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Thursday, 28 February 2013
A Country Road

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On a cold winter’s day in Surrey.

Posted by bigblue on 28/02/2013 at 07:31 AM
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Wednesday, 27 February 2013
A new type of graffiti tag?

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This appeared in Oxted recently.  I suppose it can be seen as a positive development: the sticker is small and not as unsightly as a traditional graffiti tag, it also seems to be a more temporary feature that could be removed by weather and time, whereas paint is more costly and difficult to remove.

Anyway, these stickers may be new to my neighbourhood but I see that they have been used as far back as 2008 according to this graffiti site.

More photos of these stickers, can be found here (Bomit).

Posted by bigblue on 27/02/2013 at 07:52 AM
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Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Should I stay or should I cross?

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The lights on the Oxted zebra crossing have come on, and are flashing under the black plastic that is covering them, but there has still been no progress made in activating this facility, and putting everyone out of their suspense.

Posted by bigblue on 26/02/2013 at 02:36 PM
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A shrine on Limpsfield Road

imageThese poignant images are from the B269, Limpsfield Road between Warlingham and Limpsfield, near to the scene of the accident that I witnessed in August 2012.  The flowers, cards, sign are in memory of Wayne Michie, a 35 year old man from Sevenoaks who was killed here on 26th January 2009 when he collided with an oncoming vehicle. I took these photos on 2 February, and the flowers may have been placed here on the third anniversary of Wayne’s death by his family.

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This stretch of road is something of an accident blackspot, with accidents on 27th May 2012, 16th October 2011, 24th September 2012, and according to the UK Crash Map over 70 additional accidents between 2005 and 2011.  Of these 70 accidents, 10 were classified as “serious” and 2 were “fatal”.  Wayne Mitchie’s flowers remind us that all the people who were involved in these accidents had families and friends who were affected by their death or injury.

Part of the problem with this road is that it is a B category road, that has been built to A category quality. The speed limit is 60 mph, which means that many cars exceed that speed, and that the closing distance between 2 cars in the event of a collision is in excess of 120 mph. Here is a random video that I took of cars using this road, which illustrates the problems of speeding, tailgating and needless over-taking.

As a footnote, this road has some history: In 1965 the Member of Parliament for Reigate, raised a question about the safety of another section of this road (closer to Limpsfield) after after six accidents were reported between 1st January and 21st May, 1965, of which two were fatal. Even before that, in the era before the motor vehicle, it is alleged that there was a nasty carriage accident on this road, resulting in a “ghostly haunting”.  I have written about this here and here.

 

Posted by bigblue on 26/02/2013 at 07:30 AM
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Monday, 25 February 2013
Sunset

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A recent sunset. It has been overcast for several days now, and this photograph was taken the beginning of last week.

Posted by bigblue on 25/02/2013 at 07:45 AM
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Sunday, 24 February 2013
Passing walkers

Generally people on bicycles should give way to horses and more vulnerable road/trail users such as walkers. As you can see here, I slowed right down when passing walkers/ramblers on this unsurfaced country track. Why? Well so as not to alarm them, so as not to splash them with puddles or mud, and because the track was relatively narrow and slippery it was safer to pass them at walking speed.

Posted by bigblue on 24/02/2013 at 08:14 AM
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Saturday, 23 February 2013
Fox Hunting in Woldingham

I forgot to mention that earlier this month I came across this fox hunt, presumably a mock fox hunt since fox hunting is banned in this country.  I am not sure whether these people, horses and dogs are from the Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent hunting group (link to BBC article about one of their hunts since the ban), or whether it they are from the Warlingham & District Horse Club (link to their website with information on mock hunts).

My current MP, Sam Gyimah, is on record as saying that he would be in favour of repealing the ban.  I even attended a public meeting during the 2010 election campaign where he stated this. I was therefore surprised to see a letter from him to another constituent, in which he claims to still be open to representations on the matter.  Surely politicians are wary of saying different things to different people in the internet age?

I would be in favour of retaining the current ban, and these mock hunters were a friendly bunch who seemed to be capable of thoroughly enjoying themselves without a real fox.

Posted by bigblue on 23/02/2013 at 03:55 PM
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Friday, 22 February 2013
Royal Tat

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So the Windsor family aren’t the only royals of Europe selling tacky merchandise - the current/soon-to-be-ex queen of the Netherlands is Beatrix, while the pepermints feature her grandmother. Queen Wilhelmina abdicated in 1948 in favour of her daughter Juliana, who in turn abdicated in 1980 in favour of Beatrix.

Posted by bigblue on 22/02/2013 at 07:38 AM
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