Saturday, 31 October 2015

The cuckoo has landed.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

There's a cuckoo over the white cliffs of Dover (2)

Q:  what is English culture?

There's a cuckoo over the white cliffs of Dover. (1)

I intend to dedicate a few posts to the life and works of Steve Uncles as he seeks to become  Kent Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016.

In most posts comment by me will be superfluous.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Day Trip to Lewes

Used my over 65 bus pass today for a day out.  Decided to visit  Lewes to explore the route of the closed railway in the town,  The railway crossed the High Street on a viaduct and then bridged the river close to Harvey's Brewery and then struck out for Uckfield.

The line's closure had more to with the political machinations of the  pro-road East Sussex County Council than a post Beeching railway closure.

The railway stood on land the Council wished to use to build an inner by-pass.  Named Phoenix Way, the by-pass only advanced a few yards before petering out in the  narrow roads of Lewes .  An expensive folly.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Fiveways Bus Ban

The blog has been critical of the idea promoted by the Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council that buses be banned from Fiveways.

Yesterday evening I attended the AGM of the Bridge Trust.  A fellow attendee suggested it would be a good idea to e-mail Councillor Jukes stating objections to his hare-brained proposal.

He can be contacted at:

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Pantiles. ATM- Free Zone

The Pantiles is a major visitor attraction.  The decision of Barclays to close the Pantiles branch has seen the demise of the last bank branch at the lower end of Royal Tunbridge Wells.  The Post Office branch closed years ago.  So, here you are a visitor to the Wells and you wish to replenish your wallet.  Barclays took their ATM with them.

Where to go?  The railway station or Sainsbury?  Hardly user- friendly for visitors wishing to spend money in that part of Tunbridge Wells.

Many visitors wish to shop at the top end of the town and use the Crescent Road car park. The condition of the public lavatories has deteriorated over the years.  Worse still, the facilities close at 5.30PM and not 6.00PM as stated on the notice of opening hours.

Perhaps Councillor Jukes could bring his talents to bear to deal with these matters rather than pursue his crazy proposal to drive visitors and locals away from public transport by closing Fiveways to buses.


The demise of steel-making plants in the wake of China's dumping of surplus steel reminds me of the  closure of steel making capacity close to where I lived in the second half of last century. 

 I remember steel being made at Stanton, Staveley, Renishaw, Clay Cross and Sheepbridge.  All vanished along with associated railways, coal mines, coking plants, foundries and rolling mills.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Two firsts.

Caught the 281 bus at Parsonage Road, Rusthall.  On time departure at 13.24.  One other passenger who alighted at the second bus stop. No other passengers joined until we arrived at the Tesco stop at the top end of town. Very odd as we were not hard on the heels of the 13.12 bus.

Coming home I caught the 16.00 off Meadow Road.  At Fiveways a big scrum, too many people, passengers were left behind.  No room on the bus until we lost a few passengers at Sainsbury.   First time I have travelled non-stop from Fiveways to Sainsbury.

Councillor Jukes has had the bright (trans: stupid) idea to ban buses from Fiveways.  His idea should be consigned to the rubbish bin


Friday, 16 October 2015

At sixes and sevens.

Set off for Maidstone on a No 7 bus.  Delayed in Tonbridge by a slow moving steam traction engine (with a jib attached to the front) belonging to the North Kent Haulage and Lifting Co.  Further delay as we navigated inconsiderately parked cars in Mereworth.  Wreckage clear-up following a car accident between Wateringbury and Barming delayed us even further.

Return journey by the No. 6 route.  Heavily delayed by the aforementioned accident.  What I didn't realise was that the No 7 route (apart from the Mereworth detour) sticks to the main roads whereas the No 6 detours round East Peckham and Pembury as well as calling at the Hop Farm and the hospital at Pembury.

Twerp of the Year Award 2015

From a crowded field a clear winner has emerged.  Step forward Councillor David Jukes, Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

Councillor Jukes has seen off strong opposition - from machine gun refugee killing Steve Uncles of the English Democrats to members of the White Elephant Club in Rusthall, namely parish councillors spending money on the old fire station.

However all this pales into insignificance when set against Councillor Jukes declared intention to ban buses at Fiveways having just spent a huge sum on a road scheme which does provide for buses.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


One of the joys of a concessionary bus pass is the ability to wander off on a whim and for free.  From a base in Tunbridge Wells it is possible to travel to Crawley, Bromley, Maidstone, Eastbourne, Hastings and Brighton without a change of bus en route.  

Yes, it is slower than train travel or using the car but it is free.  Most of the services employ double-decker buses, so a fine view of the passing scenery which is not possible using a car and without the blur of a train journey.

For the most part the services are reliable and the buses reasonably clean.

Today I headed off towards Maidstone via Tonbridge.  Opportunity to inspect the road works on Tonbridge High Street and admire the architecture of Hadlow Folly and Mereworth church.

On arriving in Wateringbury I decided I did not have time to complete the journey to Maidstone.  I alighted at the Wateringbury Hotel stop, crossed the road and inspected the timetables.  I had just missed the bus to Tunbridge Wells via Paddock Wood.

A thirty minute wait beckoned but then a 6X came into view.

The 6X operates between Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals and stops only at Barming, Wateringbury Hotel and Nettlestead. The 'bus' was a tour coach.  It took fifteen minutes to arrive at its destination.  A quick change then onto a bus between the hospital and Tunbridge Wells town centre via Pembury Road.  In all it had taken thirty minutes from Wateringbury to alighting in Tunbridge Wells.

A small bonus: just as we were leaving the hospital the bus I had missed at Wateringbury hove into view.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Friday, 9 October 2015

On the buses

Decided to have a look at the work being done to dual carriageway the A21 between Pembury and Tonbridge. What better way than on a bus.  So it was off to Pembury Hospital from Tunbridge Wells and thence a bus from the hospital to Tonbridge.

A huge amount of muck has been shifted and it looks as though there is a lot more to go before the new carriageways are defined.

Monday, 5 October 2015

A nasty surprise in Rusthall

Last Sunday I walked up to the High Street in Rusthall to buy a newspaper.  Purchase completed I rounded the corner into Meadow Road and was confronted by the sight of two traffic wardens. It was 8.00AM and the wardens were busy issuing 'tickets' to cars parked partly on double yellow lines.  I bet a few people had a nasty surprise later that morning.

Fiver for proof

Don't believe this.  Fiver to first person to prove me wrong.