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31  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: New transport hub for Bristol! on: June 28, 2018, 10:08:49 pm
Maybe the NHS Trust want to cash-in on the cash cows that multi storey car parks in the centre of Bristol are, a few years ago my brother-in-law was of necessity forced to use the Holiday Inn Car Park on Bond Street and was staggered to be charged £12 for 2 hours and 53 minutes parking.
The cash cow is more likely to be in the land value.
32  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: New transport hub for Bristol! on: June 28, 2018, 05:26:43 pm
Those flats are right next to the BRI! Nestled between the BRI, Jamaica Street and Dove Street – and the current multistorey just off Jamaica Street, which they say they'll close (to do what?).

As for a problem with parking at the BRI, I don't know how full the Jamaica St car park is, but the two small car parks further up in Kingsdown are frequently full and waiting – but this might be because the Jamaica St multistorey is under-advertised.
33  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Brizzle Arenal....where to mi babber ? on: June 28, 2018, 03:03:57 pm
Bristol 24/7 quotes the Mayor as saying:
Quote
He criticised members of the council’s scrutiny committee for “erroneously debating a binary choice” between an arena at Temple Meads or Filton, saying if it were that simple, “everyone” would opt for the city centre location.
So does the Mayor have a third location in mind? If so, where is it and why haven't we heard anything of it? Or is his third option not to build an arena? Or even to build it in both locations! Or, most likely, does he mean that it's not a simple choice?

https://www.bristol247.com/news-and-features/news/anyone-can-make-decisions-getting-right-challenge/
34  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: New transport hub for Bristol! on: June 28, 2018, 02:18:21 pm
The Post's headline does say "Bristol hospital plans to destroy dozens of homes to build multi-storey car park". Transport hub, or rather "Hospital Transport Hub" (note capitals!) seems to be UBHT's own phrase. As for the flats, they are rather run-down though probably this could be solved with a bit of maintenance, and six months notice doesn't seem a great deal. What I want to know is what will happen to the existing multistorey car park? They say it will be closed down, but does that actually mean sold to a private operator?
35  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Incident at Loughborough Junction, South London. Three dead. 18/6/2018 on: June 26, 2018, 02:45:24 pm
Bear in mind that, though this may surprise some readers, some people actually like graffiti; finding it 'urban' and 'edgy'.

So I don't really want to get bogged down in the rest of the discussion as I don't really have the time, but as someone who sometimes falls into that category I think we have to realise there are differences between tagging (which really calling them "artists" is a massive stretch) and the work of people like Banksy etc. Even in someone like Bristol where graffiti is common, you have both types and it is pretty obvious which are the ones that Bristol is "known for"!! It's also probably worth making a distinction between the graffiti that gets put onto walls etc where those carrying out the act and those cleaning it up are not put under any risk, and the people who do it on the railway etc, who are putting themselves and others at a great risk.
Arguably when there are guided parties of tourists being shown the graffiti, it's a long way from edgy.

It's also far from new. Many old buildings have initials and dates carved into them by tourists of bygone centuries. I've noticed some from the 18th century on Gloucester Cathedral and from the 17th on a church just south of Gloucester (although that was by a churchwarden). What's new is spray paint (horrid stinky stuff!), media publicity and of course railways.
36  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Incident at Loughborough Junction, South London. Three dead. 18/6/2018 on: June 26, 2018, 02:42:52 pm
Presumably removing graffiti/tags/"put ups"/whatever from railway property would in many cases require a temporary line closure.
37  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Incident at Loughborough Junction, South London. Three dead. 18/6/2018 on: June 26, 2018, 09:27:36 am
Whatever the answer is now, even if we find it today, it won't work tomorrow. It's clearly not only the styles of graffiti that evolve but the motivations too.
38  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: MetroBus on: June 26, 2018, 09:25:27 am
Its official name is Stoke Gifford Transport Link...

I'm old enough to remember when the official name for the QE2 was 'Q4'... I seem to remember they followed the build on 'Blue Peter'.
Was it in the Sunken Garden?
39  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Incident at Loughborough Junction, South London. Three dead. 18/6/2018 on: June 25, 2018, 07:31:36 pm
There's a piece about the culture of tagging (and other forms of graffiti) in the Grauniad:
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/jun/25/train-came-insanely-close-why-graffiti-artists-risk-lives-loughborough-junction
Quote
After three graffiti artists were killed by a train, our writer speaks to veterans of the scene – and enters a clandestine world of kings, tags, throw-ups and toys

Nick Turner

Mon 25 Jun 2018 11.04 BST Last modified on Mon 25 Jun 2018 12.53 BST
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 ‘They’re expected to work under illegal conditions’ … graffiti in London; the three men were killed by a train at Loughborough Junction.
 ‘They’re expected to work under illegal conditions’ … graffiti in London; the three men were killed by a train at Loughborough Junction. Photograph: Jill Mead for the Guardian
‘We sometimes stand on station platforms,” a young graffiti artist tells me. “When a train comes in on the opposite side, we jump on the tracks and start painting the train in front of the bemused passengers. One time someone shouted, ‘Train!’ – meaning there was one coming down the line. Everyone jumped back onto the platform except me and another guy. We looked at each other, daring each other to break first. I won but the train came insanely close to hitting me. It had its horns blaring.”

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The death this month of three London graffiti artists has raised many questions, in particular this one: why would young men risk their lives to write their names in prominent places? The bodies of Jack Gilbert, 23, Harrison Scott-Hood, 23, and Alberto Carrasco, 19 – known by the tags Kbag, Lover and Trip – were found on the tracks at Loughborough Junction. They are thought to have been struck by a train during the night. It was, say police, a particularly risky location, offering no refuge and no means of escape.

Graffiti artists are often thought to be motivated by two things: the egotistical pleasure of leaving behind their nom de guerre or tag, and the excitement of doing something dangerous and illegal. But this view is seen as “monolithic” by Rafael Schacter, an anthropologist at University College London, who has spent 10 years researching graffiti and written three books on the subject.

 It all started with TAKI 183 … New York rooftops covered in graffiti.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest  It all started with TAKI 183 … New York rooftops covered in graffiti. Photograph: VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images
He says that – although there are risks of electrocution, being chased by the transport police, or falling from high ledges – it is rare for graffiti artists to die in the way these men did. He believes that neither egotism nor risk-taking are their chief motivations. What matters to graffiti artists – also known as “writers” – are the social rewards that ensue from being part of a subculture.

The modern graffiti scene, linked to hip-hop, was born in the early 1970s. It really took off in 1971 when the New York Times wrote about a Greek writer called Taki who was leaving his name and street number on the ice-cream trucks and trains of Manhattan. TAKI 183 became widely imitated: suddenly there was a competition to see who could become more famous, to see who could “get up” the most.

At first, “getting up” – or achieving graffiti fame – was all about the number of tags, but soon tags started being written in ornate “hand styles”, which evolved into simple graffiti pieces called “throw-ups”. These were names filled in with one colour, often chrome, then outlined in another. Later tags were elaborated into full-colour “pieces” complete with cartoon characters.

 Honoured … flowers and spray-painted tributes at Loughborough Junction, where the three men died.
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 Honoured … flowers and spray-painted tributes at Loughborough Junction, where the three men died. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA
Initially, the number of tags or throw-ups a writer produced was the sole criterion for judging who were “kings” and who were amateurs or “toys”. But style and clean technique became increasingly important. Writers may gain respect if they have enough tags but, to be a fully developed writer, you have to master all the graffiti forms.

If pieces hold more kudos than tags, then pieces in highly visible locations, from busy transit routes to exposed rooftops, hold still more. Pieces on trains – especially whole trains – are seen as the pinnacle of getting up. This is why graffiti artists prize such locations as Loughborough Junction, whose track feeds into central London, meaning their work will be more visible both to other writers and to the public.

Today, writers can air their graffiti globally using social media and specialist websites. In the real world, meanwhile, there are also many graffiti spaces or “halls of fame” that are either legal or tolerated by the authorities. So why do writers continue to take risks, illegally painting trains and tracksides, to get their work seen? The reason is not just that locations such as Loughborough Junction offer great visibility. It’s because writers are still expected to write much of the graffiti under illegal conditions.

In his 1982 book Getting Up: Subway Graffiti in New York, Craig Castleman says that only by writing graffiti under challenging conditions can the writer demonstrate “grace under pressure”. As one 25-year-old writer who wished to remain anonymous told me: “When you get people painting in a calm legal space for the public, you end up with clean art – without any of the hardcore soul you get when you’re painting in the pitch black with an eye over your shoulder.

 Trackside daredevils … graffiti on an east London bridge.
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 Trackside daredevils … graffiti on an east London bridge. Photograph: Alamy
Some academics view the egotistical self-expression, illegality and risk less as primary attractions than as a means to develop feelings of identity and belonging. Nancy Macdonald, author of The Graffiti Subculture, homed in on the role of gender. Pointing to the fact that writers are predominantly male, she said graffiti was chiefly about forming male identity – becoming “someone” through familiar tropes, such as the outlaw.

Rafael Schacter, author of award-winning World Atlas of Street Art and Graffiti, believes Macdonald gave too much prominence to masculinity. Although graffiti is overwhelmingly a male activity, he says, artists are less concerned with masculinity than to encounter, engage with and explore the city. He thinks the obvious gender bias simply echoes divisions in wider society. “Girls,” he says, “are not ‘supposed’ to explore dangerous places, to engage in extreme activities, to stay out late, whilst boys for the most part are.”

There are female artists in graffiti, says Schacter, but they often arrive at a later age. They’re no less daring, he adds, pointing to the example of one female writer, Gold Peg, whose graffiti occupied the highest spots at King’s Cross in London. Duel, another female writer now in her 30s, once climbed out of the window of a moving train to tag its roof. Schacter sees the willingness to take risks as “intrinsic – but as a way to show commitment to a community. These are not the lone, disaffected youths often depicted, but individuals totally committed to their collective and practice.”

 Graffiti is about oneupmanship, marking territory, flag-waving, peacocking – but it’s also about being part of a crew
Although competition has always been built into graffiti culture, it is not between enemies. Writers paint their crew’s name as much as their own and they practise together. “Of course ego exists,” says Schacter, “and some artists lean in this direction, but the community is paramount. It is about painting with people.”

This view is echoed by Aroe, a former member of international graffiti super-crew MSK. Aroe is now a commercially successful artist. Although he is aware that many see him as selling out, he believes he has paid his dues. In Madrid, he once pulled the emergency cord when a train was in a tunnel so he could paint it.

Aroe gives some credence to Macdonald’s view, by emphasising the importance of “the thrill of the chase” and the figure of the outlaw. “There are a few girl writers,” he says, “but that’s probably because there is less attraction for women in infamy or the thrill of daring.” He recalls the time his crew, Heavy Artillery, arrived at Churchill Square shopping centre in Brighton with bags of paint and tried to act as if they had official permission. Sometimes this worked, but not this time. “The police turned up and said look just take your bags and fuck off.”

While writers prize such escapades, Aroe also says: “Graffiti is not necessarily machismo.” He mentions a sense of male identity achieved through belonging. “Graffiti is about oneupmanship, marking territory, flag-waving, peacocking – but it’s also about claiming an identity with a clan or crew. You write the crew name and you’re saying me and these individuals are one.”

 Peak performance … Gold Peg’s trademark symbol on a derelict tower at King’s Cross, London.
Facebook Twitter Pinterest  Peak performance … Gold Peg’s trademark symbol on a derelict tower at King’s Cross, London. Photograph: Alamy
Sometimes, graffiti is depicted as a way for disfranchised youth to assert their identity in public. Through effort, skill and flair, writers gain recognition that may otherwise be denied. But the follow-on from this, the idea that graffiti is predominantly practised by young working-class men, is disputed by Aroe. “Working-class people don’t tend to do it for as long,” he says. “Because if you’re from a middle-class background, you may be more able to get out of trouble.” Some of the most hardcore writers he has met are middle-class, but he does say: “There are some who conform to the stereotype, live in tower blocks in Battersea, do graffiti and go to prison for it.”

My 25-year-old anonymous writer differs, however. “It’s a multi-class subculture,” he says. “But it’s mainly the working class and disenfranchised. I’ve met way more working class writers and definitely 90% of the hardcore writers were working class too

I ask Aroe what he thinks about the death of the three writers in London. “It’s just a tragic loss,” he says. “In a year or two, it might not have even mattered to them as much.”

He doubts that the tragedy will put other writers off, however. In fact, if anything, he thinks there could be a rise in graffiti at that location – because it will now be more notorious.[/quote
Somebody's seen fit to put it in the Arts section. It's more about the motivations of the artists than the art itself.
40  Journey by Journey / Bristol Commuters / Re: MetroBus on: June 25, 2018, 09:44:33 am
Stoke Gifford bypass is probably a more sensible name for it. Unless it's actually a Bradley Stoke bypass, or maybe a Little Stoke bypass.
41  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Incident at Loughborough Junction, South London. Three dead. 18/6/2018 on: June 19, 2018, 09:32:58 pm
Some graffiti is now recognised by "the art world" as art, Banksy being the canonical example (I don't actually like his stuff). There are regular tours of Bristol showing off the graffiti art (murals by another name?). These appeal to both domestic and foreign tourists, adults and children (regular tours by French – or at least French-speaking – school parties are a common sight, for some reason).

That's perhaps not particularly relevant to tagging trains, but it's not a crime deserving of a death penalty.
42  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion on: June 19, 2018, 01:54:40 pm
YMustelidMV!
43  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Bossing The Crossing on: June 19, 2018, 01:09:01 pm
Just found this, on a cycling forum. The context was a particular LC being closed during roadworks:
Quote
Quote from: Vorpal
I think that you are quite lucky.  Network Rail have a stated objective of closing level crossings, wherever possible on the grounds of safety.
Yeah, I can see what they mean... While our backs were turned on a recent group ride, one rider put their bike on its stand in the middle of the tracks while they went back to hold the gate for others :roll:  Cue much panicked shouting at them to get a bl**dy move on and clear the crossing!

However, Network Rail should be required to replace crossings with shallow-ramped foot/cycle under or overbridges wherever possible, on the grounds of not cutting people off from our neighbours.
44  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Bossing The Crossing on: June 19, 2018, 09:13:51 am
I see they've also got an ad aimed specifically at cyclists – with some cringe-making acting!

This ad is pi radians wide of the mark - it's not about cyclists per say, but about anyone who would move a piece of machinery into the middle of a level crossing to do a bit of light maintenance in the full knowledge that a train was audibly imminent.
Is there any evidence that people are doing this? It must happen occasionally that a cyclist's chain comes off or they get a puncture, or (more commonly – or rather, less infrequently – given overall numbers) a car or lorry breaks down on a level crossing. But I can't think of any level crossing incidents recently that haven't involved someone either deliberately bypassing the barriers or not understanding how they work (as in a farm crossing a year or two ago, in Kent I think, which had some confusing red and green light system that did not actually refer to being allowed to cross – there's a thread on here somewhere).
45  Journey by Journey / London to Kennet Valley / Re: Tree Strike - 1K71 0515 Bristol TM to Padd on 14/6/18 on: June 19, 2018, 08:58:30 am
Thanks for the history, Grahame, as well as the link to an interesting-nerdy-bizarre forum (as if we didn't have enough of those already!).
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