Friday 23 August 2019

Dartford mare...

(The booths are gone, but the traffic remains the same...)

Scrobs had to go to Chelmsford earlier in the week. The journey used to be quite a short and pleasant trip back in the eighties, when I had a lot of work in East Anglia, but this time - whoooooa - what an absolute mare!

Of course, the Scrobmobile is the sort of car that seventy-somethings like driving, and if they brought out a VW Rugby, I’d probably buy two, but anyway, the doddle up to North Kent was the usual slow meander, until the Dartford Tunnel approach tail-back started eight miles before the actual crossing! It took me half an hour to cross, and about the same on the way back.

I can easily remember visiting a favourite aunt and uncle near Shefford back in 1964, riding a 125cc Lambretta. I can’t remember the fee to get under the Thames, but it must have been just a few pence even in old money. Nowadays, the charge for a return trip is a whopping £5.00! About a million vehicles cross over every week.

The government promised that the tunnel and bridge would be toll-free twenty years ago, but that idea has been kicked down the road over the years, and the crossing is still a huge cash cow for the Ministry of Transport, which offers a ludicrous statement that ‘the bridge needs continuing maintenance because of - wait for it - increased traffic’! The ‘costs’ are entirely justified!

The chief engineer on the bridge is a personal friend, and I’ll have to ask him what he thinks the next time we’re testing the quality of Shep’s 'Old Bridge Stanchion' - 8.7abv...

Monday 12 August 2019


Just the other day, driving through the village and thinking of not much, this track appeared on the little television screen which shows the driver what to listen to, on the wireless set in the motor car.

Considering Bernie Taupin wrote this in 1974, it seems to me that he was more of a visionary than given credit for.

Songfacts explain a lot more about the song here: - . I'd forgotten about the Columbine High massacre, and hearing it all again rather took the shine off a pleasant trip to a chum's house - such that I actually missed the turning to his road!