Saturday, 31 December 2011


It will be 2012 in 3 mins, hope you all have a good year.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day Bus

Today, Boxing Day, Torbay Vintage Bus Running Day are running a free bus between Torquay and Paignton. It leaves the Strand on the hour until 4pm, Paignton Library at 17 mins past the hour and calls at Union St at 43 mins past the hour. The bus at Paignton Library at 16:15 will only run if there are passengers aboard for Torquay. I caught the 11am bus and travelled as passenger to Torquay and because I didn't have any money to pay my fare back to Torquay I was forced to drive the bus back to Torquay at 11:15. Bit like washing dishes in a restaurant if you can't pay the bill. Actually it was much nicer than washing dishes. It was very nice to be driving a Stagecoach bus once again even if,
technically speaking it is an ex Stagecoach bus.

One of the photos is the bus in Paignton and the other is me in Union St Torquay. Reminds me of the good old days.

Sunday, 25 December 2011


I've just been out for my customery afternoon walk. What's going on? Everywhere is shut, all the shops, cafes, bars, there are no taxis on the ranks, no buses on the bus stops, only one or two pedestrians walking aimlessly about. It's like a sceane from Survivors. Either that or it's Christmas.

If it isn't Christmas then we are all in deep brown sticky smelly stuff.

If it is Christmas, then Merry Christmas to you all.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hello London, There are people in the UK who don't live in in the South East.

The government spends more money on transport projects for Londoners than on those for the rest of the country combined, a think tank says.

The Institute for Public Policy Research North says £2,700 is spent per person in London compared with £5 per head in the north-east of England.

In a report out this week IPPR North says there is a "sharp disparity".

London - £2,731

South-east of England - £792

East Midlands - £311

West Midlands - £269

Yorkshire and Humberside - £201

North-west of England - £134

Eastern England - £43

South-west of England - £19

North-east of England - £5

The government says its investment strategy is to maximise economic benefits for the country as a whole.


I have posted this just in case anyone had any ideas in their heads that the Government actually knows that life exists outside London and the South East, or even cares for that matter. Remember, the futher away from the seat of power the less you get. The people living in Brixham would agree with that.

The photo of new bus for London is purely a coincidence. Where exactly did Boris get the money from to build that thing?

Lots of Photos

The fire started at 21:30 on Monday evening but I didn't find out untill 2 hours later, hence no dramatic pictures with flames leaping hundreds of feet into the air.

Conway Court Hotel Fire'>Click here for more photos mostly showing the hotel being demolished in double quick time. The hotel was on the top of a cliff and the road below, Torbay Rd, is the busiest in the whole of the Bay. Torquay has had mega traffic jams for the last two days. The road opened this evening so well done Gilpin Demolition for such a speedy job. from fire starting to building safe took only 42 hours which is a bit of a miricle for Torquay.

Conway Court Hotel

A couple of photos from the former Conway Court Hoter. Gilpin have been down there since last night working hard to make the sea front safe from falling bits of hotel. At a guess the road below should open some time tomorrow. Torbay council officials will evaluate the situation at 15:00 today. Meanwhile Torquay roads have ground to an almost complete stop. Still no inclincing of who or what started the fire. 12/12A bus service badly disrupted.
Don't forget, Longest night tonight. 

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

More photos from the Sea Front

This is the wall that has to be demolished before any one can drive along the sea front between the Pavillion and Belgrave Rd. (Also pictured sans traffic). If it did fall down it would land on the old toilets, also disued and slightly delerict; killing two birds with one stone. Well quite a lot of stone really.
Demolition is expected to start Wednesday and rebuilding in 2019, providing planning permission can be obtained. This is Torquay after all.

More photos of the hotel (day time)

These photos were taken at midday on Tuesday. Warren Rd is still blocked but you can drive along as far as Cary Rd which takes you on to St Lukes and so on to Shedden Hill. The Sea Front between the Pavillion and Belgrave Rd is closed due to concerns that the rear wall of the hotel might fall down Rock Walk and onto the main road. All that is left are the walls and chimney stacks. Several parked cars are presently trapped by the hotel and one car owner I spoke to said he didn't know what state his car was in or when he would be able to drive it away. I don't expect, from what I have been told, that the roads will be open any time today

An other delerict hotel goes up in flames

These photos were taken at 00:30 on Tuesday morning as an other of Torquay's long abandoned and delerict hotels burns down. The hotel was situated on Warren Rd where it overlooks Torbay so I would imagine it would have been visable from both Paignton and Brixham.The fire started at about 10:30 (22:30). A police officer I spoke to said he wasn't aware of any casualties though the hotel is surrounded by appartment blocks on both sides. I would imagine the road will be closed for traffic all night and a good portion of Tuesday day time. More photos some time around midday if the police let me get close enought.
PS Thanks Terry for letting me know.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Preston Sands in Winter

In the summer Preston Sands is a busy place. Beach huts by the hundred adorn the place and holiday makers by the thousand turn up here. But in the winter it's only the dog walkers and the odd photogrpher that turns up.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Abnormal Bus Stop

Just seen this picture on Fix my Transport's twitter site. From the imformation given in the photo's properties I am gussing it's in Bristol somewhere. Anyone any idea what is abnormal about this bus stop as I am fairly sure it isn't a spelling mistake.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

An Other Ordinary Week!

What a week that was, first on Monday, my birthday, I had to take the cat to the vet. He needed to have a couple of teeth out so it was an all day job. I had to get him there for 9:00. Years ago I used to take the last cat we had to the vet on the number 32 bus but this new cat weighs in at 5.5kilos plus basket is abit too much so a taxi was booked for 8:45. After he had been booked in it was still too early to use my bus pass so I walked home. Well, walking is good for you and alright I am a skin flint. At half pass two a phone call to the vet, yes teeth were done and cat was up and about head butting the bars of his cage, could I come At Once Please and collect him. So bus ride (free) to vets. Cat seemed fine but looked like he would never talk to me again. I talk to him all the time and he understands every word I say to him providing I only words say are, "Would you like something to eat?" Another taxi home. That was Monday.

Tuesday my partner complained he was having trouble with iTunes on his laptop. Playlists were all over the place and lots and lots of tunes just wouldn't play. iTunes kept saying it couldn't find the tunes even though they were still where they had always been. So plan A was put into operation. Delete iTunes and reinstall. Usually works. But then Apple kept saying "iTunes.exe Entry Point Not Found" A quick surf through Google found 27 984 007 responses in 0.037 seconds. Lots of people having problems. Picked on "How to Geek" for the solution. I've used this page before and seems OK. Finally got iTunes working again but to be safe I copied everything, all 27GB, from the iPod to my desktop computer using Copy Trans. Took hours but worked perfectly which is more than I can say for the laptop which still had play list all mixed up. So iPod was copied again and is now OK. Took all day.

Wednesday both Man U and Man C decided they didn't want anything to do with Europe and voted by playing well below par. If this had been cricket I would have suspected match fixing but that doesn't happen in football does it.

Thursday there was an item in the Herald Express about the council here in Torquay. Not are they not doing well, fat chance, they are actually getting worse. The only areas where there is a positive improvement are Tor2 waste management and recycling, the sell-off of council assets and the Hele's Angels community project. The rest are either just holding their own or going down hill fast. We only voted this lot in in May and we are stuck with them for years yet. An other item mentioned that regeneration of the sea front from the Grand Hotel to The Imperial Hotel had started and cited the gate houses at the rugby club as work so far carried out. (See photo). Just the Palm Court Hotel, The Princess Theatre, The Banjo, The Pavilion, and the Prom to get done yet. In my life time? I hope so because it would mean I will have to live long enough to get a telegram from the Queen.

Then Friday the New Leader of UKIP when for a match in Europe. At least when Man U and Man C got kicked out of Europe the players did the decent thing and stayed on the pitch till the game was over. David C made an undignified exit from the playing field well before half time and didn't even look back. When I first heard what he had done my first thought was that he was buttering up to his anti Europe back benchers, then I decide he was looking after his friends the wankers, oops sorry, bankers. Now I have decided that what he has done is brilliant. He's going to set up the UK as an off shore Tax Haven. Marvellous. More money for the wankers.

Saturday night I missed the Luna eclipse by not living in Australia or North America. Never mind, there is another in 2014. Oh and Torquay United won one nil at home to Brentford.

Sunday I went to watch Torquay U14 Rugby team. I have been watching these lads for a few years now and I can safely say that today's game was the worst I have ever seen them play. It can only get better.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Friday, 2 December 2011

Medical Time Again

I was in Teignmouth this morning taking my annual bus driver's medical. The appointment was for 11:15 at the West Bay Medical Centre with Dr Rosalind Cooling. It's the second year running I have been here for my medical and long may I continue to go there. Dr Cooling is quite a few years older than me and is a most remarkable woman. And she likes to talk. She now only does D4 medicals and only charges £45 and the whole experience, unlike most medical examinations, was a pleasure.

Once the medical was finished I went for a walk around town. I had 50 minutes before the next number 11 bus came along. Here are two of the photos I took.

1st of December and there were no pleasure boats out at sea, just this small dredger all on it's own. Then back in town there was this big lorry trying to unload outside WHSmiths. There is a loading bay but some idiot who thinks a blue badge means he can park anywhere was occupying the bay. Teignmouth came to a stop for a while.

Just in case you didn't know, even disabled drivers can't park in a loading bay. Not unless they are driving a commercial vehicle and loading or unloading. That's why they are called loading bays.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Torquay Pension Protest

Three photos from yesterdays pension protest march in Torquay. I have some symphathy for the protesters but I don't think they will get the government to change it's mind on this issue. I have a feeling it's because most people realize that the tax payer can not afford to continue paying for public sector pensions at the rate we have been doing so until now. 
And as one bystander said, "I stack shelves in a supermarket. Tell me, what exactly is a pension?"