News & Views from Nottingham Photographer Paul 'Spike' Reddington

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BT = Bust Telephone, Broadband Terminated

BT own the exchanges and the cables to your house. So if they break, their sister company Openreach will fix them. Hopefully.

BT own the exchanges and the cables to your house. So if they break, their sister company Openreach will fix them. Hopefully.

Never mind Angry Birds, I’m an Angry B’trd as we’ve been without telephone or broadband for 15 days – and the guy at the call centre today says “they don’t know when it will be fixed”

So this blog post is being sent with a Heath Robinson hook-up via my mobile connected to my computer.

Now BT don’t need to perform, because it’s their way or the highway. In fact, Remember when they were calling it ‘The Information Superhighway’? Best we get is 2MB on a good day, with the wind behind the telephone wires…

On Friday 10th October, our telephone stopped working and the broadband slowed to a virtually unusable 30kbps. So I reported the fault, with dire automated warnigns that I would have to pay £195 callout fee if it was a fault with my wiring! Gulp.

I have been given many dates that the fault was going to be fixed, beginning with Wednesday 15th (which I thought was slow service), yet each time has come and gone with no fix. Sometimes the broadband loses it’s pathetically slow broadband connection altogether for a day or two. All my emailing and web browsing is done via my phone.

Sometimes I get a text from 61998 advising that BT Engineers have advised of an extended delay to fix my fault, sometimes not. If I reply to this text then I get a reply saying “Thank you for your question. One of our advisors will look into this and text you back with the answer soon”.

But I don’t get a reply.

If I all to report the fault, I usually get BT’s Indian call centre, who are always very polite, and this is a summary of what happens:

I get an apology from the representative. Then they contact ‘the engineers’ or ‘Openreach’, whilst I hold. They come back to me with various reasons for the fault, such as wires having to be replaced, waiting for a permit to dig up the road etc – even though our lines are on telegraph poles!

There’s a promise that it will be fixed tomorrow, or sometimes in a couple of days, although on my call today to a Geordie accented chap he told me ‘they didn’t know when it would be fixed”

The call centre worker promises to call back the next day to see how I’m getting on, and sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

But today, I saw two Openreach vans at a neighbour’s house. They were fixing her phone, which was also off. I was gobsmacked to learn that the engineers hadn’t even been given a work detail to fix our fault!

One of them explained it was to do with a problem with the Telegraph Poles, which were rotten and it was a Health & Safety issue, meaning wires could not be replaced. They had a manager looking into it. I said “how about giving us Fibre Optic lines?” and he laughed.

Fair play to the Openreach engineer, he has telephoned his manager (on a mobile of course) and now got permission to start to work on our fault. He has managed to get a dial tone back, but the phone still does not work for incoming or outgoing calls.  But at least I have a nice soothing dialtone to listen too when I get frustrated by it all!

Spike client Handelsbanken gets press coverage in Nottingham POST

Spike Photography client Handelsbanken’s new office is in the news today. The official opening of their West Bridgford branch was celebrated with a drinks and canapes party and I was there to record the event for posterity – and the POST!

Branch manager Ian Davys knows me from way back, we often bump into each other at events for Nottingham’s great and the good, so it was a no-brainer for me when he asked me to take some great photographs of him and the team at his new outpost of the Handelsbanken empire.

Behind Ian and Neil Clarke, Leader of Rushcliffe Council, is part of a mural of photographs I took for their boardroom – and it looks amazing – even though I say so myself ;-)

Handelsbanken West Bridgford opens

Branch manager Ian Davys greets Councillor Neil Clarke, leader of Rushcliffe Council, who own The Point, where Handelsbanken’s West Bridgford branch has opened.

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes – World’s Best Explorer

Sir Ranulph Fiennes - World's Best Explorer

Dianne Allen, President of Nottingham City Business Club with Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Today I photographed Sir Ranulph at Nottingham when he spoke to the Business Club. His story was like something out of a Boy’s Own adventure – but true! He told how he started his climbing carreer on Public School drainpipes, then onto his gung-ho antics in the army and SAS, then clearly not quite wringing enough excitement out of life, how he went on various expeditions which would make the bravest man think twice.

After seeing photos of frostbitten fingers and toes, I had to wonder why his wanderlust drove him to such extremes, but unfortunately he didn’t touch on his big reason why…

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Train Station Adopters keep things green, clean and tidy

Train Station Adopters keep things green, clean and tidy

Staff from East Midlands Trains joined volunteers who help keep their local train stations clean, tidy and looking great. The big ‘Thank you’ to the ‘Station Adopters’ coincided with National Volunteers Week and also Stagecoach Group’s Green Week.

Volunteers carry out tasks using their DIY skills and green fingers – all to help their local train station environments greener, nicer places.

If you are interested in finding out more, go to http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/information/community-environment/work-in-the-community/station-adoption/

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Paul ‘Spike’ Reddington meets Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch

Paul 'Spike' Reddington meets Carl 'The Cobra' Froch

One of my favourite restaurants, Savai in Nottingham has undergone a superb revamp inside, and there were a host of regulars there on Sunday to see Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch officially relaunch the popular Italian venue.

I had chance to chat to the ten-times world, five British and eight Commonwealth title winner and despite winding me up to start with, saying I can’t photograph him because of ‘image rights’ (could have been true!) he was very much a ‘man of the people’

Carl gave out gifts to people who had helped in the refurb and was patient enough to be snapped by me, another guy shooting video and dozens of iPhone-weilding snappers!

The Cobra is rapidly turning into Nottingham’s own Frank Bruno – and he deserves every success.

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All the gorgeous girls are in Nottingham

All the gorgeous girls are in Nottingham

Charlotte Meadwell (left) and Lynda Reddington of Nottingham Property Investors Network meeting at the EMPO Expo Nottingham Landlord’s Show held at East Midlands Conference Centre on Tuesday.

Heyyy! Happy Days as Spike meets ‘The Fonz’ on a photoshoot – cool!

Paul ‘Spike’ Reddington meets up with Children’s author and actor Henry ‘The Fonz’ Winkler OBE at a presentation for Achievement for All in Cotgrave, Nottingham.

I photographed Henry Winkler OBE at a presentation for ‘Achievement for All’ at a school in Cotgrave, Nottingham, tonight. Much loved as an actor, especially as ‘Fonzie’ in Happy Days, he is now a successful children’s author, despite having to deal with dyslexia.

He is one of the most charming men I’ve ever come across – no celebrity airs and graces and plenty of time for ‘normal’ people. I told him that I have a ‘Nip-It’ pinball machine which he remembered as the one in Arnold’s Cafe. Lovely guy, who was appointed an honorary OBE for his educational work on dyslexia in the UK.

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