Tag Archive | Worcester

Rod Stewart’s Magnificent, 124′ HO-Scale Model Railway (Depicting An U.S. Cityscape).

by Anura Guruge


From the U.K. “Daily Mail”



Click to ENLARGE.
Use the link at top to access the U.K. “Daily Mail” original.



WOW. Now that is a layout!

I could not — I would not — even aspire to anything of that detail, thoroughness and competence. Never knew that he was an avid and gifted model railroader, though it appears it was fairly well known in the right circles.

“Maggie May” was a hit in 1971 when I was at University (in Swansea). I became a big fan. I eventually got to see him, perform live, in the lates 1980s, in Worcester, Massachusetts.

I will confess that I am a bit perturbed and disappointed that he opted for an U.S. motif. But, to be fair, that gave him the most scope for doing the buildings and surroundings. Nothing in the U.K. could have, realistically, been that busy and included both passenger and freight.

I am impressed and humbled. Way to go, Rod. Bravo.


Related posts:
Search on ‘trains‘.


by Anura Guruge

Elephants In Manchester, NH: There Are Here And The Next Parade …


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
  by Anura Guruge


1. The elephants are in Manchester, NH. They should be, out in the open, in the car park, behind the Verizon arena. They are hard to hide.

2. The elephants should be going back to the train, via Auburn St. and Elm St., after the last show — the question is WHEN?

3. Their next show is not until Wednesday, October 3, 2012 in Worcester, MA. I don’t know what happens in the interim. In prior years Manchester was always the last stop and they dashed off ‘home’ as soon as the last show was completed.


Related Posts:
Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH: THE Stop Press UPDATE Wednesday (Sept. 26)Sept. 26, 2012.
Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH — Free (& Gratis) Thanks To Barnum & Bailey CircusSept. 25, 2012.
The Circus Is Coming To Town; Barnum & Bailey, This Week, In Manchester, NH Sept. 24, 2012.
It’s A Girl, All of 316 Pounds — Another Ringling Brothers Circus ElephantSept. 26, 2012.

elephant parade sign Manchester, NH

From the 2008 elephant parade in Manchester, NH.


I genuinely feel bad for those that wanted to see the elephants yesterday, but missed it. I, as you can see from my updates, tried to do my best: I called the police (twice), I called the arena (twice) and even called up FELD (the parent company of the circus). I thank all of those that helped by sending me comments. About three years ago we too went mid-week to see the elephants arrive with Teischan. The train was about 90 minutes late. We saw it come in. We saw the elephants in the cars. But, we couldn’t wait for the parade because we had to get back home to meet Devanee’s school bus. But, we saw the parade on Sunday of that year.


I am in Alton. The last time I was in Manchester, actually Bedford, was a week ago. So I have no visibility as to what is happening at the Arena is real time.

I checked WMUR last night and this morning. I might have missed it but I can’t see any reports about the elephants or the circus — though one of our readers told us yesterday that she saw the WMUR van pulling up.

I also checked the Facebook page for and the Tweets from the Arena. Again I might not be seeing it. They talk about the circus being here but there is no mention of the elephants or the parade yesterday.

So here is my new druthers. The elephants might have become a new security issue. Yes, the circus is continuing to get a lot of flack about their treatment of animals. WMUR has an article about protests in Manchester against the circus. This could be why they are ALL being so evasive. Elephants, even the best trained ones, are easy to spook. So if a demonstrator did something crazy we could have a bad situation. Yes, I have experienced runaway elephants first hand, albeit this was a baby, maybe 1 year old. It was at a fair, an Expo, in Colombo in the 1960s. The elephant had been brought in as an attraction. Since it was still a baby people were not that concerned. Something happened, and it decides to take off. My parents were working a ‘stall’ (maybe it was my mother’s orphanage). It wasn’t a tent. They had long rows of storage unit like concrete enclosures. The elephants started going into each of these. It was agitated and all the commotion being made by the people was scaring it. I have never seen a bull in a china shop, but a baby elephant in a exhibition stall sure creates a stir. The poor elephant. It meant no harm. It just didn’t know what to do. I still remember this. My father, an academic, is not what anybody would call a physical, outdoor type person. But, he took a huge swipe at the elephant and whacked it on its rump to keep it from going into the stall where my mother and others were. I was impressed. I don’t think it really hurt the elephant. I think the elephant was a bit shorter than my father, and he is about 5′ 9″. So the elephant was still a baby, but of respectable size. He ran up and down those stalls, trunk in the air, tail up and squeaking. It ran by me a couple of times. I wasn’t scared. It wasn’t hurting anyone and even as kids we knew that. It was just big and knocked over everything in its path. They caught him in the end. He wasn’t punished. As I said yesterday baby elephants are like big puppies. They like to play; they just have no idea how big they are.

So, I think this is the issue. The circus, the arena and Manchester PD want to play down the presence of the elephants this year. If so, I understand. This is not Ceylon. If an elephant breaks rank on Elm St. the police will probably shoot it though you need special bullets to really fell an elephant, with one shot. Yes, elephants do get shot in Ceylon/Sri Lanka — but not that often. Yes, I remember one going rogue during the famous, annual, ‘Temple of the Tooth’ August parade when I was a child. They had to shoot the elephant, though it was the fault of the keeper. Elephants go into ‘Musk’ — a bit like ‘heat’. They tend to be excitable when in Musk. But, it is hard to miss  Musk. When it musk they secrete an unmistakable an oily liquid from glands behind their eyes. You try not to take bull elephants in Musk on parades. I haven’t checked off late. Yes, in Sri Lanka where elephants walk the roads and work the land every day, and we have parades with lots of elephants, all decked up, pulling electric generators to power up all the lights on them, quite a few times a year, a few accidents do occur.

I am assuming, I am hoping that there will be a ‘closing’ parade on Sunday, the last show in Manchester starting at 4 pm and most likely ending by 6 or 6:30 pm. In past years the elephants started their walk back about 1 hour after the end of the show. They were a bit late last year. Not sure what will happen this year. Their next show is not until Wednesday. So they might stay the night in Manchester. Maybe all day Monday as well. If I find out more I will update this post.


Elephant parade in Kandy, Sri Lanka; an annual event in August to celebrate the holy relic of the Buddha’s tooth. The elephant in the middle here, on his back, in the lit ‘pagoda’, is carrying a replica of the tooth. There were years when you would get 80 to 90, decked up elephants. There is a parade everyday for a week! Millions attend. Smaller parades take place all over the country. So these are the kinds of elephant parades I am used to.

It’s A Girl, All of 316 Pounds — Another Ringling Brothers Circus Elephant


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
  by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH — Free (& Gratis) Thanks To Barnum & Bailey CircusSept. 25, 2012.
The Circus Is Coming To Town; Barnum & Bailey, This Week, In Manchester, NHSept. 24, 2012.


A happy coincidence (not serendipity). As I am trying to keep folks updated about the Elephant Parade in Manchester, NH, I get this e-mail from the circus.

Yes, I am on their mailing list.

Wow. I have checked out their ‘Elephant Center‘.

Though I have never visited it (my last visit to Sri Lanka having been in 1992, for 72 hours, for my mother’s funeral, having accompanied her body from Paris), but I am very conversant with the deservedly famous Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka.

I know that Ringling Bros. have taken a lot of ‘stick’ of late about elephant cruelty. Yes, I have watched, with discomfort, some of the videos. I am torn. I have seen elephants trained in both Sri Lanka and Thailand. Yes, there is sometimes a degree of roughness.

One thing I do know: most civilized folks cannot be mean towards an elephant. They are way, way, way cuter than puppies! Baby elephants are a riot. You can play with them. They will roll over on their backs for you so that you can scratch their belly. Just like puppies they love it. Their ‘little’ legs will waggle in the air. As they get big, say 3 months, they will expect you to wrestle them to the ground — in play. They will follow you around — the house! No, alas, we never owned any elephants. It is kind of an expensive pastime and you need the space. We were not rich. But, we had friends who owned elephants. Sri Lankan houses have polished (often colored) cement floors; which is like marble, but without any seams. So cleaning up after a baby elephant, where the droppings are in the main very fibrous, isn’t too hard or bad — and if you own elephants you will also have a large cadre of servants.

So, this was a nice tie-in with the circus coming to town.

Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH: THE Stop Press UPDATE Wednesday (Sept. 26)


Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

….
  by Anura Guruge

**** See 2014 Update here ****


Remember there will be another elephant parade (same route, but in reverse) Sunday. That is much easier to time.
Will be ~1 hour after the end of the last show. I will keep you posted on that.
********************

UPDATE
‘Just now’: Comment: ‘I own a business 50 feet from where they keep the elephants and I have not seen anything go by all day.’

3:52: Verizon says animals are already at the arena. So the parade is OVER. OK. Hope some of you got to see it.

3:42 pm: Another comment from a different reader: ‘The Verizon Facebook page says that the elephants have already arrived at the arena‘. OK.

3:23 pm: Just had this comment from a reader: ‘FYI, I have a view of the tracks from my office, and a train pulling Barnum & Bailey cars is definitely on the tracks right now being adjusted, and I’m watching the WMUR news van pull out (they’re next to each other). Could be something soon!’ So the train is here. If you are going to watch, I would head out now. They will probably shoot for 4;30 pm. So, go, GO, GO. Many thanks to our helpful reader. This is great. PR guy from FELD has yet to call.

2:45 pm: I called up FELD Entertainment, the parent company of the circus in VA. They don’t know either, BUT they say they will find out and call me back. Just left a message for Steve Payne their Corporate P.R. person. So, lets see if he will help us. Told them how keen we are in NH to see the pachyderms.

2:27 pm: Verizon Arena is not being too helpful! All they will say is that the train is not here as yet, and yes, it is delayed. They are adamant they have no idea as to when it might arrive. The elephants can walk in the dark, not that Elm St. ever gets that dark. So the train could come in ‘tonight’. AGAIN, a lot of this is because this, i.e., Manchester being the 1st stop of the tour as opposed to last, is new.

11:49 am, Wednesday, Sept. 26 — I checked with the Verizon Arena (tel: (603) 644-5000). The train is definitely delayed. They do not have an ETA as yet. They think it will still be today. I will check again and keep updating this post. So come back.


Related Posts:
Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH — Free (& Gratis) Thanks To Barnum & Bailey CircusSept. 25, 2012.
The Circus Is Coming To Town; Barnum & Bailey, This Week, In Manchester, NHSept. 24, 2012.


Just (10:40 am, Wednesday, Sept. 26) spoke with Manchester Police INFORMATION at (603) 668-8711. (not 911). Got transferred 3 times but eventually got the lady with the scoop.

There was a police detail scheduled for this morning for the elephant parade but the circus has JUST called in and cancelled it!

They did not reschedule it or book another one — as yet.

As I did say in my post yesterday, this is A CIRCUS so things can be a circus. I am sure there are coming to town. My druthers has always been that they will come Thursday morning.

Why the confusion? This is the first time they have STARTED in Manchester, NH rather than do the final performance in our fair, Queen City. So in the past they would come here after they did their shows in Worcester, MA. They would come the next morning after the final show in Worcester. So that was easy enough to work out.

I will try to keep you posted. Cheers.

%d bloggers like this: