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Old 09-22-2010, 08:37 AM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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Default The Oldie: London Bicycles

Bazza and Julie Stone got Hon Mensh in the bonfire and compost heap competition and Peter Wyton got twenty quid. And I got the Tea set! Wow.

Competition No. 130

London has been fitted with lots of bicycles for hire. Please tell the adventures of one of them in verse. Maximum 16 lines

Entries to Competition No. 130 email: comps@theoldie.co.uk by 22 October. Don't forget to include your postal address
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:39 PM
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Marion Shore Marion Shore is offline
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"London has been fitted with lots of bicycles for hire."

Could someone please translate this for me?
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:46 PM
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Gail White Gail White is offline
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Hurray, at last - the TEA SET!
Congratulations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Whitworth View Post
Bazza and Julie Stone got Hon Mensh in the bonfire and compost heap competition and Peter Wyton got twenty quid. And I got the Tea set! Wow.
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Old 09-22-2010, 12:54 PM
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Boris has introduced bicycles all over London which you can hire by the hour. He is himself a great cyclist, as well as a great man, that is. I will look for some more stuff on this. Here is something.

British Broadcasting Corporation

Thousands of people have registered for the scheme
A bike hire scheme designed to encourage thousands more cycle journeys in central London has begun. So far, more than 12,000 people have signed up to the idea, far outstripping the 5,000 bicycles which will be available at special docking stations.

Transport for London (TfL) has admitted it had been expecting "teething problems". But it insisted that although members outnumbered the number of bikes, people would not face a shortage. Already, more than 12,450 keys have been handed out to Londoners enabling them to unlock bikes left at 315 docking points across the city.

The keys cost £3 and the cost of using the cycles varies from £1 for an hour to £50 for 24 hours. TfL and operator Serco expect to roll out the scheme to casual users after a month.

But only 6,000 keys had been activated. Until they are activated, cyclists will not be able to withdraw the bikes from docking stations.

A TfL spokesman said: "We are expecting there will be some teething problems with (the) scheme when it starts.

"This could include some technical issues and we have yet to learn the pattern of how people use the scheme."

The 23kg bikes with three gears do not come with locks and TfL said this was done to deter people from keeping the cycles for long periods.

They are automatically locked at the docking stations.

Docking stations will be available in Camden, City of London, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Westminster and several of the Royal Parks.
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Old 09-27-2010, 06:24 PM
Terese Coe Terese Coe is offline
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Are you happy with your tea set, John? I hope so, after the long wait! Kudos!
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:17 PM
Martin Elster Martin Elster is online now
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Congrats, John!
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:02 PM
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The Oldie proceeds at the leisurely pace proper to it. No tea set as yet and probably not for weeks.

Here's a Bicycle Song.

The Adventures of a London Bicycle

I am a London Boris Bike
And you can hire me if you like,
The London Freedom Dream Machine,
Speedy, convenient and green.

A thief enjoys an hour with me
By paying the appropriate fee.
I know a lot of foreign curses.
From stealing tourists bags and purses.

A lady puts her money down,
She is a lady of the town
And, ah, the secrets I could tell
About her varied clientele.

Just yesterday it came to pass
I kissed the broad mayoral arse,
A swift, splendiferous skedaddle,
The Bum of Boris in the saddle!
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:00 AM
Holly Martins Holly Martins is offline
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What will you do with TWO tea sets, John? Wasn't it Betjeman who coined the immortal:

Sometimes I think that I should like
to be a saddle on a bike.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:02 AM
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John Whitworth John Whitworth is offline
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Thank you, Holly

Re the famous line. I thought it was Betj but his publisher, Murray, denied it and in my 'Faber Book of Blue Verse' it is anonymous (and therefore free). I heard that Louis MacNeice had a hand in it, but since MacNeice and Betjeman did NOT get on, though they were up at Oxford together, I can hardly belieev this was a collaboration.

Perhaps it was a MacNeice parody. A very good one, if so.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:58 AM
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basil ransome-davies basil ransome-davies is offline
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Default rotary spokes

You've heard of urban cowboys, pal? Well, I'm the urban bike,
A saddle, wheels and handlebars for hire.
You fancy good times, sailor, want to ride me where you like?
Flash plastic and your wish is my desire.
I know the scenes – the scams – the score – from Acton to Brick Lane,
A tough, sophisticated bicyclette
Who's felt the rumps of wannabes and dealers of cocaine.
The waterfront? I cover it, you bet.
I've seen bent coppers trouser bungs and royals lose their rag.
I've heard the chimes at midnight more than most.
The London vibe is paranoid but London is my bag,
So let me be your streetwise city host.
I liberate the flâneur with my mobile savoir-faire.
I'm a pedalled, paid-for escort, to be frank.
My pride's my versatility: I fit in anywhere.
My shame is that I'm branded by a bank.

Last edited by basil ransome-davies; 10-04-2010 at 12:29 AM.
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