A bit of a knit.

Brilliant photojournalism about the Knitters of Knunthorpe.

Happy birthday, RAF!

Liz Taylorson

Sometimes it can feel like life is passing you by here in Nunthorpe. It’s a typical suburb where not much happens. It seems like people get up, they go to work (somewhere else) they go to socialise (somewhere else) and they come home and go to sleep. Most of the time, it feels very far removed from the places where real things happen. Sometimes this is good. I’m not in a hurry to be at the heart of an inner-city riot or a far-right protest march, but sometimes it can make you feel a bit left out of things when all the good things that bring us together as a nation and a community happen a long, long way from Nunthorpe. image2 (1)

Then the knitting started to appear! A few years ago the station was yarn bombed for the first time – I’m afraid I can’t remember what the event was…

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Urban Dictionary

Unless you are hyperlexic, you’ll sometimes be wondering what a word means, even if you are a native speaker of English.

So to help you along, here is one of my favourite websites, which covers both British and American English.

Introducing you to Urban Dictionary.

Much to my chagrin, however, they have ceased producing the Urban Dictionary block calendar, which always used to adorn my desk at work.


Enjoy the website, and don’t be a bucket mouth!

Have a lexical day, won’t you!

black and white book business close up

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Gordon Brown and Oxford’s dirty little secret

Lion & Unicorn

This is an extract from Alwyn Turner’s A Classless Society: Britain in the 1990s

In May 2000 Gordon Brown was speaking at a trade union conference when he raised the case of Laura Spence, an A-level student from a state school in Tyne and Wear, whose GCSE results and predicted grades were sufficient to get her into almost any university, but who was turned down by Magdalene College, Oxford and instead was intending to go to Harvard. This was the result, said Brown, of ‘an interview system more reminiscent of an old boy network and the old school tie than genuine justice for society’.

He added: ‘It is about time we had an end to the old Britain, where all that matters is the privileges you were born with, rather than the potential you actually have. It is time that these old universities opened their doors to women and…

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2018 is the start of the end for Pacer trains, so here’s a pictorial review.

I admit it. I have always liked the Pacer DMU. Some great photojournalism here, too.

Paul Bigland

*NOTE*. This blog was updated with extra photos and notes on January 22nd 2018.

I’m not intending to go into a full history of the BR built Pacer trains as that’s been done many time before. Instead I’m going to go through my archive to illustrate their life and times whilst offering some personal recollections.

Pacers have been a feature of the railway scene since the mid 1980’s but now their time’s drawing to a close. The first sets will go off-lease after the May timetable change, then there’ll be a steady decline in the numbers until – one day – they’ll all be gone (which is due to be by 2020). Whilst disliked by many passengers (especially commuters) they’re not universally unpopular. Many train crews I’ve spoken to actually admit to liking them! I’ve a soft spot for them too – mainly because they allow you such good views…

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Is rolling stock design going backwards?

You can’t beat the rattly Pacer. Compare it to the German S-Bahn. 🙂

All Tickets Please

In the 1980’s  British Rail issued a challenge to several companies to design a cheap, lightweight train. The initial prototype, known as LEV-1, was a joint project by the British Rail Research Division and Leyland Motors using a Leyland National bus body mounted on a modification of an existing freight vehicle underframe. This was followed by the two-car prototype class 140, which was built in 1984 at the British Rail Engineering Derby works.

The Pacer class diesel multiple units have their fans and also their critics but at the time they were deployed they undoubtedly saved several branch lines from closure due to their low construction and operating costs.

Fast forward to the present day and we have another low cost solution to branch line railways in the Parry People Mover.  The Parry People Mover is a railcar that uses flywheel energy storage to store energy for traction, allowing electric…

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Expat Grump

Actually I’m not sure it’s an expat grump.  I’m pretty sure it rears its ugly head all round the world.


Sitting down on packed tram a few days ago. Male next to me. He was manspreading, legs at the 13:50 position. He was annoyed when I sat next to him. Poor man had to sit with his knees closer together.


No excuse.  Unless they are as big as melons, in which case you should be at the doctor’s, and not on the tram.

Germany is, as ever, very practical in relation to this behaviour.  This is on my local tram. It seems to be a very German way to discourage manspreading.



Have a considerate day, won’t you!

Your Irregular Soviet Joke du Jour

A mummy was found in Egypt. The archaeologists could not determine its origin. Then a Soviet advisor offered his help. The mummy was delivered to the Soviet embassy. In two hours the Soviet advisor appeared and said, “His name was Amenkhotep VIII.”

“How did you find out?”

“He confessed,” the advisor said.

Have a confessional day, won’t you!