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Mark Hockett
01-31-2009, 06:19 PM
My wife and I will be visiting England, specifically the London area, and would like recommendations on where to stay, what to see and maybe some good places to eat. We will be there from April 27th to May 4th. The highlight of the trip for me would be to visit John Stevenson's shop, so John if that would be OK please let me know. I would like to know if there are any other sites I should see that would be of interest to someone with mechanical, tool and machine interests. My wife would also like to visit places of historical interest like a castle, gardens or other historical building not in the normal tourist attractions. Most tourist guides recommend visiting Bath; would this city be worth visiting?

platypus2020
01-31-2009, 06:21 PM
Stonehenge - yes, haggis - no

Your Old Dog
01-31-2009, 06:34 PM
On this topic, how hard is it to drive on the wrong side of the road? I'd like to hit Europe but want to rent a car and drive myself. The thought of going deaf with all the blowing horns is a concern of mine :D Is this something that most pickup easily? Is it, for instance, easier then learning to single point thread?

Peter.
01-31-2009, 06:39 PM
You can drive anywhere in Europe on the right EXCEPT the UK :)

Be warned - the whole of London and the south-east is one huge traffic jam. Don't plan on getting anywhere fast beween 6am-10am, and 4pm-7pm in and around London.

barts
01-31-2009, 06:43 PM
Here's a link (http://www.smaalders.net/barbie/Travels/2008_UK_B_and_B/calendar/) to a calendar w/ pictures of the trip my wife and I took to England last fall.

Some things not to miss in/near London of technical interest:

Science Museum (free) (http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/)
kew bridge steam museum (http://www.kbsm.org/)
cabinet war rooms (http://cwr.iwm.org.uk/)

The Thames clippers (http://www.thamesclippers.com/) are a nice way to see things from the water....

Check out the London Walks (http://www.walks.com/) - they're great tours on foot.

Which reminds me: use the Tube, buses and trains - don't bother driving. For inexpensive dinners, eat in pubs. Make sure to try the real ales (the ones w/ the long handles). If you're not accustomed to doing a lot of walking, get in shape ahead of time and break in some nice walking shoes.

We also had excellent luck planning our trip w/ help from the trip advisor forums - well run. Here's (http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g186338-i17-London_England.html) the one for London.

- Bart

lazlo
01-31-2009, 06:45 PM
The highlight of the trip for me would be to visit John Stevenson's shop, so John if that would be OK please let me know.

Dang, not like you're putting John on the spot! :)


On this topic, how hard is it to drive on the wrong side of the road? I'd like to hit Europe but want to rent a car and drive myself. The thought of going deaf with all the blowing horns is a concern of mine :D

If you rent an automatic (you need to specify), then it's not a big deal, although I found that turning at intersections was a little weird at first. Driving a shift opposite-handed is a real PITA.

By the way, the rest of Europe drives on the correct side of the road, as I'm sure you know :)

The excitement with driving in Germany is that the Autobahn has no speed limits, except for the on- and off-ramps, where there's a basketball sized speed limit sign posted in the median (often in the bushes :rolleyes:), and many of the speed zones have radar cameras. If you're lucky, the first time you experience this is following behind a BMW or Porsche going Mach 6, and they'll nail the brakes to drop down just long enough for the interchange.

Ries
01-31-2009, 06:45 PM
I have never done this, but I have always wanted to-

The National Trust has several hundred cottages, palaces, and castles you can rent a room in by the night, all over the UK. Not, as far as I know, right in London, but in lots of spectacular places elsewhere.

http://www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk/

some are amazing, some cozy, some twee, some just plain odd-
for instance, you could stay in "pineapple".

http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/81/

or a former "artificers" workshop, most likely a small machine shop at one time
http://www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk/nt.asp?p=113&c=50

In terms of stuff to see in London, the Imperial War Museum is pretty great, the Victoria and Albert, and the London Science Museum,

http://www.r65.org/family/london_museum/

the HMS Belfast has a machine shop on board
http://hmsbelfast.iwm.org.uk/

Kempton Park, home to the worlds largest remaining triple expansion steam engines
http://www.kemptonsteam.org/kempton-index.html

If you get up near Manchester, John Nicolson runs Massey, long time maker of forging hammers, and has a bit of a machine shop. He is a very approachable guy, I am sure you could get a tour.
http://www.masseyforging.com/company.htm

barts
01-31-2009, 06:58 PM
Kempton Park, home to the worlds largest remaining triple expansion steam engines
http://www.kemptonsteam.org/kempton-index.html


This is a great time; I was lucky enough to watch this engine run on our trip... I need to post the video to You-Tube...

- Bart

tony ennis
01-31-2009, 07:04 PM
Abbot's Ale

Pherdie
01-31-2009, 07:19 PM
I've had occasion to talk to several folks who have enjoyed visiting the UK. One common thing I've heard from them is they were EXTREMELY thankful they had brought a GPS with the European maps installed (if they were driving).

John Stevenson
01-31-2009, 07:41 PM
Mark,
Not a problem, be pleased to see you but you haven't given me much time to sort things out and try to find the floor again.

You state until the 4th which is a Monday, on Friday the 8th until Sunday the 11th there is the biggest ME show on in the UK at Harrogate near York, read big railway Museum and also York is brilliant for the missus so don't know if you can extend to cover this.

I'll be at Harrogate for the show, traveling up on the Thursday with one of the trucks and staying over but will be free until the Thursday, most times when a couple come over Gert takes the wife off to visit castles, lace museums etc but she's away just before me on some cruise ship or something that lacks a lathe.

trains4
01-31-2009, 08:30 PM
If in London Sunday May 3rd, you should go to the Kirkaldy Testing Museum. This is a Victorian materials lab and has a machine that can push, pull, and twist full sized objects. As I recall from a visit years ago, after the Tay Bridge disaster in 1879, a beam was pulled up and sent to Kirkaldy in London for testing. Likewise after the DeHavalin Comet crashes in early 1950's, a wing was tested. The building has doors on both sides and long objects would project into the streets on either side. I agree that the Science Museum is a must see. One way to work it is to have your wife visit the Victoria & Albert Museum across the street. She can look at all the furniture, dresses and art she likes, while you look at all the mechanical things you like.
Gene

Oldbrock
01-31-2009, 08:35 PM
After all that you may find time to visit Ironbridge. Lots to see there too. Peter

slugger
01-31-2009, 09:10 PM
My wife and I will be visiting England, specifically the London area, and would like recommendations on where to stay, what to see and maybe some good places to eat. We will be there from April 27th to May 4th.

I took my wife over in May of '02. We spent about 4 days- staying in B&Bs south of town and taking the train into the city every day. We spent the last evening down south by Brighton (I think) as we took the ferry to Diepp, France.

As for the food, well the saying goes, an Englishman has to travel to France twice a day to eat proper." I found this to be true. Only the breakfast was remarkable. We found the fish & chips not at all to our liking and the rest of the food was quite heavy and greasy for the most part.

I went into some bookstores and brought home some wonderful first edition books for a song. I had to see Holland and Holland of course. No need to drive unless leaving town as the double deckers, trains and cabbies were more than adequate.

In fact, we never rented a car until arriving in Caen where we rented a Peugeot to see Omaha beach and the museums.

We can't wait to go back. This time we will stay in the city and save time wasted by traveling in every morning- even though the stay in the farming areas was awesome.

When we arrived at the first B&B I noticed that I had about 5 loose rounds of 220 Swift in my luggage. I asked the host if I could burden him with some stray ammunition. He said he would just put it with the rest of his collection. He showed me a window sill completely full of all manner of small arms sporting rounds. Said that the Yanks are always bringing bloody bullets with them!

rockrat
01-31-2009, 09:46 PM
Good stuff given here so far. I asked a while back and here is the link.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=26298&highlight=england

Personally, the cabinet war rooms were a good stop. And to be honest meeting friends over there was the best. I think we were out with a different couple every night and had a good time.

Science Museum - indeed, this is a good time. And as stated it is free! The Babbage difference engine is there along with the newly built Babbage computer. This fellow was pushing the envelope for tighter tolerances in machining so that he could build a hand cranked computer in 1821.

Head up to the prime meridian at Greenwich. Take the DLR if it is running. It will take you past the docks on your way. They once kept the worlds time at Greenwich (in a bottle?) along with all sorts of astronomy stuff. And the National Maritime Museum is a nice visit while your there.
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/

I enjoy the architecture of the different countries I have been in. England is no different. I didn't find a locked church when we were wandering around. I would pop in and check them out. Ran into the Vicker at one place. He was curious about me and when I told him that I enjoyed the look and feel of the church he invited me to look around. So I dropped some change in the offerings box and did just that.

Hop on the London Eye if the line isn't long. We didn't get on due to the line but my cousins loved it.

Try the local pubs and don't you dare eat at McDonald's. Yes the fish and chips can be a bit greasy but the game pie was fantastic. Wash it down with an ESB or London Pride.

What else? The Liberty Bell was cast in a little place in White Chapel. You can still go in and see the place. They still make bells. But I'll warn you, that end of town can be a bit rough. We didn't have any trouble but when we told our friends they couldn't believe that we went there. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Oh, have fun!

rock~

Mark Hockett
02-01-2009, 01:35 AM
Mark,
Not a problem, be pleased to see you but you haven't given me much time to sort things out and try to find the floor again.

You state until the 4th which is a Monday, on Friday the 8th until Sunday the 11th there is the biggest ME show on in the UK at Harrogate near York, read big railway Museum and also York is brilliant for the missus so don't know if you can extend to cover this.

I'll be at Harrogate for the show, traveling up on the Thursday with one of the trucks and staying over but will be free until the Thursday, most times when a couple come over Gert takes the wife off to visit castles, lace museums etc but she's away just before me on some cruise ship or something that lacks a lathe.

John,
My wife said it was not a problem to take the trip one week later so I could go to the Harrogate show, I didn't realize the show was happening that weekend. Do you have a web link to the show so I can get the info on it?

Pherdie,
My cell phone has GPS so I contacted my cell service provider and they said it is no problem setting it up with the maps and cell phone coverage.

Everyone else thanks for the info and links.

John Stevenson
02-01-2009, 05:53 AM
Mark,
Here's the link.

http://www.theeventsoffice.co.uk/events.shtml

Doesn't say a lot but if you ring them you should get a list of hotels and guest houses.

I can't help with that as we stay on site. It's an agricultural showground and these is a hostel for the farmers to stay, the rooms are like police cells but with a carpet and I'm not joking.
You get a bed frame and mattress and that's it. We take a sleeping bag and pillow and that does it.
At the show all day, down the pub at night to get a meal and sink a few pints of Old Peculiar, back to Stalag Rex, crash out, up in the morning, sht, shower and shave [ not always in that order depending on how many pints ], down to Sainsburys for a big fried breakfast with side order of cholesterol, quick fart, shake of trouser leg and back to the show for another day.

It costs about 14 a night so that leaves about 40 for ale. can anyone see anything wrong with these figures ?

.

bollie7
02-01-2009, 06:26 AM
By the way, the rest of Europe drives on the correct side of the road, as I'm sure you know :)

I thought they were left hand drive like the USA.

bollie7

Circlip
02-01-2009, 06:34 AM
Four quid a night and 50 for ale.

So Mark, you're venturing to God's own County for the "Arrergate bash", Bring a big hard drive to dump lots of pickies on to or loads of memory cards for the camera. The big "H" is becoming THE model engineering exhibition in the UK but also with toy boats and aircraft. You also are going to need to arrange a shipping agent for the bits you are going to buy now that the Dollar has reversed in value and you should be able to escape the VAT. Saturday is the preffered day, (Ask John) Friday you'll get trampled to death by the pensioners and haversack warriors, Sunday, the traders are getting a bit tired. It probably says 10am opening, be there for 9am.

Don't even THINK about trying Fish & Chips untill you've been to Harry Ramsdens in Ilkley and yes, EVERYBODY knows where that is. Again, leave the pi** water the Southerners try to pass off as Beer and take a leaf from the bird with the pointy front from over there did by advertising " Timothy Taylors Landlord Bitter", or "Tetleys Bitter". Ont' other 'and, they might be a bit strong for't colonials only used to "Bud".

Regards Ian.

Your Old Dog
02-01-2009, 07:30 AM
By the way, the rest of Europe drives on the correct side of the road, as I'm sure you know :)


Actually I didn't know that, guess I'm not very worldly. I can see a trip to the UK in my future. I'd love to see the countryside and play the tourist role complete with shorts and camera around the neck! Make room for me and the Mrs too John, we shouldn't need a room for more then a few weeks. BTW, I don't eat a lot of fish but do like red meat :D

lazlo
02-01-2009, 10:18 AM
Actually I didn't know that.
I can see a trip to the UK in my future.

Driving on the "right" side of the road isn't your real problem with driving in Europe -- it's the European drivers :) Driving in the cities in France and Italy is simply insane.

aboard_epsilon
02-01-2009, 10:21 AM
well i hope you have good weather ..

There only a couple of differences between April/ May and July/August

April/May...cold and wet

July/august ..not so cold and wet .

all the best.markj

crrmeyer
02-01-2009, 10:40 AM
kew bridge steam museum - I second it. Way too much fun. Nice folks running it. They even gave me a nice your behind the scenes and let me help out running the monster engine during one of its demonstrations. A real highlight in London. You can hop the bus to see if from central London.

Charles

MCS
02-01-2009, 10:56 AM
I have been a couple of times in England.

Driving on the wrong side of the road is doable, the danger comes in confusing traffic situations, U-turns, just when you start to do things on the automatic pilot.

It's not in the region of London but I will always remember Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland. It has a breathtaking beauty.

Apart from the horrible amount of rain they get there, which is only to keep us dry(er), I remember the sense of humor of the Brits, Scots and whom I've forgot to mention.

In the right places there is not much difference between a Monty Python movie and the real life there. Inspiring sort of people. Meant positive.

Timleech
02-01-2009, 11:31 AM
well i hope you have good weather ..

There only a couple of differences between April/ May and July/August

April/May...cold and wet

July/august ..not so cold and wet .

all the best.markj

Yes, but you're in North Wales, Mark. Almost as wet as Fort William.

Tim

Circlip
02-01-2009, 11:44 AM
But do they sha-, er, cultivate sheep in Fort William? :o

Scotland, if you can't see the other side of the Loch it's raining, if you can see the other side, it's about to start raining.

And Billy Connoly's famous rendering, "There's no such thing as bad weather, it's the wrong clothing"

BO**OCKS, the weather is cr4p.

Timleech
02-01-2009, 11:51 AM
But do they sha-, er, cultivate sheep in Fort William? :o

Scotland, if you can't see the other side of the Loch it's raining, if you can see the other side, it's about to start raining.

And Billy Connoly's famous rendering, "There's no such thing as bad weather, it's the wrong clothing"

BO**OCKS, the weather is cr4p.

My father came from the North of Ireland, he liked to quote the local milkman's opinion from when he was a lad. It really has to be said with a thick Belfast accent:

"Six months wunter followed by six months baad wuther!"

Tim

MCS
02-01-2009, 12:03 PM
But do they sha-, er, cultivate sheep in Fort William? :o

Scotland, if you can't see the other side of the Loch it's raining, if you can see the other side, it's about to start raining.

And Billy Connoly's famous rendering, "There's no such thing as bad weather, it's the wrong clothing"

BO**OCKS, the weather is cr4p.

This is what I meant, the spirit.

A couple of weeks ago the waters were frozen. We saw a man sliding and falling hard on the ice. We came to help and it turned out to be an Englishman from Cambridge.

If you ask if it hurts, the Englishmen will say that this is their way of walking, it happens all the time, or whatever. I can't even make it up, I'm not English, I can only try.

Circlip
02-01-2009, 12:13 PM
It's the stiff upper lip MCS, it's got us into more bl**dy trouble over the years. :rolleyes:

John Stevenson
02-01-2009, 12:36 PM
English weather forcaster on TV.

"Tomorrow it will be raining from early morning up until tea time when it will brighten up for a couple of hours to make way for more rain all night..."

Peter N
02-01-2009, 12:37 PM
Irish weather forecaster on TV:

"It's only going to rain twice next week. Once for 3 days and once for 4 days"

malbenbut
02-01-2009, 12:41 PM
Nowt wrong with British weather, where else in the world can you experience four seasons in one day, [six if you include salt & pepper]
MBB

Circlip
02-01-2009, 12:49 PM
It's the British spirit "Expect the worst, it can only get better"

Errol Groff
02-01-2009, 12:58 PM
It's the British spirit "Expect the worst, it can only get better"

Sort of like what we say at school "If you have very low expectations you are less likely to be dis-appointed".

I have probably been an insturctor for too long. Sigh.

sansbury
02-01-2009, 01:16 PM
If you're any sort of history buff, the Cabinet War Rooms in the center of London are amazing.

Circlip
02-01-2009, 01:18 PM
But after all Errol, a pesimist is only a dissillusioned optomist :cool:

Alistair Hosie
02-01-2009, 01:30 PM
Did I hear you correctly John Stevenson TRUCKS TRUCKS surely you mean the donald duck's and best advice forget England it is on it's knees and nearly finished come to Scotland where the air is clean and we're traffic free.And if you believe that you better go to Germany were the sausages are free on the national health at point of delivery eu rules.:D:D:DAlistair

madman
02-01-2009, 03:10 PM
Bangers and Beans, unless you eat these you wont know what being english is all about ALSO fried Kippers for breakfeast what a ungoddly stink, You have to eat some of these also, NO brushing youre teeth after DOES NOT TAKE AWAY THE SMELL Good Luck on youre trip Mark thanx for youre help on my reactor Project,

Norman Atkinson
02-01-2009, 03:42 PM
We used to say 'Thank God for the Old Mayflower'- now the buggers are coming back.

What's wrong with 'Good Old Snorkers- What Ho?' and Beans- Make you Farrrrrt. There was once a Farter to the King.

Thinks, I wouldn't mind that job!
Cobblers to the Pope.
Cobblers Balls to the Chief Rabbi
and Carter, the Farter etc.to the Big Ears!=- and his Hearse( oops, Horse or is it Camel-lah) and then again?

Come on Lillibet- pop your clogs and let us all have a knees up!

derekm
02-01-2009, 03:47 PM
REMEMBER - London and the South East is NOT ENGLAND!

Compared to the rest of us they are generally rude and without humour and serve terrible food and very overcrowded.

I therefore apologise in advance for your experience in that part of my country. It is not typical at all of England and please visit the rest of the country, where you are more lilely to be recieved in friendly welcoming manner.

I have had experience in the U.S. of Dallas, Miami, Fort lauderdale, LA, Up state Cal, San Francisco, Chicago, upstate illinois, Boston, up state Mass and New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York city.

So think London = NY city for down right <%^&*!

If you want to see a city that has the highest concentration of fine architecture, good museum etc... go to
Liverpool.

It literally has the highest number of "listed" buildings in the North... If you have seen the victorian architecture in Montreal and liked it, you will love Liverpool.

derekm
02-01-2009, 03:47 PM
We used to say 'Thank God for the Old Mayflower'- now the buggers are coming back.

What's wrong with 'Good Old Snorkers- What Ho?' and Beans- Make you Farrrrrt. There was once a Farter to the King.

Thinks, I wouldn't mind that job!
Cobblers to the Pope.
Cobblers Balls to the Chief Rabbi
and Carter, the Farter etc.to the Big Ears!=- and his Hearse( oops, Horse or is it Camel-lah) and then again?

Come on Lillibet- pop your clogs and let us all have a knees up!

Reading too much Nicholas Monsarrat I think.

Norman Atkinson
02-01-2009, 04:07 PM
Derek- the Cruel Sea! Was it really 1953? I do recall 'Three Corvettes' and 'the Ship that died of Shame' but not the Cruel Sea- Oh, yes I do!

That was when they depth charged the survivors.

Rather odd, you know. On the box last night, someone is restoring an E-Boat.
Thomas Staubo was writing to me about some Myford bits and I sent him my Norwegian Connection--MV Norsel which was a 500 ton ex-German tug- but with two of my Antarctic Auster7 aircraft aboard.

Not so long ago- 1949???

Thanks

Norm

Mark Hockett
02-01-2009, 04:09 PM
well i hope you have good weather ..

There only a couple of differences between April/ May and July/August

April/May...cold and wet

July/august ..not so cold and wet .

all the best.markj
Markj,
I live 25 miles from Seattle Washington so I am acclimated to the wet weather. From what I have read our climate on Whidbey Island is very similar to the UK.

Norman Atkinson
02-01-2009, 04:33 PM
Oh, no-- not true!

If the Cairngorm Plateau was say 40 feet higher, it would be full perma frost.
As it is, the snows can last right into August and September and by October, the snows are here again.

On the other hand, the Scilly Islands and Cornwall enjoy an almost Mediterannean climate.

Where I live- only a few miles North of me is Peat hag. A few miles to the west is Peat hag. I doubt whether you can ski in October- I have.
A mountain rescue team was formed because two experienced shepherds died in the Cheviot Hills in a blizzard in October.

Sorry but there is a lot of bunkum talked.It might be enjoyable bunkum-but it is still bunkum!

Norman

Thomas Staubo
02-01-2009, 08:21 PM
When I travelled to the UK last year, I stayed both in Harrogate and London.
I planned on going to the railway museum in York, but had to pass on it this time.

In London, I visited the watchmakers museum located in Guildford Hall and the RAF (Royal Air Force) museum. The watchmakers museum is interesting if one has an interest in clocks and watches.
The RAF museum is a nice museum, although I found the Imperial war museum more interesting (visited that some years ago).

And here's when it really comes on topic; at the RAF museum there is a diorama, or what to call it, that depicts a bombed work shop. In the work shop there's a Parkson universal milling machine, a Butler shaper, a Wadkin lathe and some other machines. The Wadkin lathe seem to me like a wood lathe, although it has a proper saddle with cross and top slide, it looks a bit light in construction and also lack a lead screw.
They could have done a better job creating this bombed room, it looks like there's some items that is far too new to belong there.


Click thumbnails to enlarge:
http://img210.imageshack.us/img210/1255/cimg1343a1671425nz1.th.jpg (http://img210.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg1343a1671425nz1.jpg) http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/9338/cimg13451792379tc0.th.jpg (http://img209.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg13451792379tc0.jpg) http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/708/cimg1347a1936087or3.th.jpg (http://img166.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg1347a1936087or3.jpg) http://img266.imageshack.us/img266/2543/cimg13441722966ms1.th.jpg (http://img266.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cimg13441722966ms1.jpg)


Here is a slide show with all the pictures i took at the Harrogate model engineering exhibition:
http://img79.imageshack.us/slideshow/player.php?id=img79/4307/1233536418yeg.smil


.

lazlo
02-01-2009, 08:39 PM
REMEMBER - London and the South East is NOT ENGLAND!

Compared to the rest of us they are generally rude and without humour and serve terrible food and very overcrowded.

I thought that, other than rude and overcrowded, yours was an apt description of the UK as a whole? :D


So think London = NY city for down right <%^&*!

Agreed, except NYC has great food ;)

winchman
02-02-2009, 01:25 AM
I don't know if it's still the case, but you might want to take your own toilet paper.

My first wife brought back some after her visit in the early '80s. It felt like cheap wax paper, and worked about as well.

Roger

Norman Atkinson
02-02-2009, 03:01 AM
Dear me, Thomas Staubo! The RAF Museum at Hendon on N.W.London- wow?

I have an exhibit there! I also have an exhibit just over the road in the Metropolitan Police College.

One is my old wooden hut. The Air Sea Rescue boat sits on my Technical Wing parade ground. No, Derek, I did volunteer to go in one of these incredibly rotten little things but I did volunteer- shades of the books of Monserrat et al. A little further is the pseudo mock Tudor Officers Mess- where the RAF printed its code books and further along at what was the 'ablutions' featured in the 'Dirty Dozen'. Across the road, is a little brass plaque to recall the terribly short lives of three airmen who gave their own precious lives instead of taking the lives of others.

Let's say, I was there.

Norman

R W
02-02-2009, 04:13 AM
Hope to get to the railway museum in York one day.

derekm
02-02-2009, 04:20 AM
I thought that, other than rude and overcrowded, yours was an apt description of the UK as a whole? :D



Agreed, except NYC has great food ;)

Well if you wont go further outside London than Heathrow airport you deserve what you get :)

Get outside the SE (100 miles from trafalgar sq) and the nature of the country changes completely and has areas where the nature and the people change and change again within a few miles.

Having just come back from a brief journey to the North west, I was again shocked by the difference. Up there, people smiling and talking to you ... down here its a exiled-northerners game to annoy the southerners by saying "Good morning".
I was visiting the nearest city to where I grew up (I'm a country boy)and was given a tour by someone who had recently moved there and being shown things I never saw when I lived nearby, although I went in there every week. Fantastic architecture, great museums, and friendly service...

Timleech
02-02-2009, 04:39 AM
REMEMBER - London and the South East is NOT ENGLAND!

<snip>

If you want to see a city that has the highest concentration of fine architecture, good museum etc... go to
Liverpool.

It literally has the highest number of "listed" buildings in the North... If you have seen the victorian architecture in Montreal and liked it, you will love Liverpool.

If you're in Liverpool, try to get to Manchester, just a short train ride, if you like real machinery visit the Power Hall at the Museum of Science & Industry

http://www.visitnorthwest.com/manchester/museum-science.htm

http://www.manchester2002-uk.com/museums/museums1a.html

The Air & Space hall next door is worth a visit while you're there, though a bit 'cold' in comparison with the Power Hall.

Tim

John Stevenson
02-02-2009, 04:50 AM
When travelling either into or out of London you have to stop at Watford to get your passport stamped and change your money.

I hate the damn place.

The Science Museum is OK but it's a shadow of it's former self having been dumbed down to appeal to the masses.
Who works out who the masses are ? you have to be interested to go so if you are that interested you are not one of the masses.

Too much space, too much 'interactive ' and too much that's too modern to be in there anyway.

Most of the good stuff is stored in 4 big hangers outside London anyway.

It won't be long until it's like Wolverhampton's Museum of Industry.

http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/museum.htm

At least they make no bones about not having one so they have created a cyber museum you can visit from anywhere.

Birmingham Industrial museum although far smaller is better and York railway museum is still a cracker.

.

Peter N
02-02-2009, 05:03 AM
Having just come back from a brief journey to the North west, I was again shocked by the difference. Up there, people smiling and talking to you ... down here its a exiled-northerners game to annoy the southerners by saying "Good morning".

Derek, I'm inclined to believe that the problem may be more connected to Reading where you live, than the South as a whole. I know Reading quite well, and have never liked it unfortunately, it is a very 'closed curtains' commuter brigade town, or chavvy and cheap. I intend no slur on yourself for choosing to live there, it's just the way it is. The town of Slough just up the road is even worse, and I used to detest even visiting the place.

We lived in Newbury for 5 years, just 15 miles down the road, and the warmth and friendliness of the place was palpable. I also lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells for 2 years whilst working in another part of Kent, and again the whole locale was a friendly, happy place.
On the other hand, I spent a lot of time staying in Manchester & Stockport when I worked for PZ Cussons and met nothing but sour faces & intransigence for the most part, but I would never classify Northerners as a whole like this, I think that would as unrealistic and unfair as the northern myth about Southerners.

Apart from the above, and many years spend working overseas and travelling extensively, I have spent the rest of my time in Suffolk, apart from for a brief year in the West Midlands, and you couldn't ask for a better place to live.

However you are quite right in extolling the virtues of the North to potential overseas visitors, it does have a lot to offer but is often overlooked as so many people make London the hub of the visit, and travel to to the South-East is often easier than trekking northwards.

With regards from an itinerant immigrant.

Peter

bob ward
02-02-2009, 06:14 AM
Greenwich observatory is interesting. The highlight to me is the display of the first 4 chronometers that Peter Harrison made, the first one is a luggable, the last is the size of a large fob watch.

That Harrison could make a luggable chronometer which operated with the necessary accuracy on an ocean going ship in the early 1700s is achievement enough, but that he could then go further and shrink it as far as he did just blows me away.

Down the bottom of the hill from the observatory is the Cutty Sark, though I'm not sure where they are up to with the rebuild after the fire in May 07

Your Old Dog
02-02-2009, 08:13 AM
Driving on the "right" side of the road isn't your real problem with driving in Europe -- it's the European drivers :) Driving in the cities in France and Italy is simply insane.

I'm up to it. I drove a news car (not much different then a taxicab) for 35 years and can judge it to a coat of paint. I can park in spaces to tight mortals dare to try. I love close quarters combat :D It's a challenge!

aboard_epsilon
02-02-2009, 08:25 AM
I don't know if it's still the case, but you might want to take your own toilet paper.

My first wife brought back some after her visit in the early '80s. It felt like cheap wax paper, and worked about as well.

Roger

That'll be Izal toilet paper.

I don't know why it exists ...all b&b establishments, cafs, public toilets, used to have this stuff once...perhaps it was cheap to buy...or they knew no one was going to take it home with them. .........while everyone else had the soft stuff at home.

it's some sort of thick tracing paper ....you may as well use news paper as that stuff ..it's awfull........

http://www.carbolicsoap.com/images/NEWPICTURES/izals.jpg

A ll the best.markj

derekm
02-02-2009, 08:45 AM
Derek, I'm inclined to believe that the problem may be more connected to Reading where you live, than the South as a whole. I know Reading quite well, and have never liked it unfortunately, it is a very 'closed curtains' commuter brigade town, or chavvy and cheap. I intend no slur on yourself for choosing to live there, it's just the way it is. The town of Slough just up the road is even worse, and I used to detest even visiting the place.

We lived in Newbury for 5 years, just 15 miles down the road, and the warmth and friendliness of the place was palpable. I also lived in Royal Tunbridge Wells for 2 years whilst working in another part of Kent, and again the whole locale was a friendly, happy place.
On the other hand, I spent a lot of time staying in Manchester & Stockport when I worked for PZ Cussons and met nothing but sour faces & intransigence for the most part, but I would never classify Northerners as a whole like this, I think that would as unrealistic and unfair as the northern myth about Southerners.

Apart from the above, and many years spend working overseas and travelling extensively, I have spent the rest of my time in Suffolk, apart from for a brief year in the West Midlands, and you couldn't ask for a better place to live.

However you are quite right in extolling the virtues of the North to potential overseas visitors, it does have a lot to offer but is often overlooked as so many people make London the hub of the visit, and travel to to the South-East is often easier than trekking northwards.

With regards from an itinerant immigrant.

Peter

I actually live in small village in the countryside (not far from Newbury) which is much more friendly than Reading itself by a long long mile. But its still an order of magnitude different compared to the North West. Granted you have to allow for Xenophobia the world over and it can be extremely difficult getting "inside" a small village community even in the NW (i.e. 20 yrs or wait until after the next set of invaders).

Its just the baseline of welcome and interaction in the SE, within commuting distance of the "Smoke", is abysmal.

I have lived in N&S Manchester, Glasgow, N.Wales, S.Wales. and in the Midlands and in Muenchen Southern Germany and travelled the world on business. (Munich people are friendly enough but the service in shops in Central Munich used to be absolutely terrible)

Circlip
02-02-2009, 08:53 AM
Ah so, ein immigrant!

Norman Atkinson
02-02-2009, 09:18 AM
Mark,
San Izal disinfectant and its Izal papier are, as you know, things of the past.

I could say that the French issued a statutory 2 pieces of loo paper at public conveniences - but it would be All Our Yesterdays. I could extol the virtue and positions of 'Rondos a la Turque' or Starting Blocks which still exist and tell the world about 'Clochemerle' but it would date me.
Further, the Spaniards used- past definite- Kraft paper which would have polished lead paint off. Again, it would be bollocks or perhaps a couple of inches out!

Frankly, Mark, is guilty of hyperbole- or classically 'Pulling the Longbow' or as I would have it 'Pulling one's pi55er'

N

Alistair Hosie
02-02-2009, 12:33 PM
Youl'd be as well with a glossy magazine Norm :DAlistair is that the blue bottles flying round your head again sid " yes the wifes got us on the san IZAl " again .:D:DAlistair

Alistair Hosie
02-02-2009, 12:34 PM
Actually anywhere in England is beautiful lovely peole everywhere except for the football gentile men :DAlistair

Peter N
02-02-2009, 01:36 PM
Ah so, ein immigrant!

Thats me!
For the record I'm an Irish-Austrian mongrel, born on the eastern side of the Medditeranean at a BMH , and married to a Sicilian. Grew up in Belfast and first came to England when I was 5. On the bright side my kids are quite normal and healthy depite being brought up in a small country town where there are only 3 surnames and everyone has 6 fingers...:D

Peter

Circlip
02-02-2009, 01:53 PM
AND Ginger hair :eek:

madman
02-02-2009, 02:25 PM
Bring Warm Clothing and Hat Gloves for all the Snow.

SDL
02-02-2009, 02:51 PM
I'm up to it. I drove a news car (not much different then a taxicab) for 35 years and can judge it to a coat of paint. I can park in spaces to tight mortals dare to try. I love close quarters combat :D It's a challenge!

One that the 20thTFW failed every week around where I live, they used to try and go a month without been involved in a Road Traffic Accident, didn't happen very often Roundabouts or decent strength bear were usually the undoing.

Steve Larner

John Stevenson
02-02-2009, 03:03 PM
Roundabouts ALWAYS sorts them out :D

The best ones are the ones where you have the roundabout and you drive thru the middle.

http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/Sherwin%20island.jpg

Good pub on the left but makes it interesting after 7 pints getting out :rolleyes:

.

digger_doug
02-02-2009, 03:04 PM
Swing by J Stevenson's place (or actually the doggy prison)
get the new dog out of hock, fly it back to Evan, who will
teach it to talk.

Then to get the dog back to it's rightfull owner (John),
and to start earning it's keep as a mill operator, we will
take up a collection for airfare for said dog.

No mind getting him (the dog, not john) back from Evan's,
and to the airport, give him the ticket, as he can now talk,
he'll get his own cab to the airport....

It's a win win

Peter N
02-02-2009, 03:19 PM
Roundabouts ALWAYS sorts them out :D
.


Just imagine what they'd make of this one :eek:

Big roundabout in the middle, with 5 little roundabouts orbiting it, just look at the direction arrows painted in the lanes.


http://www.btinternet.com/~p.neill/Roundabout.jpg


Peter

tony ennis
02-02-2009, 03:22 PM
If we had roundabouts in the US, people would die by the score.

I thought gears were confusing. They aren't. Roundabouts are confusing.

lazlo
02-02-2009, 03:28 PM
Roundabouts ALWAYS sorts them out :D

You might be surprised to know that we have them too, mostly in Boston (where we got most of our British bad habits ;) )-- we call them rotaries :)

The worst rotary on the planet is the Arc de Triomphe, of course. I've driven it, and it's not quite as bad as they show in the movies, but then again, I was there off-season...

Timleech
02-02-2009, 03:33 PM
Just imagine what they'd make of this one :eek:

Big roundabout in the middle, with 5 little roundabouts orbiting it, just look at the direction arrows painted in the lanes.


http://www.btinternet.com/~p.neill/Roundabout.jpg


Peter

Bl**dy hell, I've met those mini-roundabouts around big roundabouts before, they seem to be a southern speciality, but contra-rotating?? :o
Must be some god-forsaken place like Slough, or Hemel Hempstead :rolleyes:

Tim

Peter N
02-02-2009, 03:44 PM
Not quite as bad as those 2 places, although I think the first one was in Hemel Hempstead.
This one is in Colchester, about half a mile up the road from where the old Lathe Works used to be.

Peter

lazlo
02-02-2009, 03:48 PM
Not quite as bad as those 2 places, although I think the first one was in Hemel Hempstead.
This one is in Colchester, about half a mile up the road from where the old Lathe Works used to be.

I figure you guys will discover traffic lights soon after you discover prismatic ways ;)

isaac338
02-02-2009, 04:19 PM
There's not much more than a plaque there, but if you get off the tube at Monument and walk pretty much straight past the monument you're at Pudding Lane, the site of the start of the Fire of 1666.

I thought it was neat standing at the exact spot where the fire began which virtually leveled the City north of the river and as I remember had a big hand in stopping the Plague.

philbur
02-02-2009, 05:32 PM
Clearly a manifestation of the Coriolis effect. The road systems engineer who designed it must have wanted to be a Weatherman.

Most Americans know what to do when they come across a Hurricane. You just turn around and go in the other direction. Judging by the amount of traffic it looks like the locals have come to the same conclusion.

Phil



Just imagine what they'd make of this one :eek:

Big roundabout in the middle, with 5 little roundabouts orbiting it, just look at the direction arrows painted in the lanes.


http://www.btinternet.com/~p.neill/Roundabout.jpg


Peter

John Stevenson
02-02-2009, 06:25 PM
I figure you guys will discover traffic lights soon after you discover prismatic ways ;)
Actually the traffic lights were a British invention in 1868, even before the car, we didn't want the bloody things so exported them to the US.

Islands if used correctly are actually quicker as the traffic keeps moving.

In the Channel Islands it's law to filter one at a time onto islands, if you jump the queue or miss your turn the locals will let you know on the horns :D

That island that Peter showed, just down the road from the Colchester lathe factory probably accounts for it's closure because they were always late for work. :rolleyes:

.

Spin Doctor
02-02-2009, 06:28 PM
Right now I'd say a snow shovel. :rolleyes::rolleyes:

aboard_epsilon
02-03-2009, 02:16 PM
hi mark .

This will help you a bit

online UK highway code

explaining everything ..roadsigns, speed limits ..the law

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_070202

ebay as book

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/THE-OFFICIAL-HIGHWAY-CODE_W0QQitemZ120372066937QQihZ002QQcategoryZ378QQ ssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


all the best.markj

Norman Atkinson
02-03-2009, 02:34 PM
Mark,

Markj forgot to tell you that 'the Welsh' actually write road signs on the roads in Welsh.

By the time that you have worked it out, you've crashed!

One word they have got, people have fallen asleep only half way to pronouncing it.

Nos Da

Norm

aboard_epsilon
02-03-2009, 03:01 PM
They do that on purpose ...
1. To learn english people welsh..theyt are all dual welsh/english.


2, the only welsh road signs written on the road ..say ARAF SLOW

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2109/2271206791_a6782f10e3_o.jpg

So you slow down to read them ...then you say, aha to yourself :D

watch out for this one

http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/images/wales/welsh_parking_sign.jpg

All the best.markj

John Stevenson
02-03-2009, 04:40 PM
As Mark says signs in Wales are dual language.
As you drive from England to Wales they are in English with Welsh underneath, as you get into Wales they are in Welsh with English underneath.

When you are in the centre of Wales they are in Welsh only :D

The one that makes me smile is the one on the major trunk roads for Services. In Welsh this reads Gwasanaethau.

At first take from the Donald flying by at 80 mph it sure looks like Gastroenteritis ? About right for most of the UK services :rolleyes:

.

digger_doug
02-04-2009, 07:05 AM
I figure that a certain designer from america, took a ride thru
one of those 5 circles roundabouts, probably on the top floor
of a double deck bus.

Then came home and designed the much loved tilt-a-whirl ride
found in many amusement parks....

Circlip
02-04-2009, 08:44 AM
Nobody got a piccy of the grandaddy of them all?? Swindon's Magic Roundabout??

aboard_epsilon
02-04-2009, 09:44 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/wiltshire/content/images/2007/10/22/msn_magic_roundabout_470x350.jpg

thistle
02-04-2009, 09:49 AM
best advice forget England it is on it's knees and nearly finished come to Scotland where the air is clean and we're traffic free.

.:D:D:DAlistair


its raining alien space slime in Scotland , i am staying put for the time being forget the Scottish weather....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoors/articles/jelly/

digger_doug
02-04-2009, 09:53 AM
I notice every one of the wonderfull pix of these roundabouts
have very distinct and visible PAVEMENT markings....I can't
see a single post or pole around.

Most all of our markings are pole mounted or strung
overhead across all the lanes.

So my question...what do you do when it snows ?
is it a giant bumper car arena ? do whatever you want ?

Peter N
02-04-2009, 10:40 AM
I notice every one of the wonderfull pix of these roundabouts
have very distinct and visible PAVEMENT markings....I can't
see a single post or pole around.

Most all of our markings are pole mounted or strung
overhead across all the lanes.

So my question...what do you do when it snows ?
is it a giant bumper car arena ? do whatever you want ?

Use common sense :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_sense

Snow ploughs and gritters are out on the major trunk routes when it snows, so the odds are if the road is driveable at all, then you'll see the markings.

Peter

digger_doug
02-04-2009, 11:28 AM
You don't think I would come over for a visit
on a bright summer day now, would you ?

I haven't seen the pavement around here
since thxgiving... last week we totalled up 223".

within 1.5" of beating syracuse n.y....