changeling times

trials and tribulations of eclectic chicken

Road trips and brassicas October 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eclectic chicken @ 10:04 pm
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Today I drove a friend from Peterborough to Swaffham to look at a car (it being the fens its as good a thing as any to drive and look at). I enjoy driving….I also enjoy being a passenger. I like having a private bubble to travel in – with whom I please, with the music I want and the car full of everything i might need (except in most cases the bloody atlas…which turned up eventually on the back seat under the stuff i didn’t need).

Swaffham’s main claim to fame (now i’m home and googling to see if its quite as much of a one marsh-wiggle town as it looked) seems to be it has the only Russian restaurant in Norfolk… maybe one day I’ll go back.

On the way home driving the (now two) cars in convoy which felt safer skirting the edges of Kings Lynn…we stopped mid fen and stood amidst the brassicas…. admired the green dyke water…. and surveyed the wide open skies and decided the fens really are a shit hole.

But it did raise the thought, one i’ve had before, of a road trip. I’d like to do route66…well…when I say ‘route’66 I mean the A66 …. its shorter…. less Americans and the beer and pies would be better. It runs from Middlesborough to Workington; a stonking approximate 111 miles.

BBC Cumbria says and I quote “Anyone who drives the A66 knows that it can be a very ‘slow’ road”, so its obviously a road to be savoured… anyone wanting a preview of such a trip can find a link here. (the link may or maybe not work…I for one wasn’t going to spoil my anticipation of the event.

I doubt it’ll ever take over as my favourite road… which happens to be the A6. I wouldn’t ever want to travel the length of the A6 as

a)it would spoil a beautiful relationship I have with that road. I remember one night over twenty years ago slumped with my head in a sink at Lancaster University  drunkenly telling people ‘that’s the A6 out there… I fuckin love that road”

I don’t think they understood.


b) I’d get lost…its actually a bugger of a road to stick with.




6 Responses to “Road trips and brassicas”

  1. But what did you buy?



  2. eclectic chicken Says:

    ah… I didn’t buy a thing…. but said friend took a Merc home. Apologies: auto suspense wasn’t intended 🙂

  3. Lucy Melford Says:

    Andrea, you need this A66 link:

    Or just go onto the SABRE website and browse.

    Please don’t ask me how I know about this ultra-nerdish site. All I will say is that the old me once contributed a few words on the B5444.


  4. Lucy Melford Says:

    Overcome by curiosity about my own past aberrations, I looked up my initial B5444 query, which was:

    Hello, everyone. I am a new CCS member (number 822), residing in
    Sussex, and this is a question about a road in Swansea.

    The B5444 appears on modern OS maps and is north-east of Swansea town
    centre (around SS 6795). It’s the latest number for the road that
    used to be the A4217. The A4217 nowadays follows a new route just to
    the west.

    Swansea is of course within the sector containing road numbers
    beginning with ‘4’, so when I first noticed the B5444 I thought the
    OS must have slipped up, and intended to print ‘B4445’ or somesuch

    This stretch of road was originally the B4292 (OS Half-inch map 26,
    MOT edition, 1923), and it retained that number up to at least 1965
    (OS One-inch map 153, 7th series, 1966, edition C). By 1978 it was
    however upgraded to the A4217 (OS 1:50,000 map 159, Second series,
    1980, edition A). Then at some point before 1992 it became the B5444
    (OS 1:25,000 Pathfinder series, map 1127, 1992, edition A2). And in
    later OS maps of the area it is still the B5444.

    So… maybe it isn’t a misprint, but instead some anomaly the road-
    numbering authority has overlooked, and which the OS is bound to keep
    on showing?

    Does anyone know the truth?

    And does anyone know which website explains modern UK road-numbering
    policy (as there are other strange road numbers around)?

    Strange to relate, this got SABRE members beavering away. The first response was:

    You may be pleased to know that there is another part of the
    mysteriously numbered B5444 heading south from Mold in North Wales
    towards the A541 at about SJ 2463. There is about 2 miles of it.
    This part is in the correct sector for a “5” road. I do not know why
    there should be another part in Swansea – perhaps part of a plan for
    a trans Wales highway akin to the legendary Route 66 in the USA.
    “Get your Kicks on the B5444” – That has a certain ring to it don’t
    you think.

    I have looked for other parts also numbered B5444 between these two
    sections but so far to no avail. The Hunt is on…

    At least ‘Route 66’ gets a mention! (What a coincidence)

    You will wet yourself with incredulity at what my query next generated. It’s an Awful Warning not to ask strange questions online. See this link:

    Really, I’m so ashamed. Please say you’ll still talk to me sometime.


    • eclectic chicken Says:

      I had no idea… but perhaps should have done, in a world that contains ‘bus spotters’ that this sort of thing existed…. that you state your shame so publically is enough contrition for me Lucy…. I absolve you of your geekery and we’re still on speaking terms xx

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