Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.

 

Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.

 

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Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.

 

Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/

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23rd March 2019 and the second People's Vote march in London was, by some way, bigger than the 2018 march with, apparently, a million people taking part. Certainly from my own perspective this march appeared much larger than October's in which 700,000 participated. I could get nowhere near Parliament Square in the October march so I thought I would take a few short-cuts in order to get near the front this time but I still could't get into the Square. I decamped to the Red Lion in Whitehall (you have to get your priorities right) but there was a queuing system to get in and this took about 10 minutes. I then watched the throng from above over a less than enthralling lunch. I left Whitehall at about 4 o'clock and returned slowly along the route of the march which was still wending its way through Trafalgar Square, Pall Mall etc and I finally reached the end of the march at about 5 o'clock in the area of St James's Palace. Heaven knows at what time these people reached Whitehall and Parliament Square.

The Andrew Marr show on the Sunday morning after the march (which is today as I write) marvelled at the humour and irony of the many thousands of placards. It's a pity it wasn't possible to capture them all on camera but the following photos provide a small selection. Contrast the humour and irony here with the parochial, insular mentality of the cabbie who was asked by the Broadcasting House (Radio 4 - Sunday morning show) presenter about the march. He responded "I voted Out. We don't want these people in Brussels and Paris telling us what to do". The Broadcasting House presenter then asked about Theresa May's deal. "I don't know anything about it" he said. This not untypical attitude should not inform the future of the UK but it is, unfortunately, characteristic of many (but certainly not all) Brexiteers who insist on "getting on with it" without any clue about the consequences (or, indeed, how to 'get on with it').

The cabbie is right of course, we certainly don't want people in Brussels or Paris telling us what to do - our goverrnment can sell our country down the river perfectly well by themselves thank you very much. And we have shown, in our handling of Brexit,  how in the future we will exercise control of our own affairs.

The march's closing speech was given by Michael Heseltine and was (in my humble opinion) a very powerful offering. It may be found here: Michael Heseltine's speech

Let's have a short interlude here about my favourite subject, the railways. Travelling by train in Britain usually brings surprises, not all of them welcome. Let's start off with a picture of the train departures board at Chippenham Station ...

Not on the board, but the 09:26 to Paddington was cancelled as well so the 09:56, which was not 'on time' (but 6 minutes late), was absolutely jam-packed. Luckily having had this experience many times previously, I had the foresight to book a seat (but even this doesn't guarantee a seat as when trains are cancelled the booking system is thrown into chaos). Anyway, my booked seat was occupied by a big black man who I arm-wrestled for the seating rights. My new friend then had to stand, along with many scores of others, all the way to London (the usual situation on our line) and they had to suffer, standing, a 25-minute, unexplained delay. There follows a picture of two of the many DB (Deutsche Bahn) locomotives parked at Reading along with EWS locos (EWS is American).

As readers may know (I might have mentioned a few times previously!), most of our railway operating companies, whether passenger or freight, are foreign-owned. And, ironically, most are nationalised (as is DB) so our 'privatised' railways are being run by foreign, nationalised companies with profits going across the Channel or across the Pond.

Not a prepossessing image of the line somewhere twixt Slough and Paddington but this is where we were stuck for about 25 minutes. Thankfully I wasn't standing but my new friend and scores of others were. And we sat or stood there in silence for about ten minutes when there was an announcement from the train buffet "Would the train manager please call ... (some mobile number)" then another ten minutes of silence followed by the same request. After a further five minutes the train started. Had the train manager 'done a runner'? Where was he/she? Why was there no explanation of our long wait in the wilderness? Why was there no apology? And we duly arrived in Paddington about 30 minutes late.A short tale of the return journey follows ...

My return ticket was for the 19:30 from Paddington When I saw the departures board at Paddington I was a bit miffed as it said that the 19:30 train would not be going via Chippenham and Bath. I went to the GWR Information Desk who said that this was due to signalling problems; they advised that I wait for the 8 o'clock train which would be going via Chippenham/Bath. I argued that I had a reserved seat on the 19:30 and wouldn't have one on the 8 o'clock train. I suggested (me not them) that I catch the 19:30 (with reseved seat), alight at Swindon and wait there for the next train. The picture above was taken at Swindon during my half-hour wait when I was subjected to the usual plethora of inane announcements ... "Passengers are reminded not to leave luggage unattended", "Passengers are requested to mind the gap between the train and the platform edge" and my favourite "If you see something that doesn't look right, report it to a member of staff or the British Transport Police - See It, Say It, Sorted". I was sorely tempted to call and say "I'll tell you something that doesn't look right ... there are no bleedin' trains, there are no passengers and the public address system is disturbing this calm spring evening with fatuous announcements". I would dearly love to meet the individual that came up with the asinine slogan See It etc and stuff a public address system where the sun don't shine. What was the subject of this webpage? Ah yes, the People's Vote march ...

Crossing Bayswater Road into Hyde Park on the way to the march
In Hyde Park by the Serpentine
Gathering at the north-eastern end of Hyde Park waiting for the off
The imagination and artistic ability of the creators of the placards and banners seen on these marches always amazes me
Marchers surround that most unfortunate monument in Green Park
Taking a break in Green Park; the march route runs through Pall Mall (the buildings at right)
Yes, a couple of posh Tory boys (along with their mates) from one of the 'Engines of Privilege'
A brilliantly simple placard
A bit of French in St James's
Marchers pass through St James's ...
... while a member enjoys a drink at the Carlton Club. This same chap was at the same window at the October 2018 march (I have the picture).
Entering Trafalgar Square. That banner at back right 'Environmental Protection Stronger with EU' has some merit - see recent rudloescene article
The march passes through Trafalgar Square - tens of thousands are already assembled in and around Parliament Square while the tail end is still progressing slowly from Park Lane through Pall Mall
Marchers in Whitehall
Here's the Devil and that Tory section of Hell in Whitehall
Placard on a stick
Yes, Baldrick always had a plan
Quite right too
Skill and wit in these three-dimensional caricatures of the responsible parties in this debacle
Here's Boris again at the gates of Hell flanked by Farage and Rees-Mogg
More well-observed traditional caricatures
Another well-observed three-dimensional caricature in Trafalgar Square
Youngsters on one of the Trafalgar Square lions ...
... with this message
Band with message in Pall Mall
Towards the back end of the march, in Pall Mall, at around 5 o'clock
Michael Heseltine with the closing speech relayed to screens along the route

Yes People's Vote or, even better, revoke Article 50. But just looking at the present situation, don't you think that it would have been better to have had cross-party cooperation with indicative votes informing Parliament at the beginning of this whole process. We could then have approached the EU with our Parliament's agreed requirements as the (our) basis for the negotiations. But we have done this the wrong way around - negotiating and agreeing an effectively secret deal then (thanks to Gina Miller) bringing it back to Parliament for ratification.

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© Paul Turner