Saturday, 30 May 2009

More Antony Gormley

A prime site.

While I am up north I thought I would have a look at some of Antony Gormley’s work before the forthcoming attraction at Torre Abbey this summer. Newcastle was a bit too far to see the Angle of the North so a shorter trip to the sands at Crosby to see the statues on the beach, aka Another Place. A hundred slightly larger than life figures stand looking out to sea. Once there wasn’t much actually to see looking out, just water getting closer, covering one and not quiet reaching another. Now a wind farm has been added so they have something to look at. Also my brother’s dog scent marked each one which must have been disconcerting. Stand there naked all day, and get covered with sea water and dog pee.

Not the best spot on the block.

They are all far apart and look a little lonely, personally I would like to have seen few small groups of them here and there. Interesting all the same. I’m tempted to re open my attempt to build a 50 foot high replica of a double decker bus on the beach at Torre Abbey Sands. The last attempt got absolutely nowhere. One or two bits of interest but that was all.

"Oh look, a wind farm."

Still up North

A day out in the hills. We went for a ride round and found this wind mill turning slowly. Maybe this and the rest of it's kind will save the world as we know it but they are BIG. The stand like some majestic religious icon and can be seen for miles. A couple of them on Abbey Sands or ten of them in the Bay might be a tourist attraction if marketed correctly.
The bus was struggling through the town of Delph and only just made it. If you are into Brass Bands then next weekend Delph is the place to be this coming weekend

Off to Crosby today to look at some iron men who spend their entire existence staring out to see, a permanent art work by Anthony Gormley. An easier to get to Art work by Anthony will be on display in Torquay from the end of June and like the Iron Men of Crosby will be free to view.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Trafford Shopping Centre

Yesterday I went shopping at the Trafford Shopping Centre with my brother and sister in law. We don't have shopping malls like this down in Torquay, it being such a small town. I didn't actually do any shopping, just wandered about taking photos.

Earlier in the day I had been to the Arndale Centre in Manchester, once again not to shop but to take photos. The first of the two was taken from the roof of the Arndale Centre which replaced Market Street about 35 years ago but has recently been extended. The picture shows the roof tops and the Mancester Eye, 5 quid ago I think for high up views of Manchester. Free views from the Arndale carpark.

The second was taken at the Trafford Centre and shows the Great Hall. Move all those tables and chairs out and there would be room for a decent sized bus depot in there.

So Now We Know.

Selfridges are to Blame.
The motto of some Members of Parliament, until recently anyway.

Sorry boys and girls down there in Westminster but a new season is on the way where
and restraint
and the tax man
and a police investigation
and deselection are on the way in.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Bus Stop and Hotel

A couple stories from the Herald Express caught my eye; the first is that the fire damaged building in Daddyhole has been demolished. It used to be a hotel that the owner wanted to develop as luxury apartments but the council refused planning permission, as they were worried there wouldn’t be enough hotels in the area. The fact that it closed down as a hotel years ago and was derelict and never going to function as a hotel again had absolutely no bearing on their decision. Now instead of being a dump that was used by down and outs and druggies it is an empty patch of land.

The other story concerns the bus stop at Churston Village. There has always been the official stop in a lay by 200 yds up the road. The problem is to get to it from Churston village involves walking along a difficult muddy track and then crossing the road at a sharp bend. Traffic here often exceeds the 40 mph speed limit and anyone crossing the road would have to be very concerned and ask questions like, “Is the trip into Paignton worth risking my life for?” Or "What's the point in having a free bus pass if I can't get to the bus stop?" All the time I was driving along this road almost no one waited at this stop and I for one didn’t blame them. The villagers all waited in a small safe lay by just near the crossroads. The road is narrower there and the view up and down the road is greater, allowing for a safer crossing place. Now the council have decided that the buses can not stop at this easy to use, very safe unofficial bus stop and must stop at the difficult to get to and not at all safe bus stop. True, when the bus did stop here the road was slightly blocked, but we usually only picked two or three people up at any one go.

PS. It isn’t Stagecoach’s doing, as I have mentioned before bus stop placement is all down to some one in the Town Hall. So either some one in the town hall doesn't like some one in Chrston Village or they haven't been down there and had a good look at the situation.

The Cross Roads at Churston Village. To get the bus to Paignton or Torquay you have to cross this road. Where the council want people to cross it is twice as wide and on a bend. We have such a nice council.

I am on holiday visiting family at the moment, the Manchester branch, not the Australian side where I am sure it will be much warmer. I stopped in Chester on the way and here is a picture of one of their newest buses. We should get a few of these in Torquay


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

And now for something completely different.

A short video from the BBC which shows an American banker helping a family of ducks, for free
An article in the Daily Telegraph which states that a British member of Parliament helped a family of ducks by building them an island in a pond in his back garden. Unlike the American Banker he charged the British Tax payer £1600. And it does get worse. A local MP, a Tory from Totnes has stated he will stand down at the next election after he claimed a lot of money to carry out repairs to his home in South Hams, which is actually his own home, not the one he lives in while in London on Parliamentary business. Well I think £80 000 is a lot of money, I don't care what Mr Steel thinks

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Small Details of Little Note.

Devon County Show this week. I only noticed that it was on later this week, not being brought up with County Shows. But I should have known it was coming, after several weeks of warm sunny weather this last few days have been cold wind and slightly damp. Typical county show weather. Tuesday 12 May 2009, the workmen/workwomen moved onto the site of the new library in Paignton. I use the libraries here in Torbay fairly often and I am beginning to think I will soon have read all the books I want to so a bigger library is most welcome. I wonder when it will open.

This Lady stands at the north end of Babbacombe Downs. I have no idea who she if, or was, or why she stands here. Some kind soul has put some flowers in here hand to brighten up her day.

Monday, 18 May 2009

OK, Perhaps I Will Vote After All. And well done Torquay United

Torquay 2 Cambridge 0.
This score line in the Blue Star league play off means that Torquay are back in The Football League. True they are only in the 4th tier of English football but that is much better fanatically for the club and the town so well done to Torquay United.
Second, only a few days after saying I would never vote again I have decided that I will. What made me do what the Iron Lady wouldn’t? It was the probable Tory candidate in next year’s general election, Marcus Wood, having a go at the sitting MP Adrian Sanders over the expencises row. So far the Daily Telegraph hasn’t mentioned Adrian though a couple of local MPs have been dropped in “it” by the fairly short list, so far, of MPs who have milked the system for all it was worth. This obvious attempt to gain political mileage over his opponent by Marcus Wood when it should have been obvious there wasn’t any mileage there in the first place makes me to believe that Mr Wood is about as likely to make a good politician as a seagull is likely to be voted the peoples favorite bird. An other person who has had difficulty in seeing which way the political wind is blowing is the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin. He has constantly tried to cover the situation up, to prevent details of expenses emerging and not making any moves to allow changes to be made before the situation reached melt down. I would expect someone in the Speakers position to have the intelligence to spot that even cover ups have sell by dates.
So I am going to vote in the next General Election because I don’t want Mr Wood representing me at Westminster and I expect by then Mr Sander’s expenses, as will all MPs expenses will have been looked at in minute detail by the local press, the local radio and the local selection committee. If he is, and I expect he will be, declared to be a honerable member then I will place my cross closer to his name than to Mr Wood’s name on the ballot paper.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

A Tree and Torbay Rd.

There are, as far as I know, no plans to remove this tree from it's prominent position on Torre Abbey Gardens.
Unlike the trees that used to surround Paignton Community College that have mostly gone.

I have no idea why this tree plus about 15 others have been removed from the grounds of Paignton Community College, nothing to do with Swine Flu is it? Can you get Swine Flu from trees?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Vote? Me? Never Again!

I know there isn't a sign at the top of these stairs that says "Riding bikes down these stairs is not allowed." So it could be said by these two that they were acting 'within the rules'. There were no written rules saying no bike riding. Just like at the House of Commons, no sign saying 'don't fiddle your expenses, it could undermine democracy.'
Several MPs who have had claimed expenses for cleaning a carpet, dog food or even a second home 5 minutes walk away from their main home and when asked to explain have then claimed they were 'acting 'within the rules' If I had spoken to the two cyclist in the picture about the danger in riding their bikes down these stairs in Fleet St it is possible they might have said there isn't a notice saying they couldn't.It is also possible I might have been told to f*** off. To be honest I would have preferred the Honorable Members to have said 'F*** off.' to us all instead of insulting us even more with 'acting within the rules.' They make the rules for Gods sake!
Members of Parliment are called Honorable Members. Some of them need to do the honorable thing, find a sword and fall on it.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Tessier Gardens and the Trees

Tessier Garden is a small, quiet park in the Babbacombe area of the town. I have to admit I had never heard of this park until one of my readers, thanks Ex DG, mentioned it. He mentioned it in connection with the cutting down of some trees at the Goodrington Water Park As you can see the council have had to cut some trees down in Tessier Gardens. They to were becoming dangerous and had to go. It is always sad to see trees cut down but all things have a sell by date whether they are the humble mayfly (one day) or the entire universe (100 trillion years) The council have the responsibility to ensure that people wandering about the town don't get hit on the head by lumps of wood. Click here and imagine what would have happened if you had been getting in that taxi at the time.

Part of the problem seems to be that there has been a lot of trees that have gone to the great wood pile in the sky, or chipped up and spread on flower beds or turned into toilet rolls recently. The Big Tree in Paignton, Rock Walk, by the taxi rank in Cary Parade, round the Harbourside, Goodrington and now Tessier Gardens.
The gardens are still a pleasent place to have a walk round and a quiet sit down and I am sure the council will replant with imagination

They're All Looking At Me.

Historic abbey to show prestigious artwork.

A unique artwork by renowned sculptor Antony Gormley - made up of 40,000 unglazed, fired, small clay figures - is to go on show at Torquay's oldest building in the summer of 2009.

Antony Gormley, in case you didn't know and I didn't, is the guy who made The Angel Of The North which is a big statue up North somewhere. The oldest building in Torquay is Torre Abbey. The things with eyes are small, made of fired clay and are between 8cm and 26cm tall, there are 40 thousand and seven of then. They are going to be dumped, sorry set up in the Spanish Barn which is next to Torre Abbey It was used be the monks of the Abbey to store grain and other bits and pieces they had stolen from the locals. Council Tax I think they called it. The Barn got it's name when nearly 400 Spanish Tourists turned up without booking in advance at the height of the summer season in 1588 and there were not enough hotels for then to stay in so they ended up sleeping rough in the barn. Which probably explains the present council's policy on not letting run down hotels be turned into luxury apartments. But I digress.

The show will be free for anyone who wants to turn up between 27 June to 2 September 2009. Torre Abbey is on the sea front half a mile from Torquay Harbour, the number 12 bus from Torquay, Paignton or Brixham will drop you close by.

Friday, 8 May 2009

More on the Goodrington Water Park Trees

When I first mentioned the fact that the trees at Goodrington were coming down I followed the official line. The trees had developed a fungal disease in their bark which made then liable to drop branches on passers by. One of my slightly cynical readers came up with a conspiracy theory as to why the trees were coming down. He, a taxi driver, pointed out that the Water Park is closed due to a lack of a volunteer willing to spend his own money running the place at a possible loss. The last person running the place walked into the council office (the land lord) last year and handed in the keys and said, "I've had enough, goodbye."
Clearing the trees, the taxi driver said would make the place more visible from the road and be more attractive to the mug, sorry, an entrepreneur who might take over the place. It's certainly more visible and only half the trees have gone. And on the local radio station news this evening it was announced that a willing volunteer had indeed been found and the Water Park would reopen for the summer season. Good news if you like water slides. From Torquay or Paignton catch a number 12 bus travelling towards Brixham and ask the driver for Tanner's Road.
Now I am sure our taxi driver will be shouting conspiracy theory but me, I'll stick with coincidence. Coincidences happen all the time; don't they?

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Sorry, Wrong Trees

Sorry, the trees shown in the photo in the last posting aren’t the ones coming down. Not just yet any way, but given Torbay Council’s readiness to chop trees down at the drop of a hat it could be just a matter of time.

These are the ones coming down, in fact some of them, as you can see, have already come down and by the time you read this they could all have gone.
Click on this link and you can watch one of them nose dive on to the Go Cart Track. (The link takes you to youtube.)
No Go Carts were hurt in the making of this film.
Only trees.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Nice Trees. Dead Trees (almost)

The Paignton to Brixham road at Goodrington.
The trees might not be there next week.
There are fears the are about to drop branches on passing motorists.
New trees will be planted once these have been cut down.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Motor Bikes in Paignton

We had a Motor Bike show on Paignton Green this Bank Holiday weekend. Loads of bikes and bikers and not a single face mask to be seen.There was this action, see how many motor bikes we can jump over then along to the Show Section.

The Brough Superior was built in 1931 which makes it fairly old as motor cycles go. TE Lawrence was riding a model like this when he swerved to avoid two boys on cycles and crashed. He died 6 days later from serious head injuries. It is said that one of the doctors who treated him campaigned for many years for the use of crash helmets by motor cyclists and though he failed to save Lawrence's live he ended up saying the lives of countless motorcyclists since.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

If you need something to take your mind off Swine Flu

try this blog
Blood Bus
Set in Glasgow and as you would expect
Contains swear words, sex, violence, drugs, pit bull terriers and has been turned into a Radio Program By Radio Scotland.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Photo Can Not Lie.

It has been said often enough, the camera can not lie. What you point your camera at is what you get on the photo. Well this statement might have been true once. Probably for the first 6 weeks in the history of photography. Then someone would have started to work out how to make the photograph a bit better, a bit brighter, remove the dull bits etc. In other words lie. But in the incident reported below the camera wasn't lying, it was the photographer. He should have his cameras placed on the ground just in front of the front wheel of a number 12 bus which should then drive slowly forwards until satisfying crunching noises are heard, preferably the photographer should still be holding on to his/her cameras.

From the Herald Express

POLITICIANS and business leaders today united to condemn a 'fake' swine flu picture of holidaymakers in Paignton wearing face masks published in a national tabloid newspaper.

The photograph, which was strongly criticised by Bay MP Adrian Sanders appeared in The Sun newspaper yesterday and pictured Barnsley visitors Pat Bagshaw and Joan Johnson sitting on the seafront with the masks.

It was confirmed the photoshoot was set up by the South West News Service press agency and supplied to The Sun.

The women pictured were handed the masks by the photographer and asked to wear them while the picture was taken.

Question for the Sun. Don't you care that misleading photos like this can seriously effect the livelihood of thousands of people, some of whom, hopefully, used to read the Sun.
If you live in Torbay, or any holiday town, because if Swine Flu had appeared in Blackpool or Brighton first your town would have been in the picture, don't buy the Sun next week.
And here is a photo of Torquay Harbour that has had nothing done to it and I didn't ask it to look beautiful before I took the picture, it looks beautiful all on it's own.

Friday, 1 May 2009

I do like to be beside the seaside.

OK, we have Mexican Flu, formally known as swine flu but that was swineist and not nice to pigs and put everyone of eating pork and the pig rearing industry could do with a bit of a boost. So could Torbay, I know we had the first confirmed case in England but it's only a mild case and the young girl who has got flu is staying in this weekend so please get down here. The forecast is good, better than the wet, windy, cold North and Midlands. We will have sun all day 16C temperatures and the added attraction of massive oil tankers to look at as you take the children for a stroll along the sea shore.


Is that an X46 in Fleet St?

This is the new timetable (starts 18 May) for the X46. To show it is for the X46 there is a photo of an X46 on the front of the time table. Neat. But isn't that Fleet Steet. Well actually it is but that isn't a problem as the X46 does in fact make one trip a day down Fleet Street. So that's OK then.
Not quiet, the trip in question is at 6:30am and is heading for Exeter, not in the middle of the day and heading for Paignton.
Not on the same scale as Alberta using a Northumberland Beach to jazz up their web site or Birmingham England deciding it wanted to look like Birmingham Alabama, and so not likely to make The News At Ten. Shame.