Sunday 11 September 2022

Sunday Variety

Sustaining The Blog ...

Providing part of the necessary energy to maintain his Christian service, his domestic duties, his family duties, his modelling activities and his blogging commitment is a good healthy breakfast. Several times a week this consists of two slices of good quality bread adorned with a good coating of butter and topped with thinly spread Marmite. There is nothing more delicious and invigorating than the controversial taste of the leading brand of yeast extract.

But a few days ago, Mrs fbb replenished the essential stock with an intruder, an imposter, a newcomer.
The shelves of the fbbs' corner shop offered a choice and, bravely, Mrs fbb made a non-standard choice.
The usual was replaced by a jar of 'Tescomite", The late Jolly Jack Cohen's own brand.
The jar was slightly smaller in content, viz 225 grams instead of 250. But the price, as you see, was significantly cheaper. Marmite works out at 1.06p per gram; Tesco's version at 0.88p per gram.

Better value with the own brand?


Tescomite was of a thinner consistency and a thinner flavour; slightly less salty and slightly less umami. The tendency, fbb has found by essential empirical and detailed operational research, is to spread a little more on the glistening creamy layer of real butter.

So, as they say, the jury is out. For the record, Vegemite ...
... works out at 1p per gram. fbb has not tried it recently, but when he did in the past he found it a very poor alternative!

Notable Contemplation Of The North Curve
London's Metropolitan underground line (which runs largely overground) looks like this at its northern extremities on the traditional "Tube" map.
But this simple diagram hides an oddity.
There is an 0608 from Rickmansworth that goes nowhere! Actually it has a column head note W which tells us that it goes to Watford.
It uses the "North Curve" not shown on any public underground map. There is a return working from Watford at 0045! Not much use for passengers but, fbb suspects, a way of keeping drivers trained on this odd bit of track "just in case" it is ever needed. It may also be used for empty stock movement.

But the indefatigable video presenter Geoff Marshall has ridden the 0608 and posted his review of this little bit of track on YouTube. Here his train, on which he was the only passenger, branches left off the main metals of the Met.

And then our Geoff joins the Watford branch.
The lines also passes through the shortest tunnel on the Underground, seen hatched on this geographical map ...
There are footpaths above the titchy tunnel ...
... so you can get up early or stay up late to watch the empty bur "in service" passenger trains trundle by.
But, a week or so back, if you were watching from atop the tunnel you would espy something not at all like the S stock as below.
You would have spotted this.
It is a four car preserved (and beautifully preserved) Bakerloo Line 1938 unit - held by the London Transport Museum and, from time to time, operated on nostalgia-fest charters.
This trip was from Amersham via the North Curve to Watford and return.
Doesn't it look tiny compared with the Chiltern Trains unit? And doesn't the driver's cab look smart but small?
All the days' trips were fully booked.

Of course, residents and visitors on the Isle of Wight have been riding on 1938 stock for many many years ...
... now supplanted by Vivarail units - former "big" Underground trains!

c/o Stagecoach in Grimsby

Value For Money?
Although Presflo cement wagons are not cylindrical (ish), fbb's collection parameter, he felt a desire to complete the technology story as outlined in previous blogs. So fbb has just ordered this one...
It looks as if the name boards are very tarnished. But at £10 it will be a useful "place holder" for the collection.

Or has fbb bought one of these?
And Who Is This?
He was featured in the national press a week or so ago.

All will be revealed tomorrow.

Sunday Service Slashed Shock!
That's a 25% chop! Scandalous!

   Next Variety blog : Monday 12th September 


  1. My preferred purveyor of Marmite is Waitrose, where the large 500g jars can be purchased for £4.95. Still not as cheap per gramme as Tescomite, but worth it!

    I believe fbb could reach the Sidmouth branch by direct bus.

  2. Roger French should be hauled before the Traffic Commisioner and asked to explain the appalling decision to cease his Sunday service. It will leave many of us stranded with no suitable reading material after we have finished Public Transport Experience.