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About Millsy

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    BFE Staff
  • Birthday 19/10/1953

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  1. As it's summer it might be a good time to remind people of my annual warning re Travelodge Chichester Emsworth . In the case of this thread it might be worth warning non-locals that the A34 can become very congested with queuing traffic between the junction with the A272 and M3 Junction 9 Southbound in the evening peak period though it seems to be less of a problem over recent months.
  2. Millsy

    Grumps corner

    Such confusion is easy in the Tower Street Car Park in Winchester - be warned. There are entrances from various street levels that take you to completely identical but different floors...
  3. Millsy

    IOM Steam Packet to be sold

    Well it does amount to £1480 per head of population so you may have a point. But there is really nothing new in governments of all types paying over the odds for ragbags of assets without thinking things through. Invariably when they are selling they sell cheap and when buying the reverse, but hey politicians are very good at wasting other people's money. I notice however that the Manx government claims they are not nationalising the company when they obviously are (local independent management is not the same as a local independent ownership) and that £75m of the money is a 'loan' though by whom to whom and when this will be repaid isn't clear. I agree with you - somewhere down the line they'll probably have to find at least another £50m for re-equipment. What's the betting then they'll hang out the 'for sale to venture capitalists' sign!!!
  4. Millsy

    Waverley 2018

    Well the brochure arrived today with exactly the same itineraries and dates as, well, seemingly every year since the beginning. Have they no new ideas? No notion that once one has been round the island or to Swanage and Lulworth Cove there is limited desire to do it again? £47 for the Round the Island plus travel to the port plus on board spend would probably near £140 for the two of us to do the same trips as we've done several times in the past. It's not particularly tempting I'm afraid.
  5. In good weather Portchester Castle is a good idea, plenty of space to run around and free parking on the spot too. It's a short hop from there to Port Solent where there is a good Weatherspoons. The Ferry terminal is an architect designed disaster area with train wreck acoustics and as far as I can recall nothing to entertain kids or indeed anybody. Plan to get there as close to check in as possible otherwise they'll be screaming with boredom in minutes.... (That applies to the adults too)
  6. Millsy

    1944 - The Bombing of Le Havre

    We had an hour or two to wander round Le Havre back in 1995 and went into the church where the scars of the attack are still visible on the fabric.
  7. Millsy

    Grumps corner

    That stupid passenger gangway tower at Portsmouth.
  8. Millsy

    Fishing Protests

    Quotas of this kind invariably become a tradeable commodity and end up in few hands. This protest won't make a blind bit of difference to that. Even the bone brained Eurorats learnt that over milk quota.
  9. Unions have called a series of two day strikes on SNCF over the next three months. The details of the dates affected can be found here SNCF's new Oui site ( in English) will give details of the trains that are running, in the near future by 17:00 the day before, access it from here I will try to keep up to date with what is going on and post it on this page.
  10. Millsy

    Forum Flagging up as not secure

    My Android tablet frequently flags up sites as unsafe usually because they are not https or the security certificate is out of date. The same sites never cause any bother on other devices...
  11. Millsy

    BF versus the competition

    I agree that the image of ferry travel is tainted by memories of, amongst others, Sealink. ( I wonder how many of those innocents who'd like BR back really remember how scruffy, filthy, tatty, un-staffed, insecure and unreliable it was especially in the days of Network South East?) As I recall nationalised travel was typical of all nationalised industries - go for the lowest common denominator. There was therefore no incentive for private operators to do much better. BF saw that simply wouldn't do and won because of it. Then of course they got too clever by half and by implementing yield pricing which came up with truly preposterous fares and costs for on board accommodation that would make the demands of the typical highwayman look modest they removed much of their competitive advantage in my opinion. Obviously the main competitor is flying but I do think they need to look at the aggressive marketing no being undertaken by SNCF who sensibly have a GPB website and UK based operation. Last year we got from here to Cahors for just about £100 each and back for just a little bit more. I have just done a test booking for BF on the same dates and it is dearer even without the fuel and the hours and hours of driving. Add the on-board meals and drinks and it soon mounts up. Worse if I go on the site in a week's time the price will be completely different. If I was BF I'd be very frightened indeed about the effects of any increased crossing border inconvenience on pax numbers after 2019. MInd you that I think will apply to all modes.
  12. Millsy

    Reduced Price Art

    I have a voucher which will get a significant reduction on the National Art Pass https://www.artfund.org/national-art-pass you get 25% off. If you could use it pm me. FCFS.
  13. Millsy

    Port Border Issues

    The latter
  14. Millsy

    Port Border Issues

    And they used to laugh at poor old George Brown!
  15. Millsy

    Port Border Issues

    Could you enlighten me to which government you are referring? At the moment we don't have one. We have woman who, in Spike Milligan's memorable phrase, does Prime Minister impressions and not very good ones at that, at the head of a ragbag cabinet who probably couldn't agree with each other on the time of day and with no real parliamentary majority leave alone mandate. ID cards were too hot a potato for a government which had an overall majority of over 200 seats, no chance with this 'administration'. The reason for threads like this is quite simple. The present lot - who are in office but not really in power - don't even really acknowledge the stark and challenging questions they are facing so there's no chance of them finding the answers. Whichever side of the divide you are it's pretty frightening I think.