July 2017



If you look carefully you will see mud and a bit of sand. Basil can just remember the slabs being laid straight onto sand; which seems a bit cheap, but the slabs were so heavy duty the didn’t need any more support for pedestrians, and in some stretches probably could have stayed for a century. The trouble is that they cracked when driven over by people parking in their drives (or in the front yard that’s replaced the garden).

So the slabs were being replaced by asphalt when I visited; by just taking them up and pouring the asphalt into the hole! I bet that does not last 60 years!

PS. The road name is one of the few in Crawley that was new and referred to an existing feature, in this case Loppets (rabbits) Wood. Hawth Avenue is another.


This always was the shortcut to the playing fields, and to home for me via the Hawth wood. It is by the railway bridge that carries the line to Crawley station over Southgate Avenue. As I child I could hear goods wagons being shunted over the bridge; not many, but in those days one goods wagon made enough noise to be heard, let alone 3 together!

Every so often Crawley Council tries to close the gap in the fence (not in picture) that allows access to the fields. I am glad to say there is enough backbone left in Crawley for some individual(s) to have kept it open.


I stopped with my brother whilst I was away. It was good to see him, and we even went out together on Thursday, but there is no getting away from the fact that it would not be to everyone’s taste.

The first bell to call to prayer is sounded, loudly, at 05.30; and regularly thereafter until 20.30. You are not expect to go to all the services, but are expected to go to some.


Flying into Heathrow is easier than flying from it, until you to try to escape! The signage shows the mixture of bureaucracy and stupidity that is making all our poor lives harder and grimmer in Britain.

On the plus side there is a small but interesting art gallery and a bar selling handpulled beer street side of the terminal, but there the pleasure ended.

I went looking for my bus. You can see the buses through the windows, but I ended up in the Heathrow Express Railway Station, and had to ask where the hidden door to the magic buses was!

The bus station is a 1960’s nightmare.

The journey was a pain. I used to be a joint bus-rail ticket to my brother’s, but a change in franchise means the bus is now a coach and you have to buy 2 different tickets from different places. The National Express coach which requires you buy a ticket before you board. I already had, but if you haven’t to have to find the tiny notice on the dirty bus stop telling you to go to the ticket office, which will be as easy to find as the door in!

All of this is accepted because everybody who uses Heathrow regularly already knows it; but millions don’t, and no buggar cares. If you are too poor not to have a limo waiting you are not worth caring about.

The coach was then 20 minutes late getting to Woking station, so I had to wait an extra 60 minutes (including delays) at Woking and Guildford.

I got to my brother’s station too late for supper. It took me over 6 hours to get there from Bradford Interchange station. About the same time I would expect to be travelling if I had gone by train; without the hassle of a security check and not being able to carry bottles or tools.

On the other had I could look at the ground or clouds from high up for all of 30 minutes! I might do it again for adventure, but I just wish I didn’t have to go through Heathrow to do it.


I had a trip South last week. For a change I decided to fly to Heathrow, I like flying and I wanted to see how it compared to the train. Heathrow is not far from where my brother lives, and the fare from here to London is not that much more than the train.

There is now a nonce an hour daytime bus to LBA and, unlike 20 years ago, it is not a breadbin powered with a moped engine; it still travels around Guiseley and Idle dropping off pensioners at a leisurely pace though; and that means I set off an hour earlier to be sure.

Once at the airport the impression is small and crowded.

It used to have so few passengers that most times it was relaxed. Last week was the start of the school holidays so it was near full.

I got a seat, but the one beer pump in the public area was not working; so it had to be expensive small bottles! That pretty much sums up the place. Just enough facilities but nowt but the flight to make you choose it. The my departure gate had an advert for a local bike race that finished months ago sums it up.


Froglet small than 20p

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