Sunday, 22 November 2020

Sunday Variety



Today's service is ON-LINE.
A link can be obtained via the Church YouTube channel
(here) which will (should?) take you direct to the service.
The link only becomes live at about 1015 when they switch on!

An Infestation Of Spiders - REDRAW

After quite a lot of redrawing in response to TfL's poor quality PDF file, fbb has satisfied himself that it would be possible to extract the "central area" bus stop map from the spider diagram itself, thus allowing the route diagram to be more geographically correct. fbb's aim is to create an accurate route map for the shorter journey new-look spider because, possibly, a less than accurate diagram would no longer be necessary. The new spiders cover little more than the "Central Area" (as for congestion charge plus a few stops.
The new style is far more cluttered than the old - too much information and people do not bother t look

One little job is to try and work out what serves all those stops (AP, JA, JE, RE and OH) which appear on the map but seem to have no buses leaving from them. Here is OH for example:-
They are all (?) for alighting passengers only with no indication of which service disgorges its merry load thereat. So there is no point in including them on the map, surely? If Google Streetview is to be believed, there is no pole, flag or stop at location AP.

After a mornings work (enjoyable buy challenging) fbb has been able to add colour coded route numbers to all the in-use stops.
This means that the central stops map can be removed from the central spiders lair location and shown separately and at a larger scale. The coloured route numbers would be a obvious mental link to the ,matching spider itself. 

The curse of the graphic designer (or the TfL executive that pulls their strings) still adds unnecessary clutter. Do we really need four Underground symbols at Oxford Circus?
As we shall see in the following item, Underground entrances are very well signed in London and they sit happily and obviously at the four corners of the Oxford Circus road junction.
Maybe Ozzy Owl implies that only that entrance is open for the Night Service on the Central Line?
fbb doubts it, but, if so, is that really necessary for a bus stops map?

P.S. Who remembers the Oxford Circus "umbrella" ...
... raising the road level to facilitate the rebuilding of the station as part of the Victoria Line construction. fbb remembers going to see it in action. It was underwhelming but very effective in speeding the work

All Change At Oxford Circus?
The above is the box and contents for a Sony Play Station 5, launched last week. It's for playing games, innit? It has a more sexy shape than its predecesor (called, inventively, a PS4) and a control thingey with a video screen built in. The four buttons light up with various colours ...
... and the round window (sorry button) claims to look a bit like the Underground roundel. Well, it is a circle and it is red - but that's about all. The four buttons have been designated the PS5 logo.
No! Not that PS5 logo!

This PS5 logo:-
Anyway, Sony have paid gazillions of pounds to "re-brand" Oxford Circus Station, replacing the familiar logo at three of the four entrances. (Actually, the fourth has also been replaced, so that all four have a similar "look").
the station name panels have been given the treatment ...
... as have the route diagrams.
What is of even more interest to fbb is that the new signs have been manufacturer by A J Wells Ltd of the Isle of Wight. It is a company run on Christian principles BY Christians. Peter Wells (fbb's generation) is a regular speaker at local churches and his oldest boy, Alex, also works there and is a close friend of fbb's No 1 son.

Here are the signs laid out at the firm's IoW works.
It is, as they say, a small world!

Doncaster Station Has The Plague
Doncaster Station Has The Plaque

The railway station was built in 1849 replacing a temporary structure constructed a year earlier.
It was rebuilt in its present form in 1938 and remained much the same in British Railways days.
The number of platforms grew from those very early days but it has always been a busy interchange and, of course, important as the hub of a Railway Town. The exterior of the main building still remained the same into the privatised era.
In May 2015, construction commenced on a new Platform 0 to the north-east of the station adjacent to the Frenchgate Centre on the site of the former cattle dock. It is used by terminating Northern Trains services to Hull, Beverley, Bridlington and Scarborough.
This allowed these services to operate independently of the East Coast Main Line. It is joined to the rest of the station via a fully accessible overbridge.

Recently the main station building has been completely refurbished and magnificent it looks. It shows itself off best at night when the new exterior lighting really enhances the venerable Art Deco structure.
"It were grand" as they tend to say in Donny.
The main concourse has always been splendid ...
... but it was in need of a wash and brush up.
Makes you just WANT to catch a train, doesn't it?

Which is why the station now has The Plague A Plaque.

And Why O Why?
Presumably Politics and Transport for London's "inclusive" policies mean that a bus stop map has to be cluttered with Taxi and Cycle logos. Frank Pick will be turning in his grave.
It was Mr Pick, as boss of the Underground, who introduced the house style which remains iconic today. He cleared out the irrelevant clutter and introduced simple signage and, of course, the famous logo. Some "clutter" is unavoidable with a system as complex as London Transport, but at l;east it should be well-designed clutter!

A memorial was unveiled at Piccadilly Station in 2016, listing his business and personal principles.
He would not have tolerated the spider mark Mark II clutter!

But if we must have little bicycle logos, why do they have to have an arty shadow around them? Does that really help? fbb has replaced them with a simple rectangle which conveys the same information in less space.
Frank would have chosen to pick fbb's version, that's for sure!

 More On The Spiders tomorrow : Monday 23rd Nov 


  1. As interchanging passengers could be arriving at an alighting-only stop, I would retain them on the map so that people can orientate themselves as to where they are. Complete omission seems a retrograde step.

  2. "...too much information and people do not bother to look" - Indeed, FBB, that is absolutely right.

    It does, of course, also apply to the display of full timetables on bus stops, when a list of departure times would actually be perfectly adequate!