Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Death of Busby Babe who signed for Lincoln

Sad to hear news on Sky of the death of Albert Scanlon who was something of a hero of mine when I was a young lad growing up in Lincoln.

Scanlon was one of the original 'busby babes' who survived the terrible 1958 Munich air crash which destroyed so many stars of Matt Busby's Manchester United football team including Duncan Edwards.

By the early 1960s, Scanlon was playing at Sincil Bank for Lincoln City where I have fond memories of watching his skills from the terrace.

Sky say he was 74 when he died earlier today.

Hard to believe that the Munich Air Crash was over half a century ago.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sh*tbucks comes to Peterborough...

Snow-slow drive to Peterborough this morning after digging my car out of the drive, so miss my usual London bound train, and watch the next one pull out while I queue for a ticket.

At least the trains seem to be running pretty much to time despite the first snow and cold snap of winter...whatever happened to Global Warming..?

Info board says next train due in 20 minutes, but updates say it's going to be 8 minutes late, then 20 minutes late and eventually over half any hour late...so have any overall wait of any hour trying to keep warm.

Fancy a hot drink to fend off the cold, and keep my hands warm. Decide to give 'Pumpkins' coffee a miss and plum instead for the new outlet on Platform 2.

Should be a treat. It's Starbucks. Order a 'hot' choc and hand over my dosh. First sip reveals it's only mildly warm, and so down it in one.


It's stone cold and hasn't even been stirred.

Nasty after-taste.

It's easy for anyone to make a mistake when you're new and busy and, like the choc drink, er...cold.

What's amazing is the reaction of Starbucks staff when I politely point out that their 'hot' choc is anything but.

No reaction at all!! Not a word of apology, refund or fresh drink. Just blank faces..


My reaction to being blanked is to start loudly advising others in the queue that the 'hot' choc isn't.

Still no reaction.

Someone at Starbucks clearly missed the 'have a nice day' training course in customer relations.

Surely the American coffee giants Starbucks would appreciate knowing they are getting it wrong in Peterborough.

Faith restored somewhat when I ring Starbucks in London and I am able to regale my story to a pleasant young? Lady with a warm American drawl who apologises for my bad experience with Starbucks, promises refund in the post and wishes I have a nice day.

Get the late train which has just come to a juddering halt after a few miles. Guard just announced a pipe has broken.

Ah, that old excuse.

Must be the wrong kind of snow...

Maybe i should have stayed in bed...hope to be inching towards London soon and hope to get there in time to come back...

UPDATE 11.52 Just passing Knebworth, Guard says pipe fixed but slow now because there's congestion ahead and snow blown onto signals means Driver having difficulty seeing them.

I need a hot drink, but now feeling rather sick after my Starbucks Experience...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Local woman dies in crash with ambulance...

A 39-year-old local woman walking near The Deepings this morning has died after a collision with an ambulance which was on its way to deal with a road accident in Langtoft.

Deepings Comprehensive goes top of the class...

Deepings Comprehensive School has just been awarded an 'Outstanding' grade during Ofsted's latest inspection.

Anyone who knows Deepings Comp won't be surprised that it's achievements put it in the top 15% of all schools in the country.

As a Governor for eight years until a few months ago - and as proud father of two daughters who were given a great start at Deepings Comp - I know we are blessed with a fantastic local school.

The Business and Enterprise specialist school is a fine example of what can be achieved by a true Comprehensive. Unlike some other local schools, no child is turned away because of their perceived academic ability. At Deepings Comp, every student gets the chance to develop to their full potential.

Chris Beckett who was promoted to Head Teacher five years ago provides first-rate leadership and has strengthened a great team of staff which, together with the students, fully deserve the thanks and praise of our local community.

Here's some of the highlights from the Ofsted report which has just been published.

Outstanding quality of education
Innovative and dynamic leadership
Standards have risen year on year since the last inspection
Students of all abilities make exceptional progress
Students, parents and carers are very pleased with the quality of education provided
Good quality teaching
The school's Business and Enterprise specialist status makes a significant contribution to students learning
The school's capacity for continued improvement is outstanding
Students enjoy school and feel safe
The curriculum provision is outstanding at all levels
Care, guidance and support is outstanding
Links with partners and other schools are outstanding
Sixth form provision, leadership, management and outcomes are outstanding.

Hope the Stamford Mercury, Local, ET, and Free Press pick up a good story about achievement...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Have I missed something, or what...?

Has anyone seen any media coverage in the nationals - or even the regional press - on the latest Tory Leader in Lincolnshire to resign after facing questions over his involvement in planning issues...?

I'm fairly certain that if Bernard Theobald were a Labour Leader forced out of office in similar circumstances, it would have been all over the Daily Mail and other choice publications by now...

Am I getting cynical in my old age, or have I missed something...?

Fighters and Believers

It's all about values...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

South Lincs rail hub could create 4,400 local jobs

Great news as plans unveiled for a £20 million investment in a new rail hub in the Spalding area which could provide a massive boost to the local jobs market - as splashed on the front page of this week's Lincs Free Press.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sad loss of a good friend...

Shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden and unexpected death of my friend John Hurst, a former colleague on Lincolnshire County Council - and a true champion of Grantham Hospital.

A thoughtful, highly intelligent man, life-long socialist with a wicked bone-dry sense of humour, John's cerebral contributions in county council debates were always top quality.

A sad loss and sincere condolences to his widow Fereshteh.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Another Tory Leader steps down after planning questions...

The Conservative Leader of a Lincolnshire Council has been forced to step down after a newspaper investigation into a planning matters.

Bernard Theobald is facing questions over a planning application to develop land he jointly purchased with another elected member of his controlling group.

The previous owner claims that before he sold the land, planning officers at West Lindsey District Council advised him that he wouldn't get planning permission for a development.

I knew Bernard some years ago when we were on opposing sides at Lincolnshire County Council.

He was one of the Conservatives who worked behind the scenes to remove Jim Speechley as Leader after he was accused of abusing his power by attempting to divert a bypass to improve the value of a parcel of land he owned.

Speechley ended up in prison of course.

When shamed Speechley was finally forced from the Leadership, Bernard attempted to take over but couldn't muster enough support among his Tory colleagues. They preferred someone close to Speechley as their new Leader - Bourne councillor Ian Croft.

Croft himself was eventually banned from office following a Standards Board inquiry and Bernard went on to lose his county seat at the next local electons!

A third Conservative member of Cllr Theobald's Conservative Group has reportedly admitted that he has met a West Lindsey planning officer who has been suspended pending an inquiry.

The final straw for Bernard seems to have been his own Deputy demanding his resignation!

You couldn't make it up.

UPDATE: A personal statement from Bernard Theobald appears on West Lindsey Council's website in which he denies any wrong-doing, blames the Lincolnshire Echo, and says he's passed their reports to his lawyers.

UPDATE 2: Just googled Bernard Theobald and the first page to appear on my screen is this from West Lindsey Council's own site which shows that as well as being Conservative Leader, Cllr Theobald was also chairman of a committee.

Yes, you've guessed it...the planning committee.

Watch this space...!

UPDATE 3: Cllr Theobald has been accused of being present at a secret meeting with a West Lindsey planning officer who was suspended at the time, pending an investigation.

How do we know...? The secret meeting has been reported by Cllr Theobald's Deputy Leader who was also at the meeting - which took place at his home.

That's the Deputy Leader who later called for Cllr Theobald to stand down and has since taken over the Leadership of the Council.

The plot thickens...

End of the journey for Deepings Travel...

Feeling a tad guilty that I booked my recent holiday to Kenya on t'internet, rather than supporting our local high street travel agency, which closed down yesterday after declaring insolvency.

I hope the friendly staff at Deepings Travel who face redundancy quickly find new jobs.