Posts Tagged ‘London’

Docklands Delight!

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

I have a love of London and never tire of visiting it. Having wondered why this is – on numerous occasions – I have come to the conclusion it’s down to two factors. The first is that my parents always used to take my brothers and me to London on Christmas Eve when we were young, so I only ever really went to London on that one day of each year. So a certain magic became associated with London.  I can remember the things we did every year – and the signal for the start of it was the excitement of getting on the tube – such as buying roast chestnuts and visiting Hamley’s Toy Shop to see the window display and wander around the store. As an aside, I have since found out that the main reason they took us there so that we would sleep well on Christmas Eve, however, I still only have pleasant memories of those trips.

The second factor, I think, was my love of Monopoly – and when I played Monopoly there was only a London version (and the houses and hotels were wooden and the playing pieces were a silver metal!).  So I love seeing and visiting the places from the Monopoly board.

Within London, I also really like the Docklands area. It is an area that I have witness change so much during my adult life from when I went to the Jean Michel Jarre concert there in 1988 and it was mainly rubble, through to what it is today. And I love the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). I always look forward to riding on and taking in its sights as it winds its way up, through, under and around the modern buildings around Canary Wharf.

And for these reasons, I have always wanted to work at Canary Wharf but have never had the opportunity. Until last week, that is. I really was quite overjoyed when I got the opportunity to deliver some training at there – and what made it more exciting was that I could see the DLR trains pass by as I looked out of the training room window. Any readers from London may well be scratching their heads at this point – if in fact they are still reading. But for me, another ambition ticked off! And to add to the joys of the day, the people I was working were lovely, and they have asked me back to do some more later this month, so I get to do it all again!

One of the areas we touched on during the training was about keeping messages clear, simple and specific. Which made me wonder, why is it called the Docklands Light Railway? Why isn’t it just part of the Underground (it starts underground) or tube network? Is it “Light” because it doesn’t do much weight in some way, or because most of it is over-ground and so in the light?

And as I sat there on my ‘Light Train’, I saw a notice above the seat where a person can sit to operate the train (it appears that sometimes they are manually operated from within the train and at other times not). It read, “Please do not distract the Passenger Safety Agent when the train is being operated from the front.” Passenger Safety Agent? Thomas, James, Henry, Gordon and co didn’t have Passenger Safety Agents as they trundled around Sodor. And I don’t think the Fat Controller (or Sir Topham Hat if you have American versions of the books) would have stood for such nonsense. Drivers, or perhaps Operators, but that’s all that’s needed surely?

We over-complicate things so much sometimes. It reminds me of a mnemonic I was shown when I was training to be a trainer many years ago – KISS. Keep it simple, stupid.

Paul