Thursday, 5 June 2014

A B C D E F G (part 6)

38, the original and best!
Although in the 1999 version of Overground it terminated at Tillycairn Road; there being no Glasgow Fort for a few years yet. The turning circle is still there.
Pre WW2 Glasgow was a very concentrated city on its east side ...
... and the new dual carriageway A8 provoked a rapid expansion.
In the 70's the M8 was built on (not "in") the Monklands Canal creating (a) a new blue line and (b) a by-pass for the "new" A8; and the M80 (top left, by the now closed gas works) was tucked in on the line of a closed railway line.
Here is "Queenslie Bridge" over the canal, way back when, and (inset) its replacement footpath leading to Glasgow Fort today.
The housing "schemes" at Craigend, Ruchazie and Garthamlock were developed on open country to the north of the B806 and B765 top right on map above.
This is the route of the "traditional" and current SimpliCITY 38 running every 10 minutes. At the end of Portchester Street ...
... the map above shows "Twrs".
Garthamlock Towers are a pair of circular concrete water towers; the tallest with unrestrained, laterally unsupported, columns 100 ft high. This is the second highest water tower in Britain, but is the largest, holding one million gallons. The tank with a water depth of 22 ft 9 in. and a top water level of 48512 ft above ordnance datum was built from 1956–58 by Holst & Co.

The towers are now floodlit with changing colours.
After yet another disused turning loop at Craigend ...
... we glimpse the M8 ...
... and turn left onto the Cumbernauld Road. From the top deck we get a good view of the infamous Barlinnie prison ...
... built between 1882 and 1897, then in open country.
At Alexandra Parade all the 38s are together again and, in theory, running every 5 minutes through the city.
Just as a reminder, and reading from top to bottom:-
38C Chryston every 30
38 Easterhouse every 10 (occasional 38A)
38E Baillieston every 30
38B Barlanark every 30

It was at Alexandra Parade where fbb spotted three 38s together proceeding eastwards nose to tail; so somewhere there will have been significant gaps in the "frequent" service.

But, for those readers who haven't run away to a desert island at the prospect of First Glasgow route 38 blogs in over-profusion, all this began with a question, "which bus route has the largest continuous run of suffix letters." We have met 38, 38A, 38B, 38C and 38E; so very nearly a run of five suffixes to the core 38. But with no 38D.

Tomorrow we complete the search and, at last (phew!), answer the question.
fbb's sister has come to stay for a few days. She lives in a "cared for" environment, similar to a guest house. So her carer brought her across on the ferry from the Isle of Wight, whilst fbb travelled to Portsmouth Harbour to meet and greet. So often we read of the failures of the public transport system; but, of course, mostly it works and often works well. As it did on Tuesday with all trains on time.


fbb outward:-
0906 Axminster [SouthWest Trains]
1015 Salisbury
1032 Salisbury [First Great Western]
1150 Portsmouth Harbour [4 mins early!]

meanwhile, sister:-
1147 Ryde Pier Head [Wightlink]
1207 Portsmouth Harbour

carer returns:-
1215 Portsmouth Harbour
1235 Ryde Pier Head

then fbb and sis:-
1223 Portsmouth Harbour
1339 Salisbury
1347 Salisbury
1503 Axminster

Seemples (squeak!)

Refreshment trolleys were available throughout, but one snippet caught fbb's eye and satisfied his palette. A cup of tea on the return First Great Western was served with politeness and an appropriate level of deference from a well stocked trolley. "Three milks," asked fbb anticipating little pottles or, worse, those plastic sachets that are so difficult to open. The official allocation of two is never enough.

"We have fresh milk, Sir!"

fbb steps back in amazement!
Very refreshing in every sense of the word! Well done, Rail Gourmet; other contractors, please note. Pity it was semi-scum watered down milk rather than the wholesome goodness that the cow and God intended! Please don't tell fbb that it's "more healthy". The minuscule reduction in fat makes no statistical difference to a balanced diet; but, of course, it does allow the dairy to make a stonking profit on the cream it has creamed off. Rant over.
 Next bus blog : Friday 6th June 


  1. How high is the top water level in that tower? 48,512 feet - so not far off double the height of Mount Everest. Interesting!!

  2. Such is the wisdom of copying from the internet - but that's exactly what the Royal Commission for Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland says on its web site. Does seem a bit high, now you mention it!

    1. Hmmm. Having looked a little further into it, the RCAHMS also seem to have copied it from somewhere else as well; and others have also copied it.

      The correct figure would appear to be 486 feet, which makes rather more sense.,HL:52097,garthamlock

  3. FBB. Having over time noted your dietary habits, now I read that you also prefer to drink full cream milk!!

    May we all know, when your heart bypass op is scheduled for? (laugh)

  4. I did have a nice salad a month or so ago. But I do eat lots of fruit and veg, so that's all right then! It's the cheese, it's the cheese ...

  5. And I hope you actually said "three milks, please".

    Or if not, the trolley dolly asked "what's the magic word?".

  6. Of course! My "politess" was, as always, exemplary.