Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Grand Tour (one)

By the time most of our readers are immersed in this post, fbb will have been conveyed to Axminster Station by Mrs fbb's efficient kiss and ride service in the family limo. Thence it will be the 0803 South Western Railway service to Waterloo.

This will be the start of a "Royal Progress" to include meet-ups with two ancient chums and a wide range of transport "activity", no doubt to be reported in future blogs.

The challenge for our knowledgeable readers is to suggest the most cost effective way of achieving this using walk-on railway fares - i.e. not "Advance" or any ticket that restricts travel to a nominated train.

So here is fbb's list of target "activity", plus explanatory notes.

There are no prizes, but you will be able to compare your results with fbb's ACTUAL journeys (whether they be successful or nay!).

London Buses service RV1
The timetable has changed recently and fbb has never ridden the route.

London Bridge Station
Apparently it has changed a bit recently! Not just "streetside" but "trackside" as well.
Hopefully find a nice shiny new Thameslink train from there to Kings Cross St Pancras.
fbb well remembers the cramped old station with very scary narrow platforms and an uninspiring entrance.

The new trains just rumble through
Then to Leicester to see a very good friend (David) of 50 years standing who has not enjoyed the best of health in recent months but is now much improved. So, on the way, a chance to enjoy a gander at the new-ish ...

Haymarket bus station ...
... a bit posher than its predecessor.
Will the quality pf the information be any better than it was?

Overnight is booked at the Premier Inn, Heathley Park ...
... where David and fbb will enjoy an evening meal in the hotel caff.

Friday to Sheffield to, amongst other things, experience the delights of the exciting new marketing campaign, Buses for Sheffield.
Maybe there will be a copy of the promised "Underground-style" route map to peruse? Maybe not!

A visit to the district of Waverley ...
... which simply did not exist when fbb lived in the city.
And a possible call at Nottingham to "cop" the tram to Clifton ...
... and thence back to the Premier Inn in Leicester.

Saturday will involve a trip to Butlers Lane on the Lichfield line from Birmingham New Street ...
... for the short walk to see the chum resident in Hill Village.

There should be an opportunity to take a first ride on a shiny pink tram ...
from New Street to, say Jewellery Quarter and back ...
... before or after dropping in to see chum John. This will be a difficult visit and John has been sinking deeper into the effects of Alzheimer's and probably won't recognise fbb or remember anything of their past 50 years!

Provided that your blogger is still standing, the last stage of the trip is back to Axminster.

So what rail fare assemblage will offer fbb (with Senior Railcard) the best combination of value for money and simplicity of journey plan?

Queries and comments can be sent to

Health Warning (hopefully NOT literally!) : fbb's ability to write blogs may be impeded by poor wifi signal and the onset of fatigue! Apologies in advance for any shortcomings.

 Next Grand Tour blog : Friday 6th April 
The follower who held out for the longest was Thomas. 

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

He refused to accept the evidence of close friends whose lives he had shared for three years! Brave (and stubborn?) man.

A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas ...
... “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

Dramatic, eh?

[FACT : in a Roman crucifixion, the nails we hammered through the wrist, not the palm of the hand hand. This was to ensure that the nail would not pull through the thinner part of the hand. Gruesome but true.]

Tradition has it that the "doubter" went on to travel to India and found the Christian Church there which, to this day, recognises his name.

The Mar Thoma Church, is a Syrian Christian Church based in India. Its members are part of the Saint Thomas Christian community, which originated from the missionary activity of Thomas the Apostle in Malankara (historical name of modern Kerala). The Church in Malankara flourished under various ecclesiastical faith streams from time to time.

The boy done good


  1. According to the cheapest fare for today is an anytime day single Axminster to Yeovil Junction plus a super off peak single from Yeovil Junction to Leicester via London. That's £5.90 + £62.45 = £68.35 rather than a super off peak throughout at £75.25.

    Via Exeter and Birmingham it suggests £51.55 using 5 tickets using my usual split to use Bristol Temple Meads Day singles.

  2. Thanks Anon but your solution at nearly 127 quid is far too high. Beware split ticket sites.

  3. Or maybe you have overlooked fbb's age!

  4. Not sure you'll find Thameslink's new trains very shiny.... more like a very dull grey. Both outside and inside!

  5. The final piece in Yellow Buses (Bournemouth Transport) jigsaw is replacing route B1 with route 737! Will we also see the bus portraying a Boeing 737 as used by Bournemouth Airport operators at the end of May?