Thursday, 13 February 2020

459 Catch-Up : Nostalgia Is Coming

But First - More Daftness
Hot on the heels of Phil Southall's honest assessment of the futility of "Uber-Style" App-booked bus services, comes unbelievably, the launch of yet another Lemming-like Scheme. This time the purpetrator of the pottiness is none other than Stagecoach. Have they not learned the lesson of Ashford, where they re-introduced Harry Blundred's minibus scheme of things and very quickly de-introduced it?

From 24th February, residents of Greater Teesside can pre-book their empty minibus via an App.
The local authorities are funding the scheme for three years - lets hope thay have deep pockets.

Not Even A Fiver From Iver
Roger French has paid a second visit to the bottom end of Bucks to see if Luck's on the side of the enhanced all day every day route 459 between Iver, Langley and Heathrow Terminal 5. He took two trips and the total number of passengers on each part-circuit was 1 per trip.

Buckinghamshire has "plated" their bus stop flags as in Langley ...
... here at the Sutton Lane North stop on Parlaunt Road.
Thames Valley has applied some promotional material to some stops ...
... but the (n)ever efficient Transport for London has done neither ...
... e.g. near Ye Old George in Colnbrook.
Timetable in the frame? Departure list in the frame? ANYTHING in the frame for 459?
Nothing for 459. Don't be silly, it's not a TfL route so we don't care!

But the depths of uselessness still remains with the Wind Tunnel at Terminal 5.
Nothing on the pole or in the frame.
Roger's conclusion says it all.
Apparently, spaff is British slang for "ejaculate." Boris Johnson appears to have used "spaffed up the wall" to mean "wasted." There are those who speculate that Johnson didn't actually know the street-wise meaning of the expression he used, and others who are convinced that he knew, but used it nevertheless.

Being an innocent, fbb had never heard the phrase!

And had to look it up!

A Nibble of Nostalgia
When your blogger began to take an interest in Model Railways as a youthful teen ("girls" had not really been invented in the late fifties!). He was a reasonably regular user of Northampton County Library, then housed in the dungeons of County Hall. fbb's auntie worked there.
It then moved round the corner to the former CWS cheese warehouse ...
... and finally merged with the magnificent Borough Library in Abington Street.
Be that as it may, fbb was always anxious to read, especially non-fiction and on one Saturday his eyes lit up as he espied a substantial volume all about mode railways. It was borrowed and, once home fbb started reading.

Oh dear!

Several problems. Firstly the book was published in 1947 and written in the closing stages of the War. This was in the years before Hornby Dublo returned to the toyshop shelves and well before Triang had been invented!

It was disappointingly well beyond a schoolboys ability, understanding and, most importantly, budget. The volume was returned one week later and its existance faded deep into the coal measures of the chubby one's memory.

But an email arrived from correspondent Julian. He would be sending fbb a book "appertaining to another of your interests" (a very nice man is Julian).

Mystery? Intrigue? What could it be?

When it arrived, fbb almost screemed in delight! It was none other than ...
... a copy of the very volume rejected by the callow youth all those years ago.

But the callow youth is now in his second childhood (?) with a model railway in the back yard currently undergoing drastic renewal of the landform atop the Peterville tunnel.
The volume contains not only railway modelling history but oddles of social histrory from the dark days of WW2. And its arrival at fbb mansions has a direct link to the UK's bus industry.

fbb will expound tomorrow. (that's "expound", not "expand" as your author continues with yet another attempt to loss a little of his modest (?) corpulance. January was butter (and all pseudo-butters) free month; to this is added cheese-free February. 

Snippets from Beal's Bounteous Book will appear from time to time in the days following, but tomorrow we start at Walsall, Droitwich and Acton.

And A Puzzle Picture
What is going on here?
Answer tomorrow.

 Next Nostalgia blog : Friday 14th February 


  1. Are the Teees authorities simply yet another example of those chasing what they have been led to believe is the 'golden bullet' that will cut the cost of supporting local bus services?

    The press releases from Ford Chariot and others did seem to set a number of 'hares running' in that belief.

    No doubt there will be an official launch with free goodies or possibly even a lunch, but who attends the wake?

  2. Isn't the perpetrator of Tees Flex the local authority, rather than Stagecoach?

  3. That 305 in Colnbrook is a non-TfL route (as the blue band at the top of the TfL-produced timetable indicates), so that in itself isn't the reason for the lack of publicity there...