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About lancslad

  • Birthday 08/07/1973

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    Politics, photography, cooking, reading, writing, travel.

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  1. It's sad to see the Castle Mona in such a mess, the Ballroom ceiling was heavily discoloured when I stayed there in '05 and other than the Office Bar-Grill, which some might consider tacky and modern, there was a clean but run down feeling to the place. I work in the travel trade and stay in a good few hotels all over the place and had the feeling that little, if no serious R&R money had been put into the place since the late eighties or early nineties. The big problem now for the Castle Mona is the length of time it's been out of use and neglected. My fears are that demolition may become inevitable as it has with the Mannin Hotel. In the case of Sefton Group, it's looking like they've potentially taken on too many properties than they can realistically sort out.
  2. lancslad

    Not Manx

    You get plenty of obnoxious homophobic language (I'm a gay man myself) and boorish behaviour in quite a few towns I can think of in Lancashire, my own home town of Nelson's a shocking example of this. I stopped going out in both Nelson and Burnley a long time ago because I don't get on with the hard-drinking. loud-mouthed and very lairy culture that exists around here. It's sad to hear the Island suffers in a similar way.
  3. I'm an openly gay man myself and I am disgusted at the way in which these backward tinpot states behave toward homosexual men and women. Unfortunately, the bigots who run that sort of nation see the world through very thick blinkers which makes them horrendously intolerant. La Dolce Vita - It is indeed a well known fact that alcohol and tobacco consumption are proportionately higher in the gay community than elsewhere.
  4. I work in the travel trade and hadn't heard of this until I read it on here. Looking at the Indulgence Group website, I begin to think something's odd somewhere. The Manx government should be very, very careful with this.
  5. What on earth is Minister Cretney playing at by employing such vast numbers of managers? Whether he likes it or not, the most efficient way of running the bus operation is as follows; Operations: Driver-Operations Manager-MD Engineering: Fitter-Engineering Manager-MD It's essentially the system Stagecoach use in the UK, and Stagecoach CEO Brian Souter says it serves his highly successful group's purposes well. A small number of maybe 4 duty managers or inspectors may be justifiable, but certainly not in the numbers Cretney seems to believe necessary, but these people must be PCV licence holders and thus be able to drive buses in service as and when the need arises, and so should the Operations Manager and MD. A similar structure could also be applied to the railway division, except you'd have to split the engineering section into P-Way and Rolling Stock divisions. Certain head office functions, such as payroll could potentially be contracted out to a specialist company to save on staffing levels and costs.
  6. The Mona's Isle (VI) was built as the Free Enterprise III for Townsend Car Ferries by Werft Gusto, Schiedam, Holland in 1966. To my knowledge she never operated from inside the Liverpool dock system, and apart from her infamous trip to Dun Laoghaire, she was confined to the Heysham route. It was suggested by a Mr. Young (from Island Express) at the time the SPC acquired the MI (VI) that she could load freight in the dock system and then head for the landing stage to board passengers and cars, she'd then supposedly run at 20 knots to Douglas. The sad sorry business of the MI (VI)'s conversion led to the resignation of Dr. Corlett from the SPC board and the commencement of legal proceedings against Burness Corlett, the company he owned and led. The litigation was settled out of court in the end.
  7. With the exception of Captain Ross, when hasn't the Packet been lacking in leadership skills over the last 35-40 years? I'm trying very hard not to make this sound bad, but the only accountant I've ever seen heading a shipping company who had any genuine inspiration or leadership qualities was the late European Ferries boss Keith Wickenden. Mezeron/Dohle have provided the wake up call, and the Packet were caught unawares and one might go as far as to say sleeping on the job. As Otto Thoresen once said "You don't have to be a genius to do better than this."
  8. So on one hand they can't manage without getting all the freight yet they're not sure if they can carry all the freight... back to making him look like a spoilt child. was there any need to make the statment. IMO i dont think there is. If the boats full so be it, but i dont think they will have the boat that full theses days. sounds like toys out of pram IMHO there was no need for him to make this statement, yet another gaffe, yet another PR own goal, yet another case of him opening his mouth and putting both feet into it. You'd have thought he'd have learned by now that when you're in a hole, you should stop digging. Sure if the Ben's full, end of. I for one would like to know what Captain Ross thinks about his successor's utterances.
  9. I've read what MW has been uttering, holding my head in my hands and asking myself "Why doesn't this guy just STFU?" Does anyone remember Mike Goodwyn's book "Is this any way to run a shipping line?"? The similarities of the story and SPC management attitudes are spine chilling.
  10. What on Fuller's earth are Mannin Bus doing even contemplating introducing articulated buses? Those crates are regarded by some transport industry experts and managers in the UK as being ludicrously expensive to both buy and maintain. Will they fit the depot in Banks Circus? I expect not. Let us also ask ourselves why the current Mayor of London took an instant dislike to the things when they were introduced there by his predecessor. The present single decks, Dennis Dart SLFs, are at the end of the design life of what is after all a lightweight vehicle, but like some contributors have mentioned, they won't have accumulated the mileage that comparable vehicles in the UK would have, so I'd expect them to be theoretically in better condition than similar vehicles which have lived hard lives on the streets of cities and towns in the UK. I would be very interested in what solutions respected industry figures such as former Blazefield Holdings MD Stuart Wilde might have, I certainly wouldn't think Mr. Wilde would even consider bendy buses. The transport undertaking needs to be properly managed in order to end the continuous drain on taxpayers' money, and I'm afraid to say that the only way is to bring in management who have the necessary experience of running truly commercial public transport operations. As an outsider from the UK, but one who has always admired the Isle of Man, I have come to the conclusion that the Brown government on the island has been as profligate as the Brown administration recently evicted from office in the UK.
  11. Well their reliability is still 99.6% according to the IOMSPC. Departure time reliability, it's a joke and meaningless. The arrival times would be much more relevant. I think Woodward really does believe we're all mugs, as well as Tynwald. The arrival times would indeed be more relevant, permanently quoting departure times will always allow certain individuals at the SPC to manipulate the stats to suit their own ends. Woodward and his PR bunny would like us all to believe them, but I should mention that those of us who work in the travel trade take much of what they utter with a very large dose of salt most of the time.
  12. The RMT position vs the ITF as outlined in that webpage is ultimately political: If similar union demands were applied internationally then there would likely be very few non FOC registers and the closed-shop would still exist ! I'm sure that you are aware that vessels and crew are frequently inspected by other Coast Guards - eg before they enter foreign ports. It is never enough for them simply to have the correct certification. Shipping has been necessarily ahead of many other industries with respect to the establishment of international standards and regulations. High standards of safety and competence are what matters. Which is for the IMO, national Coast Guards, UN bodies etc. Nothing to do with collective bargaining. The IOM is not registering rusty old crates or deficient crews. [ PS - I have nothing to do with the Ship Registry btw ] Spot on with the RMT position being political, anything Crow and his gang become involved with invariably means they think they have an axe to grind with someone or other.
  13. Really ? Scares the life out of you ? Even though it is an almost infinitesimally tiny possibility ? You must live in utter panic of all the things which have much shorter odds. Not quite, although I do dislike Gordon Brown almost pathologically.
  14. Exactly Tempus Fugit, now, who is going to own up to this business of thrashing the life out of the thing at 41 knots? Or who'll spill the beans?
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