I ALWAYS oblige people with clip boards who approach me at railway stations asking for my comments.

But I do wish there were incentives – such as a draw for a year's free travel that would be a nice motivator.

That said, I always gladly help with observations to improve the service for us all.

And every July I have my own half-yearly review of Merseyrail services.

Being a life-long commuter (looking forward to my travel pass next year) I will continue to praise and criticise in equal measure.

When the super-duper new trains arrive I personally hope they still have guards.

I understand the strike action – others don't - but if it's a safety issue count me in.

The trains look good according to the sneak preview pics we've all seen, but before they hit the tracks can we have some "extras."

It will be an idea time to have an automated voice speaking when a train stops a message emanating from every sliding door that says: "Can you please let people get off."

This is such an important safety issue because some people at rush hours just don’t seem to care about others.

I'd also like to see "bikes-only" carriages.

One night I waited for a train to Hunts Cross at Central only to find FOUR cyclists standing with their machines.

Maybe a station guard could have told two of them to wait for the next train.

Fare's fair.

And thank-you to the reader who told me about a call to the customer service about a timetable issue only to hear the comforting words: "Option 1: Are you calling to pay the balance on a fine?

"Option 2: Are you calling to speak to a member of the prosecution team about these matters?"

So on my current Merseyrail bucket list there is one wish to add as I put up with strikes, bus replacement services and engineering work ...

Please stop saying over the tannoys "sorry for the inconvenience."

We already know.



It was so sad to see the famous Light Ship leave the Mersey for shores anew.

I hope the wonderful vessel’s problems are put right and it is saved.

But I felt real anger this week when I was shown images of that great maritime lady The Royal Iris.

This magical ship, once owned by Wallasey Corporation, was part of my youth.

And for many Merseysiders on both sides of the river watching it gliding across the waves for more than 40 years.

Paul McCartney refers to the Iris by name in his song That Was Me, a love letter to his Merseybeat days playing on the "shuffle" boat.

I was once commissioned by a corporate company to design posters for their "love boat" romantic evening cruises.

Yes, they did happen on the Mersey.

Now dreadfully neglected, the Iris rots away in Woolwich on the Thames.

A ghost ship.

The memories of the Royal Iris will sail with me forever - what a tragedy this once beautiful boat cannot.


LIKE the end of the footy season, after the last episode of Have I Got News For You and departing episode of Dr Who we are left with a void.

Peter Capaldi will return at Christmas to be the next Doctor to be re-generated.

Wish I could be.

Peter is my second favourite Dr after Liverpool's Tom Baker.

I have interviewed eight of them and Peter was the most enthusiastic.

He told me that when he was 18 he wanted to be in charge of the worldwide fan club.

He didn't get the job and duly got rid of his memorabilia.

Alas, fate stepped in when he became the very character himself - who’s sorry now, eh Pete?

That collectable stuff would be worth a mint at Who conventions.

My tip for the next Dr is a female - Miranda Hart or - playing it safe - Eddie Izzard.


BIRMINGHAM, in its bid to host the next Commonwealth Games like Liverpool, is rightly boasting about its "Walk of Stars" attraction.

It features the great and the good of the Midlands city.

People such as Bill Oddie, Frank Skinner and Jeff Lynne appear.

Which made me think why can’t we have one in Wirral?

Imagine it ... Glenda Jackson, Bill Tidy, Paul O'Grady, Ian Botham and Adrian Henri to name but a few wonderful Wirralians.

It would be a great tourist draw - say in Birkenhead Park.

Now that's what I call a 2020 vision.


ANOTHER person on the Brummie fame walk is Roy Wood.

I want to have a word with him when he appears at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on November 4 - four days before his 70th birthday.

Why did Wizzard leader Roy give his permission to let his festive song I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day be used in an advertisement changing the last word (and mood) to summer?

It has ruined the magic of this song for me now.

Everyone knows that these days Christmas starts in October.

The Globe has even had press releases for Yuletide events already - and it's still only July.

Slade - I hope you are reading this.

Why do advertisers also mess with our TV memories?

I still can't forgive the ad men raiding my childhood memory banks to use The Flintstones and Top Cat in plugging a building society.

Peter Grant