Small HSTs

In 1976 when they were first introduced I always wanted to ride the new British Rail HSTs. I eventually got the chance in 1979 on a school trip to York.

I guess I must have ridden them a few times in the last few decades, but over the last few years I have been a frequent passenger on the Western main line between Bristol Temple Meads and Paddington. First on my regular commute to Oxford and then on my frequent visits to our London office.

On May 18th 2019 they were withdrawn from the main line, however though many were sent off to Scotland, GWR did shorten some for use on commuter routes in and around Bristol and South Wales.

HST 2+4

These trains are being converted so that the original slam doors are replaced with automatic sliding doors and the toilets will now be contained rather than flushing straight onto the track. They are also being painted in new GWR green,

My top ten tweets of 2017

Last year I posted my top ten tweets for 2016 which was interesting to see which tweets of mine were popular. The top tweet back then was this one for #WednesdayWisdom

So here are my top ten tweets of 2017, ranked by the number of times it was seen on Twitter.

My tenth most popular tweet was about the difference between teaching and learning.

Though we knew this all along… the ninth most popular tweet was a link to the Nature article on the myth of the digital native.

In eighth was a tweet about my favourite child book, The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.

The seventh most popular tweet was the photographs I took when the first passenger service GWR Inter-City Express Train arrived at Weston-super-Mare.

I attended ALT’s annual conference and made some sketch notes, the sixth most popular tweet was my sketch of the keynote by Peter Goodyear.

Another tweet from that conference was the fifth most popular of the year and was a photograph of Josie Fraser receiving her Honorary Life Membership of ALT.

Fourth position was one towards the end of the year and the only @ reply in the top ten. Amy Pearlman had asked for some best follows for women in IT, HE and Tech. Looking at her profile and seeing she was from Philadelphia in the US, and knowing lots of fantastic women in this space from the UK I added some in a reply.

This response then went somewhat viral and lots of other people added their top follows, it got retweeted and liked a lot, so of course more people saw it and added more people to the list. It’s a fantastic list of some great women to follow on Twitter.

Third place goes to a temperate graph of the tube lines in London.

Last year a fair few photographs of WHSmith made the top ten, this year my second most popular tweet was about a cat in Boots

I did like this response to it.

So what was my top tweet for 2017, well it was another one from the ALT Conference and it was my sketchnote of Bonnie Stewart’s keynote on openness.

My longer thought piece on this keynote can be found on my e-learning blog.

Overall an interesting and delightful year on the Twitter for me.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2016

Across this blog I wrote fifteen posts in 2016. As might not be expected most of the top ten posts that year were from 2016, and I was pleased to see how popular my 1990s photographs of the Bristol Harbourside were.

I visited Legoland in 2013 and felt that it was A bit tired and this was the tenth most popular post, dropping one place from last year.

Also about Legoland Miniland was the ninth post.

The eighth post was about Time travelling by train which was a post on the newly painted GWR High Speed Train in the classic 1970s blue and yellow.

Inter City 125

The seventh popular post was inspired by a newspaper article and talked about the many Changes at the railway station in Weston-super-Mare.

The sixth placed post was from my 2012 series of Cinematic Advent Calendar posts, this one was #07 – The Eagle has Landed. There were quite a few films in the advent calendar that have significant memories over and above the film itself. Queuing for Star Wars was significant for example. With The Eagle has Landed I went to see it at the Aldeburgh cinema with my grandparents.

When I used film, I didn’t take than many photographs, but I did take a fair few of the Bristol Harbourside, so the fifth post was of the Bryan Brothers’ Garage Demolition, Bristol, circa 1999.

Three of the next four posts were similar and all contain photographs from the Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

Construction in the Bristol Harbourside

Fourth was this post Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s and third was this one: Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s (second part).

The second most popular post was a comparison of Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s and the view today.

The most popular post of the year on the Stuff blog was a series of photographs of Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s.

So quite a few posts from 2016 in the 2016 top ten.

Time travelling by train

Inter City 125

At Bristol Temple Meads I did wonder if I had travelled back in time to 1976, as there was a British Rail blue and yellow engine on the platform. My train yesterday morning included a very different engine, this was a GWR High Speed Train painted in the original colours when the train entered service forty years ago in 2016.

Inter City 125

This was painted up specially for an event in May to celebrate forty years of the HST. I thought it was nice that only was it painted up in the original colours, but is currently being used to pull trains. It’s a pity that they couldn’t paint a whole train in the original colours.