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Weeknotes 2022.18

A few things I’ve been thinking about this week. The eighteenth post of a series.

Wendy and I had a fantastic meal at Newcastle favourite 21 this week. We were trying to work out how long it had been since we’d last eaten there: we quickly realised it was before the 2015 name change, and eventually worked out that it must have been 2013. Hopefully, we’ll be back sooner!

I’m probably the last to say it, but Charlotte Ivers’s column in The Sunday Times last week gives a brilliantly clear account of the constant background nature of culture of Westminster sexual harassment. By-the-by, Charlotte also writes a Substack I really enjoy, in which she gives podcast recommendations.

According to this website, this bank opened in 1894 as part of the North East Banking Company and became part of the Bank of Liverpool twenty years later. In 1918, it first became part of Martins Bank, and this ghost sign was covered by that of Barclays in 1969. The branch closed a couple of months ago, just shy of its 128th birthday.

The branches of Santander, NatWest and Nationwide on the same stretch of road are also post-pandemic victims of branch closures, though Lloyds, HSBC, Halifax, Virgin Money and the Newcastle Building Society remain.

I’ve been racking my brain to recall when I last ventured into a bank. I withdrew £20 of pound coins for parking meters in rural areas about a year ago, but I did that at the Post Office and I think it may have been the last time I used either cash or a physical bank card, let alone a branch.

I thought I had a fairly good grasp of the general issues affecting online news and digital advertising, but Donald MacKenzie’s article in The LRB made me realise the superficiality of my understanding. I had no idea, for example, that “a plausible rough estimate is that UK news publishers lost £50 million in the early months of the pandemic because of ad-blocking of their stories about it.”

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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