Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Boggart goes by Bus [1]

fbb is baffled! flumoxed! stumped!
seen yesterday in Newcastle Station ...
Bath Spa via ...
A cross country train terminating at Bath Spa?
BUT - it gets worse.
via where?
Sadly fbb wasn't quick enough on the shutter;
but it said
"Bath Spa ... via Edinburgh"!
The 1134 from Newcastle runs to Glasgow
fbb is baffled! flumoxed! stumped!
Back to today's blog

Competition, Collusion or Collapse at Rochdale : part one

Back in the days of fbb's youth, buses in Rochdale were run by the Corporation transport department ...
... as publicised here in 1957. The Mellor Street offices and depot are still there. oozing municipal pride ...
... although no longer used by buses.
The long bus route down the main road to Manchester was numbered 17, running via Sudden, Castleton, Middleton & Blackley ...
... and jointly operated with Manchester Corporation. On 1st November 1969, eleven municipal bus undertakings ...
... were merged to form SELNEC PTE; that stands for South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Passenger Transport Executive, a name that trips easily off the tongue. NOT!

But still the Rochdale run remained as service 17 ...
... now bedecked in orange stripes, but still operated jointly by Rochdale and Manchester depots. The livery was revolutionary for its day although the orange was a bit anaemic. The theory was that the orange would line up perfectly on a row of vehicles. This led to some very strange versions where bodywork did not match stripes. But it was distinctive!
The plain orange SELNEC logo ...
... morphed into SECLNEC Northern in "rose magenta" (to include Rochdale) and SELNEC Central in "lagoon blue" for the former Manchester City routes.
For the record, the Southern "lazy S" was officially "spring green".
Yet again, the historic joint operation continued despite the efforts of politicians to unravel history! The later addition for the former North Western company became SELNEC "Cheshire" in "brown" ...
... (that makes it "South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire Cheshire"; along the same lines as "PIN number"!).
Roll the clock forward to 1986 and pre-privatisation policy split the former PTE into Greater Manchester South and North.
Quite how this division was to encourage competition, nobody knew, but "North" went to First bus and "South" became part of Uncle Brian's Stagecoach empire.

Real competition comes a bit later.

And the Boggart of our heading? Not Gracie Fields for sure ...
... Rochdale's favourite daughter. Nor Cyril Smith ...
... Rochdales greatest ever MP. Nor Don Estelle, the put-upon little one ...
... from "It Ain't Half Hot Mum", who lived in and is buried at Rochdale.

We'll seek out the real Bloggart Boggart in tomorrow's Blog Bog!

 Next Blog : Thursday 24th May 


  1. I spy that the boggart will be Boggart Hole Clough in Harpurhey. It's competition as well on that there 17 what with First JPT/Eurobus

  2. For information the cross country 11.34am service at Newcastle starts from Bath Spa at 06.09am. It's the only cross country service to do so.

  3. But, anonymous, the board showed a departure from N'castle at 1134 TO Bath Spa VIA Edinburgh.

  4. I understood that SELNEC stood for 'seldom early, likely never even come'!

  5. The display screen at Newcastle is clearly an Arrivals screen – as the expected times at the right hand side are all slightly earlier than the scheduled times. Some quick research in the National Rail Timetable reveals that the trains involved are the 0609 Bath Spa to Glasgow, 1131 Gateshead Metrocentre to Newcastle and the 0900 Glasgow Central to Penzance via Edinburgh.

    It would be quite feasible that a split second after you took the photo, the display refreshed, the top two trains disappeared off the board, the display scrolled up two lines and the words ‘via Edinburgh’ appeared where ‘Bath Spa’ had been, but associated with the Glasgow – Penzance train. Unlikely perhaps – but a possible explanation for what you observed.

  6. I did wonder .... but it kept doing it! Bath Spa via Edinburgh.

  7. We could do with one of your followers from the North-East popping down to Newcastle Central at 11:00 this morning and taking some video footage of the screens !

    Incidentally, what did the last train on the display show ? It should have been 'Glasgow Central via Edinburgh', but if it suffered from the same problem as the Bath Spa train it would bave been 'Glasgow Central via Leeds' - equally improbable.