Saturday, 10 June 2017

Saturday Oddments

Tram Sign and Trouble Spot
Our prolific Sheffield sleuth, Roy, asks a simple but challenging question, "Is this the last pub sign in Sheffield to show a genuine Sheffield tram?"
The tram picture is just about genuine, based, fbb suspects, on this snap from ancient times.
The pub isn't actually at the former Darnall tram terminus, but round the corner in Main Road which might have been "main" once, but isn't now. Trams stood in Staniforth Road ...
... seen here with untracked Main Road curving off to the right. It is somewhat different now!
Would fbb recommend a nostalgic bevvy?
Perhaps not!

Trams were later extended to Handsworth ...
... also changed, somewhat. The shops are still there, behind the foliage.

Damory Dorset Doom Developments
This story of total capitulation by Damory (a GoAhead company that is definitiely NOT going ahead!) reported in a recent blog (href
= "" target = "_blank">read again) rumbles on and on. It would appear that some Dorset Councillors are less than happy with the decision that their colleagues have taken.
Matthew Piles, service director of economy for the county council, said: "The number 40 service is currently operated by Damory.
They have deregistered this commercial service for their own reasons. 

The county council recognises that this is part of the county’s strategic interurban public transport network and as such there will be a replacement. This is quite common as operators make their decisions based on commercial requirements.

There are a number of commercially operated routes in Dorset that are integral to the public transport network that we must make sure are maintained."
Cllr Ros Kayes, who represents Bridport on the county council, told The News last week she was "furious" that councillors had not been told about the potential loss of bus services. Cllr Kayes is now "grateful" the county council will continue to support the 40 bus route.

She said: "I had a confirmation from the cabinet member at DCC that the 40 will be saved because it is on a strategic route."

To add to the opinion mix, however, fbb received this somewhat blunt opinion from a seasoned bus watcher who must remain anonymous.
Maybe Damory have paid the price, but for certain, Dorset residents will be bus-less even if the 40 survives.

It is a right mess.

Cowes Crossing Chaos Continues
The ill-behaved £40+million new chain ferry that plies the River Medina between west and East Cowes continues to be very ill-behaved. It returned to service after a through investigation by the maritime authorities. Hooray!
But after a whole three hours in service it failed yet again.

It got stuck.

The problem is this. The deign is shot to pieces such that cars leaving the ramps smash their lower parts on the concrete ramp which, of course, has been rebuilt to be right for the new vessel.

So, to protect the cars, the ferry has to haul itself as far up the ramp as it can. Now, if it loads more  cars than were unloaded, it becomes heavier and sinks lower in the water. If, at the same time, the tide is going out ...

Well you can work it out! The current rumour is that extra metal folding plate things are to be fitted to the ramp, offering a less destructive exit for the motors.

But here is a treat from Thursday evening.

1926 departure from West Cowes, packed with TWO cars.

1928 Arrival at East Cowes.

1933 on the way back to West Cowes ...

Empty? No way! Packed (at 1935) to the gunwales with ...
... one car! Is it possible that customers are so pig sick of the incompetence that they are driving round via Newport rather than taking the risk of being stranded mid stream?

Surely not.

Demolition Definitely Deferred
Long-term readers will remember that Exeter's bus station should, by now, have been closed and bus stops distributed in nearby streets. Here is a local press note from January 2017.

Exeter bus and coach station, off Paris Street, is closing soon ahead of its demolition.

The aging site, opened in 1964, shuts on Sunday, March 26 to make way for St Sidwell's Point leisure centre, a new bus station and an extension of Princesshay.

fbb was there on Thursday last and all was operating normally. The excellent enquiry office whose staff were, it was announced, being made redundant ...
... was fully staffed and functioning normally.
Councillor Phil Bialyk, responsible for the new bus station and its associated development, cites "problems with the contracts" as a reason for the delay. "Be assured," he says, "we are working hard to resolve the problems and Exeter will have its new bus station."

But not yet?

 More Oddments Tomorrow : Sunday 11th June 


  1. Further to FBB's report on the Damory 40 route, yesterday an entry appeared on the dorset for you ((Dorset Councils website) in their news page of a generic list of the replacement contacts - click on the detail - nothing new added YET!

    We do now know who has the contracts - but no detail - only one route registered - 12 to First - but no detail.

  2. The floating bridge (Floaty Mc Farce Face) ran aground AGAIN yesterday! Cars are also still grounding! p.s. it cost £4M not £40M!

    Alan (a.k.a. Senior IOW Correspondent)

  3. One of my contacts seems to remember a Sheffield pub with a supertram on its sign but he can't remember where it was neither can I.

    The terminus tavern lept its licence with restrictions. Note the ornate Orion work above the sign.

  4. Bus routes subsidies in Dorset. DCC have a very peculiar sense of value for money; they paid out well over £3M for the Swanage Railway connection to Wareham yet cannot find a few 000s to keep a few rural buses running. Just do the sum as to the level of the subsidy per journey; makes no sense. (Yes, I do know the difference between capital and revenue, but it's all tax payers money.)

  5. Andrew Kleissner10 June 2017 at 15:17

    Not Sheffield - but the Tramway Hotel (at the old terminus) in Pakefield, Lowestoft still has its sign: see It nearly closed a year or so back, but has been revitalised as a posh restaurant. And, if you're lucky, you can even ride on the real thing at the East Anglian Transport Museum a couple of miles away!

  6. Andrew Kleissner10 June 2017 at 15:23

    PS The Transport Museum also has a Sheffield tram just like in the picture! By the way, as a small boy I once rode a genuine "old" Sheffield tram, one of the more modern vehicles.