TRIVIA: Practices that are peculiar to the UK

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AY1975, 8 Oct 2019.

  1. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Baked Beans are a peculiar UK delicacy.
     
  2. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I’m fairly sure this sequence is used in Sweden, although it’s been a while since I’ve been.

    My entry: that thinking that removing your country from the world’s largest trading block is a good thing to do.
     
  3. Billy A

    Billy A Member

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    I was in Sweden last week and yes, they have the same sequence, as does Germany. Interestingly, in the old days the DDR used to have an extra combination in their traffic light sequence so they went green, orange+green, orange, red.
    German toilets and their peculiar arrangements are a thing best not discussed.
     
  4. Devonian

    Devonian New Member

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    So I will merely note that those strange loos became the standard British design when Twyfords were first to manufacture them - we just moved on quite quickly!

    Having worked with overseas tourists for many years, and dealt with their complaints, the lack of full-power sockets in the bathroom seems to be a (fairly sensible) British oddity. And given the number of times I have been inadvertently sworn at, making a hand gesture indicating the number two with the palm facing outwards is unusual too.

    It's clicheed, but our insistance on saying 'please' and 'thank you' for even the most trifling request or action (such as being given a till receipt or moving slightly aside on the pavement) caused amusement and bafflement in equal measure, as did saying 'sorry' when it is not your fault.

    One device that is, and could only be, extremely British is the Teasmade. Our visitors assumed that they were some sort of joke.
     
  5. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

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    Probably not so much a thing in the era of Travelodges & Premier Inns, but at one time no hotel catering to the "commercial gentleman" would be without a Corby Trouser Press in every room.

    I've travelled all over the world on business and never come across this piece of apparatus anywhere outside mainland Britain.
     
  6. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Paying for your drink/food at the bar rather than after you have drunk/eaten it.

    For once, I think our system is better than continental as, sometimes, when you have finished you need to get away (for a bus/train etc) and you can be hanging around waiting for someone to take your money (and return your change) and even if you go back to the bar to pay - the barman may have gone missing.
     
  7. SHD

    SHD Member

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    The UK literally has dozens of generic odonyms. On top of my head:

    Street, avenue, lane, road, place, terrace, mall, embankment, gardens, court, alley, mews, park, crescent, drive, passage, meadows, grove, embankment, close, way, hill, walk, covert, approach...

    this beautiful variety is a distinguishing factor!
     
    Last edited: 9 Oct 2019
  8. dgl

    dgl Member

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    This is partially due to the fact that a UK socket (Type G?) is not rated for a continuous draw of 13A, with 10A being generally regarded as the maximum continuous load, and in some areas as even less.
     
  9. Lucan

    Lucan Member

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    That would be part of the move by councils to cut their collection costs (under the guise of "saving the planet"). There are councils now talking about collecting only once a month.

    I remember my father re-wiring our 1930's house (before anyone blows a gasket, he was competent) from radial to ring main. You would not be so keen on radials if you saw what he found. There was (as built) nothing like a separate spur to each socket, more like ever-branching fans of wires from a few 30 amp fuses.

    I'm pretty sure that they originated in puritan communities in the USA. They were not allowed to cook on a Sunday so they left the beans on a slow fire the previous day. Comes to mind words of a song in "Oklahoma", when the singer's boat had come in or something like that : "Hand me down that can o'beans, I'm throwing it away". The tomato sauce may have been a later addition.

    Also very common in country areas where some properties are down rough narrow side lanes without turning space etc. I have a post box on the road.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I prefer it too. No risk of forgetting, no question of what you've had and no pressure to tip because you pay before you've received the service so you can't know if it's justified or not (though you do have the option of "buying them a drink" as I have done occasionally).

    It also gives rise to the British custom of buying rounds, which is not only about sharing the cost but also that of the effort of physically getting the drinks.
     
  11. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And a double socket isn't rated the same as two singles, on the basis that you're not very likely to want to plug in 2 3kW electric heaters next to one another, you're more likely to have them on opposite sides of the room.
     
  12. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    They're not reducing the frequency of collections (they will still be fortnightly, alternate weeks for rubbish and recycling).

    The main reason is that many people leave their wheelie bins out in the back lanes. The bins get knocked around/stolen and rubbish spills out. So yes, it will save the council money in not having to replace wheelie bins and not having to pick up so much litter. But it's not going to save much (if anything) in labour costs for actually emptying the bins.

    In areas where there aren't back lanes, they're not changing anything.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Radials aren't a separate spur to each socket (though you could do that there isn't really any reason you'd want to other than for a cooker or similar). They run from socket to socket like ring mains, it's just that both ends aren't linked to the consumer unit, and unlike a ring main the cable is fully protected by the breaker/fuse. You're allowed to run fused and unfused spurs off them (with constraints) too.

    Most houses have radial circuits for e.g. lighting - even though people term it "the lighting ring" it usually isn't, only sockets tend to be on rings.
     
  14. Royston Vasey

    Royston Vasey Established Member

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    Not true. Huge variety and quantity of baked beans in most US supermarkets. Often with bacon and other flavourings and usually heavily sweetened
     
  15. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    dare I say train spotting? ( in the sense we all know it rather than an interest in railways)
     
  16. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Yes. Because there are no train spotters abroad.
     
  17. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I don't know if there are. I am asking. Do people abroad write down train numbers like we do in this country? Do they have bus spotters or plane spotters?
     
  18. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    In which case, I misinterpreted. I apologise.

    The simple answer is 'yes'. A more complicated answer is 'yes, but not to the extent as the UK, and possibly not in the same 'style''.
     
  19. TRAX

    TRAX Member

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    I’ve never seen or heard of train spotting here in France (in the sense of ticking units on which you’ve ridden and writing down numbers).
     
  20. dgl

    dgl Member

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    Apart from some higher quality/industrial sockets like the MK metalclad range.
     
  21. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    I have read somewhere that the UK consumes more baked beans than the rest of the world put together.
     
  22. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

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    Explains why these islands are so damned windy.
     
  23. Marton

    Marton Member

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    I thought baked beans were based on cassoulet, hence the ones with sausages.
     
  24. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Trains running late. As that never happens abroad. Ever.
     
  25. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I don't think the recording of loco numbers as a hobby would have happened without the publication of the Ian Allen books of loco numbers. People were observing trains, and still do in this country and abroad, but the hobby of ticking off the loco numbers couldn't happen without a list of locos to tick off. The list gave the spotters something to aim for, the locos that they hadn't yet "got". That I suggest why it took off in this country, but not elsewhere where such lists were not published.
     
  26. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    I still have the label off a Swedish tin of Heinz baked beans, so they are definitely not peculiar to the UK. Several decades ago when I was sent to live and work in Sweden, not speaking Swedish, they were one of the few tins in the supermarket that I could be confident what the contents were.

    However, the English Breakfast, of which they are an essential part, is undeniably a British peculiarity.
     
  27. Shaw S Hunter

    Shaw S Hunter Established Member

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    They may not be Corbys but trouser presses can most definitely be found in hotels elsewhere. I have certainly come across them in Germany and Singapore.

    The practice of actually writing down and collecting numbers or registrations may be almost exclusively a British thing but transport enthusiasts certainly exist elsewhere. "Railfanning" is common enough in the US and Australia as well as being less obvious in places like Germany and Switzerland. And it could be argued that aviation fans are rather more "serious" in Germany and the Netherlands as there seems to be much less of a "froth" factor about the hobby in those places. Anecdotally most US airport police/security officials understand what British planespotters are doing even if in many places they prefer that such activity is undertaken in a manner that is not visible to the average paranoid US air passenger: 9/11 completely "changed the game" for Brit planespotters over there.
     
  28. StKeverne1497

    StKeverne1497 New Member

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    Irregular lurker but I've registered so that I can state that the above is categorically not true. BS1363 is designed to be able to deliver a continuous 13A at a socket and is actually somewhat over-engineered for this purpose. Obviously there are limits on the total current that a single circuit can supply, but the post-war engineers who designed this system knew what they were doing. If the circuit is fused at 30A or 32A and installed according to regulations you can even take 2x13A from adjacent outlets, i.e. a double-socket, without problem.
    I could go on for ages about the way the system is engineered and the convenience and safety features that are built-in to both radial and (yes) ring topology final circuits but one step at a time, eh?
    And to think - I only looked in today to see if anyone was commenting on TfW's revised plans which include keeping Pacers beyond January 1st...
    K.
     
  29. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Including presumably, the English breakfast in a tin.
     
  30. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    (My bolding) A new word for my vocabulary !
     

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