I watched Whistleblower on BBC1 last night. It was about some of the practices on the fresh food departments at a Sainsbury's and Tesco's stores.

Can't say I'm surprised at what they found (cleaning issues excepted). In the 13 years I worked in retail at various stores, similar things happened.
It's basically down to the fact that there are never enough staff and the managers are under such pressure not to blow their wages and waste budgets and to always meet their sales targets. The other hindrance is the fact that the stores have little or no control over what stock is delivered to them, so if too much stock is delivered, it is the store's problem.
The supermarkets can be extremely hypocritical at times! The customer always comes first – no, the profit margin always comes first!

Etruria and Longport

I've just noticed there is a comment on this post I made last year about Etruria station. I never did receive a reply to my letter. I suppose my MP didn't think it was worth bothering with as there is nothing that can be done now.
This still doesn't remove the fact that local public transport in this area is poor (to be polite). As mentioned in a previous post, Longport station is supposed to be having money spent on it to improve its condition. As far as I can tell after visiting it on two separate days last week that amounted to 2 new waiting shelters. One of which had some of the local Chavs in it sipping on their cheap lager! Tell them that people stand on stations for a hobby and they'd take the p**s! It's a great place to hang tho innit?
I digress! I still get the impression that no one in the Government or the Train Operating Companies really care about North Staffordshire. Longport still has a train to Stoke / Derby and Crewe every hour and the 2 trains to Manchester within half an hour of each other in the mornings and one at night from Manchester, but that's it. Hardly intensive is it? The Stoke – Stafford local service is still a bus and will be until 2009 (I think). There is a proposal for a Crewe – London service via North Staffs in 2009, which will stop at Alsager, Kidsgrove & Stone as well as Stoke, but although that will be quite useful, we still need a service for the local stations to Manchester. Well, to be honest we need a decent local service full stop!
Eighteen months ago I wrote to Central Trains about their awful service in this area and they replied that it wasn't their fault, it was the DfT's. This is despite the fact that they operated the services and asked for Etruria to be closed!
As an indicator of the Central Trains' attitude to this area, in a reply I got, I was told of the wonderful new Desiro service from Birmingham to Liverpool. Very good I replied, but as it doesn't come anywhere near North Staffordshire (well it does, but straight through as there are no stations between Stafford and Crewe!), what use was it to me? They didn't reply to that!
Central Trains are to lose their franchise in the next 6 – 12 months! 


Just got back from Shrewsbury. I was intending to have lunch with Carol, but Superdrug struck again, and she wasn't able to get out for lunch.
While waiting at Crewe, it occurred to me how boring it now is! The diesel depot is closed and I didn't see one loco moving through the station. All Pendolinos , Voyagers , 175s , 170s , 158s , 153s & 323s . Dull, dull, dull. No wonder there was hardly anyone spotting.
I came across some pictures from 20 years ago, they showed new and refurbished locos coming off the works and loads of variety in locos and units!
Pendolino @ Crewe

The Rules

This has been floating around for a bit now, but it's still relevant and the spoilt lazy kids of today should take notice!

Rule 1
Life is not fair – get used to it.

Rule 2
The world won't care about your self esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3
You will not make £50000 a year right out of school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4
If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss.

Rule 5
Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping-they called it opportunity.

Rule 6
If you mess up, it's not your parents fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7
Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites your parent's generation created, try delousing your own room.

Rule 8
Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This does not bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9
Life is not divided into terms. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10
Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11
Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one. 😉

Vintage Trains



We went to The Midland Railway, Butterley yesterday. A good day out for the enthusiast, not quite so for the the wife of one! Herself prefers the ones with the longer journey and better scenery!

It was good, however, to be able to travel in the Victorian Train. We went in a 4 wheel 3rd class coach. It was beautifully restored, but it would have been somewhat uncomfortable on long journeys!

Election Results 3

Woo Hoo!!!! Wolstanton have kicked out Labour and voted in a Conservative Councillor! Good luck to her! There are going to be some serious sulks from Labour!

We only have to put up with the useless man on the County Council for another 2 years!

If my maths is working today, that puts Labour at 20 seats (lost 6), the Conservative at 20 seats (gained 3), the Lib Dems at 18 seats (gained 3) plus 2 UKIP (gained 1).

Election Results 2

Still not yet fully declared, but Labour have lost 4 seats and gained none. There's been a couple of high profile losses again, which means there will be some major league sulks :'( in the press over the next few days from Labour! 

Election Day

Well it’s election time again. I really hope that the Labour Councillors in Wolstanton and Bradwell get booted out as they make chocolate teapots look useful!

Oh well that’s what I think, just hope people at least go out and vote!