Bridge Ward monthly report 23


Political convention perceives August as a quiet month, drawing still on the notion that we’re all concentrating on collecting the harvest at home.
But the deaths of over a thousand civilians in Syria from chemical weapons is a defining moment, that is taking time to be fully realised and understood.
The month will also be remembered for the British Parliamentary debate, which the Gov’t called before it was ready, and then spectacularly misrepresented as a vote against military action when it was a vote to work things through.
In Nottingham, the city was busy with construction – the on going tram works and renewal of its hot water distribution network, and the blockade of its railway station as the track was replaced and redesigned and its control systems modernised.
For The Meadows, the bIggest challenge was the change in bus services required by the closure of Arkwright Street and Meadows Way for September onwards. Notions of crossing a five lane London Road to catch a bus should always have been unacceptable.
Somewhat bizarre notions of 0.7% growth rates being grounds for optimism are masking growing concerns of many people getting into more debt and struggling with paying the rent as less social security is provided for those in need.
As ever, culture offered the highlights in August – Nottingham-by-the-sea, the Carnival parade and Meadows Memories. I’ve drafted a Rough history of The Meadows available at –

Text of the monthly report available at –

Obama delays

… and quite right too.
Even though the scope and ambition is much more limited than previous military interventions in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, quite what has happened in Syria (that requires a response) has not been fully understood.
With time, this may turn out to be a surprising statement, but the response to the British Parliamentary debate by the US government included sharing more information about why they were so certain that the Syrian gov’t had gassed its people.
Nor is the nature of what a military reprisal might be understood. Again, commentators might gasp at notions that we might have to explore in public the nature of any military action when such discussion makes the success of any action lower in its own narrow terms.
But it’s right to be clear about how a limited action will make things better.
Bizarre then to hear some political commentators say Obama’s delay is a sign of political weakness. It takes strength to be ready to rehearse the arguments in public for a further 10 days.

Cameron’s dash makes him culpable

Let’s acknowledge that political point scoring over today’s consideration by the House of Commons is problematic when many people are still trying to work out just what is the appropriate way forward.

There’s been an atrocity, but it’s not fully understood (and there was a chance for it to be explained more clearly soon).

The way forward being painted by David Cameron was not understood, neither in its purpose and design; nor its legality, extent and likelihood of success.

Cameron is culpable cos he called Parliament back early, yet he actually needed time to work things out.

Slightly concerned by outcome – there will be no intervention with Britain taking part – cos I think message was ‘take time to work out what’s happened and argue a way forward through the UN’.

Note BBC tv commentary in response to opening speeches that Ed Miliband had the worst of it and Cameron wold win the vote looked pale ten hours later.

Rock ‘n Roll’s Greatest Failure at The Broadway

Went to the John Otway film screening event at the Broadway. Terrific.

DSCF4127Zc0457h Broadway John Otway Screenshot (5)

Huge parts of the audience were in fits of laughter at the stories of greatest failure in Rock ‘n Roll history.

DSCF4133b0706h Broadway John Otway

Asked about Nottingham, John celebrated the Running Horse and lamented that he’d never performed at Rock City.

Note, whilst none of the film’s many hundreds of sponsors were in the audience tonight, there was sufficient and apparently unexpected public demand for the event to be moved to the main screen.

DSCF4136b0460h Broadway John Otway

A special event, with huge warmth too.

Good luck at the BAFTA’s.

The film – – was made for his sixtieth birthday, following a successful fans campaign for a second hit for his fiftieth birthday.

The fear I have is that he’ll commission a Ben Elton style musical for his seventieth birthday.

Unlucky railways

Fast on the heels of the re-opening of Nottingham station, after a six week long blockade, came a derailment of an oil train in Colwick this morning meant train services to Newark were back to having buses replacing the train services.

Having been checking to see if the Canadian disaster could be repeated here, it transpires that the use of buffers between wagons in Britain, tied in with couplings that are not proud, mitigated against any disaster when 2 wagons came of the rails.

The Nottingham Post was chock full of railways news today – the blockade had been run well, HS2 might be too expensive, trams are a success in Sweden and will continue to do well here too.

Celebratory East Midlands Trains poster; a tad early?

A very deep ditch


A new mains for the district heating system to serve the city centre is currently being dug – 8 feet deep.

The pipe is going to have to last a long time cos other things will be built on the site, and although access will have to be possible, it won’t be cheap.

The pipe is part of a £3.5 millon capital investment programme by Enviroenergy.

P.S. When I say very deep, I recognise by the standards of the international civil engineering community, it’s not that deep; it’s just how it struck me at the time.