Friday 8 June 2012

Curious Charivari**

A Few Bits and Pieces

A couple of delightful pictures from our Northampton correspondent. Firstly, from a running day at Wythall, Birmingham ...
... a nice preserved Sheffield Transport bus showing fbb's former destination; 60 Crimicar Lane (more recently 40 and even more recently 120). Sadly fbb doesn't think this actual bus ever ran on the 60, but doubtless some Sheffield geek expert will correct the chubby one's possible ignorance. It's a Bristol VR, believe it or not. Here is the same vehicle (OWE 271K) in its second life with Hastings Buses:-
Alan's second pic is offered with a mildly satirical but topical caption. He writes ...

"At last the DaFT (Department for Transport) has decided that the IEP (InterCity Express Project) train is not right for the authorised Great Western electrification.
Officials have offered two alternatives."
That maroon job would look cool with a pantograph and a rake of maroon coaches, speeding out of Box tunnel; thanks Alan

Readers will remember that First started a 10 minute frequency service 22 to compete with Stagecoach between Rotherham, Wath and Barnsley. 12 months or so later, Stagecoach retaliated with a 20 minute frequency Magicbus route between Rotherham and Wath only. See "Magic at Manvers" (read again). fbb commented that the decision by Stagecoach to make their 22 run limited stop over the busiest part of the route was ill-advised.

So guess what?
fbb is always available for consultation at ludicrously high fees. It appears that this change has been achieved without needing an extra bus, so why not do it in the first place? Does this suggest that the Magicbus (aka Stagecoach) service is/was not taking enough cash?

Returning to "More on Mastin Moor" (read again) a contributor suggested that the National Rail web site did explain that buses to Mastin Moor stopped in Brewery Street close to Chesterfield station. Indeed it does.
Stop 1 is at the station itself ...
... but is only served by occasional service 78 and even more occasional 66/66A. The problem with this station-based data is that it is unfeeling and impersonal. So the Chesterfield map simply shows those routes which serve the station.
According to National Rail, you can't get to anywhere else; which is ridiculous; and which is why fbb recommends complete avoidance of this particularly pointless facility. And is the map accurate? fbb cannot find two separate routes between Mastin Moor and Renishaw and is uneasy about alternatives at Brampton.

The Stagecoach service 70 and 71 which provoked this blog are also publicised by our old friends Travel South Yorkshire [TSY] because they creep into that esteemed and magnificent county.
The routes cross from Derbyshire at Windmill Hill north of Eckington, pass the Halfway tram terminus and Park & Ride, then dive back into Derbyshire at the River Rother just past the railway bridge, travelling west to Killamarsh.

TSY Director General David Brown ...
... personally promised fbb that the appalling catalogue of timetable errors perpetrated by his staff would improve dramatically. So how are the lads doing with the service 70/71 leaflet?
Badly as usual. No Change!

The outward panel (from Chesterfield) makes a right "pigs ear" of the time point at "Mastin Moor Edale Road Miners Welfare" ...
... with two widely spaced lines for the same location. Unnecessarily confusing. But there is worse to come. The route is shown as terminating at Killamarsh Bridge Street.

Oh, no it doesn't!
It continues in a large anti-clockwise loop via Rowantree Road, Upperthorpe (not tagged), High Moor and Norwood. But TSY doesn't want you to know that. So, once again, in an explosion of altruistic assistance, fbb had cobbled together a very rough-and-ready "paste-up" to show how it should be done.
Now that's better, isn't it. Better, but not ideal because of those journeys terminating at Mastin Moor which serve the Estate on their return trip to Chesterfield. But fbb is always available for further consultation at ludicrously high fees.
No 3 son's "Letter from Boris" (read again) also referred to a leaflet giving "Walking Route" information for those seeking to avoid busy "hot spots" during the Olympics, in this case Euston Station. According to "the boy", who had a leaflet thrust into his clammy mit a few days ago, the leaflet is sending out some "weird messages". Maybe a detailed blog in the offing when fbb's requested copy arrives via good old-fashioned Royal Mail?

In simple terms the leaflet tells you how, by walking, you can avoid Euston, but in order to do this, you must first ...
... travel to Euston. You couldn't make it up.

And, continuing the Olympic theme, fbb blogged recently about the pointless and poorly equipped Stratford City bus station. See "Stratford Bus Stations Baffling Search [1]", (read again). It is such a useful asset for travellers to and from Stratford that, for the duration of the Games ...
... the Stratford City bus station stop ("stop" 'cos that's all there is) is to be closed completely!

** Charivari = a mock serenade of an unpopular person or ceremony; a discordant medley of sounds; a hubbub.

 Next Blog : Saturday 9th June 


  1. "... the Stratford City bus station stop ("stop" 'cos that's all there is) is to be closed completely!"
    It closed on 6th June and will not reopen until 14th September.

  2. Thanks Daddysgadgets for that clarification. My source did not give dates as such.

  3. The Sheffield VR had two other owners before reaching Hastings & District, viz South Yorkshire PTE and then Maidstone & District. H&D was set up in May 83 when it was split off from M&D; this particular VR was painted in a 1920s- style Hastings Tramways livery - but actually, that lovely (Terry Blackman?) photo of it in yellow and blue was probably the nicest colour scheme it ever carried.

  4. Thank you Anorak. I suppose that I never thought of SYPTE as a new owner, more of a renaming! But you are, of course correct. Likewise M&D and H&D! Thanks for the additional info.
    I still prefer Sheffield Transport's cream and blue. Back in the "good old days" they kept the fleet well and it contrasted nicely with the industrial landscape.

  5. "That maroon job would look cool with a pantograph and a rake of maroon coaches, speeding out of Box tunnel"

    Sacrilege, I should think - the loco should be green and the coaches chocolate and cream on the Western!

  6. RC169 : guess so, but the "streamlned" maroon was rather swish!