It is reported that the world’s first traffic light was installed in London one hundred and fifty years ago on 9 December 1868; it was gas powered and exploded owing to a gas leak, and the experiment was abandoned … for the time being.

Now traffic lights: red, amber, green,
Are everywhere now to be seen,
But who would guess they’ve been here since,
Around the time that Albert, Prince,
Fell poorly and so popped his clogs,
In one of those thick pea soup fogs.

They put it up, it ran on gas,
A policemen changed it – STOP or PASS;
But sadly, it seems, there were leaks,
And then before they could make tweaks,
It had just changed from GO to STOP,
When the policeman heard a pop.

The pop was loud, his hat blew off,
(The proper word for this is doff).
And he began to feel the heat,
As he was blown right down the street.

He picked himself up, he was hurt,
So these lights that had seemed a cert,
We’re taken up, put back to bed,
Until the Amber, green and red,
Could be provided day and night,
More safely with electric light.


Hi viz vests

It is reported that the French Government has given in to the yellow vest protesters and promised to delay the planned tax increase on fuel for six months.

So Macron has now given in,
Which last week he said was a sin,
And so now with his tax delay,
The people will not have to pay,
The higher price for diesel fuel,
Which makes their cars go as a rule.

The gilet jaunes say, “Thanks a lot.
It means the money we have got,
Will now go further than before,
So, for the moment, nous t’adore.

But this is only for a while,
And Macron likely wears a smile,
Because he thinks in six months time,
He will have had months free of crime.

But, in fact, we all know the drill:
We will be demonstrating still,
With throwing bricks and torching cars,
And smashing windows in the bars.

But torching cars does, as a rule,
Involve the use of diesel fuel,
And until now we had concern,
The diesel we would have to burn,
Would likely be – how do you say? –,
More than we could afford to pay.

So Macron’s very kind response,
Which he announced not twice, but once,
Means we can buy the fuel we need,
To carry on with our misdeeds.

So Macron’s plan has now backfired,
The outcome’s not what he desired,
For the effect of this delay,
Is we don’t have so much to pay,
So can continue our protests,
Dressed in our trademark yellow vests!”


Cup drinks-1477040_960_720

It is reported that buffet staff on South Western Trains refused to fill Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s own reusable cup owing to company policy based on safety concerns.

You’ve heard of the wrong type of snow,
Which can mean that the trains don’t go,
And also there’s from time to time,
That dreaded thing – leaves on the line.

Trains have to cope with all of this,
So travel plans don’t go amiss,
But there are other problems which,
Lead travellers to moan and bitch.

One such of these could be the cup,
That’s filled with tea to pep you up,
And normal ones are single use,
For coffee, tea or even juice.

So some people take their own cup,
And ask the man to fill it up;
Increasingly, this is OK,
And can save money, by the way.

But South West Trains, it seems today,
Are none too keen this game to play,
And they say their hot water spout,
Might splatter boiling water out.

It’s not adjustable, they say,
And consequently now, today,
They only can one trip cups use,
And other types they must refuse.

In spite of this, all is not lost,
For even with the increased cost,
The earth they don’t want to abuse,
So will compostable cups use.

That this will help we are quite sure,
And though the cups will not be fewer,
They will all go to make compost,
And will not in the sea be lost.

So drink your drink and give a cheer,
The railway folk are quite sincere,
And I’m sure it will all be fine,
Unless there’s compost on the line!



It is reported that police in London have reduced the incidence of scooter crime by the new technique of ramming scooters to knock the thieves off their bikes.

It seems strange in this day and age,
When Health and Safety’s all the rage,
That police might H and S rules bend,
A scooter thief to apprehend.

It is, one might say, common sense,
To try to minimise the chance,
That scooter thieves might get away,
While those pursuing have to pray,
Since they can put on quite a spurt,
That other people don’t get hurt.

So now they’ve come up with a ruse,
This situation to defuse,
For they will ram them I can say,
To stop them getting far away.

The bike goes crash, the thief falls off,
He likely drops the stolen stuff,
And while he’s sprawled out on the ground,
They cuff him ere he comes around.

And that is it, he’s led away,
He’ll be in court another day,
And this new common sense approach,
Although not quite beyond reproach,
Seems it works almost every time,
And helps stamp out this type of crime.



It is reported that the Leaning Tower of Pisa has straightened up a bit.

In Italy the tourist scene,
Revolves around that which does lean,
Folk flock there in their thousands and,
Discover that it’s built on sand.

More accurately, sands and clays,
And back in mediaeval days,
This mix was softer at one side,
Resulting in a sort of slide.

When I say ‘slide’ I do mean ‘tilt’,
Because the tower was jerry-built,
And when they reached floor number three,
With tilting there for all to see,
They stopped not to the footings shore,
And carried on past level four.

Eventually, as decades passed,
They reached the top, complete with mast,
And then in decades still to come,
It leant a bit more and then some.

Surprisingly, it didn’t fall,
Not just one bit, no not at all;
But in the end the main concern,
Was that the money it could earn,
Might finish, maybe or perhaps,
If Pisa’s landmark should collapse.

So first they tried to add some weight,
In tons, I think, some twenty-eight,
And, though there was a bit of flak,
The tower started leaning back.

But since then methods have improved,
And with more work the tower’s moved,
A bit more vertical, I think,
And that much further from the brink.

The work now finished was quite wise,
It sought the lean to stabilise,
And now it’s done there is no risk,
And tourist trade is rather brisk.


plane cartoon jet-145468_960_720

It is reported that a pilot with Flybe who was sacked after he developed a fear of flying has won his appeal against unfair dismissal.

A pilot should be quite alert,
Not saying that his brain does hurt,
While sitting in the briefing room,
Imagining impending doom.

For in a minute he will fly,
An aeroplane up in the sky,
And if he’s frightened of the flight,
He’ll struggle then to do things right.

This happened, though, at Flybe,
Where one pilot announced that he,
Could not now fly the aeroplane,
And likely would not do again.

They thought a bit then he was sacked,
For mentally he had now cracked,
And with this ailment it was plain,
This pilot wouldn’t fly again.

The pilot, though, appealed his case,
Said, “Though I’m not a flying ace,
I can still read and write, it’s true,
So there’s a desk job I can do.”

The judge said, “Yes, you are quite right,
That job is different from a flight,
And it will keep you right away,
From taking me on holiday!



It is reported that the bad British weather and road conditions will be a boost to driverless cars in the UK; if the technology can crack our roads it will work anywhere!

The British weather’s pretty bad,
Because of all the rain we’ve had,
And many years the seasons are,
Unpleasant, then, for any car.

For we have snow and wind and sleet,
Which aren’t exactly like a treat,
And if there’s sun – what a surprise –
It’s low and shining in our eyes.

Such things are difficult – they are –
For all types of self-driving car,
And so they’ll have to be quite good,
To get you through the rain and mud.

Compare this to the the USA,
Where they’re designing them today;
The weather each day is the same,
And very seldom is there rain.

There, in respect of mud and rain,
The weather forecasters’ refrain,
From mentioning them in forecasts,
For if there is some it won’t last.

Their roads are pretty smooth as well,
While some round here can seem like hell,
As cracks and potholes make them rough,
And for self-driving cars that’s tough.

So potholes and the weather too,
Make self-driving quite hard to do,
And systems meant for roads like these,
Will cope with anything with ease.

So if you want to have self-drive,
And at the same time stay alive,
I really think you better had,
Pick one from where the weather’s bad.