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StuartT

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Everything posted by StuartT

  1. Sorry but not everyone's knob is as miniscule as yours.... If you wonder how I know the size of your tiny planaria your Mum told me...
  2. Maybe it's time to pull it down Ramsey Bakery. You could build a railway station instead?....
  3. Tell her you're not interested in her puppies anymore, you'd rather see her muff....
  4. I could well believe that. I remember temping at various government departments doing temporary contracts at AA level through a couple of employment agencies, being requested back time and time again after my contract was completed, yet everytime I applied for a permanent job in the next grade up (AO - which I was more than qualified to do not even being given interviews because the EO who reviewed my application didn't pick up on a specific piece of experience mentioned on the CV and then said I didn't qualify for an interview as I didn't tick all the boxes - even though I pointed out I did by showing him the relevant experience on my CV)... Then someone else would arrive in the role I'd applied for (usually from England) and not have a clue about it and end up asking me (as a temp in the grade below them) what they should be doing. Then they'd get temporarily moved up to EO cos someone had gone sick and still have to ask how the job was done, whilst I at AA grade with far more experience in the area than them would have to carry on advising them about how things needed to be done. There's a lot of taking on temps temporarily for just under a year then laying them off (I understand because various rules and regulations state if a temp is kept in a role they are entitled to the job), then asking for them back a few weeks later.... As it is I learnt the hard lesson if you want to get anywhere on the IOM you have to get off it. There are too many crabs there. It is my home, I love the Island itself and most of the people, I want to return there in a few years. but wonder why on earth I spent so long persevering with it when I should have gone away sooner... I have friends who say they will never return...
  5. I agree off Island experience is a good move for a young Manx person. Sadly the govt doesn't want to support it's young people if they go away....
  6. I definitely agree about the railcars, the crazy thing is that both of them already had major amounts of work undertaken before they were shunted into the carriage shed. If however the railcars were to be restored I would argue that there should be some sort of turntable or turning triangle installed at (least) Douglas and Port Erin (perhaps one at Castletown and/or Ballasalla too?) to allow the railcars to be turned cab first all the time. This is because the Railcars were built before the days of true DMU's and mean that one railcar has to drag the other one thus slowing them down and wearing them out far quicker - imagine driving your car towing another one in reverse all the time. Whereas if you have turntables (I would have thought a couple of girders welded together would be quite sufficient to produce a cheap and effective turntable for the railcars, and could easily be fabricated on the Island) it allows you to turn the units to run cab first which can allow faster running, improves the longetivity of the railcars plus allows them to run independantly (therefore on light winter days you could easily run a service with one railcar working from Douglas and the other working from Port Erin. This is how the railways in Ireland (the County Donegal for which they were initially built) ran them to good effect on lines which at the time had far less traffic the the Isle of Man Railway. I would hazard a guess that it might even be possible to produce two additional carriages similar to the ones they have to increase the passenger capacity for each independant unit... I would guess the cost of refurbishing them and of rebuilding Viking might well be less than £750,000... If enthusiast could play a significant part in completing the restoration of the Railcars and the provision of the turntables then it could well cut costs further.
  7. Did you mean a Railway in Ireland?..... I doubt a railway in Wales would lend it's locomotives to be regauged from 1'111/2 '' to 3' in emergency. It would be quicker to fire up a steam locomotive and run down the line to pick up the train.... That said there are Diesels bought by the Ffestiniog Railway from South Africa (one of which is still left in South Africa) which might be suitable candidates.... There are two (again historically significant) Diesel Railcars sat in the Carriage shed awaiting completion of restoration which a major amount of work was commenced on but which was discontined after some sort of funding wrangle..... Ok they wouldn't be able to tow a broken down train (a steam loco could do this quite capably), but they could supply a means of carrying passengers in an emergency (and be far more interesting than a more modern diesel)... As for Albert Tatlocks ditty, to correct you but most Railway enthusiasts (who on occasions give up their spare time to contribute something to the railways - I'm talking like actively restoring locomotives or wagons or carriages ) are not exactly impressed by the suggestion of a £750,000 Diesel either and are making suggestions as to where far cheaper options could be.... I think most enthusiasts would prefer if £750,000 was to be spent on an additional IMR Loco it was spent on returning one of the mothballed loco's (like for example No1 Sutherland or No5 Mona or No6 Peveril) to service.... Furthermore the best option is felt to be a rebuild of the Viking with more modern motors for faster running which could save a fair bit of money. A contact who is involved with the Ffestiniog was amazed when I told him about this proposal. He reckoned that the FR could refurbish the existing loco to a good standard in their Boston Lodge Works if approached. http://www.festipedi...ki/Boston_Lodge I understood there might be an issue with the way the Viking was regauged from 3' 3 3/8'' (Metre Gauge) to 3' (basically a wheel was just pushed in on one side so it's slightly unbalanced). So I guess if might be a bit more than just a refurbishment of the engine, the wheelsets could do with replacing as well, still I wouldn't have thought it was out of the scope of Boston Lodge (they've done a fair bit of regauging I believe). There is actually another Flunky in SA other than the one they have on the Ffestiniog and the other on the WHR, the FR did own it but I understand it was transferred back to a heritage group in SA who haven't done anything with it. So maybe that could be aquired for much less? I'm wondering if a more modern power unit could be fitted into the frames with a new wheelset whether that would be enough to sort the issues with the Viking, and would it be significantly cheaper?...
  8. I agree, the IOM govt should be negotiating for home status for its students. I understand the fees are far more for IoM students than they are for UK ones (have heard the difference and it is a substantial whack). However the IOM demonstrates its insular attitude by funding it's students studying across worse than those studying here. There are three points worth mentioning here Assuming fees for Manx students stay roughly the same, the apparent discrepency between fees for UK/EU students and Manx students should no longer exist for the majority of courses. From 2012, course fees in the UK now vary between £6,000 and £9,000 pounds depending on course and institution, which is more or less the fees Manx and Channel Islands students have always been charged. The old Home/EU fees being talked about were only lower than those charged to Manx students because places for UK students were heavily subsidised by their treasury. The Isle of Man isn't part of the UK, and so Manx students didn't benefit from the subsidy. Truth be told, it wasn't really that much to do with individual universities or Universities UK: given that the actual running costs of any given university per student far exceeded that of the old £3000 a year UK fees, they would have been fools to offer fees much below what they did. In other words, the discrepancy mentioned in the first point was largely illusory: the 'lower' UK student fees were only that part of the fee which was charged directly to individual students, with the rest being met by the tax payer. Manx/Channel Island fees were generally lower than those charged to International students, as a gesture towards the relationship between the Island and it's economy and the UK. If memory serves, it was usually around a thousand pounds a year less, although that depends heavily on which universities you're talking about - some have a reputation for milking the international student cash cow more than others (in particular, the LSE). A case has been made for negotiating lower fees before. There's no harm in trying, but my guess is that, unfortunately, such an approach wont get very far. For a start, we're not going to be able to barter them below the fees they're now charging UK students, which as I mentioned isn't that different from what Manx students were charged in the past anyway. That makes sense but I'm sure that the figure I was informed of was more than £9,000. I will have to see if I can check what it was now.... If however the fees for UK and IOM students have moved closer together then there's even less excuse for the Department of Education to deny maintenance funding to students in courses where it is provided as standard regardless of age.... For some courses yes, however for other courses they can take IoM students but are not allowed to take students from outside the British Isles. Nursing would be an example of that because of the NHS commissioning of places. It's an interesting situation, most IOM Careers advisors would say that you aren't elligible for those place as would the universities but when you examine in detail IOM students are eligible. I can verify this because it is a case that has been put to the test and proven...
  9. I think, but can't confirm for certain that Wilks may be buried at Ballaugh. Would have to check that though. From memory: His Daughters Bust (her head & shoulder portrait in stone not her boobs) I think by Joseph Swinnerton is in the bay tea room of the Manx Museum. I seem to have a feeling that she might have been involved with some sort of education or prison reform (though have no way to check that) or some other worthy deeds in the Island.
  10. Is that really true, Barrie? St Helenians have a strange mix, but I wouldn't have said Boer was in there. In any case a shipment to St Helena could be nothing other than transportation; it is a volcanic outcrop and possibly the most remote inhabited island in the world. Funnily enough, there is a St Helenian slave buried in Braddan old church yard with a very touching and complimentary epitaph. We (serially)shared a Governor with St Helena at the time, I think. No we didn't, Mark Wilks was Manx... http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Mark_Wilks Slave is a bit of a misnomer. Samuel Ali had an education and was treated more like a son. Obviously his master (I use the term Master as I think Master/Servant is a more appropriate description of their relationship than Owner/Slave) cared enough about him to have a headstone erected in a cemetary. Manx Life magazine, Jan/Feb 1992 Old Kirk Braddan churchyard contains many interesting tombstones, but none is more touching than the one shown here (right). The tombstone marks the grave of a former slave, Samuel Ally, who was brought back from the West Indies, along with a number of other slaves, by Colonel Mark Wilks, one time owner of Kirby Mansion, next to the church. The inscription records: SAMUEL ALLY An African and native of St Helena. Died the 28th of May 1822 aged 18 years. Born a slave and exposed in early life to the corrupt influences of that unhappy state, he became a model of TRUTH and PROBITY for the more fortunate of any country or condition. This stone is erected by a grateful Master to the memory of a faithful servant who repaid the..... (inscription becomes indistinct here). ......boon of liberty with unbounded attachment.
  11. I agree, the IOM govt should be negotiating for home status for its students. I understand the fees are far more for IoM students than they are for UK ones (have heard the difference and it is a substantial whack). However the IOM demonstrates its insular attitude by funding it's students studying across worse than those studying here. For example the Dept of Education cut off for maintenance fees is 29 if you are studying in the UK, but 39 if you are studying in the IoM. For example with Nursing Students studying at Keyll Darree there is a maintenance grant provided irrespective of age (also the UK provides a maintenance grant for it's Nursing Students)but any Nursing Student coming from the Isle of Man to study in the UK gets nothing from the IOM Govt unless they meet the Department of Education conditions - and there's no Department of Health support available for Isle of Man Nursing Students studying away. They aren't even elligible for travelling expenses to cover the cost of getting to the placements. I know one manx person who had to drop out of their Paediatric Nurse Training (they don't even offer Paediatric Training on the IoM) because they couldn't afford the costs because the Dept of Education wouldn't fund them properly- a loss of a potentially skilled Manx person to the Island. So to make this clear you can have lived here for as little as 5 years and get into the Dept of Health Course and get full funding, but can be born and have lived on the Island all your life, paid tax and get no support beyond your fees if you go to the UK. It's a similar situation with teaching students. If you reflect on the fact these students can do up to 30hours of placements then effectively the IoM Govt is espousing indentured service - except on worse terms as you don't get fed or accomodation so have to either save, borrow or scrounge any money to for support. The attitude of the politicians is that if you go across there's no guarantee you'll come back (even though there's no guarantee that you'll stay post degree if you've been on the IoM as little as 5 years). The Govt hasn't stopped to think for one minute why it is that Manx born young people might find they have no motivation to return after their own government effectively washing their hands of them..... the message is stay here and hope you're lucky enough for the limited opportunities (but if you don't fit then you won't get anywhere no matter how much you try or how hard you work) or go away to get a break and we'll do as little for you as possible... of course once you've funded yourself through uni we'll always take advantage of the training you've funded if you want to come back - but you still won't get anywhere unless your face fits.....
  12. To the best of my knowledge most heritage railways except perhaps with the exception of perhaps some of the really big projects like Shildon and the NRM (which are underwritten by the UK government at the moment - both are free to get into) don't employ staff. Most of them are mainly volunteers who have worked in other industries - a lot are retired craftsmen. You have to get that pool of craftsmen from somewhere. In the IoM you have a lack of that pool because most of the jobs are admin based. Therefore if you want to foster those skills you have to provide the roles. The railway is an effective way of doing this. As I and others argued it is a shame that the skills of the railway staff could not be expanded on and utilised as a source of income - for example producing boiler and locomotive parts for the heritage railway industry as a number of other railways have. There's a lot of newbuild projects going on to recreate classes of locomotives long lost. With the loss of many of the mainline steam operations in the former Eastern Block countries there are less places to foster those skills. I guess the issue would be in getting items to the Island and from it, and whether there would be enough outside business to support the facility... I'd also argue that the railway took the step in the wrong direction with the 'health and safety closed doors policy'. Whereas in the past you could easily visit the workshops and walk into the old carriage sheds to see disused carriages and locomotives, now this is not possible. I would have thought there is a possible education angle - bringing in School children to see the skills undertaken (to give them an inspiration for alternative careers, also you could link it into science (the physics of a steam engine). I also feel more disused stock should be exhibited, the museum for having all the money spent on it (essentially to build a shop) with the exception of the display boards has less to see as there are fewer artifacts on display. Meanwhile other significant artifacts are hidden away in carriage sheds unviewable to the public. Unfortunately the Transport Museum at Jurby seems to have little scope for Railway or Tramway related articles and the tramway itself lost its museum... I have always felt that really when the money was more plentiful there should have been a serious project to create an electric commuter railway system with modern stock, as long as it was sympathetic to the heritage aspect of the railway (ie minibuses running door to station meeting fast modern units running a service at peak times with a bus from the station around town to take people to their workplace, interspersed with steam heritage trains at off peak times. Whilst it may have involved a massive capital expenditure (which is why genuine commuter schemes haven't taken place) one has to balance the amount spent on such schemes with the amount of expenditure there has been to create a road infrastructure which still seems fails to meet the needs of the population. The big problem is in the Isle of Man there is too much of an ingrained car culture from the top downwards and there has been no efforts to challenge this. Whilst the expenditure on a genuine commuter railway system would have been large, it would have been co-ordinated and all of the money from it would have gone straight back into the government coffers to fund further expansion. As it is this Island has once again proved it is behind the times with the car is king mentality still prevailing. Hopefully in better times future governments will have the wisdom to put into place a serious infrastructure to challenge this. Only time will tell. As for subsidising passengers by £7-10 the figure is not that large when you consider as you mentioned the amount prisoners are subsidised by. This is why I argue the railway should be free to residents. Ok it might mean more money coming from taxation to support the railways but at least it would mean that residents could use it any time they wanted - and if they choose not to well that's their choice.
  13. Indeed - it's a diesel. I do not care whether it is diesel, steam, or battery powered. After Teare has shat on the less well off on the Isle of Man, to spend money on a train is a bloody disgrace! Even folk in the business community would not manage finances the way this lot are. They would soon go bust! £750,000 does seem crazy money to spend on a Diesel locomotive. Hopefully a far cheaper solution will be found. I think the expenditure on the roads is a bloody disgrace too. We could have had a first rate railway system if the money wasted on roads and the buses had been spent on the railways instead.....
  14. Right so you want to cut the amount of jobs available for skilled craftmen? Not everyone wants to go to university. I'd strongly support university education not being cut, but I would argue that by suggesting turning the railway totally over the the volunteer sector to cut government budgets you're effectively espousing turning skilled labour into unskilled unemployed. The Railway systems are one of the few places where people are able to maintain traditional craft skills. These skills don't come overnight. Lay everyone off and the skills will virtually disappear. And you'll have umpteen other people on the dole having to be supported by the taxpayer for no benefit at all. Then there's the cost of retraining them to do another job - and they'd probably end up getting moved into another wanky unskilled admin post which the IOM govt is overfilled with. I'd strongly support volunteer contributions to the Railway but am totally against the loss of any jobs there.
  15. "2. Street parties may be held on minor residential roads but cannot be held on main roads or bus routes." (but you can close them for 4 weeks of the year if you want to run motorbike races)....
  16. Did you mean a Railway in Ireland?..... I doubt a railway in Wales would lend it's locomotives to be regauged from 1'111/2 '' to 3' in emergency. It would be quicker to fire up a steam locomotive and run down the line to pick up the train.... That said there are Diesels bought by the Ffestiniog Railway from South Africa (one of which is still left in South Africa) which might be suitable candidates.... There are two (again historically significant) Diesel Railcars sat in the Carriage shed awaiting completion of restoration which a major amount of work was commenced on but which was discontined after some sort of funding wrangle..... Ok they wouldn't be able to tow a broken down train (a steam loco could do this quite capably), but they could supply a means of carrying passengers in an emergency (and be far more interesting than a more modern diesel)... As for Albert Tatlocks ditty, to correct you but most Railway enthusiasts (who on occasions give up their spare time to contribute something to the railways - I'm talking like actively restoring locomotives or wagons or carriages ) are not exactly impressed by the suggestion of a £750,000 Diesel either and are making suggestions as to where far cheaper options could be.... I think most enthusiasts would prefer if £750,000 was to be spent on an additional IMR Loco it was spent on returning one of the mothballed loco's (like for example No1 Sutherland or No5 Mona or No6 Peveril) to service.... Furthermore the best option is felt to be a rebuild of the Viking with more modern motors for faster running which could save a fair bit of money.
  17. From a quote earlier in the thread Citizen X is onto something here:- In the UK certain preservation railways are making a decent amount of money doing boilersmith jobs and overhauling locomotives. There's even a market for total newbuilds. Now given that there is a need in the Island to keep the resident fleet running it would be a great way to develop on this and to diversify. It would provide opportunities for those who want to be more creative and might even make attract people who want to learn how to build or maintain locomotives. You could even extend it to coach maintaining and building (there's not that many railways which are allowed to build and run wooden bodied coaches) Except for the need to invest in such an infrastructure which is unlikely at the minute the only other major problem I could think of is the 'steam racket'..... The figure of £750,000 does seem very steep. Amongst enthusiast circles the general concensus is that a rebuild of the Viking should be undertaken, equipping it with engines more suited for passenger speed running than shunting around freightyards. As regards the IMR and the SMR & MER I realise a lot of people might not really care about this, but the two systems are really significant. The IMR has the distinction of having one of the largest surviving fleet of Beyer Peacock 2-4-0T's plus a rare DUBS built 0-6-0 locomotive (there's not that many anywere in the world still running) as well as a large number of 19thC Locomotives and carriage stock (there's not really that much about in the UK of 19thC Rolling stock). A lot has been lost in the bad years of the 70's and early 80's. As for the MER and SMR they are pioneering and extremely important in the development of Electric traction. The problem with the railways is that they haven't really been marketed properly across since the brilliant work of Alan Corlett who did much to bring the Island's railways to the attention of the worlds enthusiasts. Those of us who have spent a large amount of time around the railways will remember the Haylcon days of the 1990's and the centenary years when many items of stock and locomotives which people thought would never run again were either put back into service or made available for public display. Sadly I guess that perhaps it was overdone a little bit and attendances dwindled in the 00's - again probably mainly due to the costs of getting here. The running of new special events such as a winter train, evening specials, the Easter bunny and the Valentines as well as the traditional Santa trains are a step in the right direction. I'd argue what the Island's railways really need is a proper museum nearer Douglas where many of the hidden gems of stock are available for display. They also need renewed publicity across with the message as to how important these railways are in the terms of transport museum and how much still survives intact here. I think a lot more TV publicity like that of Micheal Portillo's Great Railway Journeys could be useful. Ultimately I think the Island's Railways probably do need to look to working towards a commuter base in the long term. Though this would have to be a very long term plan as it would require faster modern rolling stock for commuting. I would say improved trackwork but the trackwork has already been improved (it's just the Route to Ramsey and Peel which needs 'trackwork improvements') Getting people to abandon their cars is the hard part. I am strongly convinced that the railways and the buses need to be integrated - ie using smaller buses running around communities to feed the railway system. I would also argue it might be time for legislation to get people out of their cars - eg congestion charges, a reduction in road schemes, maybe even a free public transport system for residents. As for those who quibble about the cost of maintaining the railways and the costs of building a railway to commuter standards to the adjacent towns and villages it is important to reflect the vast sums that have been spent on road improvement scheme's to little benefit - if we hadn't build Richmond Hill, Governor's Hill Roundabout, Windy Corner, the proposed QB schemes, Ballakillowey roundabout, etc then there might have been a good deal more capital available for a decent rail infrastructure. The hard part is making those moves to get people out of their cars - and this is extremely difficult given that the car culture is deeply ingrained in Tynwald itself. One thing is certain, if the car culture is not challenged then it's ultimately going to destroy the Island we all love so much....
  18. Perhaps the idea is to reduce the coppers, catch less bad guys, send less people to prison and be able to make even more savings! Could it be that they realise the previous politicians are getting a bit older and they needed to consider some new blood for Tynwald?....
  19. Allan Bell didn't know about the resignation till this morning when he heard it on the radio. Surely his ministers should have the gumption to tell their boss when a departmental member has resigned. Didn't Peter Karran think that was something he should have told his boss? Why am I suddenly thinking this would be ripe for a manx downfall parody?... Anyone fancy doing one?...
  20. 5k per year to uni places - that means each student has to come out with £15K to complete their course - plus their costs of living (because the department of Educashun isn't that great at providing maintenance grants either. Even at the lower rate of £2.5K you suggest per year that's £7.5K by the end of the degree - £12K for 4 year degrees if you go with the department of Educations suggested £5K raise for a 4th year - which would mean for medicine it would cost about £22K not including your living costs)!!!... So what are you going to do about Nurses, Dr's, Teachers, Engineers, Architects and Advocates for the Island?.....
  21. He was one of the most compelling speakers on education. He was also very clear in pointing out that the idea for a working party on pre-school cuts was "hatched" after 5pm Monday evening and as he did so was rebuked by Peter Karran and others who then accused him of being the "mole"! What a loss for the department. Would be better losing Karran. Does anyone know how you go about viewing the text of his speech? I'm guessing it would be on Hansard but not sure about how to go about finding it as I've had a look there and it's not immediately obvious....
  22. I'm always a bit cynical about on island provision of some higher education and training - there's limited opportunities for people on island (and a lot more opportunities for training across - so it's not just down to whose face fits and is good at interview or who your parents are), and for the amount spent on institutions such as the IBS (and a couple of other on Island training opportunities in various government departments I won't name) you could probably afford to fund students who study across a lot better. For those who can't go away there's always the OU (surely where necessary specialist semina's and lectures could be arranged over a period of weeks at a prearranged venue - for example the manx museum or Keyll Darree Lecture theatre or the old nobles post graduate medical centre (wait didn't we pull that down to build two new primary schools??...)... I guess the IOM govt's arguement for the IBS and certain other on Island training opportunities is that the money stays on island....well maybe but is there more lost off it providing these facilities and would it provide more opportunities for the money to benefit more Manx people than by funding them properly through higher education across?.... or is it just about pretensions to having a 'university'?....
  23. Sad to hear Dudley go, as said he has demonstrated he has honour and integrity. The people's loss - but is it a gain for the government? Hopefully his resignation will not silence him. Is there any more elabouration on a suggestion made in another thread that money to pay for nursery education would have to be culled from the higher education budget? Hopefully it's just a vicious rumour, otherwise one has to question is nursery education really worth it as compared to higher education?....
  24. Reference was made to "education experts" by Dudley Butt this evening when he said they had advised against the pre-school cuts and advocated further cuts to university provision instead. Maybe thats who he meant?? If this is the case and it is necessary to make further cuts to university provisions in order to fun nursery's then it can hardly be argued that free nursery provision for a limited number guarantee's a brighter academic future for the Island's children... I'm sure whilst it may be debatable as to the benefits of nursery education (when it never affected those of us who didn't have it) surely even the supporters of Nursery Education wouldn't argue that it is more beneficial than the opportunity to attend and graduate from a higher education institute.... Sounds like they are selling their kids futures to pay for today.......
  25. OK Carbon Selector, seeing as you seem to think you have far superior knowledge and experience when it comes to the Parish (despite not having offered any real advice yourself, I make you an offer... next time I am back on the Island let's have a little walking race over the parish course.... If you beat me then I have to acknowledge that on this forum that I was beaten by someone who obviously had far more ability, experience and knowledge about ultradistance racing... if you don't then you have to acknowledge you were beaten by someone who has far more ability, knowledge and experience than you about racing over distance. In addition the beaten party has to put how many minutes or hours they were beaten by...... or if they do not complete the course where they had to drop out at.... Sounds fair?....
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