Saturday 24 September 2022

Saturday Variety

Catastrophic Cateracts?

Yesterday at 0815, fbb presented himself (with No 1 son riding shotgun and driving the old bloy home, (as as instructed) at Spa Medica private eye hospital, located very unhospital like on a small industrial estate near Exeter Airport.

The services was excellent and paid for by the oft beleaguered NHS. fbb was seen by five opthalmists and opthometric officials in just under a hour in four adjacent tooms with very little waiting. Every member of staff that passed by said either "good morning" or "hello" and twice fbb was addressed as "sir"!


But they refused to do the cataract operation!

Apparently fbb may have Wet Macular Degeneration and Spa Medica don't do that.

So it's back to the NHS at Wonford, Exeter for more investigations..
Blogging is definitely at risk! But such are the joys of getting old. Whilst for a Christian the alternative to getting old is far from unattractive, fbb would be happy tom stay around for a bit longer!

Unhappy Tricks from Unhappy Flix
Many folk are delighted to use Flix for their long distance coach travel. As usual, if you travel when they want you to, you can get some good bargains.
Generally Flix use contractors to supply their coaches and they are usually (eventually) presented in Flix's distinctive green livery.
But at least one operator is  (actually was) far from happy!
Isolated incident  or a general concern?

Premier Price : Premier View
Isle of Wight Alan holidays routinely in North Wales and he snyet fbb this picture of a hotel which he did NOT patronise. He and his family book a self-catering flat.

But the view from the upper floor windows is not very special. It looks out on this stretch of water ...
... and between hotel snd the sea is an embankment on which runs a railway.
Technically, two railways share the station which is also visible from the upper floors.

Where is it?

Answer at the end of this blog.

Reading About Reading
This is Robert Williams and he is the boss. He fills shoes once worn by Martijn Gilbert, now at Lumo via Go Ahead North East) and the great James Freeman. Our Robert is wont to do a bit of twittering ow and again.

He has recently written vc about a "new bolder look" for his pink routes ...
... which, fbb must admit, did look a bit, well, as if they were still in undercoat. The pink routes are the 22 to Caversham Heights and the 25 goes (ultimately) Peppard Common.
The new scheme is indeed bolder and brighter ...
... and, just in case you weren't sure, the route now called "pink".
Yes, it does look smarter.

And Now .... 
What You've All Been Waiting For ...
The Prestwin Conclusion

Two Prestwin models appeared in the late 1959s. As it's financial embers faded into non existence, Hornby Dublo manufactured a ready+to-run Prestwin.
With the collapse of Dublo, the moulds went to Wrenn who offered a plain bauxite colour ...
... plus a private owner alternative.
Both Dublo and Wrenn versions had metal ladders.

Wrenn's moulds went to Dapol, but. Prestwin never appeared. Then in 1973 Triang Hornby joined the fray - which is the model fbb has just acquired. fbb cannot discover whether this is the same model as Hornby Dublo or a new model.
We now have plastic ladders. Complex, in.t it?

There are also pictures on line of some Triang Hornby variants.
Note the plastic ladders - it's all in the ladders.

All these models are of the 10 foot 6 inch shorter wheelbase.

At about the same time as Dublo delivered, Airfix marketed a plastic kit.
For specialists, the Airfix model was of the longer 12 foot wheelbase version, a later but more numerous product in the real world.

A previous blog compared the two; Airfix left and Dublo/Triang right.
No manufacturer offers a Prestwin today - but there are plenty of "pre-owned" available on line. Prices vary from about £10 to £30 according to rarity.

Puzzle Picture
The Premier Inn Porthmadog, with a view of the Festiniog and Welsh Highland Railway terminus.

More variety to come - AND a new indoor baseboard for Petrville Quarry Railway!

 Next Variety blog : Sunday 25th Septemberv 


  1. I was surprised that Premier Inn got planning permission for such a large building on a sensitive site, however I discovered that it replaces a large, ugly and vacant office block on the same site. I don't think you'd be able to see the trains from the gound floor!

    1. Didn’t it used to be the tax office?

    2. Yes, but this is a new build on the same site I think.