My photograph was taken at the old lead mine at Snailbeach in Shropshire and shows the remains of the Snailbeach District Railways. This line ran from the mine to transshipment sidings near Pontesbury, which was on the GWR branch to Minsterley. The line to the mine had ceased working by 1947 and its three locomotives were cut up there in 1950. It continued to serve a quarry nearer Pontesbury until 1961, but latterly a tractor was used as motive power on uphill journeys.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The surge in the number of people in Leicester with Covid-19 has drawn fresh attention to the city's garment manufacturers. In his United Kingdom Labour Market Enforcement Strategy 2018/19 David Metcalf, the government's director of labour market enforcement, wrote of an:unenviable reputation for lack of compliance, both with labour market regulations and others such as health and safety, payment of tax, etc. This has been highlighted a number of times in the national press, and raises questions of why this has not been more proactively tackled by the enforcement agencies.Now the campaign group Labour Behind the Label has produced a ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Thanks to lockdown I'm not getting the chance to meet Liberal Democrat members and supporters at events in the way I'd usually do.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

This post - or a version of it - was first published on the Radix UK blog... In the week that the banks failed - that strange week in October 2008, where everything seemed to be unravelling - I ventured into the City Business Library, in its familiar, slightly unkempt building off London Wall. I used to spend quite some time there, when I was writing about the history of money. I remembered it - perhaps wrongly - as a font of hidden knowledge. By 2008, it certainly wasn't that. Where were those decades of back issues of obscure American ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog

A visit to the Maghull Community Facebook page earlier today brought me some sad news as I learned that St Helen's Parish Church (known more as Sefton Church locally) had been visited by thieves who had stolen stone flags from a path at the rear of this historic Grade I Listed Building. I've blogged about this magnificent church a number of times before, not least because I was once a choir boy there for about 3 years around 1970. The fact that I now consider myself to be an atheist does not take anything away from my regard for this ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

[IMG: The 'Good Sex Bad Sex Podcast' episode with me in it] A very long time ago in the land of pre-Covid 19, I rocked up to the Metro offices in Central London to record a... The post The 'Good Sex Bad Sex Podcast' episode with me in it appeared first on Ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on Ambitiousmamas

Of all the things I've missed during lockdown cricket has been the thing I've missed most. Indeed, the other day, whilst out cycling I came upon a chap wearing a magnificent Sikh Turban and I wanted to shout out 'you remind me of the magnificent Bishen Bedi' but fortunately for the poor chap and indeed myself I kept my cricketing thoughts to myself. But that chance encounter led me to look up that greatest of all Indian spin bowlers on You Tube and I found this video where Bishen talks about one of my all time greatest cricketers – Gary ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

The Godfather II won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1974, and picked up another five - Best Director (Francis Ford Coppola), Best Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro, beating Michael V Gazzo and Lee Strasberg for their roles in the film), Best Adapted Screenplay (Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo) Best Art Direction, and Best Original Dramatic Score. Al Pacino last Best Actor and Talia Shire lost Best Supporting Actress. Is five nominations in the acting categories a record? The other nominees for Best Picture were Chinatown, The Conversation, Lenny and The Towering Inferno. I have only seen the last of ...

Govt's claim of protective ring around care homes "completely bogus" Responding to the latest ONS figures showing almost 20,000 care home residents have died with coronavirus, Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson Munira Wilson said: The devastating scale of the coronavirus crisis in our care homes is heartbreaking. It shows the Government's claim that they had a "protective ring" in place was completely bogus. We must learn the lessons of this crisis in real time. Alongside adequate protective equipment, routine testing for residents and care workers could not be more important. The Government must ensure every care home ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sat 4th

Greek eye tests

Having been treated to the spectacle of Boris Johnson chief advisor, Dominic Cummings driving up to Durham and then taking a family trip to Barnard Castle, supposedly to test his eyesight, I don't suppose there was much trust left in the UK Government's lockdown measures. Nevertheless, as another display of the government's one rule for us, another rule for you approach to the pandemic, the decision of Johnson's father to breach foreign office advice and visit his villa in northern Greece has once more raised questions as to the Prime Minister's efficacy. After all, if he cannot get his father ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

We've had reports from all over town about late night high speed racers. Congregating and doing wheelies on the Sports Centre Car Park, racing round St Briavels, Shire Way, Rodford Way, Greenways Road, Brimsham ay 80mph or moreWe have raised all your concerns with the police, and advised residents to report it shopping centre issues to the shopping centre managers (who also do security on the car park). Please can you report it to the police whenever you have a problem. They allocate resource by looking at levels of complaint. So your reporting is vital. We have also asked for ...

Though there have been countless films and TV series about Nazi Occupied France and the French Resistance, the experience of the Dutch under occupation has been less well chronicled. The Germans easily overran the little country in May 1940 and some parts were occupied for a full five years. I remember visiting the Low Countries [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

The second eFocus published by Gateshead Liberal Democrats this week was edition 136 for the Whickham area. Issues covered in this edition include: survey on your views about the way forward after the lockdown; Planting Up Whickham replants Church Green; new garden planned for Sunniside Methodist Church; Dunston phone mast approved; Ring and Read service to be launched; share your lockdown

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace
Sat 4th

My tweets

Fri, 12:56: RT @donaldtuskEPP: I've always believed in the Republican ideals and greatness of America:as an anti-Communist from "Solidarność", Polish P... Fri, 14:29: RT @FitzwilliamColl: Update on Dr David Starkey: Fri, 16:05: Has a Red Line Been Crossed in Serbia? Good question. Fri, 17:11: RT @emilybest: When I was 13 I was riding the train between Sacramento and SF by myself, like I did every weekend from 12 years old on (div... Fri, 18:33: Staged #davidtennant #staged Fri, 18:54: Top Instagram posts, 2020 H1 Fri, 19:50: RT @wartsandbrawls: Top 10 times Sir Geoffrey Elton slapped down ...

I wrote a piece here two weeks ago discussing the need for long term strategic objectives that would be consistent for 10-20 years and would, alongside our values, guide our decision making and enable us to develop a more focussed disciplined organisation. Knowing what our objectives were, and sticking to them over time would also enable us to rebuild a clear positive public identity for the party - in itself something key to long term electoral success and survival. And as others have commented, more important in the leadership election than the choice of specific policies. The response to the ...

Posted by Kevin Langford on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sat 4th

Low Fell eFocus no. 64

The latest round of eFocuses, the Lib Dem email newsletter in Gateshead, started with Low Fell ward. During the pandemic lockdown, we have been using eFocus to keep people informed about local issues and the impact of the lockdown. Edition no. 64 was published this week, covering the following issues: · Council plans to remove on-street parking and

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

I had been meaning for a number of weeks to write a blog about the state of the USA. I do this because I have many American followers and because what happens in America does affect the rest of the ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?
Sat 4th

Liberal history online

Like many other party organisations, the Liberal Democrat History Group is moving activities online during the lockdown. So this article brings news of two events you may be interested in, and a summary of the latest issue of the Journal of Liberal History. General Election 2019: Disappointment for the Liberal Democrats Our next discussion meeting will take place at 6.30pm on Wednesday 8th July. We'll be taking a look at the Liberal Democrats' 2019 election campaign and its outcome in historical perspective. The party entered the campaign buoyed by its best opinion poll ratings in a decade, a second place ...

Posted by Duncan Brack on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sat 4th

Whoniversaries 4 July

i) births and deaths 4 July 1928: birth of Paddy Russell, who directed The Massacre (First Doctor, 1966), Invasion of the Dinosaurs (Third Doctor, 1974), Pyramids of Mars (Fourth Doctor, 1975) and Horror of Fang Rock (Fourth Doctor, 1977) - a pretty good record. 4 July 1973: birth of Marcus Wilson, producer and series producer for Series Six and Seven of New Who featuring the Eleventh Doctor. ii) broadcast anniversaries 4 July 1964: non-broadcast of 'Hidden Danger', the fourth episode of the story we now know as The Sensorites, because of the gripping events at the third test match of ...

I wrote an article for the Spectator yesterday about how I thought Peter Mandelson was wrong when he overplayed the likelihood that the government were going to avoid no deal by getting something nailed down between the UK and the EU before the end of the year. Instead, I posited that I thought no deal Brexit was far and away the most likely outcome. Some people had a thoughtful response to this on Twitter: yes, all right, but why is the government going to do this? What is the reasoning behind going full tilt toward a no deal situation? Part ...

Posted by Nick on

I've recently migrated from Anchor to Podbean for my podcast, Never Mind The Bar Charts. Here are some tips that I've learnt along the way. Create your new Podbean account. As an aside, if you are going to use your own domain name, as I do with, then configure that in Podbean early on. That way, you can avoid having to double-back on other configuration and content later on. From your podcast dashboard, go to Settings and then Own domain to do this. Get the feed (RSS) address for your Anchor podcast. If you don't already know it, login ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Ludlow is at its best when the pubs throng with customer and the tables in its cafes and restaurants are full. When there is a crowd on King Street and a crush on the market. Being close to strangers has long been part of our national experience. Shambling along the streets. Jostling at the bar in the pubs. Crowding into the markets. At pop concerts. Less pleasantly, on trains and queuing for toilets. From today, we can go to cafes and pubs. From Wednesday, Ludlow Market is expected to have more stalls. Being closer that one metre has been banned. ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT Please note that most works are subject to change and late completion due to the restrictive measures in place following UK and Scottish Government advice that only emergency/urgent works and those considered essential should take place during this period. REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - SATURDAY 4 AND SUNDAY 5 JULY 2020 Riverside Drive at Botanic Gardens - narrow lanes on Sunday 5 July for Scottish Water Ironwork Repairs REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 6 JULY 2020 20mph speed limit zone road marking and traffic sign works commencing Monday ...