The usual social whirl you know, we started with the Polio Fellowship collection which wasn't on the Wirral this time , it was at Sealand Ind Est Tesco at Chester, the traffic was very light, strange for a morning rush hour. We did 9 through till 11am when we were relieved, it wasn't a bad start with about 60% of people giving something and even a couple of notes going in the tins. We also had some interesting conversations. Then we headed off to Waitrose in Chester, shopped then coffee and cake, a much much better cafe than at Northwich branch, must say something next time, we had a delicious fresh juicy Apfelstrudel.Then we headed home and called in at the post office to offload the orders, we were quite busy yesterday and again today. Perhaps it's the end of month syndrome! Here is a shot of Mandy tin in hand at Tesco's this morning.
Next we called around to St Oswalds to see if anyone had showed to fit the lamps and had a look at progress on the toilet block. They are just finishing off the base so next week or so the actual structure should be going up, in other words the brickwork so far is below floor level- it's all on a steep slope. The church looked good in the bright sunshine, a change to have it dry. The north looks like being cloudy again on Mon/Tues but it looks much better for the south so perhaps back on the Bristol or Reading option. Photo progress at St Oswalds, there was too much shadow for a decent image of the works. I got all today's DVD and cine orders ready in Mandys car for tomorrow as I'll be out early heading up to Manchester for the Boyle St museum spring sale., remember we are there just the Saturday this year. Now I've moved on to copying 16mm cine film, I've got a large reel on which is about a Finnish motorcyclist with Stuart Hall ( boo hiss) narrating, but dubbed into French. I've a few reels to copy but nothing like the heap I had last time.
Greetings folks, familiy,friends, customers wherever you may be. Our Dear Leader May Blossom Blessings be upon her, is in a tissy today with the London attack yesterday. Bodes not well for transport photographers as the back lash from the bus bombing was a clamp down on ordinary life, years of hassle. They say everything should go on as normal but it never gets back to where it started. Next they'll be wanting to give all the police guns, I don't think all the guns in the world would have stopped the killer stabbing the cop yesterday , at close range and a sudden action I doubt if he could have drawn a weapon. Anyway lets return to what passes for ordinary in my mad world, Mandy actually managed to shower this morning without my help and I went off down to Coventry, I took the toll road as the M6 was blocked by accidents, what's new there then.
On the way home the M6 was blocked by accidents, what's new there then - yes it's ground hog day but true. Coming back up I swapped over to the A50, usual black hole territory in road work areas and hows not having a hard shoulder for safety going to help matters. It was partly sunny, nothing interesting in the bus fleets but with one exception very friendly drivers, must have been a Pole. Certainly most of the West Midlands ethnic communities are hard at work driving national Express buses although there were still a lot of MBO's kicking around Coventry, I think they are that isolated from Britain that they don't even realise what an insult it is to the Brits, especially after yesterday.
The interesting bit was an extended look at a Stagecoach breakdown recovery which happened towards the end of my visit and made for some good shots. This evening photos from of course Coventry. A landslide of orders today, DVDs and films, I'm going to be busy this evening and tomorrow we are at the Polio Fellowship collection on the Wirral. The lamps for St Oswalds arrived and I took them round to the church. Saturday we'll be at Boyle St Museum in Manchester.
At breakneck speed we have bolted through another week although it seems there are still several days to go. This morning started up ok although a few phone calls took longer than anticipated particularly around the disabled access rubber ramps for St Oswalds. We dropped off the post, shot down in to Knutsford so i could get Mandy's birthday card but tried Smiths and a stationers, both had cards suited for 1917 rather than this century, I'll try Marks & Spencer somewhere when I'm out tomorrow. Then met with Keith my fellow church warden and did the lighting survey, we've funded it among a small group. Then we played with the access step in the bell tower, Mandy did the guinea pig stuff in her manual wheel chair, just a couple of pieces of old carpet almost did te job so the rubber wedges and some rubber mat should make a good result and at low cost. I returned home with Mandy and ordered the required lamps.
Then I had but a brief time to sort the recent DVDs out and created and put covers on those I'd copied for the Sussex windmill group and our friend in Wales for the Cambridge 1961 cuppers finals film. The day was now sailing past us , time for a wash no change in clothes, no time it was the Flossie Piaf/Brel concert at Clonter, she has varied the act with some more general material, Saturday is pure Piaf/Brel though in the cabaret format although there are masses of spaces to fill.I found my broken finger prevents me clapping properly! Then home, DVD orders on the machines and I'm editing the two truck films at Crick from yesterday.
The Bristol or Reading bus trip is back to next Tuesday when forecast is much better. Tomorrow I'll possibly do Coventry plus perhaps Northampton. The Youtube channel is doing very well at present , some interesting data, out of top 10 eight are truck films. The Mansfield bus clips two of which are the only bus films in said top ten, one of which now has will over a million hits. Country wise for viewer stats the top place after UK is Vietnam which must now have attracted some good advertising as it's drawing in a steady income. Perhaps I should load more from Vietnam, it's nice to be 'big' the other side of the world. Friday we are doing the British Polio Fellowship collection first shift at Tescos on the Wirral. The van is almost ready for Boyle St, Manchester sale on Saturday but a few more bits to pop in Friday afternoon. The church lamps should arrive tomorrow I'll drop then off and angels in size 9's may well get them up or at least make a start so it looks good on Mothering Sunday as well as being in place for Easter. It will be a very busy morning Sunday my first in an 'almost' official position. Photos from Chester le Street earlier this week.
Life seems so much more busy and on a freezing cold day even my hobby can seem a bit of a chore, spring get your backside into gear and lets have some warmth please. The left hand with the broken bits resulting from the St Pauls / Fleet St filming before India is proving a nightmare in cold windy weather, it hurts like hell. Anyway a little later start today and then down through the grid lock which is SMART motorways, what a waste of money and hazard to motorists that all is. Anyway it was nearly 10am when I got parked up and walked through to my preferred spot near Crick for the DRIFT distribution centres and railhead. It was then clouding over a bit after clear blue sky but I stuck it out and got an hour then went to Stobarts cafe for a coffee and bread & butter pudding and custard.
I then headed up a bit to the roundabout I'd used over the border in Leicestershire , I also tried the back road which cuts across to the M1 or A14 , a good spot but cloud and cold put paid to that. I managed to get a second programme but be then it was hurtling through the day and I wanted to get back before the afternoon rush, anyway it was yet another nightmare, M6 past Coventry v slow, then car crash on M6 heading north near Cannock, then XPO Logistics tanker broken down in roadworks section ( more SMART motorway), then a car broken down, then at Holmes Chapel turn off another car broken down, just managed to get in before 5pm.
Then the DVD orders to sort plus general messages etc, adverts to proof read. Need to have a site meeting at St Oswalds in the morning with Keith the other church warden reference the lighting or lack of it, getting anything done can be a bit of a crawl through treacle so going to sort it between us. Phew, only the cine films I copied for Windmills at Oxford to sort out and somewhere a bit of telly and a brew. Slide show from this morning at Crick.
Today I was up very early and in Bishop Auckland ready to film the rush hour bus services, this early rising paid dividends as I caught a few school services and all in all it was an interesting visit to a location I'd not covered for some years. Even more behind was our coverage of Chester le Street, Stanley and Consett where it's been a decade since I visited. I hardly recognised some of the scenes but soon picked up on my usual photo spots. The weather was mixed, dry but windy and very cold but varying levels of cloud or sunshine. I came and went over the A66 which was a good thing as I'd forgotten about the A1 road works which go on forever and like the M60 around Manchester seem to have been in place for a decade. It was a good craic in Co Durham, everyone was very friendly and the car parks were only 60p for a couple of hours except at Stanley where they pay you for visiting ( only joking), actually I met a young enthusiast there who was a mine of info on local services, Stanley Motors survives with just one service bus although they obviously have contract work and coaches, even saw a decker at the bus station. Consett lookled quite nice in the sunshine. I got back home at 5pm, we are having our fasting days Mon/Tues this week as we have a cream tea on Wednesday at Clonter opera.
Tomorrow I'm scheduled to be at Crick near rugby filming the trucks at the distribution centre, I must check the latest weather forcaste. May Blossom our dear leader blessing be upon her is issuing our piss off notice to the EU on Mandy's birthday, I think Mandy would have appreciated something better than that. I've just finished sending off the copy for the May magazine PMP adverts and changes to our email. I managed to copy the cine film for John Bishop and the windmill crowd in Sussex and our friend at Clonter who wanted me to have another bash at his ancient Oxford sports day shots. I'll try and get these edited this evening. The photo slide show this evening was at Bishop Auckland at 8am onwards this morning. Rothbury cards have some super new images for 2017, already considering our Christmas card!
A while back we decided to have a preliminary tidy up in the office but when I've come to copy some 16mm films the projector reel which must be the biggest thing in there has vanished and also the lead to plug it in. Neither are irreplaceable but not things you have in every drawer. First thing i put covers on all the DVD stock which I'd copied to bring the rally sales stock up to date, there were nearly three more boxes to add, I've popped them in the van with everything else for Boyle St next Saturday, I can't say I'm particularly looking forwards to what was once one of my favourite weekends of the year. It was quite full at church in the 11am service and I had a go at the bits I'd never set out before, you never learn until you try it yourself.
Then we came back, had a brew and then went on to Clonter where in the gallery just along the road they had an interesting exhibition of stage and costume design and the processes and models used in the creation of a production. We had a cream tea there and that was almost the afternoon done. I got the remainder of the orders coming in today done, stocked up the bird feeders in the garden and moved the cars around so I'm ready for an early start.
The way things are panning out I should be in Co Durham tomorrow for buses thwen trucks at Rugby on Tuesday and finallt Bristol for buses on Thursday. Wednesday is Flossie the French Geordie at Clonter and Friday we have a Polio Fellowship[ collection at Tescos on The Wirral. Now I'm start and run out of energy having been thwarted by the results of clearing up, it's just never a good idea as things have a habit of vanishing. Here are some shots of the stage set models at the Clonter exhibition.
Some links to recent DVD adverts on Youtube
It's been a hard days slog but I'm really on top of things at present with all the recent films edited to DVD and covers made, all our recent releases are on all shops, this site of course and also Amazon and Ebay plus an EBay sale at £10 each starts just after midnight. The van is loaded ready for Boyle St Manchester next Saturday. All I've got to do is update the rally stock with releases since December, the list is in the office ready to go through. We are taking from box 60 upwards to Manchester, we have 105 boxes for the complete stock, what that means if you want us to bring anything early in our range ask and we'll fetch it, remember we are only there Saturday this time.
We have now booked the stand in for several rallies including Alton, Lathalmond, Gaydon truck event, Kelsall to name but a few. I've also dealt with a lot of other subjects such as St Oswalds access arrangements with a quote in from The Ramp People. Tomorrow I intend being at church early to look at the LED light issue and how many bulbs we need to get the place brightened for safety and comfort, when I'm on go mode there is no stopping! I must just check the flights to Lviv in August for our Ukraine trip as our super new friend Andreii is sorting out a programme for us, well I've got a programme he's making it work. We really do have a great circle of transport friends around the world, we even bumped into a friend at Preston, and that's as exotic as you can get these days. Tonights slide show is of Preston on Friday. Next week's weather look a bit dire, we have Mon Tues and Thurs free so I will scan the charts for locations which match. The list is pretty well on schedule at present so no panic.
We were a bit annoyed to find this late that the Exeter event has been moved a week forward to tomorrow without letting me know, the last time I'll be visiting one of their rallies. I gave up the Sunday at Boyle St and all our plans were around a trip to the South West following on from the running day. As it turns out with Mandy's accident it really suits us and it will be a busy day at St Oswalds on Mothering Sunday so I'll be there to do my bit and Boyle St, well the last event before Christmas was awful, the atmosphere was terrible and trading was the worst in decades so I can't say it isn't a welcome change not to have to be there on the Sunday. In fact we'll probably skip setting up on Friday afternoon and I'll just turn up on my own for Saturday which will stop Mandy from feeling she should attend, it's not the most wheel chair friendly place anyway.
The following week it's Detling and I think our only rally in Kent this year, we have a large stand space booked and will have all our latest DVD releases, a good range of our stock, the South east photo boxes and some DVD bargains as well. We'll have to come down early on the Saturday as we have events at the RNCM in Manchester on the Thursday and Friday. We'll stay Sat and Sunday , hopefully catching up with John and Maureen Bishop on the Sunday and then filming before returning home Monday night, if the weather is going to be brilliant we may stretch it to film Tuesday as well. We are still looking at other events through the season, the Dublin Port rally has moved and takes place at the end of October, I can feel the chill off the Irish sea already, like Cultra in April our attendance will be confirmed late in the day and very much subject to the weather. We've got the booking form for Kelsall rally which will be our nearest to home. The POPS rally which didn't happen may well be wrapped up as a running day i conjunction with a First Potteries depot open day.
We had to go to Colwyn Bay to pick up collection tins for a British polio Fellowship collection on this coming Friday, another reason that skipping the Friday pm set up at Boyle St is a good option. Funny how things turn out for the best. We had to get up sharp today and get the DVD orders ready, I got the cine film sales sorted when we returned from Colwyn Bay, Lawrence is on his own in the shop on Fridays, no surprise that some of the parcels are carried over to being sent tomorrow morning.Dropped off posters to go up at the shop and managed to contact The ramp People re a quote on the access ramp for St Oswalds, it seems we also have to sort a rake of primroses out for Mothers Day, also that reminds me we saw our first primroses out by the Nth Wales coast this morning. I've got three volumes of trucks to edit this weekend plus the bus film at Preston/Lancaster. The van needs loading ready for Boyle St. Other than that Mandy is making very slow progress but is sleeping quite wel, that's probably as we are both so tired! Photos from Lancaster Thursday.
We had a lovely meal early on at The Dog last night and then friends Tom, Keith, Tracey, George and Ged joined us for a drink
The Rotary club at Colwyn Bay had a display to promote their world campaign at eradicate Polio, taken after we'd collected the charity tins.
We have filmed in Preston and Lancaster today, enjoying my birthday I'll blog with news etc tomorrow as we are off to have a birthday meal this evening.
It was almost a cloudless blue sky at Wakefield Europort today, there will be 3 programmes from the coverage I made and as usual all the drivers were super friendly as is the great little truck stop on the estate which really boasts the spread of the lorries seen as many pop down just to fill themselves and their wagons or run through the wash. I left Mandy at home which meant that she could only manage a few things although did somehow get to Marks & Spencers on her own. I'm hoping we get out tomorrow for some bus filming, possibly Preston and Lancaster and Bristol/ Reading is put back to next week. It's all dependent on the weather really. I though overall it was a much better day than forecast today.
The run over the M62 was no problem, usual delays through leeds area but coming back it was a joy until I got past the M6 Junct 19 at Knutsford and tried to get home on the A556, the M6 closure had caused chaos plus the A50 with a sink hole is still shut and also closed is the road from home to Northwich. The bits that were open were choked with traffic, managed to get back via some cutting up on the queues to our smaller country lanes. It's the pcc meeting tonight at Lower Peover school for church warden election and more importantly its my 65th birthday tomorrow, thanks for all the cards received. The state pension people wrote to me and the ammount there are paying has gone up again and is nearly at the rate I had been promised before playing silly beggars with their calculations, they are hopeless but i expect nothing better in this poor old country which is sliding down the pan in a fools paradise, I'm not sure if the fishy woman is worse or dear leader May blossom blessings be upon her.
PMP Sponsors of POPS bus rally.