Monthly Archives: October 2011

How do they manage?

Mobile phone just bleeped with a call. Not recognising the number I expected it would be a wrong number. I rarely get a customer ring the mobile.

I answered it and we rapidly established that yes it was a wrong number

Caller finished with “If you knew it was a wrong number why did you answer? You have cost me money”

How do these people manage day to day?

Rev Richard Paten: a remarkable man who has done so much for Peterborough – Features – Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Rev Richard Paten: a remarkable man who has done so much for Peterborough – Features – Peterborough Evening Telegraph

All back to normal as we were!

All back to normal tomorrow the wife is back at work after a two week holiday.

Really nice to have Sue at home but not really got much done, so have a backlog to get through.

Went mad on the day of our anniversary, and we went to Tesco and bought two mouse mats, never let it be said I don’t like spending money.

I must admit I do find Hampton Shopping Centre a bit clinical, it has no soul and the staff in the shops all generally look as miserable as sin!

Mind you when I was in retail and worked in a shopping centre I was never very happy either, you can’t beat looking out at the sunshine or for that matter the rain!

I have memories of working above Birmingham New Street Railway Station in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I don’t mean to say it was rough but the security guards patrolled with Alsatian dogs and carried handcuffs as standard issue.

Come to think of it I don’t know which was harder, dealing with the local criminals or clearing out the rail passengers when it was time to close who had come up from the station for a warm when their trains were late. It was certainly a rough place to work. Last time I went in there  some years ago it had all changed and parts of the centre had carpet down and the security staff had jackets on with not a dog in sight.


That’s a picture of me in the mid1970’s when I worked in Solihull for Dixons, shame I did not realise that it was going to be the most enjoyable part of my retail career. It was lots of fun even though there were some snobs in Solihull.

I remember one day when a man asked to speak to the manager, he wanted us to sling out a fairly young couple because they were in torn jeans and it downgraded the town centre!! I can still remember the look on his face when the manager informed him that the gentleman he was asking us to remove was a Lord and the woman with him was his wife. They were a nice couple as well and spent lot’s of money.

Robert on Radio

Back at the tender age of ten I discovered a hobby which remains my favourite hobby today and that’s amateur radio. The picture above shows me listening away I would guess around 1970 give or take a year. I obtained my licence in 1979 and took my Morse test for a full licence the following year. For those interested my callsign is G4PYR. I still get a kick out of contacting people around the world especially using Morse code which is my great love in the hobby, though a small garden and the business have dictated that I have not been able to be as active as I would have liked for a few years.


The local radio club in Solihull used to provide a demonstration station for the yearly amateur radio exhibition that used to take place at the NEC. The above picture shows me operating Morse using the callsign GB4NEC. It was a busy exhibition and a few days hard work but very enjoyable.

My inspiration in amateur radio as a youngster was Ralph G3PYR, and it’s in his memory I have the callsign G4PYR.


This is a picture of Ralph G3PYR, most of his equipment was home built by him and he was always happy to help, assist and encourage youngsters, and he inspired me, he also taught me and many others Morse code as well.

So there you have a potted history of my early working years and my favourite hobby. I did not plan to write any of the above when I started this entry, but what the hell they were enjoyable days when people helped other people gain knowledge. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy the railway so much, the people who give their time and knowledge freely really make my days at the railway enjoyable and I am looking forward to returning next year again. In so many aspects of modern life people seem not to want to help others they just want to have everything for themselves and that’s truly a shame.

A special day today

Well today is a special day….

It’s our 25th wedding anniversary. I must admit after 25 years I still don’t know how she puts up with me.

Here is a picture of the fateful day!!


But I could not have done better, she is not only the other half, the wife etc…. She is also my best friend…. Plus I love her very much!!!!

Right let’s get on with the next 25 years now!!!


Missing one of my five a day!

My Blackberry is not working.

Oh dear what am I to do!!!!!

It’s amazing how we rely on modern technology. I can remember years ago when the most modern bit of technology I had was a fountain pen! Log tables instead of a calculator and if I wanted to make a phone call I had to find a phone box.

The problem is of course these days is when it stops working totally or in the case of my Blackberry just parts of it.

There was a burst of life this morning when I had 40+ emails all arrive together then nothing, I have had to resort to checking email on the main computer.

I have found a work round so I can still get my fix of BBC News and the like. But for anything more I am using my secondary smartphone on Virgin.

Oh well I am sure it will get sorted in due course and if any explanation is given it will be in tech speak, why can’t companies just say it was buggered and we have fixed it!

That’s progress for you, shame that we have forgotten all progress is not in a forwards direction.


Just visiting.

Back at the railway today for the first time since the start of August, and it was nice to chat to friends and just mingle with the visitors.

Travelled from Ferry Meadows on the Duke of Gloucester who was pulling passengers for the last time today before leaving the railway.


 Here it is arriving with the first service of the day from Wansford. Not too busy but a fair few on.

As you can see not ideal weather for photography.

Nipped off at Peterborough for a quick chat with Peter and then back on the train to Wansford.

Running an Orange service today, and one of the advantages of an Orange service is that you get the chance from the main platform to photograph the service from Yarwell arriving on platform 3.


Here is the Duke of Gloucester above doing just that.

Because of the dull dismal conditions I did not take many photographs around Wansford, but I did take some of the vintage cars and buses.

Here are a few of them:-

CIMG0837   CIMG0840

CIMG0836   CIMG0838

Taking a picture of the cars behind the no parking sign was an opportunity too good to miss.

Now I am sure I will be asked the question :- Did you feel a pang of anything when the train went through Orton Mere? The answer to that question is No not a thing. Not a glimmer of anything, which confirms to me my belief that I gave up the station at the right time and that I needed a change.

All in all it was a most enjoyable day, we did not stay as long as we could have but we stayed long enough to enjoy it.

It’s nice to be back, if only as a visitor!!!


The 1940’s weekend

This weekend sees the 1940’s weekend event taking place at the railway.

Not ideal weather, currently showers and a bit on the cold side, perhaps we were spoilt by the excellent weather for the steam and diesel gala weekends.

Sue and I are visiting the event tomorrow and it will be my first time back since giving up the station in the beginning of August.

I am looking forward to the event, the camera batteries are charged!

It will be really nice to chat to friends across the railway again. Watch out for pictures on Sunday evening.

Hopefully despite the weather the event will be well attended.