Gretna shop is ‘Coach Friendly’

first_imgGretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop is the first tourist location in Scotland to receive CPT’s new Coach Friendly Visitor Attraction status.Gretna Green was awarded the new status at Visit Scotland Expo The status, launched at the British Travel Trade Show (BTTS) in Birmingham, recognises and rewards visitor attractions that go the extra mile to welcome and accommodate coaches and their passengers.Welcoming over a quarter of a million visitors each year, the attraction offers parking spaces for 60 coaches as well as a coach wash, toilet drop and group travel welcome area (Pavilion). On receiving the Status at Visit Scotland Expo, Lynda Denton, Head of Sales & Marketing at Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop, said: “As an independent family business we very much value nurturing mutually beneficial relationships and we have had a long-standing rapport with the coach industry.”Other holders of the status are Woburn Abbey & Gardens, West Midland Safari Park and Sabrina Boats (Shrewsbury).last_img read more

REVIEW: An American in Paris: A visual banquet

first_imgAn American in Paris pirouettes onto the London stage at the Dominion Theatre. Jessamy Chapman reviews itThe music is jazz, the paintings are abstract, and the atmosphere is electric. There’s fear, there’s love, and there’s art. Step into post-war Paris with American Jerry Mulligan, where the people are still jumpy at powercuts – but they got rhythm regardless.The hero is persistent but loveable GI Jerry (Robbie Fairchild), who rips up his ticket home after the war to stay in Paris and pursue his passion for art. Chance meetings with the elusive and elegant Lise (Leanne Cope) lead to him falling in love, and the pair make a secret agreement to meet every day to dance and forget the past.‘The cast fling themselves around the stage in a true visual spectacle, aided by stunning sets and costumes’Jerry isn’t the only guy to have fallen for Lise – his buddies Adam (David Seadon-Young), a fellow American veteran, and Henri (Haydn Oakley), whose family adopted Lise, both have a soft spot too.There’s a dreaming theme, particularly in the fabulous scene where Henri’s bumbling novice stage performance becomes a Fred Astaire-style top-hatted white-tie extravaganza.And the climax is its own stunning, thundering mini-show, a long luxurious ballet sequence set against an abstract backdrop, in which Lise achieves dance perfection by imagining it’s Jerry dancing with her.The Gershwin soundtrack is great, but the songs don’t make this musical – it’s the dance. The cast fling themselves around the stage in a true visual spectacle, aided by stunning sets and costumes – particularly Fairchild and Cope, who originated their roles on Broadway and twirl with effortless chemistry.It’s a light-hearted musical with a great deal of seriousness. It pulls at your heartstrings, but you can’t stop smiling. Groups will love it. Long may it run. read more

Thermal parts showcased in new catalogue

first_imgNew catalogue covers thermal management parts for commercial vehiclesBehr Hella Service has published its latest thermal management parts catalogue for commercial vehicles and light commercial vehicles.It showcases 3,100 part numbers across multiple part groups, and it caters for more than 800 vehicles from 60 manufacturers.280 part numbers have been added to the 2018/19 issue, reflecting developments in the thermal management market.Among them are EGR coolers as well as more traditional products, such as control valves for heaters, electrical controls, and cover plates. QR codes are used throughout that catalogue.www.hella.comlast_img read more

Airporter invests £1m after passenger doubling

first_imgLondonderry operator moves into 14,000ft2 premises after six-month, £1m development of the siteAirporter now runs 21 Sprinter minis between Londonderry and BelfastAirporter has moved into purpose-built premises in Londonderry that have been established to support its growing minicoach operation to the two Belfast airports, which has seen passenger numbers double in recent years.The £1m investment has delivered a 14,000ft2 hub on a 2.5 acre site on the Springtown Industrial Estate that was once the home of bus operator Lough Swilly. Facilities on the site include fuelling, maintenance and washing along with areas for driver breaks and training.Says Director Jennifer McKeever: “This investment represents a real statement of intent for us at Airporter. Our expansion reflects our success and the growth in passenger numbers.”The company was established in 1996 with two vehicles. It now has 21 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minicoaches, operating 30 journeys per day to the Belfast airports. Passenger numbers have grown to 155,000 per annum, adds Mrs McKeever.“We now have a purpose-built facility fitted out to provide our team with a working environment that reflects the volume of business that we do. It shows that, as a company, we’re always looking towards the future and that we are always looking to do better.“This investment will allow Airporter to handle anticipated future growth in demand, and it also represents a considerable investment in human resources.”Previously, Airporter invested heavily in digital technology, allowing passengers to book tickets 24 hours a day from anywhere. Almost all of its customers now book online.last_img read more

Bus book sales raises £500 for Childline

first_imgStagecoach East Midlands has donated £500 from sales of the latest Skegness Seasider book to children’s welfare charity, Childline.The Seasiders are 11 open-top buses at the Skegness depot; each one painted as an individually-named character in a classic seaside theme.They provide accessible public transport to destinations between Skegness and Ingoldmells and have quickly become tourist attractions in their own right.The Seasiders have their own range of merchandise including children’s storybooks, which are sold to raise money for charity.last_img read more

ITC report: What are the real reasons for bus patronage decline?

first_imgThe ITC’s report has identified key areas as to why patronage is falling. Is it time reshape the business?I hope in our spare moments we have found the time to read the 88 pages which form the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) report on bus patronage.Authored by the well-known Professor Peter White and Dr Scott Le Vine, The Shape of Changing Bus Demand in England takes hard data from various sources and seeks to understand the relentless reduction in bus ridership that has been a feature of English operations – for many years outside London and since 2015, inside the capital as well.Of course, we know there are pockets of growth which we are delighted to highlight – indeed the report names 18 of them – not only the familiar Brighton and Reading but places like Thurrock and Southampton as well.But the big issue is that ridership is falling across the rest of England and more severely in some areas and amongst some users than others. Women are more prolific bus users than men, but their rate of decline is faster.There are also steeper rates of decline for the 17-20 age group and for senior citizens.Surprisingly, low-income groups also have a faster rate of decline, but less surprisingly there are now markedly fewer shopping trips. We all have our pet theories about the reasons for passenger loss.Personally, I have always felt it is a blend of high street decline, taxi and private hire, congestion, online shopping, encouragement to walk and cycle plus the trend to ‘work from home’ one day a week.No one of these issues is terminal, but in aggregate they are significant. The report only partially supports my theory.The authors do not find a sufficient increase in taxi and private hire trips to suggest this has been at the expense of bus. I hesitate to challenge the great wisdom of Peter and Scott, but I wonder if the data for taxi and private hire trips is sound?My anecdotal evidence (from a totally non-representative sample) seems to me to suggest quite a big drift as app-based services like Uber have become so prevalent.Certainly, three or four people sharing a door-to-door Uber is an attractive proposition heading home from a restaurant, bar or theatre compared with the wait for a 30-minute headway bus service from somewhere near where you are to somewhere near home.Harder to explain is the segmentation of decline between men and women. Indeed, younger men are using the bus more intensively according to the report.Less surprising is the reduction in travel by senior citizens. As we always knew, the next cohort of seniors is generally more mobile, has more driving licences, and is more affluent.We can certainly see that the rise in ridership which followed deregulation, and which followed mandatory free travel for seniors was temporary. The decline which was there before has resumed.As ever the value in reports like this is not so we can wallow in self-pity but to use its conclusions to shape our businesses to reflect changing demand.Otherwise, we are presiding over an industry that is in long-term decline which will inevitably lead to insolvencies and further retrenchments leaving more areas devoid of the only public transport left.last_img read more

Woman Found Slain in Georgia Is Elkhart Native

first_img Twitter Pinterest Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest Twitter WhatsApp By Carl Stutsman – September 17, 2019 0 457 (“Police Line / Police Tape” by Tony Webster, CC BY 2.0) Elkhart Community Schools have confirmed that a woman killed in Georgia is an Elkhart native that graduated from Memorial High School. 32 year old Casei (Casey) Jones was found dead on Sunday, her remains discovered stuffed into her husband’s vehicle after a traffic accident.Following the discovery 38 year old Michael Jones, the husband, led police to the remains of 4 children; believed to be 10 year old Cameron Bowers, 5 year old Preston Bowers, 2 year old Mercalli Jones, and 1 year old Aiyana Jones all children of Casei Jones.Her maiden name was Gilbert during her time at Elkhart Memorial. She graduated in 2005.Casei and her children had been missing for six weeks.You can read more here with Fox News Woman Found Slain in Georgia Is Elkhart Native Google+ Facebook IndianaLocalNationalNews Facebook Previous article$52 million plan would result in 250 jobs in ElkhartNext articleApplications open for Indiana Homeland Security Foundation scholarships Carl Stutsmanlast_img read more

Record amount of money collected during radiothon for St. Margaret’s House

first_img WhatsApp Facebook WhatsApp (Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC) The 7th annual radiothon for St. Margaret’s House turned out to be the biggest, yet, when it came to raising money for the tiny agency with only 8 full-time employees which serves hundreds of women every week in downtown South Bend.The radiothon, which began at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, wrapped up just after 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 22, with more than $66,000 collected. The donations came from 95.3 MNC listeners, as well as local businesses.St. Margaret’s House is a day center at 117 N. Lafayette Blvd. in South Bend that welcomes women who live in economic poverty.With the help of dozens of volunteers, the leaders of St. Margaret’s House provide meals, address immediate needs, and help women acquire skills through programs, such as Bridges Out Of Poverty, Steps For Success and Parenting.They provide a community of support and help the women who come to St. Margaret’s House take concrete steps forward to a better life.Anybody who missed the radiothon, but would still like to donate can do so online at the St. Margaret’s House website.Check out more pictures from inside the walls of St. Margaret’s House Facebook Google+ Previous articleBiden endorsement from Oliver Davis Jr.Next articleMichigan woman sentenced for starving 3 horses to death Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. IndianaLocalMichiganNewsSouth Bend Market Twitter Pinterest Google+ Twitter Record amount of money collected during radiothon for St. Margaret’s House By Jon Zimney – November 23, 2019 0 440 Pinterestlast_img read more

EEA talks unlikely to make progress on salmon tariffs

first_imgThe meeting will also provide an opportunity for EEA ministers to be briefed by their Union counterparts on the latest developments in the Intergovernmental Conference negotiations.Switzerland, which rejected EEA membership in a 1992 referendum because of fears that it might turn out to be a stop-over on its way into the Union, but which is a member of the European Free Trade Association, has been invited to attend this briefing session.Participants will also consider a progress report assessing the overall functioning of the two-year EEA agreement.Despite misgivings about the EEA’s two-pillar structure – setting the powerful EU against Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein – the report concludes that the agreement has so far functioned without major problems, although Norway has expressed concern that the officials who attend such routine meetings are “not as senior as we would wish”.However, Oslo, in particular, takes great delight in its EEA membership. “It is the only organisation in which we are a superpower,” said one official wryly. But officials say there is little hope of a breakthrough in the long-running battle over the Union’s decision to impose a minimum tariff aimed at blocking a flood of cheap imported salmon despite Norwegian protests.They say no significant advance is likely on this, or on another issue which has soured relations between Norway and the EU: the lack of an agreement on trade in processed agricultural exports which Oslo maintains hampers its exporters.Diplomats say that the agenda of the fifth half-yearly EEA meeting, which will follow a meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers on Monday (10 June), will be largely devoted to “technical routine issues” which dominate relations between the 18 countries in theEEA, which binds Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein to the Union’s internal market.last_img read more

Shoppers call for probe on cost of food

first_imgThe move follows calls from an assembly of EU consumer organisations for action to ensure that the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy results in lower food prices for shoppers.The demand for intervention, which came from the largest-ever gathering of national and regional consumer groups last week, is a clear signal that consumer resistance to mark ups as high as 37% is stiffening.The Commission’s plan to slash EU agricultural price support by up to 30% as part of the CAP overhaul has lent weight to their demands. During the two-day conference, the 120 delegates unanimously endorsed a report describing the Commission’s forecasts of a post-reform drop in retail food prices of between 0.3% and 0.45% as “insufficient”. The report concludes that “consumers are in favour of lowering price support for farm products, but wish to share in the benefits”, and calls on the Commission to conduct a public investigation of the price structure of retail food products.“Previous attempts at investigating the profit margins of supermarket chains have been inconclusive. We would like to know what the situation is,” said a spokeswoman for UK-based consumer organisation Consumers in Europe Group (CEG), one of the main contributors to the report.Commission officials say plans for an investigation are under way, but stress that establishing the truth will not be easy. “We are equally interested in at least clarifying the situation, and are pursuing the matter,” said one. “But it is not a uniform problem. There is considerable variation between products and also between regions. In many cases, local organisations are far better-placed than us to investigate.”last_img read more