Monday, 18 January 2016

The Unchanging Changing X78 [2]

From Horses to Horsepower to Horsing About?
One of the huge privileges of writing a blog is the opportunity for readers to reply, criticise and contribute. fbb always welcomes correction and addition. On Friday last (read again) he asked for help with the dichotomy of on-line opinion on the departure point for bus service 77 to (Doncaster, Rotherham, Sheffield). fbb had no doubt where it was; he well remembers catching his bus back to the Steel City from there on numerous occasions.

He also remembers what it looked like. Two (or three?) parallel roads with crude "tin shed" shelters ...
... painted in a tasteful shade of green and rust. 

But on-line it is referred to as both Waterdale and Glasgow Paddocks. Explanations, please.

Correspondent Bob sent an extract from ...
... Roger Holmes's book on Doncaster independents:-

Those (independents) to the south and west used Waterdale, which became rather cramped, particularly on Saturdays, so they were moved to a bus station in nearby Glasgow Paddocks shortly after the war.

Bob continues:-

Roger Holmes is an impeccable source, but note that he doesn't explicitly say that this is when Glasgow Paddocks opened, although I think it will be.

Glasgow Paddocks was named after racehorse owner Lord Glasgow and was used for bloodstock sales until Tattersalls concentrated all their operations on Newmarket. The aerial shot in Friday's blog shows the wide open spaces, also used for community knees ups.
Some very tiny shots on-line show, firstly, the nags on sale ...
... and secondly, buses assembled on Waterdale and Horsefair, the triangle of roads above and to the left of The Paddocks. This area was just off the Great North Road (later A1) and thus easy to get to.
A better picture of the terrace (Harewood Terrace) of houses on Horsefair ...
... puts the church (straight ahead) into context. Long distance coaches and private hires continued to use Waterdale and Horsefair well into the 1960s.
The roof of the church building continues to give context ...
... and it is still there today, although no longer in use for worship!

So we have cracked it. Post WW2, bus services moved across the road from the Waterdale and Horsefair triangle to the new tin-shelter Glasgow Paddocks bus station of fond memory and tatty appearance (facilities, what facilites?)  ...
... whence departed service 77 to Rotherham and Sheffield. With the opening of the new Southern bus station in 1968 ...
... the old Glasgow Paddocks site became a car park ...
The bus station has now moved to Fishergate leaving the renamed car park standing as a timely reminder ...
... and dear old Glasgow Paddocks is now the site of the plush new Doncaster Borough Council offices.
"Horsing about" as a description of work in the plush Civic Offices - surely not? But there, far lat, is that ex-Church at the end of Horse Fair.

fbb is particularly indebted to Bob for setting him off on the investigative trail.

So tomorrow we had better finish the X78 story!

 Final X78 blog : Tuesday 19th January 


  1. It was FSY's intention to renumber the X78 with the new buses but as can be seen from the fact that headrests adorn the route number and branding 'Steel Link' which does not feature on the exterior, that the intention is to keep this alphanumeric number.

    Incidentally from May, the Doncaster Bus Partnership proposals show a reduction in frequency to every 15 minutes from the current 10, coordinating with Stagecoach 22* offerings to Conisbrough.

    As you rightfully say, the unchanging changing X78 continues to do both!

  2. Surely reducing the X78 is a very retrograde step for the Sheffield - Meadowhell - Rotherham section which always seems busy. Is there going to be something extra at that end to make it 7/8, or is it, 'Dear Supertram, please have a boatload of passengers, yours faithfully, First'?