Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Seaside special

I thought that it would be nice to visit the seaside for a day so I booked a trip to Weymouth on a steam train from Woking Station. The date was 12th July 2011 and the weather was not looking too good for the time of year. We seemed to be in for a day of grey cloud and possible rain.

The departure from Woking was at 10:06am and here is Tangmere pulling alongside the platform.

After Basingstoke there is a stretch of track that is slightly downhill which gives the engine the chance to 'stretch it's legs'. We touch 80mph but as you can see wee were only doing 77 when I took this photo.

We stopped at Bournemouth to let some passengers off. The station is quite attractive with its brick construction and curved girders.

As the train was pulling into Poole we crossed over the main street.

Further along our route it was time for Tangmere to take on water. We stopped at Wareham and a fire tender filled us up.

Even though Wareham is a main line station it does have a traditional look to it.

We arrived at Weymouth at 13:45

Passengers were taking the opportunity to look at the engine that had done all the work on our outbound journey.

The beach at Weymouth.

I had met up with an old college friend of mine. We went for a pleasant lunch at a seaside cafe overlooking the bay.
After lunch we found it rather breezy on the sea front and walked until we could get some shelter from the wind at the Customs House Quay.

We then headed back along St.Marys Street towards the station.

My friend who lives in Weymouth walked back with me to the station as he wanted to see the new engine being coupled onto the front of the train. We were due to have Britannia at the front and Tangmere at the rear pushing. This double banked arrangement was to get the train up the steep embankment at Upwey that has a 1 in 50 incline.

The picture above and below is Britannia but my colleague never did get to see it as it arrived an hour late. Apparently it was consuming excessive volumes of water and nobody was sure why.

It seemed possible that the train may not make it to the planned water stop at Eastleigh. Eventually an extra water stop was arranged and we all set off about 80 minutes behind schedule, and hoping that we would get home tonight.
Having helped us get up the steep hill, Tangmere was de-coupled at Dorchester South and then the train continued passing by Poole harbour.

The next stop was at Bournemouth with another opportunity to see the station design.

We then pressed on with two water stops. One just before Southampton Central where the fire tender had stopped on a road beside the track, and a final fill at Eastleigh.
After that the train was able to build up some speed and we were back in the 70mph region on some sections. At 9:25pm we reached Woking where I left the train to catch a bus home. Many of the passengers were heading back to Waterloo albeit 90 minutes behind schedule.

I had enjoyed my trip to the seaside despite the delays on the return journey. Nobody seemed really concerned by the unexpected delays as we were all in holiday mode.
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Friday, July 08, 2011

England win

I’ve been back in the UK for three months now. The British summer has been somewhat underwhelming so far.
Last week I went on a watercolour painting course at Boscombe near Bournemouth. There was a lot cloudy skies for us to paint but it was quite cool and windy most of the time.
Bournemouth Pier


A highlight for me has been to watch the England Womens Cricket team playing in the Quadrangular Tournament. This was a series of T20 matches where England were playing sides from Australia, New Zealand and India. Basically the top four cricketing nations in womens cricket. All four matches were televised on Sky and as I was not able to attend the matches in person, watching on tv kind of made up for it.
So after playing each team in turn and winning them all, England were playing Australia in the final of the T20 competition. The girls did well and won the final making four games played and four games won. That it is why it is so enjoyable to watch the womens cricket. The team led by Charlotte Edwards have excellent skills and are the best in the world. Attending games is good too as you can move around the ground and try different stands during the match without the claustrophobic effect that you get at a mens game.

This week I had the free time to be able to go some of the games in the followup 50 overs One Day Internationals (ODI’s). Having already beaten India and New Zealand, England were playing Australia at Lords on Tuesday 5th July.

Warming up

England won the toss and chose to bat first however they got off to a poor start losing the first four wickets cheaply to a very focused Australian side. England were all out for 168 without managing to bat for the entire 50 overs. Australia came in and put on an impressive display of batting to win fairly comprehensively.



Oh dear, I had gone through the usual procedure of being forced to stand up on my train journeys in sardine like fashion (especially on the tube) only to witness a demoralising defeat. So that was now a setback resulting in only six wins out of seven games.
Time for the England girls to take stock and prepare for the final ODI against Australia again, with the match taking place at Wormsley.

The weather was not looking good as I drove along the M40 towards the Paul Getty estate and the picturesque Wormsley ground. The rain was falling fast and the forecast was for showers and cool temperatures.
I had never been to Wormsley before and found it to be a lovely setting. Shame about the constant strong and cold wind. However the rain stopped and the sun even shined on a few occasions.

Wormsley Pavilion


This time Jodie Fields the Australian skipper won the toss and put England in to bat.

Charlotte Edwards leads the way

Charlotte Edwards and Danni Wyatt came out bat. Danni is fairly new to the team and is obviously skilled with both the bat and ball. England seem to use her as a bit of a wild card to upset the expected batting lineup or throw up some surprises in the bowling.
As you can see from the scorecard, the team members that batted managed to put together a score of 230 from fifty overs of what would seem to be a bowlers wicket. There were standout performances from Charlotte Edwards, Claire Taylor, Lydia Greenway, Sarah Taylor and Arran Brindle.



I bet the skipper Charlotte Edwards was happy with getting 230 on the board.

After lunch it was time for England to be in the field and the Aussie girls to try to chase the 231 score.

England take to the field

It was tense as the innings progressed. The rain held off and Brunt got England off to a great start with Australia being 1 run for 2 wickets within the first over.

Nitschke and Blackwell began to pile on the runs for Australia until Nitschke was bowled for 15 by an impressive Brunt. Soon the new batsman Cameron and Blackwell were building up the runs again and they were gaining momentum when Isa Guha broke the trend at a crucial point by clean bowling Blackwell. Cameron had various partners at the other end while she went on to get the highest individual score of the match at 75 when she was out caught in the deep by Guha after a special delivery from Brunt.
Later when Fields came on to bat it still looked the match could go either way. Persistance, strong team spirit and good fielding paid off for the English girls resulting in the Australians being bowled out for 196 after 47.2 overs.



Final score

It was a great result for the England team and they won the NatWest trophy for the ODI’s to add to their T20 trophy.

The Australian batting scorecard is

The presentations took place, the champagne was sprayed and the tournament was over.


After the match two players announced their retirement from international cricket. So after major contributions over the years to their national teams both Shelly Nitschke of Australia and Claire Taylor of England will no longer be representing their countries in cricket.

I had enjoyed the match despite the cool weather. I had managed to stave off the worst of the wind by wearing a replica team shirt, covered by a sweatshirt, covered by a fleece jacket, covered by a waterproof anorak with a hood. This combined with a cap and a golf umbrella blocking out the gale meant that I did not get too cold. Oh to get back to watching cricket at the North Sydney oval or SCG in sunny, warm conditions.