Christopher Wain

Springtime in Neverland

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:21am Monday 3rd February 2014

Strangely optimistic people, architectural artists.

An idiotic closure

Posted on 9:18am Saturday 7th September 2013

More years ago than I care to remember I filmed a Day by Day story at Southampton University on traffic congestion and the possible effects of proposed road-closures and traffic-calming measures.

Christopher Wain

In praise of potholes

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:23pm Friday 5th July 2013

Whilst being rushed to hospital from his home in Wilton, heart spasm victim Ray Lee had an extraordinary encounter with a pothole in the Netherhampton Road.

Christopher Wain

Run that past me again?

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:45am Monday 24th June 2013

Climbing down both on sides of a fence is difficult and undignified - as councillor Jo Broom has demonstrated to those of us who have been watching with growing disbelief the latest antics at the Guildhall.

Christopher Wain

Once upon a time...

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:39am Monday 10th June 2013

… in the days when such things were possible, I asked the Bus & Coach Council to have two 55-seat coaches drive along the M25 near Heathrow during the morning rush-hour.

Christopher Wain

We should envy today’s 14-year-olds…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:31pm Wednesday 29th May 2013

…Never thought I’d say that but, having attended last week’s public launch of the Salisbury University Technical College (UTC), it seems to be every teenager’s dream.

Christopher Wain

Plus ca change...

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:01pm Thursday 9th May 2013

The “new-look” Wiltshire Council isn’t exactly inspiring, is it? Most of those who advocated the creation of our ludicrously ill-considered unitary authority are still there.

Christopher Wain

It’s not too much – it’s too little

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:54am Tuesday 23rd April 2013

Some years ago I attended a lunch and chatted to a Salisbury hotel manager.

Christopher Wain

Whatever became of joined-up thinking?

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:45am Wednesday 3rd April 2013

Anyone who’s ever caught a train from Salisbury on a weekday knows that after 8am it’s impossible to find a space in the station car park. The commuters have got there first. So you must allow an additional 15 minutes to drive across and use the long-term section of the Central Car Park, which will cost you £7.40.

Thank heavens for our leaders

Posted on 1:00pm Wednesday 6th March 2013

Thank heavens for our leaders.

Christopher Wain

I can't say I really knew Ted Heath

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:11am Tuesday 5th February 2013

Professionally I interviewed him for Day by Day when he first became Tory leader and twice during The Troubles when he visited units in Northern Ireland. Socially we met a few times at supper parties in The Close, and we had a fascinating lunch with him (hosted by Bishop David) on his birthday.

Christopher Wain

You want to leave? So go.

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:22pm Tuesday 18th December 2012

Spending a few days in Brussels recently was a sobering experience. How many of us realise just how irritatingly irrelevant we’ve become in the eyes of the rest of the EU? They’re fed up with us.

Christopher Wain

Unsustainable plans

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:09am Monday 3rd December 2012

It’s now six weeks since Graham Parker’s letter to the Journal – warning of the need to ensure that today’s development doesn’t spoil life for the next generation – was published. And if there’s been any response from Wiltshire Council, I must have missed it.

Keeping our fingers crossed

Posted on 11:32am Wednesday 21st November 2012

What should we make of the democratic process surrounding the election of our new Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson?

Party politics shouldn't come into PCC election

Posted on 10:56am Thursday 11th October 2012

SIR Terry Pratchett, my favourite philosopher, once wrote that when a process is called “transparent” it can either mean you can see clearly what it is, or that you can’t see it at all.

Christopher Wain

Getting the message

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:20am Tuesday 25th September 2012

Monday’s Salisbury Hospital AGM at the Arts Centre was predictably crowded – not surprisingly, given the degree of public anxiety about the future of the NHS now that the Health Act has become law.

Christopher Wain

Proving a negative

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:27am Tuesday 4th September 2012

Stead and Simpson have decided to close their city centre branch because of a steady drop in the number of customers. The reason, says the manager, is that car parking charges are too high.

Christopher Wain

Down memory lane

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:13pm Friday 24th August 2012

A friend has lent me a copy of “Newer Sarum” – the blueprint for the modernisation of Salisbury published in 1949. That’s right: 63 years ago.

Christopher Wain

“So what do you think of the Market Place plan?”...

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:38pm Tuesday 7th August 2012

… asked the electrician we'd called in to discover why we kept getting power cuts (it was ants nesting inside a garden light: they'd come in from the rain and then caused a short circuit).

Christopher Wain

Bypass so close yet so far

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:43am Friday 20th July 2012

“Get real”, says a councillor… “a Salisbury bypass will never, ever happen.”

Christopher Wain

What a brilliant initiative…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:40pm Monday 9th July 2012

… by the organisers to put together such an imaginative programme for the second Chalke Valley History Festival.

Why stand for this?

Posted on 1:12pm Friday 15th June 2012

Imagine for a moment that spread before you is a completely blank map of England. The only markings are hills, plains, valleys and rivers; and man-made features such as roads, railways, towns and cities. There are no county boundaries, but you must decide them. Question: would you – would anyone - create Wiltshire?

Christopher Wain

I seem to remember months of lobbying on parking

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:05am Friday 25th May 2012

Many thanks to all those who voted me in…

Christopher Wain

Queen's visit could have been organised better

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:19am Friday 25th May 2012

While it’s always nice to see Her Majesty…

Christopher Wain

Reliving my time in war-torn Vietnam

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:23pm Thursday 19th April 2012

It is one of the most searing images of the 20th century: a terrified nine-year-old girl runs towards the camera after being burned by napalm in Vietnam. Journal blogger Chris Wain, then an ITN news correspondent, on what it was like to return to Vietnam 40 years later.

Christopher Wain

Who’d be a set-designer?...

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:54pm Monday 19th March 2012

…I found myself wondering, as the curtain rose on the opening night of the Playhouse revival of The Seven-Year Itch. The action is set in a New York apartment with a big living room, kitchen area and a small patio on stage-right.

Christopher Wain

Remember the old Southampton Road?

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 10:23am Monday 5th March 2012

Before the so-called experts created largely unused cycle lanes and erected a potentially deadly central metal fence blocking emergency vehicle access?

Christopher Wain

It’s two decades since rail privatisation …

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:24am Wednesday 15th February 2012

…first appeared on the political radar screen. There’d been talk of it earlier, of course, but nothing serious. Previous Tory cabinets had looked at the idea and rejected it as impractical.

Christopher Wain

Hosting a friend who arrived last weekend…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:35am Friday 3rd February 2012

We took her to the wonderful King’s Singers’ concert at the Cathedral on Saturday night, enjoyed a great Sunday lunch in a pub at Burcombe, saw The Artist in the evening, visited Christchurch Priory and harbour on Monday, and finished her visit with an excellent dinner in Fisherton Street.

Christopher Wain

I don’t often regret being retired…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:14am Tuesday 17th January 2012

… but with so much being written about the loss of the Costa Concordia by journalists with little understanding of ship-behaviour, this is one of those times.

Christopher Wain

A happy new year to my readers…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:04pm Monday 9th January 2012

… or as they say in Germany, “Guten Rutsch” – which loosely translates as “good slide” into the new year.

Christopher Wain

“Please consider standing for the Council…”

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:44pm Friday 2nd December 2011

… urges Rantone in response to my last offering. Awe gee, shucks, I mean: what, me?

Christopher Wain

Recently at a military welcome home service …

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:02pm Monday 21st November 2011

… in the cathedral there was an embarrassing moment when one of the officers thanked our “Lord Mayor” for attending. But it was an understandable slip. After all, if our powerless parish council insists on styling itself as something it isn’t, there’s bound to be confusion.

Christopher Wain

News from CHAOS

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:34am Monday 7th November 2011

The Community Highways Administrative Office (Salisbury) is making good progress with its 2011 winter disruption scheme.

Christopher Wain

Calm down, dears

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 1:16pm Tuesday 18th October 2011

“Beware of the partisan groups who with their niche agendas will seek to stymie the Vision,” a Journal letter-writer was warned when first helping to create the plans for our new-look Market Square.

Christopher Wain

So after all that huffing and puffing…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:16pm Tuesday 11th October 2011

The leaders of Salisbury Vision backed away from a confrontation.

Christopher Wain

Are you against sin, yes or no?

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:24pm Monday 10th October 2011

Strange things, surveys. I’ve just been glancing through the questions posed by Salisbury Vision in the one they’re conducting prior to tonight’s public meeting.

Christopher Wain

Compare and contrast the following statements…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:15am Monday 19th September 2011

…The first is from a Salisbury Vision press release about plans to cut down the trees in the Market Place.

Christopher Wain

Tunnel Visionaries

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:28am Tuesday 6th September 2011

Some people say that Private Eye is Britain’s most powerful magazine.

Christopher Wain

U-turn? Moi?

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:40pm Wednesday 31st August 2011

I don’t know: you go away for a fortnight or so and while you’re absent everything changes.

Christopher Wain

One of the better-selling postcards…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 2:01pm Thursday 21st July 2011

… in Salisbury Cathedral gift shop is a greetings card listing collective nouns – a Shrewdness of Apes, Pace of Asses, Murder of Crows and so on. It occurred to me, ploughing through the Unkindnesses, Pandemoniums, Lamentations and Destructions, that something was missing. They’d overlooked a Trowbridge of Incompetents.

Christopher Wain

The view from Planet Trowbridge

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:22am Monday 27th June 2011

Not having ever met Wiltshire Council Leader Jane Scott or Andrew Kerr (their new CEO), we attended Wednesday’s public meeting at the Guildhall out of curiosity.

Christopher Wain

Watching an HGV driver struggling…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:56am Wednesday 22nd June 2011

… to manoeuvre his 44-tonner into Fisherton Street and under the railway bridge to leave the city, it occurred to me that the Government’s proposal to stretch these monsters by another two metres will have a serious impact for planners.

Christopher Wain

What a wonderful festival it’s been…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 11:07am Tuesday 7th June 2011

… Maria Bota, the Director, really pulled out the stops this year, and it showed. It’s almost perverse to pick out some highlights, because the overall quality was so high.

Christopher Wain

Wiltshire Council: an apology

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:40am Wednesday 25th May 2011

Over the years, readers of this column may have gained the false impression that the writer was opposed to scrapping five District Councils in favour of a single unitary authority.

Christopher Wain

“Think Again” shouts this week’s Journal headline…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:20pm Monday 16th May 2011

… as it launches a campaign to reverse Wiltshire Council’s latest attempt to mug us by imposing outrageously high car parking charges. But the underlying premise is mistaken: in reality it’s doubtful whether anyone in Trowbridge thought it through in the first place.

Christopher Wain

Democracy inaction (cont'd)

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:48am Tuesday 26th April 2011

Not knowing Danny Willis, I don’t know how accurately he reports events. But if his description of the recent Salisbury Vision open board meeting (Journal letters, April 21) is an authentic account, then SV owes us an explanation.

Christopher Wain

Taken for a ride...

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:34pm Wednesday 6th April 2011

…I dunno, you spend a few weeks away and suddenly it’s all change.

Christopher Wain

Looking round the new SDH Children’s Unit…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 9:32am Monday 28th March 2011

… with fellow-Governors last Friday, I was reflecting on how much effort everyone’s put into fundraising.

Christopher Wain

“I have learned a valuable lesson…

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 4:52pm Monday 28th February 2011

…about dealing with the national media” writes Salisbury MP John Glen after being “done up like a kipper” by Channel 4 News in a report about the plight of low-paid workers.

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