A day not without incident but as usual it is just the odd rotten apple that you remember but it really took the biscuit this time. Needless to say he was probably one of the right wing proto terrorists who are still being harboured in jobs like bus drivers and security guards, perhaps this one was expecting trouble on a cloudy and at times wet day he had sunglasses on. Rotala/Diamond has a terrible reputation and ignores complaints so we'll just go straight to Youtube with this one. I might also share with the regional traffic commissioners, the only time I've actually been hit or pushed before was at Stratford in East London, I was the other side of the road from the bus station and it was the station manager who attacked me but I gained a lifetime permit to film and photograph at all London Transport not TfL premises by way of settlement. I'm not sure how this one will be resolved, a no win no fee grabbing solicitor might be a good route although not my favourite type of person to deal with. The Diamond buses at Redditch were very scruffy and I filmed one being towed away perhaps I should show that with the footage of the attack. The reason for his wrath was a photo which I show below.
Perhaps somebody knows him, his origins and track record, I saw him twice afterwards on the 62 he didn't give me a second glance, all very weird. I did dial 101 but gave up at ten minutes waiting. Anyway we had a good visit to Gloucester where they have wasted millions on a new bus station which hardly sees any buses, most just park on the streets as usual. They medley of low life still hangs out now around he new building which instantly looked awful, threatening and dirty by association. The weather was just enough on the cloudy side although by the time we got to Cheltenham it was a spotting with rain but no hindrance. Here the council have spent thousands creating a 'bus gate', yet more street furniture, why? We went on to Redditch, enough said already and finished up at Bromsgrove, interesting for its independents albeit mostly painted white and lack of buses other than First Salt Road routes and Diamond, nuff said but all very amicable. Photos start at Gloucester.
1000 MODELS LOOKING FOR THEIR SHELVES!
Well the mammoth job of getting around 1000 plus model vehicles on to shelving has started and it is a bit scary as the boxes still seem to have a lot in and the units are already looking quite full but I'm getting more on per shelf than I estimated for but then I only guessed at how many models there are perhaps there are 1500 and not a thousand. I've got quite big displays around Southdown, London Transport,Hong Kong and foreign buses. The regional selections are crammed in as much as possible although it still looks very smart. I have to remember when phase two gets built there will be selective displays until the dioramas are constructed in some cases using elements from my old model railway stored in the loft for decades. The lorries and light commercials seem more plentiful than anticipated as do the cars but as per comments above a 12' display case will soak up a lot in the future. I'll try themed displays with some labels and background images. It is all quite a challenge as its not like I'm ever quiet and just about keep our heads above water at the best of times. Anyway there is a pile of cardboard boxes and few plastic containers all empty so something must have got sorted!
I had a good session in the back garden this afternoon getting the old Rhododendron out and ditto the butterfly bush and creating the space where I'll extend and square up the lawn with new turf and paving slabs for the wooden garden bench that we are buying. The mice have been at the food in the plastic dust bin in the greenhouse, I'll have to get a new one that fits better. After removing the unwanted shrubs I raked the soil over and thankfully the lawns have dried out enough to withstand my feet tramping around on it.
We have changed the planned programme again as the forecast shifts yet again with some sun for York and Harrogate. It looks as if it will be more cloudy in the south so possibilities are Bath, Swindon, Cheltenham,Gloucester. I'll check before bed time and make a final decision then. I've edited the first of the films of trucks near Oswestry from yesterday, clip to Youtube very shortly. Photos from that outing.
After a year of planning and construction the model vehicles are now starting ton be put into the display cases following arrival of the new two sets of perspex sheets for the doors. I've started with my Hong Kong and Southdown models mainly as they were the first to come out of the storage boxes. They all receive a very gentle dusting and inspection, no damage so far although the ones at the bottom of some of the heavy cases might have damage to any extending plastic parts like tram poles lets just keep our fingers crossed. At least there is plenty of room for the artics and the masses of tiny cars. I'll also be able to put some of the small collection of civil aircraft on display mostly from Oxford diecast. Most models are 1/76 although there are some continental HO 1/87 scale.
I was filming today over in Shropshire, just trucks as it was almost a rerun of yesterdays weather, clear sky until lunch time then clouds although it was much brighter at home. I had a drink at Grosvenor Garden centre which was needless to say in full Christmas mode with an almost life size steam train and two carriages which seemed to be made of plastic. I've just made the second DVD from yesrerdays visit to Stobarts in Widnes then there is a short Youtube only film and then I must download todays film. I haven't had tiime to check the weather yet but the plan is for bus film tomorrow in Yorkshire. Shots then from today in Shropshire.
A sunny morning, best advantage taken by filming at Stobarts port in Widnes, unusual operations include one way in and out access due to near completion of the old bridge at Runcorn which will reopen as a toll bridge. Hopefully it will be better signed than the new one and it took about 10 minutes trying to pay the £2 toll on the computer when I got home, what a wretched set up it is. Anyway the blue sky and virtually no wind meant that even with single digit temperatures it didnt feel that cold and I didnt really need my hat and scarf nor gloves.
I got some good shots there enough for two DVds and a net only clip all of which will be going on to You Tube over the next day. I'm downloading the material at the moment. Then tomorrow is likely to be similar so I'm heading to Oswestry for the morning. The next four perspex sheets are due to be delivered tomorrow so perhaps the afternoon will be taken up with that. Wednesday looks like being a bus film day with lots of potential destinations although Mandy is busy that day so York ar Leamington etc must wait a while as she wants to come on those trips. Now the clocks have gone back it gets dark so early, very depressing autumn I find little to like about it. Winter I just hate! All the DVD orders went off, not so much today as yet but certainly starting to get busy. Here are shots from Widnes this morning.
THe superlatives keep flowing as the PMP Youtube channel now hits at over 80k hits a day and we are increasing subscribers at 2k a month. We have one clip nearing 10M and 5 at over 1M hits. The success follows our adjustments to ensure we are well on track with Youtube/Google guidelines which we may not like or agree with but are certainly proving to be a formula for success. It is just such as shame that they hate the likes of all archive cine footage which we cannot bring to you on this media as it jeopardises all our advertising partner revenue which itself makes up for the collapse of takings from DVD or photo sales at UK vehicle rallies who think that the world has stood still for 20 years and want attendance fees at 1980s levels at the heyday of video and photo sales. These days people expect media for next to nothing, its just the way it is. We are happy to attend events for nominal sums but we refuse to submit to the greed even where organisations are desperate for cash, indeed we are, PMP is subsidised not only bu sales of DVDs and downloads plus Youtube revenue but also from our pensions.
Last night we were at the Session orchestra biannual concert at the RNCM, we also caught iup with a young student who is a counter tenor and attending the same recent Buxton recital as our friend Suzie Mensforth plus he has applied to audition for the 2020 summer opera at Clonter. You see all our musical allegiances are coming together, our patronage is finding a universal level among young singers and musicians. Friend Sue was at her first Session orchestra performance and fell under the spell as did my sister Yvonne. We shall be booking for the spring event tomorrow, it sells out fast. Jose at Brodskys restaurant at the RNCM is also holding a Valentines night gin experience with music and tapas blending several of our indulgences. We couldn't get to Waitrose to do our shopping this afternoon as the River Weaver has flooded and breached the new flood defences at first test. The weather outlook doesn't suit bus filming early in the week but I intend to take advantage of the autumnal sunshine truck filming, location tba. It won't be too ar away though. I've ordered up another four glazing panels with a premuin for early delivery which with the nescessary adjustments mean that by next weekend 12 of the 16' of display units will be complete and I'll be getting the models dusted off and installed in their new home.
We called at the garden centre this morning at High Leigh where the 7'1/4 " gauge railway was doing good business. The Christmas diorama display was still impressive but several elements had broken down and had obviously not been attended to as repairs were possibly just removing obstructions like a tree hit by expanding chair lift wire drooping. A derailment on the train, perhaps just snow on the line. They had a trio of life size reindeer singing outside, plant life is really on the back shelf, we have only just turned the clocks back and fire work night is still a way off, ban Christmas before December and filthy American habits like Halloween should be outlawed in Britain, a much more important move than considering leaving the EU. I've found a Naturetrek itinerary which is 100% the programme that I'd developed following my pal Martins visit to the Pantanal in Brazil, we are going in July 2020. My transport trips for next year are still in the early planning stages.
Anyway if we have a truck day lets look at possible locations from past autumns.
It seems like it has been forever but finally Managed to adjust and install the second piece of perspex which completes the first 4 foot section to our wall of vehicles project. Last night we were at the RNCM Symphony orchestra first concert of the academic year and what an amazing event it was with a standing ovation at the interval after a really amazing performance by a young Russian violinist studying at the college. He is going to have a brilliant career and the zest of youth give added to sparkle to his domination of the concert, the Stravinsky's Firebird was the second half which for all its zing couldn't compete with fellow Russian Tchaikovsky 's violin concerto, it was first performed by Brodsky who became the college principal and we had eaten at Brosky's restaurant as well! Anyway we are at the Session Orchestras first performance of the year tonight, another hard act to follow from the last one which also received at standing ovation.
We shall be off out soon , the rain has been heavy and long lasting with many roads flooded, thankfully other than a very soggy lawn all is well at No17. Herewith a picture of the now completed shelving section, I'll order more perspex tomorrow.
LATEST DVD RELEASES ON PMP SHOP NOW
We have loaded the three new bus DVDs to the shop and today received the first two perspex panels for the showcases replacing the expensive and wasted glass order via Knutsford Glass. The first of the panels fiited like a glove the second in a couple of mil too long but can be used for No3 and I'll reorder the second one to ammended size. This sheet gives me a great template with which to check the order sizes for the others needing only to place against the cabinet and plus or minus accordingly and they should all be bang on correct. I'll order them up over the weekend and they should then arrive by next Thursday. Then we can finally start to get the cupboards filled up.
I cleared all the waste from the cupboard units which has been outside in one form or another for nearly a year so thats the path cleared. It was hammering down with rain, even with my overalls and old coat I was drenched. I used one of our rubble sack to put it in and took it to the tip in the van, calling on the way to Northwich glass to chase a credit on the waste glass order and then to the tio , Northwich was gridlocked around the new roundabout which causes more problems than it ( at great expense) solved. Then I took the van round the corner to Kwik Fit for its MOT, all done, had a brew in Waitrose while I waited. When I got back home the cleaners had just finished which worked out well.
We are out this evening at the RNCM, eating there at 5pm, well leave home about 4pm. Its the Symphony orchestra tonight, tomorrow Sue will be with us for the Session Orchestra evening, a sell out in the theatre and restaurant. I think rain is forecast for much of tonight and Saturday, fingers crossed that we can get some bus film work done next week, York and Harrogate now scheduled for Tuesday. Here are some photos from Stockport last week.
EMERGENCY TRIP TO BARNSLEY TO CHANGE MEDIA
WE have had a troublesome two months with the current DVD blanks purchased from our usual supplier in Barnsley who took over from the Manchester Wythenshawe company some years back. Supplies of blank DVDs have become harder to source as demand drops away with the likes of digital downloads which we offer at PMP. No manufacturers remain in Japan which once made most of them. We had had enough of the problems which were getting crazy, the machines are supposed to digitally check the finished DVD but they were still failing to play, we had to check every disc be hand and DVD player before sending out and the drop off rate was enormous. Anyway it was a good job we went as the supplier has given us two sample bundles which are related to the Maxell range which is no longer available. Thankfully both these Taiwan manufactured types of discs have passed tests on all our duplicating machines so we shall be taking more of this media with the next delivery to meet the Christmas demand.
I did manage to get the three bus DVDs edited, the only productions completed this week as the weather changed to wet from cloudy and we witnessed that 'wet' in Yorkshire this afternoon. I had taken the camera just in case at Barnsley is on our to do list but alas the forecast was right this time. Here are the covers for the latest three releases, clips on Youtube this evening and will be on the shop by tomorrow. Limited time this evening as we have yet another St Oswalds pcc meeting, this time joint with associated church St Lawrences at Over Peover ref going forwards on a new vicar, the arch deacon will preside at the meeting and perhaps clear up some questions still unanswered although I think it is beyond their control, we can't even get a new Bishop sorted!
We had a catch up day which was supposed to be sunny but wasn't really but as we were not out filming we decided to go and get the autumn maintenance done at the Hardy family graves at Southern Cemetery in Manchester. I put more stone cleaner on Mandys mums memorial which looks a treat now gleaming white. We took a ladder so I could get to the top of the Hastings memorial stone which I've already started to treat. It is looking much better although on granite its harder to evaluate the improvement. I also started the first round of treatment on Robert Joseph Hardy's stone which is in remarkable condition anyway for its age and should look even better for cleaning. I've planted bulbs and pansies at all the plots , trimmed grass although council have already done it, tyre marks to prove it. The white chipping look a bit dirty after planting tidying but should clean off with the run off of the stone cleaner we can add new stones in the spring if required but it all looks very neat. I repainted the Hardy family memorial bench which looked very nice fingers crossed the rain doesn't come too soon before it dries, a bit of a gamble but I have to fit the work in with all the other jobs at PMP and home. Here are shots from the cemetery after completion this afternoon.
Tomorrows scheduled trip to York and Harrogate has been postponed as rain is now forecast for tomorrow and at all locations on our to do list but I'll get yesterdays films finished and DVD covers ready. Here are some shots from Bradford yesterday
Back on track with our UK bus coverage with visits today at Halifax, super friendly, one driver got out to give me a new First Group tie, what a kind gent he was or perhaps my appearance looked as if it needed some sartorial improvement. Not only friendly drivers but also met some great people to have a chat with, what a credit all round to Halifax. On the minus side the council still installs and permits shameful buildings which clash with the elegant heritage architecture and furnishing. On then to Bradford with more great weather, light cloud cover perfect for filming but bitterly cold post Indonesia at 35c. Finished up at Stockport, had a run in with a PCSO , old chap who had got on the old ' you can't just film people without their permission' routine, a complaint brought a plain clothes Sargeant from the office who put the chap right, it was nice to see them employing pensioners like B&Q but a little better traning required . So we start with Halifax, meanwhile nothing new to report, looking forwards to the arrival of the perspex sheet for cupboard No1 and I need to see what can get back from Northwich glass.
PMP Sponsors the North West Vehicle Restoration Trust at Kirkby.