Friday, 10 June 2011
Have the lights been listening?
WELL there are now clear signs that Weymouth’s notorious King Street roadworks are making progress… because the level of honking horns has gone up.
While traffic could only crawl up or crawl down King Street conditions were, if not brilliant, then relatively clear cut.
But the expansion of a sort of “no man’s land” at this junction with barriers offering a multiple choice Russian roulette of entries and exits has proved too much of a challenge for some motorists.
I cautiously observed one withering exchange where a driver attempted to edge off the bridge and across this free for all area to try and exit down Commercial Road towards town.
One of the problems was that, with so many barriers and with so many old white lines, new white lines and white lines partially obscured by mud or dust, nothing appeared obvious and drivers had to go slowly and take care which this driver did.
Unfortunately slow progress makes others impatient and a horn blowing match developed as he inched across, blocking drivers trying to exit King Street.
He was unwise enough to wave at them in frustration which only doubled the volume of horns now backed up with some shouted and very specific advice to get on with it.
More work still has to be done and clearly the whole area will be tidied up before the junction officially becomes “live”, but it was an early indication of just how big this junction area is going to be.
Hopefully those intelligent traffic lights have been listening to what has been said about Boot Hill because one assault course like that is enough for any town.
A new precision sailing skill
A NEW precision sailing competition may be launched in Weymouth which requires so much skill it will make the Olympics look like nursery school.
The new competition is the brainchild of a boy who thought it up while watching Weymouth’s famous swing bridge open.
After he’d seen the whole town centre traffic flow system come to a grinding halt for more than ten minutes while one yacht came in and one went out, he turned to his Dad and asked why such a big gap was left to allow such a narrow mast through.
He prattled away and suggested that he and his Dad wouldn’t have to wait so long if the bridge was only opened a foot which was plenty wide enough for the diameter of a mast to fit through.
So all you yachties out there get practising because the next time you negotiate Town Bridge you may have less space to navigate through than you thought!
No ‘petty’ crime in Weymouth’s past
RECENT visitors of mine loved Weymouth and Portland’s convict history with its rich vein of incredibly harsh sentences for incredibly minor crimes.
During one visit to a local attraction they commented on details of one man sentenced to a month in jail with hard labour for the terrible crime of swearing in front of a lady.
My visitors added to the folklore of criminal sentencing with their own knowledge of one young girl who in the same historical period was caught in possession of a handkerchief belonging to the well to do woman who employed her.
She protested her innocence but was sentenced to transportation for life to Australia.
Having said that, she did somewhat better that a seven-year-old boy and his little sister allegedly caught stealing a few years earlier. They were hung.
It seems that the option of transportation arrived shortly after this brutal sentence and that one of the reasons for it was that a trip Down Under was considered a more “humane” way of dealing with criminals.
Weymouth weather watch
WEYMOUTH basked in glorious May weather with sunshine on every day but one.
Town weatherman Bob Poots said that the first week of May provided almost the entire month’s rainfall with the remainder falling on Bank Holiday Monday.
He added that the three months of spring have been one of the driest on Weymouth’s records with just three drier springs, 1938 being the driest.
The driest May came in 1989 with just 1.9mm of rain, May 2011 producing 33.5mm, bringing the total so far for 2011 to 83.6mm below the annual average.
Sunshine was nearly a dozen hours above average for the month at 235 hours which brought sunshine levels for 2011 to more than 100 hours above average.
Thunder was heard on Monday 2nd, Friday 6th and Saturday 7th but winds were very light, the strongest gust of 34mph coming on May 25th.
All temperatures were above monthly averages with the average maximum up 0.5 Centigrade at 16C, minimum up 1C at 9.8C, the mean temperature up 0.7C at 12.9C and the sea temperature up 0.9C at 13.1C.
Spring temperatures were also up with the maximum up 1.8C at 14.5C, minimum up 1.4C at 7.8C, the mean temperature up 1.6C at 11C and the sea temperature up 1.6C at 10.8C.