Ticket inspection

Well, for a little while now we have had ticket inspections (at least at peak hours) at Birmingham Moor Street and University, as well as New Street. This means at least 3 inspections during each journey to and from work. Sometimes they collect the tickets, sometimes not – and sometimes they try to collect even if I haven’t reached the end of the journey and need to gently remind them that I need to keep it for the rest of the journey.

These companies would do well to read Railway Management at Stations by E.B. Ivatts of the Midland Great Western Railway (5th Ed, 1910, published by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd.). He starts well and then it gets a little odd:

The examination and collection of tickets, either at a ticket platform or an exit gate, is a process which should be done with the greatest possible speed, consistent with accuracy. A fumbling ticket collector unnecessarily detaining a train full of passengers is a deplorable sight. Either old men or youths are generally unfit for the duty, unless where an old man has been always a ticket collector. Active, intelligent young men, of over twenty years of age, are most suitable. A man with a prominence of the forehead just over the eyes will make a quick ticket collector. By passing the finger up the front of the nose to where the nose joins the forehead, in some men, the skull at this point, which may be termed the root of the nose, will be found to protrude, and, in some instances, form quite a lump. Men of this type are quick, ready and observant, and most good detectives have this development. If the hair of the head and whiskers also is fine in texture and quality, so will the owner be the more incisive and perfecting in character. A ploughman cannot be expected to make a watch, nor will a clumsy, lolling man make a ticket collector.

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Poetry (I think?)

Today No. 1 child and I visited the Midland Railway Centre near Ripley. Interesting place… about 1.5 out of 5 for the toilets. St. Saviour’s Church at Swanwick, a tin church moved from Westhouses, got bonus minus marks for having a copy of the New World Translation of the Bible…

But one of the highlights was this delightful piece of poetry, on display in “Johnson’s Buffet”. At least, it looks like it’s meant as poetry.

Poetry, possibly…
(Click to read)

Finding your handiwork displayed for all the world to see

Found on the web, one photograph of the West Shed points indicator at Tywyn Pendre. Lettered (in good old-fashioned Letraset) by yours truly some years ago. Still looking quite presentable.

These points used to be on lever 12 until the preparatory works for the (subsequently cancelled) Pendre signalling scheme made it desirable to reclaim the lever for other purposes and the points ended up worked by a rather nice LNWR foot-release lever by the shed door.

Digging up old photos

Whilst browsing through Photoshop Album looking for something half-respectable to use as an avatar, I found all manner of interesting stuff. Most poignant perhaps was this one; Shane’s Castle Railway No. 3 “Shane” at Shane’s Castle. I had my very first footplate ride along the run-round loop there at around the age No. 1 child is now (on No. 1 “Tyrone”). The railway is now gone; only happy childhood memories remain. (The locos are now at the Giant’s Causeway & Bushmills Railway.)

No. 3 at Shane’s Castle

Poor Lesley, and other news

Poor old Lesley is having problems with her teeth. Not very nice; at least another two visits to the dentist required.

No. 1 child has a short visit tomorrow to his new nursery class.

After a number of false starts, I seem to be getting somewhere with this sermon for Sunday.

Dear old MRFS has sent me a quite delightful and surprising item in the post, the nature of which I cannot reveal publicly. He is a decent chap.

Royal Mail attempted to deliver an item yesterday, while we were out, and indicated that we might be able to find it at the sorting office today. Alas, no.