Monthly Archives: July 2014

Thursday 31st July 2014.

Dull around Radcliffe environs earlier-on and, as oft happens, rain started at the distance zenith of morning travels – the Wellington Street Viaduct. When this structure was at its operating zenith – allowing steam locomotives cross an Irwell valley – motor-cars were probably still regarded as horseless-carriages. Now, and soon, it seems, horseless-carriages may become driverless-carriages.
Such is, well, erm, progress(?) I suppose. The memory-chip and its hardware and apps has (I assume) replaced the human controlling the workings of the motor-car. Sadly the chip-controlled car in the photo that I saw looked like something from Toytown and I can’t see it ruffling the feathers of lady shoppers let alone Jeremy Clarkson.
What I do see is a renaissance of the Pub.
Also in yesterday’s ‘news’ were the figures: 20,000 and over 3,000 – that’s Pubs closed in the UK and in London respectively. Most of these closures came about after the imposition of (needed!) drink-drive laws and later, a smoking-ban. It was safer after the drink-driving laws and cleaner (in pubs) after the smoking-ban. The problem is that pubs became mind-numbingly boring – unless you go there by time-consuming bus, like tea or coffee and don’t smoke – resultingly, folk don’t bother going.
Enter the driverless-car.
You climb-in, legless, at the pub, and it gets you home. Brilliant!

Wednesday 30th July 2014.

I noticed diversion (?) signs by The Town Hall earlier in the week and took a diversion this morning to see what was going-on in Radcliffe town-centre. Church Street, in the Radcliffe Times building area, is closed by ‘construction’ boardings. Pedestrians can, it seems, still pass.
It’s not far from there to travel Dumers Lane and the now bushy Japanese Knotweed plants, at the bridge over the Irwell, helped make a nice ‘green’ photo’.
Had a read at an m.p.’s blog yesterday where he asked the question: How can we help cyclists? There were, eventually, over 60 replies, in the main suggesting road-taxing and/or banning cyclists from roads, to a full new cycling-route system.
This morning the general media revealed that £5,000,000,000.00p was paid annually as tax-credit for folk living abroad! From this Pensioner’s point-of-view, living on half, or less, than minimum-wage, this is garbage. Using that £5billion to provide realistic pensions (for a start) would keep it circulating the UK – providing work (from Pensioners) to all manner of service providers. It may result in a lowering of taxes too. All this would allow skint Pensioners and indeed skint cyclists to invest in nice, shiny cars. (More jobs and work!) A superb way to help, amongst others, cyclists.
Having said all that the roads, locally this morning, were, in general, bereft of much infernally-combusted traffic as, around here, folk have more sense!
There are new traffic-lights on Dumers Lane/York Street.

Tuesday 29th July 2014.

Dull, cool and fairly traffic-free around Radcliffe this morning, in fact very traffic-free? School holidays? Yep. Between eight-fifteen (say) and nine o’clock there is a marked difference – especially regarding large 4WD vehicles (?) – in normal traffic volumes. At least some of these vehicles will be diesel engined.
Getting about then was quite a bit easier.
There are, locally, a few quite busy, in the rush-hours, bus-routes and buses are, in the main, traffic slowers. Again diesel-engined, these things have a quite throat-catching ‘aroma’ as they chug the main roads. Mingled with general traffic at busy spots such as The Town Hall lights, this exhaust ‘mixture’ is almost un-breathable!
Meanwhile, this morning, another (m.p. no less!) ‘blogger’ asks, as his blog title: How can we help cyclists? His three responses are more or less in agreement that ‘we’ should ban them and/or that they should be forced to pay road-tax etc. (Sorry, not for me to comment at another ‘site unpaid.) Many if not most cyclists, being car-owners/users, already do pay road-tax. Yet get no refund when they use a smog/carcinogen/stench-free transport-mode instead!
Therein, surely, a great way to help cyclists and that would, should they become one, benefit all road users.
And, possibly, a few (million!) votes for a good, common-sense m.p. there too Mr. R.
Not to mention an easing to the ‘parking-fine’ problem. The obesity problem. Health Service problems. Traffic-jam problems. While a few common-sense jobs may be created in the Private Sector…

Monday 28th July 2014.

Radcliffe was, earlier, quite a bit cooler than of late.
I noticed some kind of Diversion signs at the Town Hall end but turned-off (wisely?) to go along Spring Lane. Are they closing Church Street or something?
The Metro car-park work looks finished now and it’s surely going to help folk parking at the station. And, so far, no Parking Ticket-Machines so it’ll still be a free car-park. But, park carefully. It is free in Radcliffe but there are ‘folk’ watching for even the slightest parking ‘infringement’ which can be costly. So much so that not running (and parking) a car is a great ‘tax-avoidance’ concept. Especially for folk eking life on a state pension. And you can’t take great ‘wildlife pics’, as the one above (of a Grey Squirrel), as cars won’t fit the local bike-routes and footpaths, which are, generally, the fastest way around the locality, even for geriatrics.
On TV Le Tour was (again) great to watch, with deserving winner and leaders, especially the first stages around Yorkshire and even, for a mile or two, Greater Manchester. In September there’s The Tour of Britain which, this year, kicks-off in the Wirral (Liverpool?) area (I think) and then goes North Wales and then South-West-ish for the other stages.
Being (professionally) involved, albeit in a small way, in the cycling world, we are inundated here with myriad envelopes, boxes and complicated glossy packages of expensively-produced flyers, window-sheets and blurbs about the (now) umpteen ‘Cycle Rides’ that ‘raise money for (various) charities’. To feature one of these posters here (on a free basis) would mean featuring them all, to be fair, and thus, being a normal, tax-paying, business, we simply can’t feature any – unless on a normal (paid!) business contract. The most recent of these colourful, glossy and expensively designed blurb packages ‘charged’ riders £45 for ride ‘entrance fee’. Which, compared to actually supplying and/or repairing bikes and bike parts, seems highly lucrative!

Sunday 27th July 2014.

A shade cooler and with a spot of rain this morning as traffic-free (Sunday!) Radcliffe was checked-out.
At the River Irwell end of the Asda car-park is a picturesque footpath (pic one today) that leads to a footbridge, over the Irwell, for say Outwood Road folks. Along the path at about fifty yard intervals are park type benches where, in theory, you can sit and watch, through a massive, Jurassic Park style, iron fence, the Irwell go by.
In actual fact, what you see, through the fence, is a mass of (now fading) Giant Hogweed plants!
Near the footbridge, over the Irwell, the Hogweeds have…
…broken through the fence!
It was nice to get back to the canal and some normal scenery!

Thursday 24th July 2014.

Metro-Link car-park work is all but complete. The Market Hall work is ongoing and, up at Warth the Lattice (Monkey) Bridge is shrouded for painting (?).
Nearby the Archimedes Screw turns slowly (low river water levels?) and, on the distant hills, the wind-turbines were turning even slower. Or, some of them, stopped. So enjoy the Metro’ while the ‘juice’ is still on!
‘Back-Pain’, especially amongst elderly folk, is in today’s ‘news’ as some say Paracetamol either works or doesn’t work. I was troubled with ‘back-pain’ a couple of years ago. It made walking over (say) a mile, difficult. Strangely, as I began to ride and repair a bicycle and grow spuds in the backyard, it disappeared…
Dunno why…

Wednesday 23rd July 2014.

Another warm morning and, around the St. Andrews area, we’ve got a sink-hole! It’s about a full foot in diameter and is quite (about a foot) deep. Take care turning into the side-streets of Ainsy Road.
Heard, last night, of a youngster ‘burned’ by Giant Hogweed plants – possibly at the Little Lever end of Radcliffe. He was treated at an A & E department.
Hogweeds are at their peak at the moment and will die-back shortly. The sap is still active. Take care if passing such plants. The leaves are massive – I’ve seen three-feet wide leaves. The plants are tall – I’ve seen plants over ten feet tall.
They’re all along the River Irwell banks.

Tuesday 22nd July 2014.

A sunlit view across Elton Reservoir, Radcliffe, to the Radcliffe end.
There’s a bit of the usual and regular whingeing about the ‘free’ TV licences for the over 75’s again. It’s now costing tax-payers about £608,000,000,00p, annually, to fund this investment return. This is one of the reasons folk, in the past, when younger, paid tax and N.I., without whingeing, as they were promised such things as ‘free’ TV licences when they reached 75 years of age. Scrapping this investment-return should mean a lowering of tax for those currently investing in their future TV licence costs.
Ditto bus-passes and Winter Fuel Allowances. When you qualify you’ll be glad of the reimbursements.

Monday 21st July 2014.

Very warm and humid early-on and a pic or two taken in Radcliffe Centre.
In between taking the pictures I noticed that rubbish, probably from the baths over the road, was accumulating, in bags, by a roadside rubbish bin.
Council rubbish collections are now once every three weeks I’m told. Even for their own rubbish apparently…

Sunday 20th July 2014.

Went out, between thunder storms(?), and passed Radcliffe Baths. Dunno if it’s fully open or not.
Went up the footpath from Church Street to the Metro Station. This is signposted as Cycle Route 6. But, at the top, around the car-park, the only place to ride, according to the direction arrows on the tarmac, is on the footpath! Not really a problem this morning; the place was virtually empty.