Monday, 13 May 2013

Sheffield 100 - A Superb Day

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But first, the bad, sad news ...

37 buses were destroyed by fire in a massive blaze near Newquay overnight. Firefighters were called at just after 1am to deal with the inferno at the Western Greyhound bus depot at Summercourt. There is expected to be massive disruption to school and general bus services this morning after one third of the fleet was destroyed. Fire crews from nine centres attended the blaze near the A30 with flames visible for miles in the early hours.
Mark Howarth, managing director of Western Greyhound, said the fire was "devastating".

Devastating is something of an understatement. fbb is sure all the industry will wish Mark and his team a speedy recovery.

Disruption news at 12 noon Monday 13th
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Not all our readers are keen "rivet-counters" i.e. excited beyond measure about each different type of bus; engine, chassis, bodywork, number of contra-rotating bifurcating ninge-wheels in the power steering cut-off switch etc. etc. But yesterday's beano at East Bank Bus garage has to be one of the best of its type.

A significant number of preserved vehicles was present ...
... all under the watchful eye of First Bus supremo Giles Fearnley.
But the main aim was to bring together as complete a set of preserved Sheffield vehicles as possible.
Many buses that were still licensed as proper passenger carrying vehicles ran between the depot and Lodge Moor, recreating the 100-year-old first ever Sheffield bus route. Our correspondent took a ride on one and managed to snap some other contenders at the Lodge Moor (former!) Hospital turning circle.
Note the "on service" vehicle in the background in First's latest livery.

Some vehicles have been repatriated ...
... like this "little nipper"; a reminder of the days when huge numbers of minibuses ran through the streets of the steel city, including on the frequent cross-city route 52. This Dodge has been repatriated from the Tanat Valley company in Wales.
But the furthest return was this creature ...
...once masquerading as a "London Bus" (snigger snigger) in Australia. The new owners intend to return the vehicle to its traditional cream and blue livery.

Finally, in the late 60s and early 70s, Sheffield bought a large fleet of (163?) long double doored vehicles known as "jumbos". If fbb remembers rightly, there were problems with some batches which led to much bus borrowing to cover for buses away for rectification at the makers. Sadly it appears that only one such vehicle has survived, retained by the original PTE as a road show bus ...
... now fulfilling a similar role at the South Yorkshire Transport Museum!
But surely that's not its original front end? (see below!)

Our correspondent and photographer (David of lorry driving fame) reports a splendid day and much credit goes to First Bus for supporting such a magnificent venture. 
an early "jumbo" in PTE coffee and cream

Next on the list of celebrations is the centenary of the first motor bus in Rotherham. There are rumours of a bus in Rotherham Corporation livery to commemorate. Juicy.

Three cheers for First Bus.
And three more for all those who took their vehicles! 
 "Bordon on the Border" continues later 

 Next Bus Blog : Tuesday 14th May 

7 comments:

  1. ...as you say , a brilliant day ! - i was there displaying my local bus models in reception ,and evoking many memories from all the visitors so much i never got chance to look around ! The day went too quick and will hopefully not be the last !?

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  2. To Anonymous (at 1014) : would love to publish some pictures of your local bus models. You can find my email by clicking on "fatbusbloke" above

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  3. The exhibition Atlantean, 748, DOES have its original front. The earlier examples, delivered as 192-241 and 1117-34 and later 592-641 and 717-34 (as 723 pictured) had shallow screens; the later ones had a raised driving position and deeper windscreens and, IMHO, looked much better.
    The hired vehicles mentioned arrived in 1980 (I think) due to MoT examiners putting a load of vehicles off the road, and not as the result of any problems with the Jumbos as such - although the latter did suffer from bodies sagging in the middle (happens to the best of us).

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  4. thanks Dennis : very happy with the bit about the deeper windscreen - agree entirely about the looks! But it was those light clusters that seemed unfamiliar. Old age again?

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  5. 748 front has been modified from when it was new. They only had one Headlight and one Fog Light and the Trafficators/side lights are new

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  6. I must agree with Patrick Holder re 748.
    I have a photograph of 748 on delivery it shows that the bus had one small side light, one head light, one head light and then one small side light. Fog lights were located under the side lights.

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