Robert Hampton

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March 2009

10th March 2009

Altcar Rob
Posted by at 6.12pm | Books, Trains | No responses

Cover of Seaport to Seaside bookAnother book arrived recently to add to my shelf-weakeningly huge collection of Merseyrail paraphenalia. Seaport to Seaside (out of print but obtained from a helpful Amazon marketplace seller) charts the history of the Liverpool to Southport and Ormskirk lines from their beginnings in the 1850s right up to the creation of the Merseyrail Northern Line in the late 1970s.

There’s lots of fascinating stuff in there which I wasn’t aware of. For example, when the line from Southport first opened, it only went as far as Waterloo, with passengers left to face a tortuous onward journey into Liverpool by road. (An experience that Merseyrail are trying to replicate every Sunday, judging by their upcoming engineering works page).

What did amuse me was some of the turns of phrase used in the book. It was published in 1981 or thereabouts, but occasionally feels like it was written 50 years earlier — it’s hard to read sentences such as, “telephonic communication is provided between driver and guard” (describing a feature of the new Class 507 trains), without hearing it in the voice of Mr Burns.

The saddest part is the plug at the end of the book for the now-closed railway museum at Southport, which makes specific reference to the old Class 502 train which was lovingly preserved there. Things have taken a turn for the worse since then.

16th March 2009

A Mighty Swell Brain Until September
Posted by at 7.38pm | In the News | No responses

Mental powers start to dwindle at 27 after peaking at 22, marking the start of old age, US research suggests.

This was not something I wanted to read, considering I’m just six months shy of my 27th birthday. ๐Ÿ™

17th March 2009

The Famous Man Looked at the Red Cup
Posted by at 6.04pm | Television | No responses

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle was an excellent half-hour of comedy, as Britain’s 41st best standup comic took aim, with laser-guided precision, at Chris Moyles, The Da Vinci Code, smug Radio 4 satirical shows and adults reading Harry Potter books.

I would repeat some of the jokes, but each one lasted about 5 minutes, so it would be impossible. Suffice to say its the funniest programme on the BBC so far this year and you should be watching it. If you missed it I recommend you iPlayer it at the earliest possible opportunity.

The whole show feels very BBC4-ish, and according to the Guardian only attracted 1 million viewers. However, after listening this clip from Radio 4’s Heresy — where he calls 84% of the studio audience idiots — I doubt he’s that bothered about appealing to the mainstream.

19th March 2009

I read it in Smith’s and put it back
Posted by at 12.26am | In the News | No responses


Jade Goody’s terminal illness has barely been off the red-top front pages, and OK! has now published a tribute issue with her ‘final words’ รขโ‚ฌโ€œ while she is still alive

23rd March 2009

Posted by at 1.32pm | Radio | No responses

You can argue till you’re blue in the face about the merits of the Licence Fee, but as long as Chris Moyles reigns at Radio 1, using his position to make juvenile, stupid, bigoted comments, anti-BBC campaigners have a solid counter-argument.

Chris Moyles has been censured by Ofcom for condoning negative stereotypes of gay people, after the DJ made what the media regulator ruled were derogatory comments about Will Young on his BBC Radio 1 breakfast show.

Moyles changed the lyrics of two of Young’s songs, Evergreen and Leave Right Now, and sang them in “an effeminate and high pitched voice”, according to Ofcom.

What will it take for him to be sacked?

25th March 2009

Yes We Can… travel to Nottingham from Liverpool South Parkway
Posted by at 7.46pm | Trains | 1 response

And the award for most contrived use of a Barack Obama quote goes to… Merseytravel, for their ad in the current issue of RAIL magazine:-

Merseytravel Advert from Rail Magazine (Issue 614)

30th March 2009

Home Sexretary
Posted by at 5.28pm | Politics | No responses

This is hilarious — anything that causes embarrassment to the useless Jacqui Smith has to be a good thing.

Incidentally, has no-one told her husband that the adult channels on Virgin Media are quite tame, and far better quality stuff is available on the Internet? Er, so I’m told.