Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The Answer's a Lemon? (1)

Fruit Nearly Always Goes Rotten!

One on-line explanation of the origin of "The answer's a lemon" seems more plausible than most.

For years we have had slot machines in gambling joints. You put in a coin, pull a lever, and a row of the conventional objects appear on the face of the machine, bells, plums, etc. If you get a whole row of the same objects, all balls, say, you win, and out drops a handful of coins. . . . you may draw a whole row of yellow LEMONS, and YOU GET NOTHING. Lemons mean a bust, a disappointment. Hence, when someone says "I drew a lemon," the slot machine connotation is well understood.

But naming bus companies or bus routes after fruit has never brought great success.

The biggest disappointment was with First Potteries. There was this big re-launch with superb publicity by Ray Stenning. Each block of routes was colour coded and mostly named after fruit.
Timetables were colour coded ...
.. to match the map.
Each route came with extensive fares information - also colour coded.
There was a dedicated web site and the promise of colour-branded vehicles. But really only "cherry" ..
... and "raspberry" appeared.
But the whole fruit thing seems to have faded. The excellent dedicated web site did not last (as planned, management will no doubt say) and we are back to barely a mention in the timetable headers.
Since the enthusiastic fruity launch, Potteries has had garage closures and route cut-backs. One piccy on-line is of a vintage Optare solo with a blue zot.
It is lettered for service 43 to Baddeley Green and one caption says it is "branded for Sky line". Which its isn't, at least not for the original sky route 7 complex. Whatever the history, service 43 is now operated by D & G with nary a mention of First, Sky or blue livery.
The end of First's blue branded 43 happened just a year ago.
Was the fruit a failure? Was there a management change? Or does First not have the bottle to sustain the effort?

Tomorrow: Strawberries, Bananas and Lemons.

But first, a couple of snippets.

A Bristol correspondent sent in this note from Severnside transport.
It concerns road works and the company's route 625.
Maybe you need to read it agaiu?

And, yesterday, many parts of our railway network were in trouble because of the "wrong kind of sun". This was a departure screen at Waterloo as evening peak approached..
The delays were caused by "very high" track temperatures.

Now when fbb was nobbut a lad, wasn't he taught that railway tracks went diddly dum, diddly dum because little gaps were left at each join to allow for expansion in hot weather?
And then came welded track.
And wasn't a slightly older fbb taught that expansion joints were included to allow for extra stretch in very hot weather?
So why the delays? Has modern track technology failed? Should we go back to the diddly dums?

After all, it wasn't horrifically hot.

 Next lemon blog : Thursday 21st July 

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