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  • Trips in a rare steam train along a rarely used railway line – IanVisits
    The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life Imagine a steam train without a locomotive one where there is seemingly no form of propulsion save the tell tale hint of a wisp of steam from the roof Such were the GWR steam rail motors essentially light steam engines built into the passenger carriage and used for a short while as a way of offering cheaper more frequent services along lower traffic railway lines We shouldn t overlook just what a remarkable train it was to ride along the tracks without a dedicated locomotive pulling it Even the electric London Underground was still using locomotives to pull carriages along and it would be some years before they found a way of squeezing the engine underneath the carriages as is common place today One working model of this remarkable experiment survives and in October you can take a trip on this most unusual of steam trains as the Great Western Society has permission to run it along the Southall to Brentford branch line That s a double treat as that is a freight line that rarely sees passenger traffic so a chance to ride in a 100 year old carriage along a railway line that hardly ever sees human traffic The service will run over the weekend of 18th 19th October and there will be seven trips on each day The round trip will take just over 30 minutes There is a maximum of 110 seats per train 50 in Steam Railmotor No 93 and 60 in Trailer No 92 Passengers will only be allowed onto the Brentford Branch bay platform at Southall for the train their ticket entitles them to An area beside the line to the south will be available for people to take photographs The event is supported

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/12/trips-in-a-rare-steam-train-along-a-rarely-used-railway-line/ (2016-02-16)
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  • See Prince Charles’s model tube station – IanVisits
    21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 15 More Blogs Brixton Blog Cabbie Blog Christopher Fowler City Metric Diamond Geezer Edith s Streets Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life Buckingham Palace has opened its doors again for the now annual summer opening and as usual has a special this year only exhibition inside some of the rooms On display are some of the regal toys that young princes were given to play with from little things up to a full scale country cottage built to little prince s dimensions One of the highlights was a model tube station Based on the George V station in Paris it s stuck a bit far back in the display case but it s undeniably a tube station with little tiny tube map and waiting passengers That aside the display is basically some glass cabinets with the sort of things you might expect a fairly wealthy family to indulge their children with And that s where the exhibition falls down for me as it doesn t say royal In the past the exhibitions have been ceremonial dresses jewels crowns the sort of thing that only a Royal person would own This year s exhibition could probably be found in any decent sized stately home owned by a moderately wealthy family In fact with a few exceptions for the very large items most of the objects on display could be found in an average middle class home I certainly had one of the rocking horses as a kid and a large model car and some nice suits OK I didn t have a miniature caravan or a full sized play house but those are merely a matter of

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/11/see-prince-charless-model-tube-station/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Museum Meals – Dulwich Picture Gallery – IanVisits
    eateries means that it has to deliver to a discerning customer base I have a habit more by accident than design of turning up just a bit too late for breakfast but too early for lunch and this morning an early rise triggered by a bit of a hangover and a lack of breakfast triggered by forgetfulness when shopping the previous day had me heading out to seek food a bit earlier than I should It wasn t until I was seated that the waiter explained that lunch wouldn t be available for half an hour nor could I order in advance So I had a coffee and waited while catching up on the weekly Economist It s a nice enough restaurant and on a reasonably warm day the side doors were fully open letting the venue spill out onto the courtyard Pleasant to sit in and probably very good for passing trade It s a facet of museum restaurants that some are mere afterthoughts put in the available space while others have given some thought to the location Here a modern clean building is made enjoyable by the view across the gardens Lunch at last and I ordered the spiced chicken salad and a glass of wine The wine when it arrived wasn t the one I ordered but perfectly pleasant so I wasn t sending it back The salad swiftly followed and arrived as a large soup bowl of leaves and redish chicken slices My heart sank Frankly the salad was the sort I can pick up in a supermarket and tend not to as its the sort of leaf medley that I find a bit boring Interspersed were the chicken which had a mildly spicy tang but not that exciting The roasted sweetcorn seemed to have lacked the roasting It was all just piled up in a wide bowl with nothing to show any sort of presentation The volume of the serving was generous overly so for a lunch If you like your portions large and your flavours supermarket then you would have enjoyed it I would have preferred half the volume and twice the quality The coffee was decent enough and the wine delivered the necessary hair of dog so that I was ready for a bracing walk across the parks However having just spent 23 on lunch I would have liked to have left feeling that I had something just a bit more special than I could have knocked up at home Cost 22 99 for salad coffee and a glass of wine Stars 2 out of 5 Date 9th August 2014 Summary Uninspiring salad that was acceptable if not overly outstanding at a price that doesn t justify it The venue itself is lovely though Gallery Cafe Facebook 15 Google 1 Linkedin 0 Reddit 0 Twitter 4 4 20 dulwich picture gallery 3 thoughts on Museum Meals Dulwich Picture Gallery LadyBracknell says August 11 2014 at 8 14 am What a disappointment I always

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/11/museum-meals-dulwich-picture-gallery/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Meals in Museums – IanVisits
    lunches a decent place to eat was not that usual a sight The campaign though drew much ire from the intelligentsia who talked darkly of dumbing down and the encroachment of vulgar commercial interests into museums I suspect they thought that the entire V A would turn into another Conran outlet with the art collection relegated to the basement Yet today a decent restaurant can be as much of a draw to people as the museum or art gallery itself A place to sit and rest after long slow wanderings around the museum and a vital source of income for the venue Some museums seem to see the restaurant as necessary but a mere appendage to the commercial division of the museum where as others put the refreshments firmly at the heart of the venue seeing them as an attraction in their own right Neither approach is the correct one for each location as some museums couldn t support a fancy restaurant faced with either too small a customer base or too much competition from local cafes but some could and yet don t Over the past few weeks I have visited a number of museums and will carry on doing so until I have exhausted either wallet waistline or venues And will write little reviews of them The first on Monday Facebook 0 Google 1 Linkedin 0 Reddit 0 Twitter 0 0 1 museum 4 thoughts on Meals in Museums Gillian Lawrence says August 9 2014 at 8 19 pm Looking forward to that Reply Lisa Hirsch says August 9 2014 at 10 58 pm Me too I find V A an ace caff with quite a nice museum attached to be very funny However There s nothing wrong with modern art that a good cuppa won t cure

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/09/meals-in-museums/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Henry Moore sculpture appears outside King’s Cross station – IanVisits
    Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life The large flat regular space of the new plaza outside King s Cross station has started to regain a little bit of the clutter that defined it for the past hundred years Although this time less about shops and tickets than a huge lump of art A long term loan has been arranged with the Henry Moore Foundation for one of the artist s rather more amorphous lumps to sit outside the station which coincidentally happens to be where Londoners would depart if they were planning a visit to the artist s Foundation in Hertfordshire or the Institute in Yorkshire Network Rail say they hope that having Large Spindle Piece outside the station will cause people to want to take the train to see more works by the same artist which may be more than overly optimistic of them Art in public places also has to be practical and this particular piece was chosen less for any artistic merit for the location than for the sheer impracticality of climbing onto it There were concerns that some of the more recognisable lumps such as the reclining figures would be too tempting for people to despoil by clambering over them rather than to admire from a respectful distance The size is also of practical note it s harder for metal thieves to steal it Facebook 0 Google 2 Linkedin 0 Reddit 0 Twitter 0 0 2 henry moore kings cross network rail 4 thoughts on Henry Moore sculpture appears outside King s Cross station Andrew says August 10 2014 at 8 27 am Harder to steal About two tons of Reclining Figure 1969 70 was stolen from Perry Green And the

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/09/henry-moore-sculpture-appears-outside-kings-cross-station/ (2016-02-16)
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  • A birthday and a demographic shift – IanVisits
    sporting event Marketing people decided that restaurants featured large in my life But I have jumped boxes My age has reached a point where the number is too high for the computer driven society to accept my existence in their demographic Overnight I dropped the kids off at university paid off the mortgage and discovered the delights of holidays to Tuscany and cruise ships One day I liked sports the next morning I preferred to spend my money on flights to Italy Such is how the databases work When I fill in a form on a website when it asks my age it takes that little bit longer to scroll down the list of age ranges I am one agglomeration of ages further down the html code that defines my presumed existence A select box option further away from school leaver and one bit closer to the box marked 65 the all encompassing catch all for old people tea and cakes No longer can I select the option on the website that says just about passes for decent looking in a dimly lit room and now I am firmly in the box marked wrinkles under the suit The database has declared what I am interested in and I better comply for the next ten years will be marked by what the database says I ought to be interested in What a nuisance I must be to be so contrary to the whims of the database and dare to live my own life Facebook 16 Google 1 Linkedin 0 Reddit 0 Twitter 0 0 17 6 thoughts on A birthday and a demographic shift Maxy Stone says August 8 2014 at 5 37 pm Happy Birthday Ian Reply ediFanoB says August 8 2014 at 6 12 pm Happy Birthday Ian I

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/08/a-birthday-and-a-demographic-shift/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Weekly round-up of London’s railway transport news – IanVisits
    Blog Christopher Fowler City Metric Diamond Geezer Edith s Streets Greenwich Industrial History London Reconnections London Street Views Londonist Reddit Spitalfields Life The Ladies who Bus Wanstead Meteo West Hampstead Life A weekly round up of London s rail transport news London Underground Should Bexley the forgotten borough of London for transport join the Underground News Shopper Crossrail UK companies gain just 27 of Crossrail contracts Lords of the Blog Redbridge Transport Action Group takes campaign for step free Crossrail access to Ilford streets Ilford Recorder Government launches study into potential Crossrail extension to Hertfordshire DfT A crucial planning application which will determine the future look of Ealing Broadway station is due to be heard on Wednesday Ealing Today Crossrail facing two safety inquiries after falling concrete kills worker The Guardian Delaying Crossrail 2 would strangle London and the private sector can help pay for it City AM Mainline Overground Step free access opened to public at Ewell East station Local Guardian The rail industry has begun a review into using driverless technology to bring automated trains to Britain s railways Financial Times Borough MPs call for HS2 Heathrow Spur plan to be scrapped Hillingdon Times Norbiton gap at train station to be fixed by early 2016 South West Trains says This is Local London HS2 threat to GP centre would cost UK thousands of doctors Camden New Journal Waitrose will open its first railway based store at London King s Cross station creating up to 60 new jobs Bakery Info Miscellaneous Unmasked at last the City high flyer who dodged 43 000 in train fares The Telegraph ESPN FC and TfL World Cup campaign messages shown on 76 3m journeys The Drum TV show about London Underground s flood barriers IanVisits Burton and Swadlincote get a London underground tube

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/08/weekly-round-up-of-londons-railway-transport-news-57/ (2016-02-16)
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  • An unexpected tractor tour around Foulness Island – IanVisits
    sadly closed off church But it was just a seemingly short wait for the treat and after a while the tractor turned up hauling a trailer with straw bales for seating The local farmer who runs the tours asked us not to take photos of anything too overtly seeming to be secret on the site but frankly we didn t see anything that hasn t been photographed a thousand times already and not just by foreign spies But bums on straw bales and off on the tour around the island well a little bit of it to see the most interesting place that a tour could offer A windy afternoon did however mean that the tourists were regularly assailed by flying debris from the straw bales and the tour guide was nearly inaudible from the back of the trailer Those discomforts aside what could be nicer than a seeing the flat lands of Foulness Islands from a slightly higher vantage point than normal Around gravel roads built on top of ancient sea walls we slowly neared the main attraction but first some 70 year old concrete to pass by Not just any old concrete but German concrete and Japanese and probably some other countries in there as well These huge blocks were built during WW2 based on concrete mixes used by the enemy in their bunkers discovered by spies and then fired at by British bombs to see how strong they were Barely a chance to see the long punctured wall and the holes presumably suggesting that British bombs were better than German concrete as the tractor growled its way along the paths For the destination to be seen is the Broomway a public right of way across the mud flats that is often described as the most perilous byway in England The stone causeway is relatively modern but the route it signifies is truly ancient and was the only way onto the island until the main road and its bridge were constructed in 1922 Today only very hardy people typically with a local guide would try to walk the Broomway for not only is it a dangerous natural path but it also runs though the firing range and skill is needed to avoid walking onto debris or quicksand type hollows left by exploding ordinance The causeway probably more by coincidence than design happens to point almost directly at another military establishment the Shivering Sands forts built in the middle of the Thames to shoot down enemy planes that used the river as a navigation aid to reach London Also visible on the horizon or dominating a good zoom lens camera are the wind turbines of the London Array and the Kentish Flats their ordered lines offering a regular beauty in the seascape It wasn t long for the grumbling tractor trip back to the heritage centre but not before stopping off by a field owned by the farmer to check on the crop and carry out a moisture test

    Original URL path: http://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2014/08/06/an-unexpected-tractor-tour-around-foulness-island/ (2016-02-16)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-22