Sunday, 13 November 2016

Are They Having a Laugh? (2)

Probably Not. Probably They Are Serious!

Wacky Wakehurst Waiting Worry
Wakehurst Place is a National Trust property located near Ardingly, West Sussex, comprising a late 16th-century country house and a mainly 20th-century garden, managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, who also have a research facility there.

For the National Trust's 2008–2009 fiscal year Wakehurst Place Garden was the Trust's most visited property for which admission was charged, with 439,627 visitors. The garden today covers some 500 acres and includes walled and water gardens, woodland and wetland conservation areas.

And you can get there by bus!
Metrobus 272 runs approximately every two hours Monday to Friday between Crawley and Brighton but only between Crawley and Haywards Heath on Saturdays. There is no service on Sundays.

Southbound buses stop in the car park as shown in the above timetable extract ...
... where No 3 son snapped the lavish facilities for waiting passengers.
On the Metrobus web site there is an excellent and detailed map of the 272, this being just an extract of the northern "half". 
So what appears in the timetable frame?
Not the map of the 272.

In the northbound direction buses are also shown as calling at the car park.
But, you've guessed it - they don't! They stop on the main road outside. Obviously!
And without a seat this time.

Fortunately both the flag ...
... and the timetable frame in the car park ...
... remind you of this wacky anomaly.

No one seems to know why the printed and on-line timetable (shown above; which is from Metrobus' web site) does not tell the truth.

And in the frame at the stops we have a special treat. As most of our readers will know, people in East Sussex suffer from the virulent disease of Gappophopia. Early database program writers struggled to cope with the difference between an empty spreadsheet cell and one that contained a "blank". Very early mathematicians considered zero and impenetrable and blasphemous concept. For historic reasons this disease has never been eradicated in East Sussex.

Here is the 272 list of departures for Sunday ...
... for Monday to Friday ...
... and for Saturday!
The note "H" means that these buses go no further than Haywards Heath. If course all this could be shown with less chance of Gappophpbia by posting the full timetable in the frame; but that would be really silly, wouldn't it?

Are they having a laugh?

Windows 2016
Long term readers will remember fbb's carriage shed build project, enhanced by lovely laser-cit windows from a firm called Ancorton.
The building was of five bays but the windows came in sets of four at £6, so the miserly modeller "bricked up!" one opening. Subsequently, and in a fit of uncharacteristic profligacy, fbb bought a second set and glued then onto the far wall ...
... even though you have to kneel subserviently in an attitude of prayer and peer through the "first" set of windows to see them.

In the good old days of real railway modelling you had to cut out your own windows from sheets of good quality card using a very sharp craft knife. Imagine the bloodshed if fumbling fbb tried that today!

But now ...

You can buy laser cut plastic windows ...
... which can be modelled open or closed as there are separate bits. EACH WINDOW kit costs £6; glazing and decorative lintels are extra. 

Are they having a laugh?

It IS NOT April 1st; Honestly It Isn't!

When steam engines, erm, steamed, they needed coal and lots of water. So all over the system you would find things like this.
Some Great Western Railway ones acquired the sobriquet "parachute" in response to the truncated cone shape up top.
Hornby used to make one; now something of a rarity.
But do not despair, modellers all, Bachmann has just announced its version ...
... which at £25 (for one!) is comparable with the Skaledale version.

But hold on there; what is this in the headline?
Animated? Are they having a laugh? NO!
Will the sounds of the "speech from locomotive crews" include authentic asperity as the filler-up showers the fireman with ice cold water? What? There won't be any water? Disgraceful!

Oh, and it will cost about £50.

Are they having a laugh?

And The Return of Synchrosmoke!
Months back, fbb reported that Dapol were to introduce a super-duper, super smashing, super quality OO version of the famous A4 loco nicknamed "streak".  Hornby magazine reviews the model in the current (December) edition. Go buy!

But they have posted a video of the all dancing, all singing, all smoking locomotive on YouTube.

Here it is!
The model costs £400. And the smoke is synchronised with the wheels and the sound, we are told.

Are they having a laugh?

Seriously folks; committed (and very wealthy) modellers will buy this because is takes chuffer trains into a higher league. fbb has suggested that Mrs fbb should order one of each of the six livery variants for his Christmas present.

But it will probably be socks and undies! Plus the much appreciated surprise box of chocolate Brazil nuts?

 Next Stratford blog : Monday 14th November 


  1. Geographic correction - it's West rather than East Sussex.
    Having ridden on a northbound 272 journey earlier this week, I suspect the southbound journeys go in so that people do not have to cross what is a fairly high-speed road. It does however add four minutes to the journey time. For the record, there was no custom on my journey.

  2. Gappophobia; could it be a GoAhead disease? I see the same in Morebus roadside timetables, and both Metro and Morebus are in their ownership.

  3. Thanks, Sheildsman. I struggle with my west and east. Must do better!

  4. If I remember correctly the buses started entering Wakehurst Place during my time at West Sussex County Council in the late 1990s. I don't remember the exact reason but like Shieldsman suggests I think it was either that it wasn't easy to cross the road or that there was nowhere suitable for the southbound stop to go. The northbound buses just kept to their previous arrangement.