Friday, 28 September 2012

Quick Work Torbay Council

This post does contain a mild swear word, used twice, sorry I know I don't usually use swear words but seeing someone driving up Cockington Lane at 50 mph does tend one towards something a little stronger than, " You foolish chap." 
Anyway to proceed:-
After slagging off Torbay Council last week because they couldn't be bothered putting up road side advanced warning notices re Esplanade Rd Paignton I need to mention some quick reaction by our wonderful council workforce.Late Wednesday evening I sent the Highways Department an email telling them that a light was out on the pedestrian traffic lights at Cockington Lane. This morning (Thursday) I went round the junction at Cockington Lane at 10:15 and the bulb had been replaced. I was presently surprised. I hope they will react just as quickly when I send them an email about the tree that has come down in Cockington Lane it's self. Only the top 6 feet are sticking out in to the road but the road isn't exactly wide along there. One moment of mirth this afternoon by the above mentioned tree. I was coming out of Cockington and getting close to the tree, there was a pedestrian walking down the lane* so I was going pretty slowly which was a good job because some dickhead in a red car came up the lane doing about 50 mph. I just stopped, there was room for said dickhead to get past but he had to drive through the protruding branches of the fallen tree.
Country lanes are killing fields, more than half the people killed on UK roads die in country lanes and with idiots like this dickhead I'm not suprised.

* There is a really nice footpath running parallel to the Lane, much prettier and a damn sight safer so if you are walking to or from the village please use the path.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

An Upcoming Event at Cockington Court

For the first time, Cockington Court Crafts Centre is hosting its own Big Draw event, as part of the world's biggest celebration of drawing.

On Saturday, 6 October visitors at Cockington Court will have a chance to unleash their creativity and have fun while drawing on "never-ending sheets of paper". The colourful masterpiece will then be displayed on the corridor walls and down the spiral stairwell of the Manor House.

The Big Draw is free to attend and families are invited to visit the Manor House foyer from 12 to 4pm to take part in the event, and explore the stunning grounds of Cockington Court.

Mayor of Torbay, Gordon Oliver said: "Cockington Court is part of our heritage, and it is great to see that it is presenting visitors with yet another opportunity to enjoy a day out in Torbay."

Craft Centre Director Marissa Wakefield said: "The creative buzz of Cockington Court Craft Centre makes it the perfect place to host such an event and we are delighted that our visitors on Saturday will have a chance to take part in such an inspirational activity."

There are two ways to get to this event by bus, from Paignton catch the Devonian bus number 50 from Torbay Rd, just over the level crossing from the train station ot the Local Link bus number 62 from Torquay Strand.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Mad Day Yesterday

The day started as normal for a Saturday at 10:35 from Torbay Rd to Cockington, there and back no problem. I did notice that there was some activity on Paignton Green. Several large tents and a few vans plus some children riding around on bikes but nothing else. Left Paignton for my 11:15 trip, still no problems, nothing warning me of the chaos to follow. Back in Paignton with time to spare for a quick cup of coffee before setting off at 11:55 for my last trip before my lunch break. Usual way, up Torbay Rd, round Great Western Rd past the bus station, along Dartmouth Rd and left into Sands Rd and over the level crossing. Down to the bottom of Sands Rd and left into Esplanade Rd.

Road Ahead Closed was what the notice said. What I said is not printed here as small children and other people of a nervous disposition might be reading this. At the junction with Torbay Rd there was and other sign saying Diversion Turn Left. As I had an elderly lady who wanted the Palace Hotel I went past this sign. At the Palace Hotel the road was indeed closed but I dropped my passenger off and turned the bus round in the road. A event marshal even moved a few cones to assist me but was quite unfriendly when I asked him where all the advanced warning signs were that are usual when a main road is closed. Usually there are signs put up a week before so drivers don't just turn up and find bloody great barriers across the road. He did say it wasn't his problem and would I mind going away. I did manage to find out how long the road would be closed for but that wasn't much help. So back up Torbay Rd along with everyone who had come from Brixham direction and turned right at the big tree. No signs there either. Took 25 minutes to get back to where I had started from. On to Cockington; Paignton Town centre was a mess traffic wise. People trying to get out of side roads causing chaos. Eventually I got past Preston, Manor Rd coming up was full of cars because drivers had gone down Seaway Rd to drive along the seafront only to discover at the bottom of Manor Rd there had to turn right up Manor Rd. Why no sign, Torbay Council, at Seaway Rd saying Seafront closed use town centre?

In the end I made it back to Cockington at 14:15 having missed a complete trip. People had been waiting a long time for me in Cockington and it didn't make me feel any better that it wasn't my fault. As the road was going to open at 3pm I decided to wait in Cockington until 14:46, the normal leaving time. This would mean I would get back to Esplanade Rd at 3pm just as the road opened again. After that It was plain sailing again and the last two trips of the day went according to the timetable which is the way I like things to go.

What I would like to know but probably never will is why there were no advance warning notices put up in the week before telling everyone the road would be closing. Pier Rd in Paignton which is only used by people parking on the prom had a notice up for a week saying it would be closed on two Wednesday afternoons so why didn't one of the busiest roads in Paignton get the same treatment? And why no notices in Seaway Lane and at The Big Tree to save people the time and trouble driving down to Esplanade |Rd only to find it closed.

Rating for Torbay Council on the running of this event; Extremely poor. Must do much better.

PS. One of my regular passengers took the photo.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Ark Royal Will Not Rest In Peace, Just in Pieces.

Torbay's Wreck the World organisation bid £3.5m for the Ark Royal to sink it off Torbay to create an artificial reef. The work to prepare the ship for sinking would have brought much needed work to a shipyard in the South West. Once that work had been done it would have been a much needed addition to our tourist industry. Not just diving schools taking people out to dive on the new reef but boat owners, hotels, catering and much more. Similar enterprises elsewhere in the world have always been successful. Even wildlife in the sea would benefit. Just look at pictures of the Titanic. This was a win win situation. Even the government would have got 3 and a half million quid out of the deal.

So what have the wise(sic) people in government done with the Ark Royal? Sold it to someone in Turkey for 3 million quid? That's half a million quid less then the Torbay group bid. Now all the people who will get employment from the scrapping of this ship live in Turkey and not Torquay and once they have finished cutting it up all benefits will be over instead of lasting for generations in Torbay. Has anyone got the slightest idea why stupid people all seem to end up working for the government?

Either someone has got a backhander or, more likely, someone in Whitehall hates Torbay.

Just a picture of a horse.


Don't Feed The Gulls

In any seaside town you will find notices asking visitors not to feed the gulls, us locals know not to feed them. But gulls are always hungry and never know where or when the next meal is coming from so grab what they can when they can. Even greens. At least he is getting one of his five a day.
About a second after I had taken this shot a waitress came running up and shouted at him and he reluctantly flew away. So that was the end of his healthy diet for the day, poor thing. At least there was no cider in the glass, last thing we want are drunken seagulls flying around Torquay.
Today it was a taxi parked on the bus stop in Cockington but it drove of as soon as the driver saw me, I wonder why.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Palm Court Coming Down

Finally after 10 or more years since it ceased operation as a hotel the Palm Court Hotel (Ex) is coming down. The demolision work seemed to be going slowly at first but over the last few days much of the building that wasn't burnt down almost two years ago has started to bite the dust. More photos will follow as the work progresses and as soon as rebuilding work starts I shall report here and on Flickr at dcbanx.

Coach in Cockington

OK. The coach shouldn't have been there. There is a sign prohibiting coaches and large buses from Cockington Lane. Imagine what would happen if half a dozen all turned up at once. At present there is a 2 year exemption so local buses can go into Cockington but as soon as we drop off and pick up we leave. The timetable is designed like that otherwise we would clutter the place up. On the way into Cockington yesterday afternoon the lady driving the horse and buggy stopped me and mentioned the fact that a bloody great coach was parked on the bus stop. And as you can see, there was.

I spoke to the coach driver and he told me he hadn't been sure about taking the coach to Cockington but looked up the phone number of one of the establishments in the village to ask if there was anywhere to park a coach in the village and was told, "Yes, no problem. There's a big bus stop here right in the centre of the village."

The driver himself, by the time he had negotiated the lane up to Cockington was most unhappy. He definitely wasn't ever going to visit Cockington again. Not with a coach anyway.

I asked him what time he was going. I didn't want to meet him in the lane, one of us would have to reverse a long way. He happily agreed to wait until I next arrived and follow me out. And we got out without meeting any cars going the other way which was a good thing.

So, coach drivers, even if someone tells you there is room to park a coach, don't believe them. Please.


Friday, 7 September 2012

Strange Bus in Fleet St

On my way to work yesterday I noticed this bus coming up the street. Seems to be a protest about rich people and large companies some how managing to make use of well known loopholes in our counties tax laws and evade paying their full tax bill while those who can not afford expensive tax lawyers end up paying too much tax. Not right and costs the country billions. So why have successive governments not closed these loop holes? It could be there is a vested interest in not closing them; who knows?  

Anyway this big red thing isn't a bus even though  it looks like one and shouldn't be in Fleet st

Sunday, 2 September 2012



Torbay Vintage Bus Rally Sept 2012

Some photos from today's Vintage Bus Rally held here in Torquay today.
Lots of buses and well attended and the weathere stayed mostly dry.