loss. Bit like supping beer looking over the Chilterns it is a cliche, but true.

Fulham and Wandsworth now, no change from 7 figures for a decent property.
Alright maybe high 6 figures. Unless you want a flat in the cookie cutter blocks that have gone up by Wandsworth bridge. Then you are in 7 figures.

Was in Cumbria for just under 4 years, and not just the pretty parts. Botchergate on a Saturday night was no picnic but the women did have a sort of earthy charm. Lived out in Brampton for a year. Life changing event.

You see I got to know the place. Drank there, laughed there, made mates, cried there, got sh*gged there, got many knock backs there, lived there.

Yes I do like my comma separated lists.

I also like to think I am sensible enough to never generalise based on a Daily Mail headline or a few stopovers in a hotel.

However someone mentioned Truro, been there, drove through it for about 5 minutes. What a dump.

Ancient Observer
27th Nov 2013, 13:20
London was perfectly OK until a bunch of town planners knocked down the best bit, which was, of course, Burgundy Street, behind the Dun Cow, (now a Surgery) and staggering distance from the Thomas a Becket.

So we had to get on our bikes, as Norman Tebbit might have said.

Did you notice a tiny bit in the paper to=-day? Norman Tebbit loved his Spitting Images cartoon of a skin head thug in a leather jacket, but deeply regretted the fact that it made it impossible for him to wear leather jackets!!

Capetonian
11th Mar 2014, 13:27
Bob Crow is no longer. Ironic that he died from a heart attack/blocked tubes.

vulcanised
11th Mar 2014, 16:18
Ironic that he died from a heart attack/blocked tubes


Likewise with Eddie Stobart who was limited to 56. :}

Capetonian
11th Mar 2014, 16:30
Stobart was a decent bloke who did a lot for British industry. So did Crow, but in his case it was destructive.

One is not supposed to speak ill of the dead, so I won't.