Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas Baubles (3)

Lunch On The Big Day
After a successful church service, the fbbs made up a tensome for Christmas Dinner - with all the trimmings - in the church hall. Yummy yummy. Of note were the table decorations, supplied by one of the guests, which still bear their original price tag.
5/11 = approximately 30p!

After lunch fbb was given a transport related gift by one of the guests.  The prints are of the LMS loco 6100 (later BR 46100) Royal Scot ...
... and LNER 4498 Sir Nigel Gresley.
The became 60007 in B R days. This locomotive will be familiar to model railway enthusiasts as the crack express 3-rail model train.
But fbb needs his readers' help. Which stations are depicted in the above prints? Or, are they generic "old stations", depicted with artistic licence?

Answers to fbb@xephos.com

Post Prandial Santa
Two rail related  gifts to enjoy were removed from Santa's sack. A nostalgic video set from No 3 son provided enjoyment for fbb, Mrs and the boy (aged 37!!!) as they recovered from the delights of a splendid luncheon.
Most of the footage has been used before and would be familiar to Southern region fans, but the set brings together a huge feast of railway nostalgia including the Isle of Wight, your blogger's home planet from 1995 to 2013.

Much to enjoy over the next few days. Plus a book.
Wolmar's stuff is always very readable and the volume will provide some pleasant chuntering over the next few days. Expect a blog!

Having just watched the exciting Christmas Day edition of Dr Who, revealing the new female Doctor (no good will ever come from such a thing?), fbb notes that a Dr Who novel (never made into a TV programme) is also called:-
fbb never knew that the Doctor was a rail enthusiast!

The Nastiness at Bedford
Long term blog readers will remember the bungling of bus information at Bedford. With the new bus station, opened in 2015 came a splendid Travel and Tourist Information Centre, see in the picture below on the right.
But soon, the Council, desperate to encourage the use of public transport, consulted on a plan to close it down. Apparently they consulted Sid Boggs, a gentleman of the road ...
... who said that he had no need of an enquiry office. So, amidst howls of protest from everyone except the bus and rail companies, who seemed disinterested in telling anyone where their services ran and when, it closed.

This really helpful notice adorns the door.
Welcome to Bedford!

There is no one to ask at the bus station, unless you can hijack a passing driver; and, round the corner in the library ...
... there are a few Stagecoach leaflets and one for a rail company that no loner exists.
There is nothing for any other bus operator. fbb,  thinks that East Midlands Trains and whatever Thameslink is called this week both serve Bedford Station.

Information, what information?

Thanks to Northampton correspondent Alan for his observations at Bedford.

Is bus travel growing or declining in Bedford?

Skulking Under Cover of Darkness
Seen at Northampton station.
A train in (ugly) London North Western Railway livery. Or is it The train in LNW livery?
    Post-Advent CALENDAR - 26     
What happened next?

Have the wise men completed their tortuous journey?

Not yet!

The time came for Joseph and Mary to perform the ceremony of purification, as the Law of Moses commanded. So they took the child to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: “Every first-born male is to be dedicated to the Lord.” They also went to offer a sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons, as required by the law of the Lord.
Similar to today's Christening?

The "two doves" sacrifice was a specific concession for poorer people - which is why Mary's blue frock is wrong. Blue cloth was expensive!

It would seem likely that, by now, the "Holy Family" will have left the comfort (?) of their stable/cattle shed/cave and found somewhere to rent. Maybe carpenter Joe had found himself a bit of fettling work in and around Bethlehem.

This would save another lengthy walk back to Nazareth and back back to Jerusalem.
 Next Baubles blog : Wednesday 27th December 


  1. In my opinion the new London Northwestern Railway doesn't look too bad on the carriages, I really don't like the ends of the trains.
    Also the South Western Railway livery - too dull and boring, I honestly wish that the franchise had stayed with Stagecoach, who operated a very good service from my experience (10 years living in suburban London travelling monthly to Hampshire and Exeter).

  2. To be fair to Bedford council, you should read their website:

    "In 2015 the grant we received from central government was £30.1 million. This is falling to £5.8 million by 2019/20. It is falling by £6.8 million next year alone.

    Recently the government reduced our funding for next year by an additional £700,000 over and above their original plans. At the same time, the government has said that in order to help fund the growing care needs, councils can levy a further 6% Council Tax increase over 2 or 3 years, on top of the up to 1.99% we can otherwise increase Council Tax by. We do not believe this is a proper solution to meet the needs of our growing older population but rather a ‘sticking plaster’ over a lack of ongoing funding for social care."

    They need to work like hell just to meet their statutory responsibilities!