Turf Blog 07-11-23

Turf Zone – Musselburgh

Met a man walking his dog the other day while out turfing down at Newbattle Abbey, Dalkeith. We got to talking about collecting and he recalled how he used to “collect” railway locomotive numbers. Standing at freezing cold railway stations with notebook and pen (yes, analogue in those days!) carefully jotting down the locomotive numbers and getting excited when an unrecorded locomotive thundered into the station. This got be thinking about how I could integrate the theme of collecting into Turf.

There is one idea I’ve always wished there was a series of turf medals for and that is for “collecting” train stations. Okay, there is the Trainer medal where you take a train station zone each day for 30 days but that’s not quite the same as collecting them. Now, a few facts and figures about zones with the train station attribute. In the United Kingdom there are 2243 zones with the train station attribute, with Scotland holding 237 of them.

To date I’ve taken 24 train station zones, all of them in Scotland. And I must say I was surprised at just how many I’d taken and also how many there are in total. In addition, there are also zones located where there used to be train stations in the past. For example, zone SignsOfHumans, TwoHares and RiverNorthEsk all once had stations at them and there are many others. This gives me an idea for another unofficial Planet Gary Turf medal, Ghost Stations. Interesting.

Train station zones taken so far: Aberdour, Brunstane, DalmenySt, DunbarSt, Eskbank, FalkirkHigh, GalashielsSt, GoreBridgeSt, HaymarketRail, Kingsknowe, LongniddrySt, Musselburgh, Newcraighall, Newtongrange, NorthBerwick, PerthStation, Prestonpans, QueensferryN, Shawfair, Slateford, TweedbankSt, Wallyford, Waverley and WesterHailes.

Another idea I’ve looked at for Turf “collecting” is the matter of First To Take, or FTT, for short. And strangely enough, I’ve also taken 24 of them. As follows:

AuldChester, BlowLoun, BonnyriggPath, Butlerfield, ByLoretto, Chester’sGlare, Dalhousie, DamnedFish, EquinoxZone, GlamisCastle, GroveFarm, HolyDalkeith, InnerTemple, KirkCockpen, LinghillFarm, ManyFeet, MinersWalked, MrPink, PisaForest, SandQuarry, SelfStruggle, SignsOfHumans, TheOldMan and WayOfLeary.

FTT is simply when you are the first person to take a new zone, before any other turfer takes the new zone. Similar, but not quite the same as taking Uniques. In the past taking FTT zones was a lot easier than today as the creation of new zones is now regulated by regional quotas. However, and this could be taken as good or bad, that means we might have a challenge on our hands to get there first.

Finding new zones is really a matter of regularly checking online sites like Warded and turf.lundkvist.com can be used to find out how many FTT zones you have taken, if any. There is also an app called Turf Notifier which will alert you to new zones. Had some issues initially but tried it again today and it works just fine. An alert informed me of a new zone. You can find the app in the Play Store.

While there are no official turf medals for either of these Turf “collecting” ideas, there are some Planet Gary unofficial ones for taking zones with the train station attribute, the Trainspotter 5 and Stations Master 10. And having taken 24 zones with the train station attribute, I think I need to revise them accordingly. Will probably add one for 25 takes and 50 takes. Think I’ll make up some unofficial FTT medals as well. Watch this space, as the saying goes.

Copyright ©2023 Gary Buckham. All rights reserved.

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