Bower Fold backdrop

Book Review: British Football’s Greatest Grounds

Not only a coffee table book for groundhoppers; a must for any football fan

  • Title: British Football’s Greatest Grounds: One Hundred Must-See Football Venues;
  • Author: Mike Bayly;
  • Photography: various contributors including David Bauckman, Paul Paxford, Colin McPherson, Andy Nunn, Stuart Tree, Ben Webster,
  • Publisher: Pitch Publishing Limited (2020);
  • Recommended Selling Price: £30.00 (hardback).

At this moment in time, you may be missing your football fix if you often go out to see your favourite team. Due to the lockdown, only Elite League football teams (National Leagues North and South upwards) can continue their season. In what is now known as The Trident Leagues (Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian leagues), league football has been suspended till further notice. Likewise with its regional feeder leagues.

Continue reading “Book Review: British Football’s Greatest Grounds”
Northern Class 195, Manchester Airport

Rail Franchising, 1994 – 2020: An Honest Obituary

System exacerbated fragmented nature of National Rail network

Rail Franchising, a part of British railway policy since 1994, was laid to rest at the age of twenty-six. Its original aim was to raise standards across the rail network and improve on services launched by the outgoing British Railways Board. Today, it was announced by Transport Minister Grant Shapps that all franchised operations will be replaced by Emergency Recovery Management Agreements for six to eighteen month periods.

Continue reading “Rail Franchising, 1994 – 2020: An Honest Obituary”
Mossley View, September 2008

Why This Year’s General Election Is Our Most Critical One To Date

Why you MUST vote in the 2019 General Election

In the last century, there has been two General Elections that have changed the course of British society forever. One of them led to the creation of our Welfare State – most notably our National Health Service. The other one led to the privatisation of our public services and the taming of the labour movement.

Continue reading “Why This Year’s General Election Is Our Most Critical One To Date”

Budget 2017: Money For Brexit (and Changes to UC)

East of the M60‘s frank verdict on Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget

  • Brexit department biggest winner of 2017 Budget;
  • Slight changes for Universal Credit claimants;
  • 16 – 25 Railcard extended to cover persons born from 1986 to 1991;
  • Stamp Duty scrapped for first time buyers.

More than anything, today’s budget was a disappointment. Firstly, we are no clearer as to whether the Trans-Pennine electrification work is going ahead in its unabridged form. Secondly, it seems as if the money for the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena has gone to the Department for Exiting the European Union. Thirdly, those good eggs have cut the waiting time for Universal Credit (but don’t all rush at once). Continue reading “Budget 2017: Money For Brexit (and Changes to UC)”

Budget 2016: A Corporate Welfare State in Ascendency

East of the M60‘s frank verdict on George Osborne’s 2016 Budget

  • Corporation Tax cut to 17%;
  • Boost for Academisation of English schools;
  • DevoManc police plans uncovered;
  • Jamie Oliver Sugar Tax given go-ahead.

A misprint, surely?
Surely some misprint? This is the nameplate of 319 362 Northern Powerhouse, a cast-off EMU from the Thameslink system. Image by Hugh Llewellyn, 2015. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

If by chance you happen to be an upper middle-class egotistical headteacher with a fledgling business, pour yourself a glass of fizzy Vimto. You did very well out of this year’s Budget. In fact, you may well be one of the lucky people, all 0.05% of you. As for the 99.95% of us, well, we have missed out. Continue reading “Budget 2016: A Corporate Welfare State in Ascendency”

Britain’s Average Commute: 98 Minutes

Cost of commuting tops passengers’ complaints

Manchester Piccadilly railway station from the footbridge.jpg
Manchester Piccadilly railway station from the footbridge” by Richard Kelly from Manchester, EnglandFlickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

In a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of transport app developers Moovit, the average Briton spends 98 minutes a day travelling to and from work (or 49 minutes each way). Of great concern to those surveyed was the price of public transport fares and antisocial behaviour. Continue reading “Britain’s Average Commute: 98 Minutes”

UK Motorway Wonders: The Not So Perfect Ten

A selection of wondrous sights on or seen from British motorways

Let’s face it: a trip along any motorway can be boring at the best of times. Any sense of originality or quirkiness is eschewed in favour of the bland. The same sodium lights, speed gantries, and overpriced motorway services.

If you look around, there is some features which stand out from the norm. Some of which may be survivors of the early days of high speed motoring. Continue reading “UK Motorway Wonders: The Not So Perfect Ten”

The North North of the Border: A New South Scotland?

A pipe dream or a possibility?

Over the last week, most of the UK’s populace was agog at David Cameron clinching another term of office. That as part of a majority Conservative government, Britain’s first since April 1992. As well as apathy and the most partisan press campaign since Michael Foot was Labour leader, nationalism played a major part. The UKIP vote ate into Labour’s share as well as the Conservatives’ votes. Continue reading “The North North of the Border: A New South Scotland?”