back to article Scottish pensioners rage at Virgin cabinet blocking their view

Scottish pensioners are up in arms that Virgin Media has had the audacity to build a huge cabinet outside their homes in East Renfrewshire, near Glasgow, which is reported to be blocking their light. The OAPs have been fighting Virgin Media since the 5ft boxes were installed in their street in January, according to the Daily …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That erection is enormous

    no wonder it needs a big grey box...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That erection is enormous

      It seems to be blocking a view of - the other side of the street! Just grow those green bushes a bit bigger and they won't even remember it's there...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That erection is enormous

      If they pee'd through the vents on those boxes every night ...

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: If they pee'd through the vents on those boxes every night ...

        No need for that, just bring in the Shroppy Slimeballs...

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/10/21/snail_sabotage_virgin_cabinet/

  2. John Robson Silver badge

    Presumably the pensioners don't need planning permission to install a window through the boxes then?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: install a window

      Linux would be better.

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: install a window

        Credit where credit is due. That did make me laugh.

  3. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    It's Scotland

    Are they really going to miss the 2 whole days of sunshine they get?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Scotland

      I think it's exactly because sunshine is so rare :)

      1. Tronald Dump

        Re: It's Scotland

        Exactly, you'd cherish every photon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's Scotland

      And even if they miss out on a little bit of sunshine and the occasional rammy or stoater, surely blocking the Barras from view is worth the money they paid?

      1. lybad
        Happy

        Re: It's Scotland

        Just how big do you think the Barrowland Market is?

        As compared to the "police station" used in Taggart - surely it's the largest in the world. In one episode they went in the front door (Strathclyde University), and looked out the office window at the Kingston Bridge (the old Strathclyde Council Roads Dept office) which is over a mile away, as the crow flies.

        1. agurney

          Re: It's Scotland

          "In one episode they went in the front door (Strathclyde University), and looked out the office window at the Kingston Bridge (the old Strathclyde Council Roads Dept office) which is over a mile away, as the crow flies."

          They were good at that .. there was one episode where they were having a conversation on the pontoons in Kip Marina (on the Clyde coast) and continued the scene, and sentence, along Portobello promenade on the other side of the country.

        2. phuzz Silver badge
          Alien

          Re: It's Scotland

          Watch almost any TV program set in a place you know well, and you'll see characters perform all sorts of teleportation tricks.

          It's probably related to the way that alien planets in Doctor Who all used to look suspiciously like a quarry in Whales, and every planet with a Stargate mimicked Canada.

          >>>>>>> I'm saying it's aliens.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. /dev/null

            Re: It's Scotland

            It's probably related to the way that alien planets in Doctor Who all used to look suspiciously like a quarry in Whales

            Of course, nowadays, excavating cetaceans is banned by international treaty, so they have to use CGI instead.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's Scotland

          over a mile away, as the crow flies.

          Sorry, that doesn't mean anything to me. What's that in unladen swallow?

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: It's Scotland

      Are they really going to miss the 2 whole days of sunshine they get?

      I think they are more interested in watching the neighbors and who's driving up and down their street. Seems many older folks spend a lot of time doing that. I'm thinking it's like watching a live soap opera. or something.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: It's Scotland

        "I think they are more interested in watching the neighbors and who's driving up and down their street. Seems many older folks spend a lot of time doing that. I'm thinking it's like watching a live soap opera. or something."
        Speaking as an old fart, it's more a matter of thinking to yourself as you watch: "Look at those poor fuckers having to go to work..."

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just get someone to paint the view on the back of the box.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      A Banksy artwork of Richard Branson's massive head.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done Virginmedia, that'll stop the old biddy's curtain twitching and spying on their neighbours!

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      I should be so lucky

      @AC

      ...spying on their neighbours!

      They are watching their "Neighbours" - No need for a TV Licence.

      Paris: Charlene

      Alas, Mrs Mangel is my neighbour

  6. Martin 63

    Smacks of this

    “But the plans were on display…”

    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

    “That’s the display department.”

    “With a flashlight.”

    “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

    “So had the stairs.”

    “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

    “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Smacks of this

      There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. ... What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.

    2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Smacks of this

      There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. ... What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.

      I resemble those remarks ! Im being quoted out of context!

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Smacks of this

        I resemble those remarks ! Im being quoted out of context!

        Quick! Quote some poetry at him!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Quick! Quote some poetry at him!

          There once was a couple who were Scottish.

          The view from their house was delish.

          Till virgin messed up,

          Now the view it did suck.

          and now they would rather have a sky dish.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Quick! Quote some poetry at him!

            Missing a line.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Quick! Quote some poetry at him!

              Ta, it's crap anyway.

    3. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Smacks of this

      The genius of Douglas Addams.

      No matter how many,times this is posted as a comment to an article it is always relevant and makes me laugh.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably best to "accidentally" bump into it with a mobility scooter...

    1. Jason 24

      Or a cement mixer, why do things by half?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        One of the old fellers should accidentally bump into the cabs while driving and shouting at a cloud.

    2. Scroticus Canis Silver badge
      Happy

      Probably best to "accidentally" bump into it with a JCB...

      FTFY that cabinet is big.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Na, put a notice on it along the lines of

      'This cabinet contains 20 bottles of Buckie, and 10 of El D..'

      Local Neds and Jakeys will demolish it in Jig time...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fail to see

    I am failing to see how a 5 foot object blocks light to a house - has Virgin literally dumped it in front of a low window ?

    My 5ft hedge certainly doesn't block the light to my house - perhaps Mr Meldrew is alive and well in Scotland

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Fail to see

      It's Scotland. The footpath is higher than the house and so the top of the five foot box is about the height of the window.

    2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: Fail to see

      Take a look at the pictures. The boxes are huge

    3. Spacedinvader
      Facepalm

      Re: Fail to see

      Fail to see? Look at the daily fail pictures for fuck sake - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4857918/Pensioners-battle-Virgin-Media.html

      Yes, LITERALLY in front of the window. Looks to be a couple of metres at best. It's obviously not blocking light but you now have essentially a big fucking grey wall right outside your LIVING ROOM window. You know, that room of the house that people tend to spend the most time in.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Fail to see

        Grief. Thats f__ing enormous. Have they got a mini data centre in there?

        1. Haku

          Re: Fail to see

          Some of the big ugly pavement boxes I've walked past have the distinct whirring sound of a computer fan coming from inside so it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Mark 110

          Judging by the size of the one...My money is on it being a TARDIS...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fail to see

        "It's obviously not blocking light" so despite your rant and criticising those for saying it doesn't, you agree with them. Debate 101 is next door.

        Look at the photo; the shadow shows where that blocked light is.

        Complaining about a blocked view is one thing. Claiming it blocks all light is just hyperbolic nonsense.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Fail to see

          They are complaining about blocked light rather than blocked view because they know what the planning regs say - you don't have a right to a view, but you do have a right to light.

      3. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Fail to see

        "You know, that room of the house that people tend to spend the most time in."
        You missed a bit off the end of your sentence:

        ... watching the telly.

    4. cream wobbly

      Re: Fail to see

      You failed to see because you failed to look. Good grief.

  9. caffeine addict Silver badge

    It's clearly blocking the glorious view of the houses opposite, but "blocking all the light"? Even with the nice low sun in the Mail photos, the shadows don't reach the building let alone the windows.

    Seems stupid that Virgin and BT aren't obliged to place them against walls / hedges at the roadside, or to make rental agreements to put them against the side of building. (the walls, not windows. Then the biddies would really have something to complain about).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      BT + Virgin = Twats

      Seems stupid that Virgin and BT aren't obliged to place them against walls / hedges at the roadside

      Well, how would that help? Look at this gem of an installation in Droitwich, courtesy of the idiots of Openreach.

      Some people are stupid. Some people are very stupid. But the elite stupidests, the people who have a natural stupidity, but also work at it, and continuously refine and build their stupidity...they work as planners for BT Openreach and Virginmedia, it would seem.

      1. Jason 24

        Re: BT + Virgin = Twats

        @ Look at this gem of an installation..

        Bet they still can't get FTTP

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: BT + Virgin = Twats

          I'm wondering if it represents a health hazard to residents if there were a fire (in the building, not the cabinet :P )

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: BT + Virgin = Twats

        "Well, how would that help? Look at this gem of an installation in Droitwich, courtesy of the idiots of Openreach."

        And not forgetting, of course, this well placed bus shelter, so those people morons don't limit themselves to comms.

    2. caffeine addict Silver badge

      There are times I wish people would say why they're downvoting things - I wasn't aware I was saying anything downvote-worthy. Hohum.

      That Droitwich box is glorious. It's there in two different streetviews too, 2015 and 2016. The box a few feet down is in a hole in the wall, so I wonder if BT were clueless twunts or if they put it in before the houses were done and the builder was to fault. They seem equally (un)likely culprits.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        I am going to have to look at that one

        I wonder if they want me to pull it away

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Looking at the very young age of the houses and the new wall, plus the atypically large space left one suspects that BT has installed first, and then the builder built the wall and house behind it. You've even got to wonder if BT has actually moved that left cabinet over by a foot or two as well judged by the brand new pavement that's already got a hole been dug in it.

        I mean, Openreach is bad. But that has to be a set of builders. Even Openreach isin't *THAT* bad.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, still. I couldn't believe how large these things are. I'm with the residents on this one.

  10. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Oh Crap!

    Daily Mail link in a Reg article. 161m long page filled with celebrity tits and arses. No thanks.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      1. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

        Re: Oh Crap!

        Many thanks. I have to say that I would not be very happy if someone stuck one of those things in front of my house and that would have bugger all to do with light. Seriously my mental health would suffer if I had to wake up every morning to that outside my front window.

        1. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Oh Crap!

          To be fair, it was a bloody ugly building to start with.

      2. Empire of the Pussycat

        Re: Oh Crap!

        'strewth, that big, i can see why they're angry

        seems absurd to put cabinets that big on the street, surprised they haven't been accidentally flattened

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Oh Crap!

          "seems absurd to put cabinets that big on the street, surprised they haven't been accidentally flattened"

          The planning exemptions were probably put in place when the average street box was no more than about 3' tall and maybe 1' deep. No one thought to put restrictions on what was covered by the exemptions, like a maximum size.

  11. Paul Woodhouse

    "and we now have no outlook at all."

    Maybe thunderbird would work better on a Virgin connection....

    1. Ben Boyle

      Buckfast or MD 20/20

      1. Spacedinvader
        Thumb Up

        made me laugh

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: "and we now have no outlook at all."

      My colleagues can't figure out why I'm sat here chuckling.

    3. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "Maybe thunderbird would work better on a Virgin connection..."
      Might need to ask Lady Penelope about that...

  12. GreggS

    It's the incessant noise that i don't like

    But i did marry her.

  13. Bloodbeastterror

    What is the matter...

    ...with all you people making light of this? The pictures say it all - this is an absolute blight on these people's lives, and it's a total disgrace that Virgin have been allowed to do it. Disgusting behaviour yet again from a corporation and from the council that's supposed to be looking after the interests of its citizens.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Re: What is the matter...

      The council unfortunately can do bugger all about it thanks to central government allowing Virgin, Openreach et all to bypass planning regulations.

      Humm. I'm sure DNA had something to say about bypasses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the matter...

      What is the matter...

      ...with all you people making light of this?

      It's called having a sense of humour. Getting angry with stupidity gets you nowhere and is bad for you. Laughing is also cheaper than anti-depressants.

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: What is the matter...

        I have a sense of humour. This isn't funny.

  14. 0laf Silver badge

    I'd normally jump in and denigrate the old biddies since they have a habit of blocking my drive in their overwhelming urge to park 3 feet closer to the church nearby and infesting M&S at lunchtime like a middle-class Dawn of the Dead...

    But that would piss me off as well. Ok it was hardly a view of Loch Lomond but it wouldn't be nice for anyone to have a feckin shipping container dumped within 4m of their house which is what this looks like.

  15. DontFeedTheTrolls
    Childcatcher

    The BBC Article has pictures. If this was my home I'd be a bit upset too.

    1. Martin 47

      Bloody hell, they do have a point.

      If i lived there I would be looking at it as an accident waiting to happen, and I wouldn't be waiting too long either.

  16. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    It's funny

    how a company called Virgin manages to fuck things up so frequently.

  17. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Since this blocks their view

    Are they raging against the dying of the light?

    1. Fink-Nottle

      Re: Since this blocks their view

      The best-laid schemes o' Virgin gang aft agley,

      An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain, for promis'd Lightnin'!

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Since this blocks their view

        If it's best-laid, surely it's no longer virgin?

  18. ukgnome Silver badge

    NIMBY

    I was all ready to scorn these old gits and then I looked at the picture. Good Grief, what in the name of your least favourite deity was Virgin thinking?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: NIMBY

      "what in the name of your least favourite deity was Virgin thinking?"

      There's a built-in assumption in that question. It may be wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NIMBY

        "what in the name of your least favourite deity was Virgin thinking?"

        There's a built-in assumption in that question. It may be wrong.

        Beautiful :)

  19. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Silly really...

    Cost of admitting 'whoops, we screwed up, sorry' and moving the box - £10K or so?

    Value of bad publicity after saying "Get stuffed wrinklies, we did everything within the rules" - Priceless.

    How are these people still in business if they're so dim?

    1. Simon 15

      Re: Silly really...

      Simple. The people who buy from them are even dimmer still... It's the 'talk talk' effect - no matter what you do to your existing customer base if you sell your product cheaply enough then muppets will always buy it.

      Interestingly enough the average life expectancy in Renfrewshire is 82.8 years so this problem would appear to be somewhat self-limiting, I'd tell her to give it a year and see what happens.

      1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Silly really...

        Quote:

        no matter what you do to your existing customer base if you sell your product cheaply enough then muppets will always buy it.

        OI Some of us have'nt got any choice when it comes to decent internet speeds... No way I'm going back to a BT openretch supplied murdoch offering... Yay you can have any speed you like, and indeed we'll sell you any speed you like , but dont complain if you only get 50K between 6pm and 11pm

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Silly really...

        Interestingly enough the average life expectancy in Renfrewshire is 82.8 years so this problem would appear to be somewhat self-limiting, I'd tell her to give it a year and see what happens.

        I don't think the next inhabitant will accept this either..

    2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: Silly really...

      "How are these people still in business if they're so dim?"

      They are part of the Liberty Global plc empire.

      Its cable services pass 55.8 million homes, with 28.6 million customers or 59 million RGUs (video, internet, and voice subscribers)

      Or in this case, pass slap bang in front of some of those 55.8 million homes.

      P.S. RGU = Revenue Generating Unit, which is the phrase they use internally instead of that old fashioned word "customer".

      Yours sincerely,

      an ex-Revenue Generating Unit

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't they just sit at an angle?

    Problem solved.

  21. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    Procedures are everything

    ""In the case of the cabinets in Lowndes Court, the council was notified prior to Virgin Media installing the cabinets and the correct procedures were followed.""

    And now all we have to do is wait a bit and the problem will go away by itself . . .

  22. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "It completely blocks out any light from coming into the house"

    It's five feet high. Surely the sun gets higher in the Scottish sky.

  23. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Virgin are a monopoly provider, they should not be allowed to do this

    BT, I can see... but virgin? Come ON

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suspect the real reasons for the complaint

    are that the unsightly street furniture has lowered the value of their property relative to the other houses in the street and when they discovered that virgin are able to just lob what they want where they want without regard to house owners or planning permission.

    Given cable companies historically low regard for the property rights of house owners, I can understand their issue.

    Normal planning permission test is if the new build cannot be seen from neighbors windows and to be fair it does block their view

    1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

      Re: I suspect the real reasons for the complaint

      "Given cable companies historically low regard for the property rights of house owners, I can understand their issue."

      The mess that subcontractors made of the beautiful York stone pavements in the village I lived in 20 years ago are a lasting testament to that.

  25. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
    Unhappy

    they don't need planning permission to put them up

    Bitter experience says they won't get very far with the planning permission route.

    A relative once tried to get a neighbour's extension vetoed on the grounds of it blocking out their living room light and got precisely nowhere.

    The planning permission laws are very much in favour of property developers, to the detriment of existing residents.

  26. Mandoscottie

    BTOPenreach can also be guilty of these stoaters

    my sister inlaw moved into a lovely new house about 6 months ago, entire street completed then BT came in to fit FTTC cabs in the street, they planted it halfway across her neighbours drive......BTW then spent the last 4 weeks moving it across the road! :P

    a speshal breed.

  27. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I wonder how long the flats have been there and whether Scottish law has anything equivalent to Ancient Lights.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on previous Reg stories I suggest scattering acorns on top of the box every morning.

    Also ,try planting eucalyptus or similar as close to the box as possible while staying within your garden.

  29. Lars Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Ugly boxes indeed and why that massive, but was this story really wordy of us ElReg readers, Scotland or not.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge
      Trollface

      "was this story really wordy "
      Not particularly wordy; less than 300 words...

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Hello Pompous Git, have an up vote for helping all those confused Brits I manged to fool, and for not mention anything about spell checkers.

        All well down there I hope, up here it's getting cold wet and dark too early. I wish I could join all those noisy birds shouting at each other about how to travel south in style. And why not for the birds too.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge
          Happy

          Hello Lars, have an upvote for giving me the chance to make yet another foolish comment :-)

          Well it's been a long, dry, cold winter. Now it's wet, cold and snowing. Usually we have much warmer weather at this time and the Welcome Swallows would have arrived. Instead we have Currawongs (large crows) visiting from the highlands and making a mess of things when they're bored. We usually don't see them after July.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not Internet cabs

    It's the Scottish office of the Pygmy Embassy.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whatever you say...

    ....don't mention the electromagnetic pulse danger!

    and all the porn being sent back and forth across those wires...

  32. NeilPost

    McSticks ??

    I'm surprised Virgin know where Scotland is, it's all a bit rural/sticksy

    1. lybad

      Re: McSticks ??

      They know some of the cities - once you get out of them they're a bit clueless.

      When I moved into my current house, I had to explain to them that just because I had a DD postcode it didn't mean I was anywhere near their cable network (DD8 is about 12 miles outside Dundee)

  33. John70

    Price Hike

    That's not the only thing that's big from Virgin Media.

    Received email saying they putting the cost of their service up by £2.99 end of October.

  34. Tezfair
    Thumb Up

    Be annoying back

    Buy a bigger box with a built in smoke generator. Fix that over the top of the current one and have your own lock. Then set off the smoke and watch virgin come and figure out how to fix it.

    But seriously, I guess that we all would be annoyed if something that large appeared in our window view. I imagine they are at an age where there is little to do other than watch the world go by and even that ability has been reduced. It would be similar to keeping the curtains closed all the time.

  35. anothercynic Silver badge

    To be fair... they have a point (despite it only being 'the other side of the street'). VM could've done a better job siting them somewhere less... obstructive.

  36. aidanstevens
    Alert

    They should just be glad they're still alive and haven't broken their necks tripping over one of VM's signature bodge job coax installations which line every single cabled street.

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