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About ISS

  • Birthday 10/18/1959

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    Shipping, Transport, Industrial History, Photography, Computers

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  1. Would it not be possible to provide a cruise berth at Ramsey by upgrading Queen's Pier and providing a new berthing head. Restore the tramway with a modern multiple unit railcar to shuttle people to the promenade. Just a thought as it would mean some serious cash could be put into the pier and it could once again fulfil its original purpose.
  2. I see the principal but as far as cars are concerned the vehicle passes the check in box and enters the compound. It would be highly unlikely that a car and pax could go missing after check in though it is obviously possible for foot passengers who can check in and then wander off out of the terminal. Are they using these scanners for foot pax as well? My last foot trip was a few weeks back, before the scanners were introduced. My next in about 10 days time. John
  3. As a fairly regular traveller between Liverpool and the Island I have noticed that in the last few weeks a new method of checking in vehicles has started at Douglas, though not at Liverpool. Present ticket at booth you are then sent to the appropriate lane. If you have an old ticket without the code, the other week I had one booked last year, in that case you are given one boarding card no matter how many people are in the car. If you have a recent ticket as I did on Thursday evening you are just given the ticket back. At boarding time the marshalling area staff come around and scan the QR codes either on your single boarding card or on your ticket on small PDA gadgets. The problem appears to be that this is a slower way than just collecting the cards. The BEN was running a bit late last night when she arrived but there was a fairly smart unloading. However, when it came to boarding a lot of time appeared to be wasted by with the marshalling staff having to scan the QR codes. One a few cars appeared to need several scans before it worked and the whole loading process appeared much slower than usual than when one hands in the boarding card and drives on. The Ben departed around 20:11 and whilst some of the delay was due to her late arrival I am convinced from what I saw last night at least 10 minutes could be blamed on the new QR code system. Can anyone explain why there has been a change from something that was swift and efficient to something which looks like using technology for technology's sake? Reminds me of the old self service check in which existed inside the Sea Terminal during the mid 1990s into which tickets were inserted and a boarding pass printed. That didn't last very long before disappearing seems this new system might have a similar fate?
  4. What is wrong with carrying ID all the time? As someone from "across" I never go out in the car without a driving licence actually on me and when I come over to the Island I always have a passport in my bag even though it is not actually required and I have a Steam Packet MEC Club Membship Card. So I have no problems proving who I am. In this day and age with bearded wonders trying to dispatch us to Allah I think we should accept it and move on.
  5. It appears that Heritage Great Britain plc have announced plans to bring Port Soderick back to life. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-35705998 The company own a number of landmark attractions including Land's End and the Snowdon Mountain Railway. John
  6. ISS

    Horse Trams

    As someone from "across" who enjoys riding the horse trams and who fortunately just managed to get in a last trip before the end of the 2015 season I thought I would express my thoughts. FIrstly I can understand how the council feels - the trams lose a lot of money - just as here on Merseyside where Mersey Ferries are in a similar situation, even more of a financial basket case than the horse trams in cash terms. One has to ask oneself is it fare that rate/council tax payers have to foot the bill? Personally I think not - and understand why the decision was made, however, I am rather disappointed it was made so suddenly. It might have been better for the council to have run them for a final year and have a grand "last tram" festival as was common in the UK when UK networks were run down in the 1950s and 60s. People from around the British Isles and further afield could have come and paid their respects and enjoyed a last trip. Being a "last year" might have even generated cash. When many British railway branch lines were closed it is well documented in the railway press that passenger carryings shot up in the final weeks as people took a last trip. It would also have provided a season in which alternatives could have been explored. However, perhaps the situation could be rescued by extending the Manx Electric along the Prom and North Quay to around Clinch's near the station. Loosing the Horse Trams for a much improved and extended Electric Railway which connected with the Steam Railway would be some compensation. Combine this with a couple of modern one person operated cars a useful all year round commuter service could operate between at Laxey and Douglas. Just a few thoughts to throw into the pot. John
  7. I have recently posted most of my collection of over 400 digital images of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's MV LADY OF MANN taken between 2000 and 2005 featuring both on board and external shots. They can be viewed at: 2000 to 2002 http://www.jhluxton.com/Shipping/Ships/Isle-of-Man-Steam-Packet-Compa/Lady-of-Mann-2000-to-2002/ 2003 to 2005 http://www.jhluxton.com/Shipping/Ships/Isle-of-Man-Steam-Packet-Compa/Lady-of-Mann-2003-to-2005/ A few samples:
  8. Well I don't know if you can always dismiss everything that comes from Joe's lips. He is eyeing up expanding the Cruise Terminal and given that the adjoining Steam Packet stage is becoming life expired some recent reports suggests he might be coveting that part of the waterfront which may have implications for the link to Douglas. Obviously the Cruise Terminal needs the packet terminal for access, but if it was replaced by an expanded cruise terminal the IoMSPCo would have to find another location. Don't forget it was Joe who got away with turning a cruise call only terminal to a full turnaround terminal despite many objections and the need to pay off subsidies.
  9. Chairman Joe thinks AG was a lovely guy here is the Liverpool Echo report. Apparently work on Edge Lane is proceding apace .... I have not seen anything! http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/edge-lane-development-tycoon-albert-10695608 Then again Joe is of the same ilk though not as rich. The previous Liberal administration could see AG for what he was and that is why things became bogged down. Of course socialist Joe was easily bought off!
  10. I'd like to throw in a comment from "across" in Liverpool. His development company has left Edge Lane and part of Mill Lane a mess for years basically to put pressure on the local council to get plans through for extending the existing development. In the end he got his way - but still little has happened. Place is a mess on the key route into Liverpool from the motorway - has so much potential I pass some of this area every day on the way to work. I actually thought some work had started on the Ian Skelly site back in the summer - a digger had appeared and was there for a couple of days. It was gathering bricks together into a heap - they are still there 6 months on! The gas appliance factory which was bought and demolished several years ago in Mill Lane had its site surrounded by wooden fencing - the recent bad weather has blow sections down.
  11. I think the outside are all now the round wooden tables+seats made at the forestry dept St. Johns Something like that should have been used in the first place. Most out door refreshment venues provide seating of that type. The shiny metal ones were more suited to an urban cafe and not really in keeping with the supposedly ecofriendly design of the building. John
  12. >they've put tables in the middle now Might have been better if they had done that in the first place rather like they shouldn't have put those metal tables and chairs on the terrace which most people would have realised were not suitable for a marine environment! John
  13. The old cafe was nice and cosy and I recall much cheaper and better value than its replacement! As well as the crab sandwiches I also recall strawberries and cream! I have never really got to like its replacement the wide open space in the middle appears to encourage spoiled brats to run around and annoy people for a start. It must have been around four years since I have used the current cafe.
  14. I have been scanning slides of the Isle of Man taken between by first visit in 1994 and 2001 when I switched from film to digital photography. Three galleries can be accessed from this link: http://www.jhluxton.com/The-35mm-Film-Archive/The-Isle-of-Man John
  15. ISS

    Horse Trams

    £30m sounds outrageously expensive much more than reinstating the Welsh Highland Railway a few years ago was significantly cheaper per mile. Beddgelert to Porthmadog around 8 miles was I think £10.7m for about 8 miles! John
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