Saturday, 22 June 2019

Weekender Part 1

Beautiful Birthday Buses
When fbb first started "seeing" his wife to be, Glasgow Corporation buses looked like this:-
This was a much simplified version of the original bus livery ...
... which had more cream and dark (was it black?) lining, almost a direct copy of the latter-day tram scheme.
As the young couple developed their love, along came Greater Glasgow PTE, still very much the corporation in a weak disguise. The livery was changed ...
At the time, fbb felt this was a retrograde step. (retro = back, grade = step; so the phrase is actually "a backward step step". English is such a weird language!) The overall effect of the weaker green, the white replacing cream and a paler yellow was just a bit too insipid. The GG logo could have been designed by a seven year old.

Then along came "Trans Clyde", presumably trendy - but meaningless. It even appeared on trains!
An enlarged PTE had another go and came up with the stunning orange and black of "Strathclyde's Buses" ...
... which looked distinguished and tidy on all shapes of vehicle and on trains; integrated transport at last? The only disappointment was that the black band around the lower deck windows was often lost in the bodywork design.

To celebrate 125 years since Glasgow City began its public transport service, incumbent operator First has painted three vehicles, one in each of the liveries reviewed above.

These three will be rarely seen together, but fbb is grateful to First Glasgow for sending him pictures of the full line up.

Here they are showing typical City destinations and route numbers (click on this one to enlarge) ...
... and an inspection pit view with blinds all set to Glasgow 125.
The three-quarter view shows the liveries in their full glory!

Of the three, fbb always preferred the orange which the PTE insisted on calling Strathyde Red. Shades of Stroudley's "improved engine green", better described as "mud" .
Perhaps "ochre" would be a kinder definition?

What Is It With Dull Paint Schemes? 
South Western Railway chose something dark and dismal compared with Stagecoach's bright and cheerful.
GoAhead, has bought First Bus central Manchester operations at (and including) Queens Road depot. "Under New Management" has begun in a truly positive way by ...
... repairing the clock at Queens Road!
But their new livery joins the dull brigade with a grey and dark blue (?) scheme relieved by spots of orange.
The formal take-over was on June 2nd. The web site has a passable network map ...
... but the so-called "route maps" on the timetable pages are poor.
But it is early days. Reports from "oop north" reveal that strickers ...
... have been applied over the First logos.

It will be interesting to see if GoAhead adopts the varied route branding style of Go North East and, furthermore, whether proper Go North West leaflets will replace the dull and duller stuff put out by Transport for Greater Manchester.

But it is good that the clock works - like clockwork!

On Target
This week's newsletter from First in Swansea (etc) picks up the theme of First's corporate future. Boss Andrew Sherrington writes:-
It is about time that politicians, particularly those in "senior" positions, take some bus rides for real.

This is just a snippet from the August issue of Buses magazine.
It is all very well spouting platitudes about "personal mobility in country areas" and "encouraging more passengers to travel by bus" but such phrases can be oh so meaningless if the spouters thereof have never ridden on a bus since they went to school.

And Another Livery Refresh
Mr Sherrington also hints that a new look for Cymru Clipper is on the way. Readers may remember that this "brand" is used for longer distance inter-urban routes in South Wales.
When it appeared there were comments that the lumpy gold First Bus lettering didn't really "work" on the dark blue; neither did subsidiary lettering white on gold. The Welsh Dragon was nice, however. The blues were rich and glorious.
The "refreshed" scheme seem to overcome some of the original "objections" ...
The "reveal" is only an "artist's impression" showing no Welsh version of the brand name; there is still gold lettering but on black or a very dark blue and the subtext is white and thus very easy to read.

It will be interesting to seen the finished results on a vehicle - but, at first glance, it looks better than the original.

The Toy Train Returns.
Hornby launched a young child's train set last year, in good time for Christmas.
It was very much a "toy", battery powered with working headlight, plus easy-clip track and a collection of scenic bits and pieces. 

The set returns for this year but, cleverly ...
... with Paddington branding. It is sure to be popular. Or is it? Reviews of the 2018 version were very mixed.
But then there is "Barry D" - surely not him?
More reasoned opinions seem to be the norm, however.
Perhps Barry D had an off-day: whatever, they all sold out at Hornby in 2019!

fbb asks, "will the train run on the Peterville Quarry layout?". If so, it would be a really daft addition to the old man's collection. He suspects that the wheels will be too "coarse" to run through the Peterville Peco Pointwork.

 Next Weekender blog : Sunday 23rd June 


  1. Andrew Kleissner22 June 2019 at 07:51

    No; but you could try this one:

  2. IIRC "Strathclyde Red" was so called because "Orange" has sectarian connotations in Glasgow. Whether it fooled anyone I don't know..

  3. Between Trans Clyde and Strathclyde's Buses there was Strathclyde Transport which started the red/black scheme