Sat 21st

The Caldon Canal in 1972

Photo: Harry Arnold My March 1972 issue of the IWA Bulletin carries this photograph of the Caldon Canal near Hazlehurst Junction, where its branch to Leek and main line to Froghall Basin diverge. The Bulletin says that the line to Froghall was about to be restored. I walked the whole of the Caldon over two days in the spring of 1988. The walk began in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent and took me to the Churnet Valley. Part of this were so remote they carried the river, canal and a railway, but no road.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Matthew Taylor, the former Liberal Democrat MP for Truro, was adopted as a baby by the film and television writer Ken Taylor and his wife. In later life he decided to trace his birth mother, with the result that I blogged in 2008: This morning's Times revealed that Matthew Taylor, the Lib Dem MP for Truro, who was adopted as a baby, has traced his birth mother. It turns out that she is the granddaughter of Sir Percy Harris, who was a prominent Liberal MP. Sir Percy was first elected to the Commons for Harborough at a 1916 by-election. There ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The coronavirus crisis requires unprecedented emergency measures. The more extreme the measure, the more carefully it must be circumscribed and the more clearly must its lifespan constrained. That's why the unprecedented cancellations of elections by the Coronavirus Bill are well drafted. They are necessary to protect public health; they are clearly defined; and they are clearly time-limited until May next year. Even the power to delay by-elections in the interim does not mean delay past May 2021. Come the first Thursday in May 2021, electoral normality will return. Other emergency provisions, however, are not so well scoped. That's why there ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Second pargraph of third chapter:When you are the child of someone such as he, there are things that are expected that may not be expected of someone of a more lowly persuasion. And so it was with I.I liked this without being overwhelmed by it. It's a novel of the Windrush period, with flashbacks to the very recent war. Levy gives very believable voices to all of her characters, including the nasty ones (which is a rare skill.) Hortense, one of the two protagonists, has a particular wake-up call, realising that her native Jamaica is seen as a small island ...

You can find previous Isolation diaries here. A friend of mine dropped an envelope through my door a couple of days ago. Inside was a bar of chocolate and a postcard with a photo of a place we loved visiting in Ireland. She wished us well and offered to do any shopping we needed. Of course, I phoned her to thank her and we had a very pleasant chat about this and that. It was a simple act of kindness which meant a lot. My neighbours text and phone from time to time as well to see if we are ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice

2020 is going to be a pretty rough year for all of us. Our front line NHS staff will have a particularly torrid time. Many of the financial losses incurred by individuals will not be covered and unemployment will become, sadly, quite common. So, is there anything extra we as individuals can do to improve the situation? How can we invest in our economy? I am suggesting a form of Citizens Wealth Fund independent of national government and have laid out a possible format in this document. Essentially any UK citizen or those with a right to live here could ...

Posted by Ian Hamilton on Liberal Democrat Voice

Some Coronavirus Advice from your Local Councillors Andrew Makinson, Liz Makinson & Richard Kemp To assist our residents, we have looked around at the best advice available on how to live our lives for the next few months. Most people ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?
Sat 21st

Foodbank donation

Yate Town Councillors have agreed an emergency donation of £4000 to the Yate Foodbank, as a first step in supporting them and we are working on a Corona Battle Fund to help local groups. Watch out for the process and criteria in the next few days. If others want to get involved in this do please contact the town council Their work is going to be more vital than ever as people are laid off or lose jobs, or vital overtime.

Alwyn Turner's masterly survey of the UK singles charts of my early teenage years for Lion & Unicorn has reached March 1975. One of the top ten in the week he chooses was Pick Up the Pieces by the Average White Band. Alwsyn rightly describes them as "Britain's best-ever funk band". When I chose Pick Up the Pieces as one of my Sunday music videos I repeated some lines from Norman Baker's Against the Grain where he remembered an unsuccessful gig by his band The Reform Club: As well as members of the band, we had roped in Archy Kirkwood, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

As a result of coronavirus and news that some supermarkets will be opening just for older people or those with a disability for their first hour of the day, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is extending the hours when concessionary bus passes can be used.Time restriction for use of the Diamond Travelcard (concessionary pass) will be relaxed from Monday 23 March, so people can travel free at any time on journeys starting in the WECA and North Somerset areas. This will be reviewed at the end of June. At the moment holders of a Diamond Travelcard bus pass ...


[IMG: My defining Generation X moment] It is my birthday today. I am 57 years old. Midlife is a phase that calls for introspection. The opening gambit when looking back on... The post My defining Generation X moment appeared first on Ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on Ambitiousmamas
Sat 21st

My tweets

Fri, 18:37: RT @haveigotnews: Live scenes as coronavirus forces retired doctors back into work: Fri, 18:52: August 2005 books Fri, 19:00: RT @mattholehouse: Keynes on paying for the war: "We threw good housekeeping to the winds. But we saved ourselves and helped save the world... Fri, 19:41: RT @verysmallanna: Have you ever met a professional cook Fri, 21:26: LibraryThing Is Now Free to All � The LibraryThing Blog - Hooray! Sat, 10:24: RT @DimitarBechev: Social distancing as practised in the Balkans. Sat, 10:45: RT @tconnellyRTE: What could or should the EU have done to avert the ...

I'm still cycling during our health crisis although always on my own and not stopping at cafes etc. anymore.... A lane I cycle now and again is Spurriers Lane/Outlet Lane which joins Prescot Road at the Animal Sanctuary in Melling (Merseyside) and then goes through to Simonswood Civil Parish (Lancashire) to join Simonswood Lane. It's single track lane for its whole length but traffic is light to non-existent virtually all the time. Sadly, and probably because of the remote nature of the lane it is often a site for fly-tipping. Sights such as this are far from unusual sadly:- What ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

A few years back, the Liberal Democrat History Group's committee had an extended debate via email a few months ago over the number of days for which David Lloyd George was an MP. We'd set this as a quiz question before discovering that we didn't all agree on the answer. Leap years weren't the problem. It was the question of when should we start counting someone's time as an MP from: the declaration of the result or on taking your seat? The latter has a formal appeal to it as the starting point. But the former is in practice what ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

As the coronavirus crisis grows and we become more isolated and self-contained, the impact on town and city centres is becoming more marked. In Italy and Spain, people have been confined to their homes unless they have a very good and specific reason to do otherwise, and as this article in the Guardian explains that is giving nature an opportunity to reboot as well. The paper says that under Venice's strict rules of self-confinement to prevent the spread of the coronavirus - all journeys but a trip to walk the dog or buy food are forbidden - the ancient city ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Does eating more chocolate improves a nation's chances of producing Nobel Prize winners?

Posted by Pink Dog on Mark Pack


Posted by chriswhite on Chris White

It appears that the UK Government has, at times, been slow-footed over dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, reacting to events rather than leading on them. The first example was when the FA decided to suspend professional football matches to halt the spread of COVID-19, ahead of the Government banning mass gatherings a few days later in a policy U-turn on 13 March. Then there were calls by experts last weekend (14/15 March) for social distancing and homeworking to be implemented, as we watched on while the World Health Organization said social distancing was vital to halt the spread of ...

Posted by Judy Abel on Liberal Democrat Voice

We live in uncertain economic times. We already know of people in the hospitality industry who are being laid off. Other employees could eventually be affected. The Ludlow Food Bank already serves a lot of people who are struggling. The Covid-19 crisis makes it more important for the health of our community than ever. The Food Bank needs food. Tinned and dried food. Easy cook food. Long life. Daily essentials. Sanitary and cleaning products. Personal and household. And one of the best ways you can help with this is by making cash donations. The details of how to do so ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

An appeal from Dundee Methodist Church :


One business owner stood in tears in front of me. Twenty years of building a business and we look like being wiped out overnight, she said. It had been a day of generous offers. People saying they would help each other and support essential services. It had been a day of concern. Not just about keeping businesses going but also essential services like buses. And the day ended in virtual lockdown for our town and for society. My body temperature is normal but my mind is in a fever wondering how our town will come out of this unprecedented crisis. ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington