John M

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About John M

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 16/11/57
  1. In general I have found Premier Inns to be good in various locations in the UK. We have used the Ibis in Plymouth many times and find it to be consistent in cleanliness and comfort. They also have a basic menu at reasonable prices. In France we have used the Kyriad chain, in particular the one in Lannion. Very clean and comfortable with a fantastic continental breakfast and all at a very reasonable price. John
  2. Firstly please let me relate the tale of our recent holiday travel. We sailed Plymouth - Roscoff overnight 9th June. We had received a text message to say the Pont was running late from Santander so early boarding would not be possible. We joined the queue in plenty of time and passed through the first checkpoint without incident. We waited a short time to be called through the search building where it became obvious that only about one in ten vehicles were being searched and even then only a cursory check. We settled in the holding area only to be surprised by the loading starting after only about ten minutes. All through this process, the only security visible was in the search garage. Forward then to our return, Roscoff - Plymouth 24th June. We arrived at Roscoff and quickly went through ticket check/ passport check. Whilst waiting to move into the final holding area, the only vehicles being checked were caravans, motor homes and vans. We moved into the final holding area, again no sign of any extra security, after about twenty minutes wait we moved onto the ferry. On arrival at Plymouth, no sign of any security at all, we passed through passport control/ immigration and as we passed the customs shed it was closed and in darkness. This to me indicated a lack of intention to search any vehicle. My question is this :- does anyone else find this lack of security acceptable or does anyone, like me, think that if you are going to do something then do it properly. I find the lack of serious searching/questioning totally unacceptable. I understand the implications of delays due to security implementations but we are talking about the safety of hundreds of people.
  3. Having served in and then worked with the military all my adult life myself and my family are quite used to 'enhanced' security checks and therefore perhaps have a higher tolerance for delays etc. These days seem to be heading back to the way we were in the eighties and nineties at the height of the IRA, and other, atrocities. So we will smile sweetly, answer questions politely and as we are asked/ told and get on the ship/ out of the port when we do. No point in getting wound up, it does nobody any good. John
  4. Thanks for the reminder hf_uk. I spoke to a guy a few years ago who got caught out, a huge bill for data routed through Cyprus if my memory serves me right. John
  5. I am 18 months into a two year Extra account with EE so I have always been able to use the minutes and messages from my plan while I am in France. I am also aware that all new EE accounts (and I think many other providers) now also allow you to,use the data while in France. As we do two or three trips a year to France I was looking forward to November when I can get a new contract and use everything in France. Imagine my surprise to receive a text today informing me that, as of the 15th June, I can use my minutes, messages AND data whilst in France. A very pleasant surprise and totally out of the blue. Thanks EE. John
  6. Thank you all for your work in keeping the site up to date and easy to use. I like the new look, it is easy on the eye and looks professional and business like. Well done. John
  7. I remember reading a few years ago that BF would ultimately like to build a new terminal building at Plymouth. One drawback would be a lack of space to build whilst still operating from the old one. Now that it has been announced that Stonehouse barracks is to be sold off, I wonder if BF would consider purchasing some of the land to go ahead with a new terminal building. Just thinking out loud really, but wonder what other people may think. John
  8. When I was doing control of entry to military units we used to call it the attitude test. If, when asked to open the boot and bonnet, you throw a strop, you are either an a******e or you have something to hide. Either way you were going nowhere fast. Bear in mind the person doing the checking is doing an 8 or even 12 hour shift whereas you are trying to catch a ferry, who has the most to lose?
  9. When I was doing control of entry to military units we used to call it the attitude test. If, when asked to open the boot and bonnet, you throw a strop, you are either an a******e or you have something to hide. Either way you were going nowhere fast. Bear in mind the person doing the checking is doing an 8 or even 12 hour shift whereas you are trying to catch a ferry, who has the most to lose?
  10. I have to be honest I like it. I find it easy to use. The only thing I don't like is the colours used on the page where you choose your cabin. I think they look very old fashioned. Other than that I think it is an improvement.
  11. I have to be honest I like it. I find it easy to use. The only thing I don't like is the colours used on the page where you choose your cabin. I think they look very old fashioned. Other than that I think it is an improvement.
  12. First of all I must stress that I have no intention of mocking anyone in this post. This thread however, has given my wife and I more than just a chuckle at some posts and absolute shock at others. I served in the RAF for 20 years including three tours in Germany at the height of the IRA atrocities. It was human nature for us to look under the car VERY carefully before getting in. Everywhere you went you had to have your wits about you, looking for anything or anyone out of the ordinary. I agree with some of the posts that the security can sometimes seem a bit lax and, at other times, it can seem totally overboard and lacking consistency. My experience is only of Plymouth and Roscoff and I have to say I think they have got it right. The poster who commented on the security staff being unskilled and on minimum wage is, I believe, well wide of the mark. These people are trained to look for specific tell tale behaviours in people. This is one of the reasons they will engage in what seems like pointless chatter. They can then decide whether to escalate to a car search or not. In short, I am thankful for and happy with, the level of security I have seen. I would hate to back to the bad old days where we would probably have to report three hours or more prior to sailing in order that all vehicles and passengers can be thoroughly searched. Sometimes we need to be thankful for what we have and, if the security personnel seem to be jobsworths then lets all smile and let them get on with it. After all, in a short time you will be on-board indulging in some fine wine and food or whatever takes your fancy.
  13. I cannot claim to be a particularly political person. I served 20 years in the RAF so never had anything to do with a union until I was 39 years old. I have experienced these hay burning protests while on holiday and I have to admit to thinking they are effective. After all they tell the government when and where they will be doing it, they go there, have their protest and that's the end of it.If that does not work they do it again and so on until a resolution is found. Unlike the UK where strikes are targeted at specific times and places to create maximum disruption to other peoples ability to get to work. I will accept that I may be looking at the situation with more than a little naivety but I know which I prefer. John
  14. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all those who keep this site running and all the members for their contributions. I find bfe an infinite source of good information on every aspect of my holiday travels. I hope you all have a happy and successful New Year. Once again many thanks.
  15. But don't you think selling it on eBay is stretching the Friends and Family a bit?