Nodding Donkeys to Village Halls – Pacer Trains to have a new future?

A Pacer at Preston Station

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-48434379

I had a laugh when I read this BBC website article (see link above) about the coming end of the hugely unpopular ‘Pacer’ trains and that they could have a potential future use as village halls, cafes etc.

Of course the obvious question is why, as it’s often commented upon within railway circles about what bad condition many of these old diesel units are actually in. And why this class of old train? Many classes of old railway stock are being replaced at present due to them being life expired, for example Merseyrail (which gets a mention in the article) is replacing all it’s Class 507/508 rolling stock from 2020 – are they to be suggested for reuse as public buildings too?

I wonder if the former MP for Southport (John Pugh) would like an old Pacer for a garden shed as he (quite rightly) campaigned along with many others for Pacers to be taken out of service?:-) See link below from a 2014 posting of mine:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2014/09/30/nodding-donkeys-in-southport-well-class-142-pacers-anyway-but-dont-tell-john-pugh-mp/

Inside a down at heel Pacer

With thanks to Lydiate photographer Keith Page for the lead to this posting. Keith also links the future of these unloved trains to our lack of public toilets in communities up and down the land:-)

Merseyrail and political opinions – A clash of beliefs?

A 507/508 EMU Merseyrail unit at Crescent Road level crossing – Birkdale, Southport.

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-48393548

This is an interesting situation and clearly Merseyrail were not fully aware of what the advertising company working on their behalf were doing. It led to a reverse ferret following a simple question to the public transport provider on Merseyside from a traveller who asked whether Merseyrail shared the opinions of Morrissey.

A Merseyrail train at Bootle Oriel Road Station

Of course it also begs the question about how far those displaying advertisements should investigate the views of those who benefit from such advertising. When is censorship right or wrong? A tough question and your answer will often depend on whether you share or despair about the views of those who are subject to censorship.

Seaforth/Liverpool 2 – The container ship that could have sunk

The Liverpool Echo and BBC both have articles on their websites – see link below:-

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/crew-forced-abandon-container-ship-16324675

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-48399926

A quite remarkable listing of this huge container ship. I’ve not photographed this particular MSC vessel previously on the Mersey but here’s a sister ship of the same line:-

Click on the photo to enlarge it

Local Hero is probably my all time favourite film

I came across this article on the BBC website recently and it immediately took me back to that wonderful film Local Hero which I have seen so many times:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-47934197

Progress and nostalgia meeting head on, no wonder the local council is trying to tread carefully

It also took me back to the early days of my time as a Sefton Councillor (early 2000’s) when new mobile phone mast planning applications were matters of huge controversy everywhere. Now, like television aerials, telegraph poles and electricity pylons, they are just just a part of every local street scene.