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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Macmillan's Big Coffee Morning

deceptive number of sweets
 Once again, Macmillan's Biggest Coffee morning really did make a huge stir.

Events happened up and down the country and Bristol North West. I managed to visit Henbury's coffee morning at the scout hut, and Lockleaze's event at the Cameron Centre - who very generously provided their venue for free.

Every year I write about how important Macmillan are, and anyone who has had any experience through a loved one with cancer will know just how valuable the care they provide is, at such difficult, upsetting times.

Teddies' names were guessed ( unsuccessfully) numbers of sweets were estimated (unsuccessfully) , much coffee was drunk and many cakes were bought.
Yes, I know I look like my mum.

 Well done to all who organised, and particularly Christine Welsh, who organised the Lockleaze event and who made the beautiful cup-cakes shown below here. ( Ended up buying the entire plate... ahem.)

Christine's had first hand experience of the tragedy that cancer can bring, in her own family, and has come through to organise an amazing coffee morning, for others suffering in similar ways. Remarkable to see. Well done all.
Christine, who organised the Lockleaze Event...

..and makes irresistable cupcakes...

Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Henbury Loop Line - it's real!

Much excitement as First GW puts on a special train along.. yes, the Henbury Loop Line! see, the route actually ALREADY exists...

Much excitement at the Community Rail Festival as a special train ran from Templemeads, to the Portbury Dock, along much of what would be a Henbury Loop Line, connecting a re-opened Henbury Station to the Severn Beach Line.
Disappointingly, current West of England Partnership Plans, whilst a real step forward in promoting plans for a Bristol Metro - with a Portishead Line, and enhanced local branch line services- stops short at the really vital point: Creating a circuit round the city by joining up the Henbury line with the Severn Beach Line. Current plans make Henbury a cul-de-sac turn-round station. Bonkers! It's like building a circuit board but not completing the last millimeter to get the current running through it.
Great campaign groups like Transport for Greater Bristol Alliance ( TfGB's Ian Crawford here with me in the pink shirt), and Friends of Suburban Bristol Rail  ( FOSBR -spot my yellow fosbr sticker!) and one-man-campaign-army Dave Wood have been superb in keeping the pressure up. I am going to be continuing to make the case for a Henbury Loop, not spur, until I'm blue in the face and everyone's completely bored of hearing about it... (I've already mystified a whole lot of non-Bristol-area MPs during Prime Minister's Questions by raising it...)
 But it's important because this will be the game-changer for Bristol Transport, this is the opportunity of a generation, and we cannot have a situation where we look back in 20 years and say, yet again "what on earth were they thinking?" 
For once, let's have long term vision, be ambitious about our city region, and get it right.