D-Day experiences brought to life in Southsea – Zella Compton

I visited the D-Day Story at the weekend. Formerly known as the D-Day Museum, it’s still just as epic, squatting on the common with its fabulous embroidery and story of the events leading up to, and after, June 5, 1944.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 4:18 pm
The D-Day Story, formerly D-Day Museum, Southsea

The café is brilliant too with fat cakes, and is open to the public to pop in and enjoy even if they don’t have time to look around fully. 

I was there with a group of young men who are performing one on my plays – Five Beaches. It was written to commemorate the 70th anniversary, based on my great uncle’s and other veterans’ experiences, and has been brought back to life by a group from Bay House School who’re showing it during June.

We need a major rethink on public transport 

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It comes as no surprise that a recent investigation into national bus prices has revealed that we pay more in the regions than people do in big cities like, for example, London. 

There are seemingly a whole load of complex issues and calculations like regulation and deregulation, and ownership and leasing of vehicles, and all sorts.

But essentially the essence is that we’re left with a fragmented system for which we’re paying a higher price.


I don’t use the bus very often at all because of the price.

If it were cheaper it would be a viable option to leave my car at home and walk the mile to the bus stop.

But I weigh up time to walk, time to travel, coming back again and then stick cost on top of that – it’s not worth it.

But I understand that lots of people don’t have the luxury of a car, and for them the bus is the only option.

In Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, there’s a thriving transport industry made from people movers and mini-mini-buses – not the ones we think of for school sports teams, much smaller, just bigger than a car really.

As well as buses and taxis, these mini-vans are following main routes and appear when they have enough people on them to get going with a very affordable fee to travel compared to other options. 

I’m not suggesting that we adopt this model of piling as many people as possible into as small a space as possible (plus their luggage) or coming at erratic times.

But it’s interesting to think about why we still appear to be wedded to massive buses when the numbers using them have declined?

Why can’t we (I’m using that in the royal sense) offer ‘bus’ services in much, much smaller vehicles? 

It feels to me that we’re stuck in a model of providing local transport based on the concept of ‘bus’ being giant and unwieldy.

Whereas if we started again with ‘shared transport’, maybe we could turn it around and make it affordable, and at useful times for those who are not on main routes.

Are snowflakes weak or have you just run out of insults? 

Last week I was accused of being a ‘snowflake’.  It is the battle-cry of the few who have finally realised grouping people together and having a go at those with different behaviours and opinions is fundamentally wrong.

Well done for catching up with the rest of us.

How perfect a word like ‘snowflake’ is to use. It could apply to anyone whatever their race, gender, sexual preference – so no one will object too much.

On the surface it’s seemingly about being emotionally weak and unable to cope with different opinions. But underneath, it’s just another insult when the old-fashioned ones are no longer acceptable and there’s nothing relevant left to say.