Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

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Timeless in Tunbridge Wells

In Pictures from England,sports cricket on May 29, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

Edit 4th June
Almost forgot these! A couple of panoramas of the cricket ground in Tunbridge Wells, taken during an interval in play.

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Yesterday afternoon’s rain across southern England avoided Tunbridge Wells, but it was very cloudy at times. The time honoured rituals of cricket at the outgrounds were able to be observed during the tea interval.

Day four of the game arrives, Kent need four wickets to win which they will have to press for as a prolonged spell of rain is forecast for later today. It’s a holiday today in the UK, so of course it is going to rain!

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Outrageously good weather in Tunbridge Wells

In Pictures from England,sports cricket on May 26, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

We were dreading the move of the annual cricket event back to the end of May but fears today were unfounded. First day, sun beating down from clear blue sky and 28ºC

Scene shortly before 4pm. Beer was being consumed in very large quantities.

The scene is the Neville Cricket Ground in Tunbridge Wells, home of Tunbridge Wells Cricket Club and the venue for the match Kent CC v Sussex CC

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Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells May 2017

In Pictures from England on May 6, 2017 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

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A quick trip to the UK for a football related event and an excuse to drink huge amounts of proper beer. First few pictures are for rail fans. Taken on Friday 5th May at Tonbridge, they show the sidings at Tonbridge West Yard, which are mainly used as a base for infrastructure maintenance trains operated by GB Railfreight and Network Rail. Various trains were being assembled in advance a large project scheduled for the weekend. Four tracks are used to stable trains overnight.

There is also a snowplough based there, which probably hasn´t moved in years.

The actual station nearby sees twelve passenger trains every hour on weekdays and Saturdays heading to or from London, plus two on the cross country to Redhill.

The western end would be a modellers delight with two main tracks diverging sharply, a complicated set of points (switches) and the network of sidings between. The other direction would be rather more difficult as one set of tracks is dead straight for about 20 miles!

A couple of shots of Camden Road in Tunbridge Wells, one of the few remaining streets of independent shops in an English town of similar size.

In contrast, High Street has some very upmarket shops including a jewellers with £14,000 Cartier watches on display.

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A strange little football ground

In Pictures from England,soccer,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on September 19, 2016 by cubsur51 Tagged: , ,

While I was UK my former home town team played an FA cup-tie at Ascot United FC. Many of you will know Ascot as the location of one of the UK’s premier horse race courses, Royal Ascot and all that. Well the foootball ground is inside the racecoourse, making it one of the more unlikely places I have ever been to watch a game!

In the background to this photo you can see the seven furlong marker of the New Mile. this is the straight track which HM Queen comes down in procession when she attends the races there. (The goalkeeper is of Ascot United, being sent the wrong way by a Tonbridge penalty.)

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Ascot United FC and the Racecourse

There’s a little gate in the fence so they can retrieve footballs. They cannot play when there is a race meeting on. The previous match had to be on a Friday evening, this game was played on a Sunday afternoon after a two day meeting had concluded.

Don’t go to Ascot after a two day meeting. The pubs in the town had been drunk dry by racegoers! Luckily the football club did have some to offer, although not of the preferred real ale variety.

The crowd was 430, comfortably the biggest attendance they’ve had. The result was a 2-2 draw, with the home side almost winning in the dying moments but a penalty was superbly saved by the Tonbridge goalkeeper.

The English FA Cup still has replays. That followed on the Tuesday after, which Tonbridge won comfortably 7-0.

The most recent cup tie was a 3-0 away win at Wingate and Finchley FC and the reward a third qualifying round match at home to Hereford.  Hereford FC was formed in 2014 after the demise of the established Hereford United FC and currently plays in the semi-professional Southern League South and West Division.

I am sure a large number of travelling fans will be heading to Tonbridge for a day out on 1st October. Their last home league game was watched by a crowd of 3102! They play in the eighth tier of English Football. They have more fans than several Superliga teams here in Portugal where I live. Only a couple of other teams in that league have crowds of even near 1,000. Most are much less well supported.

A couple of other pictures from Ascot.

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Pre-match ambience at the ‘picnic area’ by the clubhouse and bar.

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Tonbridge, in blue, score their first – you can just see the ball inside the goal behind the defenders.

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A visit to Sudbury, Suffolk

In Pictures from England,Sports - football,Sports - football, soccer on September 15, 2016 by cubsur51 Tagged: ,

A football match was my reason to visit a part of the Country I have rarely been to. The match was AFC Sudbury v Tonbridge in the semi-professional Ryman Isthmian League, the seventh tier of English football. Both teams had started the season well and a good game was expected. It was a rainy day but the synthetic grass pitch was in good condition. Tonbridge won the game 1-0 to remain 2nd in the League.

I had time before the game to take a look around town. Sudbury is an historic market town, with a market charter dating back to the 11th Century. In the Middle Ages it was a prosperous centre of wool and other textiles. Later it was home and inspiration to two of the best known British landscape artists, Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable.

As might be expected, there are plenty of older buildings to be seen among the modernity. Here are a few pictures of the town )it was a rainy day!) and a few of the game. Click to see.

If you don’t have a car and want to visit, Sudbury is easily reached by train from London’s Liverpool Street station in about 1hr 20 minutes. The main line train takes you to Mark’s Tey, where the branch line to Sudbury veers off into the countryside. Trains run once each hour. It’s also easy to travel from the Norwich and Colchester areas along the same main line.

The minimalist railway station replaced a much larger edifice that was closed and demolished when the railways further into the countryside were closed in 1966 and 1967.

A modern Leisure centre now occupies most of the site of the old passenger station and various commercial undertakings cover the former goods yard area. The embankment that once carried the line across the meadows towards Long Melford and Haverhill is still in situ and now used a footpath.

There is a railway museum half way along the line at Chappell & Wakes Colne station – http://www.earm.co.uk/

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The circus came to town.

In France,Médoc on August 10, 2016 by cubsur51 Tagged:

The circus was in town last weekend. A traditional travelling circus, with big top, clowns, acrobats, jugglers and a small menagerie of performing animals. I have to say that the animals weren’t much to look at!

On the morning of the first day, the creatures were let out for some air and for the passers-by to examine. Well, not the lions! There were a couple of manky looking camels, a llama , a goat and some of those ponies that cannot see where they are going. I am not entirely certain what excitement a goat brings to a circus performance!

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Pony

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Three rather indolent lions were let out into an open air cage, where they managed a couple of big yawns and a few scratches, then settled down as all cats do to flick their tails from time to time while feigning disinterest in everything around them.

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A big notice on the side of the cage said that these lionesses were born and raised in captivity and know nothing of the wild. Still have big teeth and claws though!

There was also a rather impressive Scania tractor unit among the many vehicles.

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Coming to the end of my stay in the Médoc

In France,Médoc on August 8, 2016 by cubsur51 Tagged:

8th August, a grey and overcast day  here in Soulac, very humid and a threat of some rain perhaps. A  big contrast to yesterday, when it was sunny and 29C, although rather windy.

There was plenty going on, it being the annual blessing of the sea, music events, a parachute display and more.

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Crowds gather at the top of the beach

Various religious figures and civic leaders intone solemn speeches above the beach. They send a wreath to be rowed out to the waiting boats. Meanwhile, the skydivers come down onto the beach. No I do  not know what this has to do with the sea!

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Skydiver landing Sollac sur mer beach

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A small flotilla of boats receives a wreath rowed out to them.

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The beach was very busy on a bright and sunny day.

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There was even a fly-past of sorts

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Soulac sur mer town hall – Mairie.

The town hall looking suitably elegant in the afternoon sunshine.