Archive for August, 2009

Princess Elizabeth – North Wales Coast Express

August 16th, 2009 No comments

LMS Princess Class 4-6-2 No. 6201, Princess Elizabeth passed through Rainhill this morning with the North Wales Coast Express from Liverpool Lime Street to Holyhead, 180 years after the Rainhill Trials were held on the same stretch of line.

6201 Princess Elizabeth passes through Rainhill - 15th August 2009

Official – UK newbuilds are shoeboxes of Europe

August 16th, 2009 No comments

Anyone who has looked around a new housing development in recent years can’t fail to have noticed how new houses are getting smaller and smaller. Developers use tricks such as specially made ‘three-seater’ sofas that are only as long as a normal two-seater; doors are left off and TVs are conspicuous by their absence – all to hide the fact that the room is woefully small.

A recent survey by Cabe, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, has confirmed that new houses in the UK really are the shoeboxes of Europe.

The average floor space of a new UK home is only 76 square metres. That’s 13%, 21% and 32% less than Ireland, Spain and France respectively and just over a third of the space enjoyed by Australians and Americans.

The problem here is that developers get greedy, trying to cram as many of these overpriced shoeboxes onto a plot of land, while the local council planning department, who should really be the ones policing this and refusing permission, have a conflict of interest as more houses means more council tax. It is hardly surprising that those houses that do have garages, rarely contain a car as they have out of necessity become storage rooms or converted living spaces because the original design was lacking in space. Overcrowded developments also have detrimental effects on local traffic congestion.

New houses should have a minimum floor area and a minimum land area around it. If these are not met then the selling price that the developer can demand should be limited. We should also be forcing new-builds to have cellars.

Duchess of Sutherland – Cumbrian Mountain Express

August 8th, 2009 No comments

6233, Duchess of Sutherland passed by Horwich this morning with the Cumbrian Mountain Express, the first ever Duchess to work north from Bolton to Chorley. The steps to the right of the picture indicate the site of Horwich Fork signal box.

Duchess of Sutherland passes Horwich Fork SB with the Cumbrian Mountain Express (8th August 2009)

It returned later on, passing through Blackrod Station in the evening:

Ironman UK 2009, Bolton

August 2nd, 2009 No comments

Ironman UK 2009 was held in Bolton this year. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get to the swimming or cycing stages, but managed to catch the frontrunners as they made their first pass through Horwich.

Philip Graves

This is Philip Graves running through Horwich with almost a seven minute lead in the first part of the marathon section. He went on to win the event.

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