Beeching’s Blunder

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

It so happened that in between finishing Matthew Engel’s sad and funny lament for the fate of Britain’s railways and sitting down to write something about it, I travelled on the Purbeck Line between Swanage and Corfe Castle. Everything about it was perfect. The sun shone from a flawless sky. Swanage Station, in contrasting shades […]

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CCTV City

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

A set of traffic lights near Leeds Bus Station breaks down with alarming regularity. It is a busy crossroads, with hundreds of cars passing every hour. Nevertheless, as a driver, it seems to me that the passage of traffic, if anything, speeds up when the lights are out. Drivers, who would normally robotically plough through […]

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Beer on the Breeze

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

There is no shortage of books about Edinburgh – I wrote one myself some fifteen years ago – and there will be many more, for the beauty, character and contradictions of the city will always attract writers. All that matters is that the book should be a good one, and Michael Fry’s new history of […]

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Landscape Gardeners of the Centre Ground

Posted on by Jonathan Beckman

Historians love labels. Post-1945 Britain has long been stereotyped as an Age of Austerity. The Fifties and Sixties resist such easy definition. Some historians see them as an Age of Affluence, the economy enjoying a Golden Age. For neo-liberal conviction politicians, they marked the road to serfdom, with dependency culture and debilitating consensus sapping the […]

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RLF - March