Monday, 5 August 2013

Space Warp, Messily; for Thorpe Hesley [1]

Keppels Column?
The column was built in the late 18th century to commemorate the acquittal of the court-martialled Admiral Augustus Keppel after the Battle of Ushant. It visibly bulges due to an entasis correction (see note below), which was rendered inappropriate when funding problems reduced the height. It was commissioned in 1778 by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham and was designed by John Carr.

It is probably the only point of interest in or near Thorpe Hesley and is no longer safe enough to permit public access to its internal spiral staircase. Shame!
Of course, blog readers now know that the village was the terminus of Rotherham's first motorbus route which began on 26th June 1913. This route was extended to nearby Chapeltown then numbered 16 in the late 1920s, a number which it kept until the South Yorkshire  renumbering in 1975 when it became 116.

By 1981, Thorpe Hesley enjoyed a bus every 10 minutes!
The star symbol indicated that the bus ran on to The Ball Inn.

In 1985, just before privatisation, the 116 had reverted to a half hourly service to Thorpe Hesley village only ...
... but Chapeltown journeys had become ...
... half hourly 266 and 267 now via the main road and running alternate ways round a large loop at High Green hence the ill-explained different time points at Chapeltown. It was not long before the 116 disappeared and the 266/267 reverted to running via the village. This PTE map explains all (if you can follow it).
click on the map for an enlargement

Then the PTE county-wide route numbering scheme began to unravel (Boo! Hiss!) and commercial pressures created just one route every 30 minutes numbered 66 with all buses going the sam way round High Green.
Occasional peak hour trips on Mondays to Fridays ran through Rotherham town centre to and from the Hospital. Recent changes include an extension through to Sheffield via Grenoside and, not long afterwards, an un-extension.
By this time the route had been extended in Thorpe Hesley to Chapelfields Road. Even this is a bit odd. The route runs through largely open country ...
 ... and in a large "dog-leg" to get to a turning circle on the northern edge of the modern estates,
Today's 66 is similar to the timetable above in broad terms but very different in presentation since the confuser freaks at Travel South Yorkshire have woven their intricate web of obscuration and befuddlement.

If our readers have managed to grasp all the above they will, undoubtedly, need a drink. So it is off to the Horse and Tiger (time point on some of the above) to enjoy a quick half** and, perhaps, experience the warp in time and space which characterises the present day bus service to and from Thorpe Hesley.
Whilst contemplating a challenging blog or two (to follow later) readers are invited to enjoy the timetable for route 58 (later 258) which ran from Sheffield to Thorpe Hesley. This page is from 1952.
** Actually the Horse and Tiger is closed and for sale; but it still features significantly in our investigation.

Entasis? This is the posh word for building a bulge in your columns; apparently it makes them "look right"; the Greeks and the Romans did it, so it must be OK!

 Next Bus Blog : Tuesday 6th August 

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