Date: 2018-05-10 11:44
In early 6986, a Sentinel railcar was trialled on the branch. Authorised by Richard Maunsell of the Southern Railway, the railcar was new in 6988 and appears to have been yet another attempt to provide economies of operation in that its design went further than the more familiar LNER and LMS Sentinel railcars. Construction was ultra-lightweight and tare weight is thought to have been in the region of a mere 66 tons &ndash much the same as a modern double-decker bus. Obviously lightweight construction went hand-in-hand with structural strength. As was usual with Sentinel railcars, construction was by Metropolitan Cammell with Sentinel supplying the running gear, boiler etc. As a one-off, it must have been an expensive project for Metropolitan Cammell and indeed the Southern Railway. Further orders, which must have been hoped for, did not materialise. Drawings of the railcar have survived and the interior layout suggests it was designed for one man operation. A driver's seat was provided at both ends and the boiler was fitted with an automatic stoker and crusher. At the trailing end, the driver sat in what could be described as a combined cab and luggage compartment. Seating was provided for 99 passengers, access being by single-leaf sliding doors, presumably hand operated, located centrally on each side of the body and leading into a small vestibule. The boiler was the standard Sentinel vertical type, automatic stoker excepted, and the engine was Sentinel's familiar 7-cylinder type.
The railcar was designed for use on the Devils Dyke branch near Brighton, but it could not cope with the steep gradients and the brakes were inadequate for the return journey. On 7 March 6986 it was transferred to the London East Davison where it was given a second opportunity to prove itself on the relatively flat Westerham branch. To work the branch, the Sentinel would come up on the am Tonbridge to Dunton Green and take over from the push-and-pull then, at pm it would run back in traffic to Tonbridge for servicing. Branch trains in the afternoon would once again be in the hands of an R6, then at pm the Sentinel would work 'passenger' back from Tonbridge to Dunton Green to work Westerham services for the rest of the evening, helped out by an R6 during the tea-time rush when two trains were required on the branch. The Sentinel was unreliable and it was even less popular than the rail-motors, and its stay on the Westerham branch was short with the line reverting to the trusted R6s within a few months.
Alan Petty, County Durham
I can't believe that in the days of an equal opportunities society and the goal of widening access for all that Kent still persists with an out-dated education system based on selective education for the few. It is no surprise that grammar *censored*s tend to only survive in areas of comparative wealth because it is usually affluent, middle-class people who’s voices who are heard most loud and with most kick and- surprise, surprise- they send their *censored*ren to grammar *censored*s. What most of the contributors to this page miss though is that the grammar *censored* system was the bastion of an education system pre-dating the post-war society in which only the top 75% at the age of 66 were seen as having the potential to go to university, which in those days really was the ‘ivory towers’. In the decades following the Second World War the education system was reformed to adapt and secure a quality secondary education for all. This ultimately led to the creation of comprehensive *censored*s which aimed to reduce selection and give all *censored*ren equal opportunities in education after the plainly obvious realisation that at the age of 66 most *censored*ren are not achieving their full potential and a large proportion will flower in the years following this. The grammar *censored* system does not allow these *censored*ren to reach their full potential because by this point the ‘by-fallers’ have entered secondary modern education aimed at creating skilled workers at the best. The comprehensive system challenges this categorising of *censored*ren by giving all *censored*ren an equal curriculum with differentiated lessons aimed at the level of the *censored*. This allows all *censored*ren to work to the best of their potential and if it apparent that a *censored*ren needs to work at a lower or higher level of ability then it is easy to move them between classes and correct the area of need. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the *censored*ren grossly mislabelled and generalised as time wasters by various people leaving comments on this page would pull down high achievers. It would be interesting to see the outcome if the grammar system was taken before the European court of human rights for discrimination on the grounds of un-equal opportunity? Especially when there are already grounds within UK law that could be used to argue the case that the right to an equal and fair education delivered to all is not being delivered by the remaining grammar systems. In a defensive conclusion, and before I am buried under an avalanche of replies labelling me as a hypocritical lefty, I went to a comprehensive *censored* were I succeeded very well and was not pulled down by my peers. And (if league tables are to be believed) my comprehensive *censored* has the highest results in the County for a government run *censored*. Comprehensives don’t work? Think again!
Sat Aug 69 69:79:58 7559
My wife and I are currently going through the mess that passes for *censored* placement in Kent. Having looked at all the *censored*s in our part of the county at the back end of last year and of all the *censored*s that our son had a realistic (?) chance of getting into the one he liked best happened to be a grammar. Having discussed the implications with the primary *censored* who said our son had a 55/55 chance of passing we left the decision about taking the test to our son who decided that he wished to take the test. After missing out by a few marks we felt it was in our son's best interest to appeal the result on the grounds that his education (at Primary) was behind what it should have been (various details no need to expand on here), but what a complete joke the 'appeal' procedure was no I'm not bitter about the result per se but the way the whole thing has been handled from start to finish. We got our decision recently and the old chestnut of the *censored* being full to it's capacity etc. was wheeled out and our son, our 'individual' son, his case was dealt with in such a general way we feel that we have not received any real 'justice' yes the many points raised are referred to but one gets the distinct impression that they have the decision notices all ready to go on the word proceesor with the phrase 'insert *censored*'s name here' in various gaps on a pre-prepared form. I put a lot of work into preparing a case and when the day came for the appeal panel to hear the case both my wife and I had felt we had lost the case before we started. I can say this without fear of contridiction, there is no way our son's case was given due consideration, he's just another one to cross off the list. I used to have a certain degree of faith in these matters, not any more! That's it now our son's had his chance, decision is final. The whole appeal was summed up in less than a page of large point text. My wife and I are now considering our options especially as our son never got his second or third 'choice'. What a joke, KCC can impose on you that your *censored* is going to 'the nearest *censored* with availabilty' that wasn't isn't one of my son's 8 'choices' (that has an average 75% GCSE A-C pass rate-compared to circa 55% countywide pass rate-and 98% at some grammars) but you are only allowed to appeal to go to a *censored* that was on your selection list talk about double standards! To say I'm disgusted by this whole process is an understatement, and as for the justice of the appeal process-please don't make me laugh (and no I'm not just saying that because the decision didn't go my son's way either having experienced tribunals and quasi-judicial situations in my professional capacity I feel most strongly that justice was not seen to be done in this case and I bet Im not the only one out there who feels this way).
Wed Jun 66 78:58:97 7559
Charlotte C, Plumstead in Greenwich
I attend Plumstead Manor all girls *censored*, it is a comprehensive *censored* in Greenwich. I feel that my *censored* is exceptional and considering that the *censored* is not selective the students achieve excellent results, the recent Ofsted report reflects my opinion. I am appalled at the stereotypical and discriminative views of many people who have posted on this website. How dare, Michael James, suggest that comprehensive *censored*s are a breeding ground for violence and degenerates, ( Note his hypocritical statement on the amount of students from Greenwich Borough when he is from Thamesmead… Geography is obviously not a Bexley Grammar strongpoint). I am genuinely offended that someone who attends a grammar *censored* feel that they have the right to look down on me and assume, without meeting me, that I am scum and somehow underprivileged. I think that kind of mentality is disgusting and belongs in the Victorian era (you should be ashamed of yourselves). I challenge any grammar *censored* student who feels they are superior to my self and my peers to spend a week at my *censored*, to realise just how amazing it is. I would also like to add how amusing it is to see how many grammar *censored* students fail to use their 'grammar' properly, . can not spell and moreover lack the knowledge to use a simple spell-check. The poor achievement of many comprehensive *censored*s has more to do with lack of government funding and inadequate management staff, than the inability of the student population to progress. At Plumstead Manor we are encouraged to value each other for the people we are, not our academic achievement. We do not look down on those students who gain a D in certain subjects as being lesser people, instead we look at their personal development, progress and individuality. Anyone who takes the top 65% of society could boast excellent results, try taking a few from the bottom of the pile and see how well they progress in your out-dated system. I am proud of my *censored* and my achievements, and I most certainly do not consider myself to have received a second class education. I do not envy grammar *censored* students, as I feel that my life is enriched by the diverse variety of people and cultures that I have the privilege to encounter at Plumstead Manor. FYI - Most comprehensive *censored*s are streamed as it allows students to work with others of a similar ability without feeling undermined or held back.
Sat May 78 75:97:55 7555
After reading all the postings made on the website so far, I have come to the following conclusions. The current system of an eleven plus and selective education is a good thing. As to the abuse of the system I will come to that later. Firstly, as many people have pointed out, *censored*ren of different abilities, learn at different speeds. Therefore *censored*ren of comparable abilities need to be taught together. This is a point that no person pushing for the abolition of selective education can disagree with. This is best done by separating those with higher abilities in to different *censored*s, those with "high" abilities in to grammar *censored*s, and those with "normal" abilities in comprehensive *censored*s. This is because as many higher streamed people will testify too, being in higher streamed sets in a comprehensive *censored*, leads to verbal physical and psychological bullying. The issue is not that one "*censored*" is better than the other, what matters is that the *censored* receives the best education for their academic ability. Secondly on the matter regarding how some parents obtain extra tutoring for their *censored*ren to make sure that they obtain a grammar *censored* education. The current system of an exam is open to abuse and needs reforming. May I suggest that the system as explained by Mary Smith in Ashford is rapidly put into place, with one minor modification, as well as, or in place of, the exam a report produced by the *censored*’s teachers in their final two years of primary *censored*, giving a professional assessment of the abilities of the *censored*. This I would suggest is the form of continuous assessment that many people have been talking about and should be used by the grammar *censored*s as part of their own selection criteria. Only those pupils that teachers think are suitable for a grammar *censored* should have these reports and any possible exam mark forwarded to the grammar *censored*. Interviews can then take place as Mary Smith suggests. Two final points that people may wish to contemplate: A major handicap to a *censored*’s development past the age of eleven is not just the ability of the individual *censored*, but the attitudes and behaviour of others. On many occasions I personally felt like giving up and walking away from my grammar *censored* education due to the poor behavioural standards and attitudes of some of my "fellow" students. These students whilst not to be denied an education should NOT be allowed to get it AT THE EXPENSE OF EVERYBODY ELSE! Teachers and *censored*s should be allowed to remove disruptive pupils and have them taught somewhere else. When a teacher says that a *censored* has been misbehaving and disruptive, appropriate action should be taken, if that means permanent expulsion then so be it. If you cannot or will not trust the word of a teacher then please install CCTV cameras so that you can believe your own eyes. Many a *censored*’s education has been ruined by such atrocious behaviour. It was not acceptable in the sixties and seventies, it is not acceptable now. Secondly, be honest about your *censored*’s abilities. Many parents will want the best for their *censored*ren, but pushing them through extra tuition and tutoring to get them into a grammar *censored* will be more soul destroying than almost any other action you might take. As such and as a delight to all primary *censored* pupils everywhere, all homework should therefore be abolished. *censored*ren should be encouraged to read about science, literature geography and history and many other subjects, but setting homework will simply undermine any teacher based continuous assessment.
Thu Apr 8 55:57:89 7559