Tag Archives: railway

Ooops!

Nearly forgot to post.

There were just four minutes before midnight when I realised I hadn’t posted and leapt into action. It takes three minutes to write a short title, five words and hit the publish button. Well, it takes about 20 seconds, but the whirring and grinding and slowness of an ancient netbook takes two minutes and forty seconds.

Still, I got it done with a minute to spare and now have time to write a few more words in a more leisurely manner.

I was stitched up by my satnav this morning.

Having checked up on Google on Saturday and found that it takes just under two hours to drive to Ely,  I sat in the car this morning with two hours and ten minutes to make the journey.

We switched the satnav on, put in the postcode for Ely station and set off. The figures started with 88.5 miles, which was about the same as Google showed. About 400 metres later it had recalculated and was showing 106 miles and two hours 15 minutes. It got worse when we hit roadworks near Cambridge.

The trouble seems to be that the satnav doesn’t do minor roads.

The moral is to prepare better, enter the destination the night before to check it, and, if necessary, write a route down using Google and a map. It used to work in the days before satnav.

The station, when we arrived, was choked with buses. Buses in my way, buses stuck in gaps and buses being helped to reverse. It was chaos.

It was a hectic day, but it doesn’t seem so bad now it’s over.

The Secret Garden

There are a number of green areas in the middle of Nottingham (I know this, because I’ve just been Googling them) but probably the most surprising is the green area around the North Zone of the Victoria Centre Car Park. Sorry about the formal tone but there is no street access and if you use the wrong car park all you will see is concret.

The Victoria Centre is built on the site of the Nottingham Victoria Railway station, which was demolished in 1967. The original clock tower is incorporated in the modern building and the railway hptel is still in use. It was built in a deep cutting, as you will see when you descend to the lower levels of the car park.

There were a few birds around I saw two wrens and two female blackbirds, whilst several pigeons flew over and a crow dropped by. The plants are mainly buddleia with some ferns, ivy and brambles. There are some maples in the bottom on one side and some birches growing near the top, where two traffic cones also find a home.

Someone seems to have dosed a lot of the brambles with heavy duty weedkiller, which isn’t going to help the birds when winter comes. It’s a balancing act, I suppose, and there will be limits on cost so if you want to keep it looking like a lawn rather than a bomb site chemical shortcuts will be involved.

In the picture just above this is a view of concrete pillars supporting the bus station. When you know that you start to wonder who thought of the design, and whether they were sober at the time.

Ideally I’d like to see the space full of birds, butterflies, children and people drinking tea (there are no Costas in my daydreams). It would be nice to see fruit and vegerables there too, but seventy years of railway working may well have polluted the soil beyond economic recovery.

The tunnel entrance is to the Mansfield Road tunnel, a 1,189 yard long tunnel that used to run between Carrington Station, sited in what was, at the time, a prosperous suburb. It closed in 1928 due to competition from the trams, though the line itself did not completely close until 1968. If you want a look inside the tunnel, try this site.

Having parked there many times I have been guilty of taking it for granted over the years. It’s an interesting facet of blogging that I’m now looking at things from a fresh viewpoint. Even if that viewpoint is desperation for new material.