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Thursday, February 25, 2016



Julian Bray writes: Well you've never seen a welcome like it, the platforms at Peterborough were jammed pack, with everyone hoping for a glimpse. It raced through some stations at speed, but paying homage to Peterboroughs  classic steam railway heritage, the  Flying Scotsman stopped for a short while.


The train drivers changed over, and Mr Choo Choo himself, former MP Michael Portillo wearing full slap (make up) and a jacket that would stop anything at 100 yards, stuck his head out of the window clearly attempting to catch any passing camera pointed his way... wrong side of the carriage Michael.

You would have though the Mayor would have been out to greet her, but sadly no sign, just a red faced Virgin Trains station official trying to do the impossible, getting us all to stand behind a 21st Century yellow line, a good two feet from the edge of the platform.

I seem to remember a 6 inch whitewash line on the edge of platform, and only very few of us fell off...

The train packed full of media and those who had paid handsomely for the VIP service to York and its final resting place the York Railway Museum, (although the Flying Scotsman will have frequent main line outings (excursions), and is due to start a nationwide tour) but the VIPs' seemed to spend most of the time on their 21st Century mobile phones and firmly glued to their seats.

Its taken ten years and a few million pounds to make this iconic locomotive look good.

And for me, it was some 60 years ago as a small boy I travelled on the Flying Scotsman (first class...) from Euston to Glasgow with my grandparents ( they being Stewarts) , it took some 7 1/2 hours.

All I can remember is lots of ice cream from the dining car, and being chased by the Guard for repeatedly standing on the concertina link between the two carriages, with one foot in each carriage and the floor moving underneath you....magic... 21st Century Health and Safety would have had a fit. 

The smell of oil mixed with steam, is something you'll never forget, nor coal grit in your eye, but standing next to the footplate, the blast of the steam whistle was much louder than I remembered.

Sad to think railway preservationists had to battle for decades to allow steam engines to run again on the main line. Even sadder to think thousands of these  engineering masterpieces were scrapped, but a few hundred were saved as one scrap merchant in Barry was too busy chopping up coal wagons discarded by welsh coal mines, and didn't get around to scrapping his allocation of these magnificent relics from our recent past. They just sat forlornly lined up, nose to tail, slowly rusting away.



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THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).


NUJ Code of Conduct

The NUJ's Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936.

The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to the it.

Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

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4 Differentiates between fact and opinion

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11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare

12 Avoids plagiarism The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code.

The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

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(As modified at Delegate Meeting 2011)